A Haitian monk brings home the gift of healing

Venerable Thupten Jinpa, a Haitian-born Tibetan Buddhist monk, was in meditation retreat in France on January 12, 2010, when his caretakers interrupted him with news of the terrible earthquake that devastated his native country.

Ven. Jinpa's first priority was to contact his father and make sure he was all right. This phone call, though heartbreaking, was the first step in an incredible journey of compassion, love and service.

A Haitian monk brings home the gift of healing

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Read about our clinic in the newsletter for the Flower Essence Society

Venerable Thupten Jinpa, a Haitian-born Tibetan Buddhist monk, was in meditation retreat in France when he received the message that his country had fallen to pieces due to the earthquake of January 12, 2010. He slowly found out that his elderly father and other relatives had survived, but phone service to Haiti was unavailable from France.

Three weeks after the earthquake, he finally talked to his father on the phone. Although the 85-year-old man said he was fine, he sounded spaced out and depressed. When Jinpa pressed him to tell him what was really going on with him he confessed:

"I just want to leave the country. It is too hard for me to sleep outside. I do not even have a tent, and the nights are cold. I don't want to complain, because I do not want to be a burden to you. But I am terrified of a new quake, and cannot make myself go under any roof.

"I am so frightened. When the earthquake happened, I was in the shower. I tried to run out, but the shock waves hurled me from one side of the corridor walls to the other, and the doors were opening against me so I could not run out. The front door hit me in my shoulder and I cannot move it since. I also have a backache now and have a tough time walking. Please come to get me out of here!"

So Jinpa decided to fly to Haiti to bring his father to the US with him. He mentioned to a friend how much he would like to spend his time in Haiti helping people while waiting for his father's papers to clear. Julia, an herbalist and naturopath, responded by launching a fund-raising effort for what would become the Naturopathic Relief Clinic for Earthquake Victims. The response was incredible, and thus the project born.

While the clinic is a huge success, Jinpa's father has not yet been allowed to leave the country. At least we treated him for his shock and his injuries and diarrhea, and the mere fact that people came to try and rescue him pulled him out of his depression for a while.

We did it again!

Julia and Michelle in the ocean of suitcases

Each year we wonder how on earth we could ever pull another clinic together, and then, thanks to so many small and great gestures of help from so many, there it is: another free clinic for 3,000 people, bringing our total to 21,000! So many donations arrive with sweet greeting cards and so much love sent along to the Haitian people. We want to also extend special thanks to our friend in Staten Island, who lets us use his apartment each year as a storage warehouse and package area for the 9 suitcases we prepared — thank you, Puntsok!

This year, it seems that even more people than ever streamed to the clinic, the word of our coming spreading so fast, and more people coming from farther away than ever before. People would line up in front of the gates starting at 6 am, and kept on coming even after clinic closing hours into the night. Many of them were seriously sick, so it was hard to turn them away, leaving the clinic staff exhausted. For instance, when we left the gate one morning on our way to hold clinic in one of our mobile locations, we found about 15 very sick people who had traveled for several hours on a very bumpy bus to come see us. They were incredibly disappointed when they heard we would not have clinic in that location that day. We quickly held counsel, and decided to unpack the basics and treat them there first, before going on to our ghetto location.

Old as the Hills

As our accidental large-scale public health study continues, we are finding that the really old people are quite robust and fit — those who are now around 80 years of age. In the meantime, the generation of the now 50 to 60 year olds who have grown up with the blessings of civilization and modern life are quite sick, much worse off by comparison — with diabetes, kidney and liver problems, cysts (a problem new to Haiti), heartburn, low nutritional status due to no longer eating greens from one's own backyard, and tumors.

The most incredible illustration of that was a very fit 145-year-old lady who walked in, who came from across the island on a bus with her youngest daughter, now 75. Very alert and engaged, she blessed everyone as she went along, and marveled what a blessing it was to receive free natural care at the clinic — a gift from heaven! While some of these numbers may not hold up in modern day linear time count, she did seem as old as the hills, and so did her youngest daughter.

In the same vein, the children have increasingly small and weak teeth inflicted with caries, and we went through our supply of clove oil very fast, giving it out for tooth ache. Such are the blessings of highly refined and processed foods.

This time we did not encounter a new epidemic, but rather a new kind of widespread skin rash. Thanks to all the wonderful donated essential oils we've received, we quickly found that lemon oil was most effective at treating the itchy rash. The very special gift of chamomile essential oil was wonderful for massaging the bellies of feverish babies, curing their fever overnight in many instances. The rosemary essential oil instantly treats the typical dizziness from anaemia and low blood pressure due to malnutrition, as well as hypertension-related headaches (which lavender treats as well). The respiratory and digestive blends (topically) are very effective, as are the joint rubs.

Happy children at the orphanage after receiving flower essences

Most remarkably, there was a wave women diagnosed by their doctors as having ovarian cysts. These women do not have the money for the operation, so they come to our clinic for help. We give them a blend of essential oils including thyme, lemon thyme or oregano, and the women report that this rubbed onto their bellies dissolves the cysts. It has been so successful, that many of them send their friends for the same treatment. Why thyme and its botanical relatives? Simply because we heard from many women whom we had given essential oil blends with thyme for their digestion that it dissolved their cysts as a secondary effect. While we cannot confirm the cysts are gone, we have to assume so, as all of their symptoms abide. Some women even told us that they were infertile due to the cysts, and after the treatment, they got pregnant.

Dancing Patients

Pierro making essential oil blends

One night after the clinic had closed for the day, an old lady came by, bent over with stiffness. Michelle agreed to needle her and after the treatment, to her own complete amazement, the lady was able to stand up straight. In good Haitian manner, she exclaimed "This can't be true! It must be the chair I was sitting on!" She came back the next morning dancing to show us how much better she was.

We have many similar cases of the stiff elders being helped with homeopathic Rhus tox, and they often return to the clinic to dance for us to show off their newly found flexibility. And thanks to the FES flower essence sprays, we also have a lot of smiling children at the clinic. So while life is tough and suffering great, it never gets too gloomy at the clinic.

Giving Life a Second Chance

One of our main motivations in starting the clinic was to give the younger generation a new chance at life after the horrendous trauma of surviving a massive earthquake. Years later, we are very happy to report that this actually happened. For example, there was an 18-year-old girl who came to our clinic, still in shock after having been been raped a few months prior. She was no longer able to pay attention in school, and she kept repeating that she absolutely never ever wanted to get married. She was also suffering from a vaginal infection ever since the rape. We treated her with homeopathic Staphysagria, the flower essence combinations Grief and Fearless, an essential oil blend for vaginal infections, and an Oshadhi essential oil blend for mental focus. She quickly overcame most of her trauma and was able to resume her schoolwork, just in time to accomplish her baccalaureat (A-levels).

Another mother came to the clinic simply to recount all the different times we had treated her daughter, and all the things we had helped her overcome: injuries from the earthquake, a state of shock that made her unable to study, irregular menstrual periods, stomachache and heartburn, and anemia. Her mother ending this list by saying, "and now she is doing great in school and just got her baccalaureat and she is headed for university (free for poor people in Haiti who pass the entrance exams) — thanks to you and the clinic and God bless you and everyone who sent you!"

Hip hip hurrah! We did it again!

Jinpa, Michelle, and Julia

With endless thanks for your support:

  • The Flower Essence Society
  • April Eya of Hahnemann Laboratories, California
  • Ven. Irene Turner
  • Sandra Kong and Neil Jacobs
  • Michael Friedman and family of Restorative Medicines
  • Lora Cantele of Enhancements Aromatherapy
  • Melanie of Aromadelavnice, Slovenia and friends
  • Kate Gildae of Woodland Essence
  • Vivien Williamson of Sun Essences
  • Eva of Oshadhi, Spain
  • Gabriel Mojay of The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London
  • Mihael Kovač of Favn and Maša from Slovenia
  • Bibi Hallam of Tazeka Aromatherapy
  • Dawn Chan, Beyond Aromatherapy, Hong Kong and her friends
  • Wendy Belcourt of Ecole Internationale de Bien-Etre Toulouse and their students
  • Jonathan Hinde of Oshadhi UK
  • Madeleine Knapp-Hayes of Levensboom NL
  • Ann Harman of Circle H Institute
  • Atanas Krachmarov of Ecomaat Bulgaria
  • Cary Caster of 21 Drops
  • Pierre Olanier of Le Comptoir Aroma
  • Isabelle Roux - La Dame au Grand Cru de Ravintsara
  • Amanda Lo from Hong Kong
  • Eliane Zimmermann and her students
  • The vendors at Botanica
  • Guilherme Oberlander of Tunupa Brazil
  • Joe Nasr of Avicenna
  • Terra Flor Aromaterapia Brazil
  • Penny Price
  • Clare Licher of Phibee Aromatics
  • Evelyn et Jackie de Verdon Roses et Aromes
  • Fionna, Jana Eitner, Mara Dojalik
  • Florihana for extending a discount for the oils

Amy Chan, Bink Mak, Bobby Chow, Fonnie.com (representing Fonnie, Winky, Dorcas Yu, Krous, Cindy, Chiu Ka Po, Patricia Wong, Helen, Clara and Ada Lai), RositaCares Clinical Aromatherapy and Nursing Services, Sarah Chan, Wynnie Ng, Christopher Horwood, Irmtraut Hoffmann, Lili Chopra and family, Lata Kennedy, Catherine Wing, Alexandra Spadea, Julia Williams, Julia Mandle, Wagner Mello, Marie-Helene Carleton, Nanette Nelms, Leigh Warre, Michael Gordon, Edward Sczudlo, Hector Malacaria, Elizabeth Johnson, Bonu deCaires, Bree Sharp, ALOHA, Bibi Hallam, Julie Mannes, Antony Cestra, Sabine Spanjer, Sarah Hamady, Julia Hengst, Yee Ming Chiu, Alexandre Apparu, Bradley Grossman, Adela-Marie Carter, Gary Schwartz, Joseph Maggio, Sakura Moriya, Rebecca's Designs and Finds, Theresa Richmond, Jennifer Skoda, Sarah Tomlinson, Laressa Dickey, Grace Sullivan, Elizabeth van der Pas, Rachel Chaput, Andreas Ansmann, Paul Gruen, Rolf Grooten, Alexander Brebner, Julia Williams, Amy Goodman-Kiefer, Miriam Parker, Robert Pike, Susannah Slocum, Barbara Lawrence, John Son, Robert Fitzpatrick, Sarah Heller, Brian Shebairo, Peter Heatley, Jaime Schultz, Amy Hosig, Lusia Wendler, Rosalie Logan, Linda LaDue, Kristen Duff, Lilia Mead and Go Yoga, Richard LaDue, Shannon Roberts, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Geoffrey Gorden, Christine, Elizabeth, Stephanie, Cynthia Siu, Nancy Allen, Julie Tudor, Catherine Yeager, Nina Gage, David Murphy, Steven Stathis, Ken, Donna Mah, Ed Hush, Maria Cutrone, Conrad Carl, Juan, Leah Kreger, Preeti Chawla, Lorraine Thompson, Astrid Prosi Havez, Jeff Lopez, Flavia Cardoso, Mary Ellen Obias, Michael Wick...

...and anyone else we may have missed!