Healing by ‘thumbnail’ surgery

Many years ago, my doctor (a most down-to-earth man), accompanied by a number of his colleagues, and armed with a video-camera, went to the Philippines to observe a local healer at work. He was described as a ‘thumbnail’ surgeon. They observed him working on a few patients, filmed the proceedings and, after their return home, had difficulty in believing what they had filmed. Well, such is life; incredible things can happen, with no logical or scientific explanations available.

However, an immigrant friend of mine, a resistance fighter against the Nazis in his youth, and his wife had no difficulty in accepting what they had experienced under thumbnail surgery, also in the Philippines. This is what my friend told me.

Their healer, after a short silent prayer, opened up the abdomen of his wife using only his thumbnail. He placed his fingers into the opening, and pulled out some whitish material, and placed it in a receptacle. The cut was then closed with a swipe of a hand. I do not remember whether my friend had mentioned any blood being visible. He did say that both of the healer’s arms had been uncovered.

Satisfied that wife’s condition had been improved by the healer, my friend went back to the same healer with his ‘tennis elbow’ pain, for which he had found no lasting cure. The healer’s procedures were as before. The elbow did not cause my friend any further pain. (In contrast, my tennis elbow was cured by a most painful manipulation.)

I have seen still-photos of a thumbnail operation on a woman in my shire. The woman was gratefully free of any pain for a few years. Then she began to complain about the same pain at the back of her shoulder – and blamed the healer as incompetent. I suggested, on the basis of my experience with worn cervical vertebrae, that her deteriorating neck might be the cause.

The core issue is – how do these healers remove pain in so many patients by opening up the body with a thumbnail and removing some apparent detritus?