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Healing

Elaida using healing on Moiraine


Healing is a Talent of channelers and also a method to cure physical or mental injuries and illnesses with the use of the One Power. Healing can be applied on both humans and animals.

History

During the Age of Legends Healing was developed to almost perfection; except death they could Heal every physical illnesses. Unfortunately most of the knowledge got lost during the Breaking and in the Aes Sedai of the Third Age were only able to perform a so called battlefield first-aid Healing which was used as a rough-and-ready method during the War or Power. [1]

In Seanchan all knowledge was entirely lost about Healing, and even if a damane would have the Talent, she would not be allowed to use it. [2]

After the foundation of the White Tower and the formation of the Ajahs, Healers typically joined to the Yellow Ajah. When a Novice or Accepted showes the signs of the Talent of Healing it was expected from her to join to the Yellow, so was that an obvious choice for Nynaeve as well.

There are though examples of mixtures of Talents, so Aes Sedai of a different Ajah also can show fair amount of skill and Talent in Healing, despite of a choice another Ajah. Moiraine Damodred is a good example of being quite Talented in many forms of the Healing, and she joined the Blue Ajah.

Known types of Healing

There are several types of Healing. They require the use of different types of Powers woven together. Spirit is the most important part of every Healing wave. The complex ones use all the five Powers. [3] Nynaeve uses all five, so as Damer Flinn. The Healing weaved of saidin works differently than weaved of saidar so that male and female Healers cannot use Healing the same way. In some special cases, e.g. Healing Severing of a channeler requires the Healer being the opposite gender as the healed one.

First Aid Healing

Aka "Traditional Healing" during the Third Age. The method heals everything in the body at once, nothing can be left out.

Healing

Healing being used on an arrow wound

After identifying all injuries with Delving, the female Healer weaves Spirit, Water and Air, and eliminates all physical ailments at once using the patient's body energy for the Healing. This method was used as a battlefield first-aid during the War of Power because only this type could heal injury from a Myrddraal's Thakan'dar-wrought blade in which case ugly scars were left behind. Most probably that's why this is the only method which survived, because that one was learned by the most and being able to be performed by the most. Although it is considered as 'one' method, depending on the Healer's personal mixture of skill/Talent/Power-level the possibilities of the use vary. Very Talented Healers of the Yellow Ajah such as Suana and Samitsu are able to accomplish this.[verify] Although the major advantages and disadvantages apply.

Advantages

Small wounds and scars vanishes instantly, visible to all viewer's eyes, while larger wounds will close and heal as if they had healed naturally, but do so in mere seconds.

Disadvantages

Lost appendages cannot be replaced and truly grievous wounds will leave a visible scar.

Imminent death

It uses up the body energy of the injured person. The more serious the injuries are the more energy the Healing requires. In case of a very serious injury it could kill the patient by draining their energy, so in such cases Aes Sedai were not able to do anything with this method of Healing.

Starving to death as a consequence of the Healing

Once a patient has been Healed in this manner, his energy reserves must be replenished. The patient usually feels imminent increasing hunger. In case of a serious injury or illness the patient will be unable to stand on his own body power without eating a huge amount of food and literally would starve to death. Example for this is Mat Cauthon's case being Healed in the White Tower from his connection of the dagger from Shaddar Logoth.

Energy drainage of the Healer

It requires a disproportionate amount of strength from the Healer so in case of many injured, the Healer's strength might not last long enough.

See information about similar kind of Healing performed with saidin here.

Long-term process Healings

This is a category where several different Healing cases fall. Knowing that in the Age of Legends they could heal every physical injuries and illnesses with advanced and very complex Healing methods, most probably all Healing except the First-Aid-Healing fall into this category. In comparison, most probably they could be applied on only a particular part of the body, so in case of a serious injury, the death as a consequence of the Healing did not apply to these methods.

Advantages

Required less strength from both the Healer and the healed person, though it still required a fair amount.

Disadvantages

A month or more time needed for full recovery. It left visible scars although less serious ones compared to natural healing of the body.

Pain easement

Depending on the skill/Talent/Strength in Power of the Healer, this method can be applied from the level of reducing the pain to the level of wiping it out completely. Requires higher level of ability in Healing. In correlation with the skill/Talent/Strength in Power of the Healer the patient might feel drowsiness, or simply it results unconsciousness.

Removing tiredness

with saidar

This weave washes away fatigue from muscles. Although the healed person feels like being full of energy after a good sleep, physically the body is not refreshed completely, the energy deficit has its consequences, so the normal ways of recovery would be needed. It cannot be applied constantly. In this method skills and Talent are more important factors than strengths in Power. Moiraine was particularly good at this kind of Healing.

with saidin

There is a male version of this weave, used by Antail on Inturalde. "Another wave of Power washed through Ituralde. it was like a broom sweeping through him, pushing away all of the fatigue and confusion, restoring his senses and making him feel as if he'd a perfect night's rest. His right eye didn't hurt anymore. There was something lingering, deep down, an exhaustion in is bones. He could ignore that." [4] Antail tells him that this Weave is more dangerous than the women's version, as he was told. Although in some way, it is more effective.

Relations with the One Power

More factors effect the success level of Healing. The strength level in Power and the amount of Talent possessed, and the skill of the Healer. The latter two weight more than the strength in Power. With less Power but more skill and Talent one can perform better Healing. Some of the very strong Aes Sedai were only able to Heal bruises meanwhile other weaker ones were excellent Healers.[verify]

Shai'tan's Healing

Healing with the True Power instead of the One Power. Elan Morin Tedronai Heals Lews Therin Telamon from his madness temporarily. He calls it Shai'tan's Healing and despite that he admits that he was never talented in Healing, yet he is able to give the Dragon his sanity back, so that he can realize what had he done to his loved ones. The method causes Lews Therin extreme distress and suffering. [5] By the description of the method it is clear that it's very different from the one Nynaeve invents when Heals Naeff from his madness. [6] While the former happens quite quick and described temporary the latter requires time and patience and its effect is permanent. Rand/Lews Therin comments that even the most Talented Healers during the Age of Legends had difficulty with diseases of the mind and many believed that madness cannot be Healed with One Power.[6]

Healing a channeler

If an injured channeler is able to hold on the Power while they are Healed the Power can replace the part which comes from Healed. [7] [8] Channelers cannot perform Healing on themselves.[7]

Healing Severing

Nynaeve al'Meara and Damer Flinn independently from each other discovered a weave that can Heal Severing, something even in the Age of Legends were thought impossible.

Only channelers who were forcefully cut from the True Source can be Healed. Unfortunately those who burned out by some accidents, cannot. Also the Healing is only fully successful if the Healer is of the opposite gender. Otherwise channelers will not gain back their full strength in Power. After Healing Severing the healed channelers gain back their Talents as well.

Special cases

Healing attempt on Rand's madness

After Nynaeve finds out that she could actually Heal the madness caused by the taint of saidin, she tries to Heal Rand's madness too. When she Delves him she finds the darkness so enormous, covering the entirety of his mind, thousands upon thousands of tiny black thorns pricked into his brain that she understands that she could not be able to remove them. On the other hand she finds something like a brilliant white lacing of something beneath the blackness of the thorns, radiating white like liquid Power. Light given form and life. Coated each of the dark tines, driving into Rand's mind alongside them.[6]

Removing Compulsion

Nynaeve attempts to unravel the web of Graendal's Compulsion from the mind of Kerb and she manages to do so with the use of all five Powers, although it leads to the almost imminent death of the boy with only a few minutes of not even complete sanity before the death. The success of the removal might most probably depend on the level of Compulsion. Unraveling the web of Kerb's Compulsion took almost an hour for Nynaeve and drained her strength rapidly. Although this was her first attempt to apply such Healing method.

Graendal, who is the master of Compulsion can remove her own Compulsion from Ramshalan leaving him dazed and disoriented but live.

Semirhage is also able to remove Compulsion. She knows though, that removing even a very weak Compulsion could have a very nasty effect on a person. The brain could be harmed seriously. [9]

Rand/Lews Therin skills regarding Healing

Before he merges with Lews Therin Rand thinks about learning more on Healing. When he is already having great access to LTT's memories he is able to advise Nynaeve to a certain level how to remove Compulsion, and he is sure that it can be done. "I have little skills with this kind of weaving. I suspect that you can remove Compulsion, if you try. It is similar to Healing, in a way. Use the same weave that creates Compulsion, but reverse it."[10] Rand also knows that the boy's brain will be damaged seriously after the process but that was also the effect of the powerful Compulsion already. LTT had seen that kind of effect dozen of times.

Healing described by viewers and healed people

Description from a healed point of view

with saidin

with saidar

(further research is required)

Description from a viewer's point of view

with saidin

with saidar

(further research is required)

Healing with saidin

The Asha'man of the Black Tower developed a similar rudimentary and basic method of Healing like the First-Aid Healing, but they use Spirit with Fire, Earth.

Gender based differences

Healing with saidar is accompanied by a great chill rippling through the body; contrarily, Healing with saidin it is accompanied by a great wave of heat.

Delving

Traditionally the Aes Sedai use the Delving weave before performing Healing as a way to look for injuries and illnesses in a body.

New-Old Healing method rediscovery

Nynaeve al'Meara is the one who in her desire to make Healing more efficient rediscovers a more complex method of Healing which requires the use of all five Powers. So does Damer Flinn and Sumeko Karistovan of the Kin, independently from Nynaeve. Compared to the only known, "traditional" Aes Sedai method, these new methods are far more effective and they avoid most of the negative side effects of the former one.


People possessing the Talent

Notes

  1. The Wheel of Time Companion, Yellow Ajah
  2. The Wheel of Time Companion, Healers
  3. The Wheel of Time Companion, Healing
  4. Towers of Midnight, Chapter 28
  5. The Eye of the World, Prologue
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Towers of Midnight, Chapter 15
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Shadow Rising, Chapter 3
  8. The Wheel of Time Companion, Healing
  9. The Gathering Storm, Chapter 22
  10. The Gathering Storm, Chapter 33
  11. The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 3
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