• Jamie Matthews

The head impact that stopped me in my tracks...

"The brakes aren't working, Jump!"

Said the driver as he jumped out of the van, leaving all 15 of us to crash into a bulldozer.

Hello everyone!

I've been (quietly) back home in New Zealand for 3 weeks now. Mostly I've been relaxing, recovering and "fixing" myself. The trajectory of my journey was drastically shifted when I had the accident (above) 2 months ago in Peru - (More info on the accident later on). Last week I finally realised how serious the accident really was. During a ConTact C.A.R.E treatment with Nicole, a significant blanket of haze was lifted from my head and BOOM, the realisation hit me - that I was THAT close to dying. I just didn't have enough brain power until that moment to comprehend it. If the impact was slightly harder, I might not be here anymore...

The past couple of months have been one of the toughest times in my life... ​​I've gone through so many challenging emotions and thoughts - Feelings of frustration, not being able to socialise, exercise or work, questioning what I'm doing and why? Can I go back to what I was doing before? Is my strength going to come back? Is the way I work with clients going to change? As you can tell, several "cans of worms" were opened from this.

Above: I took a selfie of my knee in a Cusco hospital

My injuries

Immediately after the accident I had:

-Bruised knees, with a gash in the right knee which needed stitches, I was limping badly for weeks.

-Whiplash - I could barely bend or turn my head in any direction.

-Bruised tailbone, face and head

-The worst though was the concussion, with shockingly bad memory, terrible concentration and very low energy. I don't remember anything from the first 2-3 weeks post accident other than visiting a cafe.

  • Low energy - I get tired very easily and often feel like napping during the day.

  • Terrible short term memory - It has improved loads but still isn't that sharp.

  • I haven't felt up to socialising much.

  • Physical weakness - Very little strength and not able to do much more than 1-2 hours of "work" in a day.

  • Lack of emotions and feelings - It has been diffilcult connecting with feelings and "caring" about things as much as I did.

I really didn't THINK the accident was that serious for quite some time, I wasn't aware because my thinking was all out of whack, and I didn't know it. That's the thing, when you have had an impact like this, you think "I'm sweet", I'm fine", "I'll be good tomorrow", but then when people say to you "You've already told me that" or "can't you remember what we spoke about the other day?" or "What did you do yesterday?" and I didn't know. After awhile you start to think, "Shit, that's really not good... Maybe I do need help."

I knew I had to go back to NZ, to get some much needed post-accident treatments of ConTact CARE which deals with suprise impacts.

Above: Photo taken in the ambulance to Cusco (taken by the nurse).

The man on the left was in the front seat of the van where he was pinned to the dash, he ended up getting 30 stitches to his head. The poor woman in the centre had many of her top teeth knocked out. As you can see I was in a bit of a daze from the concussion and with bruising in my swollen mouth and nose.

What happened?

The crash was a taxi Van aka "collectivo" VS a stationary bulldozer. And in true Perivian style - No seatbelts haha. The lucky part was that we didn't fly off the cliff on the other side of the road.

We were on the way back from an amazing camping trip with 15 others to Lares hot springs which is about 2 hours from Pisac, Peru. Most of us were sleeping in the van when it happened. Apparently the brakes of the van failed randomly while we were travelling at about 60-70km/h. Once the Peruvian driver had noticed the brakes were out he yelled to the front seat passengers next to him (in spanish),

"The brakes aren't working, JUMP!"

The driver jumped out of the van leaving all 15 of us to smash into a stationary bulldozer at a roadworks site.

Above: Group photo (some not in photo) before we got into the van that crashed

I was immediately knocked unconscious by the head impact on the seat in front of me... Apparently I was lying on top of the chair in front that was now flattened. They told me that when I eventually awoke (after being knocked out) that I was so confused that I didn't even know I was in Peru! I don't remember a single part of the accident, only the part afterwards when I became conscious while travelling in a police car to Calca hospital.

I didn't have any brain scans or any type of post head impact testing, because no-one told the doctors that that had happened. I was concussed, "out of it", lost. I had no idea. The doctor asked me what was wrong and I said I have sore legs and a tight neck, so that's all they checked.

Would you believe my travel insurance ran out 3 days prior to the accident hahaha.

Treatments and Recovery

It's been a rollercoaster. I've been forced to slow down, rest, relax and not work which has been frustrating because it's what I feel gives me the most purpose in life... Every night for weeks after the accident I went to bed thinking "tomorrow I'll be able to move to another hostel", go to this or that place, I'll be able to work again. Instead I woke up in groundhog day style thinking - "Bugger... I don't even have the strength or the energy to pack my bags, let alone carry them." I was silly enough to believe I would be fine after a couple of days and be back to helping people, but NOOOooo. On the whole, more days are feeling better and better.

To date I have done all of these since the accident:

6 ConTact C.A.R.E treatments (NZ)

1 Deep tissue massage (Peru)

3 Chiropractic visits (2 in Peru and 1 in NZ)

4 Reiki/energy healing/spiritual/counselling sessions (Peru and NZ)

1 Float (meditation) tank (Peru)

6 Yoga sessions (Yin yoga and Naam yoga) - (NZ and LA)

1 Bio-Pulse Detox (NZ)

Daily fish oil, Purple Rice, Vitamin C

I was lucky there was a chiropractor in Cusco (an hour away) who I saw twice which helped loosen me up initially. I mostly rested and slept a lot. The energy, spiritual healing side has also been very beneficial for me, it's helped me clear the head, energise me and get me through. The most profound has been ConTact C.A.R.E as I had expected, because I had helped so many people with these type of concussions and various accidents before.

Above: Hiking up Lares mountains (The day before) was awesome!

Everything Happens for a Reason

This is one of my life mottos. I believe we are all part of a bigger picture, like a divine orchestrated symphony and we all have our place and purpose in the grand scheme of things at all times.

So why did I have this accident?

  • It brought me back home a lot earlier to my family and friends. Their support is what has got me through this, especially Nicole! She's the one that reasoned with the dazed and confused, "I'll be sweet", concussed Jamie to convince me to come back home (It took a few weeks lol).

  • To go back to learn more ConTact CARE in Ngatea. Coincidentally, there was a course focussed on concussion a couple of days after I got back to NZ where I had a major treatment and learn't some more powerful skills. I now have a good portion of time to enhance my skills and learn from some of the best practitioners on the planet.

  • I can now help people who have had concussion injuries more effectively because I've been there and know what it's like. It's possible I'll be able to handle even more difficult client injuries after going through this myself.

  • To SLOOOOOW down - What I didn't mention above was that the day before I happened to have the most intuitive experience I've had in my life. The state I was in helped me work on a whole new level. I helped 6 people in a row - one after the other. It was so odd because it was like they were put in front of me in order as though it was "meant to be." I had taken a plant medicine called "San Pedro" and I had never experienced intuition this way before. I loved it, it was intense, powerful and I felt such an incredible amount of gratitude. It felt like "God" or whatever you would call this "higher power", had given me a whole new responsibility or job to do in my life, it was incredible and I struggle to explain it in words. To be in this heightened state one day, then to being slammed (literally) to the complete opposite the next day.... WOW, Isn't that a little odd? This was by far the craziest 24 hours of my life.

Anyway! I have so much more to share from this plant medicine experience, too much for this blog. Maybe this would make a good chapter in a book some day? ;)

Above: San Pedro (aka Huachuma) the powerful plant medicine, which is commonly found in Peru.

What now?

As I mentioned above when I was in a heightened state after having the plant medicine - San Pedro, I had this "knowing" come over me that - the first chapter of my journey had ended and a whole new one was just about to begin. I just didn't think it would come to an end this brutally haha.

It feels like I'm sitting in a pause or break before the next exciting chapter starts. The accident was like the stamp that marks the end of the first chapter. I'm really curious for what the next chapter will bring. With more time and healing that will unfold :)

For now I will be:

  • Resting and Relaxing until able to work again fully or make next step

  • Having more healing treatments and appointments to speed up my progress

  • Learn more skills and methods to become a better practitioner

  • Catching up on my blog posts (I have loads more to write about.) Any ideas?

  • Spend more time at the beach

  • Discovering new ways of income for the future that will allow me to continue my journey with ease, fun and flow

  • More Podcast interviews that arise - I have a list of ideal people to interview in the future

  • Staying open to any more amazing opportunities, here and around the world

The future is absolutely open right now.

  • I could travel to LA and Peru again? (There are many people asking when I'm coming back again to Peru for treatments.)

  • I can work in New Zealand for a while and save some money?

  • I could head to Australia to work in my favourite good vibes place - Byron Bay?

  • I'm open to the possibility of learning some new healing skills to "add another string to my bow."

  • Other countries?

What else is possible?

This has been a tough moment for me, but it is just a moment, it will pass and something great will come of it - I'm certain of that :)

Love, Peace and Light,


If you want to see more Blogs, Podcasts and insights from my journey follow me here:

-YouTube - HERE

-Listen to the Podcast on Soundcloud - HERE

-Facebook page - HERE

-Instagram - @thetravellinghealer

Check out the latest podcast interview on YouTube below: (Also on iTunes and Soundcloud)

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