In the Middle Ages a common form of informational transmission was a stitch or stabbing pain (færstice), transmitted to the experiencer through invisible means, typically via invisible spears and arrows, projected by elves, witches, and other magical folk. These transmissions could be neutralized, blocked, and healed through the Wið færstice charm, which combined spoken words, gestures, and herbs. This nociceptic medium of transmission and its countermeasure are an early form of pre-digital gestic media.
In the present day, this system of transmission has been overlaid through alternative charm techniques, consisting chiefly of the belief that they are caused by the contraction of muscles brought on by physical strain, everyday activity, mineral deficiencies, and/or a variety of unseen phenomena. This understanding of færstice alters one’s attitude towards the temporary pain, and along with stretching, icing, bathing, and waiting, one is able to remove the elf shot from the wound. For those plagued by elves, one can consult with their healer for more advanced charms.
Jeff T. Johnson