Escape for a soothing spa retreat at The Lodge and Spa at Pico Bonito nestled on 400 acres of tropical wilderness in La Ceiba, Honduras. The spa presents popular therapies rooted in pre-Hispanic indigenous healing cultures and traditions. This pioneering spa haven presents a new twist on the Temazcal experience by offering therapies inside and providing spa enthusiasts with an authentic treatment dating back to ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures.
The spa sanctuary has three circular cabins – one cabin for individual massage, one cabin for couples’ therapies, and one cabin for the Vichy Shower (custom built and made by hand by a local Honduran carpenter using organic and reused wood from the fallen trees in the Rainforest) – on stilts to maintain balance and harmony with the natural energies of the environment. There is also a Temazcal (a Mayan-style sauna to purify the body) and a nearby plunge pool.
The eco-lodge offers the holistic spa therapies listed below.
- Gentle Toucan begins inside the Temazcal as spa lovers embrace the aromas and textures infused by herbs with the steam bath. The ritual continues by wrapping your skin in a lavender-infused mud from the local region to improve one’s cell regeneration and sealing the pores. The 30-minute treatment costs $25 plus tax and tip.
- Revitalizing Cotinga begins with an aromatic steam treatment to open the pores and oxygenate the skin in preparation for the pineapple exfoliating treatment. Bromelain, an enzyme found in the juice and stems of pineapple, acts as an alpha hydroxyl acid unclogging (a popular chemical found in beauty treatments) and reducing the inflammation of the skin. The treatment continues with an anti-inflammatory chamomile mud wrap that deep moisturizes your skin and helps diminish the look of blemishes. The one hour 40-minute session costs $85 plus tax and tip and is recommended for acne-prone skin.
- Comprehensive Therapeutic Chiromassage incorporates two healing techniques – physical therapy and chiropractic – in a new innovative way to align bones, improve sleep, and relax the central nervous system. This massage also incorporates a relaxing body and reflexology massage to give guests multiple restorative benefits such as removal of toxin build-up in the muscles, increased blood circulation, muscle flexibility as well as help with the relief of muscle spasms and alleviate soft tissue injuries. The 50-minute massage costs US $85.
- Anti-Aging Exotic Macaw Facial is an unusual treatment using an exfoliant made from the seeds of lychee and a yogurt mask with moisturizing and energizing properties. The finely grated lychee seeds aid in the removal of dry dead skin cells restoring the vibrant glow of the skin. This holistic facial use both the fruit and yogurt’s natural antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals unpaired atoms that can damage the skin by trying to grab an extra electron from the atoms in the skin causing the skin to age. The 50-minute facial cost US $45.
The spa will rejuvenate guests who stay in any of the eco-lodge’s 22 private standard and superior cabins, approximately 400 square feet in size. The Lodge and Spa at Pico Bonito, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World™, five-star amenities set on the edge of Honduras’ second largest National Park, ten miles from La Ceiba. For more information about the eco-lodge’s organic spa, visit www.picobonito.com
by Jack Oswald
More than 40% of Americans suffer from heartburn symptoms at least once a month, and almost everyone will experience heartburn at some point in their lives.
We spend billions of dollars every year on medicines to treat acid reflux symptoms—but they don’t solve the problem. And worse yet, there are potential long-term risks from these medicines. Many people, eschewing pharmaceuticals, are looking for a natural solution.
One of the most popular recent trends has been to turn to probiotics—live bacteria and yeasts found in foods like yogurt and kefir or taken as supplements. But these popular supplements may not be helping heartburn or other GI issues.
The scientific literature has shown that people who suffer with symptoms of acid reflux often have an altered microbiome (dysbiosis) at the gastroesophageal junction. These interloper bacteria have been shown to cause delayed gastric emptying and induce abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle that keeps the acid in your stomach and not your throat).
Studies have also shown that people who suffer with these symptoms often have underlying local and systemic inflammation and that inflammation causes further weakening of the esophageal muscle.
How did this happen? Contributing factors may include inappropriate diet, antibiotics, infection, toxins, etc. But once disrupted, the advantageous symbiotic relationship of the local microbiome may become a pathogenic one.
To really heal, the local microbiome has to be brought back into balance, and doing that begins with feeding the good bacteria that are already there but lying dormant because they aren’t getting the right nutrition.
So why are our microbiomes starving? The good bacteria in our digestive system evolved to feed on naturally fermented foods, but our modern diets no longer include the amounts of these foods that they need. So the good bacteria lie dormant, and our system gets out of whack, leading to a number of health issues, including heartburn.
This bacterial imbalance doesn’t just impact heartburn symptoms. Our entire bodies are affected. When the balance is restored, then a number of systems improve including overall digestive balance and regularity, healthy immune system, appetite management, blood sugar management, healthy cholesterol levels, and mineral absorption for bone health.
Luckily, there are two natural ways to amend this deficiency and feed our microbiomes: eat several servings a day of fermented foods—like sauerkraut, kimchi, or heirloom sourdough bread—or take a naturally fermented microFood supplement like ISOThrive.
MicroFood supplements (also known as prebiotics) are zero-calorie complex carbohydrates. They supply food for your body’s beneficial bacteria. ISOThrive is a natural complex carbohydrate called MIMO (maltosyl-iso-malto-oligosaccharides).
We have found that a daily dose of the right kind of microFood (like ISOThrive, i.e. naturally fermented) reduced or eliminated heartburn symptoms in 88% of users who self-identified as having acid reflux symptoms. Those suffering from heartburn and are struggling to find a natural solution would do well to try feeding their microbiomes.
About the author:
Jack Oswald is co-founder and one of the inventors of ISOThrive. A serial entrepreneur, his current focus is health and nutrition. Jack is a Member of the Board of Trustees, as well as on the faculty of the school of engineering at the University of California, Merced. Jack is a graduate of Dartmouth College (AB Engineering) and Harvard Business School (MBA).
by Patrick Massey MD PhD MhD
Magnesium is a common mineral that is absolutely necessary for health. Although in traditional medicine magnesium levels are rarely measured medical research has shown that low levels of magnesium increase the risk of sudden death associated with heart disease, increases the risk of diabetes and its complications (nerve pain and loss of feeling in the feet) and increase the risk or severity of a host of other illnesses. Magnesium is also important in treating depression and anxiety. We need magnesium and most Americans do not get enough.
Magnesium is essential for life – all life. It is ubiquitous throughout nature being found in every cell and in every know organism. Magnesium is involved in over three hundred different biochemical reactions in the cell. It is necessary for energy production as well as stabilizing and replicating DNA in the cell nucleus. The recommended daily value for magnesium is 400 milligrams but that recommendation is just enough to prevent the effects of severe magnesium deficiency. It is rarely the amount needed for optimal health and most Americans do not even get half of that amount on a daily basis.
A recent medical study (2106) in the Journal of the American Heart Association looked at the relationship between blood magnesium levels and the risk of sudden death in people who have documented coronary heart disease. The results were eye opening. In a pool of over nine thousand people not only did the risk of sudden death significantly increase (36% increased risk) in the magnesium deficient group but the rate of atherosclerosis in the arteries of the heart (progression of heart disease) also significantly increased.
The medical literature is replete with studies indicating the many the incidence of illnesses are associated with low serum magnesium…anxiety and depression, common muscle spasms, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic migraines, osteoporosis, dementia and even stroke. Interestingly an old emergency room therapy for migraines and high blood pressure was intravenous magnesium. High dose magnesium is still used to prevent the seizures and high blood pressure associated a rare condition during late stage pregnancy called eclampsia. I still use intravenous magnesium today for severe migraines and with good success.
Medical studies have estimated that two thirds of adults do not get the daily recommended amount of magnesium and, disturbingly, only twenty percent of children get enough magnesium. Making magnesium deficiency worse is that some commonly prescribed medications can lower magnesium in the body by either by preventing magnesium absorption in the bowels or by increasing excretion of magnesium by the kidneys. Antibiotics, steroids, some asthma and blood pressure medications, nicotine, insulin and phosphates found in many sodas can reduce absorption and increase excretion of magnesium. In regards to high blood pressure medications lowering tissue magnesium levels, magnesium is one the minerals used by the body to lower blood pressure. So a medication used to lower blood pressure may, paradoxically, make the blood pressure more resistant to blood pressure medications. The same is true for steroid based medications in the treatment of asthma. Steroids increase excretion of magnesium by the kidneys and a low tissue level of magnesium makes asthma more resistant to asthma medications. I recall one patient I saw who had been in the intensive care unit with unresponsive asthma for two weeks. Her magnesium level was very low because of all the steroids she was taking. After some magnesium intravenously, she was out of the intensive care unit within 24 hours and home after two days.
Long term use of a common class of stomach acid medication, proton pump inhibitors, commonly reduce serum magnesium levels and over twenty million prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors are written every year. Recent medical studies have shown that proton pump inhibitor use, long term, increases the risk of many illnesses including kidney damage, osteoporosis, infections and even dementia. Bowel illnesses like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and chronic diarrhea can limit the absorption of magnesium, reduce blood levels and increase the risk of many chronic illnesses.
Ideally we should get all the magnesium we need through food like nuts and seeds, dark leafy vegetables, dark chocolate and avocado but we don’t because these foods are not part of the typical American diet. In addition, plants get their magnesium from the soil. If the soil is depleted of magnesium then the plant will also be depleted of magnesium. Therefore for many people magnesium supplements are essential. However, caution is warranted because one bothersome side effect of too much magnesium is diarrhea,
especially is the magnesium is in the form of magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. They are not readily absorbed. Other types of magnesium like magnesium glycinate cause less diarrhea because they are absorbed better.
The best blood test for magnesium is to measure its level in the red blood cells, RBC-magnesium. Serum levels of magnesium are very inaccurate. I check RBC-magnesium levels in my patients as part of their usual blood tests and aggressively recommend magnesium supplementation to ensure that their levels are near the top of the reference range if needed. In my experience many chronic illnesses are the result of lifestyle choices, knowingly or unknowingly, and can be easily corrected.
About the author:
Patrick Massey MD PhD MhD is the past director of complementary and alternative medicine for the Alexian Brothers Hospital Netwok. He is the author of Miracles or I Have No More Boils (patrickmasseymiracles.com), a book about the true causes and cures for chronic illness.
Dr. Massey has an active medical practice in Elk Grove Village IL (www.alt-med.org)
Anahata Ananda of Shamangelic Healing, Sedona Arizona’s Premier Center for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening, talks about spiritual healing and society on the widely followed Aubrey Marcus Podcast in Austin, TX.
The world has always experienced turmoil and growing pains, but for many, the challenges facing them today can be daunting. In this episode, “Healing Trauma and Planting Roots of Strength,” Anahata and Aubrey hold a lively hour-plus discussion about trauma, core wounds, addictions, instability and the profound benefits of Shamangelic Breathing, meditation and other spiritual practices for addressing emotional wounds and their effect on the physical, emotional and energetic body.
For people who are experiencing increasing stress and anxiety in a world that is speeding past their ability to keep pace, this podcast gives some fresh advice on how to grow stronger roots from within to withstand the fiery forces of transformation taking place in the world today. With over 75,000 downloads in the first week of its original podcast, Shamangelic Breathing is catching on to being an enormously effective tool for transformation in troubling times.
“It’s more important than ever for the awakening human to understand that this powerful force for healing and alignment lies within themselves, independent of external forces,” says Anahata. Her practice helps a person grow the deep roots they need to remain strong and centered during these tumultuous yet pivotal times, when all of society and the planet are accelerating toward a higher consciousness.
Anahata’s recent guest spot on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast was part of her visit to Austin to facilitate a Shamanic Breathwork Ceremony at the city’s Black Swan Community Yoga event in February 2017. Anahata first met Aubrey in the capacity of being his teacher at a Shamanic retreat where he was deeply transformed by the unique Shamangelic Breathwork exercises.
This insightful one-hour and 19 minute podcast shows an undeniable rapport between Anahata Ananda and Aubrey Marcus whose friendship and mentorship with each other creates an intriguing narrative about subject matter that is clearly a passion for both of them. The podcast will be of great interest to listeners interested Shamanic Wisdom training, personal growth and empowerment, or healing arts practitioners who want to expand their toolkit with energy healing modalities. It is available on iTunes as an audio recording by subscribing to Aubrey Marcus Podcast or may be viewed with the video component on YouTube.
Shamanic Healer and Spiritual Counselor, Anahata Ananda, has trained extensively with gifted shamans, energy healers and spiritual teachers from around the world in order to artfully integrate the fields of spirituality, energy healing, self-empowerment, and shamanic teachings. Her client-base spans the globe with individuals from all walks of life who are seeking to heal and awaken to their fullest potential.
The Shamangelic Healing Center is based in Sedona, Arizona. It is nestled beneath Thunder Mountain, with 360 degrees of breathtaking views, and within walking distance to a medicine wheel and healing vortexes, making it the perfect setting for healing and expansion. Inside, the retreat center’s calm and relaxed environment helps to engage all of the senses, making it easy to settle into a session. Clients seeking Spiritual awakening, transformational healing services, counseling, sacred land journeys or training courses may choose from a wide range of options that can be tailored for the ultimate personal experience.
For those unable to attend or come to Sedona, Anahata has created online courses on the Kajabi platform. Shamangelic online courses are for the global audience, with convenient 24 hour access to videos and self-paced exercise handouts that help people explore the tools and practices to live a more empowered, balanced and conscious life in their everyday lives.
For detailed descriptions and a calendar of more upcoming retreats, workshops, courses, and all services offered by Anahata Ananda, visit http://shamangelichealing.com/