Natural Healing in the Costa Rican Rain Forest
Apr 12, 2011
When Costa Rica comes to mind we all think of the beaches, mountains, the rain forest and ecotourism. Indeed, Mother Nature’s home with no artificial ingredients, Costa Rica is now becoming the mecca for medical tourism. What a package, a vacation in paradise combined with top quality health care at very affordable prices. Come visit and see why more and more people come to Costa Rica in search of rest and relaxation, wellness and health and now to Ailanto for “Natural Healing in the Rain Forest.”
Healing Naturally Body, Mind and Soul
Your spiritual adventure begins with a welcoming reception and four Point Dance performed by a shaman in El Templo de Fuego: Fire Temple. Begin the healing of the body, mind and soul through this magical journey. Leave behind whatever negativity may be restricting happiness, burn those bad thoughts in the blazing fire. El Templo de Fuego is perfectly located near our natural spring, a water symbol signifying life renewal.
Now it is time to climb up in our Nido Encantado within the magnificient Guanacaste tree and begin to enrich your soul through meditation.
Meditation is awareness. Whenever you concentrate your awareness you are meditating. Any activity that frees you from any other distraction to the mind is meditation. Meditation means a cessation of the thought process. It describes a state of consciousness; the mind activity is reduced to one single thought.
The word meditation is derived from two Latin words: meditari, to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind and mederi, to heal. Its Sanskrit derivation 'medha' means wisdom.
No matter which form of meditation you choose, either concentration, relaxation or free form contemplative activities, with regular practice, the energy of the body and mind can be freed or consciousness can be expanded.
Some of the health benefits of meditation are:
- When your mind focuses on a particular part of the body, the blood flow to that part increases and cells receive more oxygen and other nutrients
- It lowers oxygen consumption and decreases respiratory rate
- It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate
- Increases exercise tolerance in heart patients
- Takes you to a deeper level of relaxation
- It reduces blood pressure
- Lowers the levels of blood lactate thus reduces anxiety attacks
- Decreases muscle tension and headaches
- It increases serotonin production which influences mood and behavior. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, obesity, insomnia and headaches
- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc
- Reduces Pre- menstrual Syndrome
- Helps in post-operative healing
- Enhances the immune system. Research has revealed that meditation increases activity of 'natural-killer cells', which kill bacteria and cancer cells
- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
Step in the temezcal for a thorough cleansing of the body. A temazcal is a type of sweat lodge that originated with pre-Hispanic indigenous people in Mesoamerica. The word temazcal comes from the Nahuatl (uto-aztecan language Ed.) word temazcalli: house of heat.
It was used in ancient Mesoamerica as part of a curative ceremony to purify the body after exertion. It was also used for healing the sick, improving health and for women to give birth. It continues to be used today in indigenous cultures of Mexico and Central America that were part of the ancient Mesoamerican region for spiritual and health reasons.
In the adaptation of this old traditional healing source, aromatherapy can be added to enhance the experience. Aromatherapy is using the extracted essential oil from certain plants, grasses, fruits, leaves roots and trees.
Essential oils will leave the body rather quickly and they leave no toxins. The oils that can be used for treatments are:
- Lavender - Treats burns and promotes healing
- Tea Tree Leave - Antiseptic
- Peppermint - Anti inflammatory, bad breath and migraines
- Chamomile - Teething, diarrhea
- Eucalyptus - Cools body in summer, deodorizing
- Geranium - Works on emotions
- Rosemary - Flu
- Thyme - Antiviral, antibiotic
- Lemon - Insect bites, slim down cellulite
- Cloves - cure toothaches
In our massage gazebos, the only music that you will hear is the birds singing, the wind blowing, the soothing motion of the leaves, thermal waters passing through on their way to the pools and a monkey or two frolicking about.
There are over 80 types of massages but they all have one thing in common, the therapists press, rub and otherwise manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body with varying pressure and movement. Most use their hands and fingers but don’t feel surprised if you feel an elbow, forearms or feet. The purpose is to relax the soft tissues, increase delivery of blood and oxygen to the massaged areas, warm them and decrease pain.
We believe that when massaging:
Changes occur in the muscles
Relaxation and stress reduction is felt almost immediately
Stimulation that may help block pain signals sent to the brain, this is known as the "gate control theory"
Shifts the patient's nervous system away from the sympathetic and toward the parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system helps mobilize the body for action. When a person is under stress, it produces the fight-or-flight response: the heart rate and breathing rate go up for example; the blood vessels narrow and muscles tighten. The parasympathetic nervous system creates the "rest and digest" response: The heart rate and breathing rate slow down; the blood vessels dilate; and activity increases in many parts of the digestive tract
Stimulates the release of certain chemicals in the body, such as serotonin or endorphins
May assist mechanical changes in the body such as prevent fibrosis (the formation of scar-like tissue) or increasing the flow of lymph, a fluid which travels through the body's lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight disease
Sleep which has a role in pain and healing
Provides some health benefit from the interaction between therapist and patient
There are two places for yoga in our natural healing. Choose one or both. The yoga tree where you are can be high above ground on our platforms while the Master sits directly across from you to make sure that you realize the numerous health benefits of yoga, or in the Inca Sun Temple where a balmy, 105 degrees, await you for your session of Bikram yoga.
Yoga, the Sanskrit word for union, is a practice that uses posture and breathing techniques to induce relaxation and improve strength. You may practice yoga to relax, stretch, breathe or meditate.
There are many different kinds of yoga such as the gentle Hatha yoga, the strenuous Bikram yoga or Power yoga. No matter which yoga you practice, your health improves from head to toe.
Yoga has many health benefits including benefits to bones, muscles and joints. Yoga keeps your body strong; with yoga you exercise all the muscles in your body. The many asanas (poses) strengthen your feet, legs, hands, abdominals, lower back, legs, and shoulders. Yoga's stretching and breathing exercises improve your flexibility. It helps the joints, tendons, and muscles stay limber. If you suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis you will see notice improvement in the stiffness, pain, and other symptoms.
Ashtanga, Power, Vinyasa and Bikram yoga improve your endurance. These rigorous practices follow a specific sequence of asanas. As you progress, these become more challenging. These practices require you to keep your body in constant motion thus this is a strenuous cardiovascular workout and brings improved inner strength. Hatha yoga can relieve chronic back and neck pain, its poses and postures gently stretch and strengthen back and neck muscles. Yoga helps heal knee and back injuries, strain injuries and pulled hamstrings. Yoga may improve your bone density. It is good for women approaching menopause, since yoga can help prevent osteoporosis, or thinning of the bone. However, you should consult your physician prior to using yoga as a treatment for any injury.
- Benefits to the Cardiovascular System
The gentler forms of yoga lower your blood pressure, asanas keep blood flowing evenly throughout your body while you focus on your breathing. If you are suffering from hypertension Hatha yoga may help you lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Some people have reported yoga has also lowered their cholesterol. Power yoga is a great way to keep your cardio conditioning; it strengthens core muscles and keeps blood and oxygen circulating throughout your body.
- Benefits on Mental Health
Relax, reduce anxiety and stress…with yoga, the end result is better health, better mood and better concentration throughout the day. Yoga helps reduce many emotional and mental disorders, including acute anxiety, depression and mood swings. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and hyperactivity can be controlled by using yoga breathing and yoga asanas.
Because yoga is a form of meditation, you can achieve inner peace and purpose thus improving your overall health.
- Benefits Galore
Yoga can rid you of tension headaches and migraines because yoga circulates blood and oxygen to your brain, keeping those headaches from starting. Yoga helps boost antioxidants throughout your body helping develop a stronger immune system and ability to heal faster. Yoga helps you to lose and maintain weight. Vigorous forms such as Power and Bikram yoga burn calories. There are reports of women going through menopause that have shown an easing of symptoms when they begin practicing yoga.
Yoga helps cure insomnia; a regular yoga practice leads to better and deeper sleep. Yoga is effective for a many autoimmune diseases. It can help reduce the symptoms such as stiffness, malaise, fatigue, and weakness.
Now that you are all relaxed and your body feels like new, it is time to just soak in our wonderful, medicinal thermal waters, pick from the many pools and just stay as long as you want.
Don’t forget that walking is also very healthy so take advantage of our many hiking trails.
Come to Ailanto for your Natural Healing and leave a new person.
Our motto is Nurture your Body… Indulge your Mind.
About the Author
Dr. Hugo E. Ribadeneira is the Chief Strategist for Toque del Cielo S.A. a Costa Rican Corporation, the owner/developer of Ailanto, he holds his undergrad degree in Computer Science, Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws ( LL.M.), Doctor of Juridical Sciences (SJD) and Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) Dr. Ribadeneira is available for consultation anywhere in the World. He may be contacted via E mail at firstname.lastname@example.org