There are probably only very a few people among the foreign population at Lakeside who know of the existence of Instituto Vida Sana, a clinic for Natural Medicine in Guadalajara. So I thought, some of you may be interested to learn more about this place where Natural Medicine is really practiced in the classic way.
I met the director of the clinic, Dr. Ignacio Regla, many years ago in Ajijic where he gave a lecture on treating diabetes with alternative medicine. He invited me to his clinic and since then I have worked with him and give lectures there on a regular basis.
To Mexicans and especially to people from Guadalajara, this place is well known, because Dr. Regla talks regularly in a local radio program about natural medicine and how conscious life styles are the best investment for a healthy future. But many here normally don’t listen to Guadalajara Radio stations. So how would we know?
Instituto Vida Sana, also known as Mundo Natural (Institute for a healthy life or Natural World) was founded in 1971.
The mission of the clinic is to provide an environment in which the patients can restore their health with natural healing therapies.
Director, Dr. Ignacio Regla, is an internationally renowned allopathic and naturopathic physician His team of doctors and therapists have successfully treated a wide range of illnesses with a regimen of natural therapies. The clinic is especially known for treatments of the so called metabolic syndrome that causes diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis etc. It is interesting that the concepts of these treatments are based on the 5 elements of Nature: Water, sun, soil (mud), air and medicinal herbs. In our medical world today, it may sound ridiculous, that such simple treatments can be successful at all.
The Vida Sana clinic is a complex of a few small buildings arranged in the Ranchero Style with a beautiful little garden area in the middle. It has accommodations for up to 60 people, Most of the accommodations are simple but it also has 6 more luxurious apartments with TV and fine furniture. In the time between Easter and summer vacation, the clinic is totally booked. The rest of the year, especially in winter and fall, it is a quiet place where life goes slow and relaxed in the typical Mexican way. The staff is very friendly and there is always somebody who speaks English. The prices are – compared to similar places around the world – absolutely reasonable.
Most patients are Mexicans who come from all over the country or from the United States. They choose to spend part of their vacation in the clinic for a general immune booster, weight loss, inner cleansing (detoxification cure) or to be treated for more serious illnesses. Sometimes couples come together or a young person accompanies the grandmother or grandfather. The regular stay is one week, but some are there for only 3 days. Others, in more serious cases, may stay up to several weeks.
Mundo Natural’s healing programs begin with a complete medical evaluation using traditional medical diagnostics. Information gathered during the examination is used to create an individual treatment program designed to help restore the body’s health. The healing programs utilize the natural elements with a 100 % vegetarian diet, various natural therapies, vegetable juices, exercise and most importantly, a positive mental attitude.
Treatment recommendations may include herbal teas, a steam bath, sit baths, mud wraps, sun baths, massages, reflexology, acupuncture, Bach flower remedies, homeopathy, colonics (intestinal cleansings) and more. The goal is to stimulate the body’s self-curative power by eliminating toxins through the skin, kidneys, liver, lungs, intestines and lymphatic system.
Dr. Regla says: “We medical doctors have to be teachers to instruct people how to live a healthy life” Therefore an important part of the clinics regimen is listening twice daily to lectures about meaning and purpose of treatments and healthy lifestyles. This means involving the patient in an active process of learning and not just passively receiving treatments. .
This is a typical daily regimen at Vida Sana.
Early morning starts with a body exfoliation, a rubdown with a natural bristle brush followed by 20 minutes in a warm bed to create the desired thermal reaction. This removes dead skin cells and activates blood circulation.
Next on the program is a barefoot walk on the fresh morning grass which provides an invigorating reflexology like foot massage – this also activates blood and lymphatic circulation.
Around 7 am steam bath therapy begins with 5 minutes in the steam cabinet followed by a rubdown with a cold wet towel. This cycle is repeated 3 times and finishes with cold being hosed down with cold water. Afterwards a 20 minute rest in bed is required.
Having natural drinks to detoxify the body is the next step. Linseed, lemon and prune drink, sometimes with olive oil and garlic and herbal teas are served.
Next is an herbal enema to eliminate toxins from the intestines. This is performed during the first 3 days only.
Between 8:30- 12 pm there is the doctor’s visit, then breakfast in the dining room with lots of fresh fruit and/or fruit juices, followed by another herbal tea during the lecture and question period.
Sun bath therapy starts around noon. Just a few minutes exposure of the whole body to the sun helps to normalize and restore many important functions of the body as well as activates Vitamin D production.
The “sit bath” and mud wrap therapies are applied in the early afternoon. These methods normalize organ function in the upper and lower abdomen. Mud wraps reduce inflammation, relieves congestion and absorbs toxins (especially for arthritis, headaches and indigestion).
During the afternoon green vegetable juices are served. They contain high amounts of chlorophyll, minerals and antioxidants like alfalfa, soy sprouts, spinach, chard, chaya, celery, iceberg or romaine lettuce, parsley, carrots, greens, beet greens, and water cress.
Lunch will vary depending on the individual treatment program. The first three days only citric fruit will be served to enhance the detoxification and de-acidification process (remember, citrus fruits are alkalizing).But after that, it is an excellent tasting vegetable diet with great variety.
In the afternoon and evening there is some free time that can be used for resting or to get individual treatments, massages, facials etc. At 4 pm, another wellness lecture is provided.
Before dinner time (normally only fresh fruit or juices) people receive a warm onion poultice treatment to relieve inflammation, arthritis pain, back pain and muscle soreness. For the night, you will be pampered with a nice warm herbal tea to calm down the nervous system.
As you can see, the day is filled with a lot of treatments, a clear regimen which helps in many ways to restore overall health. Generally speaking, there are many different ways to regain health. Almost everything that the clinic offers can be done at home by you. But it is definitively easier and more interesting to do it in the warm and friendly atmosphere of the little charming “Instituto de Vida Sana” with their warm hearted staff of nurses and therapists.
For more information about the Health Coach please contact me:
Barbara Rotthaler, German licensed Naturopath and Health Practitioner
01 (376) 766 1987