15 years Younger in 24 Days: My Experience at the Ecuador Clinic – Volume 6, Number 3
by David Stewart, PhD, DNM, IASP, BCRS, LSH
Originally Posted May – June 2008
1. 15 years Younger in 24 Days: My Experience at the Ecuador Clinic
by David Stewart
Because of the demands of my work/travel schedule during the last five or six years I had stopped exercising regularly, had slipped into unhealthy eating habits, and my strength and energy levels were down. I needed to reverse these things soon since I could see that they were leading to possible serious sickness and a shortened life span. This is why I arranged to come to Gary Young’s Nova Vita Medical Clinic in Guayaquil, Ecuador for a stay of 3.5 weeks (Jan. 29 – Feb. 23, 2008). I am so glad I did.
Nova Vita (which means “New Life”) has two programs: (1) A Rejuvenation Program for those relatively healthy who just want to be re-balanced, toned up, and reestablished on a new and healthy life style; and (2) A Regeneration Program for those with severe illness who need strong measures to be healed.
As for me, I considered myself to be relatively healthy and not in need of any drastic measures. The last times I had visited a doctor were 7 years ago and 15 years ago just for checkups. Other than minor issues, I was given good bills of health for my age. I am currently 70. In coming to Nova Vita, I just wanted to readjust my taste buds to a more healthy diet, establish myself in a daily exercise program, and regain some of the strength I had lost over recent years. My chief complaints were pains in my knees from what seems to be a combination of arthritis and sciatica along with feeling more tired than usual over the past year and being physically out of shape from sheer neglect of myself.
In my younger years I had been a sprinter, a bicyclist, and an avid hiker, but I weighed a lot less then. During the last 20 years, and especially during the last 5 years, I had put on many unhealthy pounds and needed to lose them or die a premature death from obesity and its attendant problems. So one of the main thoughts I had in coming to Nova Vita was simply to lose weight and establish myself in a dietary and exercise regimen I could keep for the rest of my life.
FLUNKING A STRESS TEST
I came to Nova Vita for their Rejuvenation Program but after the first day of tests, it was apparent that what I needed was a Regeneration Program. I had thought I was healthy but found that I was in a state of high risk for heart failure, diabetes, and other problems and did not know it.
What the tests showed upon my first day in the clinic was that my blood sugar was 240 (when it should be less than 100) and my blood pressure was 167/100 (when it should be more like 120/75). I was also retaining fluid in my lower limbs and did not realize it. As part of my testing, I was taken to a cardiologist for a treadmill stress test and almost didn’t finish because of severe chest pain.
These diagnoses struck home with me since my father, my grandfather, my great grandfather, and grandmother had all succumbed at early ages to cardiovascular conditions. The finding of high sugar levels in my blood also struck home since my father had been insulin dependent the last twenty years of his life and my sister, who is younger than I, is also a diabetic on insulin. Both of my other siblings also have sugar problems.
Upon analyzing these results, data from live blood cell analyses, and other tests, Gary Young immediately put me on a very strict regimen of food, supplements, and exercise. For three and a half weeks my breakfast consisted of a small glass of unsweetened lemonade with cayenne pepper, a glass of beet juice, a glass of juice from some unidentified green jungle plant plus some bitter herbal tea said to be from China, but otherwise unidentified.
A RAW FOOD DIET
My daily lunch consisted of chopped raw vegetables which varied day to day, selected from various assortments of lettuce, celery, broccoli, green beans, red peppers, green peppers, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, and asparagus with nothing more than a dash of balsamic vinegar. No salt, no oil, no ranch dressing, and no mayonnaise, which I used to use generously on my salads before coming to the clinic.
Throughout the day I alternated between glasses of beet juice, jungle grass juice, and the bitter herb tea, plus as much water as I could hold. For the first week, I drank two quarts of the bitter tea every day, which was reduced to one quart a day for the remainder of my stay. The tea is said to have many benefits, among which are regulating blood sugar and speeding your metabolism to help you lose weight. The tea, which comes from China was an ancient tonic to accelerate healing. It was given to soldiers wounded in battle to speed up their recovery. It was only in the 20th century that the Chinese realized that along with its healing attributes, the tea also facilitates weight loss, burning fat without reducing muscle.
For daily protein I had a glass of Powermeal and/or Balance Complete each midmorning. But that was it for protein. No milk. No cheese. No ham, sausage, bacon or eggs. And no Kentucky Fried chicken (my favorite).
The only cooked food I had during the month was for supper. It was the same every evening. It consisted of a portion of plain white rice and a serving of fresh mango or papaya with an occasional piece of fresh coconut. There is no salt or anything added to the rice except that I was permitted to use a few drops of hot sauce from time to time.
BENEFITS OF WHITE RICE
When questioned about the white rice, rather than brown rice, Gary said that brown rice is not completely digestible and that white rice is acid-binding and alkalizing in the body. Before the month at the clinic was over, I, who loved greasy foods high in calories and highly salted cooked vegetables, came to look forward to my simple rice and fruit suppers and even came to relish them as delicious. I even became accustomed to the monotony. From time to time since returning home, I still have occasional suppers of bland rice and fresh fruit which I enjoy.
While we took three meals a day at the clinic during week days, on the weekends we ate at the patient quarters. We were given a supply of the food we were supposed to eat on Saturdays and Sundays, but it was up to us to be faithful to our diets. Since I came there with a total commitment to follow the clinic protocols, I was never tempted to cheat on the weekends and stuck to my diet and supplement regimen faithfully. We were told that some clients will binge on the weekends, interfering with their healing and setting their progress back. The thing is that no one could cheat without being caught because it would show up in their live blood analysis. One glance at your blood cells on Monday and Gary and the clinic staff would know that you had eaten forbidden foods on Saturday and Sunday.
I need to mention here that the diet I was placed on at the clinic isn’t standard for everyone there. It was designed specifically for me to address my specific challenges. There were others at the clinic throughout my stay who were addressing different issues and who were on diets specific for their needs. They enjoyed items (not allowed for me) such as cooked beans, lentils, fish, eggs, chicken, and potatoes along with sweet fruits (forbidden to me) like grapes, peaches, cantaloupe, watermelon, and pineapple.
One of the patients at the clinic had been suffering from prostate cancer for nine years, having been through every allopathic modality available,including radiation, chemo, and hormone therapy, none of which cured the cancer. At the clinic, this man was cured of cancer in nine weeks by natural means, including IV administrations of frankincense and helichrysum. Another lady at the clinic was suffering from a brain tumor in her forehead that had grown to the point of pressuring her eyes and affecting her vision. Within a few weeks, her tumor had shrunk to less than half the size as when she came in and was on its way to a complete remission. Both of these patients had diets significantly different than mine, tailored to their specific needs.
EXERCISE AT THE CLINIC
In addition to prescribed and strict dietary programs for each individual at the clinic, maintained seven days a week, we all exercised every day. These include cardiovascular and aerobic programs, weight lifting, swimming, and other measures specifically designed for the individual.
In my case, I walked the treadmill every day. After flunking the treadmill stress test with the cardiologist, they started me out the first day with only 7 minutes on the treadmill at speeds under 2 mph at zero grade because of my weakened heart. The second day I was allowed only 15 minutes with a trainer standing close by to monitor my condition. Within a week I was spending 30 minutes on the tread mill at grades up to 4 and speeds of 3 mph. Before I left the clinic, I could run uphill on grades of 5 and 6 at speeds up to 5 mph with no feelings of pain or stress in my heart whatsoever. I also worked out with weights and various gym machines with the close assistance of a personal trainer. There are two full-time trainers working at the clinic.
The strength of my legs increased tremendously during my stay. My knee pain was reduced, but still present at the end of my stay. I am still working on that problem since returning home, trying to discover and resolve the emotional issues involved as its source. 8 years ago, in 2000, I had severe knee pain in my right side from osteoarthritis which was cured by massaging cypress and wintergreen oils directly to the knee twice daily for two months. I was pain free for six years and then pain returned a couple of years ago in both knees. This time the cypress and wintergreen did not work this time. I eventually realized that the problem was not in the knee, but was a sciatic problem originating in the lumbar region of my back. There was no pain or discomfort in my back, but the pinched nerve there was manifesting as pain in my knees. With that knowledge, a lot of experimentation, and a lot of introspection and praying to uncover the emotional roots, I am now seem to be on track to solving the problem. But I will save that story for another day.
In addition to the diets and the exercises, we received numerous therapies that varied daily according to the ongoing assessment of our conditions. These included raindrop technique, neuroauricular technique, light therapy, solo firm (also known as hypergravity), colonics, intravenous mineral chelations, intravenous Thieves Oil Blend, Vitamin B shots, synergy treatments, bodywraps with oils, cranial sacral treatments, as well as various forms of massage, emotional release and other measures as needed and as indicated by your daily progress. In my case, I received a raindrop every other day and a neuroauricular treatment on alternate days. I also received a colonic 4-5 times a week. The body wrap I received included the application of oils of grapefruit, tangerine, and spearmint all over the body prior to the wrapping, which was maintained for 30 minutes under ultrared heat. It was a stimulating and tingling experience.
TREATED AS A PERSON, NOT AS A STATISTIC
At Nova Vita, patients are not treated statistically according to medically defined norms and standardized prescriptions. They are treated individually and specifically with their prescribed therapies adjusted every day according to their needs and progress.
In addition to all of the above, we were also prescribed numerous Young Living products according to our needs, including the enzymes, liver cleansing products, hormonal products, and nutritional products—all of this in addition to daily applications of the oils by inhalation, on the skin, orally, and by IV. In my case, I was ingesting the following Young Living products: Detoxzyme, Comfortone, Juva Power, Life 5, Parafree, Polyzyme, Cardiacare, Men’s Cortistop, and GLF oil in capsules. Each of these were taken 2-5 times a day. I also took a teaspoon of EDTA and a liquid mineral supplement high in iron morning and evening along with teaspoon of Alkalime in water before bedtime.
For me, among the most encouraging signs of the power of Nova Vita’s programs has been this: I arrived with a blood pressure of 167/100. By the next day it had dropped to 140/90 and for the remainder of my stay it remained steady every day around 120/75 with a steady pulse of 70-80. My hypertension had been corrected to normal levels within a few days and stayed there. Furthermore, I have been given the knowledge of how to keep it there through proper diet and exercise for the rest of my life.
In addition, and most exciting, my blood sugar that had been 240 upon arrival fell to levels in the mid 100s within a day or two. For the last three weeks of my stay it remained steady in the range of 65-85. On my last day at the clinic, it was 67. And here, again, I know to keep these healthy levels permanently.
TWENTY-ONE POUNDS IN TWENTY-FOUR DAYS
My greatest triumph was in the realm of lost weight and reduced body dimensions. In 24 days at the clinic, I lost 21.5 pounds and 4 inches around my waist. I weighed 197 lbs. upon arrival on Jan 30. On February 23, the day I left, I weighed 175.5. I can now look down and see something besides my belly and can bend over to tie my shoes without holding my breath. In addition, my thighs are smaller, each by an inch, and my calf muscles, which had been smoothed over by a layer of fat now appear masculine and muscular, the trio of muscle bundles clearly standing out.
But even better is that fact that I have been home now for two months and my weight loss has been maintained. In fact, I have lost three more pounds upon returning home and will slowly continue to lose weight until I reach my goal of 165. I continue to do 30 minutes of treadmill exercising every day, workout with a bowflex from time to time, and work on my abs as well. My taste buds were reprogrammed at the clinic so that I no longer crave salt and have developed a liking for more raw food and less grease. I drink a lot more water now than before.
I used to be addicted to saltine crackers, nibbling on them throughout every day. I could easily snack my way through a whole box single handedly in a week or two. There are no redeeming nutritional benefits to saltine crackers. They consist almost entirely of salt, fat, and white flour. Nothing nutritious there. Thanks to my clinic training, saltine crackers are no a habit nor a temptation with me. I haven’t eaten a saltine cracker since January, the week before going to the clinic. Furthermore, since January, I have not eaten a piece of Kentucky Fried chicken either and can drive right by without an impulse to stop in for a snack.
I never was much big on drinking coffee, but prior to coming to the clinic I used to jump-start my day every morning with a cup of black tea. It was a well entrenched habit. As of today, two months later, I have not felt the need for a single cup of caffienated tea, morning or evening, ever since I left the clinic. Nova Vita is a program that works and one that trains you to keep what you have gained for life.
THE LOVE THAT PERMEATES NOVA VITA
The staff at Nova Vita are the most loving group of people I have ever been privileged to be around for an extended time on a daily basis. Every person, from the cooks to the office staff, drivers, and helpers, to the nurses, trainers, therapists, and physicians are genuinely concerned for you and celebrate your every victorious step to betterment as if it were their own.
When you are at Nova Vita, you are immersed in a daily bath of love that is probably their most powerful therapy of all. Such love and concern comes, not only from the hearts of every individual on the staff, but has its inspiration from the top, Gary Young himself and his wife, Mary, who is at the clinic almost every afternoon. Gary, who was simultaneously developing a new farm near Guayaquil, was in the clinic several days every week and closely monitored each client. I received more personal care, concern, and attention from Gary than I ever received from a regular medical doctor.
At the end of my 3.5 week stay at Nova Vita, as I was about to leave, all of my measurements, vital signs, and blood indicators were greatly improved from when I had arrived and I had gained a new lease on a longer, healthier life, thanks to Gary’s genius and his wonderful staff. But the most important thing I received at the clinic was not just a concentrated dose of good therapy and TLC, but a new start. What I permanently gained was the knowledge and a set of newly established habits to maintain my regained good health and to keep on improving indefinitely.
THE BEGINNING OF A NEW LIFE
Nova Vita has been the beginning of a longer healthier life for me than I could ever have envisioned or established by myself alone. I had tried for years to change the quality of my life style into something healthier, but without much success. My environment was stronger than my will power. I needed to get completely away from my familiar environment where all of my unhealthy habits kept being triggered, reinforced, and rekindled. I needed to make a clean and complete break from all that had become routine to me over the years. Traveling to an unfamiliar country that speaks an unfamiliar language to be in the company of true healers who care about you has made all the difference. Now I have returned to my home and community environment with new strengths and skills that will enable me to maintain the healthy track I have established while being there.
The Clinic has a beautiful pool of ozonated water (no cholorine or chemicals). The last day I was there, I decided to take a brief swim. I put on my swimming suit, which I had been wearing for several years when my waist was a little larger. I cinched the waist strings as tightly as they would go. (It was an extra large suit.) When I jumped in my trunks were so loose they slid down to my knees. Luckily, no one else was in the pool area at the time. So there were no witnesses and I was saved from an embarrassing moment.
It is as if I entered the clinic on January 29, 2008, as a man age 70 and left the clinic on February 23 a man of age 55. I am sure that my experience there, and the improved diet and lifestyle that has resulted since, will add a good healthy fifteen years to my life, at least. I want to be a centenarian and a healthy vigorous one.
From the bottom of my heart I want to thank Dr. Leida, Tamara, Isabella, Vallorie, Samira, Mariutsi, Gabrielle, Marioso, Rosie, Belen, and all of the other staff members of Nova Vita who provide such a wonderful family-like healing environment. I also want to thank Gary and Mary for their vision and their sacrifice to make this all possible.
If you want to contact the clinic and learn about what it offers as well as its costs, here is their address, email, and phone.
Centra Para Medicinia Natural
Av. Las Monjas #115
Telephone (from outside Ecuador): 011-593-4288-3408
NOTE: David Stewart is author of 16 books, 11 of which are related to health, and 3 of which are on aspects of oils and aromatherapy. These include “Healing Oils of the Bible,” “The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple,” and “A Statistical Validation of Raindrop Technique.” His aromatherapy books are available in bookstores and many other places, including the Internet at www.RaindropTraining.com. His other books, which cover topics from earthquakes to childbirth, are available at www.CarePublications.net.
2. Rappelling Waterfalls with Gary Young, by David Stewart
During my stay at the Nova Vita Clinic in Guayaquil, Ecuador, during February of this year, Gary Young came in one day to ask if some of us would like to take a trip to the mountains and jungles of the upper Amazon. There were seven of us who went, including Eldon Knittle of Texas, a longtime Young Living distributor and friend of Mary and Gary. In addition to two of the clinic patients, Tamara Packer, Vallorie Judd, and Belen of the clinic staff also came. Belen, a native of Ecuador, was our translator. It was quite an adventure.
First, we flew from Guayaquil to Quito, Ecuador’s national capital, where Gary rented a van which he drove into the spectacular Andes mountains. They were covered with greenery with crops being grown up the sides of near-vertical slopes. We stopped on the way to visit a grove of Eucalyptus trees. Two species of eucalyptus (globulus and citriodora) were imported to Ecuador from Australia a couple of hundred years ago for erosion control. Both species took to the soils and climate of the mountains of Ecuador very well so that today there are hundreds of thousands of eucalyptus trees seen throughout the region. Furthermore, the two species naturally interpollenated, creating a hybrid which eventually began to reproduce on its own as a new species, Eucalyptus ecuadoria, found only in Ecuador. Gary will be producing oils from these species in the not-too-distant future.
EL VOLCAN TUNGURAHUA
As we drove into the mountains from Quito, we drew near the erupting volcano, Tungurahaua, which has been steaming for more than ten years now. We never saw the actual volcano because of the persistent equatorial clouds, but did see the black and gray ashes boiling up into the sky. We were headed for Banos, Ecuador, where the Young Living Seminar of February 23 – March 1, 2008, was originally to be held. Unfortunately, due to unfounded rumors of an eminent danger posed by the volcano to the rural and scenic Banos area, numerous Young Living distributors who had enrolled for the convention canceled while dozens of others objected strongly out of fear, forcing the meeting to be transferred, to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, just two weeks before the seminar dates. This last minute transfer of meeting location was very costly to Young Living who had already signed contracts with the facilities at Banos.
The scientific truth is that the chances of a violent eruption from that volcano during the time of the Young Living Seminar were virtually nonexistent. Furthermore, even had there been a strong eruption during the Young Living Seminar, for that volcano to be a threat to the Bath area at this time is a geologic impossibility. The volcano, which is some 30-40 miles in diameter, is currently erupting on the south side, 20 miles away and opposite from Banos, which is on the north side of the volcano. The north side of that volcano has been extinct for thousands of years and poses no possibility of any violent behavior even within the next thousand years. For the molten magma, currently close to the surface on the south side, to migrate many miles within the subsurface to the north side and erupt on the Banos side would take many centuries of slow igneous migration, which would easily be monitored by scientists as it moved underground. Magma moving deep below land surface from one location to another is a seismically noisy process, producing countless small earthquakes easily measured and tracked from the surface.
DISTORTION IN THE NEWS
The news media, not understanding this, reported the volcano as being a threat to Banos, a statement unsubstantiated by the geologic facts. There was also a political aspect to the news media’s misrepresentation. The government of Ecuador realized it could receive large amounts of international relief moneys if the volcano could be described as a threat to the people of the area. Hence, by feeding misinformation to the press, the government helped create a panic scenario that ultimately resulted in their receiving approximately 5 million dollars in international funds. Once the funds were received by government officials, they changed their prognostications to say that the volcano now appears to be less of a threat than formerly supposed. In any case, Young Living had to move its Ecuador seminar from the beauty of the mountains and an adventure in the jungle to a city seminar in Guayquil.
However, the seven of us who spent two days with Gary in the Banos area got to have a taste of the jungle adventure Gary had in mind for the whole group of 340 Young Living distributors who came for the seminar the last week of February. We got to spend a day at the beautiful Samari Resort where Gary had the meeting in mind. It was a dream resort snuggled in a deep valley between towering green mountains. We also visited another resort hotel, Luna Runtun, somewhat higher in elevation, where some of us would have stayed for the Young Living meeting. That mountain resort was perched on the edge of a sheer cliff that overlooked Bath 1500 feet below. To say the view was spectacular would be a gross understatement.
Luna Runtun is like a paradise in the sky, full of tropical flowering vines and bushes and picturesque trees. It is actually situated on the northern flank of the Volcan Tungurahua where on clear nights the glow of the volcano can be seen to the south more than 15 miles away. But as for any danger to the residents of Luna Runtun, there are none. The owners live there with no fear and no concern. Even the ashes continuously spewed from the volcano are downwind and never blow in the direction of Banos or the resort. In fact, Guayaquil, more than 200 miles to the south receives more ashes than Bath. We ate three gourmet meals and spent the night at Luna Runtun, sleeping in several of the quaint cottages that blend into the verdant landscape. Each cottage has a fireplace with a supply of wood and a pack of matches.
The owners of Luna Runtun are a friendly and pleasant couple. The lady is a native of Ecuador whose family have owned this property in the mountains for three generations. Luna is their family name. Runtun is the historic name of the region. The man is from Switzerland, an experienced manager and designer of hotels and resorts. If you are looking for an exotic retreat, vacation, or second honeymoon, Luna Runtun would be a perfect choice.
HIKE TO DIABLO FALLS
During the trip, we hiked into the jungles of a canyon carved into the mountains by a tributary of the upper Amazon River. A trail had been cut down the side of the canyon through the thick jungle growth, which would otherwise have been impenetrable. Near the level of the rushing river, we walked up to the side of Diablo Falls, a cascade more than 200 feet high carrying more than 60,000 pounds of water per second continuously crashing into the canyon. Most of us got wet from the mist arising from the waters thundering upon the boulders below.
The hike back to the top of the canyon was long and arduous, but thanks to the exercise and strength building routine in which I had been engaged in the clinic, I could do it and enjoy it. At the top, we purchased native handcrafts from a lady in a lean-to. I bought a pair of earrings for my wife made of colored beans and a kaleidoscope fashioned from native materials. (Note: The earrings of beans were not the only gift I brought home for my wife.)
RAPPELLING DOWN WATERFALLS
The climax to our adventure with Gary was to rappel down a series of waterfalls. Five of us in the group agreed to do it, including Eldon Knittle (age 68) and myself (age 70). It was an unforgettable experience for me and I would do it again. If you have never rappelled, the process consists of stepping backwards over the edge of a vertical surface such as a cliff or the side of a tall building, and lowering yourself with a pair of ropes which you control. In this case, we were rappelling down waterfalls gushing over a stony precipice.
Tamara Packer, head nurse at the clinic, went first since she had done it before, demonstrating “how easy” it really was. Eldon Knittle fearlessly volunteered to go next and was as agile as a man half his age. The first falls was only about 30 feet high (just to get our feet wet). The second falls was a bit higher and had more water. The third and last falls was an overhang into space about 125 feet above a jumble of huge boulders below. (The last experience would be like rappelling off an overhanging roof of a 12-story building where someone at the top held a water hose raining upon you all the way down.)
Meanwhile, Gary watched all of us and took pictures. It was a feeling of triumph and exhilaration that can not be described. It can only be experienced. Appealing was only one of the jungle adventures Gary had in mind for everyone when he planned the Ecuador Seminar. There also would have been white water rafting, zip lining, horseback riding, and a trek into the jungles to visit a real native village with a real native curandero and experience a real native healing ceremony.
Gary hopes to plan another such seminar for Young Living distributors in the Banos area. Whenever that happens, el Volcan Tungurahua will still be erupting and will probably continue to do so for another ten years or more, but Bath and the area around it will remain safe and untouched. Next time Young Living schedules a jungle adventure in that area, don’t listen to the news. Just go. I will be there and plan to rappel once again and, perhaps, do both the white water rafting and the zip lining as well.