October 2010

Holistic Medicine

Christina Moore discovers the secret to obtaining a long and happy life.

Christina Moore
Projects Abroad Volunteer
London - United Kingdom

Iris had been hesitant about starting therapy with a holistic doctor like Don Fredy Esc alier. However, her depression had become severe enough that it was worth giving him a chance. After the success of their first session, she began to think maybe he could actually help her, and within a few months she was able to kiss goodbye to the anti-depressants and tranquilisers that had been her constant, if somewhat unhelpful, companions for ten years. She is a new woman. When Iris and other of Don Fredy’s patients talk about him, it is as though they are describing a biblical miracle-worker. He, on the other hand, says it is science.

Like Dr. Grover Crespo, another holistic doctor I spoke to, Don Fredy sees the human body and all it’s ailments in totality, and seeks to find the cause for the conflict or discord that is at the root of the problem, in order to cure. Dr. Crespo explained, "To function well the human being must be in harmony and respect the laws of the Universe." Disequilibrium could arise if "they eat badly, spend too much energy in sex, work to an excess, have an excess of rage, have out of control emotions, or do not sleep enough." He went on to add, "So we correct all of this: we make sure they sleep well and have relaxation therapy to aid this, with herb baths, massages, music; we regulate their sexual activity and reduce it if necessary; we change the diet. It’s about changing the way of life and the way of thinking."

Both doctors highlight how their brand contrasts with Western medicine, which Dr. Crespo complained is "very biased and materialistic." He adds, "It is only interested in the physical body [not the energetic body, the emotional body, the mental body, the soul and the spirit]. Western doctors also fail to assess the source of the problem and simply remove whatever body part or tumor is causing a problem, or smother the symptoms with drugs. The doctor goes as far as to assert that "The drugs and treatments of Western medicine are damaging. Several reports show that there is not one single drug that does not have five bad effects; patients die because of bad treatments."

He also points out that "drugs are changing all the time. They invent pills and insist the world takes them. It is nonsense. They are still working to advance surgeries and chemotherapies because they know that they are not the solutions." Conversely "the ancient treatments are still in force… they are constant." Further to the knowledge he has acquired from his mother and grandmother who were experts in traditional Andean plant medicine, he has supplemented this with his own studies, although when I asked about formal qualifications he quipped, "In Bolivia the exam is to cure the illnesses that all the western doctors could not cure." Don Fredy says that that "[western] medicine has become cold, they have lost empathy – they do not have time for their patients." He on the other hand takes a completely different tact, "I live with the patient for a while in order to personalize the treatment. I see how they live, how they get on with their family, why they are ill. Then I teach them." He also utilizes some traditional methods, including medicinal plants, learnt from the Kallawaya culture, an indigenous group in Bolivia that is known for its medicine and rituals. On the other hand he stresses that his is a contemporary and novel theory and the result of an amalgamation of different theories, including Hindu, Chinese, macrobiotic, European medicine, natural or traditional methods, and psychology. Through his studies he has acquired various certificates, as well as joining a society of natural medicine which achieved governmental authorization to practice.

Don Fredy and Dr. Crespo claim that their methods can both prevent and treat not only psychological and emotional complaints, but also everything from a cold to cancer, and in fact Don Fredy’s specialty is cancer of the womb. In contrast, according to Lesly Caceres, in Opinión, May 2007, "Cancer is irreversible, although chemotherapy and radiotherapy can momentarily hold back its advance." Don Fredy agrees to a point, "They say there is no cure, and it is true in conventional medicine; but I am demonstrating that you can cure it with various cases where I have done so without the need for radiotherapy or chemotherapy." He continues, "The body has an innate capacity to self-cure and initiate cellular regeneration if you eat well and give your body nutrition and antioxidants. By teaching a patient how to do this I can cure them within one month to a year." He cites a case with a female patient from the United States who had vesicular cancer. He realised that it stemmed from conflict with her mother, so along with the new diet and a regime of Holotropic Respiration, this woman’s treatment included being sent back to the US to resolve things with her mother. She was cured. Physicians in America carried out the usual tests and were able to confirm that she was perfectly healthy, and one even commented he had not seen anything like it in 40 years of practice.

Despite their collective scorn towards western medicine, the two doctors and some of the patients are still prepared to acknowledge the benefits and work together if necessary. Dr. Crespo says sometimes they need help with a scan or an analysis so they will go to the western doctors. Even one of Don Fredy’s patients pointed out that sometimes surgeries are necessary in an emergency, although she added that by following his recommendations you would never arrive at that point of emergency.

In amongst the bulk of literature that Don Fredy provides his patients with, and which they tell me has helped them a lot, he sums up the essence of his secret: "Our attitudes, thoughts, and everything we raise to our mouths have a great influence, not only for the functions of our body, but also in psychological, psychosomatic, and emotional ways.” By observing this advice and heightening awareness of the way we live our lives and treat our bodies, he maintains this is enough to keep us happy and healthy for the duration of a long life.

"Our attitudes, thoughts, and everything we raise to our mouths have a great influence, not only for the functions of our body, but also in psychological, psychosomatic, and emotional ways."

Sorata, the Unexpected lost Paradise

We had spent all Saturday in the archeological site of Tiwanaku, and we were in a rush to take the last truffi to go to Sorata. We had just enough time to buy some bottles of water and crackers before starting this interminable three to four hour trip.

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