VIDEO TESTIMONIAL: Anxiety Treatment
TESTIMONIAL: Smoking Addiction, Depressed and Miserable
Dr. Baylac is a very knowledgeable, compassionate Dr. She might have saved my life, and if she didn’t, she prolonged it and saved me from a miserable life of depression and medical catastrophe. I looked and searched, and tried every trick in the book to quit smoking and improve my health. There are no rehab programs for smoking, except in CA and Hawaii, because all drug rehabs allow smoking and caffeine. I had been laughed at multiple times calling in search of a program for nicotine addiction. No luck. I decided if I was going to do it, I would choose Hawaii since I live in California. I took my partner with me, because I knew it would be important for a lifestyle change. I couldn’t be the only one to change, and if she didn’t change, then at least she would understand and be supportive. Which she was, and has been the entire time.
I arrived in Hawaii on August 16, 2013, weighing in at 230 lbs, a smoker, depressed and miserable. It is April 23rd, and I am 173 lbs, a non-smoker, happy and loving life. It was a hard path to get here, but it is amazing because it is a lifestyle change that is deeper than diet and not smoking.
The experience is probably like nothing you can expect or imagine. It is beautiful setting. But man, it didn’t matter, everything was ugly to me. Myself, my surroundings, my life. The food change was rough, but I didn’t care that much. Eating raw is fine, its not my favorite, but I wasn’t hungry, and most of it tasted good after a week (I think due to my smoking my tastebuds were messed up). I craved hamburgers and french fries and wine. But not cigarettes. I think it was because I was immediately put into multiple therapies (body, mind, spirit, etc.). I was talking about the things the cigarettes pushed down. It was not fun, it was confusing and hard, but at the same time it was a relief. The top had been taken off the boiling pressure cooker that was about to explode.
So, I continued and stayed for 3 weeks, and lost about 15 lbs in the process. Dr. Baylac put me on over 35 supplements, plus IVs, and got my adrenals back on track, my liver cleansed, and my systems functioning correctly. I came home and kept at it. We order raw food weekly, and I did it for 6 months. Now we eat a mix of clean cooked foods, and the raw diet. I take my supplements, and continue to heal my liver, lungs, etc. I exercise, and I take responsibility for my body. BUT I could not have done it without Hawaii and Dr Baylac and her team.
I am thankful for everything you did Dr Baylac.
April 2014 (seven months after departing retreat)
TESTIMONIAL: Anxiety, Panic Attacks with Food Aversion, Weaning from Benzodiazepine & SSRI
I felt stuck in my anxiety; I’d been having panic attacks for three years and this past six months has turned into a food aversion. I had a fear of having an allergic reaction to food, the disordered eating started with avoiding exotic foods, to some days when I wouldn’t eat anything. I developed a huge fear of being away from people that I loved, away from a hospital or clinic with people that could help me if something happened. I wouldn’t go out on hikes and my life began to get very closed, socially and other ways. Because I wasn’t eating, I got thrown off physiologically. I was taking two Ativan a day; it helped at first and then it stopped helping… but I was stuck taking them because my body became accustomed to the dosage and I if I stopped or lowered my dose, I would have rebound anxiety and withdrawal.
So, I started looking for a retreat. I’m a psychiatric nurse and I realized that my avoidance was perpetuating my problem, but I was in such a fear cycle that I couldn’t get myself to even try small steps in healing. I found Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat and it seemed like a terrifying option, but sort of like the only one. I was so anxious that I don’t even remember how I managed to book a flight. I didn’t know what to expect and was not planning on getting off of my medications. I wanted to get back to eating food, feeling comfortable and not so scared.
Everything I did at the retreat helped in it’s own way. I started learning more about myself and some particular parts of my life that I didn’t think were connected to my anxiety, but now realize are very connected. I now see the inner, deeper things that my fears stem from. It was terrifying and anxiety provoking at first; everyone at the retreat was accommodating to that and I was definitely pushed in some areas that I needed to be challenged in.
The massages were great. The area is really a good setting for a retreat. The raw food was good and I feel really healthy. I reconnected to how important exercise is for me and have discovered the cusp of meditation and yoga and want to continue to explore that at home. I learned about Breathwork, it was great, and have been slowly decreasing my meds. In two weeks, my Ativan dosage is lowered from 2 mg to NONE and I’m slowly lowering my SSRI dosage. I think my EFT sessions with Lilia were most beneficial, a lot came out in those. Although I only had a few sessions of The Work, I find that I am able to use those tools, of understanding my thoughts, often.
I still have a lot of work to do. I made some friends, swam with a sea turtle, had fun at the Hilo Market, and at Volcanoes National Park. Dr. Ariel was very helpful and the retreat feels very homey. The IV therapy totally helped me relax. I think Dr. Baylac has a great thing going.
Age 26, B.C. Canada
20 December 2013
TESTIMONIAL: Food Allergies, Candida, Depression & Anxiety
Coming to Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat, I had no idea what to expect. I came to the center dealing with symptoms of candida, food allergies, as well as depression and anxiety. After a three week stay, I am leaving a transformed person who is focused on the moment and on having a productive, solid future.
Dr. Baylac and the staff treated me like family in many ways. They provided me challenge to grow from, space to reflect, and most importantly: guidance to overcome traumas and obstacles.
This center provides many unique and varied ways one can find healing. I recommend this retreat for anyone who seeks a doctor and staff that will look deeply into your mind, body and spirit for a well-rounded and logical approach to getting healthy.
The food that is provided is fresh, raw and very assorted in flavor. Dr. Baylac gave me tools to deal with my anxiety about food, such as mindful eating and breath alignment technique. Also, the center provided me a practical means to question my old beliefs and understand that the mind itself can have a powerful effect on the body’s physical symptoms.
Lots of love,
30 August 2013
TESTIMONIAL: Recovery from depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue & caffeine and marijuana dependency
Dr. Baylac has created the exact transformational bridge and space that I required to return home to myself. In addition, I was able to try a raw food diet, lose 7 lbs of toxic sludge, quit a 15 year caffeine addiction, and learn many things about how to live a long and healthy life. The regime of supplements Dr. Baylac prescribed worked instantly to balance out my mood and feel-good brain chemicals. I was on an emotional roller coaster and had literally fried my adrenals and emotional system prior to coming to treatment. I felt great day one. I had used heavy alcohol and marijuana as a coping mechanism for five years and this had created a small trapped world for myself. I received more affective psychotherapy treatment from Lilia in five sessions than going to my therapist back home for weekly sessions over a year and a half. My first Reichian Breathwork session with Dr. Baylac healed my deep grief about losing my father two years ago. I have felt peace about him ever since. I received great insight and perspective on anything that had been upsetting me over the past 15 years. I also have learned how to better understand and feel much more comfortable processing my emotions. I enjoyed the entire setup of the center. I will always remember the waves, swimming with the turtles, yoga, the geckos and the beautiful black sand and lava. The value that I received here was worth way more than I paid to get comfortable in my own skin and to reclaim my phenomenal life.
TESTIMONIAL: Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication use for twenty years
Benzodiazepines, lorazepam, diazepam, klonopin, valium
I have been on all sorts of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications since my first panic attack when I was seventeen. I have probably been on ten different anti-depressants and five different anti-anxiety medications since then. At one point I was taking maybe 3mg or 4mg of Klonopin. To put this into perspective, I believe that each milligram of Klonopin equals 10mg of Valium/Diazepam.
About six months ago I started to wean myself off of Klonopin using the Ashton Method. I used the Ashton chart as a conversion and I was also active on the message boards online. I also read The Benzo Book: Getting Safely off Tranquilizers by Jack Hobson-Dupont. I found it to be very scary. The book describes how these medications destroy the nervous system and the body in general. I could have stayed on these drugs for the rest of my life and not really had a life. I felt that these pills had me on a leash and it was hurting my social life. My thinking was very cloudy and I was emotionally catatonic, except for the bouts of panic I would feel before self-medicating. So, yes, I was having a hard time seeing people, and when I did, it was not fun.
I was able to wean myself down to 2mg of Valium on my own, but I felt that I needed help with quitting completely. I noticed that I was turning to alcohol more often to relieve my anxiety and I didn’t want to see myself going down that road. After I mentioned this to my therapist several times and she just kind of brushed it under the carpet, I decided that I was going to seek help on my own. I told myself that I would find a place that seemed to resonate with me and that I would go there. And that is what happened.
The program I followed at The Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center was very good. The components regarding nutrition, exercising, and looking inward instead of depending on things outwardly, were very helpful. I knew all of this intuitively but felt that I really needed to be somewhere that would guide me to do it every day. When I arrived to the retreat I actually wanted to stop cold turkey since I was already about two days without medication due to the long flight I had. So I said, “Why don’t I just not take it?”, but Dr. Baylac wanted me to continue just taking a tiny amount. I think I was taking 0.5mg every other day, then 0.25mg every day and then I went to a 0.25mg every other day. One morning, around two weeks ago, I just forgot to take it. Then the next day I forgot to take it as well. Dr. Baylac and I both looked at each other and said, “Why not just stop taking it altogether?” So, it has been about two weeks that I have been completely off benzodiazepines.
Before my arrival my liver enzymes were elevated about fourfold. After only ten days at the retreat they fell within the normal range. On a scale from one to ten, I had a tremor of five. After a few weeks it dropped to between a half and zero. However, I actually feel better mentally than I do physically to be honest. I still feel very tired. I think it is going to take a long time for my body to adjust to this. So, I have not been feeling super energetic and feel that I can fall asleep at any time. I still have some vertigo, but it has gotten a lot better.
I feel good about what I have achieved in the last six months and I think maybe twenty years ago I felt like this, except for the withdrawal symptoms. I am feeling the way I think I should feel, like myself again, and I am excited to live my life. Before getting off of my medication I was basically sleepwalking through my days. I am looking forward to leaving here and seeing what is going to happen to me and what I can create for myself and for others. I actually have a career plan that I have had for a while and now it is becoming more feasible, because I am becoming clearer. I have been aware of my goal for maybe a year or year and a half, but I did not have the energy to do anything about it, I just didn’t care. But now I do.
(patient opted to remain anonymous)
March 26th, 2012