TESTIMONIAL: Spiritual Fast & Regeneration of Body/Mind/Soul
In the beginning of 2008, I did a twenty-one day fast and silent meditation retreat, plus six days of raw food. I devoted a total of one month to the process. The fast was comprised of seven days on green juice, seven days on water, and seven days on a variety of juices. Each day I saw Dr. Baylac for approximately a twenty minute consultation.
I did not do it for weight loss or gain. It was a spiritual fast and general regeneration of body, mind & soul. Since coming back, I am generally quite obsessed with food, have an appetite double to what is usual for me, and have almost come back to my normal weight. I am fine with this, since I was happy with my weight before coming. I trust that my appetite will find it’s balance again in the near future.
It was the most challenging and most rewarding experience I have ever done. I went into deeply transformative spaces in body and psyche. The profound spiritual transformation is still fully present, reverberating through me as a continuous ecstatic undercurrent. In general, I feel reborn, renewed, fresh and bubbling, vibrantly alive and full of gratitude. During my stay I learned to feel deep gratitude for each moment of life. I learned a huge amount about nutrition, and about regeneration. I learned to expand my level of compassion and love towards myself and others.
I have already been recommending your retreat to many people. My students and friends have noticed the powerful effects in me and have expressed keen interest in my experience. I am sure some people will be coming your way from my network of contacts.
The highlights of my stay were the warm pond, the turtle beach, the walks in beauty, the sun baths, the first taste of coconut water after the water fast, the first taste of papaya after the 21 days fast, and the profound transformation of body and soul during meditation. What had made my stay even better would have been a special meditation temple, or a place outside designed for meditation, with a sunshade and rainproof roof, as well as zero noise from lawn mowers.
I feel your retreat centre is a place of integrity, which offers profound healing in a simple and humble way. Dr. Baylac is a very loving joyous presence. Her ability to remain present, very human, and balanced while effortlessly offering deep wisdom, is very inspiring. She obviously walks her talk, being such a radiant vibrant presence at an age when some people think of retiring.
TESTIMONIAL: Asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, eczema – water fasting, raw foods
After I had asthma attacks that led to a serious case of bronchitis, I decided to register at the Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center to undergo a supervised water fast. I had experienced an increase in frequency and severity of asthma symptoms in the months leading up to that point, even though I had been on prescribed medications during the few years since the asthma started. In addition, I had chronic sinusitis for many years that required me to always keep with me something with which I could blow my nose. I also had chronic eczema, which was especially bad on my heels.
In the five-month interval between the time that I registered and the time that I arrived at the center, the asthma continued to worsen, and I had more bronchitis. The prescribed oral steroid powder wasn’t able to reduce my frequent need to use my nebulizer and portable inhalers. Those were required to quell the attacks, which occurred at least daily (except when on steroid pills), for weeks leading up to my arrival.
In preparation for the water fast I followed the 8-Day Pre-Fast Regimen from the web site, and arrived at the center near the end of the 8th day. That night, as I began my fast, I had a typical asthma attack, but took no medications to quell it. It took more than two hours before I could breath well enough to go back to sleep. That is the last time that I had such an attack. My water fast lasted 14 days, most of which were spent resting at the center, as my energy levels were expectedly low. Rest was what I needed, so no conflict there. Like the asthma symptoms, the sinus congestion also disappeared, and the crusty, cracking eczema on my heels gradually improved 95% so that they are now close to normal.
Today is my 19th day at the center, and I’m now back to feeling very close to my normal energy level, and feeling especially wonderful because I also have my health back. Over the past few days since ending my fast, I’ve been on fresh raw juices, fruits, and salads. While I somewhat surprisingly never felt any significant hunger during the entire fast, I am enjoying so much the food here since breaking my fast.
In addition to the excellent naturopathic medical supervision that I received for my fast, Dr. Baylac took a holistic approach towards my healing. In addition to the dietary angle, she put much focus on breathing exercises, and on the spiritual and psychological issues that need to be resolved in my life which she felt were primary factors that exacerbated the asthma symptoms which led me here. This is such a beautiful, wonderful place to come to heal!
With much Aloha,
49 years old
cell: (603) 320-5838
TESTIMONIAL: Hot flashes & tensions – 2 week green juice fast
My two week visit was divided into a six days on green juice fast and six days on raw foods. I didn’t come to the retreat to loose weight. I came to detox and hopefully finish twelve years of hot flashes. My age is sixty one. After the stay I am hardly having any hot flashes any more. When I do, they are warm, not hot. So I am very pleased.
I also enjoyed the breathwork I did with Dr Baylac. And I can see a difference in my low back and neck – there is less tension. During my stay I learned a lot about raw foods which we are incorporating into our lives. I also learned how I need to have more down time to pay attention to what I am doing with my body.
I would recommend Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center to others. In fact I already have, to a few people. I feel it is a safe place to change life patterns. I was impressed by Dr Baylac’s ability to support us all without an agenda. She just wanted to know what we wanted and how she could assist us.
The highlights of my stay was seeing Chris get into his water fast, decide that he didn’t need coffee, and watch him choose to simplify his pallet. I also loved the warm ponds. Plus, I loved the staff: Margo, Rachelle, Tanya, Jon and Kathy. Just a little more sun would have made my stay better.
TESTIMONIAL: Weight loss, more energy and a new perspective on food – fasting
During my nineteen day stay I had juice for two and a half days, then water for fourteen days, and then three days re-feeding transition. I am happy with the weight loss, I’m currently at 162 lbs. I’d like to keep it at 160 so getting back into bike riding will keep me right where I’d like to be.
Also, I feel more confident and centered with more energy, not needing coffee and liking the feel of calmness/patience that I’m experiencing, now at age forty-nine. Experiencing going without food for sixteen days has given me a new perspective on food and how little the body needs to function if you give it quality (raw) food to work with.
I also observed that I had a tendency to label events or situations as bad or good and lock myself into a mood or emotion (usually negative or fearful) instead of just observing and being neutral, letting it unfold in an open hearted accepting frame of mind. I knew this before but being off coffee and having energy and being more at peace with myself and others as a result makes it possible to actually live this understanding and make it who I am now.
The retreat had a very competent and very pleasant staff. I felt like I was well monitored and taken care of. I especially enjoyed swimming in the warm pond, breaking my fast with my first bite of papaya. Nothing you have any control over would have made my stay better – perhaps less mosquitoes and more sun.
I think I got a lot out of the videos that I watched while I was there. You might want to encourage people to watch some to get a fuller understanding of raw food (Boutenko video) or what meat/dairy products do in the body, (Dr. Klaper video). Also the whole acid/alkaline connection with body health and energy was a huge piece of information that I didn’t know about until I watched the Boutenko video. If people had a fuller understanding of these issues they might be more inclined to make permanent changes in their diet rather than falling back into their old routine when they get back home.
We have inspired many people to try green smoothies in the short time that we have been back.
Thank you all very much.
Love to you,
TESTIMONIAL: Arthritis, swollen knees, spinal cord injury, overweight – green juices & water fasting
In 2006, I was overweight and also had arthritis in my knees. My knees were swollen, kept swelling and I was in such pain that I could not walk. I am a health care professional, but didn’t know much about proper foods for health. I was always a conventional eater.
When I met Dr. Baylac, I asked if I could work at her retreat to learn about healthy living. While I was there, I developed an arthritic condition of both knees. I asked Dr. Baylac to help me. First I went on a green juice fast for twenty five days. The juice fast went fine. Except for the first three days, when I had headaches, due to detoxifying from smoking, eating chocolate, sweets and conventional foods. I was very grumpy those first days. But on the fourth day I was feeling fine.
After twenty five days on green juices, my knees were still swollen. Dr. Baylac put me on a water fast. I was very fearful of the water fast and did not really want to do it because I did not want to lose more weight. The weight loss was the side effect of the green juice fast. Anyway, upon Dr. Baylac’s insistence, I started the water fast and was on it for twelve days. During the water fast, I felt good, energetic, the swelling disappeared 90%, and my knees returned to normal. Except for the first few days, I went through the thirty seven days of first juice fasting and then water fasting without any problem.
After the fast I went on a raw diet. But since Dr. Baylac suspected food allergies, I had to start with one food at a time. The first day I had lettuce, and I broke my fast on lettuce leaves. All went fine. The next day I had lettuce and tomatoes – and this time my legs started swelling, almost immediately after the meal. So, I had a sensitivity to tomatoes, and had to avoid them.
In this way, we went through one food after another, all raw, to weed out the foods I couldn’t eat. Carrots were ok. But one day someone squeezed orange juice on my grated carrots – and my knees started swelling, immediately. I was sensitive to orange. I was ok with lime, lemon and grapefruit. But I had many other food sensitivities.
After one year on vegetarian mostly raw foods, my health is so improved that I do not have any food sensitivities any longer. Today I can eat both tomatoes and citrus, and any other food I earlier was sensitive to.
I also have an old spinal cord injury, which has made my balance unsteady. I often lost my balance and fell, while walking, and I had broken my nose from these falls, on several occasions. Due to my lack of balance I couldn’t climb trees. Would this improve as well? Yes, it improved – especially during the year after the fast. Right after the fast I started exercising. Dr. Baylac gave me simple exercise tasks for my balance and gait that I performed three times a day. I also added some exercises that I knew from my professional experience as a rehabilitation specialist. At this point, I had lost more than forty pounds and it was easier for me to get around. I could start practicing going up and downhill without fear of falling. One year later – my balance has improved so much that I can climb trees. (I climbed a tree last week to pick fruits, a soursop), and hike without falling. Today, I went on a four and a half mile hike in the Volcano Park at a fast pace with other experienced hikers. My last fall was about seven months ago. Not only did I get well, I also lost forty pounds during my first month at the retreat. I now feel fantastic, and I do athletic sports, like paddling Hawaiian canoe, a popular team sport here.
Without Dr. Baylac’s knowledge I would have been following the conventional way of treating arthritis with steroid injections and bed rest and gotten worse. Instead, today I am very happy and satisfied with my health. I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to be on her path, that I continue to help her today in her beautiful magical and compassionate work.
TESTIMONIAL: Digestive Issues and Spiritual Growth – Fasting
When I came to Mind Your Body [Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center], I had pure, sincere intentions to fast for physical health and spiritual growth. I experienced significant digestive issues. I do not feel I was prepared for what would happen. In a short time, the fast brought to attention emotional issues I had avoided that needed healing. The emotional issues were very much linked to the physical symptoms.
Dr. Baylac, I want to thank you for your patience and your willingness to give me several chances. It really means a lot and speaks highly of your patience and compassion. You certainly went out of your way to help me. I still feel much gratitude for that! I do wish I were in a stronger place to truly receive the full benefit of the opportunity you presented. It was definitely a learning experience I have not soon forgotten. The experience motivated me to dig deeper into where I was and what it would take to get where I wanted to be.
I feel the running I engaged in for a long time was the result of emotional issues I tried to escape, rather than face head on. It took a lot to get me to finally stop running. My stay at Mind Your Body [Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center] is one experience that contributed to still-developing courage to stop avoiding and really face what I must in order to grow. My life, since I left, has been one of significant work toward emotional and spiritual growth and development. That work continues. I remain on the path of spiritual growth.
I thank you for what you did to help. I feel very grateful for my experience. (I thought it best to leave out the personal, somewhat crazy adventures of it all…)
TESTIMONIAL: Overweight and depression – 7 day water fast, green juice detoxification
When I came to Mind Your Body [Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center] I wasn’t sure what program I would be following. I had no expectations, just a couple goals to start living healthier. I started on raw foods for 2 days and moved into green juice for 3 days and then to a complete water fast for 7 more. At the time I did my fast I was overweight and depressed. I was using a low dose of 75mg Zoloft for depression. Dr Baylac insisted I not be taking medication during a water fast. So we made an agreement to stop the medication.
The fast was very liberating and I feel it kick started the changes I wanted to make in my life. I still have further to go mentally and physically, but the fast was much like what the literature said it would be: the mind clears, sight and sound are more acute and afterwards one is much more aware of what goes into one’s body. In that sense it’s still helping me because I don’t want to counteract all the good done during the fast so I pause before eating. Since the fast I have reduced my salt intake and while coffee, alcohol and sweets were never a large part of my diet they have been reduced to almost nothing. I still struggle with some depression and eating for comfort, but that’s improving with the use of cognitive behavioral techniques and as the exercise and diet improves.
One of my goals for the future is a longer fast, taken to its conclusion: “the return of natural hunger.” Be it ten days or forty, I have confidence that my body will tell me when to stop — safely and affectively. I have also come to realize how helpful the body can be on any sort of spiritual journey. Normally, I viewed the body as a hindrance, a burden, possibly a trap etc., but through the fast I saw my body with compassion. It opened up the possibility that in terms of spiritual development the body could be an ally. It’s hard explain. Let it suffice to say that not ingesting food was a wonderful experience of simplification.
Remember, Jesus fasted and it was after the fast he began his ministry. The Buddha too was said to have fasted many days before the the final step of enlightenment. Gandhi fasted not just to heal his own body and soul, but to heal the body and soul of a nation!
TESTIMONIAL: Diabetes, MS, Raynaud’s syndrome, Candida, heavy metal poisoning – fasting, healthy eating
Since 1989 I had been dealing with physical symptoms that sent me on a wild goose chase of MD’s, acupuncturists, naturopaths, psychic healers, and specialized clinics. I was diagnosed with diabetes, MS, Raynaud’s syndrome, Candida, heavy metal poisoning and silicone poisoning. Although, in some ways, having my condition labeled by these different medical experts gave me some hope and comfort, there were no treatments that really addressed the underlying problem. Many times I got close to giving up, but something deep inside me knew there was an answer, and to be truthful my heart and soul knew what that answer was all along. I just didn’t want to face the fact that I needed to go on an extended water fast to get to the bottom of my disease. My patterns with food were strong.
After meeting Dr. Baylac I realized there could be no more excuses not to do the fast. She was well trained, experienced, strong in her beliefs, and happened to be running a fasting clinic three minutes from my home in Hawaii. What I didn’t know was that she would care for me like a sister as well as a patient, and that she would empower me to become my own best medicine. In my opinion, these two gifts that Maya gave me made all the difference in my capacity to heal. I have never been so loved and respected by a doctor. Also Maya’s clarity and good nature actually made the ordeal fun. We laughed together and talked about life – not just bodies and illness. Maya was able to help me deeply because she got to know me deeply.
It has been three months since I completed the fast and I am continuing a healthy eating regime, and basically have changed my entire relationship with food. I am more committed than ever to living in optimum health and well-being, and when I get a little slippery with myself, I think of Maya and happily get right back on track. She is a living example of self-responsibility and honoring of the body temple – an inspiring person and doctor. I strongly recommend her clinic for anyone with any kind of ailment; physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. It’s a great gift only you can give to yourself.
It has been ten months since I did my fasting program with Dr. Baylac. My health has continued to improve because my relationship with my body, with food and with life in general has changed permanently as a result of that profoundly healing experience almost a year ago.
My initial intention was to do a follow-up fasting program under Dr. Baylac’s care, but the great news is that it’s not even necessary. I’ve learned through her generous guidance how to take care of myself. That is the best medicine.
TESTIMONIAL: Chronic back pain, overweight, low energy – My ten day detoxification
I was feeling like a low energy slug, overweight and burdened with chronic back pain. I spent thousands of dollars on treatments and supplements which gave me partial and temporary relief over years of effort.
I fasted for ten days with Maya’s guidance, wisdom and care. My pain steadily decreased. I broke my fast on fresh juices and raw organic living foods. Both juices and raw foods are still the main stream of my diet and I love it!
I feel so good that I have become a true believer in the power of living nutrition. My tastes have adjusted to enjoy raw simple foods more than other junk. I have more energy and enthusiasm for exercise and have kept my weight off. I am now ten pounds lighter, pain free, happier in my body and brimming with vitality. I no longer have body odor and my vision has improved. I am so thankful to Maya for her care and expertise and I strongly recommend fasting with her as it will surely be a very powerful, insightful and rewarding experience for you too.
TESTIMONIAL: Infertility – three week detoxification fasting experience
I have been diagnosed as possibly suffering from the Primary Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome (production of antibodies, anticardiolipins, that clot the blood) after two successive miscarriages late 2001. I consulted different specialists who could not offer me anything other than anti-clotting medication, whenever needed, ranging from Aspirin, to Heparin and Wasparin. I did not want to resort to medication, so I turned to alternative medicine as I wanted to find a way to reverse this autoimmune disorder and regain a normal immune system in order to lead a normal and healthy life.
I got in touch with doctors more open to a natural approach. Listening to their advice, I changed my diet to an almost vegetarian diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (no diary, no vegetable oils, no animal protein, except for some salmon). I also started to think about fasting to help my body with a fresh start. Within those three months my weight dropped from around 53 kg to 50 kg (I measure around 1m66cm).
After following this diet for three months, I traveled to a private fasting clinic in January 2002.
Upon arrival at the clinic, I had a thorough medical examination conducted by Dr. Baylac: weight, height, blood pressure, previous medical history, etc. During that first check up, we decided upon the length of the fast and its starting date. As the anti-phospholipid syndrome is part of the family of auto-immune disorders, I was advised on a twenty-one day fast. The length of the fast was to depend on the ability of my body to cope with it over this three week period. I started the fast the very next day after my arrival to the clinic.
After having followed an already very light diet for three months, the transition to fasting was easy. I developed none of the usual so common withdrawal symptoms of headaches, nausea, and general aches and pains usually experienced in the first five to seven days upon beginning of fasting. Every morning, my blood pressure and my temperature were checked and until these measurements were taken I was not allowed to get out of bed. I had to hand over a urine sample for further examinations. Dr. Baylac always took the time to assess my moral and discuss with me how I felt emotionally and physically which I found really important as it helped me throughout the fast to feel at peace with myself and supported.
For the first couple of days, I still felt quite energetic even though my overall strength and stamina was changing: I noticed how I had to be slow in my movements because of the adjustments my body had to go through being deprived of food (especially light headedness when getting up or walking quickly). I had to learn to take more time to go about my daily routine (washing, dressing, etc.) and come to terms with the fact that the only sensitive thing to do was to rest most of the days! I had a bowel movement during the first couple of days after starting the fast, and then the bowel movement stopped. I started to rest more and more during the day even though I still carried on walking on a daily basis for around two hundred meters: at first twice a day and towards the end of the fast only once a day. The withdrawal from food, as such, did not bother me (I had decided not to eat voluntarily) even though I noticed an increased interest towards food and cooking as the fast went on, although I am not an obsessed food person! This attraction to food (smells, colors), very subtle at first, became stronger while nearing the end of the fast (I tended to watch all the cooking shows available on television with my other fellow fasters!).
The most obvious consequence of a fast is, of course, the loss of weight. I never really did notice it as no head to toes mirrors were available at the clinic. It is through the weekly medical assessments that I saw my weight plummeting: it was the first week of the fast where I lost most kilograms, then the weight dwindled, only slowly. On the twenty second day, when I stopped fasting, I weighted around 41kgs 300grs. Around the twelfth day of the fast, I had some mucus in the throat for around four days in a row. This was not a very pleasant feeling but as I was told that it would subside in due time, I had no choice but to be patient!
On the fourteenth day of the fast, my periods started. I have to admit that this is what struck me most while fasting. Used to quite a light monthly discharge, I did not expect such a heavy flow. I had been warned that while having ones’ period during fasting the body will use that time to clean out the uterus (and as I had undergone two successive D&Cs after the miscarriages, it was to be expected). I had my periods for around five days instead of two to three at the most, usually followed by a week of spotting, although I had stopped the fast by then. On the seventeenth day, and I guess partially due to the length of my periods, I just broke down… By then, I suddenly could not take the sight and the taste of plain water any longer… I had enough of feeling weak and slow. In short, I started to have mixed feelings about the fast altogether! I wanted to carry on fasting but at the same time I just wished it to stop! Now! After a long discussion with Dr. Baylac on the long term benefits of carrying on until the 22nd day, on the fact that I had done so well so far, etc., we agreed upon the fact that I would be given a slice of lime that I could squeeze into my water whenever I felt like it! This was a real treat! And I have to admit that it enabled me to hold on until the 22nd day, the day when I stopped fasting.
For the following two weeks after the fast where I stayed at the clinic, I started with four days of fruits and vegetable juices before resuming an exclusive vegetarian diet with lots of fresh fruits and raw vegetables (no dairy, no oil). My bowel movements returned on the fifth day after having resumed drinking, as I still was only on juices then. To my surprise, my energy came back very quickly and I had to be careful not to overdo things. I started on an exercise program after resuming eating around the fifth day: one minute on a stationary bike before and after each meal – that was increased to three minutes afterwards. I also resumed walking around the clinic on the seventh day. I felt full of life and energy, rejuvenated by the fast. When I left the clinic after five weeks (three weeks of fasting, two of “re-feeding”), I felt great even though my weight was only around 43kg!!!
Looking back, I remember the fast as having been a great experience. I intend to fast again for a shorter period of time in around two years time. Being under such good care as I have been, I would recommend it to any person suffering from any ailment or disease that can be successfully treated through a fast. I have myself benefited greatly from the fast in many ways: even though my anti-bodies have not totally disappeared yet, their level is very low if not normal; I feel much better physically (my Yoga practice has greatly improved – especially my flexibility) and I am seven months pregnant!
Fasted for infertility, got pregnant, gave birth and now (2004) has a 1 year old child.
TESTIMONIAL: Fasting & Detoxification
My forty-nine day detoxification & rejuvenation (thirty-one days on pure water; eighteen on restricted coconut water and pure water).
I am writing this so that anyone considering a long fast (or indeed a short one) might have some idea of the wonders and difficulties ahead. If you read nothing else, remember this: do it; you won’t regret it!
I had previously undertaken a couple of short fasts on my own. They had shown me how affective fasting can be in regaining perfect health. But intuitively I knew that I wanted to do a long fast, all the way until my hunger returned, as described in all the classic literature on fasting. I selected Maya’s heavenly place in Hawaii by sheer caprice – I liked her brilliant smile in her photograph on her website. I was so certain that I booked a ninety day stay in advance – the most the US visa people would allow me on short notice.
I was impressed with beautiful Hawaii, the magical rural retreat center and the high quality accommodations, and I knew straight away upon meeting Maya that she was up to the task. Within a few hours of getting off the plane I was basking in hot ponds, crashing ocean surf in the background, fish nibbling at my toes and turtles swimming with us in the crystal aquamarine waters.
I had been on juices for about four days before flying, and had more or less been fasting on the airline, so pretty quickly my fast was underway full force.
Tim’s tongue is clearing between week five and week six.
There is no real way to describe a fast. Herman Hesse said that the lives of men of action are interesting to relate, but dull to live, while the lives of wasters, idlers and dreamers make terribly drab reading, but for their owners are brimming with unparalleled experiences of inspiration, hope and beauty. Fasting is just like that. Each day was so amazingly different from the previous, so stock full of wonders, but each, in essence, consisted of lying down, drinking water, going to the toilet and sleeping.
I won’t relate exactly what happened to me. Nothing that I expected to happen, happened; the things I least expected to happen, did. If you hear my stories, you might expect the same things to happen to you. I can tell you of my tongue’s coat changing and parting like the red sea, moles falling off, grey hairs vanishing, warts disappearing, knees and entire leg bones straightening, eyesight going wild then improving, a little toenail appearing for the first time in my life, but I can also tell you of a cyst in my nose remaining, a scar on my cheek unchanged. Who knows what your body will consider its priorities? (And who knows what miracles occurred in my kidneys, my spleen, my prostate, etc., etc.? After all, the body has a lot of nooks and crannies, and it’s clever enough to repair them all, perfectly, in turn and in concert, in a conscious-numbingly fine-tuned web of co-ordinated steps and actions.)
Generally though, I am amazed at the overall rejuvenation that has occurred. My hair and eyes are shining. My brain feels like it is being fed properly (for the first time) – in essence, I am substantially cleverer. I am calmer. I am happier. I am wiser. My skin is as taught as rubber. I sat next to a super-handsome 19 year old Olympic triathlete in the plane home and the stewardess asked if we were brothers as “we looked so alike”. (I just had to tell you that.)
I haven’t gone into some of the “trials” I went through – not hunger, more mental tribulations, and emotionally suffering. All I can say is that Maya was there, warm and consummately professional, and that I wouldn’t change a moment of it.
All I can say is: take action, anything is possible.