Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Exciting Ecuador

Just back from 18 days in Ecuador. A much needed break from school and the Tucson heat where we are losing patience waiting for our monsoons. Lots of rain in Ecuador. Wonderful people and climate. It must be the fruit capital of the world too; avocado and banana trees everywhere; not too mention the sugar cane, papaya, kiwi, and mango's. Obesity is not an issue in Ecuador; neither is smoking. I also noticed a public health campaign targeting litter awareness. Garbage cans with clown faces, garbage trucks with what sounded like Christmas carols resonating from within, and little "no littering" logos on all the food packaging.

I learned as much about their traditional healing as I could while in Ecuador. The first week I was given Guayusa leaves, to drink as tea, for some menstrual irregularity I was experiencing; fixed me right up. Looking it up online I find it is used by the Amazonian Jivaro Indians for a number of issues; including to promote dreams during healing rituals. It supposedly contains caffeine and acts as a stimulant. It had the opposite effect on me and settled me down.

The following week my partner and I got really sick after eating in a local cafe and recovered from a blend of boiled onion mixed with fresh orange juice and honey. It soothed my stomach and opened up my sinuses. The Amazon rain forest has so many medicinal plants, orchids, and other flowers, fruits, and vegetables. What a wonderful place to explore the culture and learn from the Ecuadorian indigenous tribes.

Massage therapy is readily available in many towns and cities in Ecuador. They have skilled therapists, many of whom are certified from other countries. I do not know about Ecuador's MT regulation or requirements. Massage therapy does seem to be appreciated and acknowledged in Ecuador as part of a health maintenance routine. I've noticed that same awareness when in Mexico too; much more than in the US. Just my observations...