Alternative Health in Baja Sur, Mexico

Visitors to Baja Sur may have trouble finding the alternative, or complimentary, health services, foods, fitness gyms and products with which they’re familiar. Remedial, maintenance or preventive, though, most of them can be found. It often requires talking to a longer term gringo resident or a Mexican to know where to find the sources. The products, not surprisingly, are usually in Spanish. In fact, Mexicans have traditionally used natural medicines and healers, but it’s wise to do a thorough web search of professional journals before trying anything new. Some Mexican remedies are dangerous, particularly if taken with other medicines, so you’ll be best off using only the ones with some hard science behind them and those that are obviously not harmful.

While people may be familiar with some of the products and services they find here, others are unique to Mexico. Ajo (pronounced o-cho, with a soft ch) is one that most visitors know about. It’s garlic and is used as a natural antibiotic and for hypertension. You can find it in capsules, but it’s hard to find odorless garlic capsules here. Passion flower, or pasionara, is a less well-known one, and one species is used by some local Mexicans for anxiety, pain and insomnia. There isn’t as much good science on this one, especially on claims for helping with sleeplessness and pain. There is better science on flax seed, including it’s omega 3 and roughage properties, good for preventing some types of cancers. You can find it at C.C.C. (pronounced say-say-say), the large Mexican department and grocery store in Cabo San Lucas, but it will be called, “linzana.”.

If you peruse some of the mini, super mini and other grocery stores, you may be surprised that they carry a few natural health products. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s safe because it’s over the counter, though. Some of these stores also have organic, and even pesticide-free, produce and meats. You may know already that local farmacias, Costco, City Club and some of the other big stores carry some natural supplements.

In Mexico, there are even fewer government controls on both products and alternative healers than in Canada or the States where there is ongoing controversy about such regulation. So, before you consider seeing a senora/abuela for a home remedy or a yerbero (herbalist), find out what methods and substances they use and make sure those are safe. A cuarandero total (todo) is a lay healer who uses both spiritual and physical methods, but again, do your homework before using one. Better yet, stick to what you know more about and is widely supported in your country of origin, such as eating healthy meals, exercise, massage, acupuncture or yoga.

The following is an eclectic list of resources for wellness and alternative health care in Baja Sur, selected at random. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you’re looking, it’s a start.

Acupuncture – Dr. Chung, Olachea e/ Verazruz y Sonora, La Paz, telephone: 125 3500

Acupuncture, deep tissue, shiatsu, rolfing, and holistic massages and more – Avanti Spa, located in the Melia San Lucas Hotel and in the Melia Los Cabos Hotel, telephone 011-52 (114) 3-4444, extension 725

Exercise bikes, stair-step machines, weights, work-out equipment – Papitos Gym, located in Plaza Bonita, 3rd floor, Cabo San Lucas, telephone 011-52 (114) 3-1714

Health foods, vitamins, herbal teas and more – Mundo Natural, located in the new Plaza Los Faroles on Benito Juarez, Todos Santos

Health food restaurant, aerobics, stairmasters, treadmills, basketball, pool, personal training and day care – Club Fit, located at Plaza Nautica, Cabo San Lucas

Homeopathic, vitamins and more (online only) – SuperMercado (benefits
Baja charities and ecological projects), http://www.bajaquest.com/supermercado/index.html

Homeopathy – Consultario, Oliva, Dr.A., in Todos Santos, one and one-half block before the Pemex Station, on Degollado, between Cauohtuemoc and Carrillo

Homeopathy, reiki, reconstructive therapy, acupuncture, orthomolecular medicine, oxygen therapy, aesthetic medicine – Marsus Medical Spa, Alternative Medicine Health Clinic, Oscar Marchebout, Naturopathic MD and Margarita Valderrama, Holistic Therapist and Cosmetology, Plaza San Jose, Unit 12, San Jose del Cabo, telephone: 146-9394; email: http://vdmargarita2000@yahoo.com

Massage, natural health care, holistic healing, nature retreats – The Wellness Center – Rita Jann Geeslin, Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico, telephone: (01152)-612-108-4189, e-mail: http://bajanatureretreats@yahoo.com

Massage, wet-dry saunas, and more – Cabo Sauna and Massage, located on the Marina dock L-M next to Cheezeburger-Cheezeburger Restaurant, Cabo San Lucas, telephone: 011-52 (114) 3-4661.

Massages in your hotel or residence – Baja Massage Center, Madero esq. Guerrero at Hidalgo, Cabo San Lucas, telephone: 011-52 (114) 3-2193

Massage, spa, gym, skins treatments, permanent cosmetics – Cielo, Para tu Salud y Bellexa (San Jose del Cabo) – Telephone from CSL/SJD: 01-612-145-0756, to San Jose from La Paz and Todos Santos 044-612-103-4904, email: Questions@spa-cielo.com

Massage, transformational healing, natural health care, herbal remedies and flower essences, acupuncture, acupressure and more – The Wellness Center and Holistic Day Spa of Cabo San Lucas, Hotel Hacienda, Cabo San Lucas on Medano beach, telephone: from Baja (624) 143-0663, or 800-SEE-CABO toll free from the US

Nutrition and products – Cabo Medical Care, Dra. Alma VÃ?¡squez Lomas, Cabo San Lucas, telephone: 143-0774, 143-3517, cell: (624) 147-5719, e-mail: draalma@prodigy.net.mx

Tai Chi – Todos Santos School, email rincondelcielo@todossantos-baja.com

Yoga classes, Kundalini & Hatha – La Arca, located in Todos Santos, old town

Yoga retreats – Wild Yoga, Island of Espiritu Santo, telephone: (530) 626-6353, email: denniseagan@wildyoga.com

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