Saturday, July 6, 2013

My mini tooth, the Ocean and Natural Healing

I have thought about writing this blog post everyday since I arrived at the fantastic medical facility called Sanoviv where I went to have dental work “and more” done.
view from our balcony
Now that I am doing so, I have forgotten all the anecdotes I wanted to share with you, but there was no time to write while I was there....well, that…plus, all the little bit of time we did have, we spent sucking up the view and smell of the Ocean like starving city folk ... although we were never able to run sand through our toes, the view was sufficient, it was majestic and perfect.

note: This is a long post. But I do hope you hang with me, read to the end... and please leave me a comment with your thoughts  (I would love to hear feedback- :)
If you stop reading, please read the last few paragraphs-I appreciate it! xox

 We traveled to Sanoviv because I had a mouthful of amalgams (8 of them) and a very precarious crown on a front tooth which a dentist broke about 9 years ago, and  I went there with plans to also have a doctor look at my back, which is constantly giving me pain due to two accidents 7  and 8 years ago, and where I was told I had a fracture on my "C5 and C6 vertebrae". I also wanted to meet with a nutritionist on site to make sure my current diet was helping strengthen my adrenals from adrenal exhaustion which was diagnosed a few years ago and a hypothyroid issue.

The cost of having the work done there was considerably cheaper than having it done here in the Washington DC area, and it included safety protocol for amalgam removal, plus we stayed in a beautiful Holistic care facility where we were fed delicioso healing foods and had access to the sauna and salt water pools.

However, by far-the most important thing that happened last week (other than my teeth and other health issues that were dealt with/discovered) was to see a caring, compassionate place where people are being with love and dedication and are being healed from cancer!  

So.... there we were….
at the ocean to deal with medical issues..whodhavethought?
An oxymoron for me: my heart’s love: the Ocean and the dentist (sounds like a bad Mystery title), which I am very scared of after the “tooth mishap” where a dentist pulled too hard on one tooth and with his instrument broke my small front bottom tooth L I thought I was in hell. And when I looked at myself in the mirror I saw a witchy me.
 My mini "tooth"... is really so tiny that it looks like the head of a toothpick.
No Kidding and no photos of my tiny nub/mini tooth because I didn't even want to look, one time of seeing my reflection sans a front tooth is enough for me and for you. trust me.

And all those amalgams that I have had in my mouth since I was a little girl.  I was anxious and could not wait for it all to be over and done with so that I could be back home ... but surprisingly enough, when the day came for us to leave, I felt like I could use at least another three days there. 
My favorite nurse: Adriana, holding
my IV on the way to one of many dentists visits while at Sanoviv.
The staff was superb, the food was delicious… and well, with all the tests and pain from the dental work- I missed out on taking advantage of some of the wonderful therapeutic pools they have. I was the only one there that week without a serious condition, there were less than 20 of us... but the majority were recovering/healing from cancer.

 There is so much to tell and I am writing with the hope that I may encourage some of you to take care of yourselves, eat healthy....
but most of all: know that
cancer is not a death sentence

and: conventional medicine is often doing us more harm than good.

The first part of our trip was spent in San Diego.

Sergio and I agreed that since we were saving so much money by having this done in Mexico rather than here- in Washington DC and we had to fly into San Diego...his June birthday gift would be for us to spend two nights in San Diego. Neither one of us had ever been to California, so we excitedly booked a hotel room in "Little Italy"... which from what I could see online, it was pretty central to everything. 

We arrived there and were instantly struck by the gorgeous art work and the welcoming attitude of everyone at the airport. We are always amazed at the different cultures found within this large country we are blessed to be residing in.

Dick Blick is the building right behind the red tile roof house
 The hotel sent out a van for us (for $20- we later found out- we could have taken the bus for only $3.- ..guess THAT happens everywhere! :P
Once we arrived we checked in and quickly headed out the door to enjoy the day. First off I thought, a quick photo for our awesome Facebook following- and what do I see when I pointed the camera to assess the view?? RIGHT across from the hotel DickBlick (a big art store where I order most of our art supplies. With new brushes in my bag, we headed to the water for a long walk, and thus began our “medical vacation adventure.”

Sergio at San Diego's waterfront
We enjoyed every minute of our stay in San Diego.  We loved our visit to Balboa is absolutely magnificent... I have always been fascinated by the World Fairs, and here I felt like I was in Babar's Kingdom! 
We had a fabulous dinner in Old San Diego... the shops with all the kind of things we love to browse, and the music... the food, the moon !)--it was lovely and romantic. And Sergio wasted no time packing it in as he knew we would be spending 7 days eating  healthy organic food ! I was only going to miss the wine and chocolate as I eat pretty healthy regularly... but I still gorged on some awesome seafood!
Sergio enjoying it all!
We found San Diego to be a very welcoming and friendly place and were constantly astounded at the healthy organic foods *everywhere* and toxin free attitude of everyone, everywhere. When we stopped for a light lunch, it suddenly dawned that at 3pm in the afternoon, with the place quite full.... only one person was glued to their cell phone! Only one! wow

no cell phone, but I did pull out my art supplies! :)

On Sunday morning we were picked up at our hotel by a hospital van.

Sanoviv picks up their new

 arrivals in San Diego. The friendly chauffeur handed each one of us a bottle of water as we prepared for the short drive down to the hospital in Rosarito which is just South of Tijuana.
Driving through the border Mexico/USA
Going through the Mexican border was a piece of cake, we learned that most Mexicans nearby go shopping in San Diego for clothes and electrical appliances etc., so border crossings are basically part of the daily commute
for most people.

In the van we joined two patients and one "companion" who is what Sergio was; at Sanoviv they work it out in this way-each patient can invite a companion to join them. This is a real treat for the companion too, who for $100.- a night gets the hotel stay, tasty organic meals, green juices, wheat grass, use of the spa and therapy pools, plus the regular pool, exercise classes and equipment and all lectures too- a great deal!
exercise by the Ocean. Perfect.
I know Sergio enjoyed it all, he seems much more relaxed even though we came back to a stressful car fiasco and jumped back to work only a day after arriving home (jet lagged and without any sleep because of a cancelled flight!), and he says he is committed to eating healthier. We have also began drinking "Golden Milk" (an Ayudervic Turmeric drink) every evening, and we have cut back on our 'wine with dinner' habit...from 4 times a week to 2 nights a week. A juicer for green juice is on our wish list now too, I used to make these daily, but stopped during the last year as our juicer broke.


one of the many tasty meals prepared by Frankie and his team
We were given a quick tour of the facility and then left at our room to shower and change before joining the rest of the guests/patients in the dining room where we enjoyed the first of many fantastic and beautiful meals created by the kitchen staff led by one of my favorite Sanoviv people: Frankie... he was so kind and super compassionate! One time he overheard me say that the amount of nuts in the shakes were feeling too heavy on my tummy and without my asking, he made sure to set apart a portion of the day's carrot soup to be served for me without the nut cream.  He was also always willing to puree everything for me as I could not chew because of the extensive work on my teeth.
It was the best tasting baby food I have ever had!
It may seem odd to some, but at Sanoviv we are all made to wear the same matching outfits. Comfy cotton sweats that are washed as needed by the cleaning staff. They also have washers and dryers on every floor to clean your pj's and undies too.

this is one of my pieces from my
Soulkeeper series, it is about
blessings and healing
and love and compassion
about the energy that is you
me...and ALL that IS.
Sanoviv was founded by my new super hero: Dr. Wentz ... you can read all about him online,  and we can tell you that although we have found naysayers and rumors... what I experienced and witnessed first hand is mirmagical....and I can boast that I count myself honored to have been there during one of the rare appearances he makes. What a true honor it was to be able to shake his hand.
He built this place because it has been his dream to help people heal naturally. In 14 years, he has only turned a profit once, only one year. All his staff is Mexican (with the exception of 4 people), they are all very happy and consider themselves family. The love, care and respect the staff/doctors/nurses and therapists show for one another is equal to that which they show for their patients... superb: and great testimony to how happy and fulfilled they are in their jobs.

 There are just so many things are going on at Sanoviv  that are spectacular
(yes, even the dressing alike part!)
.....the only thing missing?
But no worries, we planted a seed with one of the coordinators, 
and we hope that we will be able to
return to offer our "healing through the heART " lessons there someday! Sounds perfect for this healing through nutrition aficionado, this pair of Reiki practicing
Yeah, we think so too :)

view of the ocean from our bed
Every morning a bell is rung at 6:30am and we are to wake up to the fantastic Ocean view. Sleep was scant for me, so every morning I struggled. There are no curtains-and dawn arrives early and I seemed to wake up every hour or so.
After pm, there was not much to do, yet Sergio and I struggled with the early bedtime (thus we struggled with the early wake up time!).
Most people were bored and complained that there was no cable and limited channels on the TV, but since we have no TV at home- we actually were reeled in by the history channel every night, in the morning, we would watch the fishing boats come close next time we will take binoculars!)
Every morning I was to go to the nurse's station where my vitals were taken, and where I received my supplements and medicine for the day.
Then, to the lab for blood and urine samples. One day I was given this large orange bucket that I had to carry around with me all day to pee into. It will be tested for heavy metals from the amalgams and our art practice.
bucket o' pee
Every day I had work done on my teeth and visited a variety of doctors ranging from a general (alternative) practitioner, nutritionist, chiropractor, massage therapist, colon hydrotherapist and massage therapist.
My talented dentist-I had oxygen and an IV
and loads of Novocaine too! I lost count of how many hours
I spent with him. Some days I was there for up to four hours,
sometimes visiting him twice in one day.
All in all, I saw him for the 5 of the 6 days
we were there. As I write this, my gums and teeth are still quite sore.


“Mind boggles” that happened:

 I will preface this section by letting you know that my health is good overall, which I give credit to my healthy eating habits and yoga practice; but there is a weird finding: I have too much fat in my blood and urine, very unusual as I am on the slender side and I exercise quite a bit, so I will follow up here with test on my liver function.
Also, my heart is beating erratically and I have been asked to follow up with a cardiologist here at home.


Gracias a todos y en especial:

 A HUGE thanks to my doctors there: Dr. Ulloa, my primary care physician-after meeting with him, I am spoiled for life- can not imagine going to a "regular doctor" he listens, is well informed- and truly practices holistic medicine with knowledge and compassion; Dr. Oscar, a talented and compassionate nutritionist whom I will undoubtedly be consulting with again and again for his knowledge and understanding of food as medicine, and last but not least: the amazing Dr. Fernando, a chiropractor that is truly more Shaman than anything ,*wow* is all I kept saying while he worked on my back and hip.. he is so clearly attuned to the energy of All that Is... he healed something on my hip nobody else had been able to. *wow*


Healings and findings

1.-After being told by every dentist I have seen here in the USA that I do not have wisdom teeth, turns out I am a proud owner of all four of them. The dentist showed me their roots which are very different than those of regular molars. 
How could the 7 or more dentists that I have visited all these years say otherwise?
They offered to take them out there, but explained that I was already undergoing lots of work and that I could have it done in the USA covered by insurance (so guess what is in my future? *argh*- but at least they will put me to sleep with that! :)
·    I was in so much pain whilst they worked on me.... not only my teeth, because after the Novocain that disappears, but my jaw. I felt like it was going to explode, and I have been told many times that I have high pain tolerance... but my jaw ached so much I had to think about being brave- about people in accidents and war who without limbs drag themselves for days to safety. That's how bad it hurt. When the dentist was finished and I told him about the pain, he told me that was not quite normal-not that amount of pain and he looked at my teeth and found that I seem to be suffering from a mandible problem due to clenching my teeth.
Yep, stress. Over and over and over again during that week, and every doctor I visited told me:



I need to relax and live a more stress free life...go figure: a stressed out artist (!)

2.-Eight years ago I fell down a flight of stairs. I had x-rays done and was told I had a fracture on my C-5 vertebrae. The pain was excruciating, I could not sit or lay down for more than 15 minutes, which meant I could not sleep. I was never without pain. I visited numerous medical professions both in conventional medicine as well as alternative... nothing helped. I was told I would need surgery in the future, pain meds and sleeping pills in the meantime. A year later, as we were driving to the aquarium in Baltimore, we were side swiped by a car on I-95- a major highway here in the East Coast... where travel is fast and traffic is busy ... we were sent spinning and straight into a concrete wall.
It is a miracle that the three of us are alive.
The car was an accordion. According to the doctors, what saved us was the fact that it was a Toyota Celica, a little sports car with a very long nose.
In any case, it served to exacerbate my back pain. More MRIs, X-Rays, Cat Scans. They showed the fracture as well as a rare "finding" on my hip that indicated a problem with my bone marrow.
Every doctor that I visited told me that they did not know what the bone marrow anomaly was, and that my back would have to be treated surgically (!)
 Still, I resisted. But I wasn't getting any better. So I did what I have done in the past to past trouble spots in my life: I researched, I learned and I became my own life advisor.
Ceviche, oil on canvas. One of my favorite meals.

After years of pain, I turned to nutrition for healing.
It all began when I decided to stay off of allergens. I started by giving up dairy.... and in learning how to make almond milk, I was drawn to the Raw Vegan diet. After a one month Juice Feast, I dove into raw veganism with loads of success. I was finally able to sleep through the night (it took about a year). I was able to look up whereas before even looking at anything above my eye level was painful. I remember weeping in front of a group of students in a museum when I was teaching them about balance in sculptures and a tall sculpture was not something I could lift my chin to look at... 
 I wept because of the pain,
and because of the thought of not ever being "me" again.

Still, after all the healing my body did for itself, I have remaining spots of pain and have had a very strange and tight spot in my hip.
So... imagine my surprise when the chiropractor at Sanoviv informed me that there is no fracture on my back, just a very, very crooked spine, out of balance hips, and a head "out of place".
 After one visit, he pushed a bone near my coccyx and did energy work on my back.
It was weird.
It was magical.
It was something I have never experienced.... but the thing is that now I can lift that leg again without a problem.

It is unbelievable. I feel like a little girl!

Last night I kept laying down and sitting up and laying down and sitting up and Sergio was laughing but I couldn't stop... it was all so effortless!
And the chiropractor didn't get to my shoulders or my neck, or that spot on my neck where supposedly the fracture was but where it seems like one of the vertebrae points bent inwards (ouch!) and it is very tender..... So I plan to find an MD who practices Network Spinal Analysis in my area for more movement and less pain *yay*
And my Adrenal problem? Turns out it is tied to the hypothyroid I was diagnosed with as a little girl in Chile. I was put on medication, but when we moved to the USA I was told I no longer need it. Ever since then, armed with all the symptoms of hypothyroid- I have often visited doctors for answers, but I am always told I am "borderline hypothyroid", yet tests at Sanoviv proved that my thyroid needs strengthening and that this will in turn help my adrenals.
 The interesting thing is that my amalgams and other heavy metals (from the paint we work with, city living, loads of tuna fish eating etc) may be the culprit for my thyroid being weak, for the weird bone marrow issue on my thigh (metals bind to fat and do not naturally leave the body unless they are chelated out).
 Last night, as I pondered on this blog post, I remembered that my back began hurting after we moved to the USA. That is, after my mom, wanting all of our medical needs to be taken care of before we moved here, made sure all our teeth were filled-unfortunately, with toxic amalgams.
Funny that I had never thought of that before.
 So I am amalgam free, armed with more knowledge to take care of myself and those I love.... and


My message to you is a heartfelt, eyes full of tears mushyIreallymeanit *sniff* plea: take care of yourself first and your loved ones next: do it with all your love and trust that as long as you are doing your best -you are doing it!

Think of alternatives and be as natural as you can: there are foods, supplements, essential oils, healing therapies (including ART :) that can get you into full healing.... be brave, be proactive: inform yourself, question your medical providers, be astute and trust your body. love your body- this Divine vessel that will hold you for only a little while.... but damn it, squeeze it for all you've got, appreciate and honor it with all the love, the joy the peace that comes with good health vitality! Woo Hoo!!

Take care of your precious vessel so that your life can be all it is meant to be, because you are worthy, because you are meant to be here because of the uniqueness of you.... because life IS beautiFULL and so are YOU!


And if you know anyone with cancer....

       give them hope, because there IS hope and healing!

Sanoviv, I can not recommend it enough.

No, it is not covered by insurance…

but I can not recommend it enough…. there is no better investment than investing in your health!


If you contact Sanoviv, please give them my name.... after you are a patient there, you can get "points" for referrals...

PLUS, if you give my name- we both win as you also will receive a free spa treatment of their choice when your reserve under my Sanoviv Rewards code  or give my name (and I could use the points, because I would LOVE to go back in the future for follow up and respite too!  :)

Sanoviv : 1-800-726-6848 


Pascale said...

I will admit that I didn't read the entire blog, only what I felt the paragraphs that stuck out for me and what you recommended to read.
What a journey for you and what an inspired blog you were able to write and share from that. Bringing out the positive from what may seem like a bleak situation, is so inspirational.
Thank you for sharing it beautiful Claudia.

Sofia Claudia said...


What an experience! I have heard of that place. I read about it some where! Isn't it amazing that our bodies can heal AND that FOOD IS MEDICINE! So happy to read this great post!

Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest) said...

I was riveted. A very powerful story. I think I may be calling Sanoviv soon (and I will mention your name!)

Love and magic,

Cassandra said...

Gorgeous post, Claudia. Thank you for all the information and inspiration you're putting out into the world, and I'm so glad you're feeling better!

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Thank you Sofia and Cassandra! Your comments are "wind beneath the wings of this pseudo blogger!" ;)

Much love to you both,

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest) has left a new comment on your post "My mini tooth, the Ocean and Natural Healing":

I was riveted. A very powerful story. I think I may be calling Sanoviv soon (and I will mention your name!)

Love and magic,

Thank you Sue!! And thank you for reading and supporting my endeavors :)

much love,