Tag Archive | "Ecuador Shamanic Minga Tour"

Natural Detox for Better Health & Energy

There are may ways to attain a natural detox for better health & energy.

Ecuador healers are fanatical about detoxing.  They use morning mists… walk in wet grass…. many teas… and baths… melon and squash.  Plus the Andeans have many water purification ceremonies.


Water purification ceremony on an Ecuador Shamanic Minga Tour.

Autumn has definitely arrived in the Blue Ridge and this season, along with spring are the most important times for detox and purification.


John Douillard writes about this at his lifespa.com website.

Nature’s Natural Detox

Every spring and fall certain foods are harvested that naturally provoke a cleansing response in the body. Sadly, most of us eat the same foods 365 days of the year and miss out on this seasonal detoxification. Today – in a world that has become more toxic than ever – seasonal detoxification is required.

After a long winter of heavy, insulating, warming and holiday foods, the intestinal tract can become boggy and congested in the spring.  The hair-like villi become compromised at the end of winter and early spring because of these heavy foods.  These villi drain fat soluble toxins and nutrition off the gut wall into the lymph and blood stream.  Spring is a wet, rainy and muddy time of year that can add to the congestion of the intestinal tract, further bogging down the villi and stagnating the lymph drainage around the gut where 80% of the body’s immune system lives.

In the fall, after a long hot summer, similar imbalances occur in the digestive system. Because summer heat tends to dry the mucus membranes in the gut, they compensate by reactively producing excessive mucus which bogs down the villi and congests the lymph. The lymphatic system pulls toxins off of the intestinal lining and neutralizes them with white blood cells. Lymph vessels act as drains for the entire body. Without a lymphatic system, we wouldn’t have an immune system and would be dead in 14 hours.  Therefore, optimal lymphatic flow is essential. Let’s look at how nature cares for this precious system.

Spring and fall harvested roots cleanse and pull toxic mucus off the gut wall and villi. Roots like dandelion, turmeric, goldenseal, oregon grape, ginger, fenugreek, phyllanthus and picorhiza are great intestinal villi mucus pullers.  At LifeSpa I use two formulas for this:  Liver Repair and Turmeric Plus.

In the fall, seasonal fruits like apples and pomegranates act as detoxifiers for the gut wall and villi. These and other fall harvested fruits are great lymph movers and help to de-stagnate the lymphatic system, which commonly becomes congested.

In the spring, shortly after the roots are harvested, the chlorophyll rich sprouts surface and the valleys turn fluorescent green. These spring greens provide the fertilizer to regrow the good bacteria on the intestinal villi. These good bacteria that line all the villi control the efficiency of digestion, assimilation and detoxification. Every spring and fall after the bitter roots remove excess mucus congestion in the gut, the greens – if eaten in abundance – will seed the villi with essential good bacteria and flush the lymphatic system.

Once the villi have been cleansed with roots and then fertilized with greens each spring and fall, nature moves to cleanse the lymph that surrounds the outside of the gut wall. In the spring this is done with leafy greens, berries and cherries which are harvested towards the end of season.

In the fall the lymph is cleansed by more leafy greens, apples, pomegranates, and other seasonal fruit, as well as by beets, cranberries and assorted wild berries that are also fall harvested. The main herbs that I use for de-stagnating the lymphatic system are Manjistha and Red Root.

Each spring and fall, if these foods are eaten in abundance, a natural detoxification will result. Many of us however, like myself, never seem to get around to eating enough of these seasonal roots, greens, fruits and berries. So I detoxify twice a year with herbs and a cleanse to make sure I am not accumulating dangerous toxins in my lymph, liver and fat. Please don’t miss nature’s opportunity to detoxify each spring and fall.

Some Cleansing Options

If changing your diet is hard for you then take a look at some of our cleansing options at www.lifespa.com

Shamanic Cleansers


Ecuador shamans have taught us many cleansers. One is a great drink we serve at our Cotacachi hotel Inn Land of the Sun… alfalfa with mango.  Nutritious… and delicious!

Other detox foods are:

Watermelon.  Eat a whole one on an empty stomach… nothing to eat four hours before and after.

Pineapple. Eat a whole one alone also on an empty stomach.



Cinnamon-sweet pepper tea (black cardomom).

Steam baths.


We wake at dawn and take wonderful early morning walks when we are in Ecuador.  The village awakenings are natural and quiet.  Our inn sparkles (we have spiffed it up a lot) and is natural and clean as it shines in the rising sun.


One detox comes from a plant that grows freely here and we see often on our walks, the castor bean! This always keeps me thinking about the multitude of natural healing benefits that come from castor oil.

Edgar Cayce was very involved in natural health awakenings and recommended the use of castor oil in many ways…most related to the body’s lymph system.

The lymph system drains toxins from the system and regulates the body’s immune system. Lymph moves through the system via muscular contractions, so a lack of exercise allows toxicity to build up in the breasts, skin, joints, and muscles.

A sluggish lymph system creates fatigue, exhaustion, skin conditions, sore throats, puffy hands and feet, and weight gain to name a few.

Castor oil can help eliminate fluid retention that creates swollen joints and pain, arthritis, sinus, tonsils and inner ear problems. Castor oil also helps mitigate colon, gallbladder and liver problems as it reduces cirrhosis, hepatitis, menstrual-related congestion and nerve inflammations such as sciatica and shingles.

A good Vedic physician told me that if I take a quarter teaspoon of castor oil a day for six months, on a full stomach, the swelling in my knuckles (too much pounding on the key board) would go away.

Castor oil packs can also help deal with conditions that stress or compromise the immune system.

One practice that permeates every healing practice, we have heard or seen from the Andeans, Amazonians, Tibetans, Indians, is that all have one form of cleansing or another. Castor oil is an ancient cleanser. This is one of the most horrible tasting, but most powerful digestive tract cleansings we have experienced and regularly use. This is an excellent tonic everyone should consider.

In Ayurved, the taking of castor oil on an empty stomach is called a virechana.

Many whom I have shared this natural awakenings tip with have told me tales of how their mom or grandmother used to make them take this when they were ill. A virechana does not have to wait for a health imbalance to begin. This technique can correct imbalances. To take a virechana, eat a light lunch, skip dinner or have a small snack and before going to bed to take the caster oil. I take (at 150 pounds) six teaspoons. Merri at 115 pounds takes four, but you may wish to start first time with less (one or so).

I take mine mixed in a bit of orange or lemon juice and try to just slug it down. Ugh! It is also easy to take a lemon and sink your teeth into it and soon as it is down. This helps. You may wish to begin on the lighter side rather than heavier and don’t do until you have a night when you do not have to sleep through. Chances are (though not always) you will be up at least once in the night.

A normal awakening after this cleansing leaves us feeling natural, much lighter and brighter, full of energy. Yet sometimes we awake afterwards feeling very dull and loggy. We often try to take this on a night when the next day we can have an easy one. The day after the virechana we always eat very lightly, just juices or light easy to digest food. Always the next day we feel natural and wonderfully great!

Another help I find in this cleansing is they reduce my hunger. As a former fatty (I used to weigh 220 pounds), my weight seems to run away with me if I am not careful, so this has become a great weight control device for me.

Castor oil is a powerful cleanser and in another message we will look at its entirely different cleansing capacity when taken with meals.

The best castor oil to use is organic cold-pressed castor oil normally available in health food stores.

However, there is a second aspect that Edgar Cayce attributed to castor oil. He suggested that castor oil has a vibrational quality that helps harmonize and promote healing within body cells.

Autumn is here… enjoy the crisp air… the excitement that comes as the holiday season approaches and the energy of this special season with detoxes large or small.


Order orange Halloween roses here.


Learn more about natural detox at an Ecuador Shamanic Minga Tour.

Ecuador Shamanic Thought & the Brain

Ecuador shamanic thought can help us live longer… more fulfilled lives by using our brains better.

Our friend and astrologer Blaine Watson sent Merri a link in his recent daily message to  an NPR article “The Aging Brain Is Less Quick, But More Shrewd” by Michelle Trudeau (see how to receive Blaine’s daily message below).

Excerpts from this article can show us how to enjoy a happier, lower stress life with greater success.


Here are delegates with Clemencia the Shamana of Zulatea in a photo from our most recent Ecuador Shamanic Minga conducted by Jean Marie Butterlin.

Here are excerpts from the article “The Aging Brain Is Less Quick, But More Shrewd” and thoughts on how this knowledge and shamanic thought can make our lives better:  For baby-boomers, there is both good news and bad news about the cognitive health of the aging brain.

Brain researcher Gary Small from UCLA conveys the bad news first: “Reaction time is slower,” he says. “It takes us longer to learn new information. Sometimes it takes us longer to retrieve information, so we have that tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon — where you almost have that word or that thought. As we age, our ability to multi-task diminishes.

“We’re quick, but we’re sloppy when we’re in middle-age. We make more errors when we’re in middle age,” says Small.

The Older, But Wiser, Brain

But Small has found that it’s not all bad news. He points to a continued improvement in complex reasoning skills as we enter middle age. Small suggests that this increase may be due to a process in the brain called “myelination.” Myelin is the insulation wrapped around brain cells that increases their conductivity — the speed with which information travels from brain cell to brain cell. And the myelination doesn’t reach its peak until middle age. By this point, says Small, “the neuro-circuits fire more rapidly, as if you’re going from dial-up to DSL.” Complex reasoning skills improve, and we’re able to anticipate problems and reason things out better than when we were young.

And, Small adds, there’s another area of improvement as we age: empathy — the ability to understand the emotional point of view of another. Empathy increases as we age.

‘Your Brain On Google’

One of the great discoveries from recent neuroscience research is that the human brain is always changing, from moment to moment and throughout life. It continues to develop, and even continues to grow new brain cells.

In a recent study that Small refers to as “your brain on Google,” healthy, middle-aged volunteers, all novices on the computer, were taught how to do a Google search. They were told then to practice doing online searches for an hour a day, for seven days. After the week’s practice, the volunteers came back into Small’s lab and had their brains scanned while doing a Google search.

The scans revealed significant increases in brain activity in the areas that control memory and decision-making.

In short… we can keep growing in wisdom no matter what our age.

The message is keep growing… remain active… never stop learning.

This is one reason we conduct our Quantum thinking seminars and shamanic tours.  These seminars and tours help people learn how to use frequency to integrate brain patterns for better health, calmer emotions and to be able to absorb… retain and recall data better. In other words they help people… young and old grow, smarter and healthier.


Delegates on our Shamanic Minga visited this sacred site for a flower ceremony.

They also visited a scared grotto for…






Shamans use many techniques to gain altered states of being that allow them to help other become wiser and healthier.  Thus we have found that these ceremonies change lives… at any age… young or old.

Here is what some previous delegates have said about our tours.

These tours change lives in more than just monetary ways as some of the delegates who have attended previous courses have written.

“Hi Merri,  I just wanted to say thank you for everything this past week.  It was great to meet you and Gary and go through the Spanish program.  I’m excited to try using Baroque music in other parts of my life now, too.

The attendees all left rave reviews and a few of them mentioned possibly coming on the trip again.  We’re creating a video of our time there, so I’ll share that with you when it’s finished.  We showed the first version of it at the end of the workshop and a few people teared up.   It really was a wonderful time.

Thanks again for everything that you do.  You and your wonderful staff make everything easy and fun.” D.H. New Jersey

Another comment about a Ecuador shamanic minga tour.

“For years and years I have searched for truly like- minded people to play with and work with… people who are deeply and honestly SPIRITUAL.”  J.M. Texas

Here is another rave from a delegate:

“People who, among other things, are active and productive and creative and resourceful, whose word can be counted upon; People who realize that spirituality DOES NOT mean sitting in a cave contemplating your navel and weaving baskets, nor does it equate in the Western culture with living in abject poverty. People who realize that abundance is not a dirty word. People who understand that we are here to ENGAGE life, not to submit to circumstances out of fear and ignorance and apathy; People who don’t just use the most current “buzz words” so they can feel like they are part of the group, but who actually DO something… Builders. Thank you for showing up in my life.” E.W. Nevada


Here is a sacred valley we visit on our Ecuador shamanic tour and another rave”

“The life path altering effects from the weekend with you and Merri continue. Thank you again. I have begun to change my diet. Bless you! “ D.B. Connecticut

Here is what another delegate said.

“You are indeed a spiritual pioneer, blending disciplines to create tools and resources for success in this new land of opportunity. Anyone who thinks this is just all about money is missing the real message: This is about life in its most profound implications.” W.P. Australia

Here is another endorsement:

I want to thank you for the wonderful time. I traveled from California to hear you convey your knowledge in the way you do so well, and I wasn’t disappointed. The amount of information in the sessions was almost overwhelming, but it’s exactly what I went to hear. When I try to engage intelligent, educated people on these subjects here at home, I usually get a blank look or “That’s interesting, but why are you thinking about that? “The setting at the farm felt like we were all sitting in the den after dinner discussing things among friends. The relaxed atmosphere seemed to encourage people to participate, asking pointed questions and relating personal experiences. The international flavor and attitude of the group was very stimulating, particularly when we split up into discussion groups. Those groups, taking walks together, allowed us to get to know each other on a personal level. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, that’s the most fun I’ve had for four days straight in along time! Thanks again.” B.R. California

One more comment from a delegate:

“A special warm ‘thank you’ to Merri for the wonderful cooking and the ‘feel at home atmosphere!’ I like to give a few comments about the past weekend.. It was relaxing, inspiring, informative and a spiritually balanced atmosphere with all these different, same thinking, like people. The technical information I gathered was most not new to me, but I like to compliment you for putting it all in the right perspective and to make it very understandable to all. What was a tour opinion one of the most important gaining of these 3 days is the opening of the new world, this new circle of what you call “normal” people! (I call us ‘not normal’ as a matter of respect to the majority. ) But as we know, all is relative and depends at the point of view of each, His spiritual mind and his opinion about the senses of our being.”


Having special places to go and relax… like La Mirage Spa in Cotacachi shown here… help longevity and better thinking as well.

Delegates on our shaman tours can meet Estrella and order private treatments (not included in the tour) from this shamana at La Mirage.



Learn secrets of better thinking on our Ecuador Shamanic Minga Tour.

May 13-14.  (Arrive May 11. – Depart May 16)  Single $499 For Two $749

Sept. 17-18. (Arrive Sept. 15. – Depart Sept. 19)  Single $499 For Two $749

Dec. 3-5.  (Arrive Dec. 1. – Depart Dec. 6)  Single $499 For Two $749

See more details on our Ecuador Shaman Minga tours here

You can sign up to receive Blaine Watson’s daily message by contacting him at blainepw@gmail.com

Read the entire NPR article The Aging Brain Is Less Quick, But More Shrewd