San Ignacio, Belize-Belmopan, Belize
A few people who work at the lodge had mentioned that they took a trip to Belmopan to meet with a Columbian Iridology doctor. Iridology is the study of the iris and how it can be a major insight to the overall systematic health of your body. Pretty much they take a picture of your eye and can tell what organs are overactive or underactive, what needs to be improved, and much more.
To be honest, going into this I was a bit skeptical yet extremely interested. Alicia, the friend who told me initially about the practice used to work for a doctor in Belize City that used Iridology to effectively help patients evaluate their health. She talked about a guy who’s eye showed signs of heart problems but he swore he was healthy and well so he disregarded their advice, a few weeks later he dropped dead of a heart attack. I was instantly intrigued by the idea of eyes telling us so much more than we can see or test through blood.
The plan was to meet Mary in San Ignacio around 11:45, Then take the bus to Belmopan and get screened. There are a few options to get from Maya Mountain to San Ignacio(just a few miles): Bus($3BZ if you can catch it at the right time..rare), Jasmin Shuttle($2BZ and a bit more likely to pass when you need it to), a taxi(closer to $20 BZ but there whenever you need), or walk(free with an extra free sweat-soaked shirt, loss of 45 minutes, sometimes they even throw in a free cloud of dust to cake your body from passing cars on the half-paved road). The bus or shuttle hadn’t passed and I definitely wasn’t going to pay for a taxi so I started walking..hoping one of the cheap options would pass before I got there. After about a mile, I turned onto the main road in Santa Elena(smaller of the twin cities) and finally the Jasmin shuttle pulled by so I hopped in and rode the last bit into town…I was nice and soaked in sweat so the air of the open windows felt like a cold breeze.
I met with Mary at the bus terminal, she is the type of person who instantly boosts your mood when you see her..such a source of radiating positive energy that I could see her glow through the crowd of people at the busy bus stop. We were waiting on the 11:30 bus and it did not come today so we decided to go see Jamal at his shop, “Roots, Wraps, & Smoothies” and visit while we waited for the noon bus to Belmopan. It is an awesome feeling to be surrounded by likeminded people who have a common goal..and even more awesome when they want to be a part of The Grassfed Way. I proposed my ideas to him and he instantly was interested, still surreal that people like what I am doing…
I asked him his favorite smoothie and he mentioned that it was not on the menu: Spinach, Pineapple, Moringa, Coconut Water, and a few other things that I forgot..but he had me at Moringa. The magical tree produces leaves packed with protein, vitamins C & B6, and so much more.They send it to malnourished kids in poor parts of the world as a source of true nutrition. I enjoyed this as we talked about the natural alternatives that Belize has to offer and how we can incorporate them into Grassfed Marketplace. I had a feeling that we were about to miss our bus when I looked down and it was 12:00, we just so happened to walk out of the door and right into our bus as it was headed out of town..crazy how instincts work sometimes. We were just a short bus ride away from Belmopan so I took this time to read Sastun, a book on Rosita Arvigo’s apprenticeship with Don Elijio Panti, one of the last true Maya healers of Belize.
After an hour or so we arrived in Belmopan and walked across the street to the Columbia Expo, a traveling group of Columbian businesses who set up in different cities throughout Central America to sell their products and highlight their work. We saw a few cool things that were cool like multi-use kitchen knives, Columbian-made jewelry, and more infomercial type stuff but were there specifically for the booth in the back…Iridology.
At first, a few things made internal bells go off: I was not allowed to video the screening, they used a normal camera(no better than the camera on my phone), and they had no literature about their practice. I sat down and he took a picture of my eye, pulled it up on the screen and briefly introduced the charts that were on the wall behind him. The idea is that each area of the eye represents a part of the body, through this we can see everything from neck pain to circulation and reproductive health. He showed me a few specific details on my eye that got his attention, the flowers in the color of my eye represented the need for stomach cleansing, a ring around my iris represents poor circulation, and a few other minor things like the need for liver, pancreas, and colon cleanse. He said I need to stay away from drinking alcohol, added sugar, and fried foods.
This is when it kinda made me more skeptical, I don’t do any of these things..It seemed that he mentioned the cleansing to Mary and Damion too. I understand that detoxing is a continual necessity, but would he allow his symptom list to go unfilled? Or would he make sure that he got more than his $25 USD for a 20 minute scan..the list of recommended supplements(sold by them) totaled to over $350 US. I detox constantly and stay away from the things he told me to take out of my diet, so I think in some ways they keep a steady list of problems to make sure they may get a sale on their supplements. Where it did make sense was when he mentioned circulation, the ring around the brown of showed that I have poor blood circulation which makes complete sense..my feet fall asleep way to easily. I was checking on the chart behind him to constantly fact checking him and everything he was mentioning was spot on, but how do I know what is normal and what is a sign of overactive/underactive?
I am very interested in seeing another Iridologist in the future. I think a science like this can be very beneficial in identifying health issues through non-invasive measures but need to be using a much higher scale of technology, provide more information, and promote recorded sessions to ensure the consultation is valid. I am definitely happy I received this screening, I am going to talk to Kim(very strong herbalistic healer) to see what I can take to enhance these problems(if they actually exist). I want to get a second opinion on the findings to see if I need to move forward with treating these very mild issues.
After this we went over to Veggie Garden, a completely vegan restaurant that Mary swears by. I love to see restaurants who don’t feel that they need to fit the needs of all customers and simply provide what they believe in, even if it means lowering the number of potential customers. We ordered combo plates that came with rice, greens, beans, and some more unknown Asian dishes that were really good(I avoided the wheat gluten). For only $5 US I really enjoyed the ambiance of a traditional style Asian restaurant run by an incredibly friendly family.
With a full belly, we walked to the bus station and waited in the sun for an hour or so until the Benque bus came(Benque is on the other side of San Ignacio and makes a stop downtown on its way). What took an hour on the way took closer to 2 hours on the way back, we had numerous obstacles like being stopped by DOT, roadwork, and dropping off kids returning from school. I had a really fun time being fully submerged in the Belizean culture, I am learning to sit back and just enjoy the ride. I read my book and learned about Rosita’s journeys with Don Elijio while occasionally staring off into the Belizean sky. The view is perfect no matter where you are, this tropical paradise never gets old to me.
One thing that made today even better was when Mary mentioned that she was going to plan a day to go have tea with Rosita so I could meet her…I did not know what to say. I was in awe, the one person I dreamed of meeting in Belize was now becoming someone that I was going to meet with, have tea, and learn from?!?! Man, this life is nuts…follow your dreams people! Who knows what could happen.