By Sandy Felker
What I love about Cuenca is how deceiving buildings are from the street. You can pass by a doorway dozens of times and never pay the slightest attention, and then one day you’re invited inside and it’s like passing through the looking glass — from the dingy street you’re in a magical courtyard with gardens and balconies — such a charming surprise.
And so it is with the OM Healing Center of Cuenca. Located on Avenida Pacaubamba, and Tomillos, from a typical pedestrian as you walk through a plant-lined corridor you suddenly feel warm and peaceful — almost like walking into someone’s home.
And no wonder. The OM Healing Center is a family business, founded by Dr. Hugo Alvarez and his wife Maria Elena Calderon and integrates the best of complementary healing and therapeutic fitness all within the confines of their nurturing studio space.
Dr. Hugo, unimpressed by the failure of modern medicine to address the patient, and not just the symptoms, decided to pursue a different course. Today, as a psychotherapist, homeopathic physician, and certified biofeedback therapist, Dr. Hugo says that he has helped many patients overcome conditions that poorly respond to conventional medicine. As many have said, although advances in research and delivery of health care has reduced mortality and extended lives in developing countries, are we living better even though we’re living longer? As noted in the Western Journal of Medicine, (conventional) doctors may be well equipped for the biomedical aspects of care but not for the challenges of understanding the psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of illness and health.
A good example is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is the most common disorder seen in gastrointestinal practice (more than 23% of office visits to primary care physicians), however the causes and cures remain unclear. Symptoms include lower abdominal discomfort and bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation — in short, you feel uncomfortable much of the time, and most drugs have little effect on the symptoms and may produce negative side effects.
However, psychotherapeutic approaches to reducing symptoms of IBS show promise. Peer-reviewed research shows that interpersonal psychotherapy is effective in reducing pain, bloating, and improves emotional well-being, and cognitive-behavioral therapy also improves coping skills and improves quality of life.
Nutrition and alternative medicines are also among Dr. Hugo’s treatments, and OM Healing Center also holds daily yoga classes, and offers a variety of massage therapies. In short, Dr. Hugo and his team treat the whole patient, not just the symptom. He says, “Health is a dynamic state, and disease is a dynamic force affecting health which is manifested in the material body. With us, you will get a chance to restore this deviated state to a unified dynamic state of health through therapies such as: Quantam Medicine, Pyschtherapy, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Yoga, Meditation, and more.”
At OM Healing Center, patients learn holistic nutrition. The philosophy behind holistic nutrition is grounded in the knowledge that the health of the individual and of the planet are intertwined, and how the quality of the soil in which the food is grown is integral to current health and to maintain good health. Yoga and massage are also integral to good health. The goal of yoga is to help harmonize the body and mind through breathing techniques, yoga postures and meditation. OM Healing Center’s instructors include Maria Elena, who is a certified 200 RYT, and who teaches bilingual Hatha yoga. Dr. Hugo and Maria Elena’s daughter Leela is also a 200 RYT instructor, and holds Holistic Practitioner degree from the Transformational Arts College of Toronto, Canada. Their son Chris is a certified 200 hour Hatha yoga teacher and earned his black belt in Taekwondo. He is also a Tai massage therapist.
Besides Tai massage, Maria Elena said that her transformation began as a personal journey. Working a full-time job while being a full-time Mom began to take its toll on her health, so common to over-stressed women everywhere.
Hugo had established a successful practice in Toronto, but after that it was time for Maria Elena and Hugo return to their native Cuenca, and in June OM Healing Center will celebrate its second birthday.
The OM Healing Center will host their first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in the beautiful Yunguilla Valley during the month of August 2016. This prestigious training will attract participants from all over the world, and will be staffed by experienced instructors from India, Great Britain, the United States, and from Ecuador. This training is a foundational program to advance your practice, acquaint you with the many layers of yoga, strengthen your confidence, and direct your path toward the future.
This four-week transformational course is totally inclusive, including all instruction, supervised practice, meals, and lodging, and also includes excursions to the surrounding areas in the Andes, and an appreciation of the indigenous culture during opening and closing ceremonies.
There are far too many details about this exciting training to include here, but click here to learn more about the daily schedule, instructors, dates and costs, and click here to register. Register before April 30th, 2016 and pay a discounted rate.
OM Healing Center: Empowering People To Take Back Their Lives
A Bilingual practice
Av. Paucarbamba 5-16 y Tomillos
Mobile: 099 963 1202 or 098 316 3951
Studio: 409 8478
Dr. Hugo Alvarez: email@example.com
Maria Elena Alvarez: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Dr. Hugo to schedule an appointment. He will do a thorough exam before recommending a course of treatment.
Hatha and Ashtanga yoga, meditation and restauración classes are held Monday through Saturday: click here and then click on “Classes” for a complete schedule and instructors.
To schedule a Thai, Reiki, Ayurvedic, or cranial sacral massage click here.
The OM Healing Center also hosts visiting practitioners. In the past year, credentialed chiropractors, osteopaths, and massage therapists have partnered with the Center — “like” the OM Healing Center on their Facebook page to stay abreast of new events and visiting practitioners.