There are hundreds of testimonials; I have chosen just a few. They are quite lengthy. The full story has an ability to guide the reader to experience the process before even beginning. Thus, it takes the stress off of going into something new and possibly daunting.

These testimonials are not just a way to exemplify the efficacy of the protocol; they shed light on this home remedy itself in a very human way.

Testimonial of Insurance Actuary

A Personal and Professional Opinion of the Annapurna Protocol Gallbladder Pain

My journey of self-healing started about 6 years ago when at 8 weeks of pregnancy I had excruciating pain and was diagnosed with a gallbladder inflammation and a 2 cm gallstone. The emotional devastation was enormous as I was afraid of having to do a gallbladder surgery while I was pregnant.

I have stayed on a low fat diet for the rest of the pregnancy and had an eventless pregnancy. While I was pregnant I was told by several doctors to go and remove my gallbladder immediately after the delivery. Being a health conscious person I felt that it was a wrong decision to remove the gallbladder even as said by the numerous doctors, “You don’t need your gallbladder.”

How could you not need it? Is this then the God’s given spare organ that’s just hanging out there and does nothing for us? Definitely it did not feel right. I have tried many doctors in many different locations and the answer was the same: “It’s dangerous to keep, take it out!” Then I had searched through the internet and learned about the gallbladder liver flush.

Immediately I contacted several naturopaths but unfortunately, the answer was discouraging. “We don’t recommend you to do the gallbladder liver flush because it’s not safe.”

Something inside me was keeping the faith of finding somebody who would keep me away from the surgery. How is it possible to find so much information on the internet about the gallbladder liver flush and yet not be able to find anybody to practice it?

Definitely there has to be a link. This link was missing for me for 6 years until I found the Annapurna Center for Self-Healing, located in Port Townsend, WA and led by Robin Sharan. The joy of hearing somebody saying to me, “Come over here, we will do it” was enormous.

When you look for something for such a long time period and finally find it, again and again you believe that keeping the faith is the key. In Annapurna I have stayed for 7 days. Did 2 gallbladder flushes and got out lots of stones. But Annapurna was not just about dropping the stones, for me and I’m sure for others who have stayed there, it was about much more.

In the Annapurna I have learned about the deep self-healing capacities of the body as well as of the mind and soul. There you also do wonderful transformational breathing exercises that help you to flush out the stored repressed negative emotions going back all the way to your childhood. You also have a tremendous educational journey while you are at this center. You learn about what is not good to eat, to use, and to do.

You educate yourself on how you can have a healthier and more joyful life. You then realize that you can also teach others once you leave this healing sanctuary. Robin made us firmly to understand that she is not the healer that the healer is within each of us. We only need to open up all these sealed channels inside our minds and hearts and bodies and the golden light of joy will float in and make us thrive, as did the garden at the Annapurna Center. I wish there were more places like Annapurna in the U.S.

This concludes the personal side of my story.

Let’s look at the professional side now. I am an Actuary, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. I work for an insurance company that sells health as well as life insurance products. I am mainly involved with the health products.

The health actuaries help insurance companies with various skilled services one of which is to design a cost effective health product that will sell well and be profitable for the company. It’s needless to say that the insurance companies also help lots of sick people get medical treatments by paying their ever growing medical bills.

As the health care industry in general, we also see that the health care costs are growing and we know that they will continue to grow unless we change something. Insurance companies are trying to design products that make their customers more aware of the health care costs and make them participate in the cost sharing in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays, and out of pocket expenses. All of this though is not going to root out the real cause of the health care crisis.

In my opinion the real cause is the customer’s unawareness that they are healing mechanisms. If they knew, they would have preferred to refer to these healing mechanisms first before going to the doctor.

What are those mechanisms and how far do you need to dig in in order to find them?

First you need to know that these mechanisms do exist. Once your faith/knowledge has been established within your mind then the search for them will start very naturally and your instincts will tell you what to do next. There is lots of available help for people on their self-healing journey in forms of books, articles, internet and holistic self-healing centers.

How will the health insurance industry benefit from these self-healing powers of their clients/customers? I think the benefits will be enormous. Their customers will start to take care of themselves and follow the path of the natural non-invasive healing journey. The problem with this approach though is the start.

Who has the power and most interest to initiate this start? To my mind obviously, come the insurance companies. What can they do? They should start looking into providing more financial help to people who would like to take the path of self-healing. Believe me; these costs will be much less than the costs of the many unnecessary surgeries in the United States. Approximately 750,000 people undergo gallbladder surgeries each year and lose one of their vital organs. The cost of one gallbladder surgery is approximately $8,000-10,000 U.S. dollars. This surgery is one of the beloved surgeries for the surgeons. It’s done laparoscopically in 45 minutes and is considered one of the relatively low risk surgeries, low risk for the surgeon but unfortunately not for the patient over the long term.

By no means am I saying that all of the surgeries have and can be avoided but the gallbladder surgery is one of the most obvious ones.

I am not sure how many self-healing centers like Annapurna are around in the United States but if the person has decided to do a self-healing program and has an insurance coverage, then in my opinion the insurance companies should provide them financial means in order to avoid more costly consequences.

I am writing this article because I am convinced in the truth of the win/win situation for both, insurance companies and their customers.

—Anonymous, Port Townsend, June 22th, 2008

Annapurna—A Skeptic Ventures into the Mysteries of Self-Healing

—Betty Shafer R.N.

(published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors),

Although I consider myself open-minded, when it comes to unconventional treatments I definitely have a “prove it to me” attitude. As a Registered Nurse, I know that I can easily access medical care and get a shot or pill or surgery to treat almost any ailment. And the concept of self-healing and the use of natural remedies, common to our grandparents and great-grandparents, are foreign to many of us today.

Alternative treatment methods are usually not researched by the medical or pharmaceutical companies. Empirical data is rarely gathered. Pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in marketing their patented pills, so they invest heavily in that kind of research instead. There’s just no money to be made in methods they cannot patent.

So what if the pill or shot or surgery of conventional Western medicine doesn’t work? This was my dilemma when I was led to Robin Sharan and the Annapurna Center for Self-Healing in Port Townsend, Washington.

I met Robin when I was visiting with friends in Port Townsend. As we spoke, she asked if I had been having any medical problems. I knew my face was drawn, there were dark circles under my eyes, and I think that I looked as exhausted as I felt. I told her about stomach pain, bloating, and the protruding stomach that was so bad I couldn’t fit into my clothes, heartburn, belching, and nausea. I mentioned difficulty breathing, especially on exertion, chronic back pain, an 18-pound weight gain the past 2 years, and constant fatigue.

“It’s gallbladder and liver stones,” she said. Well, my gallbladder came out two years ago, I replied.

“Your liver,” she said, “it’s all the same. The stones come from the same place. Our diet today is terrible, full of sugar and animal fat, and the food we eat is contaminated by pesticides, antibiotics, and poor soil. Add to that, the stress of daily life, and you have a toxic liver full of stones. The liver gets congested and cannot do its job of cleansing the toxins from the body. Have you been under a lot of stress the last 6 months?”

I didn’t really think so. I did have gallbladder surgery two years ago, which can cause stress and disruption of normal digestion. I realized that I hadn’t felt “back to normal” since the surgery even though it had cured the intense pain of a gallbladder attack. My job as an emergency nurse could be considered stressful at times, but I had done this for 20 years. A year and a half ago I moved from Los Angeles to the small mountain town of Packwood, Washington, moving close to a son and daughter in law but leaving behind two of my grown children, grandchildren, and many friends. But still, nothing unusual I thought.

Robin then asked, “Don’t you consider the pain and shortness of breath you have to be stressful?” I had to admit that it was.

But I consider my diet to be pretty good. I buy organic when I can, I don’t eat meat, but do eat fish occasionally. I drink lots of water and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Sure, there’s a bag of potato chips or a brownie occasionally but not too often. I do have a weakness for coffee, but don’t drink sodas or concentrated fruit juices.

Robin showed me the anatomy of stone formation in the liver from a book, “The Amazing Liver Cleanse” by Andreas Moritz (available at 1st Books.com or any book store). She described how the stones are formed in the liver and gallbladder, referring to medical anatomy posters.

Perhaps “stones” are not the best way to describe these soft round bits of mostly cholesterol and bile that gather in the liver. They are encased in a harder shell, thus difficult to pass under normal circumstances. They drop into the gallbladder (when there is one) and eventually become the hardened stones the surgeon removes when they become painful. It seems that almost everyone has stones. The purpose of the liver/gallbladder flush is to take the pressure off the heart, the lungs, the liver, the eyes, the tissues and the joints of the body. The cleansing that is done at The Annapurna, and other healing centers, is to remove these “stones” in a natural manner, before they require the surgeon’s scalpel.

This I didn’t learn in my medical training, but gallbladder/liver cleansing is part of Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Eastern Indian discipline which has been around millennia before modern Western medicine. It has also been part of every ancient culture. But it was difficult for me to accept, so I drove home to Packwood intending to see my physician for more testing. I had already had blood testing, chest X-ray, pulmonary function test, and an abdominal cat scan. Soft liver stones do not show up on imaging until the liver is inundated with stones, then the patient is told by his doctor that he has a “fatty liver” and that nothing can be done.

All my tests were negative, except the pulmonary function test which showed only 70% function. Also, I had learned that part of the treatment at Annapurna was colonics (the washing out of the large intestine and the hydration of the entire body), something I have never done and have always resisted as unnecessary.

At home, my symptoms increased, so I went to Robin’s web site, (theannapurna.com) seeking answers. I read about this amazing woman who has practiced reflexology for 28 years, is expert at healing massage, yoga, hands on healing, meditation, and cranio-sacral therapy, as well as various deep cleansing techniques; colon hydrotherapy and liver/gallbladder flushes. She also studied live food preparation in Jamaica, Israel, West Palm Beach and Puerto Rico.

She seems totally dedicated to helping people heal themselves through a raw food diet and self-healing treatments. I read testimonials from her clients, many of which were written on their professional stationery. There were doctors, attorneys, business people, women up to age 91, and people from all walks of life represented. She later told me her dream is that everyone, regardless of ability to pay, would have access to this care, but the reality today is that she has a mortgage to pay so must charge for it. Prices are more than reasonable, compared to similar centers.

Meantime, my abdominal pain was becoming intolerable. It seemed that I had no other answer so I called Robin and arranged to return to Port Townsend that same day. I was still skeptical that colonics and a liver flush would help me but felt desperate enough to try anything.

The Annapurna Center for Self Healing is located in a beautiful old Victorian house in the heart of Port Townsend, Washington. The name ‘Annapurna’ comes from Sanskrit, “Goddess of Plenitude Full of Real Nutritional Healing.” It is also the name of a mountain range in the Himalayas that is said to be the home and support of the gods.

Day One: When I walked through the garden and into the front door, after removing my shoes, I was struck by the homey feeling of the house: the parlor with Victorian furniture, a large bookshelf, a fireplace and the resident cat, Sophina (goddess of wisdom) curled contentedly on a chair.

I was greeted by Ciela, one of Robin’s assistants, who exuded the same health and beauty and energy as Robin and her other assistants that I would meet later. She showed me to the Rose Room where I would stay the next 5 days. The Rose Room, as well as all the other rooms, was beautifully decorated in dried flowers, lace curtains, and a brass bed with rose patterned spread, antique carved armoire, a lounge by the bay window, live plants, and antique rocking chair.

Ciela fixed me some blended soup and a delicious smoothie and chatted for a while. The next 4 days, she said, would be preparation for the cleansing, and I would be eating only blended raw foods. I was surprised to find my hunger totally satisfied with a small amount of food, for I was ravenous when I sat down to eat. It’s because it’s concentrated nutrition, and the fact that it’s easily digested when it’s blended, Ciela tells me. I had no hunger pangs during the stay and ate very little. I was then introduced to two other women who were staying at the Inn: Grace, who was due for a gallbladder cleanse the day before me, and Mary, who was nearing the end of her three day stay of raw food diet and colonics.

Soon Robin appeared and gave me a quick rundown on the process and some handouts explaining the gallbladder/liver cleanse. In addition to a raw food blended diet, I would also take 3 Tablespoons of organic raw vinegar in apple juice 3 times a day, and retire at night with a flannel pack of castor oil and a hot water bottle over my liver, to soften the “stones.” I would have a colonic for the first three days of the flush, and could use the Turkish steam bath whenever I wished. The Far Infrared Sauna could not be used until I had completed the cleanse. This sauna is said to purify the body on a cellular level through Quantum Wave technology. Benefits include the elimination of toxins, pain relief, improved immune system, weight reduction, and improved skin. I’m looking forward to this one.

Robin made it clear that she was not here to heal me, that I would be healing myself with her support. The day of the cleanse there would be a water enema followed by a coffee enema to dilate the bile ducts and allow passage of the biliary plugs (stones). Then I would drink lemon juice and olive oil. All this turned out to be much easier than it sounds.

Reading through “The Amazing Liver Cleanse” by Andreas Moritz, I learned that I could expect a return to good health through liver cleansing as it allows the body to return to a condition of homeostasis. When the liver, which is the main factory and detoxification center of the body, becomes congested with gallstones, disease is a likely outcome.

But for now, on the first day, there would be a reflexology and evaluation time, then a colonic. I found the reflexology treatment relaxing. It seems there are points on the foot that can be massaged to treat nausea and pain, and points on the feet and hands that can reveal problem areas. Reflexology also increases circulation, nerve supply and relaxation. Israeli research has shown it to be especially helpful for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

My first colonic was not relaxing. It seemed to increase the discomfort in my abdomen at first. Robin talked me through it and helped me to relax, explaining that the discomfort meant that toxins were being eliminated. Eventually the discomfort went away. Robin also explained that in Chinese medicine, the liver and gallbladder are considered to be the repository for anger, and that disease may be either the cause or the result of frustration and repressed anger.

During the treatment, I asked how colonics could help my breathing difficulty. I had spent more than 20 years doing weight lifting, aerobics, hiking, and strenuous work. In fact, at 72, I considered myself very healthy, and shortness of breath was cramping my life style. Robin explained that both the colon and the lungs are governed by the adrenal glands, so one can affect the other. Also, Moritz says that congestion in the liver deprives the lymph system of clean oxygenated blood, thus causing shortness of breath. He shows how most diseases are actually caused by a liver congested by stones, because it fails to adequately cleanse the blood.

My first day ended at 10 PM (lights out, we needed rest for this process) when I retired with a flannel castor oil pack held in place with plastic wrap, and topped with a hot water bottle. I slept well.

Day Two: We started the morning with a brisk walk to the waterfront. Grace, Mary and I struggled to keep up with Robin and Connie. Connie is Robin’s live-in assistant and helps with massage, yoga classes, food preparation, errands, and it seems, anything else that needs to be done. I was winded as we climbed a hill, and Robin came to my side and massaged a place on my hand, which quickly relieved the lack of air I was feeling.

Connie fixed a refreshing cup of sweet almond milk for us when we returned. It was then I learned that this cleansing would be the first of three or four, that usually one would not be enough, especially when there were severe symptoms like mine. So the hope of a quick fix was dashed. I made a mental note that I may not return for another. Still, I was encouraged with less bloating and less pain in the stomach. I thought of my withdrawal from coffee: the only coffee I would get here would be in the form of an enema on the fourth day. As a 4-6 cup a day coffee drinker, I knew that I could have a headache from withdrawal, even though I had not had a headache for more than 30 years. I was pleased when that headache never appeared, and I didn’t miss the coffee at all. But I will admit to a trip through a drive-in coffee house on my way back to Packwood 5 days later.

The second colonic was easier, possibly because I was more familiar with the routine and more cleaned out. The tube is self-inserted with the help of lots of coconut oil and castor oil, and I’m well covered by a towel while the warm water is inserted, then, from my own peristalsis drawn out by a large clear plastic tube. I could see for myself the large amounts of debris and mucus coming out. During the hour Robin explained that we need to, “cleanse the liver so it can De-liver the nutrients the body needs. The liver is an alchemist that takes the detritus from the blood and turns it into a digestive juice.”

Robin is everywhere, teaching, instructing her helpers, Connie, and Ciela, doing colonics, fixing take home foods for the doctor who is doing the cleanse on her own at home, massages, yoga class, writing shopping lists, and working at the computer. She stops to do a cranio-sacral treatment for Mary who has developed a headache. Cranio-sacral therapy facilitates the movement of cerebro-spinal fluid and brings relief from headaches, back pain, otitis media, head trauma injuries, and emotional stress.

Then she sends Connie to the Co-op to buy more organic foods, throws ingredients into the ever-running Vita Mix, stopping to hug a volunteer who is doing yard work in exchange for a colonic. Later, as Grace, Robin and I sat and talked for a few minutes in the parlor, Sophina jumped onto Robin’s lap, and she commented that she hadn’t done that for a long time. Grace and I in unison said, “how could she, you never sit down,” which brought a laugh from us all.

I’m pretty much pain free now, but still tired and bloated. Rings don’t fit and my legs feel like I’m walking through mud up to my waist. But I force myself to attend the yoga session. I really need the flexibility. After some soup, Robin fixes our castor oil pack and hot water bottle and we all say goodnight at 10 PM.

Day Three. It stormed last night. I awoke once to the sound of rain and wind, but went back to sleep. I get up, have some Electrolyte Lemonade, and go for my third colonic. It’s easier now; I don’t really mind it, though I still can’t seem to do the whole hour. Robin massages my stomach to encourage drainage. Today there’s a lot of mucus coming out in the tube.

Back in my room, I notice the bloating has gone down and my stomach is not sore. My legs aren’t puffy and they’ve lost that heavy feeling. I can wear my rings. My breathing is easy, and Grace comments on how clear my eyes and skin look compared to when I arrived. But I am exhausted. I lie in the lounge most of the day, reading books from the extensive library. Robin says, it’s okay, detoxifying is hard work. I won’t say it’s hard, but it isn’t easy, either. My mind feels foggy: it’s hard to concentrate.

I leave my room to take supper with the others, including a young couple traveling from Santa Monica, California. Mary has gone home, so Connie, Robin, Grace, the young couple, and I sit at the table and chat over a large vegetable salad and cilantro soup. The couple stopped for the night because of the raw food diet and the use of the Turkish steam bath and sauna. They rave about the food, comparing it favorably to other gourmet raw food restaurants where they have eaten, including one where the meals cost up to $150. Grace and I have blended soup and are allowed only a few bites of salad. No matter, I’m not at all hungry.

Before the nightly pack, Robin gives me another reflexology treatment and tops it off with some cranio-sacral massage, then brings me a warm ginger tea. Sophina takes up her nightly watch on my lounge by the window, and I sleep really well until morning.

Day Four. This is the big day. Grace had her cleansing yesterday afternoon and is now drinking a gallon of water, salted to the taste of tears, to have the same osmotic pressure of blood so that the water passes through the alimentary canal. We all do four specified asanas (yoga postures) to move the stones that are in the small intestine out. She’s passed some stones during the night, and feels a bit nauseated and her stomach is rumbling. Soon she gets up and goes to her bathroom where she passes more stones.

I, the skeptic, ask, “how do we know these are stones?” Robin says, they float, because of their cholesterol content, and are mostly green and tan. Connie says she took one once and tried to open it. It was rather hard on the outside with mucus around it. How do we know it isn’t olive oil and lemon, I ask. I’m told, olive oil is sometimes seen, but it’s a bright iridescent green as opposed to the dull greenish brown of the stones. I decide I’ll save some of mine to analyze.

I feel much better today, still a bit exhausted though. My mind is clear and sharp. My stomach doesn’t hurt and I’m breathing easy. I gather more books from the library shelves and lie down again.

Later, Grace has gone home, Robin is preparing for a guest, an oncologist and his wife, due to arrive that evening. I’m rested and restless, so go for a walk to test my breathing on the same hill I tried the first day I arrived. That day, I had to stop half way up and was short of breath almost all of the way. Today I’m able to do the hill without stopping and am only slightly winded. Great; now I’m looking forward to the cleanse to see if my health will improve even more.

I realize now that I’ve been without my maintenance dose of Acyclovir (an anti-viral medication) for more than five days. I’ve taken Acyclovir for more than 20 years since the first big outbreak of herpes on my lower back, and normally if a miss a day or two, I’ll have an immediate outbreak. That outbreak has not happened. Later, Robin explains that 80% of immune function tissue is in the lower bowel. I can’t prove it, but it seems that the colon hydration helped my system suppress the virus.

It’s 3:30 PM, and I’ve completed the coffee enema. At 4:15 I drink lemon juice and olive oil (not nearly as bad as it sounds) and Robin fixes a castor oil pack and hot water bottle, then sends me to bed to lie on my right side for the rest of the evening and night. Soon some nausea hits. Robin initiates some reflexology and brings me warm ginger tea, and the nausea is gone in a half hour. I sleep through the night.

Day Five: In the morning I was joined by the doctor who had taken her lemon juice and olive oil at home. Robin had encouraged her to stay at Annapurna the night before so she could support her, but she wanted to stay at home since she lived in Port Townsend. She said that she experienced nausea all night, and had not slept much at all. Robin points out that this is why it is important to be guided and to be at The Center where she is available for support. It certainly made my cleansing much more comfortable when the reflexology relieved my nausea.

The doctor had brought a jar with about 10 stones in which she had passed during the night. (She still has her gallbladder.) She joined me in the salt water drinking and we did asanas together on the living room floor with Robin leading us. Soon we were both making runs to our respective bathrooms and passing more stones.

A fourth colonic followed where more stones and mucus appeared in the clear tube, including a large one that Robin saved and gave to me in a plastic bag.

I showered and, feeling great and full of energy, went for a walk. I had some lunch, then packed, gave Sophina a last pet, hugged Robin and the others, and headed home. I felt so good that I forgot all about the Far Infrared Sauna that I had been looking forward to. My stomach was not bloated, I had no pain, I had energy that I hadn’t felt for a very long time, and didn’t have any shortness of breath as I carried my bags to the car. Later, at home, I weighed and saw that I had lost five pounds. On the way home, I munched on the “care package” Robin had packed; a large bunch of huge purple grapes (eat the seeds, she said, they’re full of antioxidants), cilantro soup, dehydrated tomatoes with pesto, and flax seed crackers, all very tasty.

The “stone” that Robin retrieved for me was about ¾ inch and I observed it to be solid but pliable. As it deteriorated, it showed itself to have a soft fatty substance and oozed a thin green substance that appeared to be bile. I noticed that it was not stool. While I cannot say for sure what it was, it obviously wasn’t a product of the colon. Where else but the liver, then?

The important thing is this: three weeks later, I’m still pain free; experiencing no bloating or heartburn, have plenty of energy and enough breath to be comfortable though it still hasn’t been tested on a hike. My clothes are fitting better, there’s no swelling of the hands or lower legs, and the lost weight has stayed off. I have not gone back on Acyclovir and still have not had an outbreak of herpes on my lower back.

It’s said that personal experience is the most credible teacher, and if this is true, I have learned. The skeptic has become a believer. That doesn’t mean that there’s no more questions and that there’s not a lot more to learn, but it does mean that even if the results are “psychological” as my medical doctor says, well then, this mentally stable, level headed, logical, grounded, educated, experienced nurse says hooray, who cares, it works and I’m better.

I’ll join the millions of people who have experienced benefits in the past from cleansing and a nurturing diet, and everyone else can do what they want. As for me, I’ll surely return to Annapurna.

For those who want to know more, call The Annapurna Center for Self Healing for a brochure or consultation. The staff is more than willing to answer any of your questions, without obligation. If you would like to follow my progress, email me at bettyshafer@lewiscounty.com. Here’s to your good health!

A Pharmacist’s Perspective

I read with great interest an article in the May issue of the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients by Betty Shafer, RN, who described her personal visit to The Annapurna Center for Self-Healing. I found this article intriguing because it shed some light onto the present situation I was in. But I waited 2 weeks or so after contemplating what I read before I called Director Robin Sharan at Annapurna Center.

As a Pharmacist for 10 years now I’ve always had a liking for alternative routes towards better health, in addition to conventional ways of thinking. I’ve taken vitamin supplements, drank plenty of water, exercised, ate organic fruits and vegetables, chicken, and fish, and taken good essential fatty acids to support a healthy lifestyle. But for the last 5 years this healthy way of living wasn’t providing me with the energy that I needed to make it through my busy life. I knew it was time to look to other avenues towards better health.

I listed my symptoms for Robin: sinus troubles and nasal congestion, some ear fullness and ear pain, jaw and neck tightness, low and middle back pain and tightness, stomach bloating, swelling feet with itchy, dry rash, after meal fatigue and nausea, weight loss problems, facial acne, and moodiness. I also noted that I was on Accutane for persistent acne and still experiencing breakouts at the age of 35. I’ve tried many methods of natural healing so far, including acupuncture, low force chiropractic work, enzymatic therapy, deep tissue massage, and whole food supplements. I still do some of these things today with good results. However, they weren’t the magic bullet that I was looking for.

I was determined I would not resort to taking medications prescribed by my doctor for any ailment, not just yet anyway. Not only do I consider myself too young, being I’m in my mid-30’s, but I didn’t want to be dependent on any drug for any condition I could have handled on my own. I wanted a more natural way to feel better with more productive, long lasting and dependable results. I wasn’t interested in becoming like the many people I come in contact with every day who get prescriptions for drugs that they have no idea why they are prescribed.

I never gave up on the belief that there was something else out there for me. I discovered colon hydrotherapy and liver/gallbladder flushes as an option and later a great benefit. I found out about these detoxifying techniques from Robin.

She seemed to understand and attributed my ailments to poor food choices, particularly dairy and meat. After reviewing my symptoms, she seemed convinced that The Annapurna Center would help me achieve a happier and healthier lifestyle. I felt interested in the program from what I learned so I scheduled some time off from work to try it.

I prepared for my cleansing experience by browsing through her web site, theannapurna.com. I read that Robin prepared only live organic vegan food at the Annapurna Center and practiced cranio-sacral therapy, reflexology, deep tissue massage and yoga, as well as colon hydrotherapy and liver/gallbladder cleanses. In addition, the usage of a Turkish bath and a Far Infrared sauna would also be included in this 5-day detoxification retreat. I then learned more about the actual process of cleansing.

The Annapurna process includes softening the gallstones and biliary plugs with the apple cider vinegar and castor oil pack daily, and colonics. Then the bile ducts are widened with coffee enemas and Epsom salts. Stones and other debris are then released with the consumption of olive oil and lemon juice into the small intestine. Then the remaining cleansing with the Aryuvedic method called vari sar dhauti where you drink salted water that has the same osmotic pressure as your body’s fluids. The stones will move out through the body. The last process also will clean out any remaining toxins, debris, or mucus left in your colon (and especially from the small intestine).

Colon hydrotherapy is considered a very important part of this detoxification technique because the colon, as we know it, fine tunes the absorption of salt and water in our body. Parasites can make their way down the GI tract to settle into the colon. The colon consists of 80% of one’s immune function tissue. Good colon health is important, so as to avoid Irritable Bowel Disease.

The colon irrigation process used at the Annapurna Center is very efficiently done. The client inserts the speculum rectally and the administration of filtered, near body temperature water enters the colon through one tube for hydration and leaves it as waste product through another tube, for a one-hour session. One treatment can make one feel lighter, breathe easier, think clearer, feel less bloated, and feel more relaxed. Three treatments will prepare you for the gallbladder/liver flush to detoxify efficiently.

The gallbladder is connected to the liver by the cystic bile duct. Some bile is stored in the gallbladder and used by the body as needed for fat digestion. Some cholesterol crystallizes and combines with the bile to form gallstones that reside in the gallbladder. Cholesterol gallstones are usually yellow, green, tan, or brown. They are usually round and range from 1 mm to 3-4 cm and are 50-100% cholesterol by weight. Interestingly, only 15% of gallstones show up on X-ray. By age 75, 20% of men and 35% of women will have gallstones. Nearly everyone has some gallstones. Eating processed foods seems to be a major culprit in their formation.

The liver is seated directly above the gallbladder and is the largest gland in the body. It has a large variety of functions. Primarily it is the blood’s filtering system. It often becomes congested, however, along with the gallbladder, when the biliary ducts are plugged and gallstones are formed. Drugs, environmental toxins, such as pesticides and synthetic hormones, and poor dietary habits can negatively affect the liver’s health and slow it down. The liver also produces and secretes bile, and regulates blood sugar levels, protein and fat metabolism, and blood clotting. It also metabolizes drugs and toxins. Many drugs undergo the liver, cytochrome P450, enzyme system to be processed through reduction, oxidation, conjugation, and other reactions. If the liver isn’t in a healthy state, many toxins remain in the body and get deposited into the fatty tissue. These substances cause cells to begin degeneration and the aging process is encouraged. Keeping the liver working efficiently enables the liver to keep tissues and cells oxygenated, remove waste products efficiently and produce digestive enzymes and hormones needed by the body. This is the goal of the gallbladder/liver cleanse. The cleanse is enabled by eating raw enzyme rich food, drinking filtered water, and breathing cleaner fresher air.

The time had come to begin the cleansing program. I prepared a few days before my arrival by eating raw, steamed or baked vegetables, soups and cultured foods like almond yogurt and unpasteurized sauerkraut. I also ate fruits separate from other foods. I drank 2 liters of water a day which I would continue doing throughout my stay. I refrained from coffee and alcohol during this time in order for the cleansing process to run smoothly.

I drove 50 miles from Seattle airport and took a half hour ferry ride. Port Townsend is a beautiful picturesque seaport with plenty to do and see during your stay. I found walking an enjoyable pastime while there.

After arriving my day began with a presentation of the program with Robin and the other clients. We went over the functions of the liver and gallbladder and the techniques needed to keep them functioning properly. I then met Robin’s assistants, Connie and Helma. Both seemed very helpful yet busy, preparing all the delicious foods we would be having the next 5 days. The food consisted of blended soups, such as cilantro and avocado-yam soup, Brazilian nut or almond milk, smoothies, and electrolyte lemonade made with either lemons or a variation with organic strawberries. I was then shown to my room which was Victorian style and very cozy.

I had my first colonic that day. I found it to be somewhat uncomfortable, bile and mucus were eliminated from my colon. I spent some time in the steam room, which I was told to use as much as possible. I then prepared for bed by drinking my apple cider vinegar and preparing a castor oil pack to be placed over my liver with a hot water bottle over that. The warm castor oil pack helped me sleep well which was unusual since I had pain still from an oral surgery procedure done three weeks prior.

The second day I awoke feeling hungry. I removed my castor oil pack and showered, I did a yoga session at 8:00 AM. It felt wonderful to stretch and loosen my muscles. I noticed my back wasn’t as tense as the day before and I felt lighter. I looked through some raw food recipes which all seemed very delicious. Helma later gave me a very relaxing and thorough reflexology session that almost put me to sleep.

My second colonic session seemed to produce more toxins than the first. Much more bile and mucus, possibly even parasites came out than my first colonic. Robin explained that the liver is the center for physical toxicity as well as emotions such as anger. Cleansing the liver and gallbladder can help one make clearer decisions and solve problems more easily.

I did my first coffee enema, which could help dilate my bile ducts to help eliminate toxins. I then watched the video “What the Bleep Do We Know” and noticed that there was a very interesting and educational selection of videos upstairs to enjoy anytime. I dressed and went to a traditional Eastern Indian sitar concert. Later I came home for some Brazil nut milk and prepared for bed.

I slept uneasily the second night. Apparently some fecal matter became stuck in my colon and caused me terrible pain in my left leg. Robin showed a chart created by a Dr. Bernard Jensen which cast a light on the connection between the hologram of the colon which refers sensation to other parts of the body, specifically to the left leg.

I took a yoga class to revive me. I started the morning with apple cider vinegar and later, electrolyte lemonade to help soften my stones and increase bile flow.

Again, with my third colonic I eliminated more bile, mucus, and parasites. My mood was much better and I felt lighter. My skin, although still broken out, appeared to be clearer.

For lunch I had cilantro soup with tomatoes and avocados. Surprisingly I haven’t been very hungry during my stay. All the food I’ve eaten seems to be sustaining me well and providing me all the nutrients I need. I haven’t had any cravings for coffee, green tea, or anything. I typically have a cup of coffee a day and some green tea in the afternoon. My digestion seemed to be doing well. I had no stomach pain or nausea.

I did another coffee enema and showered. I went for a walk with Robin and Connie and a woman chiropractor from Sausalito, California, who was also participating in the program. It was very relaxing and enjoyable. I knew it was just what I needed. I tried to walk every day during my stay. I took my third apple cider vinegar drink, waiting 30 minutes, and consumed 2 Tablespoons of Colosan, a magnesium oxide laxative, followed with another glass of water with one juiced lemon. I prepared for bed.

On the fourth day I awoke for yoga at 8 AM and felt energized. Knowing I needed to have 4 bowel movements today, I had a psyllium pudding, made with psyllium, strawberries, almond milk, and coconut oil and Stevia, a natural herbal sweetener. Connie gave me a massage, which was very relaxing. I then had 2 Tablespoons of Colosan in water followed by lemon water, and went for a walk.

Having returned from my walking I drank 1½ quarts of electrolyte lemonade. I went to the parlor area and began reading books from the large bookshelf in the parlor. At 3 PM I had 3 small bowel movements. By 5 PM I had my fourth bowel movement and did my water enema followed by a coffee enema.

At 5 PM I started the flush. I drank a cup of olive oil, alternating sips with 1 cup of lemon juice mixed with the powder of 8 Vitalzyme enzyme capsules.

I went to bed with my castor oil pack and ginger tea freshly made in a Vita Mix, and very tasty. Unfortunately I couldn’t sleep so I got up to drink water, but that made me extremely nauseated, so I made more ginger tea. I slept little.

The fifth day we started at 7 AM drinking 4 quarts of Celtic sea salt water. Joining me was the woman from Sausalito and a 79 year-old Art Professor from the Netherlands. We did 4 yoga postures to facilitate the removal of stones. I enjoyed doing this procedure with others, as it was somewhat disturbing of a process. I had some indigestion from the oil I drank the night before. Fortunately I passed stones after drinking 1 liter of water. I felt better. I had a large amount of stones come out, mostly large ones, about three-fourths of an inch.

I received my last colonic. Many more stones came out, as well as debris, bile, and more mucus. It seemed difficult to get through this one-hour session, but Robin coaxed me through it and massaged my stomach to increase drainage.

Today, lunch consisted of non-pureed foods: salads, pate, nut crackers, vegetables, and fruit pie. When I walked to the nearby Co-op store I felt less soreness in my joints, was more energetic, and breathed easier. I decided, even though my symptoms were better, I should stay for another 5 days cleansing, as Robin recommended. I ended the evening by seeing a movie with Helma in downtown Port Townsend and watched the sun set along the coast.

The first day of the second cleanse I noticed my gums were healing and actually pain free now. And my skin was considerably clearer. I think it’s because I hadn’t been eating dairy, gluten, or sugar. These things had to be something I was sensitive to in my diet. I had a hunch it was meat and possibly, corn. I also feel like I have more of a waist again and lost some weight.

I followed the same routine as in the first cleanse.

By the second day I was sleeping a full 8 hours and felt great. My ears felt clear and I seemed more in tune with my body. I had less muscle tension, back spasms, and my neck felt more fluid.

During the second colonic I had a lot of cramping this time, which corresponded to a lot of mucus coming out. Robin said that our emotions have a big impact on your body’s health. So we experienced me pounding my feet on the colonic table to release some of my frustrations and tension. Talking during the colonic also helped.

She then made a wheat grass drink with a juice extractor. It had a strong yet sweet taste. Later I had a cranio-sacral treatment with Robin. It seemed to help lengthen my low back and release pressure in my neck and abs. I took a shower and watched a film on genetic engineering, “The Future of Food.” I went to sleep with my castor oil pack on my right side.

On the third day I had much more energy after my yoga session and enjoyed a strawberry-banana smoothie afterwards. I spent more time looking through books. So many interesting raw food books caught my eye. There were a few I wanted for myself. Some included “Living in the Raw” by Rose Lee Calabro, “12 Steps to Raw Foods” by Victoria Boutenko, ”Hooked on Raw” by Rhio, and “Eating for Beauty” by David Wolfe.

But by the fourth day, after the usual routine, I felt exhausted and bloated. And the fifth day, I was sorry I hadn’t made some ginger tea the night before. My stomach was quite upset. But after drinking the salted water I passed many more stones than before. I was very surprised. My colonic was also rough and a lot more mucus was seen as well as stones. Robin said mucus sometimes was hard to come out because it gets stuck on the colon walls. I felt better soon with a cup of almond milk and coconut oil, a shower, and some rest.

I must say after 2 cleanses I feel the best I’ve ever felt. All the symptoms I had have been helped if not disappeared. Once you go through a flush like this and eliminate toxins and debris from your body it becomes easy to eat delicious raw foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouted seeds and nuts, and some fermented foods for proper digestion. Raw foods not only taste great but they are easier on the liver. I am much more content and happier with myself, physically and mentally.

The Annapurna Center for Self-Healing, is all about your good health and creating a simple lifestyle of conscious living. I want to thank everyone there for giving me the care and knowledge to achieve my goals. 


Another Registered Nurse’s Experience

It has only been four days since I completed the liver/gallbladder flush program at the Annapurna. To say that the program was life changing somehow does not do it justice. My mind is still swirling with all I had learned and experienced.

I have struggled with chronic health problems for most of the past 20 years (hormone imbalance, hypothyroidism, chronic pain to name a few).

The most recent, and probably most debilitating condition, involves my adrenal glands. They had failed to the point that I needed to take medication to replace the cortisol hormone they are supposed to make. I have been working with a wonderful physician who had helped me make progress, but I was still taking 30 to 40 mg of medication each day just as a baseline. On high activity days, or very emotionally stressful days, my dose would be in the 60 to 90 mg range. My expectations for results from the liver/gallbladder flush program were directed at my overall health. I did not anticipate such a dramatic improvement in adrenal function.

Prior to my flush, exercise, even moderate walking, was almost out of the question. My adrenals just couldn’t keep up with me, even when taking medication before doing something. Since returning home, I have worked out on an elliptical machine for 15 minutes three days in a row! For ME, that’s really saying something!!! On top of that, not only did I exercise today, I was physically active (climbing a lot of stairs, etc.), went shopping and had an emotionally stressful day at my home office. Normally I would expect to take 40 to 60 mg of medication on a day like this.

Here it is, 9 pm. I’m fully awake, able to function and I’ve only had 20 mg of medication!!!

So Robin, add me to the list of lives you’ve changed. There are many other things, but for me the adrenals are the big one. I learned so much about raw food, other healing modalities, about myself…. Yes, another life changed.

The Annapurna is certainly a unique experience, in so many ways. God has given you a special gift. You combined it with knowledge and experience to create a very special opportunity for those of us who are seeking a higher level of wellness. I pray God will continue to bless you mightily and that you will add many more names to the list of lives changed.

—Cheryl Wisdom, MS, RN

Mental/Emotional Wellbeing Enhanced

I am not a writer and English is my second language, so this will not be complete, as I usually need time to write things up.

I was somewhat skeptical, not about the colonic itself, but being a registered nurse, I was more concerned with sanitary practices than I was with the procedure. I must say that Robin displayed a great deal of knowledge with infection prevention and sanitation.

As far as how I feel today, I really feel great, not just physically but mentally (psychologically). I feel energized and do not feel the inertia, which I have been feeling for a while. I do not have the constant anger which I seem to harbor. For the last week I have not fought with my husband. Everything he says or does usually aggravates the living hell out of me, and he the same towards me. Now he is most agreeable and more tolerable. That is what all that poison removed from our bodies did—removed the poison from our heads, also.

As far as the procedure—Robin made it pleasant, so it is not as bad as having an enema. However, the cleansing effect was indescribably mind and body lifting.

The food, even the liquid ones were delicious, and the solid food today, I can learn to eat forever.

Thank you Robin and all your staff. I feel great but know I have many other body problems to treat and I will soon return. With more time—I can say or write more.

—MH, Registered Nurse

Thank You so Much Robin!

I am so thankful that Gaby, my yoga instructor introduced me to you! I just wanted to drop you a few lines…. On how I have done since I met you. First of all, I want to thank you from the deepest part of my soul, for dedicating to me your valuable time. Both my husband and I are so grateful to you. After we left Brazos y Raíces, that night, I drank all the liquid with the two Tablespoons of dissolved Epsom salts that you gave me! Uff, nice challenge! I went to the bathroom 15 times that night! Then, not at all for the next 2 days. I followed all your instructions for the diet, the juices, the heat patches and the (very unpleasant) homemade colonics. Yikes! I really didn’t enjoy that part. I got a lot of cramps after doing them every night! So everything was done as you instructed.

My gynecologist told me to take one month of birth control pills (which unfortunately I forgot to mention to you), and to get a vaginal ultrasound again, the day I stopped with my next period. To my enormous surprise, on my first day of bleeding… guess what I found on my pad? YES, the tumor! I could not believe my eyes, although I knew deep in my heart that something like that was going to happen I was still shocked. I was so happy, thankful, joyous… Well, you can imagine that!

When it was time, I still went to get the vaginal ultrasound, the doctor could not believe that the 5 cm tumor in my ovary was not there anymore! THANKS TO YOU! I have told a lot of people about you, and my loved ones thank you so much too. You appeared in my life just when I really needed you!

Right now I feel great. I am planning on doing your cleanse again with my husband on the 15th of Jan. after all the celebrations are over. What do you think?

Well, dear Robin, you have been a blessing to my life and my family’s. Thank you so much, and we want to wish you a wonderful new year. Hope to see you next time you come to Cabo. I have the ultrasound pictures of the tumor and then 1 month later without it…. If you can and want to use them for your research you mentioned you wanted to do….and your book, you are more than welcome to use them!

We send you a HUGE hug, lots of love and blessings! THANK YOU!

—Doris and Juancho Tolson

A Case of the Missing Lymphoma and H Pylori

A few months ago, I was diagnosed positive for H. Pylori bacteria and atypical malt lymphoma. In laymen’s terms, that means I was positive for ulcers and had a pre-cancerous stomach.

I had met Robin eleven years earlier, and even worked for her briefly when the Annapurna was a vegan B&B. At the time, I was not compelled to pick up the lifestyle I was exposed to, even though I could see the benefits. I was a meat-eating junk-food junkie and saw no real reason for change, even though I was on a variety of medications. Fast forward to the present: I had just finished two weeks of the antibiotic treatment for the bacteria and it was a fortuitous circumstance that I ran into Robin again as I was facing the most serious health challenge of my life. Robin immediately invited me to come and see her and experience the benefits of her healing center.

I had read several things about what was going on at the Annapurna Center for Self Healing, but never thought it applied to me. But as soon as Robin offered to help, I intuitively knew that this was a golden opportunity to detoxify my body and provide an optimal environment for healing myself.

In the ensuing six-week period, I completed three gallbladder/liver flushes. The first was a snap, the second a little more challenging, and the third similar to the first. You might ask: Why three? The results from the first flush were so positive, that I was compelled to take it further and excise as many toxins from my body as possible. Benefits to date are:

  • Latest endoscopy shows no trace of the ulcers or lymphoma.
  • Much needed loss of twenty pounds.
  • Memory improvement.
  • Chronic joint pain gone.
  • Weaned myself off of eighteen years of anti-depressant drugs.
  • No more cravings for sugar.

All in all, stellar results compelling me to undertake gallbladder flush number four! News at eleven…

Major kudos to Robin and the staff.


Healing Fibromyalgia

I have lived with fibromyalgia for 15 years. Pursuing alternative approaches in the faith that healing is within; I have tried numerous methods over the years. Many of these practices contributed to a restoration of my core energy, but none of them eliminated my pain. The closest I have come to being pain-free was in altering my diet to a more alkaline state. I found this difficult to maintain, because it requires a level of attention and food preparation, which seemed out of reach for me. My digestive system felt out-of-sorts and out of contact, but I couldn’t seem to change that dynamic.

In doing the liver-gallbladder flush with Robin, I received help on so many levels. Robin is intensely focused on how well the whole digestion system CAN truly be and how this wellness affects everything in our experience. She held a vision for me about how good I could feel in the core of my body, and what a loving relationship I could have with the food I eat. She is insistent that the absolutely critical liver/gallbladder/colon team can be healed, which was a huge antidote to my quiet hopelessness about changing my deeply engrained distress. Plus, her staff supplies top quality food, support and education so that my body could learn new ways through direct experience.

During the cleanse, I felt layers of old resignation, hopelessness, anger and exhaustion literally flowing out of my body. At one point, after numerous colonics, Robin said of a specific type of mucus departing my system, “THAT’s your fibromyalgia leaving.” This was stuff that had been hiding out in buried layers for who knows how many years. I also flushed out about 50 gallstones.

For the first time in decades I can actually feel all my digestive organs. I feel lighter physically and emotionally, and am eating better because I want to, not because I should. And as long as I stay with the right foods and breath practices—no pain! People keep telling me I look ten years younger.

I look forward to another cleanse experience with Robin—I know there are some more old layers to release, and I need the encouragement and expertise to guide me through. Robin works with generosity, humor, and a powerful vision of peace from the inside out—worth every penny!

Harvard graduate turned Kundalini Yoga teacher!

Thirty Years of Pain Alleviated—
a Lupus Survivor

Due to my age and her perception, Robin offered me a treatment that would alleviate some of my major physical problems. Her explanations were scientifically correct, but it was the first time I heard of such a treatment. Then I realized that what she was doing with self–healing was the same thing I am doing with my Solar Powered Hydrogen Electric Renewable Energy (SPHERE) System.

Well, I knew it would work, but I had no idea it would work that well. She spent an hour or more on what she calls Reflexology with my feet. She made a believer out of me in the first few minutes.

She asked me if I ever fell off a wagon or a horse? How did you hurt your neck? How did she know that from massaging my feet? I had my neck broken in a 3-car collision in 1966. Then she asked about my knees and my back where my Vertebrae are fusing together. She found every problem by just massaging my feet?!

Then she gave me the Detoxification treatment and a box full of prepared food. I was to eat nothing else. Well today I had a very busy morning, then took a shower and went to put some lotion on some of my Lupus wounds, but they were not there anymore. Some were not completely healed, but they were just little marks on my body.

I have been fighting Lupus since I was a teenager, and was told then that I would not see my 19th Birthday. It has been a long hard battle, keeping myself going. I got a lot done this morning, but until the evening I had not realized that my back did not hurt all day. I had my First Painless day in many years.

I asked her at the Reflexology session why she was sweating. She said it was my pain. She wanted to know how I could stand such pain. I just learned to live with it. What else could I do? Disc replacement surgery is not practiced here yet. But she was confident that my own body could rebuild the worn out Cartilage. She is determined to keep me well, so that I could continue working on my SPHERE System.

Someone once said to me that God wouldn’t let you die until you finish your work. He must have sent that Angel Robin to take good care of me.

Today has been the tenth day without back pain. Last Saturday I cut, split, and stored a half cord of wood. Yesterday I finished building the walls for the Workshop and today I dug up the water piping and installed freeze protection. All that work and no back pain.

The Arrhythmia, which started after last year’s mercury-preserved Flu Shot has finally subsided and my heart seems to be pumping normally. The lung congestion that has been hanging on for a few weeks has also vanished. The pain in my knees is just a bad memory.

Now I feel strong enough to survive another winter here on the Olympic Peninsula. I am regaining my strength and agility. With a little luck I will finish installing my Solar Assisted Heat Pump System before the winter really sets in.

With all my heart, I thank you Robin.

—Donatas E. Kinderis 20 October 2004

Exposure Mitigated

I grew up in the orchards of the Garden State, in southern New Jersey, where my family was exposed to unusual amounts of DDT and other pesticides in the fertilizer that was regularly sprayed not more than 50 feet from our house. Summers are hot and humid in South Jersey. I loved the feeling of the light, cool liquid on my skin; I even liked the smell. Nobody knew then that we were being poisoned.

So when my massage therapist explained the close relationship of the intestines to the lungs, I decided to have a 3 consecutive day colon hydrotherapy treatment in the hopes of improving chronic lung congestion and a mild form of asthma I’d had since childhood. I was 48. After 3 one-hour sessions at the Annapurna Center, the results were concrete and irrefutable. I no longer needed decongestants and antihistamines to breathe through my nose.

Nearly 3 decades of driving to and from allergists and pharmacists, all those hours in the waiting room hoping for a “cure” from allergy shots, after all the money spent on Sudafed and Drixoral and at least 5 other brand names… Finally, I was breathing freely without medication. But that’s just part of the good news. My eyesight improved. I’ve needed glasses to see beyond 8 inches since first or second grade. My lens prescription improved significantly in both eyes. And I no longer needed reading glasses. The optometrist shrugged his shoulders. Not me. It was the first time in my life that my own eyes could see better than they did in the last exam. Over the next year, thanks to the colonic and ongoing massage therapy (in my opinion) I ended my prescriptions to the antidepressant Zoloft, as well as Neurontin, a neurotransmitter facilitator I was taking for motor impairment in my hands, the result of a spinal cord injury of several years prior.

In the words of the nurse who recently delivered my comprehensive lab panel results, I am “the picture of health” and you can bet that I’ll be using colon hydrotherapy as my primary system tune-up to keep it that way.

Thank you Robin. Bless you.


Desert Storm Veteran Poisoned by Depleted Uranium and Other Toxins of War. 

A letter sent to Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Today I am a Healthier Person—I am in Port Townsend, WA and I am feeling better than I have since childhood. My journey has been long and strenuous—but I am here. The beautiful part is that I see leaders like you embracing the value of what is happening at ANNAPURNA Self Health Center here in Port Townsend and around the world.

I met you first in Santa Cruz, CA where I heard a young woman announce that her maximum contribution was going to you—she said, very touchingly, that you told her she reminded you of your daughter. I gave you a letter from me, a non-commissioned Officer and told you how much the troops need you.

With the upcoming elections, the health and welfare of returning soldiers must be addressed. Having been exposed to the toxic soup that Dr. Doug Rokke tells the world about, I have endured my entire adulthood trying to detoxify.

Having arrived here at Robin Sharan’s Annapurna, I was told that the very girl, Mariah, who spoke so eloquently in Santa Cruz had been here and had the same wonderful experience and came away ready to tell the world that this is where health is.

I gain hope, where there was none. It is good to know that we are collectively gaining this consciousness. With the countless homeless vets and sick soldiers, I believe it is time to support the troops by supporting the truth. The truth is, I am a disabled veteran, and this is the right medical treatment for us. For Everyone.

The troops need you more than ever now. There really is a way home, and as long and strenuous as it is, it feels REAL and great when you get here.

Thanks for helping me home,


Gallbladder Dysfunction Segues into a Myriad of Other Conditions

This past summer I did a liver gallbladder flush with Robin at the Annapurna Center for Self-Healing. Actually I ended up doing four. This was such a Godsend.

I was at the point where the medical doctor was talking about taking out my gallbladder, because it was not producing enough bile. I had been bloated and uncomfortable since I can remember. I gained 20 lbs. over 6 weeks last winter. I was always belching and bloated with pain in my lower left abdomen.

In March of 07 I was diagnosed with Fibroid tumors, multiple small ones and one big pedunculated one in the lower left abdomen. I took supplements and did a candida diet, felt a little better. When my diet returned to normal, the bloating and belching returned along with the 20 extra lbs. In the spring of this year I had a stricture in my throat, (I had been chocking on my food) The MD opened it up with a balloon. He also said I have a hiatal hernia and GERD. He suggested I take antacids the rest of my life and I said no thank you.

I proceeded to have a test where they determined that my gallbladder was not producing enough bile and ultrasounds which showed multiple simple cysts on my liver. They wanted me to do another test to measure the acid in my throat by putting sensors through my nose and down my throat connected to a computer for 24 hours. Again I said no thank you.

In the mean while I was lead to Robin at the Annapurna. Some friends had done liver/gallbladder flushes with amazing results. Robin and I met and it made total sense to me. How was cutting my gallbladder out going to help? Well Robin and the flush did help.

I feel light and free in my body. I no longer feel bloated or uncomfortable. And voila! No more belching. It has been years since that was true. (You can ask my partner). I also had been having trouble breathing. I now feel light in my body and can breathe easily. I am eating well, drinking Kangen water and maintaining a 20 lb. weight loss. My cholesterol has come down 20 pts. I am much happier and more comfortable in my body.

My face had always been bright red with rosacea for 30 years and I had felt a lot of stress! This has calmed down, my skin is still rosy, but looks more normal now.

I used to have lots of headaches, which no longer plague me. I have been able to maintain a healthy diet of organic fruits, vegetables, some grains and occasional fish. And dark chocolate. Everyone comments on how great I look! It was interesting to find out that all of my symptoms were related and they all seem to have been helped due to the flushes. Robin, Ciela and The Annapurna Center for Self-Healing staff are wonderful. The whole process was very cathartic.

I also got lots of education from them, which in turn helped motivate me to change my eating habits. I was a Midwest girl who ate lots of meat her whole life. I am eating very different from that now, and I feel so much better!

I had been running around to so many health professionals for so long trying to feel better. This process finally helped. I look forward to doing my next L/G Flush and sharing this process with those I care about.

I also had the opportunity to learn about transformational breath work and Kangen water. Both have been an awesome part of my return to health. I was also able to go off of prescription medication for anxiety and depression. I still have some struggles, but nothing like before and I am so grateful to not have to take medication. Thank you, thank you, thank you Robin, for what you do and how you helped me! You are truly a healer.

Health care practitioners: I have chosen to share this with you because my hope is that other people can find this process and benefit from it sooner than I did. Please feel free to ask me any questions to help clarify.

—L. A.i

From John Q Public to GQ!


The last thing in the world I thought I would ever be doing was writing a report on a personal experience at a self-healing retreat 2,000 miles from my home in Chicago. But the story deserves to be told, so that it can perhaps inspire others.

In September, 2005 I had a kidney stone attack. Not an unusual occurrence by any means, but unusual as far as I was concerned. After all, I was a healthy (or so I thought), 56-year-old male who had been subscribing to a vegetarian diet since February, 2005 (kind of a delayed New Year’s resolution). My father had kidney stones, so I rationalized that it was my turn, little realizing I probably could have headed it off with a little more attention to my diet. Although I passed the stone three weeks later, with a little help from some pain medication and lots of water, the subsequent recommendation from my primary physician was to do nothing more than drink lots of water going forward and to take it easy on calcium products. It sounded like reasonable advice to me, and I have since abided by his recommendation. I have to admit, however, that in spite of being a vegetarian, I still continued to enjoy my cheese and dairy products, even though I had cut back “somewhat,” with my doctor’s advice in mind. In hindsight, it was not a good decision to continue with dairy products at all, for reasons you will read about later.

Fast forward 16 months to January, 2007. No more kidney stone attacks had occurred; but another wonderful experience soon took its place—a gallstone attack. Women who have had them tell me they are a close second to the pain of childbirth. Being male, I obviously cannot validate that comparison, but I do know that I was in agony for about eight hours. These things always happen on the weekend, of course, so I had to wait until Monday morning to go see my doctor. After hearing me relate my symptoms, and knowing that I was on statins (he prescribed them) to lower my cholesterol, he suspected gallstones. Therefore, I was ordered across the hall for a blood profile and urinalysis. Sure enough, his suspicions proved true, when the results became available that afternoon—elevated liver readings. He then ordered an ultrasound, but the facility couldn’t squeeze me in until the next day. Since the blood and urine work showed no infections, and I was in no pain, he was comfortable with that slight delay. The ultrasound report confirmed the presence of gallstones, so he then referred me to a surgeon for a discussion of my options. That meeting is what I consider to be a major turning point of my life.

The Surgeon and I. Having a week available before my appointment with the surgeon, I took the opportunity to start doing research on the internet and in the library on the gallbladder and liver, as well as on surgical alternatives. I took it very personally when told that I had to have surgery, but I also took it as a challenge to prove them wrong, or at least give it the old college try. I didn’t mind when a surgeon took out my appendix in 1971, because I was told that the appendix was not needed for anything in particular and was within one hour of bursting, the latter reason being the one of more concern. But now the possibility loomed that I may have to have a “real” organ taken out. I was kind of resigned to that fate, especially after hearing my doctor’s nurse tell me it was no big deal. She had hers out, and she was fine and could still eat whatever she wanted. And my mother said that her sister had hers out and it was “no big deal.” Hmmm. Anyway, I did my homework and identified several options to surgery, each of which my prospective surgeon carefully picked apart as being too dangerous or unproven. He put the fear of God in me when he said that if I tried to flush the stones out, one might get stuck in a duct and cause me to go for emergency surgery. In a weak moment, I succumbed and allowed myself to be scheduled for surgery in early February. Even though it was now on the calendar, something just didn’t feel right. The story gets better, so hold on.

Chicago had a three-week deep freeze in late January/early February of 2007. The day before my surgery, I received a call from the ambulatory center that a pipe had broken and that the facility would be closed for four days. My surgeon was not available until late March, 2007, so we rescheduled around his availability. Meanwhile, I took this respite to dig even deeper into alternatives. I web-surfed and surfed and read and read. I asked my primary physician about his opinion of alternative therapies, and he said to just do what the surgeon recommended. My doctor and my surgeon have very impressive education credentials and are very well spoken, and I presume very intelligent. But they are trained to treat symptoms. Not their fault. That’s just the way it is. I don’t begrudge them that fact, but I know now that we are all responsible for our own research.

The Fork in the Road. Thank goodness for broken water pipes, because the extra time afforded me the time to convince myself that surgery might not be necessary. By the way, to my doctor’s credit, he immediately told me to stop taking my statins, until the gallbladder issue sorted itself out. Not only did I stop the medications, but I notched up my diet to the next level of self-awareness by immediately migrating to vegan. I had found out about all the things that trigger gallstone attacks, one of them being dairy products; so I eliminated them immediately as part of my new vegan regime. Being 222 lbs. on a 6’2” frame was not technically obese, but it was a little excessive. Besides, my middle age gut was a source of dismay for me, as my running did not seem to be taking care of it on its own. Stomach fat can also cause gallbladder problems. So I set out to reduce my weight to a healthy 195 lbs. within four months through diet and increased exercise. I began to schedule appointments with myself to work out at least 5x/week, and have stuck to that discipline since then.

Anyway, back to the search for alternatives. Many of the links and books that I encountered all pointed to The Annapurna Center for Self-Healing as a premier location for gallbladder and liver detoxification protocol. Located in Port Townsend, WA (the name of the center alone made me feel peaceful, but the idea of a seaside port was additionally appealing), the center’s website welcomed those of us who considered ourselves open-minded and receptive to new ideas. And so I began my due diligence. I had already dismissed the idea of do-it-yourself flushes, until I could have someone guide me through the process as my “tour guide,” someone who could de-mystify the mysteries of liver flushes, and someone who had an absolute passion about what they did. Robin Sharan, the owner and director of The Annapurna, turned out to be that person. Patiently answering all of my questions by email and phone, patiently allaying my concerns over the “dangers” of liver flushing that my prospective surgeon had suggested, Robin never once pressured me into coming to Port Townsend. You see, she does not try to talk people into liver and gallbladder cleansing; rather, she is looking for people who want to do it and who sense that they may have outgrown their current healthcare arrangements. That belief radiated from her, and I could sense the calmness and commitment in her voice from 2,000 miles away. Her program sounded like it had structure, substance, reasonable pricing, and was repeatable at home after I left. I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. After talking with former clients about their experiences and confirming my gut instincts (no pun intended) that this was the real deal, I booked my flight to Seattle.

Arrival Day. The warmth of a fire in a cozy seaside cottage in the middle of March does wonders for your soul. Add a hug from Robin, a welcoming mug of fresh vegan “Seventh Heaven” soup, and a cozy room befitting of many top-end bed and breakfast inns, I knew right away that I had made the right decision. And Robin, with her signature line, “you’re going to be very happy” has a table side manner that flushes your liver with gratitude in advance.

It was fun watching her and her staff “cook” (no heat—just live food) that evening’s and next morning’s meal and drinks. Electrolyte lemonade, liquid salads, and almond milk-to-live-for had my body thanking me for coming.

That evening’s welcoming colonic was an eye opener. Certainly not your traditional fruit basket or cookie tray that hotels will put in your room upon arrival, but I have to tell you, gallstones or no gallstones, everyone should experience the feeling of release (literally and figuratively) that a colon cleansing can afford your mind and body. Try and get that from a cookie tray! Imagine years and years of dietary and environmental toxins beginning to say goodbye, and you are the one in control. Robin and her staff never cross the line and give medical advice, they never promise any cures, they just offer themselves as facilitators for self-healing. What a concept.

Days 2-4. Apple juice, yoga, walking, soups, vegetables, fruits, reading, colonics, and great conversation with other guests occupied my next three days. But nothing trumped the sweetness of Robin, the maestra who made it all happen. If you want space, you get space. If you want to wax philosophic, she’ll stay up late till her eyes droop. If you need encouragement to finish your apple cider vinegar, she’s there with her “you’ll be very happy” music in your ears. You can see it in her eyes, her soul, and her smile. She loves what she does and is good at it. No, make that great at it. This was all beginning to make sense to me.

Finally, on the fourth night, the final countdown began. Epsom salts, olive oil, and lemon juice were the specials of the evening before retiring. I remember my younger days sitting around the fire drinking shots of something not quite so healthy, and here I was with total strangers drinking to a healthy liver and a successful flush! Was that weird or what? Sure it was, but that is why I was there. Lights out, and a peaceful night’s sleep followed, nestled with my castor oil pack and hot water bottle.

The Final Day. Robin would say that you can’t “rush the flush,” so I calmly let nature take its course in the morning, after an appetizer of warm water with Celtic sea salt. Sure enough, all the careful preparation led to a successful flush, and all of my concerns went out the window. Stones and more stones and more stones—gone. No pain, no discomfort. Just a light-headedness afterwards that was really more like an afterglow. A follow-up colonic that afternoon punctuated an already successful morning with a residual flush.

I opted for a second flush, stayed four additional days, and followed the same protocol. Normally, it takes several flushes to completely rid one’s self of stones, but the beauty is that I now know how to do it at home and will be in total charge of my health—forever.

After switching to a vegan diet eight weeks before I came to The Annapurna, I lost 17 lbs. And then while at The Annapurna, I lost another eight lbs. during my eight-day stay. The pain in my knees was gone (I suspect it was all the extra weight), a sebaceous cyst that I had in my neck since I was 10 years old was gone, the bloating in my stomach was gone, and I had no more cravings for carbohydrates. Other guests tell me I looked ten years younger than when I arrived a week earlier. Robin told me to replace the picture on my web site.

Aftermath and Lessons Learned. It’s not about Western doctors not meaning well. It’s about us all ultimately being responsible for our own health. Alternative healing techniques have been around for thousands of years, but not in the United States. As we become bigger consumers of processed food and more exposed to environmental toxins, our bodies are going to have their own tipping point. We may not feel pain yet from our diets of yesteryear, and we may not have symptoms yet from our past dietary transgressions; but I highly recommend that anyone who fashions himself or herself to be receptive to new ideas and wants to cleanse their body as faithfully as they change the filters in their furnace, car, or vacuum cleaner, should consider periodic liver cleansing as a necessary step to regaining control over their own health. And a great way to learn how to do it on your own is to first experience it at The Annapurna Center for Self-Healing under Robin Sharan’s guidance and love.

Yoga Teacher Discovers Self-Healing

Standing at the counter of our local video store I began noticing a slight discomfort on my right side just underneath my rib cage. It felt like gas but soon became more pronounced and radiated up into my chest and right collar bone. Another customer came to the counter and I made my way outside and began feeling more intensely the sensations running along the right side of my torso.

Unsure of my ability to bicycle the half of a mile to the Food Co-op I decided to walk my bike. The pain became more acute as I walked along and it became difficult to breath normally. My husband, Peet, and two-year-old son, Aidan, had begun shopping when I found them and explained the situation. I sat down in the deli section and waited for the pain to subside. While sipping a glass of water and monitoring the pain, I saw Robin from the Annapurna Center for Self-Healing walk past and I diverted my eyes to avoid conversation.

Peet checked in with me and completed our shopping while keeping Aidan entertained. As we left the Co-op, Robin came out and asked if she could give Aidan a ride home since we were on bikes, not knowing at the time that I was in pain. “No thanks, we can make it home.” I was still hopeful that the pain would subside.

Just after leaving the parking lot of the Co-op it was becoming obvious that I would not make it home by bike or foot and I told Peet to find someone to take me home. Luckily our neighbor Tom was pulling out of the Co-op and offered to drive me home. It was difficult to get into the car because of the pain and once inside I released a flood of tears full of pain and worry. “Was there something major wrong with me? Should we be going to the emergency room?” Tom offered to bring me to the hospital but I wanted to wait it out and give my body a chance to relax. Once inside my home and after reclining on the couch the pain went completely away.

The next day it felt like a dull ache on my right side just underneath the lower ribs. It almost felt muscular. Two days passed and the pain began to feel deeper and more specific so I decided to go into the Urgent Care Center while my son was visiting a friend. The physician’s assistant thought it may be gallstones and scheduled an ultrasound appointment for the following week.

When I picked up Aidan at my friend Ciela’s house she suggested, after hearing my story, that I should do the gallbladder/liver flush at the Annapurna Center where she also works helping Robin facilitate the cleanse and flush. I called Robin as soon as I stepped into my house and she scheduled my first colonic that same afternoon. After receiving the colonic I was sent home with several mason jars full of yummy raw food smoothies, a castor oil pack, the gallbladder/liver flush book and a gallon of water from the Kangen machine which alkalinizes and ionizes the water.

My mother died of cervical cancer when my son was 7 months old and she never liked going to the doctor. By the time they discovered the cancer cells, these had spread to other parts of her body and she decided to undergo surgery to try and remove the cancer cells and then endured multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. The last six months of her life were spent in and out of hospitals and clinics and in lots of pain. I promised myself never to hesitate when my body was sending me signals of dis-ease.

My mother-in-law Barbara arrived from Chicago the same day I had gone to the Urgent Care Center and was planning on staying for a week. She was able to step in and help with Aidan during my many visits to see Robin at the Annapurna Center. After four colonics in four days and applying the castor oil packs at night along with eating raw organic foods and drinking apple cider vinegar to soften the gallstones I was feeling energized and hopeful, although the ache in my side remained. The cleanse helped to purge my body of toxins both physical and emotional. Anger was a feeling that would surge through me along with sadness and frustration. Thoughts of my mother during her struggle with cancer and her death kept surfacing. By the fifth day I decided to take more time to cleanse and prepare my body for the flush. Robin was happy to accommodate and provided more food and support for an additional four days.

My body began to feel more expansive and less dense. During the seventh day of the cleanse and after the fifth colonic I taught my advanced yoga class. I had been spending my practice time in meditation the previous week so I had not experienced my body doing yoga asanas. I was amazed at how my flexibility increased during that seven-day period. My joints felt more fluid and my body felt twenty percent more flexible. During the initial opening chant it felt as though I had expanded my energy field to encompass the entire room. During class, words and energy flowed through me like an open channel to the divine, all the while remaining connected with each individual student. After class the students thanked me for a wonderful class and mentioned feeling honored to be part of this time of transformation.

Barbara was leaving the next day and I had rearranged the timing of the Liver flush to occur after her departure. The ultrasound was scheduled for 8 a.m. Peet met me at radiology and we held hands while the technician began scanning my abdomen. She informed me that she could not give me a diagnosis but she could tell me in general what she was looking at. She began by measuring my aorta and then moved on to my liver where she told me the various parts she was measuring until she came to a mass that didn’t seem like a duct or blood vessel. Silence to me indicated that it was something abnormal. When she moved to the gallbladder I asked how she could determine if there were any gallstones since the area looked so dark. She explained how if there was something unusual it would appear lighter than the rest of the gallbladder. Finishing up the ultrasound scan I wondered if there were any gallstones at all and what was that mass in my liver. Upon returning home I completed my last coffee enema before the flush.

The following day I awoke with a lot of energy and was excited about the liver flush and was eager to find out what the results would be. But first I was scheduled to find out the results of the ultrasound. I taught my morning class and then made my way to the urgent care center. The physician’s assistant who saw me during the initial visit explained to me the analysis of the scan. Nothing was found to be abnormal with my gallbladder or any other organ for that matter except for the mass in the liver which they could not identify. He suggested scans both requiring an injection of radioactive isotopes. The physician assistant described to me the gallbladder being over the liver. After a week of researching the gallbladder, its function, and location I was dumbfounded, how could this person prescribing all these tests not even know that the gallbladder is located underneath the liver. He even drew a picture of it to better show me its location. I left the appointment feeling less than confident in his ability to diagnose my problem and began to prepare for an evening stay at the Annapurna Center. After four bowel movements I called Robin and we set up the final colonic before the flush. The colonic made my body feel light and energized. Upon returning home I gathered my things and went over to the Annapurna to begin the liver/gallbladder flush. Robin poured me 8 ounces of fresh squeezed lemon juice and another 8 ounces of olive oil. After finishing off the two glasses I laid down to rest with my castor oil pack and hot water bottle. The first few hours I slept soundly and then Robin came in to check up on me shortly after I had woken up around 10 pm. I laid awake for several hours using that time to visualize the gallstones softening, the ducts in my liver and gallbladder opening and my liver a shining magenta organ shimmering with vitality. By 4 am I was wide awake and ready to begin the next stage of the flush. Robin was planning on waking me at 5 am so I took the time to shower and brush my teeth. By the time 5 am arrived I was eager to begin.

A gallon of warm filtered salt water sat before me and I began to drink it down. It didn’t take long before my bowels began expelling both the water and the gallstones. The stones were emerald green and ranging in size from a popcorn kernel to a large pea. I continued to drink the gallon jug until it was empty at which time the colon hydrotherapy machine was prepared and the final colonic was received. During the colonic many more stones passed to the count of over one hundred in all. The dull ache in my side went away and besides feeling a bit tired, my body felt lighter and more relaxed. Robin sent me home with a wonderful salad and homemade crackers with an order to take it easy and rest that day.

The dull ache in my ride side has completely vanished. I am feeling less irritable and more energetic. I’m sleeping deeper and feeling refreshed upon waking. It has been over two years since I have felt this good. My next gallbladder/liver flush is scheduled for a week from the first. It’s recommended to continue to flush until there are no longer gallstones passing.

The second flush resulted in larger stones passing that were darker in color. It seemed like almost twice as many passed. Robin insisted that I drank an extra half gallon of the salt water to further facilitate the passing of the stones. During the final colonic many more stones passed. I’m thinking of doing another colonic a few days from now to ensure that the stones are no longer in my colon. It’s hard to tell how many flushes it will take to clear my body of gallstones but I am committed to the process and want to continue working with Robin until I am completely free of stones.

As I sit next to my son who is taking his mid-day nap I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to cleanse my liver and gallbladder. I want to live a long life full of energy and free of disease. The flush is a huge step in reclaiming my health and vitality.

After a month of eating vegan without dairy or meat products I was ready for my next cleanse. Robin has prepared me foods to help keep my body weight stable. After receiving my first colonic Robin gave me an hour and a half massage first working with reflexology on my feet. It felt good to just lie down and receive. My life has been very full and with the additional energy I received through the first two flushes I have been able to start up projects that were put aside for the past three years. During the break between flushes I noticed my flexibility decrease. After only two days of raw food and two colonics my flexibility had returned and the cravings vanished. My yoga classes have been going really well with the inspirations arising from the cleanse. It feels so good to be in my body and feel this increased flexibility and energy flowing. My perceptions have opened up and my senses have become more alive. The world appears so much brighter. Last night after teaching I stepped out of the yoga studio and a beautiful rainbow was there to greet me. Gifts like this keep on coming.

Besides feeling much more energetic from the cleanse I’ve noticed shifts. Some are emotional shifts, others physical for example, cleaning out closets and taking care of incomplete projects. My ability to take and complete new tasks increases also. It feels like anything is possible. Obstacles that were overwhelming and debilitating are no longer so daunting.

Robin has made it possible for me to continue teaching throughout the entire process, accommodating my varied scheduling needs between class times and childcare times. There is no way I could have completed the flushes without Robin’s compassionate and generous support.

—H. D.