This Week at OHI


Optimum Health Institute’s Weekly Blogs.
OHI offers a holistic healing program based on ancient spiritual disciplines that promotes healing of your body, mind, and spirit through all-natural, non-medical practices.

Memorial Day: In Silence, There is Gratitude

At precisely 3 p.m. local time on Monday, May 30, the nation is invited to pause for a minute of silence to remember the women and men who gave their lives in service to our country.

Through this simple act, we become a single community, joined together in our mutual gratitude and reverence for those who have died defending The United States. From the soldiers who fought on both sides of the American Civil War to those who have died in more recent battles, all who made the ultimate sacrifice are remembered and memorialized on this day of observance.

In star-spangled ceremonies around the country, American flags are respectfully lowered to half-staff in the morning, then raised to their full height in the afternoon. The action honors the sacrifices of the dead, and symbolizes that the commitment to fight to protect our nation’s freedom lives on.

When we honor someone, we’re acknowledging our faith in something greater than us. We’re recognizing that meritorious service, sacrifice, personal integrity and morality are to be respected and appreciated. We experience how the act of honoring others can bring us a sense of connection, peace and sacred continuity that endures even beyond physical death.

Those upon whom we bestow honor inspire and motivate us, and receive our gratitude. We acknowledge their leadership and importance in our lives.

As we honor others, we bring honor to ourselves. The commendable things we recognize in our war heroes and role models become the very values we start to model in our own behavior. Noting the integrity and leadership in another both consciously and subconsciously shifts our focus to see those values in ourselves, too. Our gratitude and reverence for them becomes the lens through which we begin to see our own lives.

This Memorial Day, while we’re honoring those who have lead the way, we have an opportunity to simultaneously honor ourselves by making smart choices to honor our own bodies, minds, and spirits. Why limit this elevated awareness to a single day? EVERY day is the perfect time to honor ourselves, and live in the optimum joy of a purposeful, spiritual connection.

Learning how to make that connection in your body, mind, and spirit is what we share at the Optimum Health Institute. Honor yourself in a transformative environment at our missions in San Diego or Austin. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in 2013. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

OHI WI-FI: Plugging Into Peace of Mind and Optimum Health

You asked, and we listened. For Optimum Health Institute’s (OHI) 40 Years of Holistic Healing, we have been dedicated to enhancing your guest experience. After so many of your survey cards mentioned you’d appreciate having Wi-Fi internet access, we’ve taken the steps to ensure that during your visit, you can disconnect, while still staying connected in the privacy of your room.

As of June 19 th at OHI San Diego and June 26 th at OHI Austin, all of the guest rooms will have Wi-Fi internet access, giving you the opportunity to briefly plug back into the outside world without having to leave the serenity of our missions. As is our usual practice, no Wi-Fi will be available in the common areas in order to maintain the serenity of the grounds and classes.

So many of you are business owners and executives and need to stay aware of what’s happening at work. Many of you indicated you would love to do the entire 3-week OHI healing lifestyle program at once, but couldn’t be out of communication with your family or your job for 21 days.

Now, with Wi-Fi access in all guest rooms, you can stay in communication with family and colleagues, balancing those responsibilities with your responsibility to yourself to learn and practice positive changes to create optimum health. While your main focus will continue to be your healing journey, you will also have peace of mind that when you need to occasionally link up to the outside world, you can.

Come back to OHI for another opportunity to heal body, mind, and spirit – and this time, you can extend your stay, knowing that our sanctuary of calm serenity also allows you to occasionally ‘plug back in’ and balance all aspects of your life. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325.

How Quieting the Mind Heals Body & Spirit

When a young Wichita, Kansas woman suffered a brain aneurysm, the prognosis wasn’t good. The large bleed was in the part of her brain that governed speech and muscle coordination. Her neurosurgeon explained that if she did survive the risky surgery, there was a great possibility she would suffer lasting disabilities.

“I know it’s all in my head,” she responded. Her doctor was momentarily taken aback, then he laughed. He told her after the procedure – which was completely successful – that it was her calmness and sense of humor in the face of overwhelming adversity that empowered her to beat the odds.

The link between our mental and physical states is so profound and closely integrated scientists have even coined a term for it – the Mindbody. The late Dr. Candace Pert, a globally respected neuroscientist and pharmacologist, broke new medical ground with her research offering evidence that “your body is your subconscious mind.”

When our brain is stressed with worries, fears and visions of all the things that could or are going wrong in our life, our body will respond accordingly. Back and chest pains, high blood pressure, insomnia, constipation, fatigue, headaches and weight gain or loss can frequently become physical manifestations of poor emotional health.

A recent TIME magazine special showed that more positive emotional states – like happiness, optimism, contentment and hopefulness – could lessen the severity or even the risk of developing physical symptoms. In a similar study, Harvard school of Public Health reported that optimism could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.

So much of what causes us worry or stress is the meaning we choose to give things that happen in our lives. If we’re passed over for a promotion at work, for instance, is the boss intentionally sabotaging our chance for success, or do we have more time to develop new skills, or even move our career in a direction that brings us more joy and satisfaction? We get to decide if the experience is a demoralizing snub, or an exciting new opportunity. Our body will likewise reflect the emotional charge – either positive or negative – of the meaning we choose.

Besides making a conscious decision to choose positive, optimistic meanings for things unfolding in our lives, adopting a meditation practice is another excellent way to quiet the mind, increase our optimism, and nurture the body and spirit.

Meditation advocates from Buddhists to cardiologists encourage us to make the practice a regular part of our daily lives. M.R.I brain scans show that taking time daily to enter into a deep meditative state measurably changes the brain’s structure. Meditators had increased gray matter in the area of the brain for learning and memory. They also experienced a reduction of gray matter in the region associated with anxiety and stress.

Practice quieting the mind and feel your body de-stress during your visit to the OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. During your stay, our caring team will support your journey to optimum health and share the tools you need to continue the holistic healing lifestyle program at home. The OHI Stores also carry several of Dr. Pert’s books explaining in depth the connection between our body and mind. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325.

A Unique Way to Celebrate Mother's Day

Mothers are our first teachers – giving us life, nourishing and nurturing us, helping us navigate and thrive from our very first moment. Their love gave us roots and wings, and laid the foundation upon which we could build lives of purpose, joy, and more love.

As we grow, our relationship with our mothers grows and transforms too. The dynamic can gradually shift from parent-child to two friends who delight in each other’s interests, passions, and goals. When the goal is adopting and maintaining positive healthy behaviors for longer, more fulfilling lives, mothers and their adult children – and fathers, too – frequently discover the transformational benefits of a stay at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) missions in San Diego or Austin, Texas.

OHI Austin Program Director Cheryl Green has seen many family members share the experience of going through the OHI healing lifestyle program since she joined the team in 1999. She particularly enjoys the special bond between mothers and their children as they encourage, inspire and celebrate each other’s successes.

“We love when families come together at OHI,” Cheryl said. “Sometimes it’s the mother bringing the child, or the child bringing the mother…or the more adventurous duos go through their first week together. Experiencing the program together enhances that precious connection. We love witnessing the development of a new type of family tradition! “

“Seeing a mother and son or daughter attend the program together always seems to inspire the staff and other guests in the community to new ways of thinking about their own relationships.”

Evie Edington, an OHI Austin facilitator, has also observed how the unique bond between mother and child is enriched when the two share transformational time together.

“This experience can only bring you closer,” Evie said. “That heightened sense of love between mother and daughter is so sweet to witness. It really deepens a relationship when people come to a place where they feel safe being vulnerable and open.”

Amber Santa Cruz, OHI Austin Kitchen Manager, agrees that all who witness it are enriched by seeing the special love families share on their mutual journey to optimum health.

“We have been so fortunate to see so many mothers experience this program with their adult children,” Amber said. “It has such a beautiful ripple effect – benefitting the relationship of the two attending, the other guests, and even beyond the campus…it frequently leads me to call my own mom on the drive home.“

“It’s especially powerful to hold the space for a mother to witness dramatic physical change in their own son or daughter. We have had guests that wake up pain-free for the first time in years, and for a mother to see that happen for their child, to see them feel good again…no words can describe that feeling.”

Celebrate your mom, or your child, or a friend and share a life-changing week or two or three at OHI healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas.

Experience the energy boost and detoxifying benefits of an all organic, live, raw vegan lifestyle. Learn how to quiet the mind and rejuvenate the spirit. During your stay, our caring team will support your journey to optimum health and share the tools you need to continue the holistic healing lifestyle program at home. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325.

Why Raw Works

For those of you who have shared a week, or two, or three with us at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) missions in San Diego or Austin, Texas, you already know how great you can feel eating raw foods.

Providing you with a detoxifying diet of raw, organic, live fresh vegan meals has been a priority of OHI since day one. In the 40 years since, it’s not just the OHI community that realizes the benefits of eating raw – the growing popularity of the practice has raw foods restaurants, meet-ups, classes, TV shows, recipe books and discussion groups sprouting up everywhere.

Even many of the nation’s fast food joints are now offering vegetarian menu items, and most big box stores have added a fresh organic produce section.

People are experiencing for themselves how plant-based diets can help create and maintain healthy body weight, blood sugar and blood pressure. Shifting to a primarily raw vegan lifestyle means cutting out processed foods, so trans fats are immediately eliminated.

It’s the nutrient-dense raw foods that take center stage, filling you up and keeping your digestive tract humming with the rich fiber content of the vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds that fill your plate.

Perhaps you had your first taste of a fresh green smoothie at an OHI breakfast. More and more people are discovering the benefits of condensing their daily 4-6 servings of raw vegetables into a morning smoothie. It’s a delicious and quick way to get a concentrated boost of nutrients that can help power you through the day. Aim for a 70-30 mix of leafy greens to fruits to help regulate any sugar spikes.

While raw foods are working miracles inside your body, they’re also doing you big favors on the outside, too. Both kale and spinach are phytonutrient superstars that help keep skin firm by protecting it from the sun’s damaging rays. Spinach also improves skin elasticity with its beta-carotene and lutein-rich nutrients.

Raw berries aren’t just delicious – they pack a powerful antioxidant punch that helps knock out toxins before they can cause breakouts. The vitamin C in citrus helps create soft, velvety skin, and almond milk pours on the copper and manganese, which boost collagen production and also help protect the skin from the sun.

Experience the energy boost and detoxifying benefits of an all organic, live, raw vegan lifestyle during your visit to the OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. During your stay, our caring team will support your journey to optimum health and share the tools you need to continue the holistic healing lifestyle program at home. To learn more about OHI, visit our website at www.OptimumHealth.org. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 993-4325.

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