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.

The Holiday Spirit is Alive at OHI

OHI is always a special place, but during the holiday season it gets an extra touch of warmth and cheer. The campuses in Austin and San Diego are brought to joyful life with festive poinsettias, towering Christmas trees, thousands of twinkling white lights, and countless inviting reminders of the love, compassion and fellowship that make the holidays such a wonderful time of year.

In much of the country, the holiday season has become a time of stress and aggravation, rather than a time of relaxation and reflection. From the overwhelming emphasis on commercialism, the hassles of holiday travel, and perhaps uncomfortable family gatherings, the true spirit of this magical season can get lost in the fray. But at OHI, it is still very much alive and well—and not just because of the festive decorations.

The holidays are a time for connection, generosity and warmhearted compassion. And that’s exactly what the OHI experience is all about. It’s a place to get away from the commercialism and stress that now drive and underlie the contemporary holiday experience. It’s a place to truly reflect on what it means to love oneself and our fellow human beings. And it’s a place to heal, rejuvenate and revive body, mind and spirit in an environment of love and acceptance.

Perhaps that’s why so many members of the OHI community choose to return for the holidays year in and year out. In fact, roughly 75 percent of OHI’s guests during Christmas time are returning members of the OHI community.

People return to OHI for a number of different reasons. But whether they are suffering from life-threatening health issues, or simply looking for a place to calm the mind and cleanse the body, they all find the same warmth, gratitude and spiritual fortification that makes OHI the perfect retreat from the pressures of the hectic holiday season.

OHI offers a holiday experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to detoxify your body with clean, healthy and delicious holiday meals, while learning to quiet your mind through meditation and nourish your spirit with honest reflection, prayer and generous sharing with your fellow OHI community members. If you’re looking for a place that truly captures the spirit of the holidays, inside and out, this is it.

You’ll be able to boost your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health with a holiday stay at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI). In beautifully landscaped settings designed to promote feelings of serenity, contentment and renewal, our missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas, will share the tools to help you achieve and maintain optimal health. Our caring team creates a safe space for transformation while also celebrating the season. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Sweating the Small Stuff

There’s a popular axiom, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” When Kimberly Garner arrived at Optimum Health Institute (OHI), her body was so out of balance with autonomic dysfunction that she had completely lost the ability to sweat. Her physical symptoms included dry eyes, mouth, skin and hair, along with a painful tooth. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually, Kimberly was at the end of her rope. A flight attendant for 33 years, the single mom of two college student sons was exhausted, depressed, and not wanting to live with the debilitating fatigue. She was in bed about 20 hours a day.

Just when she was sure she couldn’t bear any more, she very clearly heard God’s voice say, “I have an abundant life for you!”

Kimberly immediately called OHI – friends had told her about the institute – and booked a week’s stay with financial help from her father. She was there the very next morning. After she greeted a few other guests, she went right to bed.

The next morning she drank a shot of wheatgrass juice, went to the stretching class, and then crawled back into bed. That wheatgrass seemed to flip on a switch inside of her body, mind and spirit. Tuesday she attended all the classes, soaking up encouragement and compassion from guests and facilitators. She completely dedicated herself to absorbing all the information she could.

The lights really came on for her in Peg’s Focus class, where Kimberly clearly saw in her pie chart she had no healing time to focus on herself. For decades, in both her personal and professional life, she was completely focused on doing everything for everyone else. She knew she needed what OHI offered – not just nutrition detoxification, but time for deep emotional, mental and spiritual self-care.

OHI’s community has a heart-centered and loving desire to express validation and support, and that fellowship, Kimberly says, was such an important part of her healing. She eagerly soaked up the encouragement and new friendships, finding that hearing others’ stories, and sharing her own, were a divine tonic for her aching body, mind and spirit.

At the end of her first week, when she was offered an OHI Scholarship to complete the 21-day program, Kimberly was overcome with gratitude and emotion. For the first time in years, she started feeling empowered, valued and happy.

One of the funniest moments of her OHI stay happened in the middle of a class during her second week. Kimberly was focused intently on the information the facilitator was sharing with the others when she made an exhilarating realization. “I’m starting to sweat!” she screamed, and her friends were thrilled for her. After years of dysfunction, her body’s nervous system was coming back into a healthy balance, and her sweat glands were working again. “Sweating the small stuff” was dramatic physical proof that Kimberly was well on her way to regaining optimum health.

These days, she continues to improve dramatically on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. She credits OHI with giving her the tools to reclaim a healed and happy life. She is deeply grateful for the generosity of the OHI community, which funded the OHI Scholarship that gave her a second chance for a fulfilling, joyful and healthy abundant life.

In this season of generosity and gratitude, help another deserving person receive the tools they need to create a happy, healthy balance in body, mind and spirit. Contribute to the OHI Scholarship fund through purchases at the OHI Store, buying proprietary OHI products like the OHI for life ® organic skin care line, or making a tax-deductible donation.

Help transform the life of someone else, or do some serious, loving self-care with your own extended visit to the OHI holistic health missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration to detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit in a safe space of compassion and beauty. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to contribute a donation, or make your reservation.

Your Generosity Has Healing Power

You have changed people’s lives for the good.

It’s officially the season to give thanks for our many blessings. The Optimum Health Institute (OHI) wishes to extend a deeply personal and heart-felt thanks to all of the the members of our growing OHI community, for their compassionate and generous support of the OHI Scholarship Fund.

We were able to provide 77 scholarships so far this year, empowering recipients to learn and practice the skills necessary for changing their lifestyles, and making substantial and sustainable progress on their path to optimum health.

In the words of a successful business woman who suddenly found herself nearly destitute and in constant pain from health opportunities, her scholarship left her “overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers,” and she now has “a jump start on my health and so many tools to use to get back on track.”

With the gift of an OHI Scholarship, and then three months as an OHI Missionary, a lovely young woman faced her health opportunity of being diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized tumor on her ovary with patience, persistence, perseverance and prayer. She is now the happy mom of a beautiful daughter – something she always wanted, but was afraid she would never be able to experience.

One gentleman was a spirited 80 years young when he arrived at OHI, newly diagnosed with liver and lung cancer, and given just two months to live. He and his wife of 50 years had rafted every river in the nation except for the Mississippi. He hoped an OHI stay could give him the strength, and a little extra time, to create one more joyful memory for his wife and family. After an OHI Scholarship of two additional weeks, the man felt better than he had in the past 30 years. He not only had one more rafting adventure – he continued to live a vibrant, joy-filled life for many more months.

Here are some actual comments from OHI Scholarship recipients:

  • “Seeing the change in each other is what’s amazing. Each day we look healthier and friendlier!”
  • “Everything unfolding here for me is such a miracle.”
  • “This place is love in all its forms, and love heals. I feel extraordinarily lucky.”
  • “I feel lovingly launched into the life I want to lead. God led me here.”

The founders were always committed to making a healing stay at OHI a reality for as many people as possible, and that generous spirit gradually evolved into the formal OHI Scholarship Fund. Deserving people who desire to experience the complete 21-day holistic healing program, but don’t have the financial means to do so, might be eligible for financial assistance. Purchases at the OHI Store, sales of proprietary OHI products like the OHI for life ® organic skin care products, donations from the Free Sacred Trinity Church and tax-deductible donations from contributors like you funded as many as 122 scholarships annually. Our vision is to double that number, which is possible with your continued compassionate assistance.

Help transform the life of someone else, or do some serious, loving self-care with your own extended visit to the OHI holistic health missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration to detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to contribute a donation, or make your reservation.

The Healing Power of Gratitude

Gratitude is such an important part of our culture that it has its own national day of observance. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November, after harvest, would be set aside as a time for "Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

While it’s a traditional time for families and friends to gather together and count their blessings, Thanksgiving is also such a powerfully healing experience for us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

When we experience gratitude, our bodies quickly respond in many positive ways. We immediately feel increased vitality and energy, while our blood pressure significantly decreases. Expressing thanks boosts our immune system. We experience less physical pain. We’re even able to fall into a deeper, longer, more restorative sleep more quickly.

On the mental level, giving thanks makes us more effective at our jobs. Our decision-making and productivity skills improve, we network more effectively, and we become better managers. A consistent ‘attitude of gratitude’ makes it much easier for us to get mentors and protégés, helping us achieve our career goals while simultaneously making our workplace a friendlier, more engaging place.

Emotionally speaking, when we feel gratitude, we feel less stress and depression. Keeping a gratitude journal, and writing just five minutes a day, boosts our long-term well-being by more than 10%. That’s the same jump we would get from a 100% pay raise! When we’re feeling thankful, we’re a lot more likable, which means we’ll deepen existing relationships and friendships, and make more new ones.

In a spiritual sense, gratitude enriches our personal connection to God while making us less self-centered and materialistic. We’re happier, much more optimistic, and more able to see the good in others, and the deeper divine meaning in all things.

Let’s all continue to cherish our nation’s traditional day of Thanksgiving, and also keep that healing spirit of gratitude going all year long. Start a gratitude journal. Thank others for specific things they’ve done that have made such a positive difference in your life. Write a note to a favorite teacher, or let an aunt know her gift of crayons decades ago was what launched you on a career in art. Expressing your gratitude not only benefits you, but reminds others that their kindness had great meaning and purpose. It’s a win-win situation that can easily become a year-long adventure in happiness for everyone involved.

Express gratitude for a healthier body, mind and spirit while spending a week, or two, or ideally three, at the Optimum Health Institute holistic health missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration to detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Keeping the Peace During the Holidays

Ahhh, the holidays! The time for reconnecting multi-generations of families, sitting down together to enjoy a great meal and fellowship, reminiscing about the happy times, and – all too frequently – drama! No matter how independent and individually successful everyone may have become when family members gather once or twice a year, old conflicts, resentments, and injustices, real and imagined, can come back with a vengeance.

Here are some ideas for heading off any unpleasantness at the pass, before a hurtful word can be uttered:

1) Forgive everyone everything, and take back your power. This is definitely not about condoning any wrongdoing – but it is shifting your focus and lessening the emotional charge of whatever transpired years or decades ago. Choose instead to see the incident as a spiritual awareness opportunity – in retrospect, what did you learn from that event or behavior? Maybe you clearly saw how NOT to treat a child. Or you learned that you are stronger and more independent than you previously knew. Look for the lesson, and you lessen the hurt, and start to regain a healthier, more positive sense of self.

2) Mind your words. Rumi, the 13 th-century Persian poet, spoke about how our words must pass through three gates. The first gate; is it true? The second; is it necessary? And the third and final gate; is it kind? Mentally check to see if what you’re about to say to the group goes through all three gates before you share.

3) Take it outside. In other words, break up old unhealthy routines that end up with everyone parked in front of the TV by inviting the family to join you on a walk through the local park, or arboretum, or hiking trail. The change of scenery will be good for everyone, and scientific studies confirm being in nature, even for just 10 minutes a day, significantly decreases stress levels, lowers blood pressure, and boosts the immune system. Besides, it’s hard to argue when you’re enjoying the beautiful scenery.

4) Recreate a few old family photos. This will take some advance planning, but it’s a fantastic way to bring people together, reminisce about the good old days, and make some fun new family memories.

5) Volunteer. Find out in advance about opportunities to help others in your city through websites like volunteermatch.org. Volunteering doesn’t only help the people receiving assistance – those donating their time and enthusiasm also reap rewards in feeling good and doing something meaningful. Volunteering as a group could turn out to be a great new family tradition, too.

6) You can’t be angry and grateful at the same time. There are two main emotions in the world – love and fear. Because they are opposites, they cannot exist in the mind simultaneously. That means when you begin to experience an emotion coming from the “fear” part of the equation, like anger, worry, or being offended, you can quickly cancel it out by making yourself find something, ANYTHING, for which you can feel authentic gratitude. Even thinking, “I am grateful that I will soon be returning home” works beautifully, and immediately, to keep you mentally and spiritually in balance during the toughest of family reunions.

Start a new holiday tradition this year by spending a week, or two, or ideally three, at the Optimum Health Institute holistic health missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing. Our caring team will give you the tools, encouragement and inspiration to detoxify your body, quiet your mind and rejuvenate your spirit while you are surrounded in serene beauty. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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