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.

Springtime at OHI Austin-Don't Miss It!

Dare to be dazzled

Springtime in Austin declares the spirit of renewal with wild exuberance. As you travel through the Texas countryside to your Optimum Health Institute healing retreat, the bright but delicate blooms of up to 5,000 species of wildflowers will dazzle you with a rainbow of colors.

Feast your eyes

The Texas Transportation Department sprinkles more than 30,000 pounds of seeds annually to ensure that the countryside is filled with a flowery feast for your eyes. In anticipation, enjoy photos of Firewheel, Crimson Clover, Winecup, Bluebonnet – the Texas State flower – and more.

Try Austin – and extend your healing

If you have stayed with us at OHI San Diego, you developed life-changing habits and achieved peace. Now you can deepen this experience in a smaller community, in daily contact with a caring staff and with more options for quiet time or contemplation while still interacting with other guests.

Reawaken the connections of body, mind and spirit

When you arrive at OHI Austin, the clean spring air will invigorate you, naturally elevating your mood with the fragrance and feel of nature’s renewal season. You’ll unwind from the cares of the world as you reflect and free your mind in our outdoor meditation areas. Closing your eyes as you rest on one of many outdoor benches, you’ll invite God to develop new patterns of body, mind, and spirit connections that will refresh and strengthen you from the inside out.

our OHI Austin experience will provide a safe and sacred place where you can escape your busy world and embrace peace and serenity. Leisurely strolls along our 1.5-mile, beautifully landscaped pathways invite you to meditate and center yourself. Concerns and stress will float away in our tranquil outdoor pool. The massaging flow of our hot tub will relax you while the warm water calms and helps restore your body, mind, and spirit.

Feel yourself winding down as the sun sets
As the daylight grows dim, you can spend alone-time or community in our inviting and inspiring Great Hall. You’ll dine on delicious fresh certified-organic raw food meals poolside or in our cozy dining room. At day’s end, you can retreat to your comfortable room to journal, read, meditate or sleep. OHI Austin is restorative, restful and life changing.

A Special Invitation to our

OHI San Diego Community

Visit OHI Austin and SAVE $200 on your room plus get 2 free colonics - a value of $400!

Experience OHI Austin with some Texas-sized savings! For stays the week beginning April 15 , through week beginning June 6, 2018, OHI is inviting our San Diego community members to experience our OHI Austin mission, with an easy way to save and gain optimum health:

Availability is Limited
CALL Now for Details

(800) 993-4325

Our OHI Austin staff is looking forward to meeting you and sharing with you the OHI holistic healing program with Texas hospitality. For more information visit our website then call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Science Agrees - Community Has Healing Power

It’s a beautiful transformational scenario that plays out at Optimum Health Institute (OHI) holistic healing retreats in San Diego and Austin on a daily basis. Guests, many facing significant health opportunities, arrive for the first time feeling anxious and rather isolated. They are immediately greeted warmly, and assigned an “OHI Buddy” to help orient them and answer questions. Before their first plant-based raw organic meal, they gather in a circle with other guests to share a few moments of spiritual fellowship and inspiration. In the dining room, they are immediately drawn into supportive and validating conversations with others.

Strong Bonds

Strangers become friends, and all are enveloped in the accepting, non-judgmental OHI community that supports and encourages them through each moment of their 21-day stay. During classes like Food Combining, Self Esteem and Conscious Breathing, guests assist and reassure each other, sharing their fears, their hopes and their laughter. Strong bonds are formed, and many coordinate return visits so they can enjoy “reunions” while rededicating themselves to strive for optimum health in body, mind and spirit. This community-building dynamic that has been at the heart of OHI since day one is now being corroborated by scientific research. Clinical studies show the validating experience of being accepted into a group of positive, like-minded people can set significant healing transformations into motion.

“Humans are wired for connection with others,” says Matthew Lieberman, UCLA professor of psychiatry and biobehaviorial science. “Life does not usually go well when we try to live it on our own. Oftentimes, when we face a problem or crisis, we feel as if we can and should handle it by ourselves, but it’s the opposite. We need to handle it with the help of others, even if only with one person.” 1 Dr. Lieberman is one of the founders of social cognitive neuroscience, a discipline analyzing how brain function underlies social thinking and social behavior.

Dr. Dean Ornish Says...

This healing power of community has such a profound and measurable influence that cardiologist Dean Ornish writes in his book Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy, “I am not aware of any other factor in medicine – not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery – that has a greater impact on our quality of life or incidence of illness. Anything that promotes a sense of isolation often leads to illness and suffering, while that which promotes a sense of love and intimacy, connection and community, is healing.” 2

One thing OHI guests mention repeatedly is how their interaction with others facing similar opportunities gives them strength and hope. Instead of feeling alone, they experience a powerful connection with others whether they’re on the same path or not. They can develop a sense of accountability to each other, which helps them collectively stick to their goals.

Hard Wired to Help

The cooperative dynamic that compassion for others helps the person providing assistance is also supported in clinical research. Dr. Sara Konrath, a faculty member of the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the University of Michigan, writes, “Social connections can be good for us. We are hard-wired for face-to-face contact that includes lots of touch, eye contact, and smiles. Such interactions release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps us to bond and care for others, and also helps us to handle stress better.” 3

Experience the healing power of community during an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Save throughout the month of February when you mention promotional code SELFLOVE when booking your 2 or 3-week stay. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

1. Matthew Lieberman, PhD, Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect, Crown Publishers, 2013.

2. Dean Ornish, MD, Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy, William Morrow Paperbacks, 1999.

3. Sara Konrath, PhD,, Copyright 2013. See: http://www.

OHI Guests Prospective: Lynne Haaland

Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things

Optimum Health Institute developed a healing community over its 40+ year history. One that has relied on word of mouth to spread the message of our healing mission. This Spring we are featuring the story of Lynne Haaland an OHI guest for 20 years and founder of, a website that connects brands with social media influencers. It is no coincidence that Lynne had a tremendous influence on sharing OHI’s message to others. She is a true connector in the sense that she brings people together in a way that very few people can.

Lynne’s first visit to OHI was in the late 70’s at the age of 18. OHI has been a key fixture in her life ever since. We sat down with Lynne to learn more of her history with OHI, the importance of a ‘reset’ from the perspective of a successful entrepreneur, and her kinship with the next generation of OHI devotees.

Your first visit to OHI was 20 years ago, what keeps you coming back?

I’ll start by saying that it’s an honor to be participating in this feature. Moreover, I have incredible gratitude to my mother for exposing me to OHI at the young age of 12. She was years ahead of her time, advocating clean and healthy living way back in the 70’s.

OHI has been an ongoing staple throughout my entire life; it has provided me with a 'toolkit' for success. I keep returning because it’s such a special program – and it works! There’s no place like it on earth, and it’s why people travel from all over the globe to come here.

Many professional women such as yourself visit OHI to ‘reset’, what does ‘reset’ mean to you and how has it evolved over the years?

I define “reset” as having my rhythms back on pace. I feel revitalized and reinvigorated with an abundance of life - on a cellular level. My skin is glowing, energy levels are up, and my mind is calm. I realize how toxic I had become since the last visit.

My goal on every visit is to is to follow the program as close to 100% as possible. I encourage others to do the same. By embracing all aspects of the program, you will achieve life-altering results.

Old habits, thought patterns and practices take time to unlearn. By surrounding myself with positive things, people, and places like OHI -- my thoughts and my energy balance are also reset.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

On the importance of health, wellness and ‘the reset’? The first thing I would say is: ‘Great job getting to OHI so young at 18, Lynne …and next time, attend all the classes!’ Back then I thought, ‘Ah well.. I’m young, the mere fact I’m here, eating this weird food is enough.’ Years later, I realized you get out of the program what you put into it. You must live and breathe it every day!

Finally – I’d say to me, or any others at 18…“You get ONE body, and how you treat it hourly, daily, weekly, monthly -- will make all the difference down the road – trust me.”

Do you feel a sense of sisterhood for millennial women who seek to heal?

Humbly said, I think I’ve become a walking testimony and a sort of leader of this movement. Despite being guided early with wheatgrass shots at 12 years old, it was nearly impossible to find organic, healthy food anywhere.

When I explain OHI and the methodologies, which to most may seem odd, I walk them through the “logic” of why they need to detox their bodies, colons, etc. and then I witness them having that “Ah ha” moment. These people then become very excited and want to come to OHI, and or begin changing their lifestyles, immediately.

This is attracting the community or sisterhood towards those, like myself, who have the knowledge, and likewise, I gain a sense of helping others to improve their life, which in turn, gives me profound joy.

Any closing thoughts?

I find it encouraging, providing a wonderful sense of support, when I return to see familiar faces, such as Peg , Dan, and others -- some that were here in 1988! Thank you to all the courageous and giving people I’ve met at OHI over the years. To the founders and leaders for their teachings, and for always staying true to OHI’s principles. Finally, to the Creator of all…I am immensely grateful.

Stacy Potter - A Remarkable Woman Doing Remarkable Things

Frequent OHI San Diego guest Stacy Potter has known ‘how to serve’ from her youth. She won the National Collegiate Singles Tennis Title her freshman year at USC, then captured the National Collegiate Team championship the next year. She went pro for a decade, competing in 25 Grand Slam Championships, including eight at Wimbledon, 11 at the U.S. Open, and six at the French Open.

Stacy played mixed doubles with John McEnroe in 1978, and competed in a Battle of the Sexes with Kate Latham against Bobby Riggs and Pancho Segura in 1983. Besides reaching a singles tennis ranking of 18 th in the world, Stacy collected numerous honors including the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the Beverly Hills High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

As stellar as her professional career has been, it is a single facet of her fascinating journey before discovering OHI in 2000. Stacy earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology, and is a certified health coach helping people across the country make smart nutritional and exercise choices while they manage stress. She and her husband also operate Trails by Potter, a hiking, biking and rock climbing service throughout the Ojai Valley and Ventura, California.

Despite a lifetime of achieving and maintaining top physical form, it was a health opportunity that brought her to OHI. She had read an article about the retreat years earlier, and thought at the time she’d like to try it. When Stacy started training for a tennis tournament in 2000, years after her retirement from the professional tennis circuit and against her better judgment, she ended up with a debilitating case of tendonitis in her foot. Through the pain, she suddenly remembered OHI, and immediately booked a one-week stay.

“I remember limping into OHI that Sunday,” Stacy said. “I was in agony! But by the end of that week, I experienced a miracle. I had absolutely no pain, and I was able to play an hour of tennis the day after I got back home.”

Stacy said she arrived with an open mind – she didn’t know exactly what to expect, but she was eager to try all of it. ALMOST all of it.

“When my roommate and I were in the first week class learning about Es & Is, we whispered to each other that was the ONE thing we wouldn’t do,” Stacy said. “But our teacher was very strict, and everyone knew it wasn’t a question – we WERE going to do this!”

Since that first visit, Stacy has booked several stays at OHI every year, and has experienced all three weeks of the 21-day holistic healing program many times over.

“Some big breakthrough always happens each time,” Stacy said, “and I’m always fascinated to see what’s going to be revealed. I’ll get an idea for my coaching business. Or I’ll rearrange furniture at home for better Feng Shui. Something always is healed. Maybe not the thing you THINK you’re there for – but it’s always the thing you most need. It’s like you’re falling back onto a soft bed of pillows. Everyone is vulnerable, and we look out for each other. We’ll come back the same weeks for mini-reunions.”

Stacy said the biggest change she’s noticed through the years is how being an active part of the OHI community has opened her up physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

“I have the courage to go outside the box at OHI, particularly in the talent shows,” Stacy said. During her most recent visit, she was particularly interested in developing healthier sleep habits. “For the talent show Friday night,” Stacy said, “I read a very personal letter I wrote to sleep, as if I was in a challenging relationship with it. SO many people came up to me afterwards thanking me, including an OHI staff member who was only able to sleep about four hours a night. People appreciated my vulnerability, and said the letter helped them create a healthier relationship with their own sleep habits.” Stacy, by the way, is now sleeping soundly.

Experience your own transformational breakthroughs, and meet other remarkable women and men during an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Save throughout the month of February when you mention promotional code Valentine$175. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Journaling Your Way to Optimum Health

Sometimes a hurt is so deep, so traumatic, that you can’t even talk about it. It can fester inside of you for decades as an open wound, causing you pain on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

Thankfully, research is proving that the pen can be a mighty weapon in healing that debilitating ache. Journaling about the reason for your hurt for 15-20 minutes a day, over four consecutive days, can help relieve stress and lessen the emotional charge of the incident, making way for serenity and peace. Multiple studies have shown that the practice, labeled “expressive writing,” has measurable results in providing benefits for the body, too.

By mindfully writing about specific traumas, or any deep emotional issues you have experienced, physical transformations can start to manifest. Your immune system receives a boost as your body increases production of T cells, which destroy infected or malignant cells; stress levels and blood pressure go down; asthma and arthritis symptoms are reduced, and liver function, mood and memory are improved.

Clinical studies show numerous longer-term physical benefits for the body, mind, emotions and spirit as well. Participants reported fewer doctor’s visits for illness, reduced depression, a greater feeling of well-being and shorter hospital stays. Journaling even seems to strengthen ties to one’s community by improving the way people interact with others.

Expressive writing is a key component of the Mental Detoxification class at the Optimum Health Institute retreats in San Diego and Austin, Texas. During the 21-day holistic healing program, guests are encouraged to resolve painful issues using an effective combination of meditation and journaling. After asking for Divine support and guidance, guests enter into a relaxed alpha state. From that space of mental clarity, they first journal about the negative experience from their own perspective. They write about the incident again from the opposite point of view. Finally, they record the experience a third time, now taking a neutral perspective. By examining past hurts in such a focused and mindful practice over the course of several days, true healing can begin.

During OHI’s 3-week holistic healing program, expect dramatic transformations in body, mind and spirit while detoxifying with a plant-based raw organic diet, taking classes like pain control, emotional detoxification and organic gardening, and sharing in spiritual fellowship with other God-centered people. Book your stay today, and ask about special promotions when you call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation. Visit our website at

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