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.

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

How to Be Happy

Four Roadblocks to Your Happiness & How to Overcome Them

We’re now three weeks into the New Year. It’s time to reveal the one key resolution that, when kept, speeds you on your way to following through with every goal you set for yourself throughout 2018.

Be happy. That’s it. When you’re feeling positive and optimistic, you love and respect yourself. That self-love goes a long way towards making the best choices on your path towards optimum health in body, mind and spirit. It’s not just “feel-good” platitude. There’s concrete science to back up the transformative power of happiness.

Let’s break down four key roadblocks that can keep you from being, and staying, happier this year.

1) You’re feel guilty, or worried, or shamed.

The irony is, these non-beneficial thoughts trigger reward circuits in the brain. They also tend to stall you from taking positive steps forward. When any of these emotional saboteurs show up, shift into an attitude of gratitude. Feeling thankful for something boosts the same neurotransmitter dopamine that antidepressants do! An extra bonus – feeling grateful to your community of friends boosts activity in your brain’s social dopamine transmitters, making it even more pleasurable to spend time together. That makes EVERYONE happier!

2) You just feel “yucky.”

That’s OK. Acknowledge that feeling. In fact, the late neuroimmunologist Dr. Candace Pert called our emotions the link between our spiritual and physical bodies. If you DO try to deny your feelings, your limbic system can rebel, and give you all the physical symptoms of being out of balance – increased stress, rapid heart rate, flushed face – any of that. So, here’s the twist – instead of denying your emotions, label them. Annoyed? Bored? Impatient? Give those uncomfortable feelings a specific name. That simple process will activate your logical prefrontal cortex, tuning out the emotional amygdala reaction. We’re happy to hear that.

3) You can’t decide.

Take a deep breath. Focus on your intention. What’s your ultimate goal? Those simple tasks will reduce worry and anxiety by engaging that logical frontal cortex, so you can finally make that decision. Something to keep in mind – at Optimum Health Institute (OHI), in the classes preparing you to take the 21-day holistic healing program home, you learn the concept of “better than.” When you can’t stick with the program 100%, look at options that are “good enough.” The simple act of making a decision, even one that isn’t absolutely ideal, relieves stress, and lets you move closer to your goal. Moving past that state of limbo definitely makes you feel happier.

4) You feel lonely and rejected.

Those emotions mean it’s time to get back in touch. Literally. Our brains are hard-wired to need acceptance, validation and love from others, which includes physical touch. It’s part of our “tribe” mentality. In fact, feeling socially isolated or rejected can actually trigger physical pain impulses. Hugs are fantastic for bringing you back into a happier emotional state. If a hug doesn’t seem appropriate, even a handshake, or a quick pat on the back can produce a comforting feeling, causing less activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – the pain and worrying circuits. Five hugs a day for four weeks is a big boost to your happiness. Don’t have someone to hug? Get a massage.

And finally – go less “virtual” and more “reality.” Spending time with loved ones, or at least talking with them on the phone, boost the happiness-carrying brain chemicals. Texting? Nope. No uptick in those cortisol and oxytocin levels at all.

Something else that will increase your happiness level is getting a special deal on an extended stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Save on your consecutive 3-week or 2-week stay when you ask about January promotions. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Seven Essential Tips for Transformation in 2018

So we’re almost half-way through the first month of 2018. How are you doing with those resolutions? If your honest answer is, “Not so great,” here’s a suggestion. Instead of struggling to change a bad habit, try embracing some positive new ones. Scientific research has shown that’s a much easier and more practical way to go, and the odds are you’re very likely to succeed.

Here are more positive “Tips for Healing Transformation” to help you live an optimal life in body, mind and spirit in this New Year:

1. Surround yourself with happy, confident people who reflect your goals. When you desire to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle, for instance, but you spend every weekend with old friends who insist on going to the steak and ale house, it’s going to be nearly impossible to make a healthy change. Seek out friends who already reflect the positive new behaviors you’re striving to achieve in 2018.

2. Let go of things that are weighing you down to make space for different, more positive things to come into your life. This applies to everything; acquaintances who constantly demand that you participate in their dramas; clothes that haven’t fit for decades, limiting old ideas that keep you from going after your dreams. Let it go – and watch lots of good things show up for you.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be people who are smarter, richer, more attractive and so on. That’s great for them. But that has nothing to do with your unique gifts and perspective, and the special things that only you can bring to the world. There is NO other person like you! Embrace that, and watch your joy level soar.

4. Prioritize. Think about five things you really want to achieve. Whittle the list down to three that feel the most attainable and desirable. Now pick the one thing you’re ready to start working on TODAY.

5. Stay in the positive emotional state of already achieving what you desire to bring into your life. Enter into a deeply relaxed alpha state daily and imagine yourself already enjoying the optimally healthy and happy life you desire. Know you’re deserving of miracles. Staying emotionally receptive is an excellent way to set the miracles in motion.

6. Make your daily life less “virtual,” and more “reality.” Don’t text a friend to say ‘hi.’ Pick up the phone and call. Or better yet, lock in a specific time and place to get together, and leave your cell phone in the car! A virtual “Like” will never replace an actual hug. Being more present with family and friends is emotional tonic, and a sure way to feel better about yourself, and life in general.

7. Focus on Habits over resolutions. When we set up resolutions at the beginning of the year and focus on ‘not’ doing something we set ourselves up for failure. Instead take the time to build new habits in the New Year. Resolutions come and go, but habits help us become the individuals we strive to be!

The easiest, quickest way to surround yourself with positive, supportive people is to resolve to spend three weeks, or at least two, at an Optimum Health Institute mission in San Diego or Austin, Texas asap. Mention code “2018,” and save 10% on your consecutive 3-week stay in any best-available, single or double-occupancy room, or 5% off your entire 2-week stay. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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