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.

Dry Brushing Your Skin

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Detoxifying your body is an important step in achieving holistic wellness, and there are several components of the detox process that you will need to become familiar with in order to take hold of your health. Along with a cleansing diet to detox the inside of the body, you can detox from the outside with the technique of dry brushing. This simple practice is relaxing, revitalizing, and helpful to the natural processes that cleanse the body. Here are some of the basics about dry brushing to get you started on this process at home:

  • Why do it? Dry brushing the skin helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for carrying toxins out of the body. When you wake up the skin through the process of dry brushing, the circulation of toxins between the lymph vessels speeds up. Therefore, toxins are removed from the body faster, so you feel less tired and get sick less often. An added benefit of dry brushing is exfoliation of dead skin cells, so the immediate result will be softer, smoother skin.
  • How is it done? The most important part of dry brushing is the direction of the brush strokes. You should brush in long strokes toward the heart, starting from the lower body and moving upwards. This motion will flow with the circulation of the lymphatic system. To dry brush, you should invest in a large brush with stiff bristles and a long handle. You can order brushes for dry brushing from the OHI Store by calling (888)643-7867.
  • When to do it? Brush just before showering when your skin is completely dry. You should apply just enough pressure to pull the skin slightly, but brushing should not hurt. If you have brushed correctly, you will notice that your skin is slightly pink but not overly irritated.

Explore even more ways to facilitate natural, invigorating healing by visiting Optimum Health Institute. The holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute consists of three-week-long sessions that can be taken consecutively or independently. The sessions interlock classes and activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines that promote healing of your body, mind, and spirit. Along with learning how to cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting, and exercise, guests learn how to quiet and focus the mind with journaling and meditation, plus renew and awaken their spirits with study, prayer, and celebration. To learn more about the OHI program, call (800) 993-4325 or visit www.optimumhealth.org.

Embracing Your Anger

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There’s a very cool T-shirt that reads, “Depression is Anger without the enthusiasm.”  That’s very funny, and also very, very true.

At the Optimum Health Institute (OHI), we teach guests that there are just two core emotions – positive, or love based, and negative, or fear based.  This fear is frequently expressed as anger.

Somewhere along the line, many of us, and most women, got the message that it just wasn’t OK or “ladylike” to feel or express anger.  “Nice” people never got angry – instead they would just swallow their emotions, compromising their desires, beliefs and goals, to keep everyone else happy and maintain a semblance of peace.

After decades of getting this message that “anger is wrong,” and trying to stifle this very honest and real emotion, what happens?  Yep – the T-shirt is right.  Depression sets in because it really is anger without the enthusiasm.

Depression isn’t the only potential fallout from unexpressed anger.  A recent study at Columbia University Medical Center shows unexpressed rage can also literally harm the heart.  Our feelings of anger set off our “flight-fight response,” which drives up heart and respiration rates and tightly squeezes blood vessels as our body gets ready to react decisively.  If we try to suppress that emotion, the body never gets the “release” of appropriately expressed anger, and our risk for heart disease is escalated.

Explosive, undirected spurts of anger can take the same toll on the heart as suppressing rage, so it’s important to learn to express your anger in appropriate ways.

Confronting the situation or person that triggered your anger is key, as is being able to have a discussion – even a rather heated one – about the issue in question.  Healthy resolution is not about fixing blame – it’s about getting back to that core emotion, and verbalizing what need of yours you fear is not being met.  This moderate expression of anger, research shows, can be both constructive and heart healthy.

Dr. Candace Pert, the pharmacologist and researcher who’s rewritten the medical books by proving every cell of our body has a separate consciousness, has seen other positive results from occasionally letting that anger inside of us explode.

She’s seen cancer patients who do not meekly accept their diagnosis, but rage against the disease attacking their body.  The same way a fever kills invading germs, she’s seen this expression of fury result in an almost immediate remission, as if the anger somehow burned out the cancer cells.

We need to understand it’s not the emotion of anger itself that’s wrong, but any inappropriate behavior that anger and fear might trigger.

When you feel your anger level start to creep upwards, instead of just swallowing it, try these steps:

  1. B-R-E-A-T-H-E!  Consciously taking a few deep breaths helps you stop and take a quick inventory of the situation.
  2. Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?”
  3. Know that your FEELINGS are neither right nor wrong. It’s the BEHAVIOR you choose to do as a result of your feelings that can be unproductive.
  4. At the core of all anger is a need you have that is not being fulfilled. Identify that need, and you can constructively express exactly what you want – whether it’s being listened to, getting rewarded for your contribution, being respected or just having your own space.

In our Emotional Detox class at OHI, we share the idea that “Holding anger and resentment towards another person is like me taking poison and hoping that someone else dies.”  It’s a funny thought with a lot of truth – and it’s also a great reminder to first own your anger, and then release it in an appropriate and constructive way.

When your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute. We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to learn more.

 

Chia Seeds

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To fully realize the benefits of a raw food diet, you should begin to explore some of the amazing qualities of seeds that are easily incorporated into all types of dishes. Seeds—whether consumed as such or in sprouted form—are packed with nutrients to sustain good health and keep you satisfied while you consume meals primarily consisting of fruits and vegetables. Chia seeds are among the healthiest seeds to supplement your raw food diet, and you should eat more of them if you are now being introduced to raw foods. Below are some details about chia seeds to help you see what you have been missing.

  • Origins: In the ancient Americas, chia seeds were a critical component of Aztec and Mayan diets, because they were readily available and highly nutritious. These small seeds were ground into flour or pressed for their oils and used in everyday cooking before European contact with the American continents. After this time, chia seeds were not consumed nearly as much, but they have been recently revived as a super food because of their high nutrient content.
  • Nutritional Value: Adding chia seeds to your diet will help you feel full much faster, because these tiny seeds absorb over 10 times their weight in water, making them a hearty additive during mealtime. While they fill you up, they will deliver a hefty amount of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium.
  • Taste and Uses: Chia seeds have a pleasing nutty flavor that lends itself well to both sweet and savory applications. They can be soaked in juice or water before eating, or they can simply be eaten raw. You might sprinkle them over your favorite raw dishes as an added bit of crunch and flavor, or you could grab a handful for a hearty and filling snack.

With Optimum Health Institute, you can fully realize the benefits of chia seeds and other components of a wholesome, raw diet by participating in our holistic healing programs. You can order chia seeds from the OHI Store by calling (888)-643-7867. The holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute consists of three-week-long sessions that can be taken consecutively or independently. The sessions interlock classes and activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines that promote healing of your body, mind, and spirit. Along with learning how to cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting, and exercise, guests learn how to quiet and focus the mind with journaling and meditation, plus renew and awaken their spirits with study, prayer, and celebration. To learn more about the OHI program, call (800) 993-4325 or visit www.optimumhealth.org.

Setting Prayers in Motion

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Sunrise.  Sunset.  Seasons.  Tides.  Planting.  The Rains.  Harvest.

The Earth has a sacred rhythm that flows through all of creation, including each of us.  The further removed we are from the rhythms and flow of Earth’s energy, the more out of balance we become.  The more connected we feel to this flow, this divine heartbeat of life, the closer we become to God.

That’s why moving meditations, where we’re consciously breathing and directing our bodies in rhythm with our mind and spirit, are an ancient and powerful method of prayer in cultures around the world.  These moving prayers anchor us to the Earth, and set our Chi, or life energy, in synergistic motion with the planet.

One example of prayers in motion is the Native American powwow.  The heart-beat rhythm of the drum calls to the dancers, and their silver jewelry sparkles in the sunlight as they move in unison around the arena, holding feather fans against their beaded tunics. The women and men stomp, weave and turn in perfect rhythm to the same traditional songs their ancestors did.

This timeless gathering of Native Americans is not a “dance” – rather it’s prayer in motion, a moving meditation to celebrate the Earth and express gratitude to the Creator for their many blessings.

Another example of moving meditation as a spiritual observances is the Sufi Whirling Dervish dance, started by devotees of the Persian poet and theologian Rumi.

The ancient practices of yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are all about specific stretches and moves to circulate Chi throughout the body, and mindful breathing to align body, mind and spirit in a meditative state.

Since the Renaissance, churches and cathedrals have frequently included labyrinths laid into the floor to provide a pattern for priests and parishioners to walk along in a prayerful state.  This, and all the other types of moving meditation, can facilitate the user entering more quickly into a contemplative alpha state.

We at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) believe prayer is one of the most important spiritual disciplines we can practice. Whether it’s gathered with others in a circle before mealtimes, or cloistered in your own thoughts as you have a private conversation with God, or a moving meditation, like a contemplative walk around the grounds or an exercise class – all these forms of prayer and meditation deepen your connection to God.

In fact, any time you start to lose your sense of the rhythms of the Earth, do your mindful breathing, and start putting your prayers in motion.  It’s a time-honored, sacred way to get back into balance, and renew your connection to God.

When your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, in San Diego or Austin, visit Optimum Health Institute.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to learn more.

Chew Your Food

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As you take control of your health naturally, you will probably begin to pay more attention to the foods you consume and the effects they have on your body. While this is crucial to your health, it is not the only step you should take in making dietary changes. When you change the foods you eat, you should also change the way that you eat them. More specifically, you should be sure to chew your food thoroughly so that you support good digestion.

Are you chewing properly?

Naturally, you are used to chewing your food, but there is a proper way of doing so that can benefit your whole body. Chewing is where your body begins to process and digest food, so this step should not be taken lightly when you sit down for a meal. Chew slowly and do so multiple times, studies have shown it is beneficial to chew somewhere between 30-40 times. If you set down your eating utensil between each bite, you will be more conscious of the speed at which you are eating and will force yourself to go slowly. All foods should be chewed this way for a better eating experience.

Why take the time?

When you chew your food correctly, it will take you longer to eat a meal or snack. You should consider this time a wise investment, because there are many benefits that come along with a conscious effort of better chewing. First, you will have the immediate reward of completely tasting your food. You can savor every bite and get the full flavor experience of everything you consume. This will make you more aware of what exactly you are eating and slow you down so that you do not overeat. Chewing thoroughly also breaks down your food more before it reaches your stomach, meaning that your digestive system has to do less work to get full nutrients from the food you eat. This will result in greater comfort after eating, along with an overall sense of general wellness.

At Optimum Health Institute, we will help guide you through the proper steps to take in eating and preparing food so that you get the most out of a vibrant raw diet to cleanse your body. The holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute consists of three-week-long sessions that can be taken consecutively or independently. The sessions interlock classes and activities drawn from 24 ancient spiritual disciplines that promote healing of your body, mind, and spirit. Along with learning how to cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting, and exercise, guests learn how to quiet and focus the mind with journaling and meditation, plus renew and awaken their spirits with study, prayer, and celebration. To learn more about the OHI program, call (800) 993-4325 or visit www.optimumhealth.org.

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