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.

Laughter Therapy is no Joking Matter

laughing ladies

“Quotes found on the internet are not always accurate.”

                                             -Abraham Lincoln

Are you laughing at that?  Great!  You’re literally doing your body good.

An Optimum Health Institute (OHI) guest shared the story of how, when she was stricken with a brain aneurysm, despite her pain she was able to joke with her neurologist that she knew “It was all in her head.”  He later told her he was positive that the only reason she survived was because of her bizarre sense of humor.  By being able to laugh in the face of a life-threatening event, she could maintain a healthy balance in her body, mind and spirit, making her surgery and complete recovery come off without a hitch.

It’s a medically proven fact – laughter really is the best medicine.  A good laugh loosens up the whole body, relieving physical tension and stress and leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes.  It effectively massages the diaphragm, thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs and even the liver.

It boosts the immune system by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.  Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. That can mean less pain, and quicker healing times.

Laughter protects the heart by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow.  It’s not just a great tonic for individuals -- laughter brings groups together in a positive, fun way, resolving conflicts and energizing everyone while establishing a strong connection.  It’s the quickest way to bring your body, mind and spirit into healthy balance.

While documented evidence of using laughter to heal goes all the way back to the 13th century, in contemporary times, former Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins is credited with bringing the concept into mainstream consciousness.  According to the story, Mr. Cousins cured himself of a progressive illness with a self-invented regimen of laughter and vitamins.  His writings on the topic sparked interest in laughter therapy, and the funny idea took off.

The power of laughter to heal is now so respected that Laughter Yoga classes are gaining in popularity, and hospitals across the nation are incorporating both formal and informal laughter therapy into their therapeutic regimes.  Even the pentagon is using it to help military families, training “laugh leaders” to help families use laughter as a stress releaser. 

A funny thing about laughter therapy -- the brain can’t tell if we’re laughing for real or using “forced laughter,” where we intentionally start to make “ha-ha-ha” sounds and gradually turn up the intensity.  Whether we just watched a YouTube video of a cat chasing a bear up a tree, or we’re “faking” our laughter, our body immediately starts to squirt out the good chemicals that calm us down, lower that blood pressure, relax our muscles and all the other positive benefits a great belly laugh delivers.

When you regularly camp out with some favorite movie comedies, challenge the kids to a squirt gun battle or just intentionally make yourself laugh, you’re wisely including some very healing “funny business” in your life. 

Keeping your body, mind, and spirit in alignment is important for achieving good health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, and a lot of good laughs, visit Optimum Health Institute 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.

An Invitation to Experience OHI Austin

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OHI Austin offers an island of peace

Your 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.

Expand your stay and explore Austin the city upcoming events

Before or after your OHI experience, consider extending your stay in the Austin area. Austin has long been famous for its music festivals, and now for its events of all kinds.

  • Put your newfound health to the test at the 36th annual Statesman Capitol 10K race. Stride out with the nation’s top runners or go at a leisurely pace with not-so-serious participants.
  • The Old Settler’s Music Festival immerses you in the Central Texas woods. Enjoy a showcase of tried-and-true music that flows from deep American roots.
  • Austin is a destination city, so you can take advantage of special fares from major airlines like Southwest, United, Jet Blue and Virgin America.

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.

How to Pray – no Religion Required!


While you read this, take a moment to pause, take a deep breath, and feel the oxygen circulating into your lungs and throughout your body.  Now recall a recent moment you enjoyed with your family or close friends.  Feel the warmth of their companionship; perhaps the unexpected joy of sudden laughter, maybe a hug or a caring glance.  Finally, feel heart-centered gratitude for this happy memory.

Congratulations.  You just prayed.

If you ever silently asked for help during a challenge, or were overwhelmed at the beauty of a sunset, those count as prayers, too.  Even just saying “good bye” is from the old English blessing and prayer, “God be with ye.”  All sincere, spontaneous appeals for help, expressions of gratitude or feelings of awe are, pure and simple, prayers.

Contrary to what many tend to believe, prayer doesn’t have to be religious in nature.  It doesn’t have to follow a strict formula, be done in the presence of others or even, technically, be directed specifically to God.  Rather, true prayer is the sincere desire of the heart – and all true prayers are answered.

A practice called “The Law of Attraction,” which gained global prominence in the movie “The Secret,” is a form of prayer.  It consists of mindfully focusing on what you intend to bring into your life.  Even though this concept is taught in Judeo-Christian scripture, Native American beliefs and other spiritual disciplines, it doesn’t require any religious belief to do it effectively.  It just requires holding a specific intent in your consciousness, and imagining it already coming into being.

To pray is to consciously connect with a power greater than yourself, however you choose to conceptualize that power.  There’s a spiritual duality to prayer, because even as you go outside of yourself to link up to God, or Spirit, or Divine Love, you are simultaneously going deeper into yourself.

The Optimum Health Institute (OHI) teaches classes in how to reach an Alpha state, where you can tap into your sub conscious, or God Consciousness, depending on your spiritual orientation.  In quantum physics, this state of being is called the unified or quantum field, where everything, and everyone, are interconnected.

When you pray, you automatically link into this higher Alpha state, and influence your state of mind, which then influences your “state of body.”  Your body obediently responds by releasing stress and depression, causing you to breathe more deeply, lowering your blood pressure and helping you digest and sleep in a more balanced, healthy way.

The more you consciously enter into this Alpha prayer state, with or without the religious trappings, the more you start to create new mental habits, and subsequent new behaviors.  Studies have actually shown positive physical changes that help prevent mental illness in the brains of people who have prayed for a long period of time.

No matter what your spiritual orientation is, when your body, mind, and spirit are aligned, you can achieve optimum health. If you are looking for a holistic healing program, visit Optimum Health Institute 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.

Soaking Away Tension and Stress


Stress is a significant health problem for most adults, because stress is constantly building from the pressure of work, family, and other obligations. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time necessary to relieve this stress. There are both emotional and physical consequences of overloading oneself with stress, so it is important to learn to harness stress on a daily basis. Soaking in the bath is an excellent stress relief technique that you can utilize every day. It is important to start out your bath with dry brushing your skin.

History of the bathing ritual

Ancient civilizations of the east and west enjoyed baths because of their healing power and luxurious appeal. Bath houses existed in Rome, Japan, and Egypt, and these centers were extravagant structures where the rich and poor would gather to cleanse, socialize, and be entertained. Some bath houses were large enough to fit thousands of patrons, but they generally featured private rooms for more notable citizens. As societies continued to evolve, the bath became a fixture in the home, making baths a more private affair. However, there is still some semblance of ancient bath houses in today’s public saunas and hot tubs.

Physical and spiritual effects

Soaking in a bath heals in two ways. First, the warmth of the bath causes a physiological reaction in the body. The blood vessels dilate and increase circulation, which causes the muscles to relax. Deep tension can be released simply from a long soak in water just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. As your body relaxes physically, the chemical dopamine is released in the brain to give you a sensation of euphoria and help you let go of the emotional stresses in your life, enhancing your path for spiritual contemplation and connection. 

Enhancing the healing power of your bath

You can unlock more healing power from your soak by adding aromatic salts and oils  that trigger various reactions to help you feel energized, sleepy, sensual, or deeply relaxed. Floral and herbal oils tend to promote more calm sensations while brighter scents such as citrus fruit and juniper berry will excite your senses and wake you up.
The OHI store carries a great selection of essential oils that are perfect for adding to your bath. You can order by calling the OHI store at (888) 643-7867.

Soaking is only one of the many ways to heal yourself holistically. If you are interested in other healing strategies you can discover them through the holistic healing program at Optimum Health Institute. You will learn alongside other guests how to quiet the mind, awaken the spirit, and cleanse the body with prayer, meditation, raw food dieting, detoxing the body and exercise. You can find more details about the OHI program or by calling (800) 993-4325.

Ways to Create Happiness in Your Day


Happiness is an elusive trait that everyone seems to be after, but no one has a single solution on how to attain it—in part because happiness is perceived differently by each individual. However, there is more to consider when you are trying to create your own happiness and live with a smile on your face. Instead of tackling happiness as a large, singular goal, you can feel happier every day with simple techniques to bring you more joy.

Spend time with friends

People are social creatures, so embrace your desire to interact with others by making more time for your close friends and family. Even taking a short walk with a good friend every day can remind you of the more simple joys in life and help you let go of negative feelings and have an attitude of gratitude.

Do more of what you love

A great start in tapping into your bliss is taking note of the activities that help to make you smile. If you find that you love to prepare dinner for your family, try incorporating more cooking into your routine. If painting makes you feel happy, calm and at peace, then make sure to schedule time to enjoy this magical time. If singing along to your favorite tunes puts a smile on your face then sing everyday in the car on your way to work.

Relax with a bath

Relaxation is important to your happiness, because stress releases hormones that trigger emotions of anger or sadness. A warm bath with scented oils can ease your mind and relax your body so that you feel revitalized and ready to get back to your day or prepare you for a restful night of soothing sleep.

Start a garden

Give yourself a healthy dose of sunshine each day by starting a small garden to grow food or flowers in your home. The plants you grow will brighten up your environment, and the time spent outside can help you center yourself and experience with appreciation in the little things like the sound of birds chirping or the sight of a breathtaking sunset.

Savor your food

Meal times are another great part of the day to stimulate your positive emotions; eating actually triggers pleasure signals in the brain. When you take the time to savor each bite of your meals, you can enhance these pleasing feelings. This is particularly true if you prepare your own food from items you have grown in your garden and are eating fresh organic foods.

At Optimum Health Institute, we believe that happiness can be created with habits like these in addition to those that you will learn through our holistic healing program. This program is held over three week-long sessions, that may be taken independently or consecutively. To learn more, call OHI today at (800) 993-4325 or visit our website.

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