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.

How Color, Music and Nature Heal Emotions

When visiting a friend’s home, a woman noticed the friend’s 9-year-old son seemed a bit gloomy. “Do you have a bright red t-shirt you could wear instead of that navy blue one?” she asked the boy. He retreated to his room and soon bounced back up to her, enthusiastically sporting his scarlet shirt. Instantly, his entire mood and energy level had changed.

Color is just one of the external factors that can have a definite impact on our emotional state. Bright, warm colors, like red, yellow and orange, can energize us and make us feel more creative, enthusiastic and happy. Soothing cooler colors like green, blue and purple induce feelings of optimism and peace. To quickly quiet down rowdy prisoners, jails frequently paint a holding cell in “Drunk Tank Pink,” a Pepto-Bismol-like color that actually calms violent or rowdy offenders in minutes.

Music also has the power to immediately change how we feel. It can be used to create a feeling of dread or tension when it’s used in the soundtrack to a horror movie. Calmer music helps us release stress and can even lead us into a relaxed, healing Alpha state. Music helps us improve our memory, and boost our immune system. Hospitals using integrative wellness techniques will frequently have a harpist or pianist playing gentle music while people are receiving various treatments.

Drumming has been shown to be an effective therapy for people dealing with PTSD. The physical sensation of slapping the head of the drum, combined with the deep tone produced, relieves stress and helps people feel more centered. It may seem hard to believe, but even heavy metal music can induce a peaceful mental state. Scientists have found a pounding beat and blaring guitar riffs can actually be a catharsis and help us burn off negative emotions like depression and anger.

Nature has a profound, healing impact on our emotions. A short walk outdoors can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and create a feeling of serenity and peace. The emotional connection is so strong that hospital patients who have a glimpse of trees outside their window heal quicker, need less pain medication, and are discharged up to two days earlier than those who can’t see nature from their beds. Bringing some of nature’s beauty inside, like cut flowers or a potted plant, can be an instant mood booster.

Let the beauty, serenity, delicious food and compassionate people at OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas reinforce positive emotions during your one, two or three-week stay. Take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special offers through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Freedom to Make Healthy Choices

It was 200 years after the Declaration of Independence recognized our rights to “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that Optimum Health Institute (OHI) was launched. As we continue our celebration of “40 Years of Holistic Healing,” we mark this 4 th of July by recognizing our right to declare our independence from harmful old habits, and embrace our freedom to pursue optimum health.

Here are some mindful ways to transition into a healthier, happier lifestyle:

  1. Breathe! – When you catch yourself falling into an old unwanted habit, stop and take three deep, mindful breaths. You will instantly refocus your mind and break the old pattern.
  1. Watch your words – Things your conscious mind says are immediately taken literally by your subconscious mind. Choose empowering, constructive language to motivate yourself and inspire positive action.
  1. Break state physically – Take a deep breath and raise your arms high over your head on the inhale, then bring your arms back to your sides on the exhale. Stretching brings you back into conscious awareness of what your body is doing, and helps you regain control over a bad habit.
  1. Be grateful – Instead of reaching for a sugary treat or a cigarette, stop, breathe, and think of something for which you are grateful. Close friends, loving family, this beautiful day – shifting your consciousness into a state of gratitude effectively diverts your attention away from the old harmful behavior.
  1. Celebrate victories – After you’ve declared your independence from unhealthy habits, every night before bed, take a moment to review your three most positive choices that day. Congratulate yourself, and realize you’re making real progress. You didn’t develop bad habits overnight, and you won’t change them overnight, either. But you’re definitely on your way!

Declare your independence from unhealthy choices with a one, two or three week stay at OHI San Diego or OHI Austin. Take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special offer through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

The Power of Your Words

When we carelessly say something that diminishes us in some way, even if we’re just joking, our subconscious mind picks up that energy and it becomes our reality. For instance, someone says, “You’re really good at yoga,” and we instinctively reply, “Oh, no! I’m a real klutz!” What we’ve just done wounds our self-esteem, and affirms that we never will be able to execute a respectable Downward Dog or Salutation to the Sun.

How many times a day do we sabotage ourselves by carelessly choosing words that can keep us feeling stuck, or powerless? When we say we “might” do something, or we’ll “try,” we’re embracing a very passive attitude that certainly doesn’t inspire any active effort to accomplish it. Words like “never,” “always,” “can’t” and “might” also send strong messages to our subconscious that we’re not going to accomplish our goal, and it’s useless to try.

Thankfully, we can reprogram our minds and boost our self-confidence by simply using more assertive words. When we switch “I might” to “I will,” we see how quickly that simple change can click us into gear.

The “You Validation” first-week class at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) is a beautiful example of the power of recalibrating words for mental and spiritual empowerment.

During the profound class experience, one by one, each person must listen to all the other people in the circle saying something nice about them – anything from “You are so friendly every time I see you,” to “It’s inspiring to hear you share your story.” Instead of being able to brush off the compliments or shoot them down with a self-deprecating remark, the person in the spotlight can only say, “Thank you!”

It’s overwhelming, sometimes embarrassing, and ultimately very healing to be able to hear nice things about ourselves, and to accept them as reality. Through the You Validation class, people have permanently changed their perspective about themselves, and started to win at the word game.

When we understand the power of our words, we are able to create affirmations to effectively guide us on our spiritual path, and nourish our minds.

“Affirmations are like planning seeds in the ground,” explains Louise Hay, author and spiritual visionary. “It takes some time to go from a seed to a full-grown plant. And so it is with affirmations…it takes some time from the first declaration to the final demonstration. So be patient.”

Experience the power of positive words and affirmations with a one, two or three week stay at OHI in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 years of holistic healing, and take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special offer through the week beginning 9-10-17. You’ll receive a special gift to nourish your mind, including a deck of Louise Hay’s Power Thought Cards with 64 healing affirmations. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Meditation is the Gift You Give Yourself

No matter how stressed or scattered you feel, an instant solution for serenity, clarity and peace is right in front of your nose. Close your eyes and take a long, slow, deep breath. Now release it, slowly. Do that two more times.

You just gave yourself the gift of touching into the meditative Alpha state, where you’re automatically releasing stress and negative feelings, increasing self-confidence and awareness, and bringing the body, mind and spirit into gentle balance. By mindfully turning your focus inward, you can feel energized, tune out distractions, solve problems and get clarity.

Alpha meditation is not a “one-size-fits-all” practice. From sitting in mindful silence, to listening to a guided visualization, to toning in a big group to simply lying quietly in bed a few minutes before you get up, meditation is anything that lets you quiet your mind through contemplation and reflection.

While it’s a deeply personal and self-affirming exercise, meditation is proving it’s also a valuable tool for defusing tensions and sparking creativity for groups.

In some communities, police officers meditate with members of the community. Fortune 500 companies like Ford, Google, and General Mills teach and encourage meditation for their executives and employees. Even professional sports teams frequently meditate before a game.

Optimum Health Institute (OHI) teaches the Alpha method to enter a meditative state. Sit straight with your feet firmly on the floor, place your thumb, index finger and middle finger together, and rest your hands, palms up, on your legs. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. You can repeat a word or phrase that has meaning for you, like “peace,” “I am surrounded in light,” or “love.” Imagine a relaxing sensation, like a wave of tranquil water, start at the crown of your head and gently flow through your entire body, exiting at your feet.

Slowly repeat your phrase, or just count, as you drift into a state of complete relaxation. At this point of deep receptivity, you can focus on a specific intent – like resolving a conflict, pain control or forgiveness – or simply continue conscious breathing and heightened awareness.

When you have completed your meditation, take a deep breath, and affirm, “Every day in every way I am getting better and better, healthier and healthier, happier and happier.” Slowly count from one to five, becoming more alert with each number. Take a moment to reflect on insights you may have received in the Alpha state.

Alpha meditation is just one of the transformative things you will learn during a visit to OHI in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 years of holistic healing, and take advantage of Optimum Summer Retreat multiple-week special deals through the week beginning 9-10-17. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

Smarter Food Choices = A Smarter Brain

“Healthful whole foods improve our brain function as well.” -- Marilu Henner

Affirmation: Today I will make mindful plant-based food choices, knowing that what I eat not only fuels my body, but has a direct impact on my mood and mental clarity as well.

Smarter Food Choices = A Smarter Brain

When Optimum Health Institute (OHI) opened its doors 40 years ago, the raw, organic plant-based diet at the heart of the holistic healing program was widely viewed with skepticism. Today, scientists, medical doctors and nutritionists agree OHI has the recipe not only for a healthy body, but also for a healthy brain.

Adhering to a food plan of mostly vegetables, seeds and nuts, with very limited animal products, sugar and saturated fat, is shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53%. Here are some of the healthiest food choices to protect and nourish your brain:

Underneath that dimpled green skin, the flesh of the avocado serves up both vitamin K and folate, helping to prevent strokes while improving memory and concentration. Their high monosaturated fat – the good kind – helps keep blood sugar levels in balance, and gives your skin a healthy glow. They’re also high in protein.

Consider making beets a regular addition to your meals. While they boost blood flow to the brain, they also reduce inflammation and raise performance levels.

As a garnish, in a smoothie, or just by the handful, blueberries are hard to beat. This delicious super food packs in more antioxidants than nearly any other vegetable or fruit. With high levels of gallic acid, blueberries are especially good at keeping our brains stress-free and high-functioning.

To keep your memory sharp and fill up on healthy fiber, choose broccoli. Just one cup serves up 150% of your minimum daily requirement of vitamin C, too.

For a vegetable that uses more calories to chew than it has in a whole stalk, celery is a nutritional powerhouse. Besides bursting with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, celery is loaded with high levels of antioxidants and polysaccharides, natural anti-inflammatories that help alleviate symptoms related to inflammation, like joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome.

Leafy greens help keep dementia at bay with vitamins A and K. A single cup of kale has more than 684 percent of your recommended daily serving! Those are the vitamins you require to fight inflammation and keep bones strong

Just a few walnuts a day provide high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for mental alertness. The vitamin E in the nuts can also help ward off Alzheimer’s.

Boost your brain health with a week, or two, or ideally three, at the Optimum Health Institute holistic healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Come help us celebrate 40 Years of Holistic Healing with special OHI Summer Retreat savings. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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