• Exciting Changes at OHI San Diego!

    While guests at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI) San Diego have been detoxing their bodies, we’ve been doing some design “detoxing” of our own.

    We started with the Optimum Health Store. While it was always a wonderful resource for supplies to support bringing body, mind and spirit into balance, the feel of the store didn’t effectively reflect that positive energy.  Now, walls of warm maple and “sprout green” spring up from a beautiful cherry laminate wood floor. Clear glass shelves add airiness, and a glass front door brings the vibrant landscape inside. Soothing music invites guests to browse books and DVDs while warm rich furniture pieces highlight some of our favorite products.

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    A custom built u-shaped desk is the new cash register location, and it sits directly in front of the large window. A hand-crafted floral rug echoes the colors of the warm maple, green and rust colors accenting the Optimum Heath Store.

    Similar warm, healing colors from nature are also now showing up in our rooms, townhouse facades and the pool.

    Most of the guestrooms have new furniture while some have been completely reconditioned, with plans underway to update all. Carpeting was replaced with beautiful laminate wood floors, lighting was enhanced with the use of LED bulbs.  Environmentally friendly paint in soothing earth tones compliments and completes the guest room enhancements.

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    Along with townhouse facades being restuccoed and painted in complementary nature tones new energy efficient air conditioning units are being installed. 

    We gave the pool a “facelift.”  New plaster, tile and decking give the pool a vibrant new look, and make it blend seamlessly into the updated townhouse design. New cushions for the pool-side chairs invite meditation and contemplation by the sparkling water which is heated to 79 degrees year-around.

    Our vision is to use materials that are environmentally friendly and harvested from sustainable resources.  And when possible, the materials are also American made.  For your comfort and pleasure we anticipate having all the renovations completed by the end of 2014.

  • Compassion, Honesty and Gratitude For Kids

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    “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.”

     – Bradley Miller

    Inside the ivy-covered walls of the Yale Infant Cognition Center, researchers are discovering some heartening news.  During a series of tests, babies, some as young as three months, were profoundly more interested in animated characters who were attempting to help, not the ones blocking progress.

    “This capacity may serve as the foundation for moral thought and action,” the authors wrote in an article in the scientific journal Nature.  It “…may form an essential basis for…more abstract concepts of right and wrong.”

    In a nutshell, babies might be hard-wired to make sound ethical judgments. That means our job as parents, teachers and loving community members is to reinforce this positive predisposition, and model the very values we wish kids to emulate.

    A strong foundation for a good and loving life includes teaching compassion, honesty and gratitude.

    The very young can more easily understand the importance of compassion when they themselves are tenderly touched and nurtured.  Being cleaned, fed, rocked, hugged, cuddled and kissed reassures and sooths babies like nothing else can. Such compassionate touch becomes what they know, what they seek, and how they will also interact as they mature.

    Being affectionate with children teaches them how great it feels to both receive and give positive, loving, compassionate attention.

    Honesty is a tricky one.  Research suggests the best parents aren’t necessarily 100% honest all of the time – that occasionally fudging the truth with your children can be more compassionate, validating and constructive. 

    What’s important is to help them form their own character by showing them the key components  of honesty in your own life.  Take responsibility for your actions, admit when you’ve made a wrong decision, and talk about ways to fix a situation that’s less than ideal.  Honesty without compassion is thinly veiled cruelty – teach your children that, and you’ve given them an important tool that will benefit them the rest of their lives. Who your children see you be beyond generalities is the single most important learning experience you can give them.

    The value of gratitude goes hand-in-hand with happiness. Scientific research shows that just feeling thankful makes us happier, and expressing our gratitude to the person to whom we feel thankful causes a huge surge in our joy level. 

    When a child exhibits a desired behavior, by all means, thank them.  They’ll feel validated, and will most likely repeat that positive conduct that inspired the praise.  Besides just feeling happy, you’ll be showing them by your example that appreciating someone’s actions, and telling them know, makes everyone involved happier.  You’re setting in motion a habit that gives them the foundation for a lifetime of happiness

    Learn more about the values and virtues that enrich your spirit while you’re also learning how to cleanse your body and quiet your mind at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego and Austin, Texas.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • The Power of Unplugging for a Weekend!

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    There’s a new addiction sweeping the nation, and it knows no age boundaries.  It can cause stress, anxiety, feelings of isolation, poor sleep, bad social habits, and even joint pain and eye sensitivity.  This addiction can lead to cyberchondria — the irrational fear that you have many horrible diseases after looking up your symptoms on the Internet. Thankfully, there is a cure – and it’s free.

    The addiction is Technology Overload.  The cure is unplugging.

    As simple as that sounds, for most people, literally going off the grid for a weekend by turning off electronic devices and focusing on real people and nature seems like too big a challenge to tackle.  But here’s why you should.

    Stop unhealthy conditioning!   Pavlov used a bell – your cell phone uses a notification tone or vibration.  Both, however, cause the same response.  You’ve conditioned yourself to stop focusing on whatever you were doing and jump to answer the text or a call.  Pure and simple, you’re constantly interrupting your life for the instant gratification of being acknowledged by someone – even when that someone could just be a mass-distributed ad from your grocery store.

    You’ll be more focused and mindful. Despite the apparent panache of being able to “multitask,” technically, you can’t.  The human brain cannot process more than a single thing at a time, according a study at the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  When you’re talking on your cell phone while you’re driving, or chopping onions, or finishing a report, you’re not doing either activity as well as you could.

    You’ll sleep more deeply and peacefully.   Dr. Andrew Weil, founder, professor, and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, refers to the importance of “sleep hygiene.”  Doing a sweep of the bedroom to get rid of electronic devices, from TVs to cell phones to iPads, will effectively “clean” the room of artificial and LED lights that interfere with the quality of your sleep.  Watching TV or checking the internet before you try to fall asleep causes your brain to fire off an arsenal of electrical activity, and triggers the body’s cortisol production for a “fight or flight” response to stimulus.  Artificial light from screens can also suppress the release of melatonin, which helps us get deep, restorative sleep.

    You’ll improve your social skills. Despite the fact we have more access to information than ever before, we can be woefully unprepared to carry on a pleasant conversation, in person, with an actual person.  The late Dr. Candace Pert, an American neuroscientist who discovered the opiate receptor and medically proved the concept of “chakras,” reported that people are hard-wired for human companionship.  We can’t substitute cyber connections for essential face-to-face interactions.  Mindfully sharing space and spending time with one, several or many others nourishes our emotions, mind and spirit in a way a technological link-up never will.

    You’ll feel more grounded.  The relatively new science of Green Therapy has proven that spending even a few minutes outside daily will reduce symptoms of ADHD, stress and depression.  Hospital patients with just a glimpse of a tree outside their window need less pain medication, heal more quickly and are discharged earlier then those without a visual connection to nature.  Imagine the sense of well-being and groundedness you could achieve with a weekend of digging your toes in the grass or sand!

    You’ll rediscover yourself.  Without any technological distractions for an entire weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to plug back into the magnificent being that is YOU.  Listen to the music you love.  Get together with friends and family you haven’t seen for a while.  Read that book you’ve been hearing about.  Watch a sunrise or sunset from the porch, or the beach, or the mountaintop. Meditate, and feel your heart and soul expand as you journey inward.

    Do a complete “technological cleanse’ at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin, Texas.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health, and give you practical tips to use when you get back home. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

  • On the Rebound for Health

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    While most forms of exercise have their ups and downs, there’s one where that’s actually the big benefit.  Rebounding, or jumping on a mini-trampoline, is gaining in popularity in both classes and home use.

    Participating in activities like yoga or tennis, or doing grueling workouts at the gym, can do wonders for your body. Any activity, though, is only beneficial if you commit to doing it on a regular basis.  A big thing rebounding has going for it – it’s fun, and reminiscent of those giant inflatable bounce houses everyone loved as a kid.

    Rebounding helps increase bone density. Whether you just flex your knees and your feet never leave the rebounder, or you jump about half a foot off the mat, the resulting G-force works every bone, muscle and cell of your body.  With osteoporosis a growing concern today, this acceleration and deceleration has been shown to help people regain bone density they have lost as they aged.  NASA has been using rebounding to help astronauts reverse the osteoporosis that sets in while they’re in a weightless environment in space.

    Do you suffer from frequent colds or joint pain?  Your lymph glands might be congested.  The lymph system collects excess fluid, fat and other toxins from our bodies to fight infections.  Rebounding’s constant acceleration and deceleration to the body is an excellent way to drain the entire lymph system.

    While you’re hopping up and down on your mini-trampoline, having fun, you’re automatically helping to get your mind and body in sync.  You’re strengthening your heart, improving your circulation and linking your ocular nerves and inner ear canal to enhance your sense of balance and coordination.

    Rebounding is the only exercise that engages every single cell of your body in a positive, mindful way.  It makes you breathe deeply, aids in the production of red blood cells, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, assists digestion and elimination, tones your glands, slows down aging and reduces the possibility of obesity.  And did we mention it’s a lot of fun?

    Come explore other fun and engaging ways to achieve your goals for optimum health at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego and Austin, Texas. We can help you find the inspiration to shift into a fun and healthy lifestyle to help you, body, mind and spirit. Call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.