• 5 P’s to Optimum Health

    Most people’s goals are to have optimum health. Your health not only encompasses your body’s physical health, but also your spiritual, emotional, and mental wellness. This holistic approach to health is a cornerstone of Optimum Health Institute’s 21-Day Healing Program. We believe that practicing the 5 P’s to Optimum Health (listed below) will help you achieve optimum health.

    Purpose:  Prayer and mindfully focusing your thoughts inward can help you determine your true purpose.  What issues do you care about passionately?  When do you feel most fulfilled?  What are you naturally good at, and what do you feel you were “born to do?”  Meditating on the answers can help steer you towards your divine life purpose.

    Positive Mental Attitude: Part of the Positive Psychology research required participants to nightly reflect on the three most wonderful things that happened to them that day, and determine their role in making those things happen.  Knowing they were going to have to come up with that list each night kept the people looking for fun, interesting and positive things the entire day.  The exercise completely shifted their consciousness from, “What can go wrong” to “How does it get any better than this?”  That quantum shift in their thinking clicked them into a positive mental attitude all day, and became a habit.  As the mind stays in a healthy, balanced and happy state, the body and spirit naturally follow.

    Persistence: The natural tendency is to give up when things don’t come easily. By shifting into a positive state of mind as outlined above, we can list ‘sticking with a goal’ as one of the day’s three top victories. Developing our persistence in this way can give us the strength to keep going when it gets tough.  Just as it takes some time to develop unhealthy habits, it takes some time to substitute healthier new habits, too.

    Patience: “God grant me patience – NOW!” is a funny but ineffective prayer. The quickest route to switching into a more patient mode is to simply take a deep breath.  That delicious lungful of oxygen not only delivers more mental alertness – it signals us to slow down, to reassess, to take a step back.  From this more mindful state, we can consciously choose to be patient and gentler with our self as we navigate opportunities throughout the New Year.

    Prayer: Prayer is talking with God.  Through regular prayer we define and nourish our relationship to Him, and focus our feelings and intent by putting them into words.  This mindful and verbal connection to the Divine Source gives us a clarity and feeling of connection that no other discipline can.  Perhaps the simplest yet most effective prayer is a heart-felt, “thank you” – a prayer that will guarantee your happiness throughout 2013.

    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. To make your reservation, call us at (800) 588-0809.

  • The Many Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

    Improves our Physical Health

    Expressing thanks boosts our immune system. We experience less physical pain. We’re even able to fall into a deeper, longer, more restorative sleep more quickly. We immediately feel increased vitality and energy, while our blood pressure significantly decreases.

    Improves our Mental Faculties

    Expressing gratitude can increase willpower and help us make thoughtful decisions. It can also increase our decision-making and productivity skills improve, we network more effectively, and we become better communicators and managers. A consistent ‘attitude of gratitude’ makes it much easier for us to get mentors and protégés, helping us achieve our career goals while simultaneously making our workplace a friendlier, more engaging place.

    Improves our Emotional Capacity

    Emotionally speaking, when we feel gratitude, we feel less stress and depression. The feeling of gratitude increases our feelings of joy, happiness and contentment. Gratitude is linked to a more optimistic outlook on life. Keeping a gratitude journal, and writing just five minutes a day, boosts our long-term well-being by more than 10%. That’s the same jump we would get from a 100% pay raise! When we’re feeling thankful, we’re a lot more likable, which means we’ll deepen existing relationships and friendships, and make more new ones. Practicing gratitude regularly can help us cope with and recover from trauma, obstacles and loss.

    Improves our Spiritual Well-Being

    In a spiritual sense, gratitude enriches our personal connection to God while making us less self-centered and materialistic. We’re happier, much more optimistic, and more able to see the good in others, and the deeper divine meaning in all things. Expressing gratitude helps us be more compassionate, caring and understanding of others – and to ourselves.

    Establishing a practice for Gratitude 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 42 years of holistic healing, and take advantage of special savings. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Journaling the Journey to Optimum Health: Memoirs of a First Time Guest

    First Journal Entry

    I don’t have TIME to write in a journal! I’m in the office 50 hours a week, then dashing to the store to grab the family’s dinner, or getting delivery. I frequently have friends over; Ben & Jerry, Jimmy Dean, Papa John.

    WHY am I journaling? I just saw my friend Laurie for the first time in a few weeks and she looked so amazing, I asked if she had work done. She was thinner, her skin glowed, and she was happy and calm. She said she DID have work done – on the inside!

    Laurie said there’s a place in San Diego where you eat rabbit food, drink grass, learn things and hug people. She said she also wrote in a journal, which she found empowering. So I’m journaling, but still not feeling any power!

    Sunday afternoon – at OHI

    When I was SO stressed I broke down crying in Laurie’s arms, she suggested I call OHI. I talked to a friendly staff member, who assured me it’s NOT some kind of weird wheatgrass bootcamp or some frou-frou enema spa. So now I’m here. I had vacation time, and hubby’s taking care of the house and kids. I know now why Laurie said just standing in the grass and breathing starts the healing. For a great rate, I get my own room, meals, classes, and my very own… bucket?? Sunday orientation is next — maybe I’ll learn why I need the bucket.

    Monday night – Week 1

    Now I know why I needed the bucket. AND that extra cup of wheatgrass juice. I didn’t know I had it in me. Meals? What used to be garnish on my steak is now my main course. (OK, I’m exaggerating.) The good part — everyone is SO nice. I have a new buddy who shows me around. But honestly, I feel tired, and weak. Maybe Laurie WAS lying, and she DID have work done!

    Tuesday night – Week 1

    I learned what my body did when I was eating meals like fried chicken, potato salad and apple pie. Incompatible foods fight it out in my stomach, and meat just sits there and ROTS. I feel guilty for blaming those…’releases’… on the dog. We started our juice fast today, and I have no energy. Just wait until I see Laurie again…

    Wednesday night – Week 1

    Another juice day – but it’s strange – I have loads of energy to walk briskly with my new friends, do this Alpha meditation, and – laugh! I feel so much lighter and happier.

    Thursday night – Week 1

    Classes are AMAZING, and EVERYONE is so encouraging! Maybe there’s something in this purified water? I almost forgot – today we switched from juice back to solid food. The soup and crackers were delicious! Funny how food isn’t the big thing it was before.

    Friday night – Week 1

    Wow. ‘Miraculous’ describes the stories shared in this morning’s Testimonials. That and ‘gratitude.’ How wonderful to be where healing happens, on every level. Laurie, forgive me for doubting. Can’t wait for the Friday Night Live talent show this evening, and movie night Saturday.

    Friday night – Week 2

    OK, Journal, last week was fantastic, but THIS week – everything came together. My crazy-busy life is one of my coping mechanisms. When I’m harried and exhausted, I can ignore deeper feelings. Like how I’m still angry at things starting back in my childhood. I’m beginning to connect dots I didn’t even know existed. I’m starting to feel…spiritual.

    Saturday night – Week 3

    I will NEVER forget my 3 weeks at OHI, and how I made a new best friend – me! I love how I had the courage to come here, let down my defenses to accept everyone’s support, and finally understand food is medicine, and medicine is food. My family loves the “new me,” and the plant-based recipes we’re eating. And my neighbor, Nancy? She asked if I had work done!

    Journaling 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 42 years of holistic healing, and take advantage of special savings. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • OHI Alpha Practice – Instant Serenity

    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 42 years of holistic healing, and take advantage of special savings. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • A Healthy Perspective on Anger

    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:
    • B-R-E-A-T-H-E! Consciously taking a few deep breaths helps you stop and take a quick inventory of the situation.
    • Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?”
    • 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.
    • 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) 588-0809 to learn more.