• Healing through Sound: Vocal Toning

    Focusing the mind, quiets the mind. Your energy is an important part of the healing process for your whole body. Practicing Alpha or meditation is one way you may work to achieve a peaceful, balanced state of mind, and it can help you tap into the art of vocal toning. It has long been understood that sound vibrations are beneficial to the mind and the body, and vocal toning takes advantage of these mental and physiological effects.

    What Is Vocal Toning? Toning is a gentle form of sound healing that helps us to heal on all levels by using certain notes and vowel sounds. The vowel sound is held for a certain number of minutes at the same pitch, unlike singing where you may vary the pitch. While there are multiple types of sound-based meditation techniques, those using a person’s own voice have been found the most effective. As the tones are sung, the chakras or our body centers respond. Using sound to resonate each center helps to “charge” those areas by increasing circulation, energy, and vitality. Quantum physics is suggesting that possibly disease in the body originates with disturbances in the electromagnetic field. Toning 3-5 minutes at each energy center helps “smooth out” the energy fields.

    Getting Started in Vocal Toning

    Once you learn about vocal toning and how to use it, you can incorporate it into your private or group meditation sessions. Guided meditation classes are the best way to learn vocal toning and then the techniques learned can be practiced at home with CDs to provide a peaceful, soothing background melody for your sound healing experience.

    Who Uses It?

    More and more and more people are finding healing through vocal toning. Sound healing has become a popular and well-respected field in mind-body medicine. Some pioneers in this field are: Steven Halpern, Jonathon Goldman and David Ison. The Optimum Health Institute uses the CD, Sing the Body from Dorian Carter in their toning class. You can order this CD by calling the Optimum Health Store: (800) 588-0809

    Vocal toning is one of the many classes incorporated into the holistic healing program at the Optimum Health Institute . These teachings take place through three-week-long courses that can be  taken independently or consecutively.

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at <(800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Part 2

    In last week’s article, we talked about how to cleanse the body and mind through Diet. This week, we expand on how to cleanse the body and mind through Movement and Breath. Here is part 2 of our 2-part series

    2. MOVEMENT

    Incorporating movement into your daily routine is critical for your health and well being.  Developing a regular yoga practice works your entire body — every muscle, every organ, every system, and every cell.  Yoga postures also exercise your mind — increasing focus, concentration, stamina, and endurance.  Begin by taking just a little bit of time stretching each morning or before bed.  Notice where in your life you can add a little more movement, and start integrating it into your routine.  Soon, you’ll notice and feel the difference.

    3. BREATH

    With movement comes breath, an equally integral part of your journey to optimal health.  Breath work during a guided meditation involves your whole body — your chest, belly, back, and mind.  By breathing deeply, you exercise and cleanse the lungs, slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and oxygenate the blood.  You also rely on your diaphragm instead of your chest, inviting your neck and chest muscles to relax and engage your abs so a larger amount of oxygen reaches your body’s cells and organs.  You will feel refreshed and energized because oxygen is the most important macronutrient for the body.  Breath work also helps calm and focus the mind.

    Once your body is clean, you need to clean your mind.  Getting rid of negative behaviors gives you the freedom to make more positive choices:

    Clean up your habits:  Refrain from eating anything with caffeine, oils, salt, or sugar.  Drink lots of fluids.  Sleep, sleep, SLEEP!  Keep your body moving.

    De-stress with meditation:  Worry, stress, and anxiety are acidic, and your body won’t work at its optimum in an acidic state.  What you think you soon become, so it is important to keep your mindset present, positive, and focused.  Meditation is a wonderful tool for exercising and calming the mind.  Take just a few moments a day to find yourself in stillness with your thoughts, and incorporate a daily mantra to open yourself up to a mind that is clear and calm.

    Get closer to God:  The OHI program is based on 24 ancient spiritual disciplines, which include things like fellowship, prayer, and fasting.  A good soulful cleanse starts with letting go of negative emotions that are creating an imbalance in the body, mind, and spirit.  By mindfully choosing more positive emotions, you bring yourself back to balance and find a sense of love, compassion, and inner peace.

    Many OHI classes and activities can help you with your body-mind-spirit Spring cleaning.  Our stretch classes add movement to your life.  Our Body-Mind Connection class steps you through mindful meditation and breathing.  And our Prayer Circle brings you closer to God in a safe and sacred circle of fellowship.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Part 1

    Simply put: Our body can affect how quiet and calm our mind is.  And, our mind can affect how healthy our body is! Here is part 1 of our 2-part series

    Now is the time of year that many of us tackle Spring cleaning.  That fresh spirit of renewal is exactly what your body and mind need, too.  Your body is constantly processing food and drink, and your mind is constantly churning thoughts and emotions. The cleansing of our body and mind brings forth new opportunities for transformation, and is beneficial for productivity and mental clarity.  After all, a clean body supports a quiet mind.

    Most everyone has heard the proverb, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. This “cleanliness” not only refers to keeping our physical body clean, but also includes the cleanliness and purity of our mind, both in our thoughts and intentions. When your physical space is disorganized and unclean, it creates mayhem, frustration, and negativity. Just the same, when your physical space is organized and clean, it creates peace, harmony, positivity and alignment.

    So let’s start our Spring cleaning by cleansing the body and mind in three simple ways:  through a check on our diet, our movement, and our breath.

    1. DIET

    One of the best things we can do for our body is clean up our diet.  What we put into our body determines how the body will be able to perform and function.  If we are constantly filling up on junk, our bodies will not perform as well as they could.  When we only fill up on the good stuff, the body is able to perform to the best of its ability.  In the discussion of diet, we should look at it from three different aspects — food, hydration, and the pH (alkalinity vs the acidity) of your body as a whole.

    Food:  It goes without saying that processed foods, carbonated beverages, bleached flour and sugar are highly detrimental to your health, and everyone should eliminate these from their diet.  OHI advocates that you pursue a plant-based diet that focuses on raw, dehydrated, and fermented foods.  While a guest at one of our OHI campuses, we support you with a cleansing detox diet and juice fasting to help purge the body of toxins, so a Spring detox should be on your to do list.  The juicing portion of the detox permits the digestive system to have a rest, and frees up energy for more detox activity in the body.  The limited caloric intake of the cleansing diet (less than 1200 calories per day) is an ancient fasting practice.  Recent studies have shown that many forms of cancers have been stopped, slowed, or reversed by limiting calorie intake.  OHI’s detox diet does not contain nuts or oils as the addition of these foods slow down the detoxification process.  We also eliminate salt during detox because it interferes with blood pressure and promotes fluid retention, and an effective detox needs your body to release fluids to flush out the toxins.  The OHI detox diet only features “live food” where all of the enzymes and nutrients in the food have been protected from the effects of cooking.  We also do not vary the temperature of food with the use of ice as it can shock the digestive system.  Food pioneer, Ann Wigmore, believed that raw-live enzymes were the most important ingredient in assimilating nutrients, and that has become a cornerstone to our full body detox.

    Hydration:  Water surrounds toxins in order to protect us.  Therefore, in order to flush out those toxins we need to flush out our entire system and rehydrate appropriately.  OHI recommends that the amount of water you should drink equals half of your body weight in ounces each day.  And when you stay at an OHI mission, we provide guests with pure drinking water from a custom designed water filtration system, where water is alkalized to a 7.35 – 7.45 pH level.  Drinking alkalized water optimizes detoxification regimens, helping your body expel heavy metals and toxins.  It also hydrates better than plain water, and helps supply the body with essential minerals.

    pH (alkalinity vs acidity):  The OHI cleansing diet has limited calories but is rich in nutrients and enzymes, which can help bring the body from an acidic state to a more alkaline state.  The purification and alkalizing effects on the body help to quiet the mind.  We don’t use lemon in food preparation or as added flavoring to a glass of water because it changes the mouth pH, and the acidity interferes with carbohydrate digestion.

    Join us next week for the second part of this article where we expand on how to cleanse the body and mind through Movement and Breath …

    Many OHI classes and activities can help you with your body-mind-spirit Spring cleaning.  Our stretch classes add movement to your life.  Our Body-Mind Connection class steps you through mindful meditation and breathing.  And our Prayer Circle brings you closer to God in a safe and sacred circle of fellowship.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Mindful Eating, Part 2

    Intro

    Here’s the 2nd part of our blog post on Mindful Eating. We hope it’s helpful to you…

    Benefits of Eating Mindfully

    For many people, eating is a mindless act, often done quickly.  By eating mindfully, you restore your attention and slow down, making eating an intentional act instead of an automatic one that comes with many benefits:

    • Control food instead of it controlling you:  We each have our own attitudes and patterns of behavior around food, contributed by genetics, circumstances, and family conditioning.  Mindfulness inserts a pause to help make you aware of your own decision-making.
    • Increase enjoyment of food:  When you slow down your eating, you taste and enjoy your food more.
    • Easier digestion:  By thoroughly chewing your food, you begin the digestion process in the mouth.  Digestion is easier because you’ve adequately broken the food down and incorporated essential saliva.
    • Reduce calories:  By eating more slowly, you’ll naturally eat less, which means you’ll reduce the amount of calories consumed.
    • Reduce stress:  When you slow down and breathe, particularly when you extend your exhale, you activate the whole rest-and-recover side of your nervous system.  This not only manages stress, but also can improve digestion.
    • Less binge eating:  When you’re mindful, you realize food is just food, and you can free yourself from the emotions that fuel your mindless eating habits.  You don’t have to eat your feelings.  You only have to eat when you’re hungry, and healthy food choices that will satiate your hunger most efficiently.
    • Lose weight:  Mindful eating slows yourself down to truly think about your food choices.  You’ll free yourself from the idea that a food is “good” or “bad,” and you’ll choose food that helps your body work at it’s optimal level.  Those healthy choices set the stage for potential weight loss.
    • Enjoy the moment:  Mindfulness removes distractions, and allows you to sit uninterrupted with your food.  You begin to take your time over a meal, you reconnect with your senses, and become re-acquainted with the pleasure of eating.

    What happens when we don’t eat mindfully

    Mindful eating takes work, and it’s easy to get distracted and slip back into old habits.  When we take ourselves out of the moment and start eating mindlessly, we grab for foods that aren’t healthy, we overeat because we aren’t paying attention to physical hunger cues from the body, we make negative associations with food (labeling certain foods as “good” and “bad”), and we don’t distinguish between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating.  Instead of eating to maintain overall health and well being, we eat to satisfy a craving or an emotion (guilt, anxiety, comfort, reward), not to maintain the health of our body.

    A food journal is a mindfulness tool to check in with yourself on how you feel before, during, and after you eat to help you relate emotions and thoughts to mindful eating.  In your journal, record what you eat, when, and how often you eat.  The journal should help you understand your eating patterns, and help you find ways to make simple, healthy changes.

    Mindful Eating at OHI

    Mindful eating is one of our core values at OHI, and our Inspirational Testimonials class frequently touches on this topic.  Guests share inspiring stories of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing, and the breakthroughs many of them make through mindful eating are quite moving.

    So the next time you sit down for a meal, employ mindful eating and rediscover the joy of food.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how mindful eating can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

    Mindful Eating is just one of the practices you will learn during a visit to OHI San Diego or OHI Austin.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. For more information, visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org or call us at (800) 588-0809.