• Brighten Your Mood with Light Therapy: The Importance of Sunlight during the Winter Months

    In OHI’s Elimination class, we talk about how sunlight is an essential ingredient for good health, and scientific studies have shown the effects of light on the body are more than just psychological. Sunlight prompts our physical systems to produce the hormones directly responsible for improving mood and creating a sense of well-being. Sunlight also helps our bodies produce vitamin D and maintain calcium in our bones, which in turn prevents our bones from becoming thin and brittle. Sunlight can have a major influence on how we feel and boost our productivity, literally giving us energy for life. We only need 10-15 minutes of sun exposure per day.

    And what about those who live in a climate that’s not consistently sunny? Or where gray cloudy skies block the sun during the fall and winter months? You may have felt sad or tired during the winter simply because there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter, and that lack of light is impacting your mood. Many people report succumbing to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter. SAD is a type of depression that occurs in the fall and winter when daylight is limited, and symptoms include sluggishness, sleep problems, change in diet, and even loss of mental acuity.

    SAD symptoms can decrease or be alleviated by getting enough sunlight. Light therapy lamps bring daylight indoors by emitting a bright white, full-spectrum light that safely mimics sunlight (without the harmful UV-rays).

    Light therapy (also known as bright light therapy or phototherapy) is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms. Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders, and other conditions. Light therapy improves mood and energy by triggering the release of serotonin. Light therapy improves sleep and focus by resetting your circadian rhythm to its natural state, and regulating melatonin.

    During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. To be effective, light from the light box must enter your eyes indirectly. You can’t get the same effect merely by exposing your skin to the light. While your eyes must be open, don’t look directly at the light box, because the bright light can damage your eyes.

    Light therapy is most effective when you invest the time consistently. Stick to your light therapy schedule, and don’t overdo it. Light therapy is a proper combination of light intensity, duration, and timing.

    1. Intensity: The intensity of the light box is recorded in lux, which is a measure of the amount of light you receive. For SAD, the typical recommendation is to use a 10,000-lux box at a distance of about 16”-24” from your face.

    2. Duration: With a 10,000-lux light box, light therapy typically involves daily sessions of about 20-30 minutes. A lower-intensity light box, such as 2,500-lux, may require longer sessions.

    3. Timing: For most people, light therapy is most effective when it’s done early in the morning.

    Light therapy is a clinically-proven treatment for SAD, but it might not completely cure Seasonal Affective Disorder. But consistent light therapy sessions will ease symptoms, increase your energy levels, and help improve your mood. Light therapy can start to ease symptoms within just a few days, or in some cases it can take two or more weeks to feel better.

    So the next time you’re feeling the “winter blues,” set up a light box and other Alpha techniques to help you improve your mood and achieve a calm, relaxed state – and let the sunshine in.

    At Optimum Health Institute, we teach you how to use light to help you heal. During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Get to Know OHI Missionary, Barbara Hochmann

    Ten years ago Barbara Hochmann was surfing online, looking for ideas to lead a healthier life.  She wanted to find an approach to managing stress that she could rely on for the rest of her life.

    “I came across OHI online, and I immediately connected with their approach,” said Barbara.  “I stayed at OHI Austin for 3 weeks.  I was flabbergasted to realize how often I used food and cigarettes to numb myself from stress.  But the more I faced my emotions, the more negativity I released, and the more room I now had to embrace joy.  At the end of my 3-week stay, I was completely changed.  I had shed 20 pounds of inflammation and emotion.  My skin went from grey to rosy, and my eyes were clear.  I felt strong enough emotionally to commit to continuing the juicing and raw diet for the next 9 months at home.  OHI connections were always just a phone call away if I needed help.  The bottom line is I stuck to it because OHI’s program gave me a clear path forward.  I chose to LIVE, and now I can honestly say that life just keeps getting better every day.”

    Of course, it wasn’t just the diet that helped Barbara.  She immediately connected with the OHI curriculum as well.  “I was so energized by OHI’s classes,” said Barbara.  “I went to every class I could.  The information is delivered in a way that’s easy to absorb and utilize in every day life.”

    So when did the missionary program factor into Barbara’s life plan?  “I have come back to OHI for a week or two tune-up almost every year for the last 9 years,” said Barbara.  “OHI has truly given me back my life, so I decided I wanted to be an OHI missionary to pay it forward.  I applied to OHI San Diego just as the pandemic hit, and started my 3-month missionary placement in the middle of June.  I had huge expectations going into it, but I can honestly say this experience has far exceeded every expectation I could have ever had.  During my time as missionary, there were up to 30 guests on campus at a time.  It was a very intimate experience, full of vulnerability, connection, and depth.  I am so grateful for the unique experience.  I am certain my spiritual practice has deepened because of the small cohort size.  During my past annual visits, my focus was on my physical body and my intellectual mind.  But my extended 3-month stay as a missionary gave me time to focus on my spirituality.  My concentration has improved immensely, and my meditation practice is so much more rewarding for it.”

    While Barbara has experienced all of the OHI classes multiple times, she does have a few favorites.  “From a science perspective, the Elimination and Digestion classes are absolutely fascinating to me,” said Barbara.  “But on a personal level, I am constantly working to improve my communication so that what I share with the world accurately reflects who I want to be.  The Alpha Meditation and Communication classes are amazing.  I get something new out of each class every time I take them.  Now I know I’m worth all the time and effort I put in to healing myself which has lead me to a life that is so rewarding and fulfilling.”

    What is Barbara’s advice for others considering a stay at OHI?  “Don’t put off your life another minute,” said Barbara.  “After coming to OHI, I navigate life in an entirely different way.  I see everything from a new point of view.  Life is beautiful!”

    The OHI missionary program is a volunteer extension program for those who have graduated from the OHI holistic healing program and desire to continue on a spiritual path to heal themselves and others. As a missionary, you are able to immerse yourself in the healing process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We encourage all who have a calling, passion, and commitment to serving others and who want to be in a community focused on healing to apply.
    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809
    to make your reservation.

  • Boost Your Mood and Heal with Color

    Color can have a major influence on how we feel and how we react in different situations. Because colors can affect your mood, colors can consequently impact your health. We’ve all experienced this . . . colors that energize our bodies; colors that calm our minds; and colors that uplift our spirits. There is plenty of scientific research to back-up the notion that color can help boost our mood and help us heal.

    Color therapy, also known as Chromotherapy, uses the vibration of color and light to balance our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states. The cells in our body require light energy, and the vibration emitted by color and light transmit a certain type of energy to our body, which in turn impacts our mind and spirit. The principles and practices of color therapy date back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, India, Greece and China.

    How Chromotherapy Works

    According to research physicists, Azeemi and Raza, “Every creature is engulfed in light that affects its health conditions.” The authors claim the human body is composed of colors and therefore is responsive to colors. Each color emits a certain frequency of light energy. “Colors generate electrical impulses and magnetic currents or fields of energy that are prime activators of the biochemical and hormonal processes in the human body, the stimulants or sedatives necessary to balance the entire system and its organs.” In other words, the frequency of a color can energize and harmonize with the body’s organs and cells or conversely, it can disrupt bodily functions. Color frequency and light energy can either create dis-ease in the body or help us heal.

    Each color has a unique wavelength and oscillation (the duration of time between each wave). In Chromotherapy, the seven colors in the color spectrum (violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red) correspond with the seven energy centers of the body. Each energy center is associated with a particular organ of the body and each organ of the body is associated with a color frequency. Therefore, the idea is to synch the organs with its associated color frequency to strike harmony and balance. If you’ve taken OHI’s Vocal Toning class, you may have experienced this first-hand.

    Color and Its Impact

    People use color therapy to help release anxiety, ease depression, and better connect with themselves through meditation. According to therapist, Wendy Galyen, “Each color has a different effect, so different colors are used for different mental conditions and mood problems.”

    At OHI, we use color in a variety of our classes: Alpha 1 & 2, Vision Boards & Rock Painting, and Vocal Toning.  For instance, in Alpha practice we might say, “Imagine a warm golden light surrounding you,” as we settle into our meditation. In Vision Boards & Rock Painting, we suggest using vibrant primary colors to draw attention to certain words and imagery. And in Vocal Toning, where we use our voices to create healing vibrations within the body, we also use color because colors have their own vibration – so, imagining a color while making the vowel sound enhances the healing power of the vibration.

    Here is a summary of the seven colors of the color spectrum, and their associated energy centers:

    So the next time you need a mood booster, open your mind to the possibilities of color therapy. Set your intention to allow soothing thoughts of colors calm your mind and relax your body, and put the healing power of color to work for you.

    “A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and Its Scientific Evolution,” by Samina T. Yousuf Azeemi and S. Moshin Raza, ncbi.nlm.hih.gov, December 2005

    “The Mood-Boosting Benefits of Color Therapy,” by Simone M. Scully, healthline.com, July 30, 2020

    “What is Color Therapy, What is it For, and is it Right for Me?”, medically reviewed by Wendy Galyen, LCSW, BC-TMH, regain.us, December 3, 2020

    At Optimum Health Institute, we teach you how to use color to help you heal. During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809
    to make your reservation.

  • Tanya Roman’s Journey to Wellness

    Scholarship Recipient Recovers from Cancer Surgery

    Tanya Roman remembers June 2012 well. It was when she was first diagnosed with cancer. Following surgery, she went through 6 weeks of chemotherapy, where she experienced hypersensitivities to the drugs.

    “It was the longest 6 weeks of my life,” sighed Tanya.

    Unfortunately, six years later the cancer returned. Tanya underwent the same chemotherapy treatments, and again experienced more drug hypersensitivities.

    “I felt strongly that my body wanted to heal,” said Tanya. “But after five days of being unable to eat, I felt lost. I remembered that a friend had told me about OHI as an alternative treatment for cancer. I called them, and they invited me to come in that very day. When I arrived, I found out the woman who greeted me had also been diagnosed with THE SAME cancer many years ago, and here she was looking vibrant and healthy. That immediately confirmed my belief in my body’s ability to heal itself.”

    OHI saw that Tanya’s situation was dire, and they gifted her a scholarship for a three-week stay. “The amazing thing was that within three days I felt like a completely different person,” she said.

    Tanya was on board with the raw food diet from the start. “The diet of organic raw food, the fasting, and the colonics seemed to be game changers to me,” Tanya said. “I could tell it was exactly what my body needed.”

    Tanya also felt invigorated by the classes. “I was so impressed by how the instructors would teach each person how to accomplish their goals for their best life. It wasn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. For me, I found meditation to be the key to enhancing the positivity of my thoughts.”

    Tanya choked up when asked about her OHI experience as a scholarship recipient. “Few things come along in life that offer true transformation,” she said. “OHI does just that. This scholarship gave me a life-altering experience, and I can’t thank them enough. They taught me spiritual positivity, and how to have an open spiritual relationship with the world around me. When life is too much, I know I can ask God for help.”

    Share the Love, Share the Feeling, Share the Gift of Healing

    Please consider contributing to the OHI Scholarship Fund to help those in need experience the benefits of the OHI program. Over the course of our 44 years, OHI has provided scholarships to individuals who could not afford to otherwise attend. In most years, we have been able to fulfill all requests for assistance through the generosity of our community. OHI invites you to join with us in celebrating our healing mission with a tax-deductible gift. Your contribution will help to make our community stronger, healthier, and more vibrant.

    Provide the Gift of Healing today by supporting the OHI Scholarship Fund with a tax-deductible One-Time Donation, or Sustainable Monthly Contribution.

    To all who have donated to the OHI Scholarship Fund – Thank you for your generosity!

    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.