• Rediscover Your Sense of Exploration

    The best way to live a rich life is by being curious, passionate, and willing explore new things. Consider this scenario.

    After a day spent zip lining, playing, and spending time with friends, a child has a mini meltdown when his mother takes him to leave.

    The entire time his mom tries to buckle him into his car seat, he kicks, screams, and flails. Yet, instead of trying to squelch Mikey’s frantic attempt to stay, his mother validates his feelings while maintaining her position as a responsible parent.

    “Never give up, Mikey!” she said as she eventually managed to secure her son’s seat belt and evade his churning legs and arms. “Never give up!”

    It’s a child-like sense of passion, curiosity, wonder, and discovery that’s the difference between living a rich life and existing. Children are bold, inquisitive, friendly, forgiving, and non-judgmental. They’re also mindfully living in the present. About 90 seconds after the car pulled out, Mikey’s hysterical outburst gave way to delightedly staring at the horses grazing in a nearby pasture. He had emotionally “moved on,” and found something else to pique his curiosity and imagination.

    Each time we pause to focus our attention on something new or ask a question, we “grow” our brain. By age 3, the time when virtually everything is a new experience for a toddler, the brain reaches 80% of its adult size. By age 5, the percentage climbs to 90%. Science now understands that this brain growth, or “neuroplasticity,” doesn’t have to slow down or stop. People who continue to explore, question, discover, and use their imagination will continue to develop their brains.

    Bruce Lipton, PhD, an environmental biologist, coined the term “epigenetics,” or “above genetics,” to describe how embarking on new adventures, working to solve challenging questions, and tapping into our passion and creativity can keep our brains flourishing. To nourish your inner child and rekindle that natural quest to explore, try a few of these suggestions:

    1.) Go outside and play. Blow bubbles. Stick your bare toes in a creek. Fly a kite. Climb a tree, or just hug one. Being in nature grows your brain while it soothes your soul.

    2.) Get artsy. Music, painting, sculpting, dance – all creative pursuits nourish body, mind, and spirit.

    3.) Ask Why? Just for a day, as you go through your life, notice the patterns and start to ask yourself exactly WHY you’re doing things the way you’re doing them. Be relentless – just like a two-year-old would be. Don’t stop asking “Why” until you’ve imagined several new and more efficient ways to accomplish the same tasks.

    4.) Take a class. Learning a new language, or exploring medieval history, for instance, will activate completely different parts of your brain. Your heart will appreciate the adventure, too.

    5.) Whether it’s an afternoon excursion to a local historical spot, or epic globe-trotting, getting off the beaten path will open up whole new worlds of discovery.

    6.) Laugh! Children laugh about 300 times a day. This universal language of connection, delight, and release actually makes your brain spurt out “happy chemicals” that heal and calm. Best of all, it’s highly contagious.

    Explore, laugh, discover, ask a million questions and get answers, and unconditional support and encouragement, at OHI missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas. Our caring team 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) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Toning: Harness the Power of Sound to Heal

    Vocal toning is a mental and physical workout that can help you achieve peace of mind. The sound waves vibrating through your vocal cords have been shown to produce beneficial effects on both the brain and body, which makes it one way to quiet an anxious spirit while also reaching deep down inside for balance in this chaos-filled world we live in today.

    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 body-mind-spirit healing program at OHI. These teachings take place through three-week-long courses that can be taken independently or consecutively. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Missionary Spotlight: Get to Know OHI Missionary, Natalia Eric

    Natalia Eric has experienced adversity…over, and over, and over again.  And yet here she is, with a big smile on her face.  “I have seven grandchildren,” Natalia said.  “Cancer can come and knock at my door, but I am not going anywhere.  I intend to be here to watch them all grow up.  And OHI has given me that chance.”

    Natalia was born in Moscow.  She got married in 1984, and moved with her new husband back to his childhood home in Serbia, Yugoslavia.  They started a family, and lived there for ten years.  In 1994, Natalia and her family made one more big move, this time to Toronto, Canada.  The family all became proud Canadian citizens in 1997, and Natalia worked in a hospital as a labor and delivery clerical coordinator.  The years went by, and Natalia watched her three children grow up.  Then in 2008, her life was turned upside down.  “I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer,” said Natalia.  “Two years later, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stage 4,” said Natalia.  “They had to remove my spleen and lymph nodes.  In 2012, the Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was back.  This time I had to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy, and then do chemo every three months for two years.  I had nothing left to give.  I was bald from all the chemo.  My life expectancy was five years at best.  I asked God for a sign that everything was going to be OK.  I went outside to get the mail, and when I turned around I saw a double rainbow over my house.  It was a sign, but what did it mean?  I was watching YouTube videos on healthy eating, desperate for some new options, and one of the YouTubers I was watching mentioned OHI.  It was just a passing mention, but it piqued my curiosity.  I looked them up, and immediately booked a 3-week stay.  The detox that my body went through that first week at OHI after holding all the toxicity of three years of chemo was terrible.  But after my body detoxed, it was like a light switch went on.  The grass was greener.  The sky was bluer.  I felt something that I hadn’t felt in a long time — hope.”

    Natalia immediately applied to the OHI Missionary Program, and started in May 2015.  “I wanted to be a missionary because my body needs a full reset that only a 3-month stay can give,” said Natalia.  “I now understand what my body needs to be healthy, and I teach my grandchildren to eat healthily.  I want them to value the good health they have now, and to honor their bodies as they age.  OHI has taught me how my body can heal itself as it’s intended to in nature, through the power of whole raw foods.”

    Natalia finds the OHI Missionary Program to be incredibly rewarding.  “Being a missionary allows me to meet different people every week,” said Natalia.  “For guests who are new to OHI, they are assigned a missionary as their buddy for the first week.  We spend a lot of time together.  They share their stories.  I share mine.  We learn from each other.  The experience is never the same, but the outcomes are always so positive.  Just watching the healing power all people experience in that first week of detox is nothing short of miraculous to me.”

    As a missionary, Natalia’s favorite thing to do is lead the exercise classes for guests.  “It is such a joy to stretch my body, and feel the power that it now holds,” said Natalia.  “I survived having Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma twice, then thyroid cancer, and then high blood pressure, and my body was broken.  I weighed over 200lbs, I had lost all my hair, and I didn’t have an ounce of strength left.  I came to OHI looking for anything positive to take hold in my body, after having so much negativity reside there.  Seven years later, I have lost 60lbs, I’m cancer-free, my blood pressure is under control, and I feel so ALIVE!  I tell everyone I know about OHI.  I have been a missionary five times, and each experience has been so valuable.  They have helped me so much, and that makes me want to help others.  I am so grateful to be here, and feeling this healthy.”

    Natalia has simple words of advice for anyone considering a stay at OHI.  “Be willing to be open, and change yourself,” said Natalia.  “Go to the Friday Morning Testimonials, and open your heart to people’s stories of change.  Every class will change your perspective, and help you on your healing journey.  Practice conscious breathing.  Learn alpha state mediation techniques.  Take the fermented foods class.  All of it will come together for you, so you can successfully continue the program on your own at home.  You will love your life!”

    Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to empower yourself. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Scholarship Recipient Finds Hope in the Eyes of OHI Staff

    Armelda Byrd looked at the pandemic as an opportunity to improve her health.  “I thought I’d use the break from work to exercise and lose some weight,” said Armelda.  “I lost 35lbs, but the uterine fibroid I’d had for many years started to give me pain.  Surgery revealed the shock that I had rare Stage 3 Carcinosarcoma uterine cancer that had spread to my ovaries and some lymph nodes.  The mass weighed more than 15lbs.  I was in the hospital and rehab for over 4 weeks.  When I finally went home, I was in a wheelchair, and not sure what to do next.  I live alone, I was in pain, and I was rapidly losing weight.  My doctor recommended chemotherapy immediately, but I didn’t feel I could endure it.  My sister, a nurse, suggested OHI, but the program was out of reach for me financially.  I reached out to OHI, and by the grace of God, they awarded me a scholarship!  I combined that scholarship with my savings and financial gifts from my friends and family, and was able to book a stay at OHI San Diego for five weeks.  It literally changed my life.”

    Armelda came to OHI walking with a cane.  She could barely participate in classes during the first week because she was so weak.  “I know the program at OHI was pivotal to nourishing my body,” said Armelda.  “But the staff at OHI was what I needed to nourish my soul.  The love, understanding, and care they lavished on me made me confident that I would get better.  They give me the strength to keep fighting.”

    Armelda doesn’t use a cane now.  Her pain is manageable, and her muscle tone is improving.  “Without the OHI scholarship, I wouldn’t be here,” said Armelda.  “Before OHI, cancer consumed me.  My father always taught me to face my fears and with OHI’s program, I could feel the life force returning to me.  My doctor made me feel like I needed to prepare for the end.  OHI helped me prepare for the beginning of the rest of my life.  Thank you OHI!”

    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 45 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 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

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

    Thank you for your generosity!

    Optimum Health Institute is a non-profit, religious organization. Your donation is tax-deductible.