• Stay Calm Using Alpha Practice

    There’s something that boosts your creativity, helps you de-stress, actually builds a better brain, enhances your immune system, and sends you into that strong, focused athletic “zone.” You can get as much as you want – for free.

    OK, calm down! No, literally – calm down.

    When you pause from the stressful demands of daily living to close your eyes and take some deep breaths, you’re not really letting your mind wander. Instead, you’re giving your mind, and your entire being, a deeply healing dose of Alpha, a specific level of brainwave activity.

    We spend most of our waking moments at the Beta level. Functioning at that speed, the brain solves problems, makes judgment calls and decisions, and keeps us engaged and attentive. Staying in this demanding state of alertness takes a lot of energy, and can be exhausting physically and mentally.

    Learning how to slow those brainwaves down immediately shifts us into the more balanced and healing Alpha state. We become mindfully present and peaceful as body, mind and spirit begin to effectively integrate.

    This is the optimum mental state for opening up your creativity, visualizing, programming your mind for success, improving your memory and learning. Achieving Alpha level on a regular basis also profoundly hones your intuition.

    Switching from the more frenetic Beta state into the deep relaxation and receptivity of Alpha is easy. Sit straight, with your feet flat on the floor, or in a cross-legged position. Gently rest your hands on your legs, palms up, and bring your thumb, index finger and middle fingers together. Close your eyes, and start to follow your breath.

    It’s frequently helpful to silently repeat a world or phrase that has special meaning to you. “God is love,” “Shalom,” or “Om” are popular choices to get you into a peaceful state. You can start at your toes and just imagine all the tension and stress of the day slowly flowing out of your feet and into the earth. The relaxation continues to wash over your body, taking you deeper and deeper into a place of complete contentment.

    As you bask in the peacefulness of the Alpha state, inspiration, creativity and sudden insights can just float into your awareness. People frequently find a solution for an issue they’ve been dealing with, or discover a completely new way to look at a situation.

    When you feel you’ve spent enough time basking in Alpha, you can gently bring yourself back into consciousness. It’s helpful to silently say a positive affirmation, like “Every day in every way I am getting better and better, healthier and healthier, happier and happier.” Count from one to five, bringing yourself back into a state of refreshed alertness. One – feel the chair beneath you – two, three – wiggle your fingers and toes – four – you’re back in the room and five – open your eyes. Take a moment to stretch and mentally review your experience. Do any images, thoughts or insights stand out? Journal them.

    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.

  • Dehydrated Pumpkin Seed Crackers

    Yield: 12 1-ounce servings

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup soaked pumpkin seeds, rinsed
    • ½ cup soaked sesame seeds, rinsed
    • ½ chopped red bell pepper
    • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
    • ½ chopped firm tomato
    • ¾ cup chopped zucchini
    • ¼ sprig fresh basil
    • ¼ tbsp. dried oregano
    • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
    • ¼ tbsp. tomato powder

    Place half of the pumpkin seeds and half of the sesame seeds in mixing bowl. Blend remaining seeds in Vitamix with vegetables, herbs and spices until mixture is smooth. Add mixture to mixing bowl with whole seeds and stir well with spatula. Spoon onto dehydrator trays in ½ inch tall clumps; do not flatten. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for two days, turning crackers over after the first day.

    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.

  • 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.

  • Mindful Eating, Part 1

    Intro

    When we’re stressed, it’s easy to reach for food to help comfort our emotions. During these times of self-quarantine, we hope our Mindful Eating blog can help bring awareness and tips on how to turn Mindless Eating into Mindful Eating. Here is part 1 of our 2-part series

    Mindful eating is about establishing full attention to your experiences, cravings, and physical cues when eating.  It makes you watchful about what you eat, and it aims to transform your relationship with food by focusing on the how and why of eating.  Mindful eating helps you have a better understanding of what foods nourish you and help you stay healthy while also encouraging a deeper appreciation of every mouthful.

    Here are six guidelines to help you understand the difference between mindless and mindful eating:

    Mindless Eating Versus Mindful Eating

    • Eating past full and ignoring your body’s signals vs. Listening to your body and stopping when full
    • Eating when emotions tell us to eat (ie: sad, bored, lonely) vs. Eating when our body tells us to eat (ie: stomach growling, energy low)
    • Eating alone, at random times and places vs. Eating with others, at set times and places
    • Eating foods that are emotionally comforting vs. Eating foods that are nutritionally healthy
    • Eating and multi-tasking vs. When eating, just eating
    • Considering a meal an end product vs. Considering where food comes from

    How to Eat Mindfully

    Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.  Here are some techniques and practices to make you more aware and mindful while you eat:

    • Begin with your shopping list: Consider the health value of every item you add to your list, and stick to it to avoid impulse buying when you’re shopping.
    • Come to the table with an appetite, but not when ravenously hungry: If you skip meals, you may be so eager to get anything in your stomach that your first priority is filling the void instead of enjoying your food.
    • Start with a small portion: It may be helpful to limit the size of your plate to 9” or less.
    • Appreciate your food: Pause for a minute or two before you begin eating to contemplate everything and everyone it took to bring the meal to your table.  Express your gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy delicious food and the companions you’re enjoying it with.
    • Bring all your senses to the meal: While you’re cooking, serving, and eating your food, be attentive to color, texture, aroma, and even the sounds different foods make as you prepare them.  The sight and smell of tempting food gets your mouth salivating.  The secretion of saliva and its digestive enzymes are the first step in digestion.  When you smell food, it also triggers your hunger sensation, which increases your craving for food.
    • Take small bites: It’s easier to taste food completely when your mouth isn’t full.  Put down your utensil between bites.
    • Chew thoroughly: Chew well until you can taste the essence of the food.  You may have to chew each mouthful 20 to 40 times, depending on the food.  You may be surprised at all the flavors that are released.
    • Eat more slowly, and don’t rush your meals: As you chew your food, try identifying all of the ingredients.
    • Eliminate distractions by turning off the TV and putting down your phone: Your focus should be on your food and the company you are sharing that food with.
    • Eat in silence: If you are eating alone, enjoy the silence.  Stay in the moment with your food.  Don’t let your mind wander.
    • Focus on how the food makes you feel: Do you feel energized or sluggish?  Happy or guilty?  Pay attention to your physical feelings as well as your emotional feelings.
    • Stop eating when you’re full: Through mindful eating, you can tune into your body and become more aware of the sensations that precede the “fullness recognition” in the brain, and better gauge when you are satiated.  It takes your brain 20 minutes before it gets the message that you’re full.  Eating more slowly gives your brain a chance to catch up with your body.  Overeating happens during that 20-minute window.
    • Ask yourself WHY you’re eating: Whether you’re truly hungry, and whether the food you chose is healthy.

    Join us next week for the second part of this article…

    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.

  • Difficult Emotions, Part 2

    Intro

    Here’s the 2nd part of our blog post on how to handle challenging emotions during challenging times. We hope it’s helpful to you…

    There are 6 steps to mindfully deal with difficult emotions…

    Step 1:  Turn toward your emotions with ACCEPTANCE.

    First, identify where you sense a tension in your body.  You may feel it as a stomach ache, a tightening of your throat, or the pounding of your heart.  Next, try to name the emotion you are feeling that is connected with this tension.  Don’t push the emotion away.  Stuffing it down will only cause it to bubble up and explode in different ways later.  Listen to your body, and the difficult emotions it is trying to make you aware of.  It is trying to help you wake up to what is going on before a major crisis occurs.

    Step 2:  IDENTIFY AND LABEL the emotion.

    Try to acknowledge the presence of the emotion, but remain detached from it.  Calmly say to yourself, “This is anger” or “This is anxiety”.  Try to “just be” with that emotion to take the pain out of what you’re feeling.  Stay in the present instead of catapulting yourself into the future or trapping yourself in the past.  There’s no need to blame yourself for choices you made that brought you to this moment.  Just identify the emotion for what it is.

    Step 3:  ACCEPT your emotions.

    Acknowledge and accept that an emotion is there.  If a friend or loved one was having a hard time, you wouldn’t shame them about it.  You need to show that same kindness to yourself, and say “I did the best I could.”  You are not your anger, fear, grief, or any other difficult emotion you are feeling, and it will not last forever.  Once you accept the emotion and treat yourself with compassion, you should feel some of the tension leave your body as you calm and soothe yourself.

    Step 4:  Realize the IMPERMANENCE of your emotions.

    Even if the emotion feels overwhelming, remember that it will pass.  Opening yourself up to your emotions allows you permission to work through them, and makes them more fleeting/less permanent.  The reality is that every emotion is impermanent, but that’s easy to forget when you’re in the midst of a crisis.

    Step 5:  Inquire and INVESTIGATE.

    After you have soothed yourself from the impact of your emotion, take a moment to explore what happened.  Perhaps you had a hard day at work or difficulty dealing with your family.  Maybe you feel unappreciated, lonely, or disconnected.  Investigating the root cause of your difficult emotions will help you gain insight into what you are experiencing.  To begin the investigation, ask yourself these questions:

    • What triggered me?
    • Why do I feel this way?
    • Was this emotion a result of my critical mind, or is it in reaction to something
    • What were your expectations surrounding the situation?
    • What reactions or judgments caused you to become angry or anxious?
    • Is this a pattern that keeps repeating itself?

    Step 6:  LET GO of the need to control your emotions.

    The key to mindfully dealing with your difficult emotions is to let go of your need to control them.  Step outside yourself, and really listen to what your heart has to say about the situation.

    Mindfully dealing with your emotions takes time.  Be patient with yourself as you explore your emotions.  OHI shares many transformative classes and tools with guests to help them manage and process difficult emotions, including:

    • Journaling: Journaling about the reason for your emotions for 15-20 minutes a day, over 4 consecutive days, can help relieve stress and lessen the emotional charge of the incident, making way for serenity and peace.  Multiple studies have shown that the practice has measurable results in providing benefits for the body, too.
    • Emotional Detox: Forgive yourself for the things you cannot change or control, and move on from your past mistakes.  Accept yourself for who you are, and work diligently to grow into the person you want to become.
    • Alpha Practice: Alpha meditation is anything that lets you quiet your mind through contemplation and reflection, and is a valuable tool for defusing tensions.  The Alpha method to enter a meditative state starts by sitting 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” or “love.”  Imagine a relaxing sensation, like a wave of 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 — resolving a conflict, emotional investigation, 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, healthier, and happier.”  Slowly count from 1-5, becoming more alert with each number.  Take a moment to reflect on insights you may have received in the Alpha state.

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

    Emotional Detox is just one of the classes you will take 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.

  • Difficult Emotions, Part 1

    Intro

    We hope you’re keeping safe and sanitized! Our latest blog post offers ideas to help you do just that as you navigate today’s uncertainties—by recognizing and accepting the emotions you’re feeling amid the current pandemic. Here’s part 1 of our 2-part series on processing emotions in a way that’s healthy…

    What to do with difficult emotions? Anger is the bugaboo we all struggle with…

    We set the topic for this blog post weeks ago, well before the current pandemic panic, but it certainly seems timely as we deal with quarantine worries, working from home stress, distance learning challenges for our kids, and just overall social isolation sadness.  What do we do with difficult emotions, and how can we work through them in a way that is healthy and productive?

    No matter what emotion you’re feeling — anger, depression, confusion, sadness, etc. — EVERY emotion is valid.  Anger is a tough one for women because we’re taught that anger is unbecoming on a woman, and we should just “be nice”.  Author/Catholic/Buddhist Practitioner/Psychotherapist, David Richo, clearly lists the differences between anger and abuse:

    True Anger ———————————————— Abuse, the Shadow of Anger

    • Authentic self-expression —————————– • Theatrical display
    • Is mindful (conscious) ——————————– • Is ego-driven (unconscious)
    • Is a form of assertiveness that shows respect——- • Is aggressive, an attack
    • Arises from displeasure at an injustice————– • Arises from the sense of an affront to an ego
    • Is meant to communicate—————————– • Is meant to silence, intimidate, or put down
    • Asks for accountability and amends—————– • Blames the other and takes revenge
    • Is about this present issue—————————- • Is often a build-up of past unresolved issues
    • Is in control (manages temper) ———————- • Is hostile, out of control (loses temper)
    • Treats the other as a peer—————————– • Treats the other as a target
    • Coexists with and empowers love——————– • Cancels love in favor of fear

    Whether you feel anything from anger to grief, you are entitled to your emotions.  Don’t just stuff it down, or allow yourself to be overwhelmed by your feelings.  You need to work through them, and come out the other side feeling positive and affirmed.  The key to working through difficult emotions is non-reactivity and mindfulness.

    Join us next week for the second part of this article…

    _________________________________

    References:

    David Richo, PhD. (2007). Human Becoming: Practical Steps to Self-Respect and Compassionate Relationships. Human Development Books

    _________________________________

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

    Emotional Detox is just one of the classes you will take 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.

  • Lymphatic Exercise

    At OHI, we pay A LOT of attention to the lymphatic system.  A peak functioning lymphatic system is the very foundation of good health, but this critically important part of the body is one that most people don’t know much about.

    The lymphatic system is the largest circulatory system in the body, and is your built-in sanitation center that carries away and filters out poisonous waste products from every cell, tissue, and organ.  It is a complex network of vessels that branch through all parts of the body, able to collect extra lymph fluid from body tissues and return it to the blood.  It is also an essential part of the immune system that maintains fluid levels, fights infection, and produces disease-fighting white blood cells.  It is the first line of defense against disease, where the network of vessels and nodes transports and filters lymph fluid containing antibodies and lymphocytes (good) and bacteria (bad).

    With lymphatic congestion the lymph is not flowing well, cells are poisoned from their own waste, and the lymph fluid becomes a toxic cesspool, resulting in fatigue, swelling, infection, inflammation, disease, and more.

    The lymphatic system needs your help to move the fluid through the body because it doesn’t have an automatic pump like the heart.  The lymphatic system is stimulated by gravity and muscle contraction (exercise).  Moving your body is the key to moving fluid through the lymphatic system.

    How to move the lymphatic system:

    • Move around whenever you can. The lymphatic system depends largely on large muscle activity in the body for its circulation.  Stagnation from sitting all day is a major problem.  The good news is, any exercise helps – move around for a minute or two every 15-20 minutes, do knee bends, stretch throughout the day, etc.  Gentle exercise like stretching and swimming are great for moving the lymph.
    • Go for a walk. One of the best ways to activate lymphatic flow is to take a brisk walk.  Walking is a weight-bearing activity that creates gravitational pulls on the lymphatic system each time you take a step.  Try to take a 15-30 minute brisk walk each day.  Swing your arms and power walk for the best results.
    • Stretch or practice yoga daily. Stretching and yoga poses are especially effective for moving lymph.  Holding stretches combined with conscious deep breathing can help direct lymph through the deep channels of the chest.
    • Deep breathing. Although the lymphatic system has no pump like the heart in the circulatory system, the movement from the act of breathing is a lymphatic pump in itself, and can help direct lymph through the chest.  Deep, slow diaphragmatic breathing for even just 5-10 repetitions (up to 10 minutes a day) will circulate the lymph especially around the liver:  Breathe in slowly through your nose, deeply pushing the stomach out.  Slowly let your breath go out through your mouth.
    • Hydrate daily with water. Dehydration is a common cause of lymph congestion.  Lymph becomes thicker and less mobile when you are dehydrated, but flows well when hydrated.  DRINK!  DRINK!  DRINK!

    OHI puts all of these ideas into practice to help move your lymphatic system.  Our Gentle Exercise Class and Stretch Class stimulate the lymphatic system to eliminate toxins, boost the immune system, and contribute to the healing process.  We don’t do aerobic exercises at OHI because they are too hard on the body when you’re only eating limited calories, and we don’t want anyone feeling lightheaded or risking a fall.  Our guided meditation classes incorporate vocal toning and breathwork, which also increases circulation in the lymphatic system, as does our emphasis on drinking fluids and colon cleansing.

    Stay safe, and be well.  And above all, keep your lymphatic system MOVING!

    Lymph exercise is just one of the transformative things 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.