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I’m excited to announce that my colleagues and I are hosting a 12-day residential immersion retreat in San Francisco from January 24-February 4, 2018!

I wanted our lifestyle medicine program to be available to everyone who can benefit from it.

Having seen what a powerful difference these changes can make—giving millions of people new hope and new choices to empower their lives—I wanted our lifestyle medicine program to be available to everyone who can benefit from it, not just to those who could afford to come to a retreat.

That’s why I spent 16 years working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide Medicare coverage for our lifestyle medicine program for reversing heart disease, and I’m grateful that they did so beginning in 2011.  I appreciate that many commercial insurance companies are also covering our program. (See more on Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation)

Now, for the first time, Medicare and these insurance companies will be covering our 12-day retreat for people with heart disease and related conditions, making it available to a much larger group of people who otherwise would not be able to afford it.

I continue to be inspired by what a powerful difference comprehensive lifestyle changes can make in our health and well-being—and how quickly these improvements can occur.

The more diseases we study, and the more underlying biological mechanisms we look at, the more reasons we have to explain why these simple changes are so potent.  Our work is giving millions of people new hope and new choices to empower their lives.

For the past 40 years, I’ve directed research studies showing that simple changes in diet and lifestyle can not only help prevent but also reverse many of the most common chronic diseases—including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and early stage prostate cancer, among others.

We found that when you change your lifestyle, you change your genes in only three months—turning on hundreds of genes that help keep you healthy, turning off hundreds of genes that promote chronic diseases.  We even found for the first time that telomeres lengthened, thereby reversing aging at a cellular level. (See our research)

Our lifestyle medicine program includes a whole foods plant-based diet, moderate exercise, stress management techniques (including meditation and gentle yoga), and social support.

Until now, the only way you could enroll in our program was via the hospitals, clinics and physician groups that we have trained and certified.  Thus, you had to live near one of the areas where we have these programs. (See Ornish Lifestyle Medicine locations.)

Now, our 12-day retreat is available to everyone.  If you have heart disease, chances are Medicare and many insurance companies will cover most of the costs of this retreat.  Some companies are also covering those who have two or more risk factors or those who have type 2 diabetes.

This retreat will happen at the JW Marriott Hotel in Union Square in San Francisco. It’s a wonderful area of the city surrounded by a lot of fun activities. If you’re interested in learning more about it, please visit our retreat information page

I hope you can join us!  Wishing you a holiday season and a new year filled with health, joy and love.

Dean Ornish, M.D.

Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute

Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

President & Chief Medical Officer, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine, Sharecare


Contributed by

Dean Ornish, MD.
Program Founder

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