Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease

Service available at   Kapiolani Pali Momi Straub Wilcox

Hawaii Pacific Health is proud to offer the Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease ® (Ornish Lifestyle Medicine TM), which is a unique and innovative approach to prevent, stop, and even reverse heart disease and significantly improve other chronic conditions.

Ornish Alumni Picnic Slideshow

The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program is designed for people who want to:

  • Prevent, stop, or reverse heart disease
  • Learn lifestyle changes to help manage diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and other chronic conditions
  • Lessen dependence on medications

The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine focuses on four program elements: 

Our certified clinical team guides program participants through an experiential journey consisting of:

  • Exercise: Participate in low impact aerobic exercise and strength training, personalized to an individual’s ability.
  • Stress Management: Learn techniques to help manage and cope with daily stress.
  • Nutrition: Develop a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based eating plan (less than 10% of daily calories from fat).
  • Group Support: Connect with other program participants, experience emotional support throughout the program, and practice skills which decrease social isolation, depression and anxiety.

The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Commitment

Participants complete the program in a small, consistent group of other program members. Each program group can accommodate up to 15 individuals. Participants in the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program commit to the program guidelines and attendance for all 18 program sessions (approx. nine weeks) of 4-hours each.

Attendance at each 4-hour session includes participating in one hour of exercise, one hour of stress management, one hour of group support and one hour of an Ornish Lifestyle Medicine-approved nutritious meal and lecture. During each session, a trained chef prepares an evening meal that is shared onsite with the group.

The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine is designed to help:

  •  People who are considering bypass, angioplasty or stents, but are seeking an option that may reduce the need for these procedures.
  • People who have previously experienced heart procedures and want to minimize the chances of having repeat procedures.
  • People with diabetes (who are considered to have the same risk level for heart disease as those who are have already been diagnosed with heart disease)
  • People with risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity or family history of heart disease

Enroll Today 

Our experienced and professional team works with primary care physicians and specialists, such as cardiologists, to identify candidates for the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine. Candidates are carefully screened to ensure that the program is right for them. Participants who are in the program continue to be treated by their primary physician who will receive regular reports on their patients.

Hawaii Pacific Health is currently accepting qualified participants in the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program. To determine whether you may be eligible for Ornish Lifestyle Medicine or for more information, please see our referral form or call (808) 522-4114.

Request More Information

Programs & Services available at:


The Ornish Reversal Program is available at Straub Medical Center at the First Insurance Center Building, located on 1100 Ward Avenue in Honolulu.

For more information, please call 808-522-4114.


Fitness and Exercise Tips:

1) When increasing exercise, use the 10% rule.  Calculate your current average daily exercise and increase it by 10% until you have reached your goal and / or the public recommendations. 

2) Or monitor and increase physical activity by increasing daily steps.  Increase daily steps by 10% each week until you reach a daily average of 10,000 steps/day. 

3) Or for exercise, increase duration by 5-10% each week until you reach a daily average of 30 min/day or 150-300 min/wk.

4) Be sure to do a warm up and cool down with any exercise, even strength training.

5) When doing weights or strength training, exhale during exertion phase and inhale during relaxation phase. (Example, breath out when lifting and breath in when lowering weights)

6) Set goals that are realistic.  One strategy is to create S.M.A.R.T. goals:

S. specific
M. measurable
A. achievable
R. realistic
T. time-based

Nutrition Tips:

1) When shopping for breads, pastas, or other carbohydrates, choose whole grains.  An item is considered a whole grain if the first ingredient listed on the ingredient list is a whole grain or a whole wheat flour.

2) A food item is considered "Low in Fat" if it contains 3g of fat or less per serving. 

3) A food item is considered "Low in Sodium" if it contains 140 mg of sodium or less per serving.

4) Dietary cholesterol is related to the increased risk of heart disease.  In an egg yolk alone, there is over 200 mg of cholesterol.  The body makes all the cholesterol it requires, so any food source of cholesterol is in excess of what it needs.  Try to minimize the amount of cholesterol you eat by decreasing the amount of animal products you consume, and by looking at food labels.

5) Natural soy foods, such as tofu and edamame, are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of plant protein. 

6) When planning to dine out, look at restaurants' websites in advance to see what healthy options you can choose from.  

Relaxation Tips:

1) Have a breathing technique that resonates with you. Chose one that is easy to do in any environment such as counting your breath 4 counts each way. A favorite of mine is to simply extend my exhales a few times noticing the space at the end of each breath. Set a timer once an hour and take a moment to just breath.

2) Progressive Relaxation. Try relaxing different sections of your body individually. Take a moment to clinch your hands into fists as you breath in, hold for a moment, then relax your hands as you breath out. You can repeat this process with different areas of the body such as your legs and feet.

3) Catch yourself treating yourself gently for moment each day such as taking an extended relaxing exhale.

4) Give yourself permission to take a moment to disconnect from your thoughts each day and just listen without thinking

5) Focus on the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Slow down and arrive in the moment

6) Protect your sleep.  Do not have any lights in your room, especially blue light.