July 12, 2017

Ornish Can Reverse Heart Disease – But What Exactly is Ornish?

For those who have experienced a critical cardiac event, options for the best path forward may seem limited or unrealistic. However, Dr. Dean Ornish has dedicated over 30 years of research into heart disease and lifestyle modification to develop the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program. With the focus of four key elements, this comprehensive cardiac rehab program has been shown to reverse heart disease.

The four key elements of lifestyle change involve:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Stress management
  • Group support

Through focusing on each of these elements, participants experience a multitude of health improvements:

  • Reduction of chest pain
  • Lipid panel improvements
  • Weight lost
  • Reduction of blood pressure
  • Reduction in the number of medications
  • Improvements in diabetes control

The Ornish Program involves being committed to a cohort of other individuals seeking change and improvement in their heart health for nine weeks and is experiential in nature. This means that participants experience the lifestyle changes throughout the course of the program. Upon completion of the program, participants continue to find support through the alumni program and have the option of staying on at Mission’s Heart Path gym to continue the exercise element.

You can find this program in 15 states and over 20 sites nationwide. Mission Health began providing this program in the summer of 2016 with a dedicated goal of improving the heart health of the community in western North Carolina.

Learn more about the Ornish Program directly from one of our patients.

Sam Yanes shares his story – “I’ve lost about 40lbs, my blood pressure is perfectly normal, and I have a lot more energy than I ever did. Without the Ornish Program I might not be alive.”


Reid Rhodes is a Nurse Case Manager with Mission Heart Path’s Ornish Program. 

To learn more about participating in the Ornish Program, contact Reid at (828) 213-7797.

Click here to view more patient stories about the Ornish Program.

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