Making Health a Reality

Tom Osborn hadn't been feeling his best. His health was at risk, with Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. The number of pills he was taking daily was a sign that something had to change. Tom didn't know what to do or where to turn. All he knew was that he couldn't do it on his own.

After consulting with medical friends and doing his own research, Tom discovered TakeTEN at the St. Helena Center for Health — a program of Adventist Health's St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley.

This 10-day retreat combines medicine, lifestyle, fitness and nutrition designed around each person's needs. TakeTEN follows a holistic approach and aims to encourage weight loss and lifestyle change by balancing participants' physical needs with their social, emotional and spiritual needs. The medically based program is backed by proven results from hundreds of thankful participants. The program is also a health benefit for Adventist Health employees, demonstrating the organization's commitment to employee wellness.

When Tom arrived at the St. Helena Center for Health, he was shown to a beautiful room with sweeping views of Napa Valley, California. This would be his home for the duration of the program. According to Tom, the view was therapeutic and helped him process the changes that were taking place at the program.

"At the end of the day I loved to sit on the porch and feast on the view," recalls Tom. "I had lots to contemplate, and the beauty of the scenery was very impactful, as I was going through some important issues. It was the ultimate vacation of the soul."

The view isn't all the program has to offer however. Probably the most valuable aspect of TakeTEN is time spent with the physicians and staff. According to Tom, James Peters, the center's medical director and a board-certified prevention medical physician, spent two hours with him during one session alone. He went through Tom's test results and laid out for Tom where he was and where he needed to be.

Not only did Tom learn about himself, he gained valuable lifestyle lessons. The program is packed with informative lectures about nutrition, exercise, well-being and how to implement this new knowledge at home. There are even cooking classes taught by TakeTEN chefs from the Culinary Institute of America. One of Tom's favorite parts of TakeTEN was the personalized meals to meet each person's specific health needs.

"I came away feeling like it was the beginning of the rest of my life," Tom says. "I now have a complete understanding of what it means to be healthy — and what it means for me to be healthy."

This life-changing program is open to anyone who would like to experience a 10-day retreat for the whole person. For more information about TakeTEN and the St. Helena Center for Health, visit sthelenacenterforhealth.org or call 800-920-3438.

October 01, 2012 / Feature