Ornish Lifestyle Program

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ is proven by the results of more than 35 years of peer-reviewed, published research to reverse the progression of heart disease. The program brings about this transformational impact by dealing with the root causes of heart disease and not just its effects. Participants who qualify for the program will attend 18 four-hour sessions that include education on the four key elements of Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™—fitness, nutrition, stress management, and love and support. The combined effect of all four lifestyle elements makes the transformative difference.

Over the years, participants have reported that, due to the program, they no longer have chest pain, they are more energetic, their cholesterol levels and blood pressure are lower, and they have kept off the weight that they lost while taking part in the program. Participants have also reported sustained reductions in medications.

What Is the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ Program?

The premise of Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ is simple yet requires personal commitment and action: adopt a healthy lifestyle based on the four key elements—a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet; at least 30 minutes of exercise each day; a practice of stress management techniques; and active engagement in supportive relationships.

Documented and published results for thousands of participants across the nation have overwhelmingly shown that the program works, so much so that Medicare and several private insurance plans pay for participants to attend. All that is required is a referral from a physician and the patient’s commitment to adhere to program guidelines. Adherence includes, first and foremost, that one gives up smoking, which research links to many diseases, including heart disease.

Participants are not left alone to figure out how they are going to change their lives. Participants experience the program within a small consistent group, who all have the common goal of reversing their heart disease and improving their well-being.

In our closely knit groups, our experienced staff teaches our patients:

  • How to prepare a whole-food, plant-based diet
  • How to exercise
  • Techniques such as yoga and meditation to help manage stress
  • Methods of communication through group discussions

What Are the Benefits of the Lifestyle?

Why should you enroll in the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ program? Because of the results. This program is scientifically proven to:

  • Reduce the risk of heart-related events
  • Decrease the frequency and severity of chest discomfort
  • Lower the likelihood of future surgery
  • Lessen dependence on medications
  • Lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and bring about weight loss
  • Increase your capacity for exercise

Don’t just take it from us—our participants are the living embodiment of these results! Read testimonials from patients whose lives have been changed by this program.

Who Qualifies for the Program?

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ has been so effective in undoing years of damage to the heart that Medicare and some major insurances now cover the program under a new benefit category—Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation—making it the first of its kind to receive this level of support.

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ can help prevent heart disease as well as reverse it—which makes it a great treatment option for those with risk factors of heart disease (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or obesity) and those with heart disease alike.

Program Details

The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ program consists of two 4 hour sessions per week for 9 weeks; for a total of 72 hours. Each session includes one hour of exercise, stress management, nutrition, and group support. Each specialty provides individual coaching to modify lifestyle and promote the reversal of heart disease. Nutrition is a whole-food, plant-based diet.


The program costs $9,500 and may be covered by your insurance. Any one of the below conditions often qualify for reimbursement from Medicare and other commercial insurance providers:

  • Current stable angina pectoris (chest pain)
  • Acute myocardial infarction within the last 12 months (heart attack)
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (balloon) or coronary stenting
  • Heart or heart-lung transplant
  • Other cardiac conditions as specified through a national coverage determination

A 50 percent cash pay discount is also available for those who qualify, including:

  • Patients who have completed our traditional Cardiac Rehabilitation Phase II program and would like to participate in a more in-depth, heart reversal program.
  • People who have multiple risk factors for a cardiac event and are seeking a heart reversal program.
  • People seeking a program for primary prevention of a cardiac event due to a family history of heart disease.


  • OrnishKitchen
    Sample menus with links to 30 recipes.
  • OrnishLiving
    The Ornish Lifestyle digital magazine, which you can access anytime free of charge. Additionally, you can subscribe to their bi-weekly email newsletter. Each newsletter highlights articles written by Senior Ornish Lifestyle Program Trainers on the four elements of the program.
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