This is a Disturbing Headline!

I am assuming that if you are reading my regular blogs, then you are a human being with feelings. There is not much that boils my blood these days than reading about unhealthy children. Why? Children are our future, and as a dad of three, the health of my children is the most important part of me.children

When I read the headline, “American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other countries”, it made my blood boil. The article goes on to describe that a new study ranks 20 wealthy countries on childhood deaths. The US comes in last.

Does any of that make sense to you? Surely, the United States has the most technologically advanced medical system than any other country and it has the most educated and profient medical community than any country.

The article attributed the US first in childhood deaths to several factors, one being poverty levels, two being funding for kids health insurance being withheld from children, and the extreme high rate of children dying from gunshot wounds resulting from greater access to firearms.

Non-profit organization Safe Kids Worldwide in March 2013 estimated that children get into the wrong medicine or receive the wrong dose more than 500,000 times each year! What’s in play here is a trickle down effect: more drugs and medication being available for adults means more drugs and medication available for children. Whether children getting their hands on drugs and medication either by finding it by accident or being prescribed it from a medical profession, drugs and medication have no business being in the hands and mouths of our children.

Welcome to chiropractic, the world’s largest drug free health care system. Children under chiropractic care develop healthier immune systems, healthier Nervous Systems, and healthier ways of adapting to the accumulated physical, emotional and chemical stresses of life. That’s important because in an article in GMO Science, they state that the top 5 childhood illnesses are on the rise. Those illnesses are food allergies, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, neurodevelopment illness, and celiac disease. My goal is to do my best to change the headline, “American kids are 70 percent more likely to die before adulthood than kids in other rich countries” to a happier one, such as “Children under chiropractic care regain and maintain great health!”

It all begins with awareness. Awareness that a problem exists and that the answer is most likely different than the route that the US has taken to get there. So if you know a child who is not living the health that he or she deserves, please let their parents know that there is hope.

 

This IS a Laughing Matter

Many people that choose to receive care in my office are suffering from challenging health problems. Two that come to mind have extremely challenging health problems. What I admire about both of these extraordinary people is how they use humor to help them through their healing process. laughter

I have seen first hand how important humor is, not only to help navigate through health challenges, but to help enjoy life to its fullest. One of the stories I remember when I began chiropractic school was that of Norman Cousins, author of “Anatomy of an Illness”. In short, Norman, who was an editor for the Saturday Evening Post, developed a denegerative disease while on a trip to Cold War Soviet Union in the 1960’s. He was given a prognosis of a few months to live. He decided to cure himself by taking large doses of Vitamin C and watching television shows such as Candid Camera, Marx Brothers movies and Three Stooges. “Miraculously”, he made a full recovery.

How are you using humor and laughter in your life? Personally, if I do not experience laughter at least ten times a day, I am not living. Humor is a major part of my day. Are you surrounding yourself with funny people or funny situations? Are you able to laugh at yourself out loud? Do you find humor easily in life? If you are answering “no” to any of these questions, I challenge you to make it a point to bring more laughter into your life.

Laughter will help you get through the challenging times in your life.

Laughter will enrich the fun times in your life.

Laughter will help others around you live a happier life.

Laughter will provide more energy for you.

Laughter will help your digestion.

Laughter will help you focus on more important things in your life.

Laughter will help you sleep better.

Give it a try. I am sure once you begin to bring laughter more into your life, you will never turn back.

If you are challenged, you can see me and I will give you a “prescription” for ten belly laughs a day.

5 Ways to Improve your Posture

Let’s face it. Your posture is a window into how your body is functioning. All you need to do is go to a busy store and look at people’s posture, and you can make a quick judgement on who seems healthy and who doesn’t.yoga

Research shows that poor posture can affect lung capacity, heart function, and overall life expectancy!1,2

That’s in addition to the commonly experienced problems such as neck and upper back tension and pain, headaches, energy loss, and sleeping problems. What steps can you take towards improving your posture? Here are five easy steps you can take to improve your posture, your organ function, your energy level, and your life expectancy:

1 Simple stretching  – 

Simple stretching – when your head is in a forward position from the center of your body, it is important to emphasize extension, or backward movement of your head. Stand erect, bend your head forward for a few seconds, then bring your head backwards for a five seconds. You want to engage both movements but emphasize the backward movement for a longer time. Go back and forth five times, two or three times per day. Only go backward to your limit. See how that improves over a few weeks.

2 Yoga – Simple yoga postures that everyone can do.

Cat/Cow – on your hands and knees on the floor. Cat – inhale, arch up like a cat, hold for five seconds, then cow, exhale, let your belly sink to the floor. Hold for five seconds. Repeat five times two to three times per day.

Speaking of yoga, keep an eye on our upcoming “Yoga, Muffins and Mimosas” that I will be hosting at the newly opened Yoga Pod just a few doors down on 30th Street. You definitely will want to be there. 

3 Fuller breathing – Esther Gokhale produces a great program on posture and awareness. Here is a tip from her on breathing.

Lengthen your spine: Adding extra length to your spine is easy, Gokhale says. Being careful not to arch your back, take a deep breath in and grow tall. Then maintain that height as you exhale. Repeat: Breathe in, grow even taller and maintain that new height as you exhale. “It takes some effort, but it really strengthens your abdominal muscles,” Gokhale says.

4 You and your Phone – Think about how many times a day and for how long a time you look down at you phone. Or maybe you don’t want to think of that. Constantly craning your neck down to stare at your phone is damaging your posture. Try holding your phone in front of you instead of bending your head down, and similarly propping your tablet up perpendicular to the table if you’re just reading.

5 Workstation ergonomics – Your desktop position, your laptop position, your chair and your position in your chair are all important factors regarding your seated posture. Here is a LINK to give you some tips on proper ergonomics.

Oh, am I forgetting something? Yes, your Network chiropractic care! I have been so fortunate to witness thousands of patients’ posture improve over the years through a healthier functioning Nervous System. If you are currently under care, great for you! If not, take action now to prevent an unhealthy future. Pain, tension, and diseaase are not the place you want to end up.

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16571389

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15450042

What’s Wrong with Her?

A few weeks ago, I was adjusting a little girl who receives care here with her Mom and Dad. After they had left, another patient, who witnessed the little girl getting adjusted, asked me, “What’s wrong with her.”kid-2815780_1920 (1)

I asked what she meant. Her response inferred there was a health problem with her, like headaches, low back pain, or neck pain, or anxiety. I replied that there was nothing “wrong” with her, that she did not have any symptoms, that her Mom and Dad bring her here for the same reasons that they receive care here. They want their daughter’s Nervous System to be functioning at its most optimal level, so that she can continue to function physically, emotionally, and psychologically at her best level of performance, and so that her body can continue to heal itself at its best level possible.

For many people, chiropractic care is synonymous with the correction of physical problems, whether it’s pain, like headaches, neck pain, or low back pain, and/or emotional problems, such as anxiety, depression, and energy loss. Yes, it’s true, many people begin to receive chiropractic care due to health problems that have reached the tipping point, where it becomes difficult to continue with their life.

What is also true is that chiropractic care has very little to do with helping you FEEL better. It has everything to do with helping you FUNCTION better. Once you function better, then EVERYTHING about you can begin to work better, whether it’s physical or emotional. So when a little girl is on the table receiving her adjustment, my goal is to help EVERYTHING about her work better, so that she does not grow up with the SAME PROBLEMS as her Mom and Dad did. My goal is to help EVERYONE function better so that they can heal at an improved capacity from how they did the day or week or month before.

Just think, if you continue to climb the ladder of health, week after week, month after month, year after year, where you can be in six months, or a year, or five years?

As far as all my young lives receiving their life enhancing adjustments, I would like to see the next generations’ health at a higher level than the generation of today. Chiropractic care can go a long way to ensuring that that becomes a reality.

Catching Kayla

Today I was flipping through TV when I came across a show I viewed a few months ago. “Catching Kayla” is about Kayla Montgomery, then a high school girl who was a runner who noticed that her legs were going numb during her runs.  The show, which you can also see on You Tube, profiled her battle with Multiple Sclerosis. runner

The show defines Multiple Sclerosis as a disease that causes nerve damage and interference in communication between her brain, spinal cord and legs.What happens to Kayla is that she starts a race out fine, and then her legs go numb. At the end of the race, her coach is at the finish line and catches her and carries her to the infield so she can regain the feeling in her legs. Hey, isn’t that the role of your Nervous System, to regulate and optimize all communication pathways between your brain, spinal cord, spinal nerves and the rest of your body?

It’s an interesting situation. Obviously, losing feeling in your legs is a bad situation. For Kayla, not feeling her legs getting tired may give her an advantage. I felt the emotion of the show, which culminates with Kayla winning State titles in Cross Country, indoor track and outdoor track in her senior year. Oops, spoiler alert!

One of the points I felt was interesting was the defining of Multiple Sclerosis as a disease that causes nerve damage and interference in communication between her brain, spinal cord and legs. Isn’t that the role of chiropractic? To increase the communication pathway between your brain, your spinal cord, and every part of your body? Every muscle, every organ, every system, everything!

You do not have to be Kayla Montgomery to take the steps towards increasing the essential pathway between brain, spinal cord and the rest of your body. You do not have to have Multiple Sclerosis, or headaches, neck pain, or digestive problems to want to optimize the function of your Nervous System. Actually, everyone can benefit from having a healthier functioning Nervous System. Who does not wish for a better way to regulate and optimize the communication between your brain, spinal cord, and the rest of you?

Seeing the impact that Multiple Sclerosis is having on Kayla Montgomery made me feel more passionate about helping everyone make sure that their Nervous System is functioning the best it can so that you can be at your best physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Want to Live Longer? Listen to what your Mother Tells you.

Here’s the scenario: I show a patient their posture pictures and the person sees their head leaning forward, and says to me, “My mom has been on my case my whole life to stand up straighter!” old woman

So we have a laugh about it, but it is no laughing matter. The reason these patients were not able to stand up straighter is because their bodies do not permit them to! It’s not because they are lazy and do not want to. It’s because their spinal structure has adapted unsuccessfully over the course of their life, and this is the way their body compensates.

You may think, other than it not looking attractive, what is the health risk of having your head leaning forward? That’s a great question, and here’s the answer:

Imagine your head the weight of a 10 pound bowling ball.

Imagine your head leaning forward 10 or 20 degrees. Do you think this makes your head lighter or heavier? Of course the answer is heavier. How much heavier?

Research has shown that for every degree your head leans forward, that’s an extra pound of weight that needs to be supported by your neck and upper back muscles and spinal column. So, if your head is 20 degrees forward, you are supporting 30 pounds compared to 10 pounds in a healthy spine.

If this pattern were to continue over 20 or 30 years, how could this affect your long term health? In the September 23, 2004 issue of Journal of American Geriatrics Society, a study was done on over 1300 geriatrics. The results of the study showed that geriatrics with a hyperkyphotic curve, that means a greater exaggeration of the upper back curve, developed by a forward leaning head, INCREASED MORTALITY BY UP TO 14 YEARS!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52458.x/full

Why? One reason is that the stress of a forward leaning head over a long period of time will result in reduced blood and nerve supply to your heart, and the reason given in the study is hyperkyphotic posture was specifically associated with an increased rate of death due to atherosclerosis.

Reduced nerve supply and reduced blood flow to your heart is serious business. This is why I have been using a digital posture analysis in my health practice for years. Your posture is a window into the function of your Nervous System.

Poor posture means poor Nervous System function.

Poor Nervous System function means poor ability to adapt, thrive and heal.

Poor ability to adapt, thrive and heal is a recipe for sickness, illness and disease.

Show me someone with poor posture who exhibits amazing health. Show me someone with poor posture with lots of energy and stamina.

Maybe your mother was right after all!

 

 

Do you Think This is a Good Investment?

What are your most important investments?

Planning your financial freedom?investing

Planning for a comfortable retirement?

How about investing in your child’s college education?

We would both agree those are very important considerations. However, what is appropriate for investing in your health?

A more important question is, why is it important?

I recently read an article about a professional football player, James Harrison. A few facts about James Harrison:

-He is 39 years old, and a linebacker, which is unheard of in the rigorous physicality of the National Football League. Most stars who play his position and other positions have either hung it up or are past their prime and of no use for teams.

-He was elected as the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and Linebacker of the Year by NFL Alumni in 2008.

-Earned five straight Pro Bowl selections (2007-11)

In summary, James is no slouch!

What is unique about James is the care he has for his health and his life. He spends over $300,000 of HIS money every year on his health care.

For his muscles to handle the lifting sessions and the NFL grind, Harrison says he needs an acupuncturist, a dry needlist, three massage therapists, two chiropractors and a person who does cupping. He flies them to all his games and sees each of them at least once per week.

It is estimated that Harrison has made over $70 million over the course of his 14 years in the league.

As Harrison puts it, “When it comes down to it, what I make versus what I spend, the payout is worth it based on how I feel.”

How can you apply this to your own life? What is it worth for you to be the healthiest you can be so that you can maximize your earning potential, and function and feel the best you can?

That’s something only you can answer, but when you read a story like Harrison’s, it makes sense to protect the greatest investment you have, your health!