Will you be Part of this Epidemic?

If you’ve been following the recent news stories and research, you know that Opioid use is becoming more and more rampant.

Here are some facts:drugs

1 The US consumes more than 80% of the global Opioid pill production even though it has less than 5% of the world’s population.

2 In 2015, almost 40% of Americans were using prescription painkillers. 1

3 100 million people are estimated to suffer from chronic pain in the US. 2

4 Nearly ½ of all US Opiod overdose deaths are due to prescription opiods. 3

Why are Opiates addictive?

Opiates can be found in several widely-used drugs including: heroin, morphine, codeine and hydrocodone. Opiates create artificial endorphins in the brain -which produce in the early stages of use warm, good feelings in the user. But over time, opiates trick the brain into stopping the production of these endorphins naturally. At this point, the only way an opiate addict can experience positive feelings is by using the drug in question. This process is the reason why opiates are so addictive.

Why has Opiate addiction increased drastically in the last 10 years?

Here’s the generally accepted theory-

Starting in the late 1990s, a handful of pharmaceutical corporations promoted prescription opiates as the solution to America’s physical pain. Large numbers of people then started to take these drugs — and because Oxycontin and Percocet and the rest have such powerful chemical hooks, many found themselves addicted. Doctors in many parts of the world — including Canada and some European countries — prescribe more powerful opiates than their peers in the United States. If what we’ve been told is right, they should become addicted in huge numbers. But this doesn’t occur. The Canadian physician Gabor Maté argues in his book “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” that studies examining the medicinal use of narcotics for pain relief find no significant risk of addiction.4

Here’s a second theory that makes more sense to me –

Opiate use is climbing because people feel more distressed and disconnected, and are turning to anesthetics to cope with their psychological pain.

Addiction rates are not spread evenly across the United States, as you would expect if chemical hooks were the primary cause. On the contrary, addiction is soaring in areas such as the Rust Belt, the South Bronx and the forgotten towns of New England, where people there say they are lonelier and more insecure than they have been in living memory.

So if you agree with the second theory, opiate use is increasing because people feel more distressed and disconnected.

Wow! If this is the case, and you are faced with the choice of becoming more distressed and disconnected and becoming addicted to opiates OR choosing to become MORE connected and less distressed, which would you choose?

If your answer is #2, then please, if you know someone who is distressed and disconnected from an inability to adapt to their accumulated physical, chemical and emotional stress, let them know they have healthier options! You could very well help save the life of someone you know and care for.

Thanks for taking a major step towards becoming more connected and less distressed about your health and life.

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Results From the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed

2 Tables. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015.pdf. Published September 2016. Accesssed March 27, 2017.

3 Opioid Data Analysis. Opioid Overdose. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/analysis.html. Accessed March 27, 2017.

4 http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-hari-prescription-drug-crisis-cause-20170112-story.html

How Good of a Manager are You?

Whether it is down to work pressure, money worries or relationship troubles, most of us experience stress at some point in our lives. In fact, around 75% of people report experiencing moderate to high levels of stress over the past month. It is well known that stress can cause sleep problems, headache and raise the risk of depression. Here are some important ways in which stress can affect your health.

It is our response to this fight-or-flight response that determines our ability to successfully adapt, and thus, our ability to be healthy.stress free

“Stress is caused by the loss or threat of loss of the personal, social and material resources that are primary to us. So, threat to self, threat to self-esteem, threat to income, threat to employment and threat to our family or our health,” Stevan Hobfoll, PhD, the Judd and Marjorie Weinberg presidential professor and chair at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and member of the American Psychological Association (APA), told Medical News Today.

Stress levels ‘too high’ in Americans

An annual survey by the APA, completed by 3,068 adults in the US during August 2014, revealed that the primary cause of stress among Americans is money, with 72% of respondents reporting feeling stressed about finances at some point over the past month. Of these, 22% said they had felt “extreme stress” in the past month as a result of money worries.

The second most common cause of stress among Americans was found to be work, followed by the economy, family responsibilities and personal health concerns.

On a positive note, average stress levels among Americans have decreased since 2007. On a 10-point scale, respondents rated their stress levels as 4.9, compared with 6.2 in 2007. However, the APA say such levels remain significantly higher than the 3.7 stress rating we consider to be healthy.

I know that when I ask new patients about their recent stress levels, a typical rating is anywhere from 6-10 with 10 being the worst, so if 3.7 is considered healthy, you need to develop the strategies to be able to ADAPT more successfully, as opposed to having less stress.

“[Last] year’s survey continues to reinforce the idea that we are living with a level of stress that we consider too high,” says Norman B. Anderson, CEO and executive vice president of the APA.

The surprising health implications of stress

“Stress is significantly associated with virtually all the major areas of disease,” Prof. Hobfoll told MNT. “Stress is seldom the root cause of disease, but rather interacts with our genetics and our state of our bodies in ways that accelerate disease.”

Some of the more well-known implications of stress that you may have experienced include sleep deprivation, headaches, anxiety and depression. But increasingly, researchers are uncovering more and more ways in which stress can harm our health. 

Heart health

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), stress can influence behaviors that have negative implications for heart health.Heart attack

One study found stress could increase heart attack risk by 23%.

Have you ever arrived home after a stressful day at work and reached for that bottle of wine? Many people have.

In January 2015, MNT reported on a study that found working long hours was associated with risky alcohol use, which the study researchers say is partly down to the belief that “alcohol use alleviates stress that is caused by work pressure and working conditions.”

Diabetes

You may be surprised to learn that stress has been associated with increased risk of diabetes. In January last year, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that women with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a condition triggered by very distressing events – were more likely to develop diabetes than those without PTSD.

Periods of stress increase production of the hormone cortisol, which can increase the amount of glucose in the blood – a potential explanation for why stress has been linked to higher risk of diabetes.

For people who already have diabetes, stress can lead to poorer management of the condition. As well as interfering with stress hormones and increasing blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association note that stressed patients with diabetes may be less likely to take care of themselves.

“They may drink more alcohol or exercise less. They may forget, or not have time, to check their glucose levels or plan good meals,” states the organization.

Alzheimer’s disease

While the exact causes of the condition are unclear, past studies have suggested that stress may contribute to its development.
A study found that for seniors with mild cognitive impairment, anxiety could speed up progression toward Alzheimer’s.

In March 2013, MNT reported on a study by researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, which found high levels of stress hormones in the brains of mice were associated with large amounts of beta amyloid plaques – proteins believed to play a role in Alzheimer’s.

Fertility

Approximately 1 in 8 couples in the US have problems getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Increasingly, researchers are suggesting stress may be a contributing factor.

In May 2014, a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility that found stress in men can lead to reduced sperm and semen quality, which may negatively affect fertility.

How can you protect against stress-induced health problems?

Self talk, meditation, therapy, exercise, diet improvements are all great ways to protect against stress induced health problems. My recommendation?

Get yourself under Network Care stat! Or if you are currently under care, make a commitment to continue improving your health. Research regarding atients under Network Care have shown over time the ability to have:

  • A greater ability to adapt to stress
  • Better ability to recover
  • Easier to implement diet and exercise programs
  • More eager to meditate

Doesn’t it make sense that the more you can affect your master control system, your Nervous System, the healthier you can be, and safeguard to the best of your ability, the BEST ways to adapt to STRESS.

 

When a Herniated Disc is not a Herniated Disc

Physicians, neurosurgeons, and orthopedics alike have for years provided the recommended treatment for a herniated disc – Surgery. By the way, there’s no way I could have become a neurosurgeon – I can’t even look at pictures like this!surgery

Recently, I came across an article from my friend, Dr. Danny Knowles, on research being done on Disc Regeneration, rather than Degeneration. The study, which was completed by Ming Zhong, MD, among others, published in Pain Physician, January 2017, found that lumbar disc herniation (LDH), a common disease, treated conservatively, frequently results in spontaneous resorption of the herniated disc.  Their results represent the pooled results from 11 cohort studies. The overall incidence of spontaneous resorption after LDH was 66.66%. That means over 66% of Lumbar disc herniated resolved on its own, using conservative methods.

Just think of how many people choose more aggressive methods to remedy Disc Herniations. A quick check of surgical methods for lower back disc herniations revealed over six different types of surgical procedures. I have seen over the years how my patients with herniated discs respond favorably to non invasive chiropractic care. Once again, chiropractic care does not “fix” a herniated disc, any more than chiropractic “fixes” headaches, neck pain, sleeping problems or anxiety.

However, if your Nervous System, THE most important part of you, the part of you that controls and coordinates EVERY function in your body, is not functioning at its optimal level, thereby creating subluxations that affect your body’s ability to heal itself, then you will have a more difficult time healing from a problem such as a disc herniation. The better your Nervous System functions, the better your opportunity to heal.

Surgery certainly has its place in the medical world. The question that needs to be asked is, what are you giving up in the long term for a questionable short term gain? Keeping your NeuroSpinal system healthy helps you experience more of what you want in your life: freedom, joy, movement, increased function, and greater adaptability. If someone you know and care for is experiencing disc herniations or health challenges in general, please let them know they have choices. While you are doing that, please pass my name along so they can make a better educated choice on the options they have.

Steve Kerr says, “Stay away from Back Surgery”

Yes, I am a sports junkie, and there is much to gleam from the world of sports. If you do not follow pro basketball, the Golden State Warriors were crowned NBA Champions Monday night, but head coach Steve Kerr is not in a celebrating mood, and it’s because of his back and what’s followed since the back surgery that he got back in the summer of 2015.steve kerr

Here’s the problem that Kerr has been dealing with since his first back surgery: leaking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Your brain and connected spinal cord are pretty sensitive. Therefore, the brain and spinal cord sit in a “balloon” filled with clear fluid, called CSF, that cushions and protects these vital structures. This CSF bath helps ward off nasty microbes too. Normally the “balloon” membrane keeps the CSF from leaking out, but if this membrane is punctured, during an accident or surgery for example, then the CSF is no longer contained.

CSF leaks are not pretty and can cause all kinds of problems. This is because the leaks change the pressure in the “balloon” so that the brain and spinal cord are no longer cushioned quite the same way. Messing with the brain and spinal cord can literally mess you up, but you know that, that’s why you’re here! Common problems are headaches, nausea, vomiting, neck or shoulder pain and stiffness, and balance problems. Such leaks can affect your senses, impairing your hearing and sense of smell or making you extra-sensitive to light and sound. You can have strange tastes in your mouth or ringing in your ears. The CSF can make its way into your nose, ear, sinuses or other parts of your body. The symptoms can be debilitating and obviously prevented him from coaching effectively and enjoying his amazing life, coaching the best team in professional basketball.

The problems started around when the Warriors won the NBA championship in June 2015. He had suffered a ruptured disk in his back and then underwent surgery. After the surgery, he began experiencing CSF leaks, which led to another surgery later that year. The second surgery did not successfully correct the problem. Since then, Kerr has gone through a wide range of attempts to ease his symptoms, ranging from different medical treatments to yoga to meditation to marijuana.

To date, nothing has really worked. After the first surgery, Kerr started suffering from a leak of cerebrospinal fluid. Since then, Kerr has been going back and forth among different health specialists (including a second surgery later in 2015), trying to deal with the leaking cerebrospinal fluid that has occurred since his first back surgery. Although CSF leakages can occur spontaneously, based on reports, the timing did seem to coincide with the first surgery. In fact, Kerr told the Washington Post, “I can tell you if you’re listening out there, stay away from back surgery. I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anyone get in there.”

Stay Calm and Get Adjusted

A few weeks ago, a patient of mine was talking about a conversation she was having with her daughter, who is now six years old, and who has been an on and off patient of mine.

She told her daughter that she was going to get adjusted by Dr. Wind. Her daughter asked her, “Why aren’t I getting adjusted by Dr. Wind?” Her mom asked her why she wanted to get adjusted. She replied, “Because I FEEL SO CALM!” Emphasis on the calm. It wasn’t about muscle pain, it wasn’t about her shoulder tightness, it wasn’t about any symptom. It was about her desire to THRIVE in her world.stay calm

When she shared this with me, my first response was, “Let’s get her in here!” When I sat with the feeling from that conversation, I felt such humility and gratefulness. I was truly in awe of that little wonder. Her innate intelligence was speaking in its power.

She KNOWS that her Nervous System controls everything that happens in her little body.

She KNOWS that chiropractic care helps her adapt better to the various stresses she experiences on a daily basis.

She KNOWS that when she is functioning without the devastating effect of subluxations, her body works better, she is happier, and her innate power is allowing her to live her life at her potential.

When she came in for her visit, she ran in, jumped on the table, and then jumped off, hugged me, and ran off when her power was turned on! I am always amazed how little children seem to “know” more than adults. Everything they experience is through their innate intelligence, rather than their educated minds. How would our lives be different/better if we were to experience life through the eyes of a 6 year old?

Moral of the story? Stay Calm and get Adjusted or Get Adjusted and Stay Calm.

The Most Unfortunate Warning Sign

As a sports junkie, I have a special place in my heart for sports legends from the 1970’s and 80’s. These were my formative years of my sports viewing, and also the time I reached my pinnacle with my sports obsession.the catch

It pained me to read the recent story of Dwight Clark, a former pro football player with the San Francisco 49’ers, who is regarded with making one of the greatest winning catches in NFL history, in a championship game in 1982. It was simply named, “The Catch”. I remember that play like it was yesterday, but for Dwight Clark it must seem like a lifetime ago.

You see, Dwight Clark was just diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He is 60. You know how this story will someday end, and it will be a sad ending. What caught my eye in the story was how he described some of the symptoms he had been experiencing.

“In September of 2015, I started feeling weakness in my left hand,” Clark wrote. “I was mildly paying attention to it because since my playing days, I’ve constantly had pain in my neck. (You realize his playing days ENDED in 1987!) I was thinking it was related to some kind of nerve damage because it would just come and go.

“After months of tests and treatment, I got some bad news,” he continued. “I was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Those words are still very hard for me to say.”

Do you think it is wise to ignore warning signs for 30 years? Even if his warning signs had nothing to do with developing ALS, ignoring severe warning signs is not a recommended step towards achieving optimal health. How do you know what your body is trying to tell you unless you listen and take action. Isn’t that the intent of your body? To let you know that what you are doing needs to stop or change. If it is not stopped or changed, what will your amazingly intelligent body do? Probably continue to deteriorate your health.You see, your body will always win out.

Warning signs are the BEST thing that could happen to you. Why? They are an opportunity to assess, change, and improve. Isn’t it so great that your body can send  you pain, stiffness, emotional upset, a loss of energy, and sleeplessness? Remember, when your body sends you a warning sign, you can simply say, “Thanks. I’m going to do something about this.”

If all you Have is a Hammer, Everything is a Nail

Although this has historically been the rallying cry for chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and more, now the American College of Physicians is joining the ranks. In new guidelines published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, on Monday, February 13, 2017, they stated, “Opiods – one of the most commonly prescribed medications for pain relief and a source of increasing addiction and death – should only be considered for chronic back pain when other alternatives – natural and prescription – don’t work.

Even acetaminophen, which includes the brand name Tylenol, is no longer recommended for acute lower back pain relief, due to a 2014 study in the journal The Lancet that showed it was no more effective than placebo. 1drug addiction

Would you believe lower back pain is the most common reason non-cancer patients are prescribed opiods? Experts believe it is a common gateway to opiod addiction as well as transitioning to heroin! This is the conclusion of Steven Atlas, director of practice-based research at Massachusetts General Hospital, who authored an editorial accompanying the American College of Physicians guidelines. 2

Let’s see…You have a couple of options for lower back pain. One, you can start on a prescription of opiods, which have been proven to be a gateway to opiod addiction, leading to heroin, or you can use a safe and effective method such as chiropractic to find the cause of what’s causing your body to malfunction. Seems like a no brainer to me. I wonder why the American College of Physicians has taken so long to come to the conclusion that opiods are not the logical step towards correcting back pain. It’s not recent news that opiod use or even prolonged acetaminophen use is damaging to your health. I always come back to the theory that if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything else is a nail. Meaning, if a patient presents with a pain, (nail) you need to hit it with a hammer (drugs, surgery).

Everything is not a nail. A headache is not neck pain, which is not difficulty sleeping, which is not lower back pain, which is not anxiety, you get my point. You are very smart. Your body is very smart. It has an inborn intelligence, that helps guide you through good health and poor health. Symptoms are the way your smart body tells you something is not right and needs to be changed. Symptoms are not the way your body tells you it wants to become an opiod or heroin addict!

Listen to your innate intelligence. You are not a nail. You do not need a hammer. Maybe you are a screw or an eye hook. Hammers cannot solve every problem. If you or your friends and family have not found the right tool to solve your problem, give me a call!

1 http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2463257

2 Wall Street Journal Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Life and Arts section