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.

The Real Meaning Behind TMI

About a year ago, I was sharing a story with my son, who then said to me, “Dad, TMI.” I had no idea what he was talking about. Then I found out that TMI means “Too much information.” Ohhhhh, now I get it.

Then last week, after I was adjusted by my good friend, Dr. Jan Kirschner, he shared with me a talk he was going to give, titled “The information induced subluxation”. His talk is what we have been sharing with our patients for years, that there are several types of stresses or traumas that contribute to spinal subluxations, or Nervous System interference.stress

As we discussed this, we concluded that people most easily relate to subluxations induced by physical trauma: a car accident, repetitive movements such as computer use, excessive lifting or sitting, sports injuries, sleeping on an uncomfortable bed, and other similar stresses and traumas.

However, what about the subluxations caused by emotional stress? In the Network Spinal Analysis model, emotional stress is THE greatest contributor to the subluxation. We can look at real life examples such as deaths, divorce, job loss, relationships with children and parents and the effect they have on your Nervous System, but what about INFORMATION?

What about:

  • Dealing with the stress of pre and post election?
  • The everyday stress of the tension in the divide in our country?
  • The hate and conflict that is beginning to come to the surface and will surely rise exponentially?
  • The intoxicating lure of the screen, the media, the story, the fear, the sadness?

How successfully does your Nervous System adapt to this stress? I know and hear of many people who are NOT successfully adapting to this information. They haven’t bee the same since the election! This is THE critical time to strengthen your Nervous System. There is just TMI out there and it’s like the Oroville Dam, a small hole that water rushes through, and before you know it, the pressure makes the hole wider, the concrete breaks from the stress of the water rushing, and now the dam is in danger of collapsing and hundreds of thousands of people in the water’s path are forced to evacuate.

How much stress can your “dam” take before the concrete starts buckling and YOU collapse and you need to evacuate your life? Once again, this is THE critical time to regain and optimize your health and life. If I am preaching to the choir here, I congratulate you for your commitment to your health. Please share with someone who you know and care for.

As much as I enjoy my time off around the Holidays, I enjoy coming back to my office just as much. Why, you may ask? Not only do I love what I do, but I get to ask questions that enable my patients to think and put some really neat concepts together.holiday-stress

For example, I know many of my patients traveled to far away places over the Holidays to visit their family. For many people, traveling to far away places and visiting family are two causes of extreme stress. So, my questions to my patients may go something like this, “Now that you are healthier, what did you notice about yourself that was different than in the past”, or “How much better was it being around your family compared to the last time you were.”

I just love the awareness that my patients have developed regarding their improved health and ability to adapt to stress. Today, one of the answers I received was, “I just felt so much more relaxed with my family. I felt so much more centered. I was able to drop into a zone that served me better.” Another patient replied, “My body was not hurting at the end of the day. I felt so much more relaxed. This is different than how it has been in the past”

Who wouldn’t want that? I make it a point to let you know that this new way of adapting is essential to helping you transforming your life every day, in every situation. You may not be traveling across the country every week to visit your family, but you are experiencing relationships with your coworkers, your spouse, your children, your friends. You are encountering stresses that may activate your sympathetic Nervous System that may trigger old default patterns. You may be facing fears, anxiety, uncomfortably, insecurity, loneliness, and more.

As you continue to develop higher brain strategies to adapt to these stresses, all experiences in your life have the potential to look different than they do now. If you have a great story to share with me about “How much better your experience was,” please share it with me. Remember, you deserve all the great things that are happening to you!

Lessons my Mom Taught me

This past weekend, I took my regular trip to Florida to visit my mom. These trips are always memorable in the life lessons I learn every time I visit. This weekend was extra special for the reason that my sister and I took my Mom to see Barbra Streisand perform.mom

What were the lessons my Mom taught me this weekend? Here’s a brief background on my Mom. She’ll be 85 in February, she’s been widowed for almost 40 years, she doesn’t hear well, she is hunched over and needs a walker most times out of the house, and she has struggled with respiratory issues over the last ten years. On this trip, I learned two major life lessons from my Mom.

First, your attitude is your strongest tool. I have often thought, if I had all the physical problems that my Mom does, would I have the willpower to “keep on keeping on”? The entire weekend she had a smile on her face, she went out to dinner Friday night, stayed up late, went to the Streisand concert Saturday night, stayed up until after midnight, went to the beach on Sunday and traveled to my brother’s after that. What my Mom has is an attitude to keep on truckin’. We call her the EverReady Bunny. Yes, she is in survival mode, but she has an attitude to hang in there and keep up when many weaker than her have packed it in.

The second lesson I learned from my Mom is that your health is your greatest asset. I know if my Mom could turn back time she would have done things differently. She smoked for almost 50 years, she did not have an exercise program at any time in her life, and her diet has been “questionable” at best. At this point in her life, I see that her health is hanging by threads. I always talk about the foundations of optimal health:

-Optimizing Nervous System performance through Chiropractic care

-Regular exercise

-Optimize diet

-Proper sleep

-Positive Mental Attitude

Here are some basic truths regarding aging and health. As most people age, their health declines. Some people’s health declines to the point of no return. Why is that, and what can you do to ensure that you do not take that same path?

If you wait until you are 50 or 60 to begin to take back your health, the clock is ticking. Get in the game NOW. Whatever age you are, 20, 30, 40, THIS is the time to regain your health. Why live your life regretting what you have NOT done to protect your most important asset, your health? Take control now. The great thing about life is that you always have a choice in how you live it. If you have made the decision that you do not want to get older and sicker, good for you! If you are sitting on the sidelines waiting for your health to continue to decline to the point where it may be too late, take action NOW! It may be you living healthy into your later years of life.

But what about my Low Back Pain?

Most people who make a decision to change the course of their health do so for a specific reason. Maybe it’s chronic neck pain, or possibly low back pain. It could be that their energy is low, preventing them from enjoying life the way they desire.LBP

I recently recalled a story that was shared many years ago by Dr. Donald Epstein, D.C., the creator of Network Spinal Analysis, yes, the same care you receive in my office. He described a middle aged male who sought care in his office for chronic lower back pain. Dr. Epstein adjusted him for several weeks, and then every visit or two, and he would check in with his patient and get a sense of how his life was changing.  Every time he would ask the question, his patient would answer with his arms crossed in front of him, “My back still hurts me. I haven’t noticed any improvement.” This went on visit after visit, and it was perplexing to Dr. Epstein. He was observing spinal improvements in the patient, and he wondered why the patient was not aware of any improvements.

One visit, the patient brought his young son to the office to accompany him. After he adjusted his patient, Dr. Epstein asked the son, “what have you noticed different about your daddy?” The boy answered, “Well, for one, Daddy is not hitting Mommy as much anymore.”

-What do your symptoms mean to you?

-Are you able to separate your physical pain from your emotional pain?

-As you heal physically, what improvements do you see emotionally or psychologically?

-Isn’t it great that the physical and emotional are connected?

-As a patient, are you so focused on the improvement of your symptoms that you lose perspective of what is improving about YOU?

How much Baggage are you Carrying

When I worked in New York City years ago, I carried a large briefcase to all my appointments. I can remember at the end of the day the toll that physical stress took on my body. My back was sore, my neck was stiff, and my energy was very low.

What about the toll that the stresses of YOUR life take on you?emotional baggage

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my patients about the progress they had been making. (For the purpose of anonymity, I will refer to my patient as “Pat.”) Pat then told me about some “conditions” that Pat had not told me about when Pat first started care.

What were those conditions?

-Anxiety

-Feeling stressed out

-Attention problems, starting early in life in school, and continuing through the adulthood.

My experience has been that when people experience conditions such as the above at an early age, they are often associated with difficulty dealing with emotional traumas. I asked about any childhood traumas. YES, there was a significant emotional trauma that occurred when Pat was two. On a scale of 1-10, this was a 10. We began to connect the dots. What would happen if you had experienced a trauma that your Nervous System was not able to successfully adapt to? What kind of effect could that have on you, a day later, a year later, a decade later?

Now that Pat is receiving care in my office, Pat is starting to notice how the stresses Pat experienced have affected Pat’s life. Pat is now seeing the cause/effect relationship between trauma and health, how conditions are labeled, and stick for life. Pat is observing that things do not have to be that way. If you never develop the ability to successfully adapt to the emotion stress of your life, especially your childhood, you run the risk of being stuck with all that baggage!

Wouldn’t a healthier choice be to unload that baggage, so that you are free to express your health and life that way it was meant to be expressed?