Larry Bird will die young, just ask him

larry birdIn case you don’t know it, I’m a sports junkie! I love all sports but basketball is my favorite. I grew up playing it, and now I watch games, I attend games, I have coached for over 10 years, and I even referee High School games.

I just finished reading an article on Larry Bird, who was one of the greats of the 80’s and 90’s. The article is titled, “Larry Bird will die young. Just ask him.” Well, that was enough to grab my attention. The article focused on how many tall and large athletes die young, most commonly from an enlarged heart and the stress it creates on their bodies.

The part of the article that especially caught my interest was a short focus on Bill Walton. Bill Walton was one of my favorite college players. Short bio on Bill Walton:

2x NCAA champion (19721973)

2× NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1972–1973)

3× National college player of the year (1972–1974)

3× Consensus first-team All-American (19721974)

He was THE man. Walton estimates he’s undergone 37 surgeries, including fusion surgeries on both ankles. “When you are in that never-ending cycle of pain, it puts you in a space of darkness, sadness and overwhelming depression.” Walton says. “You go through stages. The first one is, ‘Oh my god, I’m gonna die.’ The next stage is, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to die.’ And the third stage is, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to live, and this is what I’m stuck with.’ That’s the worst stage of all. The article goes on to state: In 2009, Walton underwent an 8½-hour spinal fusion surgery that required four bolts, two titanium rods and a metal cage — akin to an Erector Set — to put him back together. Now he travels the country advocating for athletes to be proactive in their treatment. “We athletes are our own worst enemies,” Walton says. “We don’t listen to our bodies, we don’t listen to our doctors. We don’t realize until later in life that health is everything. Without it, you’ve got nothing.”[1]

I have just hired Bill Walton to be my public relations manager! He hit the nail on the head: Without your health, you’ve got nothing. My hope is that you do not have to suffer like Bill Walton has to listen to your warning signs. I feel sad when I read stories like this. He thought he was doing the right things, he listened to the right people whom he held in high esteem. Ultimately it is HIS health, just like it’s YOUR health! YOU must make the right decisions to optimize your physical, emotional, and psychological health.

What choices do you make?

Do you pay attention to your body’s and take action, or do you keep on keeping on, without listening to the messages your body is trying to send you?

Do you eat foods that your body can easily digest, real food, or do you reach for the easiest, the fastest, the cheapest?

Do you take the time to plan out your exercise, and give your body a chance to recover, or do you ignore exercise because you don’t have enough time?

Do you engage your mind throughout the day, and challenge yourself, or do you take the easy way out?

Do you think positive thoughts throughout the day, set goals, say affirmations, or do you take the path of least resistance?

Do you commit to a care plan to keep your Nervous System functioning at its best, or do you say, “I’m healthy if I feel good right now?”

I feel that it’s great to have choices to make. How different would life be if you did not have a choice?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

1 http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14712117/larry-bird-believes-nba-big-men-die-young-right

[1]

5 Benefits of Powerful Body Language

Even in poor lighting or at a distance when all the details are fuzzy, you probably could posture seatedidentify your friends simply by how they stand or walk. Posture is possibly the most unconscious expression of ourselves. Yet it is possible to make changes to how we hold ourselves, and in this way we can shape our lives and possibly even our destinies.

Power

By now, most everyone has seen Amy Cuddy’s 2012 TedTalk where she proposes a simple life hack: Assume a “power posture” for just two minutes each day to improve your destiny. As she explains, social scientists have noted how expansive, open postures reflect high power, while narrow, closed postures reflect low power in humans as well as non-human primates. Yet, these postures not only display power, they also can produce it. In fact, researchers have proven in various studies when people adopt high power poses they increase their feelings of dominance, risk-taking behavior, power, action orientation, pain tolerance, and actual testosterone. At the same time, people who adopt high power poses reduce their anxiety and actual cortisol (the stress hormone).  Ultimately, her advice amounts to little more than reminding us to embrace the salesman’s credo “fake it till you make it.” But maybe we can all stand to hear good advice repeated one more time.

Mood

While some hanker after power, others simply want to feel more positive and generally up-beat, both worthwhile goals. Through various experiments Dr. Erik Peper, San Francisco State University, has assessed how body posture affects subjective energy level as well as the ability to generate positive and negative thoughts. In one experiment, his test subjects either skipped, swinging their arms in an upward motion, as they walked down a hall or slouched as they walked down the hall. Almost all of the skipping participants reported feeling more energetic, happier, and positive. Meanwhile, those who had slouched reported nearly the opposite emotions; they felt sad, lonely, isolated, sleeping, and “zombie-like.”

Memory

In another series of experiments, Peper discovered body posture can affect the recall of positive or negative memories. When sitting in a collapsed position and looking downward, participants in a study found it much easier to recall hopeless, helpless, powerless, and negative memories, than empowering, positive memories. When sitting upright and looking upward, it was difficult and for many of the participants nearly impossible to recall hopeless, helpless, powerless, and negative memories and easier to recall empowering, positive memories. An upright posture improves memory in general, some say, because sitting up straight helps increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and according to some accounts, by up to 40 percent.

Confidence

A study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University in 2009 found that sitting up straight reinforced confidence. In this study 71 students were divided into two groups and instructed to maintain opposite postures while answering prompts in a business questionnaire. Those who held the upright, confident posture were much more likely to rate themselves in line with whatever they wrote down; their posture gave them confidence in their thoughts, no matter what they might be. Students who had assumed the slumped over, less confident posture, were rarely convinced by their own thoughts, whether they be positive or negative. In the end, students felt themselves empowered to rate themselves more highly when in the upright rather than the slouched position because the former posture led to confidence in their own positive thoughts.

Digestion

Good posture tones core muscles supporting your digestive organs. Researchers believe a slouched posture may contribute to more than one digestive problem, including acid reflux, constipation, and even hernias. Hunched shoulders can lead to a less than ideal digestion. “When you sit in a crunched position, your intestines are folded up as well,” Steven Weiniger, author of Stand Taller — Live Longer, told Prevention. “And that slows everything down.” It is a good idea to move around after eating or, at the very least, sit upright.

Bones

Proper alignment puts less stress on the spine and helps you have good posture. Yet, it also helps your skeleton support your body mass as is intended and in turn this keeps your bones strong and healthy. Poor posture, on the other hand, requires your muscles and connective tissue to “hold you up.” Essentially, then, they do the work of your bones and, over time, your bones become weaker. To strengthen your bones and avoid osteoporosis, it is important that you stand tall.

Headaches

A study conducted by Italian researchers in 2008 compared two groups of government employees over an eight-month period. One group included 175 participants and acted as the control in the experiment. The other (intervention) group included 169 participants who were asked to perform posture exercises every two to three hours, reminded to avoid excessive muscle contractions of the neck and shoulder area, and educated as to the benefits of posture, among other lessons. Participants in both groups used diaries to track their headaches, neck, and shoulder pain, and their use of pain medication. At the end of eight months, the intervention group reported 41 percent fewer headaches, 43 percent less neck and shoulder pain, and a 51 percent reduction in the use of pain medication.

Macklemore tells WHY you should say “NO” to Drugs

Could now be the time that “society” is now starting to stand drugsup and speak the truth about the dangers of prescriptions drugs and medications?

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have a new album on the way and last weed they unveiled a powerful song that has millions talking.

“Kevin” is a serious song about the perils of prescription pill addiction, name-checking the likes of Adderall and Xanax. And for the chorus, retro R&B crooner Leon Bridges snagged the spotlight for a somber guest part. “Put down the pen and look in my eye,” Bridges sang.

The song focused on a character that dons the song’s title as his name. Like most great concept songs, Kevin is representing something bigger than just his own story of prescription drug addictions extrapolating a message about the American dream.

Doctor, please give me a dose of the American dream / Put down the pen and look in my eye,” Bridges sings in the chorus.

Powerful!

Don’t think this song is reality based? Check out this story posted by Dr. Patrick Gentempo. Remember, your health today and your perception of health is based on all your accumulated physical, emotional, and chemical stresses. Is it any wonder that “Kevin” ended up the way he did?

My role as a chiropractor is to not only help all the “Little and Big Kevins out there but more importantly, help people from NOT BECOMING the next “Kevin.”

Here is the greatest example of Cause / Effect I can share with you:

The Story of Little “Kevin”

Little Kevin was born in the hospital. His mother was given medications to “assist” her in the process. The drugs slowed her contractions and as a result, it was recommended by the experts that a caesarian be performed as to not risk the damage that a protracted delivery may cause. The motions around Kevin’s mother became frantic, and after cutting her open, they grabbed Little Kevin’s necks and twisted and pulled. There was great concern in getting him out. There was little concern about the excess physical, chemical, and emotional stresses caused by the process.

When Little Kevin was an infant, he “caught” a cold. The people who loved and care about him the most put a medication formula in his bottle and smiled as he drank it because they felt assured that he would now get better.

At five years of age, Little Kevin fell off his bike, scraped his arm and “twisted” his neck. The people who love and care about him the most, his parents, cleaned his wounds and gave him two St. Joseph’s aspirin. They smiled warmly and explained to him that now he would be fine and that the pain in his neck would be made better by the aspirin.

At nine years of age, Little Kevin was playing little league football. Going through the line, he took a hard hit to the helmet. He came off the field complaining of neck pain. The next morning, he woke up with a scratchy throat and congestion, his neck still sore. The parents felt reassured because now he was old enough for Junior Tylenol. How wonderful, they thought, that their boy was getting old enough to have more medications available for use when necessary. The people who loved and care about him the most gave him the drugs, feeling good because their fears were laid to rest as they helped their boy.

At 12 years of age, that same sore throat and congestion came back. However, this time the Junior Tylenol didn’t work. Kevin’s symptoms persisted. So now the people who loved and cared for Kevin the most took him to the person they respected the most in such matters, they guy or gal in the white coat, the pediatrician. The pediatrician did a very thorough evaluation of Kevin, talked to his parents, and then gave Kevin drugs.

Kevin’s experience for his entire life has been when he felt bad, the people who loved and care about him the most gave him drugs. The people we respect the most as having the greatest amount of knowledge in these matters gave him drugs.

Now Kevin is 16 years old and in High School. He doesn’t make the basketball team and the girl he likes rejects him. He feels bad. What has been his training and programming his entire life? And we can’t understand why the youth of our nation take drugs when we’ve programmed them to do it their entire lives.

The average 18 year old in the USA has seen 20,000 hours of drug commercials! Imagine the contradictions we feed our children as they are taught to “just say no” to drugs, while we feed drugs to them in record proportions. We are not winning the drug war in this country, nor shall we, as long as the culture persists in such a way. To paraphrase Einstein, “You cannot resolve problems with the same level of thinking that existed when the problem was created.” We have a problem. What is your level of thinking?

How many “Kevin’s” do you see walking around your community?  Perhaps Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are right; we need to change society and get away from all of the drugs and prescriptions.

Please let me know how I can help!

 

 

 

5 Travel Tips to Keep your Spine Healthy

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, you may be taking

travel tips

to the roads and skies to reach your destinations over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Regardless of whether you’re driving or flying, there exist an inherent set of stresses that may make your ultimate destination less pleasant than anticipated. Follow these easy directions to make your trip THE best ever!

  1. Are you supported?

Got phone charger?  Packed your new dress? Back Support —Wait… what?

The natural curve of your neck and back is shaped like the letter C. Sitting for hours without supporting the middle of the C will cause the lordosis (curve) in your spine to look more like (. Make sure your lumbar (lower back) is aligned parallel with the center of the seat, and that the headrest supports the center of your head. Bring a pillow to support your head and neck. If you’re worried about packing space, purchase an inexpensive inflatable travel pillow that can be readily be deflated. If you have recurring neck or spine issues, you may consider investing in a cervical or lumbar pillow for extra support. In a pinch, simply roll up a jacket or sweater to support your lower back. If you’re the driver in your car, make sure your seat properly supports you, and be aware that when you drive for many hours at a time that your body may not be sitting perfectly straight.

  1. MOVE!

If you are flying, try to walk in the aisle at least every 30 minutes, especially during long flights. If there is room, stretch out your hamstrings and hip flexors to ease tension in the lower back. Moving around keeps your blood circulating. Another simple way to keep the blood moving (while seated) is to “Tap Your Toes” (picture stepping on and off the brake pedal). This exercise activates your calf muscles and helps squeeze stagnant blood back to your circulatory system. It also helps to deter stiffening and spasms in the lower legs and feet. Lastly, make sure your shoes aren’t too tight; unlace them or loosen when possible.

If you are driving, pull into a parking lot, (not onto the side of the road) every few hours, get out, take a walk, stretch, and get your blood pumping again! Not only will your energy increase and your muscles relax, but you will be more alert on the road, especially while driving at night.

  1. Eat and drink properly

If you are flying, try to avoid alcohol. Drink plenty of water. Flying dehydrates the body; the high altitude promotes drying out of the skin and mucous membranes (sinus sufferers know this all to well). Alcohol further encourages dehydration and volume depletion by functioning essentially as a diuretic. Staying properly hydrated helps prevent circulatory problems that result in stiffened muscles throughout your back and legs.

If you’re driving, eat a heavier meal at the beginning of the day. Choose your meals wisely. Eat protein early in the day for clearer brain activity. Enjoy fruits and vegetables as snacks later in the day. I have to admit, I have been guilty of plenty of junk food while on family driving vacations, so don’t punish yourself. Just understand there is a relationship between eating healthy and alertness, and eating healthy and digestive comfort.

  1. Time travel?

If flying, try to book the very first flight of the day. The plane is more likely to be on time, so you’ll have the luxury of avoiding delays and temptations of the ubiquitous high caloric fast food and spirits in every major airport. If a layover is necessary, limiting the downtime between flights is obvious. If you’re able to choose an aisle seat, do so. You’ll have slightly more lateral space to maneuver (if you can successfully avoid having your foot run over by the beverage cart) and be more likely to get up and move.

If driving, try to leave early in the morning. You will be more alert, and there will be less traffic on the roads. Avoid late night driving as much as possible. Remember dawn and dusk are the two more difficult times to see on the road.

  1. Lift Luggage Properly and Stow It Away

If flying, choose a suitcase with wheels and an ergonomic handle that is lightweight. When lifting luggage, bend at the knees (not at the waist), using your leg muscles to do the heavy lifting. Try to distribute the weight evenly when carrying your bags with feet shoulder width apart. When lifting your bag to the overhead bin, bend your knees and lift to set level, rest bag there, then bend knees again and lift to the overhead bin. If you have a shoulder or messenger bag, switch sides frequently to avoid putting stress on one side of your body.

If driving, take the same precautions when lifting bags into the hatch or trunk. Captain Obvious says, “make sure your bags are not blocking your view out of your rear view mirror.

Following these 5 tips will make for a more pleasant trip and a happier vacation! Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Is an Ear Infection the Same as a Headache?

Is an ear infection the same as a headache? Upon first review, you may answer, “no.” An ear earacheinfection affects hearing, possibly balance, and ear sensitivity. A headache may affect muscular tension, vision, nausea, mental acuity, and mental stability.

Those are the differences. What about the similarities? Well, an ear infection and a headache are both attempts by your body to alert you that something is wrong. They are both warning signs that your body cannot fight off what it needs to. For an ear infection, maybe it’s a virus or bacteria invasion or an overloading of physical, emotional, or chemical stress, or all three. For the headache, maybe it’s a virus or bacteria invasion or an overloading of physical, emotional, or chemical stress, or all three.

What’s the plan of action? For the ear infection, an antibiotic is most frequently used to treat the symptoms. For the headache, aspirin, Tylenol, or a stronger narcotic depending on the severity, Headache-Woman-Grimaceand degree of management achieved.

If you choose to treat with the above options, what is your desired goal? Most likely, it’s to reduce your symptoms, to mask the problem, to convince your body that everything is ok, that the coast is clear. Let’s say the treating options achieved your goal of to reducing your symptoms. What does that tell you? If you had a tooth ache, and you used medication to relieve your pain, are you convinced the problem has been eliminated?

Last week, a patient of mine brought her 20 month old son to see me because he had been having ear infections for several months. The antibiotics were not working, and he continued to get more ear infections when the previous ones had cleared up. I explained that an ear infection is nothing different than a headache or low back pain; it’s just his body doing a really good job of sounding the fire alarm. What’s the purpose of sounding the fire alarm? To let Mama know that his body cannot successfully adapt to the stress he has experienced. What could some of those stresses be? Well, a developing toddler learns to stand and, while practicing, falls over a 100 times. Where do they fall? On their sacrum, commonly called in “toddler talk” your bum! The sacrum, or bum, contains the GREATEST CONCENTRATION of nerve supply in your body. Do you think falling on that same spot over 100 times can create a subluxation, or nerve interference? Is it possible that the subluxation(s) that the young toddler is creating can make it harder for his Immune System and Nervous System to successfully adapt to all the bacteria and virus he is exposed to? Once his Immune and Nervous System are compromised, is it possible that his body cannot heal itself as good as it could without subluxation? Once his body is subluxated, could it be that the only way his body can send out a warning signal is through an Ear Infection?

Whether it’s an ear infection, or headache, or digestive problem, or low energy, or neck pain, or sleeping problems, or anxiety, or depression, the logic does not change. A Nervous System that cannot successfully adapt to its environment and stress will FUNCTION at a less than optimal level. It functions at this level due to subluxations that you cannot correct. Your body cannot heal itself at the level that needs to take place. The longer your body cannot heal effectively, the more inclined it is to send you WARNING SIGNALS. The warning signals are the ear infection, headaches, digestive problems, low energy, sleeping problems, anxiety, or depression. Round and round we go, the logic never changes.

How do you get off the Merry-Go-Round? Invest in the BEST functioning Nervous System you can. Develop the tools to successfully adapt to all stresses that life throws at you. When that happens, you will have a great understanding of why an ear infection and a headache are alike and how they are different.

Harvard University agrees with Chiropractic

“The wisdom of the body is responsible for 90% of the hopes of patients to recover. The innate intelligencebody has a super wisdom that is in favor of life, rather than death. This is the power that we depend on for life. All doctors are responsible for letting their patients know of this great force working within them.

Dr. Richard Cabot – Harvard Medical School

Source – The Weekly Sticky

At first glance you’d think a Chiropractor was responsible for these words.  But they were actually written by a Harvard medical school instructor in the late 1800’s.  While this belief is trivialized by the medical and pharmaceutical community today, it remains the core foundation of the practice of Chiropractic.

Chiropractors humbly acknowledge that “the ONLY thing that can heal the body is the Power that created it.”  The wisdom Dr. Cabot refers to in his quote is called Innate Intelligence by Chiropractors.   It is the genius of Life that animates our cells, tissues and organs.  It is the coordinating force that maintains our body’s intricate chemical balance.  It silently and knowingly orchestrates all steps involved in the healing process.  It is in favor of you living, rather than you dying.

The most important job of a Chiropractor is to teach you about this great force and keep you connected to it.  If you want to meet the REAL doctor responsible for healing you, take a look in the mirror.  It’s the one staring right back at you. You have all the tools inside to function at your best, and unleash the power of your Innate Intelligence. You have inside of you the World’s Greatest Drug Store, capable of administering the correct amount of hormones, minerals, vitamins, antibodies, to the places within YOU that need it at the right time!

What could upset this apple cart? How about interference in your Nervous System function, called subluxations? Just as decay stops the ability of your tooth to function properly, subluxations prevents your Nervous System from functioning at its best level possible. Subluxations, like the dam in the river, caused by an inability to adapt to accumulated physical, emotional, and chemical stresses in your life, if not corrected, will cause the Wisdom of your Body to be less wise.

Many patients think that they receive Chiropractic care in order to “feel good.” The truth is, that once your Innate Intelligence can function at its optimal level without the interference of spinal subluxations, your CAN feel better. Unleash the power of the Wisdom of your Body, and send your body towards LIFE!

Are you living, or are you dying?

Are you living or dying?Living

Your first indication may be to say, “of course I’m living, I’m here, aren’t I.”

Actually, from the moment you are born, you can say that you are a day or a week or a year closer to death.

Why do I bring this up? From my perch in my adjusting room, I have a clear view of the cars in my parking lot. I observed that one of the tenants, who is in the “Dying Business”, always has new cars, and cycles through these every few years. I thought, “There’s a lot of money in the dying business.”

Think about how cost is no object surrounding death. A funeral is not the time to squawk about whether you can afford it. Medicare spends nearly 30 percent of its budget on beneficiaries in their final year of life. Slightly more than half of Medicare dollars are spent on patients who die within two months.[i]

It seems that society has the “dying business” all covered. What about the “living business?” That’s the business I’d rather be focusing my time, energy, and money! So, how do you maximize yourself in the “living business”? After all, if we are dying from the day we are born, as we get older, are we moving closer to living or closer to dying?

Here’s your question of the day – What’s your most important asset? If you answered, YOUR HEALTH, then read on…

What steps are you taking to make sure you are closer to living than to dying?

What’s your diet like? Do you eat mostly vegetables, fruits, grains, or are you eating a majority of “dead food”, such as processed food from a bag or box?

What about your exercise? Studies show the healthiest people are doing some form of exercise three days a week? What’s your program?

What about sleep? Do you go to sleep easily? If not, what’s your ritual? Way back in the day, pre-chiropractic, I used to watch the 11:00 news and then go to bed. When I thought about why my sleep was not sound, I realized that watching 25 minutes of murder and death just to get to 5 minutes of sports was not good decision making on my part.

What about your attitude? Jimmy Valvano, the late, great basketball coach of NC State, in his famous ESPY speech, said, “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

I take every opportunity to laugh often during my day. If I’m not laughing at least 10 times during my day, I haven’t had something special. If you’re not laughing as much as you’d like, please talk to me. It’s important to get you laughing again!

Lastly, and most importantly, if health is your most important asset, what controls health? It’s your NERVOUS SYSTEM. Your Nervous System controls and coordinates trillions of messages every second of your life, allowing the communication between your brain and body to function optimally. Subluxations are created when you are not able to successfully adapt to the stress of your life. If you are under chiropractic care, congratulations for taking care of your most important asset, your health. If not, what are you waiting for? Are you living or dying?

[i] http://www.thirteen.org/bid/sb-howmuch.html