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.

More or Less?

Is it human nature to want more of something, or less of something? If you use money as an example, the answer is obvious. You want more. How about vacation time? Once again, you want more.Joy1

What about health? Isn’t it true that if you have headaches, your goal would be to have less? Or neck pain? You want less of that! Or digestive problems, you want less of that! Anxiety and stress? Again, definitely less!

What would happen if you shift your paradigm to wanting MORE? I do not mean more headaches, or more neck pain, or more digestive problems, but I mean the MORE that comes with having a better functioning Nervous System and greater health. As you regain your health,

How about more energy?

What about more happiness?

Are you up for more ease in your life?

Who wouldn’t want more flexibility?

What would you be able to accomplish with more motivation?

How would your life be more amazing with more gratitude?

How much better would your life by with more compassion?

The model that has been created in our “health care” system is one of “LESS”. You want less pain, less anxiety, less tightness, less stress, less sleeping problems. Now, once you start on a path towards greater function and greater healing capacity, and your problems go away, what paradigm do you adopt? Do you think, “All my problems have gone away, I’m done?” With the changing of seasons, this is a great time to begin to think about “What do I want MORE of”, or “What have I been experiencing MORE of?”

There is so much personal power when you begin to realize that you are more energized, more in touch spiritually, more focused on your goals, more present in your relationships, more playful, more adaptable, more able to express happiness for others, and more energized!

There is much less power in living the lifestyle of having less headaches, less stress, less tightness. They are important benchmarks, but if you live this paradigm, you will soon plateau in your self assessment of your health and life. Where can you go up from there?

I want you to go for it and create the most powerful list of MORE’s that you can think of. I am here to support you in your transformation from wanting LESS of something to wanting MORE. Let me know how you’re doing in your process. Additionally, if you know someone who is struggling in not being able to reach the goal of achieving LESS of their problems, please share me with them. I would love to help them shift their paradigm from less to more.

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

What do you do AFTER you get out of the pool?

A week ago, my wife Shari and I went to Glenwood Springs Hot Springs. The Springs has been a family favorite for almost 20 years. Our family has spent many a weekend lounging in the pool and going down the slides. Although it seemed strange going with just the two of us, nonetheless, it was an amazing experience as it always is.iyengar

I love to play the role of an observer of people and their behaviors, especially when I venture outside of the Boulder Bubble. What I noticed at the Hot Springs was that many people seemed VERY unhealthy. I noticed many people having difficulty walking, many with skin problems, and many just not aging well. I saw people in their 50’s and 60’s look like they were in their 70’s and 80’s. I know the lure of the Hot Springs is therapeutic nature of the water. As I watched many seemingly unhealthy people make their way gingerly into the water, I felt good that they were taking a healthier step for themselves.

Upon further reflection, I thought, “what happens AFTER they get out of the pool?”

What lifestyle do they go back to?

What is their diet like?

What type of exercise is a staple in their life or they practice a sedentary lifestyle?

How focused are they on their mental approach to life?

What model of healthcare do they practice?

Is it a symptoms based approach or do they view health in  relation to how their body functions?

Is this as good as it gets, or do they participate in a more proactive lifestyle?

How about you? What do YOU do when you get out of the pool?

What are the cornerstones of your health regimen?

Is your health defined by how you feel, or by how you function?

Is your healthcare balanced by proper nutrition, exercise, adequate rest, a positive mental attitude, and chiropractic care to allow your Nervous System to allow you to be the best you can be? So much of the research I have done shows there is a high correlation between the successful steps you take to optimize your health in your 30’s and 40’s, and how your health is in your 60’s and 70’s. Once you get there, there is no turning back the hands of time.

In an interview in the Iyengar Yoga Journal before he passed, yoga icon and then 92 year old BKS Iyengar speaks about the hands of time: “You may have no problems at all up to the age of fifty or sixty. After that, the real problem arises when the tissues of the body do not bear the load. What I practise now is more difficult than what I did when I was young or struggled to learn. Though today, I don’t consider those practices as very hard although I practised ten hours a day then. Today, it is a big fight between the body and the mind. The body says, “I can’t do it.” The mind says, “Do not force me.”1

My advice is to take the proper steps towards investing in your healthy future while there is still time!

1 http://iyi.org.uk/bks-iyengar-on-yoga-practice-and-ageing/

Are you Habits Constructive or Destructive?

Every so often, while adjusting patients, I will glance out the window and admire the beauty of the Flatirons and the Foothills just beyond my office. It seems that every time I look out the window around 10:30, I catch a scene right out of “Groundhog Day.”

A middle aged man walks through the parking lot every day carrying a backpack. It seems innocent enough. A man strolling out of the parking lot, getting his morning exercise. He returns about 45 minutes later. What piqued my interest is that every time he passes right across my field of view, he lights up a large cigar, and I mean large!

So it got me thinking of his daily habit. Walking every day with a backpack – Constructive. Lighting up a large stogie every day – Destructive.

What about your habits? Are they constructive or destructive?good-habits-list2

What is your morning routine like? Do you hit the snooze alarm a few times, then amble out of bed, going through your typical routine, and let momentum take you out the door into the beginning of your day? Or do you have a routine that activates you, prepares you, and excites you to start your day?

How about your eating habits? Are they constructive or destructive? Do you eat meals that support your energy throughout the day, or does your diet contribute to your afternoon blues? Do you spend time learning about healthier ways to shop, cook, and eat, or do you take the path of least resistance, and eat most of your meals out, or to go?

What about your exercise habits? Do you have a plan to succeed, constructive habits, whether it is improving your cardio conditioning, strength training, or flexibility? Or do you default to more destructive habits, without a clear fitness plan and more couch time that gym time?

Take a look at your evening habits. After a long, exhausting day at work, do you have habits that keep your mind and body working through the evening, or do you wind down and stare at a screen for your remaining hours before going to sleep?

Lastly, how would you rate your spinal health habits? If you are presently under chiropractic care, do you view your care constructively, where your continued commitment to chiropractic allows you to climb higher steps on the ladder of health, to maintain all the improvements you have made, or do you use chiropractic for palliative measures, in order to feel better if you hurt yourself or have an onset of pain?

Your life is filled with choices that you make every day  that create habits. A good question to ask yourself is, “Are my habits constructive or destructive?”

Hyper vigilant or FREEDOM, what do you choose?

Last week, I attended the premier of “Life, Adjusted,” the story of Dr. Jay Komarek, a Boulder chiropractor, who’s focus for the last 40 years has been the spinal health of horsehumans and horses.

The movie was both powerful and touching, as it followed Dr. Komarek as he made his rounds from Oregon to Colorado to Florida to adjust horses. To say that the results were successful would be an underestimation. Some of the horses he adjusted were abused “rescue” horses, who found their way to Prasad Foundation in Oregon, dedicated to saving, rescuing and rehabilitating abused horses.

The point that Dr. Jay made over and over again is that horses, like humans, experience the stress and trauma of life. The result of significant traumas over the course of their life creates a hyper vigilant Nervous System, putting the horse in a constant state of fight or flight. A horse’s natural state is one of freedom, but when that horse cannot successfully adapt to the accumulated physical, emotional, and chemical stress of their life, their Nervous System goes into defense. They may kick, stay away from humans, be anti social, or not eat properly, and eventually their physical health declines.

Does this sound at all familiar? Oh yes, this is exactly what happens to humans! If your Nervous System has not been able to successfully adapt to the accumulated physical, emotional, and chemical stress over the course of your life, you may kick, stay away from human contact, be anti social, not eat properly, or any other emotional upset, and your physical  health certainly will decline. You may experience pain, illness, disease. So what do you do? Do you reach for the drug or medication to mask the symptoms, or do you seek help to correct the interference in your Nervous System, so that you can begin to correct the hyper vigilance that has been set up in your Nervous System over the course of your life, so that you can be FREE!

What does being free look like? Could it be:

-Not responding to stresses that in the past would trigger an emotional response?

-Dealing with relationships better?

-Being happier with yourself?

-Exhibiting less anger?

-Having more appreciation for others?

-Being less concerned about the small stuff?

-Feeling more confident in your life?

-Expressing more compassion for others?

-Living from love, rather than anger?

These, and many more freedoms, are available through the optimal functioning of a healthy Nervous System. So, if you are under care, I support you in your quest for FREEDOM. If you are not currently under care, what is the gain that is possible in making the shift from hyper vigilance to FREEDOM?

Is This your Greatest Fear?

Tuesday, Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Women’s Basketball history, passed away. Her obituary read, “On Tuesday, June 28 2016, Pat passed away peacefully, following a courageous battle with early onset dementia, “Alzheimer’s Type.” She was only 64.ALZ

Here is a summary of Pat’s career:

-She coached the University of Tennesee for 38 years.

-She notched 1,098 career victories, more than any other Division I basketball coach

-She won eight NCAA championships (an NCAA women’s record when she retired),

-She was named NCAA coach of the year seven times

-She was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in April 2000

-She wrote three books.

Some may think, how did a woman who was active, intellectual, a great communicator, lose all those abilities in a very short period of time? Some may think, if this happened to a woman like that, could Alzheimer’s happen to me?

Many health professionals look at Alzheimer’s as a disease that has no prevention. It is important to look beyond, and take lifestyle steps to ensure that this debilitating disease does not affect you and your loved ones.

Dr. Danielle Ofri in a recent New York Times blog, says that Alzheimer’s disease has no prevention, She states, “There aren’t any screening tests that can pick up the disease before symptoms appear. And even if there were, there aren’t any treatments that make a substantial difference.1

Evidence shows there is clearly hope in regard to prevention. For example, previous research suggests diabetics have a doubled risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease was even tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in 2005, when researchers discovered that your brain produces insulin that is necessary for the survival of your brain cells. They found that a toxic protein called ADDL removes insulin receptors from nerve cells, thereby rendering those neurons insulin resistant, and as ADDLs accumulate, your memory begins to deteriorate. Recent research also points out that heart disease increases your odds of developing Alzheimer’s.

Dr. David Perlmutter is the author of the New York Times‘ bestseller Grain Brain. Dr. Perlmutter is probably the leading integrative medicine neurologist in the US, and his advice is clear: Alzheimer’s is preventable through proper diet. After spending years treating people’s neurological symptoms, he grew increasingly frustrated with his profession’s lack of ability to get to the root cause. This frustration eventually led him to investigate the role of nutrition, and he became convinced that brain dysfunction is rooted in our modern-day high-grain diet. According to Dr. Perlmutter:

“[Alzheimer’s] is a preventable disease. It surprises me at my core that no one’s talking about the fact that so many of these devastating neurological problems are, in fact, modifiable based upon lifestyle choices… What we’ve crystallized it down to now, in essence, is that diets that are high in sugar and carbohydrates, and similarly diets that are low in fat, are devastating to the brain. When you have a diet that has carbohydrates in it, you are paving the way for Alzheimer’s disease. I want to be super clear about that. Dietary carbohydrates lead to Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a pretty profound statement, but it’s empowering nonetheless when we realize that we control our diet. We control our choices, whether to favor fat or carbohydrates.”

Here’s a summary run-down of diet-related strategies that will help optimize your brain function and prevent Alzheimer’s:

  • Avoid sugar andrefined fructose. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you have insulin/leptin resistance or any related disorders.
  • Avoid gluten and casein (primarily wheat and pasteurized dairy, but not dairyfat, such as butter). Research shows that your blood-brain barrier is negatively affected by gluten. Gluten also makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream, where they don’t belong. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.
  • Optimize your gut floraby regularly eating fermented foods or taking a high-potency and high-quality probiotic supplement.
  • Increase consumption of all healthy fats, including animal-based omega-3.Eat health-promoting fats that your brain needs for optimal function such as avocados, coconut oil, butter, raw nuts, and raw dairy. Also make sure you’re getting enough animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. (Avoid most fish because, although fish is naturally high in omega-3, most fish are now severely contaminated with mercury.) High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.
  • Reduce your overall calorie consumption, and/or intermittently fast.Ketones are mobilized when you replace carbs with coconut oil and other sources of healthy fats.
  • Improve your magnesium levels.There is some exciting preliminary research strongly suggesting a decrease in Alzheimer’s symptoms with increased levels of magnesium in the brain. Unfortunately, most magnesium supplements do not pass the blood brain levels, but a new one, magnesium threonate, appears to and holds some promise for the future for treating this condition and may be superior to other forms.
  • Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate. Vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day. Avoid supplements like folic acid, which is the inferior synthetic version of folate.

Many of the lifestyle tips I have gained regarding Alzheimer’s prevention and health in general come from Dr. Joe Mercola, www.mercola.com.

His information is researched, validated, and current. Please use his resource for many of your health and lifestyle questions.

1 http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/the-silence-of-doctors-around-alzheimers/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1&

2 http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=177631