News of the Weird

I just read an article I saw came across as a feed in BuzzFeed titled, “27 Pillboxes and organizers that will make your life so much easier.”drugs

As I skimmed the article and read the comments below it, I was saddened by several thoughts. One is the realization that this article may be read by millions of people who take multiple medications every day. Two is that I began thinking of the opiod epidemic sweeping our country, and how for so many people, this is their reality. Just last week, I read an article that drug manufacturers over the last decade shipped over 20 million pain pills to two pharmacies in a town in West Virginia of just under 3000 people. That’s over 6,666 pills per person. Now I understand the need for new and larger pill boxes.

Bear with me as a I share some of the normalization of our country’s drug crisis. One of the cases comes with inspirational sayings, such as “everything’s going to be OK.” Actually everything’s NOT going to be OK!  According to the CCHR, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 65 high profile cases of mass shootings/murder have been committed by individuals under the influence of these drugs, including the recent Las Vegas mass shootings, the worst mass shooting in US history.

Another pill box says in large letters, “Arsenic – Poison”, with a skull and crossbones. I believe the thinking is that you do not want someone to take your drugs, so the sign implies “keep out!”. Once again, I do not really get the humor intended.

Lastly, there is the essential “Smiling Cat Face” pillbox, just to keep things light. The reality is the overdosing of Americans is a serious matter. According the the National Institute of Health, accidental overprescription drug deaths and incorrect prescription medication deaths are now the THIRD leading cause of death in this country, after heart disease and cancer. Almost a million people a year are dying unnecessarily.

What are your options? For starters, know that you have the power to heal from the inside out. You were created with an inborn intelligence that is working 24/7 to help every muscle, organ, system, tissue and cell properly communicate with your brain. Stresses, which are comprised of physical, emotional, and chemical, will prevent your body from optimally communicating with your brain, which happens trillions of times every second of your life. Medications are a chemical stress which make it harder for your inborn intelligence to work the best it can. Why create blockages in your Nervous System pathway which makes it harder for your to function and heal optimally? Chiropractic is the worlds’ largest DRUGLESS profession.

Why spend your hard earned money on something so unneccessary as pillbox with cute sayings or a cat face? As you’re now regaining your health the natural way, why not spend your money on a new pair of hiking boots or a new bike helmet? Now that’s a great investment! If someone you know and care about is heading down a path of dependency on drugs and medication, please show them that you care about them and tell them about healthier ways to improve their health and life.

 

This IS a Laughing Matter

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

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

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

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

Laughter will enrich the fun times in your life.

Laughter will help others around you live a happier life.

Laughter will provide more energy for you.

Laughter will help your digestion.

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

Laughter will help you sleep better.

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

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

5 Ways to Improve your Posture

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

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

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

1 Simple stretching  – 

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

2 Yoga – Simple yoga postures that everyone can do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poor posture means poor Nervous System function.

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

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

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

Maybe your mother was right after all!

 

 

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.

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

Grass or Weeds?

Sunday, I finished up a job I started a few weeks ago, pulling the weeds from my front lawn. My lawn is filled with Bindweed, which you probably have seen on your lawn or other lawns. It is a viny weed with small white Morning Glory flowers, and it spreads everywhere.weeds

As I continued to pull the Bindweed up, I was amazed at how much of my lawn was covered in it. After an hour or so of pulling it out, I noticed a few differences:

  1. There was no more Bindweed in my front yard.
  2. My grass, which was green to the eye before, was now browning.

Why was that?

Probably because the weeds were killing the life from my grass, and also because the seemingly green color of my lawn was actually WEEDS!

Fortunately, after a nice watering, the green color came back to my grass, but this exercise got me thinking.

The Bindweed was choking off the life to my grass. As a result, my grass was losing its color and turning brown.

However, I was not able to perceive the deterioration of the HEALTH of my grass until I REMOVED the force that was choking off the life, the Bindweed.

Once I removed the interference, and added some water, the LIFE and HEALTH of my lawn began to return.

Does this sound familiar?

How about, the continued physical, emotional, and chemical stress that you experience over the course of your life (Bindweed), begins to choke off the life within you (Brown Grass).

When the interference or subluxation is removed (Bindweed), you begin to heal better and function better physically, emotionally, and psychologically (Green Grass)

Said a different way, have you ever taken notice that something does not seem right with your health or your life, and then you notice it more and more, and wonder, “When did this start? I don’t remember when it started but now it’s happening all the time and I am concerned about it. Same with my grass. I did not notice the Bindweed until it became more prevalent in my lawn and I saw all the white flowers, and then when I removed it all I saw how it had affected the health of my lawn.

Moral of the story:

Don’t wait until the Bindweed takes over the health of your lawn.

Don’t wait until symptoms, illness, and disease take over YOUR health and life.

Your health is your MOST important asset. Remove the interference to health, and let your body function and heal itself better than it could before.

Please feel free to share with those you know whose life has become filled with Bindweed.