“Summer Creatures”




Summer Creatures

     “Can I come in a little later? The exterminator is here longer than expected?” This is a common request in the late spring as we fend off the ants that desire to move in like squatters.

     People can also use chiropractic care like they approach ridding their home of ants.  The ant is like a pain you certainly didn’t invite into your body. The pain is the unwelcomed guest you want gone and will do anything, including chiropractic care, to get rid of.

     I admit I don’t like ants and I don’t like pain.  I approach ridding both with the same attitude.  Getting rid of ants requires being more careful with crumbs and food the ants like to munch on.  Pain requires a broader lifestyle adjustment, perhaps less sugar, more or less exercising, more water, and perhaps less hours spent doing yardwork.

     The bigger view is what is your nervous system reflecting about your inner environment and your future?  Touching a person, talking to a person and simply looking at a person are powerful tools to see how someone is doing.

     Treat your pain as a messenger from your body wanting you to clean up your lifestyle in some way.  Become a detective to figure out short comings in your lifestyle the same way you figure out the source of the ants.

“It’s a Great Life…”

                                              “It’s a Great Life…

     Before you start thinking this is about Jimmy Stewart, remember his movie was “It’s a Wonderful Life”. A patient once shared a quote with me from her father, George Abbey. He repeated these words to her throughout her upbringing: “It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.”

     What does the above quote have to do with your health? Health requires many things including healthy relationships, creating a positive future, an active lifestyle, a diet with minimal sugar intake and mental toughness.

     Life and health require we show up with grit, toughness, and strength of mind, body, and spirit.

     Any adult knows the tough times are going to come. If you desire a great life, you mustn’t give in. Face your inevitable weaknesses and step forward anyway. The more you train your strengths to show up, the more they show up. What a coincidence.

     Research shows chiropractic care helps the nervous system become more resilient. Call it what you will: resilience, grit, or toughness– we all need some.

“Stop the Madness – Part 1”

Stop the Madness – Part 1

     The patient complained of thigh pain and numbness.  Sounds like a possible sciatic nerve problem, doesn’t it?  The additional clue was the growing hard spot in the center of the right thigh.  It was too localized to be a tumor.  So, what was it?

     The hardening muscle and nerve tingling were the body’s response to repeated trauma.  It turned out the patient had developed a habit of accidentally smacking his thigh with his racket while playing racquetball.  Initially, it hurt; but, with repeated hits, the body went on defense to protect itself.  More signs and symptoms were a request by his body to change something.  The habit was actually subtle enough that the patient wasn’t even aware he was hurting himself.

     Let’s not throw too many stones at the self-abusing racquetball player.  We all love our habits that gradually injure ourselves.  How often do you sit or stand tall like a champion?  Patients will show up with a bad back but want to maintain the sitting habits of a slouch.  How about the person who wants to be fit but isn’t willing to give up the sweets?

     A positive change takes some form of sacrifice.  Only one or two small changes can often make a huge difference in your overall wellbeing.  Have the courage and discipline to become your best.

“Gut Check”

 Gut Check

     Quickly in 5 seconds or less: do you believe in the chiropractic principle of health beginning and ending inside you controlled by your nervous system?  Yes or no? In 5 seconds or less:  are you 100% responsible for how healthy you are? Yes or no?

     Realize if you are 100% responsible and your health comes from within, then flu shots, flying in planes full of stale air and germs, washing your hands with anti-bacterial soap, and all the other advertised “have to do” health aids don’t matter.  So, do you really believe health begins solely inside you?

     What about Jesus?  Do you believe in Him?  Didn’t Jesus promote an inside out philosophy of living from your heart, not the rules of the rulers, and loving God with a pure forgiving heart, not solely honoring the custom of the day?  Perhaps you are thinking His philosophy of life doesn’t apply to your health.

     What about Shakespeare?  Didn’t he promote a life lived from inside out instead of one ruled by the stars?  Wasn’t he one of the first writers to teach us life and love begin within?  Perhaps you are thinking that philosophy doesn’t apply to your health.

     Think again.  Perhaps think for the first time.  The greats left us with a philosophy that applies to all of life.

“Cause and Effect”

Cause and Effect

     My dearly departed father saw a cardiologist for many years.  This doctor always spoke with 100% certainty, was self-assured, and quick to share how his lower-level medical colleagues were “idiots” compared to the education he received.

     I recall meeting my father at Shadyside Hospital one day.  His doctor had prescribed him a blood thinner, which caused blood to pour down his leg like a leaky, gushing pipe.  His cardiologist, however, used a very effective psychological tool to keep my father on this medication.  When asked “Can I get off this medicine?” the doctor rapidly responded, “Do you want to die?”

     Psychologists long ago figured out humans are naturally more protective of losing what they have compared to the opportunity to gain.  As chiropractors, we too often make the mistake of asking patients to embrace the power they have to become healthier.  The cardiologist was much more effective in creating patient compliance through a simple psychological trick of asking the patient: “Do you want to die?”

     My father eventually quit the medication and did quite well for years.  Ironically, he went back to his doctor one day when he was not feeling well.  They put him back on the blood thinners and he was gone in weeks.  Was it simply cause and effect? Who knows?

     Whether you focus on losing your health or gaining it, always remember to seek your best you.

“Power Tools to Build a Better You”

Power Tools to Build a Better You

     One of my favorite sayings is “You can’t give from an empty cup.”  This quote came from Mother Teresa and implied you must take care of yourself in order to be able to give to others.  There are 3 powerful tools you can use to take better care of yourself.  They will help you improve your quality of health and life.

     Tool #1 is to remember the quality of your life is equal to the quality of the questions you ask yourself.  What kind of questions do you ask yourself on a daily basis?  “Why do I always screw up?” or “Why am I such a loser” are not very self-empowering questions.  Ask a negative question and you will in turn get a negative response.  What if you asked yourself questions like “What can I learn from this situation, challenge, mistake or problem?”  Get your internal compass pointed in the right direction through positive questions.

     Tool #2 is to take a look at your contradictions.  How about the fitness fanatic who loves going to the gym, but eats a diet full of sugar and fast food?  What about the health expert who relies on smoking cigarettes to calm their nerves?  Or even the preacher who visits prostitutes or steals from the collection basket – both are extreme contradictions.   A hospital administrator recently questioned me as to why so many nurses appear to snack on junk food all day at work.  His point was they need to be a frontline for healthy habits to the patients around them.  We all have contradictions that show up in our behaviors.  Look at yours and work to eliminate them, or at least reduce them.          

     Tool #3 is so simple it is easy to overlook.  Here it is:  keep your promises, especially to yourself.  If you tell someone you are going to do something, do it.  You benefit as much as they do by building your integrity muscle.  If you make an appointment, keep it.  Not even showing up is a huge void you establish internally.

     The opposite of contradiction is congruency.  The opposite of broken promises is integrity.  Better internal questions point your internal compass in the right direction.  Be kind and patient with yourself.  Compassion is the opposite of criticism.

“Software Upgrade”

Software Upgrade

     We live in a world where technology advances happen from year to year now, not just in decades or centuries.  My son recently leased a new car for three years.  After describing all the bells and whistles as well as its advanced safety features, he explained to me the benefit of leasing versus buying.

     “Cars change so much in three years now that you may as well just lease,” he stated.  He is right.  We are looking at shifting to driverless cars in the very near future.  Notice how cell phones keep coming out with more advanced technology?  My father even ditched his flip phone for a smart phone at the age of 83.

     With all the various technological advances in science and healthcare over the years, one thing has not changed.  If you want to see how someone is doing, you touch them.  We know newborn babies thrive when they’re touched.  Just as a flower in full bloom – or “full expression” – is soft, you are at your best when you’re soft.  A relaxed body reflects higher energy and ease of movement.  The professional athletes we have seen in this office often have a soft tone to their bodies.  Since being “soft” has a negative connotation, many prefer the world “supple” to describe their tone.  Soft or supple – it’s the same thing.

     A harder body reflects lack of ease, or dis-ease.  This becomes very noticeable whenever we work with a terminally ill patient.  Their body hardens at the feet and legs, as life is rapidly fading away.

     Being soft is healthy.  Being hard (think rigor mortis) is a sign of loss of life.  Here in our office, we will continue to help you soften up so you can be at the best and fullest expression of yourself.

“Good Vibrations”

Good Vibrations

     As we age, it’s easier to see how connected we all are.  Even ideas are connected to ideas from years past.  Long before The Beach Boys came out with the hit “Good Vibrations”, Tesla promoted “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”  Many probably thought that Tesla did nothing more than create that cool car, the Tesla.  Leave that to Elon Musk.

     Your nervous system that runs your body is a vibration system – good or bad, healthy or sick.  The chiropractic adjustment using the adjusting tool stimulates that vibration, often turning it down or calming down.

     New evidence shows coworkers get into a similar vibration as in getting in sync.  Could this be the reason why multiple coworkers get sick at the same time?  The sickness would be due to bad collective vibes of the team more than bad germs.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

     Even studies of women in the same college dorms show they often get in such a common vibration with one another that they have menstrual cycles at the same time.  This process is known as “menstrual synchronicity”.

     Your chiropractic care helps your nervous system get more resilient and able to adapt to “bad vibes”.  You can rise above.  You are that powerful!

“Doubting Thomas”

  “Doubting Thomas

     Over the years, some of my favorite patients will kid me about faking them out when their body goes from weak to strong or tender to relaxed in a short period of time.  “You’re not pushing as hard” is a phrase I hear throughout my days.

     In one case, a lovely elderly nun who had been a patient for years chided me for not pushing as hard when showing her the improved strength and reduced tenderness in her right leg following an adjustment.  I couldn’t hep reminding her about the biblical figure, Thomas.  Thomas became forever known as “Doubting Thomas” because of his “I will believe it when I see it” mentality regarding the resurrection and wounds of Christ.

     Part of maturing into life is appreciating the invisible.  Life is full of good things you can’t see.  What shape is the package that love comes in?  How visible are the text messages flying through the air into your cell phone?  Having this “I will believe it when I see it” attitude leaves you missing out on a lot of opportunities.

     Soft and strong are the qualities of the best you, even if you can’t readily see the nerve flow that produces them.  As Jesus told Thomas once he saw his wounds: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

“Brain Dead?”

Brain Dead?

     Here is your strange but true Halloween horror story.

     Everyone knows the brain is the key to their health. As we learn more about how our body works, we find it’s all about the brain. A recent study found people can be declared “dead” due to organ shutdown particularly the heart. When patients suddenly wake up from being “dead”, researchers realized they need to look at death from different criteria.

     It turns out the brain is the final indicator of life or death. People who were labeled as dead came back to life and recounted the conversations going on around them while waiting to be processed into funeral mode. How gruesome and horrifying it would be to hear others discuss your pending funeral! The brain achieves is the final verdict on whether a person is dead or alive.

     What about you? How are you treating your brain? You don’t have to wait for death to get a checkup. It’s exciting to see how research is showing the primary benefit of chiropractic care is its impact on improving brain function. An adjustment can even improve balance, which influences the part of the brain that impacts quality of thinking.

     It’s easier and it’s more important than you think to get your brain in shape!