“The Gift that Keeps on Giving”
Years ago, an elderly grandmother had a system for giving gifts at Christmas and birthdays. Regardless of your age or significance of the birthday, you received a check for $5. I always appreciated this gift. Even if $5 wasn’t considered a lot to most, it was to me at the time. I admired her systematic approach to gift-giving – a system she never wavered from.
Your body works systemically to give you the gift of life. Just as the grandmother was the source of the $5 check, your body’s source is the nervous system. The nervous system systematically allows your body to work and never wavers from its systems. As the boss of your body, the nervous system directs all the other systems (cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, etc.) to work exactly as it commands.
The goal of the nervous system is twofold. The first goal is to have you survive. This can be effortless for your brilliant nervous system. The second is for you to thrive. This requires you to challenge your nervous system through self-discipline in any area you choose.
Just as I felt I was thriving when I received my $5 gift, you can easily see there is so much more to receive. What are you training your nervous system to receive? It is a wonderful master and servant.
“Stop Killing Yourself”
One of my favorite sayings is from Mother Teresa. She said “You can’t give from an empty cup.” She could just have easily said “Stop killing yourself” because both quotes imply the same meaning.
So often I meet patients, particularly women and especially mothers, who do so much for others and end up putting themselves into a worn out, painful state. Whatever happened to taking care of yourself so you have more to give? Consider doing so as an act of love for your family.
I know a young man who is so in love with his family, he pays no discipline and little attention to his own health and well-being. All his hard work to take care of his family will be eaten up by hospital bills, medication costs, and possibly even funeral expenses – his funeral, of course.
You being your best – a full cup of you – is what you deserve and so does your family. Mother Teresa was a smart lady. “You can’t give from an empty cup” – get to work on filling yours up!
“Keep Calm and Drive On”
While heading to the Fort Lauderdale airport at the end of a relaxing vacation, the taxi driver worked hard to contain his need to swear. “People here in South Florida are the worst drivers in the world,” this Middle Eastern immigrant stated.
Yes, the drivers in South Florida are bad. Perhaps it is because many of them are retired New York City natives who haven’t practiced driving for decades. They are now forced to drive if they want to maintain their independence. Between drivers shifting rapidly from lane to lane, going through a red light seconds after it changed, and driving while openly texting, I was on high alert the first two days in a rental car.
Just this morning, a patient reported witnessing an angry, ugly confrontation on Mt. Lebanon Boulevard between two drivers. More than any other activity, driving has become a reflector of our country’s consciousness – and it isn’t good.
Many of the activities I see in South Florida drivers also exist right here in Western Pennsylvania. Without the nearby beach to calm nerves, the drivers here seem even more hostile.
A powerful shift you can make to improve your lifestyle is to use driving as a reflector of your own health. Are you constantly in a hurry – rushing here and there – even to the point of running red lights? Flipped anybody “the bird” lately due to impatience while driving? Are you more aware of others on the road or less due to distractions in your life, including the need to text while behind the wheel? It’s all a work in progress.
As you become more flexible in your thinking, more aware of others, better focused and certainly more relaxed while driving, you are the big winner no matter how poorly others behave while they are driving.
“A Peace of Mind Comes Piece by Piece”
While attending Franklin Regional Middle School, I remember showing up one morning wearing a fashion trend that had long passed. It was a brief time in fashion history when a cowboy-like scarf was worn around the neck. My homeroom teacher – like disciplining a child – looked at me and said, “No, Jim.” Off it came and went straight into the trash.
Those teenage years were all about “just fitting in”. They are filled with asking yourself questions like, “Do I fit in?” “Am I cool enough?” “Do I have enough friends” and all the angst that goes with being a teenager. The silly questions get left behind when growing into adulthood, but stressful questions of another kind take their place.
The biggest question most adults have shifted to is “How can I learn to relax?” Relaxing can be synonymous with peace of mind, ease, and even authenticity – as in, being the real you.
Who we are shows up in our body from spirit to mind to body. Learning to relax is a noble task with an even greater payoff. Whether breathing in a relaxed manner, carrying less muscle tension, or having the posture of someone in charge of themselves, we are here to remind you of ways to bring out the best in you and your body. Be patient with yourself and a peace of mind will come quicker.
“Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect”
As I slowly proceeded driving through a tricky intersection, a car with the right of way patiently let me proceed. We gave each other a courtesy wave (with all five fingers) and moved on.
Any experienced driver knows you make mistakes. If, however, we help each other out, we can avoid many accidents. Experience, or “practice”, makes a difference.
A recent study of care at the prestigious Mayo Clinic revealed doctors successfully diagnose the patient’s condition at a 1 out of 8 rate. That 12% rate is a failure at any level.
What we can learn from this study is confirmation that medicine, same as chiropractic, is a practice. We “practice” on our patients, hopefully with a high degree or skill, experience, and intelligence.
So often the medical profession will say, “You must see an MD first before going to a chiropractor so you can see exactly what is wrong.” At an average of a 12% success rate, why bother?
One of the beauties of chiropractic care is we assess the function of your nervous system. Your nervous system is what makes you uniquely you. If it is functioning at a high level, you have the potential to thrive. Interference with your nervous system leads to you being less than your best.
Every chiropractic visit at our office is founded on
helping your nervous system function in a higher level!
“The Rules of Health”
A recent study revealed in the Post-Gazette on April 7, 2017 showed the esteemed Mayo Clinic accurately diagnoses patients at rate of one out of 8. Medical doctors have the difficult task of being experts about all that ails a human, including the spine and nervous system.
My personal experience with healthcare is likely similar to yours. Since I have made research on health and wellness my life’s passion, it is sometimes easier to personally see medical care’s shortcomings.
I have been diagnosed with pneumonia (true condition: dislocated rib and bleeding in the lungs, torn muscle (true condition: separated collarbone or clavicle), pulled groin (true condition: blood clot), cancer (true condition: swollen lymph nodes aggravated by antiperspirant) and, lastly, worms in the gut (true condition: a child with too much imagination). I had a tonsillectomy at age 19 when an improved lifestyle of a college student would have been enough to remedy the condition.
It’s human nature to think our problems are bigger than everyone else’s. If yours truly are, my heart goes out to you. Please keep in mind that the biggest solution – which somehow rationalizes our biggest problem – is not always the best solution, especially when it comes to your health.
Every chiropractic visit in this office is focused on helping your body naturally function at a higher level. When your body is in harmony with your nature, you will see how well you can be!
“History Lesson: Less Medicine is More”
The exciting life and ultimately murderous death of our 20th president, James Garfield, is full of life lessons. President Garfield was known as the president who united our country following the Civil War. He was a good man from humble beginnings, God-fearing, lover of life and learning, particularly from books, as well as a good father and husband. He wasn’t perfect, however, and his marriage required recovering from a brief affair he had.
While in the office for only a few months, he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau. Guiteau was mentally ill and felt God spoke to him regularly, asking him to kill President Garfield. At that time in our history, presidents were expected to be one with the people – this meant no body guards were expected, even following the assassination of Lincoln.
Garfield’s shooting was not fatal. In fact, it was said if he were a poor soldier in the Civil War, he would have missed two weeks of work before returning to action. Many surviving soldiers from the Civil War walked around with bullets still in them.
Because Garfield was president, he had “the best of medical care.” The doctors – one in particular – over-probed and over-operated on the president until he succumbed to the medical care, leaving his body riddled with doctor-induced infection.
Does that still go on today? You bet it does. Overuse of antibiotics have created antibiotic-resistant bacteria, leaving countless patients with weakened immune systems vulnerable to all sorts of disease. Repeated back and neck surgeries are comparable to the repeated probing by a knife Garfield experienced.
Studies have shown that kids who see the medical doctor less are healthier than kids who get the best and frequent care from medical doctors. Why? The kids get too many medications, interfering with natural development.
Let’s not let history repeat itself. Learn to be healthy!
“The Contradictory Nature of Self-Care”
Years ago, a mentor recommended reading two of Ayn Rand’s classics: The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. After getting past the 900-page length and microscopic print, I decided to “Get it Done.”
Rand’s novels have a principle that applies to all of us. It is “your contradictions will do you in.” Like the drama and shock that plays out in the news when a minister is caught with a prostitute, our health contradictions are subtler and less news-worthy, but possibly life-threatening.
A while back, a patient was incredibly inquisitive about all things health. She glowed when discussing nutrition, an exciting focus in her life. Exercise was not far behind. There was only one huge contradiction she refused to see: she was a smoker and wouldn’t give cigarettes up. Daily vitamins do not overcome a daily smoking habit.
A wonderful man I’ve met through church and the gym will often quiz me about his health. He is a regular at the gym, so I naturally expected a healthy focus in all areas of his life. It turns out he eats daily –yes, daily – at McDonalds. Isn’t that life-threatening? When discussing his dinner, his options did little to surpass his lunch at McDonalds. This contradiction will not be overcome by regular trips to the gym.
Since none of us are perfect, we all have at least one health contradiction. I fight the potato chip or chocolate ice-cream battle daily. I usually win, but it’s nonetheless a battle. What’s your contradiction? Do you rationalize – as in “ration lies” – to allow yourself to attempt to bypass the best you?
Stay strong. Stay tough.
“Discipline is freedom,” as Navy Seal John “Jocko” Willink always says.
“Top 5 Reasons NOT to Go to a Chiropractor”
1. “Why go to a chiropractor 30 times when you can go to a back surgeon one time?” The woman who used this logic ended up having 3 back surgeries and is now permanently disabled. Yes, it takes time and commitment to go the natural chiropractic way.
2. “They keep you coming back.” A patient started care in this office in his 60’s and came at least one time per month for 35 years. He continued to play golf and tennis into his 90’s. His comment about “coming back” was: “I sure am glad I made the decision years ago to keep up with chiropractic care.”
3. “It’s the placebo effect.” This statement came from an M.D. to his patient when she said she “got better with chiropractic care”. The patient’s response to the M.D. – who blamed her success with chiropractic on the placebo effect – was, “Why didn’t the placebo effect work with your care?”
4. “It’s expensive and most of it isn’t covered by insurance.” So many of our patients have spent thousands – sometimes even tens of thousands – searching for a solution to a health problem prior to starting chiropractic care. The difference is the insurance company paid most of the bill for the tests, drugs, and doctor visits. The cost to you was quality of life, compromised relationships, and increased insurance premiums to you or your employer.
5. “It’s time-consuming going to the chiropractor.” Yes, going to the chiropractor requires your time, which is valuable. It’s been said that taking time out of your day to meditate adds time (quality) to your day (life). The same is true with a quality chiropractic adjustment. You relax better, have more energy and vitality, and patients have even reported, “I think clearer after getting chiropractic care.”
“Pill Overkill: A Quick Fix with Consequences”
When playing football as a 10th grader at Franklin Regional High School, I was eager to learn from the 12th graders. As the team put on their uniforms, a senior pulled out a bottle of Aspirin, dumped a few in his hand, and downed them instantly. “What are you doing?” I asked him. “Football gives me headaches, so I take Aspirin before each game to lessen them,” was his response. Even in 10th grade, I sensed this wasn’t a healthy solution and decided not to follow his leadership.
This past Saturday, March 11, 2017, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discussed a lawsuit filed by NFL players for being overprescribed pain pills and anti-inflammatories. According to the article, former Steelers player Jeff Hartings described the NFL as “a culture with rampant use of painkillers.” Hartings actually reported that pills “were overused and abused when I played, even going back to my days at Penn State.”
The most significant information in this article was how NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, etc.) trigger kidney damage when taken prior to strenuous exercise. Do you take NSAIDs prior to physical activities such as gardening, hitting the gym, or playing golf? You may be setting yourself up for unnecessary kidney failure.
If my teammate was taking pills in 12th grade, I wonder where he is today. As one doctor pointed out, taking pills for pain and inflammation ages the body.
The good news is there is a better way! You can improve your life and have a healthier future. If you listened to your body the same way your listened to your favorite musicians, your life would be enriched.