“A Trip Down Memory Lane”
Years ago, a fun-loving secretary, Dianne, recommended a movie she loved. Dianne was the queen of recommendations, sharing her views with such passion and zeal, she was hard to ignore. One week she was all over a movie she watched called “Never Again.” I followed through on her recommendation and learned to “never again” follow through on her recommendations. It was one of the Top 10 worst movies ever!
While in chiropractic college at Palmer, a friend volunteered to be adjusted by a legendary old-time chiropractor who believed if he forcefully pushed your spine to the moon and back you would naturally be healthier. As Jamie was lying face down on the table, the chiropractor suddenly whammed away on Jamie’s back, much to the horror of the viewing students. Jamie stood up and quietly left the room whispering to a friend, “never again.”
Chiropractic has come a long way from being a profession that seemed to some to be about beating the patient’s spine back into a healthy state, as if it were a crooked fence post.
I experienced a similar experience approximately 4 years ago. I admit the pain and costly side effects were unimaginable. It opened my eyes to providing the best that chiropractic offers. Several things we use today in this office are the result of seeking solutions for my own pain caused by that injury; a herniated disc at T12 with subsequent blood clot of the right leg along with other challenges.
Our old tables were replaced with new state of the art equipment that is smoother on you and easier on me. My favorite old table by the way is now used on the Buffalo Bills. We introduced Brain Tap which helped diminish right leg pain that was unbearable. We introduced VibraSonics which helped with the neuropathy that made wearing shoes and even socks difficult. Now we will soon introduce cold laser therapy recommended by a doctor from the Life University Neuroscience Center where a famous Pittsburgh athlete went to recover.
I was offered to “try this medicine” and “try this surgery.” The medical doctors I respected the most were the ones who said “I really don’t know.” I won’t “try” opioids or medicine and I won’t “try” surgery.
Recently a patient wanted me to rough him and his body into a healthier state. Seems contradictory to me. For some reason I always remember a successful colleague who shared, “If you are rough in the way you do everything, it will include your relationships too.”
Live and learn. Beating someone up to get them healthy is not the answer. The answer is always inside you and our goal is to help bring it out.
“The People You Meet”
Years ago, while taking a break during a seminar, I walked into a large, empty hotel foyer. A lovely woman also entered the room and we struck up a conversation. Ever met someone for the first time and you seem to have known each other forever? Our rapport and ease of conversation was delightful until interrupted by her “boy” friend. He quickly entered the conversation with the ease of his “girl” friend. I was slightly stunned since her boyfriend was bestselling author and speaker Wayne Dyer.
Dyer was known for the quote “Change the way you look at thing and the things you look at change”. Is it a wonder this delightful woman I had just met was acquainted with someone of Wayne Dyer’s exceptional reputation? “Birds of feather flock together.”
In these dark times in which so many people seek news, whether on TV, online or the paper, it’s usually bad news. Conspiracy theories are rampant and people are quick to share who is “evil”, “bad”, a “thief” or any other negative character assassination term that applies.
Since we see so many good people in this practice, people of exceptional character, I challenge people with this question. “Wouldn’t you agree 90% of the people you know are truly good people?” The answer is a universal “Yes.”
Sure, you will meet or hear about lawyers who lie Monday through Friday and shake your hand in church on the weekend. There are politicians who are getting rich stealing from their constituents. Still, most lawyers are honest and law abiding. Many politicians have a will to serve. Our health reflects in our relationships and our relationships reflect in our health. Keep being in the 90% plus out there.
“What’s In Your Wallet?”
Why do I hate commercials and still love Jennifer Garner asking me what’s in my wallet? Please don’t think Jennifer asks me about my wallet in person. For some reason her TV commercial line sticks with me.
Do you have the same thing in your wallet I have in mine; pictures of the kids? I am embarrassed to say the pictures are decades old. I have my daughter’s baby picture and she’s now 31. Why do we carry around family pictures? We act as if we are going to forget what they look like.
The most important picture you carry around is the internal picture you have of what you look like. If that picture is one of you being overweight, you are not going to lose weight and keep it off. Besides we are programmed to find what we lose and that includes weight. Without a new picture of a healthy, energetic, fit looking you stored inside, you will not make lasting change.
Be aware that health is not something you chase. The constant dieter can be just like the constant exercise person. The why behind what you do is so important. If your internal picture is of a healthy, energetic you, chances are you will get there. Accidents and injuries happen. Parties in which you over eat happen. Stay connected to your best self, always.
As I travel from my home in northern Washington County to visit a friend in Belle Vernon, I am in awe of the beautiful countryside. For some reason a trip down country roads makes me feel like I am experiencing the heart of America. Gardens are plentiful, placed anywhere in the yard where vegetables will grow best.
Occasionally the beauty of rural America will be tainted by a rusted out old car sitting lifeless in the yard. As I repeat this trip numerous times over the past year, the lifeless car never moves. What would it take to bring this old jalopy back to life? Perhaps we could wash and wax it. It may look better, but you can’t wash and wax away rust. Perhaps we can assume a passage of time will change the car. Time passing without action will make no difference. Everyone knows a rusting car will continue to rust (“Rust never sleeps.”)
So, what’s the solution? It starts with the owner of the car. If the owner feels the car is worth saving, the owner will put time and effort into solutions. The first focus is to get the car moving. Machines that sit excessively age prematurely.
Occasionally I will talk to someone, who treats their body as an old jalopy. They can seem lifeless for their age and prefer sitting around as opposed to movement. The irony is that many of these human “jalopies” are amazing people. As the driver of their body, they haven’t gotten focused on their mental and personality strengths. Getting focused on possibilities leads to awaking your inner wheels. This needs to be followed by a regimented plan to get moving. Shake the rust off. Little things can add up to big things. Make water your drink of choice. Limit your sugar and carbohydrates intake. Get up and move! Remember, no matter the quality of the car anyone has, it’s only as good as its driver.
“Looking for a New Car?”
Mark is looking for a new truck. The one he drives looks to be in excellent condition but he prefers the latest and greatest. He gives me regular updates on his search including dealers and automakers offers. We also went through the process of buying a new car recently. We had two models picked out, Lexus and Volvo. Which one would you choose? “Choose” is a very important word in this blog so start “paying attention.” (“Paying attention” is also important.)
What happens when you are looking for a new car and you narrow your choices down? You start “paying attention” to the car you want, suddenly seeing it everywhere. If you just want a particular color, let’s say red, you start seeing red cars everywhere.
You “choose” to pay attention to your desires and like magic your brain kicks in to high gear. The part of the brain that “pays attention” to what you “choose” is called the reticular activating system (RAS). Please dont think RAS only pays attention to good stuff like new cars. You can activate it to pay attention to bad stuff also.
So many patients have told me they stopped watching the news as the Covid 19 pandemic progressed. I understand choosing to be informed is important but when is it too much information? As the pandemic dragged on the reporting became so fear driven their health and wellbeing was being compromised. It wasn’t easy to turn it off though with the RAS tuned into all the bad news about Covid 19. It was next to impossible to turn away.
An employee at the television news industry taught me years ago that news is a form of entertainment meant to arouse emotions. I thought their job was to report the news. I found this as blasphemous as the time one of the Steelers told me “The Steelers are a business, same as any business!” What? I thought the Steelers were made to rouse emotions out of me if they dared to lose a game.
The RAS is a useful tool if used to point you in the right direction. Being an expert in being afraid every day because you have chosen to pay attention to bad stuff is not being informed. It’s choosing to put your faith in fear to overprotect you. Not a healthy choice.
I long for the days when using my RAS to pick out a new car is the biggest item I choose to pay attention to.
“Divorce and Corona virus”
A long-time friend was being buried in an acrimonious divorce. Since being tarred and feathered wasn’t an acceptable punishment for love lost, paying a significant financial penalty would have to do. His soon to be ex-wife’s attorney was hammering him for information whether it applied directly or not to the divorce. His nerves were frayed and he was aghast at how he and his wife had already accumulated $225,000.00 in lawyers’ bills. As so many exclaim, “The only ones who win in a divorce are the attorneys.”
This Corona virus assault has so many on the defensive, just like my friend struggling with his divorce. I am not quite sure what has people more afraid, the virus or the onslaught of information about how terrifying and deadly the virus is. Anybody keeping track of how readily information about “the science” of this pandemic changes? The warning from so called health experts from various government agencies promote defensive measure such as mask wearing, washing hands frequently, keeping a “social” distance from people and quarantining for 14 (now 10) days if exposed.
Notice how few health experts recommend going on the offensive. How do you go on the offensive? Start with limiting your intake of sugar and processed foods. Give up sodas and energy drinks, even quit smoking. Routinely walk outdoors in the fresh air. Take up meditation using one of the several online apps. Try a virtual yoga class or stretch along with a TV instructor. Take Vitamin D as some countries are giving it out for free or at least promoting its benefits. Many of these things would be an inconvenience, but isn’t this pandemic already an inconvenience? I see Type 2 diabetics with more fear of corona virus when they need to be much more fearful of their autoimmune lifestyle driven Type 2 diabetes.
My friend did get his divorce. He decided to start matching the folly of his wife’s attorneys’ requests for equally frivolous requests. She quickly retracted and shut off the flow of money to the attorneys.
Like a Hallmark Christmas movie, my friend is now happily remarried and living on a Christmas tree farm in the Midwest. Ok, so maybe he doesn’t really live on a Christmas tree farm. Its just a small farm with horses and dogs. Go on the offensive. Be in charge of your health.
“The Secret Ingredient”
A young family man recently asked me to recommend a good book to help him with the challenges of being a better husband, father and career man. What’s the one book you would recommend? What book moved your mind, heart and soul when you first read it?
Many would say, “That’s easy. Recommend “the good book, the Bible.” This young man gave me one stipulation though, “no spiritual stuff.” That quickly eliminated the bible.
If I go back 30 years and pull a positive thinking book off my shelf, my favorite was “See You at the Top” by Zig Ziglar. Zig, a master motivator, lived from the mantra, “Help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want.”
Seeking advice from a patient, Larry, who loves to read inspirational books, we both agreed you can’t leave spirit out of the growth equation. Perhaps “Autobiography of a Yogi”, supposedly the only book Steve Jobs had on his iPad fills the bill. It shows how limited we view our body when we neglect to include our spirit.
So many want just the right exercise, supplement, surgery or medicine to make them whole. There are plenty of accomplices in your life promoting the one “scientific” remedy for you.
Please think back, not to the one book, but to the special cookies, spaghetti, pie or whatever grandma or mom or dad made for you. What was the special ingredient? It was the love or spirit they put into being of service to you. It was a natural extension of who they are.
I applaud this young man for wanting to improve himself so he can be better for others, and himself.
Peace and prosperity start in your body, reflected from your heart and mind. Turn it on and up!
end a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten
friend. Dismiss suspicion,
and replace it with trust….
Write a love letter. Share some
treasure. Give a soft answer. En-
courage youth. Manifest your loyalty in
word and deed. Keep a promise. Find the
time. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen.
Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand.
Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Think
first of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind; be gentle.
Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence.
Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your
Gratitude. Go to church. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart
of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love.
Speak it again.
Speak it still
“Heart Season, “NOT” Flu Season”
How did the flu get its own season, like football and hockey, during this time of the year? The answer is simple: you gave it a season. Although many medical experts like to blame the flu on a virus from some foreign area – likely a communist country – this does nothing but dodge responsibility. If you think that getting the flu shot is your version of taking responsibility, realize that while some brilliant MD’s swear by the shot, other doctors, who are just as intelligent, call it a “waste of time” with side effects to boot!
Now here’s the news bulletin you need to read: the flu season comes at the time when we amp up our sugar intake. Let’s start with Halloween candy – there’s enough to keep entire households on constant sugar highs. Kids aren’t the only ones who consume excessive amounts of sugar. Follow Halloween with the Thanksgiving feast that is accompanied by pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes coated in marshmallows, and other sugary pastries and treats that we all enjoy. We then zoom right into the Christmas season, where we again amp up the sugar intake five-fold, giving out sugary treats like homemade cookies and pies as “thoughtful” gifts to reinforce our love for each other.
A long-time girlfriend, who is in the nutrition industry, has always referred to sugar as “the devil.” Yes, that does sound harsh, but it is true. Sugar weakens the immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to get sick. Mix sugar intake with decreased sleep due to the busy holiday season and you are truly inviting misery to inhabit your body.
Sugar is the #1 cause of heart disease (not bacon as the old, tired myth goes) since sugar causes inflammation to your entire body. Remember: you are good, good, good and sugar is bad, bad, bad. It not only tastes good, but is addicting, so get some willpower this holiday season. Less sugar intake means more of you gets to show up with a healthy heart full of loving care for self and others. So, eat, drink, and be merry this season – but within limits.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Mager Chiropractic!
What are you learning?
What were you up to at the age of 12 heading into 13? I feel I experienced the trifecta at that time in my life. I discovered chiropractic through being introduced to my best friend’s father, Dr. Conrad Matz. I discovered the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY). Lastly, I discovered girls, particularly Jackie.
I set out to learn more about chiropractic, the music of CSNY and girls. With chiropractic I immediately started reading books to help me learn anything about this mysterious profession. All I knew about health was you go the MD when really, really sick. Chiropractic was all about the nervous system allows you to be unique and healthy. Interfere with it through the 3 T’s; trauma, stressful thoughts and toxic diet and environment, and your health and life would be less awesome.
Learning chiropractic was all about reading and study, read and study. Enjoying CSNY was about listening and reading about the musicians themselves. Learning about girls/women, still “clueless” according to my girlfriend.
I followed my dream path to becoming a chiropractor and set out to fulfill the dream of meeting CSNY. There was a big problem with meeting CSNY. It goes back to that 3 T’s model of health. David Crosby was living a very toxic life due to drug abuse. A dentist who met him along with a few tour staffers recommended keeping away from his frequently surly and toxic attitude. How can you turn your back on a music hero from my teens and throughout my adult years? As fate would have it, Crosby gave up his drug addled lifestyle. A less toxic lifestyle led to a less toxic personality. He was actually one of the most gracious people I have ever met and treated my young son with the consideration he would give his own son of similar age.
In October of 2016 I was injured in an accident. This falls under the “trauma” portion of the 3 T’s. Did the trauma and persistent pain interfere with my quality of life and affect my personality? “No way” according to me. Ask those in my life and they would tell a different story. Surly, impatient, low energy, less flexible in my thinking and not kind at times. Sorry!
I learned health truly is your greatest wealth and you must do all you can to treat the people in your life with the love and gratitude they deserve. Always keep your compass pointing to true north. Patiently expect the best. “God’s delays are not necessarily God’s denials.”