“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.”
“The Devil Made Me Do It”
Netflix has a series entitled “Lucifer” about the devil taking up residence in the city of lost angels, Los Angeles. The main character, Lucifer, is quite aware of his devilish behaviors but wants to right himself by becoming more loving, connected and less selfish. The writers keep the devilish Lucifer character consistent in showing how difficult it is to leave behind being a devil. In this series, drama unfolds when Lucifer becomes smitten with a pretty detective and ends up helping her solve murder cases.
A unique characteristic Lucifer has is he will always tell the truth, even if it hurts another person. He also has the ability to get anybody to respond to the question “What do you truly desire?” It appears no one, except his female detective partner, can resist answering the question when Lucifer looks you in the eyes.
So, “What do you truly desire?” I have found patients know what they truly desire with their health. Whether it be weight loss, more energy, better sleep, less pain, we intuitively know what we desire. Most people also know what they need to do to make their “desire” happen. Why do we resist? The challenge is to persistently and consistently focus on your “desires”. See yourself as worth having your “desire.” Keep your desire at the top of your value list. If for example you value weight loss, realize the steroids just prescribed to you for pain have the potential to interfere with the weight loss. Come from your highest value. This will lead to you rising up to your best self.
Values vs Hobbies
As a dear friend’s second marriage was unraveling towards divorce, I went into Dr. Phil mode. “What values do you two share?” I asked. “We instantly really liked each other” he shared. This was code for “can’t keep our hands off each other.” I dug deeper with the original question. “What values do you two truly have in common?” Unfortunately, he realized the answer was “nothing.”
With so many singles out there and such easy access to meet people through dating apps, dig deep to see if you truly make a great partnership. If someone asks you “What are your hobbies?” answer politely followed by “What are your values?” Sharing the same “hobbies” is not nearly the same as sharing the same values. A hobby of mine is exercise. What if a woman told me her hobby is also exercise? This is a match only if we exercise based on the same value. What if she exercises only so she can look great for her high school reunion? I exercise, one of my hobbies, because I believe exercise and an active lifestyle helps me be healthier. Health and vitality are such powerful values that I believe form the foundation for so many beautiful parts of anyone’s life. Relationships are more dynamic, creativity and learning are enhanced, ability to experiencing a bigger, fuller world all are an extension of health and vitality.
Your values, when you own them and live from them, can be a compass for your decision making. If a doctor recommends “trying” a surgery or medicine, I proceed from the value of whether the request will enhance or potentially diminish my health. An MD once asked I would consider trying surgery on my lower leg following an accident. “No way!” I don’t “try” surgery and I don’t rely on medicine to be healthy. My mother taught me “you only take medicine when really, really sick or really, really injured.” My mom, most likely like yours, was one of the greatest healers in the world.
“How Am I Aging?”
The fall season brings on unusual excitement for those focused on attending their high school reunion. I’ve heard about 20th, 30th, 45th and even 50th reunions! One woman shared how at her reunion the class bully apologized for picking on her in high school. Making amends for bad behavior in high school may be important to some. Most are more interested in how they look compared to their classmates. Basically, it comes down to “How am I aging?”
A friend recently shared how old everyone looked at his 45th high school reunion in Cleveland. Pittsburghers would agree that living in Cleveland and rooting for the Browns naturally ages a person prematurely. It’s also natural to think everyone else looks older while we magically have remained pretty much the same.
Luck and genes play a role in how fast you age. Mostly, aging has to do with lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle. Eat healthy, especially limiting sugar intake, avoid smoking, exercise regularly and you can’t help getting rewarded. Your chiropractic care is focused on helping your nervous system function at a more relaxed, energetic state. Your body reflects if you are nurturing your life. Showing up somewhat relaxed is a great indicator you are on the right track.
Little beliefs, Big trouble
Whenever one of my 7-year-old twin granddaughters loses a tooth, I like to check in on the going rate of return from the tooth fairy. Little kids have what I refer to as big belief in things such as the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. They believe and they expect a return on their belief.
Adults grow into their adult beliefs or paradigms through years of training from their superiors as well as personal experience. We must always keep in mind our beliefs impact what we experience. Two different belief systems can lead to two totally different experiences from the same event.
An adult acquaintance has two huge weapons in her “got to be healthy and fit” beliefs. She was overdoing the alcohol for years and realizing it was becoming a problem, quit cold turkey. She also hits the gym 5 to 6 times per week with an admirably aggressive routine.
Those two strengths are offset unfortunately by two weaknesses. The zero tolerance for alcohol was replaced by a generous intake of Pepsi and Coke. The second vulnerability was every time she experienced a sniffle, she reached out to her doctor who complied with her request for antibiotics. Her belief is get rid of the infection before it grows. This collection of behaviors has her going to the gym to get her body strong and fit while turning to her MD to get her immune system fit and healthy. The sugar from the Pepsi or Coke was also making the immune system overwork.
A weakened immune system will have a difficult time fighting off an infection no matter how many weights you can lift.
Where is this woman today? Struggling to overcome pneumonia and Coronavirus. Is this a coincidence or perhaps bad luck? As a professional golfer once said, “Your beliefs create your luck.” Well said.
Always look for “The Rest of the Story”
Legendary radio star, Paul Harvey, had an extremely popular radio show that told “The rest of the story.” Whenever anything that’s newsworthy goes on out there in this big country, I look for “The rest of the story.”
Recently a middle-aged medical doctor, reportedly hardworking and looking reasonably fit and healthy made the news. It was reported he went to a local hospital complaining of stroke like symptoms. The treating ER doctor did a CT scan of the brain, showing no evidence of a stroke. Signs and symptoms worsened so that another brain scan was repeated 40 minutes later. Now the patient, a doctor also, had a brain bleed, and incapacitating side effects of brain damage.
“If the ER treating doctor had just listened to the patient, none of this would have happened” states a compassionate reviewer of the case.
So, what’s “the rest of the story.” The stroke victim was taking prescription antidepressants with a known side effect of stroke. As if the antidepressants weren’t enough to impact functioning of someone needing to show up at a high level of energy daily, he was reportedly taking caffeine pills and sleeping pills. Up, down, up, down, anyone else sensing the roller coaster ride this man’s body was on? No wonder his brain blew a gasket.
God designed our body to adapt in heroic ways in this sometimes challenging world. The 3 T’s, trauma, thoughts (stress), and toxicity (diet, environment, even medicines), interfere with the internal super computer known as your nervous system. You must always learn to work with your nervous system, not against it.
Ease is the opposite of “disease” the founders of our language declared. It has never changed. Be a natural overcomer of trauma, stress and toxicity.
“The Real Gift”
It’s rare to receive a gift as a child that you don’t like. Kids seem to like anything new. My aunt frequently gave me presents I didn’t like. Perhaps it was a shirt I would never wear . This situation was aggravated by watching my siblings open a toy they loved. All I could do is look at my mother and whine, “Mom?” She understood the gift wasn’t quite my style.
Recently while in the office storage closet, I noticed a gift a patient had brought the office staff and myself. It was a generous size bag of bite size chocolate. The patient who brought the gift was a 65 year old man as generous as they come. He was a natural giver of time and money to his family and church. He was also generous with compliments, as many a receptionist and patients were on the receiving end. He was instantly likable as many patients scheduled in the evening found out.
Some felt he was friendly to a fault as a few coworkers complained about in this hypersensitive, politically correct America. He also struggled with changes in the church he loved and generously volunteered, as they decreased his volunteer hours to allow others to fit in. You’re bound to have your share of stress when your motto is “Why can’t we all just get along?” We do seem to live in an America where no one currently gets along.
His bigger stressor was Type 2 diabetes. It ravaged his body more than he appeared to show. I recall asking him in late 2019, “Are you trying to kill yourself?” as he shared his blood sugar readings. Typical with his constant humor, he laughed and said “my endocrinologist asked me the same thing.”
It was no joke. His chronic diabetes left him without the ability to fight coronavirus. He died early in the Covid pandemic.
The gift of candy I found in the back closet went straight in the trash. He was such a wonderful person that the memory of him is way bigger than a gift of candy. His presence was the true gift.
Lifestyle matters though and sugar is tops on the list of life depleters. Consider sugar as a friend of Covid which means it is not a friend to you or me. Hopefully I never have to ask you “Are you trying to kill yourself?” Rise above the downward momentum. Turn around the moving train of bad health. If others can do it, so can you!