Take Charge of Your Health
The middle-aged woman completed her intake forms at the doctor’s office and handed them to the nurse. It was time for the patient’s annual physical as required by her health insurer. “Wait,” said the intake nurse in an irritated tone as she reviewed the patient’s forms, “you didn’t list your pharmacy.”
The patient failed to understand why the nurse appeared frustrated, as if she was causing her trouble. “We need a pharmacy,” the nurse repeated. “Put down CVS since they cover drugs under my plan,” responded the patient. What followed next was quite humorous. The nurse requested the phone number for the pharmacy even though she was told the patient wasn’t taking any medication.
Those who choose not to take medications are what could be called outliers – as in they exist outside the norm. Approximately 10% of our population does not take medicine. Notice I used the word “choose” to describe taking medicine. Life can be messy, and every one of us could take a pill for this or that. Fortunately, in this information age we live in things are changing. People are now choosing to say no to prescription drugs and surgeries because they realize the side-effects of each can cause more and longer lasting side-effects than any benefit.
I’ve taken medication in the past to help me through a rough patch. Fortunately, it’s been rare and only for a brief period of time. Discontinuing taking medicine was always a negotiation between me and the MD who was open to an intelligent reason for stopping.
The point is to stay in charge of your own health and your health choices, including your right to decide whether or not to take medicine. Steer towards improving your lifestyle as a solution. Bruce Springsteen isn’t the only boss in town!
“Got Any Gluten-Free Bread?”
As I patiently continued moving forward in the communion line at a recent morning mass, the priest suddenly turned and retreated towards a table in the back. He quickly grabbed a small container with the gluten-free hosts. He gave one to the young woman in line then resumed passing out the regular hosts.
Hallmark carries a card with a cartoon of Jesus preparing to turn a fish and fragments of bread into enough food to feed thousands. Out of the crowd, a man yells, “Would you mind making my bread gluten-free?” Now that’s funny.
How did we get to this point of being allergic to spring, fall, peanuts, bread and so much more? As our environment has changed, exposing us to so many mildly hazardous substances, our bodies have changed as well. We now have to work so much harder to adapt to the environment we live in. Our nervous and immune systems are in a frequent struggle to avoid being overwhelmed.
The chiropractic adjustment is a natural way of resetting your system, like turning on a tripped fuse in a breaker box. Keep your power on.
“Feeling Blue? Good For You!”
While driving into the office recently, a young man on a podcast I was listening to was discussing his recent trip to Greece. “Are you going to visit the Blue Zone?” a native asked while he was vacationing. The young man had no idea what a “Blue Zone” was and neither did I.
After doing a little research on Google, I had my answer. A “Blue Zone” is an area – of which there are only 5 throughout the world – where the residents are unusually healthy and thus live much longer than the average person. They are so healthy they stand out above the norm.
What does it take to have an abundant health consistent with a Blue Zone? The population generally avoids all medication and medical procedures. They have turned shunning medicine and surgeries into a choice they make consistently. The populations of these areas tend to maintain a healthful diet consisting of natural foods derived from plants, like fruit and vegetables, and incorporate constant moderate physical activity daily.
Is it a coincidence that a healthy Blue Zone requires eating healthy foods and shunning drugs? Sounds like a perfect plan to empower your unique nervous system to function at an optimal level.
Parenting isn’t easy and unfortunately there is no go to guide that shows the step by step path to success. With that in mind, I asked a local school teacher with 25 years experience and an excellent reputation, how the students of today compare to 25 years ago.
There was no hesitation in her answer. “The kids haven’t changed much, but the parents have.” In what way I obviously asked. “Kids today aren’t allowed to fail, screw up, make mistakes and struggle. Hardship is not allowed to readily be seen.”Doesn’t that sound a lot like Facebook where so many post their so called perfect life?
She continued “Parents ride in and clean up their kid’s messes and mistakes. They too often interfere with the child recovering from their own mistakes”. Since we send our kids to school to learn, learning from their mistakes is a most important learning experience, if parents don’t interfere.
I loved her last sentiments. “Kids need to toughen up. They need to get some grit. That will never happen as long as their parents do everything for them.” I loved her dedication and passion. You are lucky to have a teacher like this, and so many other great ones teaching your kids and grandkids.
Now let’s talk about your health. Many people think their MD is supposed to clean up their health mess after the side effect of a messy lifestyle. MD’s are not trained to help you get healthy. They are trained to help you have less symptoms. We would not have an opioid epidemic if they were trained to get you healthy. As an experienced MD lamented to my friend, a functional medicine chiropractor, “Help me get healthy. We are not taught in medical school how to be healthy.”
Develop the “grit” it takes to be in charge of your health. Chiropractic care can be a huge part of the process of you taking charge of your posture, diet, activity level, sleep regimen and breathing pattern of a loving, grateful, joy filled superstar.
“Health Begins from Within”
While discussing her purpose on a recent podcast, a young “life coach” said the goal is to get people living from within. This isn’t an original purpose since Christ, Buddha, and even Shakespeare had the same message.
If the best you begins within, remember health begins within you as well. In a world that teaches us we need something outside ourselves, including the right car, phone, jeans, hair color and so much more, medicine and even recreational drugs are sold the same way.
The ads on TV tell us the right pills can take away all our symptoms, but they don’t tell you that you will be healthier. Why not? Because it isn’t true. Remember how in high school, the “cool kids” smoked marijuana or cigarettes? How “cool” is that perspective today?
The beauty of working with the nervous system as a chiropractor is checking the most unique part of you and the truest reflector of you. Keep in mind the power of self-discipline. Look at the word “discipline” as “disciple”, with self-discipline meaning being a disciple of you. That means honoring your dreams, missions, and goals uniquely found within you.
What Is Your Focus?
Years ago a brilliant rabbi was asked what he focuses on when presenting to his congregation. He quickly replied “Help them become good Jews.” This answer initially puzzled me. What about becoming good human beings or kind to one another? It took me a while to realize the power and purpose behind his answer.
His answer has a similar tone to my answering “What’s the focus of chiropractic care?” Most people would expect any chiropractor to say “Get people out of pain.” Actually, the answer is “Help people get healthier.” It’s that simple. But what if you just want your pain gone? Get healthier and you most likely will have less pain. By focusing on being healthier, the side effects can be improved relationships, increased creativity, improved movement and ease of exercise, as well as so much more.
Perhaps the expectation of the rabbi is a “good Jew” is naturally kind and caring. When we focus on being good at any worthy goal, the goodness naturally spreads to other areas of our life.
Let’s help you spread your health to others!
Fact of the Week
Your stomach is
the size of your fist,
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
“What’s the Connection?”
It’s not uncommon to walk into the chiropractic adjusting room and find a patient hypnotized by a death notice. Some are so entranced they don’t immediately look up. If you are also someone who reads death notices and obituaries, you would agree the color photo of the deceased makes it even more attractive to get a piece of their story. “Look how young this one is” is a common refrain, or “It says ‘unexpectedly’, likely an opioid overdose again.” We can agree those listings have become all too common.
Last week, two announcements caught my attention due to what the deceased had in common. One was a fairly vivacious woman (yes, I knew her) and the other was a 54-year-old man who “died in his sleep”. What they had in common was both had a history of low back surgery – one even reported “botched low back surgery”. They both also had a history of leukemia.
So, what’s the connection? Failed back surgery, more common than not, leaves the patient in constant pain in which there is no escape. Often, the patient repeats the spinal surgery hoping for any remission in the suffering. This intense, chronic pain leaves the patient weary and even hopeless at times. It’s been said many cancers are a 7-year wearing out of the immune system.
Is there a correlation between the leukemia and back surgery for those two death listings? A back that is irreversibly irritated due to surgery is going to wear down a person’s immune system over time. Similarly, cancer has been determined to be a progressive wearing down of the immune system. Connection between leukemia and failed back surgery? It’s a possibility best avoided. Together let’s get your spine younger.
“The People We Meet”
A broken-hearted young mother presented herself in a natural state of stress. With tears close to the surface, she shared how she had recently lost a baby. It was easy to see the hurt was overwhelming her. It was also easy to see the comparison between her and the patient that followed. She was an elderly woman who had buried two of her kids at a young age. Having been battle tested by grief, her sorrow began to show in a different way.
This elderly patient has both a peace and strength that radiates from her. When in her presence, you can’t help but feel she has discovered the secret to life. She is a lover of family –including her husband of forever – and is so quick to give gratitude, especially to her steel like faith.
The trick question is how do we get that relentless faith and overwhelming presence of peace without actually suffering? The answer is: we don’t. Life and health are all about adapting. Every time I adjust you, I am in essence checking how you (your nervous system) are adapting to the challenges of life.
The young woman who lost her baby is a remarkable person who also has a great family life. My guess is she will adapt in a way where she becomes a source of peace and strength to others who may be experiencing heartache. She will gradually take on the role of the elderly hero who has sought supportive chiropractic care for 37 years and counting.