“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!

“The Show Must Go On”

The Show Must Go On

     An old girlfriend used to frequently complain about what she considered to be her number one character flaw.  “I am overly responsible,” she would repeatedly say to me, as she took responsibility for her family, coworkers, and friends.  A treat for her was when someone else did the driving, made the decisions about where to eat dinner, or picked out the movie they would see.  Caring for everybody is quite noble, but it can be wearisome to the overly responsible caregiver.

     Recently, a busy and successful surgeon shared his concern about patient care with me.  “It’s worse than ever,” he said, “People don’t take any responsibility for their health anymore.  They bring me their broken down body and expect a miracle with no side-effects at all.”

     Something that is difficult for people to understand is the connectedness of every part of the body.  We generally don’t have bad parts as much as we have a bad whole.  Since the nervous system runs the whole body, it is best to start there.

     The nervous system is stimulated to good health through movement (exercise) and a proper diet with lots of water, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats.  If you are getting enough activity and eating right, chances are you are managing your stress well, too.

     The “X factor” in health is your level of connectedness to others in your social circle.  Facebook attempts to sell engaging over the internet as being good for your health because it leads to connectedness.  Don’t believe them.  Holding your computer or phone is not the same as holding hands with a friend, family member, or lover.

     Nurture your nervous system and watch how your health improves.  Your nervous system runs your show – and the show must go on!

“Teach Your Children”

Teach Your Children

     How’s teaching your children going? The beauty of being a grandparent is letting go of any agenda and just loving my grandkids. As a parent, we often have an agenda…

• Awareness of a higher power?
• Know the golden rule?
• Focused on getting the best education?
• Being the best in sports?
• Bedroom and bathroom kept neat and clean?

     That’s a broad list that covers a lot of ground. What about teaching your child to be healthy? Is that part of the plan?

     Whether you realize it or not, you are teaching your kids to become healthy or unhealthy adults. Does your health depend on pills, supplements, over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs? Even the supplements can teach health comes in pill form. Are surgeries a quick solution to health problems? Expect your child to follow suit.

     Kids are like sponges watching and learning from you. Do you smoke and drink? Expect your child to model your behavior. Curse like a sailor? Ditto that behavior.
Teach your children to be healthy in a way that makes them responsible for maximizing their health future and their future in general.

“The Good Finders”

The Good Finders

     A book I read so long ago I’ve long forgotten the title talked about a powerful principle to improve your life.  It is the principle of being a “good finder”.  This means looking initially for the good in others as opposed to the searching for the deficiencies we all have.  Sometimes you have to dig deep to find the good, but – like mining for gold – the return will enrich your heart.

     There is a lot of good in others.  Recently, a patient shared the story of losing his wallet at a Steelers game.  With no luck checking the obvious places, he was told to ask Guest Relations.  Sure enough, they had his wallet:  cash, credit cards, license and pictures of his loved ones all left untouched.  This just reinforces there’s no one like a Steelers fan!

     Another patient told me a story in which she sought no credit but deserved it big time.  She reported overextending her back after raking leafs for 4 hours.  I asked if the leafs were from her trees or a neighbor’s.  She replied, “They were mine, so I raked the neighbor’s yard also.”  When was the last time your neighbor raked your yard because their leafs ended up blowing into your yard?  How about never!  Someone taught this woman to be a blessing to others, and I expect blessings come back to her like a boomerang.

     You have great people in your life with heartwarming stories of their own.  You may even be the source of their stories.  Practice the habit of being a “good finder” and spread kindness around you.

“The Mystery List”

The Mystery List

     On the shiny new black floor at the nearly empty local fitness center was a small piece of paper.  It stood out because the entire facility was so neat and clean.  “Should I pick up the mystery paper or leave it alone?  Is it a check or something important or just carless litter?” I thought to myself.

     I picked it up and found a short grocery list.  Some forethought was put into putting pen to paper. Here is the list:

-Peanuts               -Olives

-TP                         -Energy drink

-Ice cream            -Coke

-Lettuce                -Pepsi

     It was profoundly odd, perhaps incongruent that such an unhealthy list of grocery items would be found on the floor of a fitness center.  Playing Detective Columbo, I suspected the neatness of the list came from a woman, likely a young adult.

     I couldn’t help feeling concerned for this person’s health future.  How will an M.D. handle this person’s future health issues?  Here is the likely medical response:

  • Prilosec for intestinal disorders

  • Anti-anxiety medications

  • Type II diabetes medications

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.

     This person’s diet is what is referred to as an inflammatory diet, which causes joint and muscle pain, frequent upset stomach, anxiety due to lack of sleep and Type II diabetes.  The patient will likely be told these conditions, especially Type II diabetes, “run in the family” – as if genes are the cause.  Of course they run in the family because families tend to eat the same diet.

     The chiropractic solution:  check the nervous system to see how weak and irritated it is.  This would be followed by directive to the patient to stop killing themselves so they can live a fuller life that won’t require any medications.  So often it is a choice – a lifestyle choice – to honor the best of you.

“Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired”

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

     The yoga teacher graciously began her yoga class with a hacking cough followed by the statement “Don’t worry, I’m not sick.  I just have allergies.”  Occasionally, I will hear the statement “Why do sick people come to work? They should stay at home so they don’t get others sick.”  The yogi and the concerned coworker – wherever they work – echo our nation’s fear of germs.

     Joseph Lister (ever hear of Listerine?) was the English medical doctor who warned his colleagues about germs killing patients.  In the mid-1800s, MDs routinely wore their outer clothing as an indicator of how great a doctor they were.  The more blood, vomit, feces and other human residue that was on the coat, the better the doctor.  Lister asked his American colleagues to go the opposite direction:  clean hands, clothes, surgical instruments and diagnostic tools.  His efforts were more common sense than anti-germs.

     If the yoga teacher’s clothes were covered in blood and vomit, I might be concerned about being in her presence.  Otherwise, I will rely on my natural immunity to learn to adapt to a word full of germs – some friendly, some not.

     Health is within you.  You create it through quality of nerve flow enhanced by your lifestyle (sleep, diet, exercise, mental stress).  Just as you overcame your fear of the invisible boogieman as a child, overcome your fear of invisible germs.  You are the source of strength of weakness.