“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”
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:
-TP -Energy drink
-Ice cream -Coke
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
Type II diabetes medications
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”
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.
“Tortoise vs. the Hare”
Years ago, a mentor expressed to me the solution to adapting to the stress of being busy was to “slow down”. “Slowing down” sounds like a crazy, contradictory solution to taking on more of life’s challenges. With further consideration to this, have you ever heard the expression “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”?
As I grow older, slowing down to “smell the roses” has become more appealing. Run, run, run and stress, stress, stress is not as alluring as it may have been in my 20s. It reminds me of a line from a Neil Young song that went: “When I was faster, I was always behind.” Seems it takes wisdom to slow down long enough to gain perspective.
We have a test here in our office that assesses your nervous system’s tendency to run, run, run. What a coincidence that learning to relax is a step towards improving your overall health.
Here is a challenge for you: Over the next two weeks, practice driving the speed limit. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Slow down so you stick around. We believe in you and your future.
“Helping the Helpers”
A dear friend and colleague of mine made a shift in his chiropractic practice to helping patients with type 2 diabetes. During a recent phone conversation, he shared two stories that are as dramatic as a movie of the week.
In one case, an older orthopedic surgeon requested my friend’s help in improving his health. The surgeon told him, “I had to remove too many toes, feet, and even legs over the years due to type 2 diabetes. I don’t want the same for myself. Please help me.”
In another case, an internist was asked by my friend: “How many type 2 diabetics do you have in your practice?” “About 800,” the internist responded. “How many get better?” asked my friend. “Zero” was the answer.
Months into his change of health (or shall we say “change of life”) program, the orthopedic surgeon has significantly improved his health bio markers. “We don’t learn this stuff in school,” he told my friend. In this case, “stuff” refers to how to be healthy. Being healthy is a whole different approach from not being sick. A different perspective will produce totally different results.
Think about updating your perspective to a healthy and energetic one.
“Dis-ease: The Opposite of Ease”
My mother, like so many moms, was “Super Mom”. She was supportive, loving, and made home-cooked meals that acted like medicine. “No time to be sick” was her mantra for her and her 5 kids, so we seldom were sick.
Recently, when visiting my frail, now 87-year-old mother, who is bedridden and barely able to speak, I struggled to find some connection. Finally, I said to her, “Let’s pray.” After reciting the prayers she taught me as a child, I asked her if she recalled them. This question startled her into a brief state of anger responding “of course.” Seconds later, she asked me, “Did we pray?”
My mother is now overtaken by the effects of Alzheimer’s, leading her to experience an occasional irrational anger that accompanies this disease. Her brain is now chronically irritated.
Recently, a pathology report was released on Aaron Hernandez, who died earlier this year at 27 years old from suicide. You may recall he was a star tight end for the New England Patriots and was convicted of multiple murders. Pictures of his mansion and reports of his multimillion dollar contract to play pro football routinely made the news a few years back.
Hernandez was found to have advanced damage to his brain, which was the result of years of head trauma associated with football. His chronically irritated brain produced multiple behaviors we would consider irritating, such as murder.
A nervous system that is irritated produces irritating perceptions and behaviors. You don’t have to have multiple concussions or Alzheimer’s to have an irritated nervous system. For most of us, the irritation of the nervous system is reversible. Our focus is to help your nervous system be more at ease – the opposite of disease (dis-ease). It’s a powerful way to show up in your life.
“Healing Begins From the Inside Out”
This will probably create more mystery than it will solve. Here it goes anyway: years ago, I asked our parish priest if Jesus healed others from the inside out or the outside in. Father Albert quickly answered, “Most likely the inside out.” How can we easily agree with his response? Since it was reported that Jesus could not heal everyone is the first clue. Why couldn’t he? Because some people did not have the faith nor the connection to Christ to make healing happen instantly. In other words, healing is an active experience that starts from within and extends outward.
The purpose of your mind is a focus on survival and protection. The purpose of your unique spirit is thriving and sharing the best you have within. So often injuries not only harm your body but the spirit within you as well. Both must heal in order to overcome what ails you.
Your chiropractic care at this office is focused on relaxing your nervous system. As you calm down and become more at ease, your perceptions will obviously change. All healing of all types – mentally, emotionally, and physically – requires a more relaxed you.
Keeping in mind that Jesus brought back Lazarus from the dead confirms that healing is a beautiful mystery. Some things in life are obvious and understandable, others not so much.
“Become Your Own Superstar!”
Did you run out to get your Milli Vanilli reunion tour tickets?
Milli Vanilli is known for their hit song “Girl You Know It’s True” that came out in 1989. Like a shooting star, they came into our life and were gone in a flash. Unfortunately, they had no staying power.
How’s your staying power? What do you do consistently to be and stay healthy?
Are you guilty of joining the gym and lasting for only two months – about as long as Milli Vanilli’s few hits stayed on the top song charts? How long did your healthy eating diet last?
Occasionally, a patient will come in wanting the Milli Vanilli Chiropractic adjustment. This means they expect one visit only to turn them into a superstar of health.
The truth is there is no Milli Vanilli reunion tour because one member – Rob Pilatus – died of an overdose, and no one cares what one-hit wonders are doing now anyway.
How about you? Are you treating your health like a one-hit wonder? Staying power starring you can only happen if you create a pattern of consistent healthy habits and stick with them. It works!
“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!