“Values vs Hobbies”

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?”

“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”

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”

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”

“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! 

“Just One Kiss”

 

“Just One Kiss”

     The song lyric “Just one kiss” leads the imagination to what follows. “Just one kiss” plays out in our life with quiet regularity.  Is “just one kiss” a take off of “just one bite” of the apple provided by the devil to Eve in the Garden of Eden?

     You may be thinking the devil as a snake is just made up stuff that doesn’t apply today. Haven’t seen any talking snakes lately, have you?

     You know we all have the snake/devil within us.  Our spouse/partner/lover even wishes it came out less frequently at times. 

     Between the annual flu and this years version of coronavirus, we need to take a close look at the devil within.  The devil says: “Just one”……piece of cake, Pepsi or Coke, order of fries(and super size it), Netflix series that has you sitting 4 more hours, six pack of beer, bottle of wine, pack of cigarettes or one more prescription (instead of making lifestyle changes).

     It’s “just one”.  One isn’t many is it?  You are “just one” though.  How significant are you even though you are “just one.”  The flu gets us when we are weak and vulnerable . Covid has picked on so many with longstanding (chronic) diseases which appear to be lifestyle diseases. Underlying conditions called comorbidity has been associated with 90% of the Covid deaths.

     Take charge! It’s not too late, even if you are “just one”.  When it comes to your ability to overcome the vulnerability to Covid, you are the only “just one” that matters. 

“SUPERPOWERS”

“SUPERPOWERS”

     My mother worked at being the perfect mom; home cooked meals, strict disciplinarian, clean clothes and house.  Most likely, like your mom, lots of love, and guidance too. 

     One day cleaning the windows, she must have gotten distracted, leaving a screenless window open too long.  There didn’t appear, however, to be any consequences to leaving the window open and unwatched for a little too long. 

     While sleeping at night, this 9 year old felt something landing on my covers.  It was too dark to see anything but I felt it.  I pulled the covers over my head and wished it would stop landing on me.  Whatever it was, it was very real, even if invisible to my terrified mind. 

     The next day I warned my mother about my mystery experience while trying to sleep. She dismissed my story as childhood imagination or perhaps a bad dream.  Later that day a bat came out of its hiding place, scaring my mother near to death.  She had the presence of mind to open a window and shoo that bat out the window.

     Now we all walk around acting as if someone left the window open and an invisible bat is about to get us.  This invisible menace is Covid.  We wear our gloves and masks and be sure not to touch each other in case this invisible presence will reach out and harm us.

     Just as the bat landing on me while trying to sleep lead to overwhelming fear, to afraid to even scream, I see the fear associated with Covid as our biggest enemy.

     Some say “look at all the deaths.”  They, whoever they are, predicted 2.2 million deaths in America, “They” were wrong.  The truth is we just don’t know and anyone who tells you “they” know is lying. This includes the health czars, nationally and in Pennsylvania, who will remain nameless.  

     What we do know is it has never been a better time to truly work on being healthy. What does that mean?

     It means take charge of you.  Reduce your sugar intake, increase your exercise even if simply going for a walk (movement is power) and learn to relax the mind.  These are things we do know and we know they do work. Use the healthy values moms and grandmas teach. They were packed with super powers and so are you!    

 

“The Will”

“The Will”

        JFK was reportedly fascinated with America’s ability to put a man on the moon.  He consulted with Vernher von Braun, a top aerospace scientist about what it would take to accomplish this fete.   Von Braun replied, “Simply the will to want to do it.”

            This is also the first requirement to getting healthier.  Wanting to be healthier requires the will to reach your objective.  Your will to get better must be so strong that nothing including the pain, the lousy prognosis and diagnosis, the doubters, and all other obstacles can interfere with your dedication to yourself.

            It seems like such a simple thing to have the will to be healthier.  It isn’t as easy as you think.  Certain people have given in to the worst downs of life.  It doesn’t take a lot of will to sit and watch TV hour after hour.  The second commandment of being your best you, healthier and happier, is focusing on what you want.  Yes, what do you truly want?

“What If”

“What If?”

        What if your parents did your homework for you when you were a kid… and you got straight A’s?   What if your parents put together a science project for you for all to see… and you won the prize?  What if you instantly believed your parents when they told you there was a no boogie man under your bed?  Perhaps none of these are as earth shattering as “what if you had bought Apple stock when the company first went public?”  Still, what if…

          What if every time you went to the gym you paid a trainer to work out for you?  What if every time you got sick you asked the doctor for antibiotics so your immune system didn’t have to do the work?  Or, what if you believed in you and you did the work?  What if you exercised regularly and your trainer was in awe of your self-discipline?  What if you loved yourself so much (“love your neighbor as yourself”) you put the work in to allow your best to shine through?  What if you realized you are worth it?  What if you realized your body is a miracle producing machine, built to survive – and under your directions – built to thrive?  Hmm… what if.

“Make America Great Again”

“Make America Great Again”

     If you were expecting a political rant on the virtues and benefits of Trump as our president, think again.  “Make America Great Again” is a catchy slogan but my question is “how do we make America great again?”

     Since America is made up of individuals, what if we started with individuals, as in you.  What if we, as in each individual, committed to being healthier.  I realize someone else being responsible for your health is much easier, especially since you are already busy enough, but it will pay off for you. 

     Here is our current American way of thinking as it relates to health:  When you were a child, if you got sick you were given medicine, either from the medical doctor or the medicine chest. Makes sense doesn’t it?  You were sick so you took medicine. Then you grew up to be an adult and now most adults take medicines to stay healthy. Sick kid takes medicine. Healthy adult takes medicine.  What’s wrong with this way of thinking? Years ago, a patient who was on 10 different medicines put her health status at a glowing, robust, healthy 10. Hmm……

     Recently the local news featured a woman appearing to be in her 30’s, warning of the dangers of Covid 19. She stated, “I am a healthy person with no underlying health conditions and I got coronavirus. Now I need to learn how to walk again.”  As legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey would say, “What’s the rest of the story?”  The woman with “no underlying health conditions” appeared to be 60-80 pounds overweight. Her skin tone was a pasty white, indicating she was vitamin D deficient, therefore, leaving her immune system naturally vulnerable.  Unfortunately, this woman was on the news exclaiming “see, my health has nothing to do with me.”  IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH YOU! 

      This is the root of the problem. As a man said to me years ago, “I don’t have to be smart about my health. I just have to have a smart doctor.”  This was truly one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.   Make some hard choices for a change about your health.  Given the opportunity to win a million dollars if you had to tell someone how you could personally improve your health, you would most likely win the money.  You already know what needs done by you.  Step through your terror barrier and get it done.  We are here to help you.