“Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect”
As I slowly proceeded driving through a tricky intersection, a car with the right of way patiently let me proceed. We gave each other a courtesy wave (with all five fingers) and moved on.
Any experienced driver knows you make mistakes. If, however, we help each other out, we can avoid many accidents. Experience, or “practice”, makes a difference.
A recent study of care at the prestigious Mayo Clinic revealed doctors successfully diagnose the patient’s condition at a 1 out of 8 rate. That 12% rate is a failure at any level.
What we can learn from this study is confirmation that medicine, same as chiropractic, is a practice. We “practice” on our patients, hopefully with a high degree or skill, experience, and intelligence.
So often the medical profession will say, “You must see an MD first before going to a chiropractor so you can see exactly what is wrong.” At an average of a 12% success rate, why bother?
One of the beauties of chiropractic care is we assess the function of your nervous system. Your nervous system is what makes you uniquely you. If it is functioning at a high level, you have the potential to thrive. Interference with your nervous system leads to you being less than your best.
Every chiropractic visit at our office is founded on
helping your nervous system function in a higher level!
“The Rules of Health”
A recent study revealed in the Post-Gazette on April 7, 2017 showed the esteemed Mayo Clinic accurately diagnoses patients at rate of one out of 8. Medical doctors have the difficult task of being experts about all that ails a human, including the spine and nervous system.
My personal experience with healthcare is likely similar to yours. Since I have made research on health and wellness my life’s passion, it is sometimes easier to personally see medical care’s shortcomings.
I have been diagnosed with pneumonia (true condition: dislocated rib and bleeding in the lungs, torn muscle (true condition: separated collarbone or clavicle), pulled groin (true condition: blood clot), cancer (true condition: swollen lymph nodes aggravated by antiperspirant) and, lastly, worms in the gut (true condition: a child with too much imagination). I had a tonsillectomy at age 19 when an improved lifestyle of a college student would have been enough to remedy the condition.
It’s human nature to think our problems are bigger than everyone else’s. If yours truly are, my heart goes out to you. Please keep in mind that the biggest solution – which somehow rationalizes our biggest problem – is not always the best solution, especially when it comes to your health.
Every chiropractic visit in this office is focused on helping your body naturally function at a higher level. When your body is in harmony with your nature, you will see how well you can be!
“History Lesson: Less Medicine is More”
The exciting life and ultimately murderous death of our 20th president, James Garfield, is full of life lessons. President Garfield was known as the president who united our country following the Civil War. He was a good man from humble beginnings, God-fearing, lover of life and learning, particularly from books, as well as a good father and husband. He wasn’t perfect, however, and his marriage required recovering from a brief affair he had.
While in the office for only a few months, he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau. Guiteau was mentally ill and felt God spoke to him regularly, asking him to kill President Garfield. At that time in our history, presidents were expected to be one with the people – this meant no body guards were expected, even following the assassination of Lincoln.
Garfield’s shooting was not fatal. In fact, it was said if he were a poor soldier in the Civil War, he would have missed two weeks of work before returning to action. Many surviving soldiers from the Civil War walked around with bullets still in them.
Because Garfield was president, he had “the best of medical care.” The doctors – one in particular – over-probed and over-operated on the president until he succumbed to the medical care, leaving his body riddled with doctor-induced infection.
Does that still go on today? You bet it does. Overuse of antibiotics have created antibiotic-resistant bacteria, leaving countless patients with weakened immune systems vulnerable to all sorts of disease. Repeated back and neck surgeries are comparable to the repeated probing by a knife Garfield experienced.
Studies have shown that kids who see the medical doctor less are healthier than kids who get the best and frequent care from medical doctors. Why? The kids get too many medications, interfering with natural development.
Let’s not let history repeat itself. Learn to be healthy!
“The Contradictory Nature of Self-Care”
Years ago, a mentor recommended reading two of Ayn Rand’s classics: The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. After getting past the 900-page length and microscopic print, I decided to “Get it Done.”
Rand’s novels have a principle that applies to all of us. It is “your contradictions will do you in.” Like the drama and shock that plays out in the news when a minister is caught with a prostitute, our health contradictions are subtler and less news-worthy, but possibly life-threatening.
A while back, a patient was incredibly inquisitive about all things health. She glowed when discussing nutrition, an exciting focus in her life. Exercise was not far behind. There was only one huge contradiction she refused to see: she was a smoker and wouldn’t give cigarettes up. Daily vitamins do not overcome a daily smoking habit.
A wonderful man I’ve met through church and the gym will often quiz me about his health. He is a regular at the gym, so I naturally expected a healthy focus in all areas of his life. It turns out he eats daily –yes, daily – at McDonalds. Isn’t that life-threatening? When discussing his dinner, his options did little to surpass his lunch at McDonalds. This contradiction will not be overcome by regular trips to the gym.
Since none of us are perfect, we all have at least one health contradiction. I fight the potato chip or chocolate ice-cream battle daily. I usually win, but it’s nonetheless a battle. What’s your contradiction? Do you rationalize – as in “ration lies” – to allow yourself to attempt to bypass the best you?
Stay strong. Stay tough.
“Discipline is freedom,” as Navy Seal John “Jocko” Willink always says.
“Top 5 Reasons NOT to Go to a Chiropractor”
1. “Why go to a chiropractor 30 times when you can go to a back surgeon one time?” The woman who used this logic ended up having 3 back surgeries and is now permanently disabled. Yes, it takes time and commitment to go the natural chiropractic way.
2. “They keep you coming back.” A patient started care in this office in his 60’s and came at least one time per month for 35 years. He continued to play golf and tennis into his 90’s. His comment about “coming back” was: “I sure am glad I made the decision years ago to keep up with chiropractic care.”
3. “It’s the placebo effect.” This statement came from an M.D. to his patient when she said she “got better with chiropractic care”. The patient’s response to the M.D. – who blamed her success with chiropractic on the placebo effect – was, “Why didn’t the placebo effect work with your care?”
4. “It’s expensive and most of it isn’t covered by insurance.” So many of our patients have spent thousands – sometimes even tens of thousands – searching for a solution to a health problem prior to starting chiropractic care. The difference is the insurance company paid most of the bill for the tests, drugs, and doctor visits. The cost to you was quality of life, compromised relationships, and increased insurance premiums to you or your employer.
5. “It’s time-consuming going to the chiropractor.” Yes, going to the chiropractor requires your time, which is valuable. It’s been said that taking time out of your day to meditate adds time (quality) to your day (life). The same is true with a quality chiropractic adjustment. You relax better, have more energy and vitality, and patients have even reported, “I think clearer after getting chiropractic care.”
“Pill Overkill: A Quick Fix with Consequences”
When playing football as a 10th grader at Franklin Regional High School, I was eager to learn from the 12th graders. As the team put on their uniforms, a senior pulled out a bottle of Aspirin, dumped a few in his hand, and downed them instantly. “What are you doing?” I asked him. “Football gives me headaches, so I take Aspirin before each game to lessen them,” was his response. Even in 10th grade, I sensed this wasn’t a healthy solution and decided not to follow his leadership.
This past Saturday, March 11, 2017, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discussed a lawsuit filed by NFL players for being overprescribed pain pills and anti-inflammatories. According to the article, former Steelers player Jeff Hartings described the NFL as “a culture with rampant use of painkillers.” Hartings actually reported that pills “were overused and abused when I played, even going back to my days at Penn State.”
The most significant information in this article was how NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, etc.) trigger kidney damage when taken prior to strenuous exercise. Do you take NSAIDs prior to physical activities such as gardening, hitting the gym, or playing golf? You may be setting yourself up for unnecessary kidney failure.
If my teammate was taking pills in 12th grade, I wonder where he is today. As one doctor pointed out, taking pills for pain and inflammation ages the body.
The good news is there is a better way! You can improve your life and have a healthier future. If you listened to your body the same way your listened to your favorite musicians, your life would be enriched.
Ever hear the story about the man who wanted a quick fix for his life? He wanted a relationship and a wife, so he quickly got a mail-order bride online.
He wanted a quick dinner to satisfy his appetite, so he went through the McDonalds drive-thru.
He wanted a quick fix for his pain, so he followed the quick fix ad “As Seen On TV”.
He wanted the quick fix to lose weight, so he joined the “30 Pounds in 30 Days” weight loss program.
He became the master in “quick fix” knowledge to share with his family and friends.
Unfortunately, his mail-order bride didn’t provide much in the way of a relationship, as a wife, nor in creating a better life.
His trips to McDonalds quickly satisfied his appetite, but seemed to be the cause of numerous health conditions associated with inflammation and chronic pain.
His quick fix for pain did slightly reduce his pain initially, but also reduced his overall health. The side-effects of this quick fix were stomach and colon problems along with arthritis.
He did quickly lose 30 pounds in 30 days, but ended up gaining the 30 back along with 30 more.
Fortunately, he met a woman who taught him that relationships, like a tree, take time to grow. The blossom is always worth the wait, it just takes patience and focused effort.
She taught him healthy food takes time to prepare and cook. The payoff was more energy to enjoy his new relationship.
She taught him pain doesn’t need “fixed” as much as your lifestyle and nervous system need an upgrade.
As he shed his quick fix mentality, he found himself shedding pounds gradually.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” It’s an old saying that never goes out of style.
“The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Man”
In this age of cell phones, their cues remind us of when we need to be somewhere or what we need from the grocery store. Every once in a while, however, we need a reminder that just does not fit into the cell phone system.
Years ago, a heavyset gentleman drove down from the Oil City area. Someone had referred him to our office and he felt his health challenges were significant enough to put forth the effort and endure the long drive in order to get better.
As time went on, this gentle country cowboy began feeling and moving better. One of his neighbors noticed a significant change in his appearance and asked, “What’s up with the weight loss?” He explained, “I go to a chiropractor in Pittsburgh who helped me lose weight.” She immediately called our office, willing to take the 90 minute drive to find out our secret weight-loss formula.
This secret formula, in fact, was not a secret. What we did was help the patient feel better and move better, which leads to feeling more alive. When you feel better, you naturally become more active and start making healthier choices. No secret at all, is it?
I love the unintended positive side-effects patients share about chiropractic care, be it sleeping better, healthier digestion, easier to exercise and many others – even weight loss!
Your best self is waiting to come out and play!
“Stuck in a Rut?”
Standing next to a distinguished looking elderly man in the Hallmark store, his loud sigh was impossible to ignore. “You alright?” I asked. “Doing this 52 years and it never gets easier,” he replied. “This” referred to picking out a loving card for his wife. 52 years of practicing the same old habits and behaviors can grow wearisome. It reinforces the saying “People can’t change”.
Let’s set aside hardcore cynicism for a moment and be honest. Of course people can change. Laura Hillenbrand’s best-seller and Angelina Jolie’s movie “Unbroken” is a perfect example of what’s possible. It’s a beautiful true story of one man’s dramatic change from a life of total self-destruction (alcohol, pornography, and self-indulgence) to complete embracing of a peaceful life of service to others.
In this office, our goal is to help you through chiropractic care: learn to relax better, move well, and shift your health beliefs to empower you. The greatest excitement occurs when a patient develops health beliefs that allow them to see the power they have within to influence their health future. This is change with staying power, and it certainly beats taking countless prescriptions each month for eternity.
People can change, and hopefully for the better. You will see the change in an elderly couple that reignites the spark of love and takes on a countenance of joy.
My hope is the wonderful man in the card store gets to rediscover the joy of picking out a card that touches his wife’s heart. Like health, it starts inside. At least he was putting the effort in by getting her a card!
“The Road to Financial Ruin”
Occasionally, a patient will ask as if thinking out loud, “Can I afford chiropractic care?” A more empowering question to start with is, “Can I afford NOT to be truly healthy?”
My girlfriend’s brother-in-law, an expert in finances, helps couples and individuals dig themselves out from their financial messes. “Why do people get in so much trouble with their finances?” I asked. “There are three reasons,” was his response.
The first being blatant overindulgence or buying what you can’t afford repeatedly. The second reason is the hidden credit card or bank account in which a spouse or partner hides financial expenses from their significant other. Surprisingly, 23% of couples hide their financial truth from their partner according to LendEDU, a New Jersey-based lending company (2.14.17 PGH PG article). Lastly, but perhaps more devastatingly, are the costs and side-effects of cancer treatment and spinal surgery.
How ironic that the man who shared this information with me recently witnessed his sister-in-law in Florida go from full-time employment to having back surgery for a routinely treatable back condition. One spinal surgery led to 3 within 2 months, rendering her unable to work due to chronic pain.
Although I’ve always wanted to be your #1 health cheerleader, I have found I am not up to the job. YOU need to be your #1 health cheerleader. I will be 1A!
Health is truly your natural state. Disease occurs when you interfere with your nature. Chiropractic care restores your healthy nature by removing interference to the nervous system doing its amazing thing: keeping you living, loving, and laughing.