“Naked and Afraid”
My fiancé, Karen, loves outdoor reality shows. Whether it be “Alone,” “Naked and Afraid” or “100 days in the Wild” she is glued to the TV. This is a woman who jumps on the kitchen table at the sight of a centipede or spider. The ability of the contestants is quite amazing as they adapt to life in the wild. Realize they are taken by boat or helicopter to the middle of nowhere, dropped off with minimal supplies and no food, expecting a harsh winter to arrive sooner or later.
You’ve been hungry and cold before, but not like these contestants’ experience. It’s like a Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers client on a severe crash diet. Little food and shelter are the least of their worries. Grizzly bears and tigers readily roam the landscape around their primitive shelter. Like our ancestors who had to live in primitive conditions, fear for their life is very real on these shows.
As our standard of living has evolved, we no longer have to live a life of fear. Our bears and tigers are cute figures at the zoo. What we managed to do is substitute our fears of bears and tigers for equally dangerous fears. Even worse, our newfound fears are invisible. Granted some invisible fears are life threatening, I wouldn’t want to live next to a nuclear meltdown and that’s invisible. If I do want my nervous system to be on high alert, like our pioneer ancestors, I just tune into the nightly news. How’s the health of the anchor people who report this stuff daily?
As a child I was taught to “Be informed” by my parents. The city newspaper and the nightly news were the expected sources of the truth. Could legendary anchor Walter Cronkite ever tell a lie? Now with the news stories spliced in between pharmaceutical ads, I had to make a decision to go fearless. I’ve turned my back on the fear mongering and 90% less news works for me.
Dorothy Daly, legendary American journalist, social activist, who fought for the right for women to vote as well as aid for the homeless was quoted “We will not be drilled into fear.” Social circumstances may change, fear doesn’t. Prolonged fear is very destructive. Have faith yourself and the gifts that are within you.
“Anybody Else Notice the World Has Changed?”
This Covid 19 pandemic certainly has people scratching their head and asking “What’s going on in this crazy world?” The smartest answer I’ve heard was “We just don’t know.” Now that we’ve covered Covid, let’s move onto something that has likely affected you in a very personal way.
When chiropractic was founded in 1895 it was on the basis that the nervous system was the primary source of your health. With that in mind, common sense says interference with your nervous system equals less health. Early chiropractors historically had excellent patient results, sometimes miraculous, working with improving the health of the spine and the underlying nervous system.
Change in this world occurred gradually at first and then with almost overwhelming speed. Along came cars and computers and the need to feed a rapidly growing population. We added planes and cell phones that connected us in less time than early Americans could have even imagined. We even added life-saving antibiotics, insulin and other medicines as well as complicated life-saving surgical procedures.
One change I never could wrap my head around were the side effects of auto accidents as it impacted the brain and neck. So many things in life are choices but as the saying goes “accidents happen.” You don’t choose to be in an auto accident. So why hasn’t there been any great resolution to overcoming auto accidents or any head injury? How many times did you bounce your head off a wall as a kid? What about all the long term sports injuries associated with hitting your head playing a game? Even before hearing about brain injuries in the NFL, I listened as brain expert, Daniel Amen, M.D. emphatically declared “never bounce a soccer ball off of your head.”
Over time we developed a world where head trauma is almost expected. As a profession chiropractors and health care providers in general were slow to look at the brain as your source of health. Why? Although we know the brain is your generator, the answer might be because there was no effective brain treatment. Drugs failed and brain surgery is a last resort. The spine was more accessible and we chose to influence your brain from spine upwards. It is reasonably effective, but, not enough.
Finally, my eyes were opened to an effective brain treatment. It is called cold laser and is a rapidly developing treatment with science to back why and how it works.
You’ve got a brain. Protect it as if it were your link to your best you, because it is. Please ask if cold laser might benefit you.
In late 2020, I reached out to a former patient for the latest and greatest in helping a person’s nervous system heal. This young man grew up in Mt. Lebanon and after approximately 10 years of college including post grad studies, has become a Chiropractic Neurologist. His first job was at the Life University Chiropractic Neuroscience Center. You have probably never heard of Life University, but a particular Pittsburgh Penguin did and was referred there to heal. The rest is history as the saying goes.
Currently, this young chiropractic neurologist is running a brain and spinal cord rehab center for a neurologist in Orlando. This bright, humble and articulate man shared with me his passion for using a cold laser to help patients. He immediately connected me with a company that provides the quality of cold laser I would want to help our patients. It is a supercomputer that looks like a flashlight.
Just as a flashlight has the potential to bring light to a darkened room, the cold laser brings light to your body where needed by releasing energy from your cells. Less energy equals poor health. More energy equals more health. How easy a concept is that? In particular we need more energy coming from your brain and traveling through your body. Using various techniques and simple tests, we can readily see what part of your brain might need stimulated with the cold laser.
If you might be thinking, “You aren’t messing with my brain.” Your brain is saying “you already have.” Those auto accidents, sports injuries, routine sports exercises like bouncing a ball (soccer) off your head, bicycle accidents, falls as a child, have left your brain slightly off. Just as a lamp flickers when the power or bulb isn’t quite right, our body is similar. The brain can show a pattern of energy interference through serious consequences such as tremors, dementia, Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, less pervasive changes occur whether through circulation, pain and even osteoarthritis.
We heal from proper energy flow from the brain down, head to toe. Please ask if you would like to experience cold laser. It just might be like a jump start to your body, almost like a car battery.
“The Jacuzzi Experience”
A long-time patient and beloved retired green grocer would good naturedly tease me during his visits to the office. “Oh no, he’s learned something new. Must have gone to another weekend seminar.” Anything done to this patient that appeared different from the perceived routine brought this same response.
Weekend seminars that promoted the spirit of increased enthusiasm and excitement are a great way to reinforce your passion for doing what you do. Many industries call them “sales meetings” which reinforce how to sell more effectively to your clients. Though our seminars weren’t “sales meetings” they were still full of information reinforcing the value of what we were doing for our patients.
Some clever person came up with the description “jacuzzi experience” to describe the weekend seminar where you go home full of enthusiasm and on fire to care for patients. This “jacuzzi experience” even applied to the office visit which was just about getting the patient feeling good, distinguished from being healthier.
I have come to the conclusion there’s not a lot of difference between a feeling better all over experience compared to a getting healthier experience. As long as the weekend feel good seminar doesn’t teach the unethical and the routine office visit helps you feel good without causing harm is that so bad?
When you feel better, starting with feeling better about yourself, you naturally elevate your thinking and even the quality of your relationships.
Touching someone is the surest way to assess how they are doing. Overwrought with tension, it shows in your behavior, your body and your health.
No apologies needed for seeking healthy feel-good experiences.
“A Trip Down Memory Lane”
Years ago, a fun-loving secretary, Dianne, recommended a movie she loved. Dianne was the queen of recommendations, sharing her views with such passion and zeal, she was hard to ignore. One week she was all over a movie she watched called “Never Again.” I followed through on her recommendation and learned to “never again” follow through on her recommendations. It was one of the Top 10 worst movies ever!
While in chiropractic college at Palmer, a friend volunteered to be adjusted by a legendary old-time chiropractor who believed if he forcefully pushed your spine to the moon and back you would naturally be healthier. As Jamie was lying face down on the table, the chiropractor suddenly whammed away on Jamie’s back, much to the horror of the viewing students. Jamie stood up and quietly left the room whispering to a friend, “never again.”
Chiropractic has come a long way from being a profession that seemed to some to be about beating the patient’s spine back into a healthy state, as if it were a crooked fence post.
I experienced a similar experience approximately 4 years ago. I admit the pain and costly side effects were unimaginable. It opened my eyes to providing the best that chiropractic offers. Several things we use today in this office are the result of seeking solutions for my own pain caused by that injury; a herniated disc at T12 with subsequent blood clot of the right leg along with other challenges.
Our old tables were replaced with new state of the art equipment that is smoother on you and easier on me. My favorite old table by the way is now used on the Buffalo Bills. We introduced Brain Tap which helped diminish right leg pain that was unbearable. We introduced VibraSonics which helped with the neuropathy that made wearing shoes and even socks difficult. Now we will soon introduce cold laser therapy recommended by a doctor from the Life University Neuroscience Center where a famous Pittsburgh athlete went to recover.
I was offered to “try this medicine” and “try this surgery.” The medical doctors I respected the most were the ones who said “I really don’t know.” I won’t “try” opioids or medicine and I won’t “try” surgery.
Recently a patient wanted me to rough him and his body into a healthier state. Seems contradictory to me. For some reason I always remember a successful colleague who shared, “If you are rough in the way you do everything, it will include your relationships too.”
Live and learn. Beating someone up to get them healthy is not the answer. The answer is always inside you and our goal is to help bring it out.
“The People You Meet”
Years ago, while taking a break during a seminar, I walked into a large, empty hotel foyer. A lovely woman also entered the room and we struck up a conversation. Ever met someone for the first time and you seem to have known each other forever? Our rapport and ease of conversation was delightful until interrupted by her “boy” friend. He quickly entered the conversation with the ease of his “girl” friend. I was slightly stunned since her boyfriend was bestselling author and speaker Wayne Dyer.
Dyer was known for the quote “Change the way you look at thing and the things you look at change”. Is it a wonder this delightful woman I had just met was acquainted with someone of Wayne Dyer’s exceptional reputation? “Birds of feather flock together.”
In these dark times in which so many people seek news, whether on TV, online or the paper, it’s usually bad news. Conspiracy theories are rampant and people are quick to share who is “evil”, “bad”, a “thief” or any other negative character assassination term that applies.
Since we see so many good people in this practice, people of exceptional character, I challenge people with this question. “Wouldn’t you agree 90% of the people you know are truly good people?” The answer is a universal “Yes.”
Sure, you will meet or hear about lawyers who lie Monday through Friday and shake your hand in church on the weekend. There are politicians who are getting rich stealing from their constituents. Still, most lawyers are honest and law abiding. Many politicians have a will to serve. Our health reflects in our relationships and our relationships reflect in our health. Keep being in the 90% plus out there.
“What’s In Your Wallet?”
Why do I hate commercials and still love Jennifer Garner asking me what’s in my wallet? Please don’t think Jennifer asks me about my wallet in person. For some reason her TV commercial line sticks with me.
Do you have the same thing in your wallet I have in mine; pictures of the kids? I am embarrassed to say the pictures are decades old. I have my daughter’s baby picture and she’s now 31. Why do we carry around family pictures? We act as if we are going to forget what they look like.
The most important picture you carry around is the internal picture you have of what you look like. If that picture is one of you being overweight, you are not going to lose weight and keep it off. Besides we are programmed to find what we lose and that includes weight. Without a new picture of a healthy, energetic, fit looking you stored inside, you will not make lasting change.
Be aware that health is not something you chase. The constant dieter can be just like the constant exercise person. The why behind what you do is so important. If your internal picture is of a healthy, energetic you, chances are you will get there. Accidents and injuries happen. Parties in which you over eat happen. Stay connected to your best self, always.
As I travel from my home in northern Washington County to visit a friend in Belle Vernon, I am in awe of the beautiful countryside. For some reason a trip down country roads makes me feel like I am experiencing the heart of America. Gardens are plentiful, placed anywhere in the yard where vegetables will grow best.
Occasionally the beauty of rural America will be tainted by a rusted out old car sitting lifeless in the yard. As I repeat this trip numerous times over the past year, the lifeless car never moves. What would it take to bring this old jalopy back to life? Perhaps we could wash and wax it. It may look better, but you can’t wash and wax away rust. Perhaps we can assume a passage of time will change the car. Time passing without action will make no difference. Everyone knows a rusting car will continue to rust (“Rust never sleeps.”)
So, what’s the solution? It starts with the owner of the car. If the owner feels the car is worth saving, the owner will put time and effort into solutions. The first focus is to get the car moving. Machines that sit excessively age prematurely.
Occasionally I will talk to someone, who treats their body as an old jalopy. They can seem lifeless for their age and prefer sitting around as opposed to movement. The irony is that many of these human “jalopies” are amazing people. As the driver of their body, they haven’t gotten focused on their mental and personality strengths. Getting focused on possibilities leads to awaking your inner wheels. This needs to be followed by a regimented plan to get moving. Shake the rust off. Little things can add up to big things. Make water your drink of choice. Limit your sugar and carbohydrates intake. Get up and move! Remember, no matter the quality of the car anyone has, it’s only as good as its driver.
“Looking for a New Car?”
Mark is looking for a new truck. The one he drives looks to be in excellent condition but he prefers the latest and greatest. He gives me regular updates on his search including dealers and automakers offers. We also went through the process of buying a new car recently. We had two models picked out, Lexus and Volvo. Which one would you choose? “Choose” is a very important word in this blog so start “paying attention.” (“Paying attention” is also important.)
What happens when you are looking for a new car and you narrow your choices down? You start “paying attention” to the car you want, suddenly seeing it everywhere. If you just want a particular color, let’s say red, you start seeing red cars everywhere.
You “choose” to pay attention to your desires and like magic your brain kicks in to high gear. The part of the brain that “pays attention” to what you “choose” is called the reticular activating system (RAS). Please dont think RAS only pays attention to good stuff like new cars. You can activate it to pay attention to bad stuff also.
So many patients have told me they stopped watching the news as the Covid 19 pandemic progressed. I understand choosing to be informed is important but when is it too much information? As the pandemic dragged on the reporting became so fear driven their health and wellbeing was being compromised. It wasn’t easy to turn it off though with the RAS tuned into all the bad news about Covid 19. It was next to impossible to turn away.
An employee at the television news industry taught me years ago that news is a form of entertainment meant to arouse emotions. I thought their job was to report the news. I found this as blasphemous as the time one of the Steelers told me “The Steelers are a business, same as any business!” What? I thought the Steelers were made to rouse emotions out of me if they dared to lose a game.
The RAS is a useful tool if used to point you in the right direction. Being an expert in being afraid every day because you have chosen to pay attention to bad stuff is not being informed. It’s choosing to put your faith in fear to overprotect you. Not a healthy choice.
I long for the days when using my RAS to pick out a new car is the biggest item I choose to pay attention to.
“Divorce and Corona virus”
A long-time friend was being buried in an acrimonious divorce. Since being tarred and feathered wasn’t an acceptable punishment for love lost, paying a significant financial penalty would have to do. His soon to be ex-wife’s attorney was hammering him for information whether it applied directly or not to the divorce. His nerves were frayed and he was aghast at how he and his wife had already accumulated $225,000.00 in lawyers’ bills. As so many exclaim, “The only ones who win in a divorce are the attorneys.”
This Corona virus assault has so many on the defensive, just like my friend struggling with his divorce. I am not quite sure what has people more afraid, the virus or the onslaught of information about how terrifying and deadly the virus is. Anybody keeping track of how readily information about “the science” of this pandemic changes? The warning from so called health experts from various government agencies promote defensive measure such as mask wearing, washing hands frequently, keeping a “social” distance from people and quarantining for 14 (now 10) days if exposed.
Notice how few health experts recommend going on the offensive. How do you go on the offensive? Start with limiting your intake of sugar and processed foods. Give up sodas and energy drinks, even quit smoking. Routinely walk outdoors in the fresh air. Take up meditation using one of the several online apps. Try a virtual yoga class or stretch along with a TV instructor. Take Vitamin D as some countries are giving it out for free or at least promoting its benefits. Many of these things would be an inconvenience, but isn’t this pandemic already an inconvenience? I see Type 2 diabetics with more fear of corona virus when they need to be much more fearful of their autoimmune lifestyle driven Type 2 diabetes.
My friend did get his divorce. He decided to start matching the folly of his wife’s attorneys’ requests for equally frivolous requests. She quickly retracted and shut off the flow of money to the attorneys.
Like a Hallmark Christmas movie, my friend is now happily remarried and living on a Christmas tree farm in the Midwest. Ok, so maybe he doesn’t really live on a Christmas tree farm. Its just a small farm with horses and dogs. Go on the offensive. Be in charge of your health.