“The Cape”

“The Cape”

     While discussing with an old friend the sudden, but not unexpected, death of another old friend, I saw similarities.  This friend who passed away was a friend and patient since the early 80’s. He played football from childhood to over a decade in the NFL.  Multiple injuries, including those to the head, seemed to catch up to him. 

     The friend who was walking with me also played football extensively. His football career ended after college.  He has been a good friend and patient for over 30 years.

     One unique difference was my NFL friend suffered a severe head injury as a child, requiring a hospital stay.  It seems he was pretending to be a superhero, jumping from a high porch and using his head as a landing gear. 

     When hearing this story, my walking buddy said “You have to listen to “The Cape”, a song by Guy Clark.  “The Cape” is a beautiful song with lyrics any man as well as a mother of a son can relate to.  The young boy decides he can fly with the aid of a homemade cape.  He tests his flying ability by jumping off the garage after getting a running start. 

     The song goes on to share how we all need “The Cape” throughout life.  What’s your “cape”?  Mine are uplifting books, friends and family.  I love people, stories, books, that encourage and inspire.  Perhaps your “cape” is a walk in the woods, your prayer time, caring for your garden or that walk outside with your dog.  We all need “The Cape”, a source of uplifting faith that lifts our spirits higher so we can be better for the people in our life. 

     My dear friend of 40 years, who injured his head severely pretending he had a cape, became a cape for so many in his family, church, teammates and the Western PA community and beyond.  His name, the beloved, Tunch Ilkin.  He taught so many that with the faith he had come to know in his heart, that they too could fly.

“Agree to Disagree”

 

 

“Agree to Disagree”

     Recently I asked a fine, young representative of our United States military what was going on in the world. Since she is frequently doing tours of duty in the Middle East, she regretfully shared how trouble was ahead in Afghanistan. This was actually two days before the collapse of the Afghan government and the deaths of 13 American soldiers.

     More importantly than this young soldier’s world view, I loved her view of America. “We’ve lost the ability to “agree to disagree!”  It used to be two people could share their opinions and comfortably say, “we agree to disagree.”  This is gone as people so readily get angry if someone has a different point of view.” 

     She is spot on in her view and all this confrontation and hostility is ruining our national health.  Our nervous system is not meant to be in fight or flight all the time.  Who knew that by giving up the fight you relearn to relax, improving your overall health future.  Health begins within you.  Work on getting yourself healthy and let the healthy vibes flow from there.    

     Chiropractic care naturally turns down your body’s fight or flight sensor.  Let’s agree that this country can be healthier one person at a time starting with ourselves. 

“12 Seconds to Paradise”

“12 Seconds to Paradise”

     Eddie Money’s 1977 hit song “Two Tickets to Paradise” offered you access to paradise; how long does it take to get there?  Have you ever accomplished anything good and glorious in 12 seconds?  Albert Einstein taught us everything is relative so 12 seconds in some situations feels like an hour and less than a second in others.

     Have you ever given up too quickly on accomplishing any major milestone in your life?  Perhaps it was a diet that didn’t appear to be working fast enough.  Perhaps it was an exercise regimen that didn’t quite make you into Superwoman or Superman.  Perhaps that career or education you desired took too long so it’s easier to just stay the same.

     You’ve already taken more than 12 seconds to get to this point.  The length of time is not nearly as important as the mindset you bring to any endeavor.  As you sit on a jumbo jet heading to your next paradise vacation, think about what a mindset wrapped around 12 seconds brought you.

     The first flight by the Wright brothers lasted 12 seconds.  That’s right: twelve whole seconds!  They didn’t say “That sucked” or “We are idiots for even trying.” Their mindset of “We’ve got this!” allows you to jet set around the world all because they didn’t stop at 12 seconds.  Remember they didn’t have anyone who showed the way before them saying, “This is possible.”

     It’s not the time that is important.  It is the mindset of “I can, I will, I must” that gets anything done.  That mindset comes from inside you.  No one, I repeat, no one can give it to you. We all appreciate a pat on the back now and then for some encouragement. It’s still up to you.

     I noticed years ago the patient person heals twice as fast.  My hope for you is that whatever you endeavor to accomplish, you are patient and persistent.   May you find yourself taking off like a jet, or at least a Kitty Hawk.

 

“Pro or Con”

“Pro or Con”   

The unity of freedom has never relied on the uniformity of opinion.” JFK

This article is not meant to be a pro or con Covid 19 shot.

It is just a view of 3 characters.

              

     Three people are worth taking a look at when discussing the Covid 19 shot.

     Let’s start with the beloved patriot, Ben Franklin.  He was perhaps the first anti-vaxxer. Publishing a newspaper in Boston, the paper promoted the idea that God was in charge and there was no need for the small pox vaccine. This vaccine consisted of injecting a small amount of small pox into the body of adults and children. When 1000 residents out of a population of 10,000 Bostonians quickly died from small pox, Franklin changed his mind about the need for vaccines. Franklin’s young son died from small pox shortly before he was scheduled to get his shot. We must keep in mind that Boston in the 1700’s lacked refrigeration, public sewer and public water. I have often said those things, so taken for granted today, did more to improve our health standards than anything else.  You could argue a plumber had more to do with improving your standard of health and living than any doctor.

     Franklin’s experience reinforced the benefits of vaccines. Vaccines today are not the vaccines of the 1700’s. They are much more complicated in their make-up and most so called anti-vaxxers are not anti-vaccine as much as they are against how vaccines are manufactured. Using chemicals called adjuvants to increase the vaccine response at a lower cost has raised the ire of many.

     Our next prominent newsmaker and “anti-vaxxer” is Robert Kennedy, Jr. He is the most outspoken prominent person concerned about the side effects of vaccines, particularly their impact on children. For this article I am more concerned with how he became such an advocate for children’s health and well-being. Having an aunt who was intellectually disabled, care for less healthy children was reinforced particularly through his Aunt Eunice Shriver. Her claim to fame was creating Special Olympics. Robert was raised to work with and continuously lift up the less fortunate children of our society. Out of these experiences came a passionate need to protect the health of all children.

     Lastly, we have Buffalo Bills wide receiver, Cole Beasley. He created quite a stir on Twitter when he shared his refusal to get the Covid shot. Comments such as “I may die of Covid, but I’d rather die actually living.” And “I’m not going to take meds for a leg that isn’t broken.”  For those who “follow the science” his most profound statement was “I’d rather take my chance with Covid and build up my immunity that way.” Did he attempt to say health comes from within? That is a very unpopular view of life. Prepare for sarcasm! God lives in my church. Love is found in a Hallmark movie. Health is found in the doctor’s office.

    To vaccinate or not is your choice. I wasn’t there to stone St. Stephen for his belief in Christ and I won’t throw stones at you, whatever you choose. 

“Naked and Afraid”

“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?”

“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. 

“Laser Therapy”

 

“Laser Therapy”

      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”

 

“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”

 

“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”

 

“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.