Sticking To Your New Years Resolutions

Sticking To Your New Years Resolutions

Twelve months ago on January 1, 2013, many of you created goals for yourself for that year. Some of you achieved these goals, while others will carry them into the 2014 year because you never made them happen. There is a high likelihood that many of these goals were health related, and yet the theme stays similar each year: unaccomplished. We have this dream and hope for something bigger and better each year, but we do not always achieve those results. This year, I wanted to write and article to help my patients asking themselves how to stick to my New Years resolutions.

Sometimes I feel personally responsible when you do not achieve your health goals because maybe I did not challenge you enough.

As I was debriefing at the end of the year I thought, how can I make the quality of my clients’ lives better while helping them achieve their health goals for the year? Many of you have shared your goals with me, which include running marathons and 5ks, eating paleo for breakfast and dinner, lose or gaining 15 pounds, doing a triathlon, completing a cleanse, and the list continues.

In 2014, we are going to make it easier for you to achieve your goals by holding you accountable. Of course, our new space opening in March 2014 will be the epicenter of health in Atlanta, as the amenities will encourage a healthy lifestyle. Jessica is also training to become a clinical nutritionist, so all of you will have a resource to learn how to eat cleaner and learn the nutrients your bodies are craving. Even so, we want to continue to go far beyond these programs.

Challenging You

By January 15th, we are asking every client to e-mail us your top 2 health goals for the 2014 year. We are going to keep track of them and do quarterly check-ins to see how you are doing. You will also have the opportunity to be part of a forum where many of us can work together to help each other with our goals. People can share recipes, training ideas, best exercise classes, and steps they are taking to become healthier. This group will be a place where you will be inspired to step out from the World that is constantly marketing misinformation to you about how to lead a healthy life. We will provide feedback and ways to help you reach your goals and not let them become more resolutions that never get accomplished.

As a chiropractor, my mission has always been to have the World look at my community and ask, “How is this community so healthy without utilizing as many drugs and surgeries as the rest of the country?” I want the public to see that the body heals itself from the inside-out, and with proper preventative care and proactive living, we can live our greatest lives.

Please send your goals to us by January 15th, and be as specific as possible. For example, rather than saying you want to lose weight, write down how much weight you want to lose. Instead of deciding you want to eat paleo, include which days you will commit to eating a paleo diet every week.

For 2014 my goals:

  1. Do a cleanse in March (minimum of 3 days)
  2. Complete an Ironman by December 31, 2014

Closing Thoughts

Start your 2014 health planning early and share your goals by commenting below! If you still are unsure about the health side, still feel free to speak opening about your other New Years resolutions.

Difference Between Physical Therapists and Chiropractors

Difference Between Physical Therapists and Chiropractors

Many people come to our office with either back, neck, shoulder, or hip pain thinking they either need to see a chiropractor or physical therapist, but they use the terms interchangeably. The fact is that Chiropractors and Physical Therapists (PT’s) are so different in their practices; it would be the same as if someone had tooth pain and they were thinking of going to a dentist or cardiologist. These professions, like chiropractic and PT, learn different information and each have its own specialty. I’m writing this article so you know you’ll know what’s the difference between physical therapists and chiropractors.

Let me first preface that if you ever go to a chiropractor or PT who negates the other profession, please walk away. This person is usually not in the best interest of the patient and their results but more interested in the dogma between the two professions.

History of the Two Professions

Physical therapy was founded in 1916 when the polio outbreak occurred and people needed a profession to re-educate the muscles. The field then grew significantly during WW1, as many people in the army were getting injured and needed to rehabilitate their muscles and soft tissue…which is when PT is the best!

Chiropractic was founded in 1895 when DD Palmer, a magnetic healer, adjusted his janitor, Harvey Lillard’s neck, which restored his hearing. DD felt Harvey’s neck, and on the top vertebrae which controls eyesight, headaches, and hearing he noticed it was sticking out. He then adjusted this vertebra back into place, and Harvey noticed his hearing slowly coming back. The profession began to grow rapidly as chiropractors began seeing people with many different problems including vision, cancer, heart disease, and other issues related to the nervous system.

The Difference

If I ever had surgery on my shoulder for a tear or other issue, there is a high likelihood I would see a PT to re-educate the muscle and stretch out the joint. The PT would also teach me exercises and other trainings I could do at home to maximize the recovery. Physical therapy is great for tendonitis, sprained ankles, or for a post-op recovery on any joint. PT’s are the experts in this department, and nobody can argue with that especially because their techniques such as ultrasound, dry needling, and specific stretching techniques, are so successful.

When it comes to the spine however, chiropractors are the experts. They detect and correct subluxations in the spine, which are misalignments that can cause nerve pressure. Sadly, with computers and slouched posture only a few chiropractors like myself focus on corrective chiropractic. This type of chiropractic detects the cause of the problem and works to bring the spine back to alignment through many objective tools such as x-rays, postural assessments, range of motion, and stress scans.

The Problem

The problem is that some people see a PT for spinal issues, and others see chiropractors for physical therapy problems. If you see a PT for spinal problems, so they can work on your muscles, BUT structurally your spine is completely out of alignment based on x-rays, than you are working on muscles on top of a weak spine. Unfortunately, this could make the spine worse as you age because the biomechanics are not properly aligned, which would cause the body to wear out faster. There is no problem seeing the two together and having each professional communicate with one another, but the key is going to the provider who can help with the problem at hand.

PT’s are in the medical realm and great for injuries and problems. Chiropractors are in the holistic and preventative realm and are good for the effects of everyday life, such as sitting in front of a computer, traveling frequently, sleeping improperly, scoliosis, or regular tune-ups for preventative care.

Closing Thoughts

We work with many PT’s who will help support the musculature along the spine as we perform our corrective care work. If you are confused about which provider you should see, please comment on this post or call our office so you can be sent to the correct healthcare professional, keeping in mind that sometimes it may be both.

Osteoarthritis Obesity - Good and Bad

Osteoarthritis Obesity - Good and Bad

Many people who come to our office who have lived a typical American lifestyle usually have osteoarthritis in their spine and are overweight by the time they are 50 years old. The question I want to bring to the table is whether osteoarthritis and obesity is a good thing or a bad thing?

The common excuses why people think they have arthritis or obesity are age and genetics. Are there people in their 50’s with no osteoarthritis in their spine who are fit? Yes! Is it due to age? No. Is this related to genetics? No. When it comes to arthritis the only way it can be considered related to genetics is if is a rheumatoid arthritis. So when it comes to osteoarthritis the only way it can happen is due to poor biomechanics and according to the Mayo Clinic is the wear and tear arthritis.

The Question Remains, Is This Bad?

Osteoarthritis is not a bad thing, but it is not good to have arthritis in the spine. In fact, the reason osteoarthritis happens is because the body thinks it is under a physical stress, and it is so smart that it starts to adapt by building more bone. This reaction is the body’s protective mechanism against improper posture, so while arthritis shows the body is working properly, it is not healthy to have.

For example, if the Hoover Dam was built with the wrong curve, then it would not be able to support the water and would break. If the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was built with the wrong degree angles, then it would fall. The difference between humans and those architectural structures is the body has a power inside of it called innate intelligence, so instead of the neck or low back collapsing when it loses its normal angles, it builds bone, which is called osteoarthritis.

This is similar to the person who eats an inflammatory diet filled with grains, processed foods, and sugars and then becomes obese. Is the process of building fat cells a bad thing? No. However, is it good to be obese? No. The body detects a stress, which is a harmful diet filled with toxins, so it creates fat cells to put around the gut and organs as a protective mechanism.

What Next and How to Think of Your Health?

Looking at innate intelligence and the protective mechanisms of the body, we notice that symptoms are signs of stress. Unfortunately our healthcare system looks at the body wrongly and has a goal to treat symptoms rather than correct the cause.

If your front left tire is worn out, yet you put all the tires on the car at the same time, then would just replacing the front left tire be the solution to prevent it from wearing out faster the second time? Of course not. You would think “Why did this tire wear out faster then the other tires?” most likely the answer is in the alignment of the car, so the problem is not the front left tire but the alignment of the car.

Similarly with osteoarthritis, the problem is not the bone spurs and degeneration but the improper biomechanics in your spine. My article “What is Corrective Chiropractic?” shows what an abnormal spinal structure looks like and what can be done to correct its alignment. Walking against gravity all day and having poor posture will wear out the spine much faster.

In the obesity example, the problem is not the fat cells but what causes the fat cells is usually a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, many people want to treat the symptom and remove the fat either through drugs, liposuction, tummy tucks, and gastric bypass; instead of going to the cause of weight gain. Unfortunately now people will take drugs to reduce fat cells instead of going to the cause which will usually be their diet and sedentary lifestyle.

Look at the following list of the most common symptoms people experience, and think about what causes them. Our country is addicted to taking pills, and most of those pills are designed to remove the symptom but NOT address the cause. Drugs are not necessarily bad, but we need to really think about our health and what is the underlying CAUSE of these symptoms.

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood sugar (diabetes)
  • Low serotonin (depression)
  • Low melatonin (sleep trouble)
  • Acid reflux
  • Digestive disorders

Are You Treating Symptoms or Chasing the Cause?

To close, if your car’s engine light appears would you put black tape over the light and keep driving, or would you get the car checked? Most people would get their cars checked, as the engine light is a symptom to an underlying problem. Sometimes when any of the above symptoms occur most people put black tape over it and ignore the problem. We need to look at the causes to eliminate our symptoms.

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holiday season is here, and it seems there is a party every night that condones drinking and eating hors dorves that are typically fried or breaded. The trend I commonly see in my practice is that during this time of year people begin neglecting their workouts, stressing more about deadlines, missing their adjustments, and doing other activities that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. However, now is the time to be committed to working out, eating healthfully, getting adjusted, and working on being your best self so you do not get sick or pack on the winter weight. Here are some key steps on how to avoid gaining holiday weight:

1. Warm lemon water in the morning

Drink a warm glass of alkaline water with a freshly squeezed organic lemon. There are many reasons for this; including balancing your pH levels, aiding digestion, and boosting your immunity due to the high levels of potassium and Vitamin C in the lemons.

[title size=”2″]2. Get your tabata on![/title]

Back in January I wrote an article on this, and I would like to stress the importance of it right now (read the article Let The Games Begin to learn more about tabata). Those of you who are going for walks at night or in the morning are creating great movement patterns for your body and increasing circulation. However, walking alone will not get you fit or in shape; because it is considered a movement, not exercise. While walking is important to maintaining health, we do not burn enough calories to lose weight doing these movements. My favorite workout for people to do at this time of season is a double tabata. Tabata was created by medical professional, Dr. Tabata; he found that short bursts of training with short rest times increases oxygen output in the body and burns fat. To perform this workout, go at 100% of a movement for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle 8 times for a 4 minute workout. Some great movements that can be done are:

  • stationary bike
  • sprints on treadmill
  • jumping jacks
  • air squats
  • sit-ups
  • push-ups
  • pull-ups

There are even smartphone apps that have Tabata timers to download for free.

[title size=”2″]3. Stick to the tequila.[/title]

This is a topic you may have never guessed I would discuss because it condones alcohol. I will preface that, I am not encouraging you to drink tequila, but I do not want to be the Debbie Downer who tells you to only drink bottled water at your company holiday parties. If however, I could choose a drink for all of you, it would be a paleo margarita which consists of: tequila, lime juice, and club soda. By staying away from wine and beer, you will be saving yourself massive amounts of unnecessary sugars, as well as other toxins, that can store fat.

[title size=”2″]4. Load Up on Fats![/title]

You read that correctly! In order to lose fat you will want to pump up your body with good fats to help speed metabolism. The main fats I would like many of you to consume are MCT’s, or medium chain triglycerides, which are found in coconuts (coconut oil, coconut flakes, coconut water, coconut flour, and coconut sugar), avocodos, and raw almonds, which should be soaked in alkaline water before consuming. This soaking process helps the nut bring out all of its enzymes, so it become more easily digestible and healthier for your body.

[title size=”2″]Conclusion[/title]

Following these suggestions will help avoid the holiday weight gain. As always, I love to hear from my patients and blog reader. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, it may just be featured as the topic of one of my future blog posts!

How to beat the winter flu

How to beat the winter flu

Today’s article is centered around a hot question in the office over the past few weeks,”How Can I Beat The Winter Flu?” Before I provide insight on the topic I’d like to first start by sharing a quote.

“The pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything.” — Louis Pasteur’s deathbed words. These were Louis Pasteur’s, father of the germ theory, final words before his death in 1895.

I love his concepts and philosophy because in today’s germophobic world, people are scared of everything related to germs. Everywhere I turn I see people bathing themselves in Purell or some other toxic cleaner to remove bacteria. If germs were so evil, then nobody would be alive, and we would all be constantly sick.

Instead of always focusing on ways to improve the external environments such as our hands, skin, face, etc, it is more important to concentrate on our internal environments. I have not had the flu in 13 years, and it is not because I live in a bubble but because I focus on building a titanium internal environment. The stronger I build my internal environment, the less likely the external environment will affect me.

Because of the nature of our practice, I am surrounded by “germs” and “bacteria” all day. Nevertheless, how can someone like myself stay healthy and never get sick, while people who lather in hand sanitizers and shower five times a day get sick often?

I want to share 3 extra secrets beyond chiropractic that can help you beat the flu and create a titanium internal environment this holiday season.

1. Increase Happiness

Instead of using the term “manage stress” we want to be proactive and excel in life so I used the term “increase happiness”. The goal of each day should not be to keep stress at bay. Rather, we should focus on increasing our happiness, so stress begins to go away.

This is similar to never wanting to manage a disease but increase health within the body to eliminate it. Language is everything, and thoughts become things, so this first step is critical.

As the holiday season begins to unfold many people with fall under increased stress with deadlines, travel plans, financial burdens, family coming in town, holiday parties, and other life events.

Anytime the body is under a state of stress the immune system shuts down, and disease prevails.

My favorite way to increase happiness in my life is by looking at my value system and implementing it into my life. One of my highest values is health, so when I workout, get adjusted or get acupuncture, for instance, I am happier. Family is another top value for me, so when I am going on date nights with my wife, spending time with family, or playing with my nieces, my happiness increases.

Figure out the top 3 values in your life, and let us look at steps you can take to increase your levels of happiness. Most of the time happiness costs nothing!

2. Maximize Vitamin D

Have you noticed that most people do not get sick in the summer? During these months people are outside much more and absorbing massive amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a key role in our heath when it comes to maintaining a healthy immune system and decreasing risk of disease. Affecting 2,000 of the 30,000 genes in our bodies, increased vitamin D levels can truly build up our internal environment. Spend 10 – 20 minutes in the sun on a daily basis to get optimal vitamin D levels, as your body stops producing after 20 minutes.

3. Go Paleo!

When it comes to de-inflaming the body and increasing your internal health the best way to eat is like our hunter-gather ancestors or paleo (lithic). Paleo eating stays away from grains, dairy, legumes, and white sugar to decrease internal inflammation. I have been eating paleo for the past 4 years and am in the best shape of my life with great numbers from my most recent bloodwork. Great resources are the NomNom app for your iPad or smartphone, or as well as the website PaleoPlan.Com, which has great recipes. The key is making sure you are eating a lot of good fats and good sugars, which will ultimately keep your hormones and cells functioning optimally.

Conclusion

I hope you find my 3 tricks to beat the winter flu helpful this season. Please leave a message below if you have any questions or comments!