Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Don't Survive the Holidays, THRIVE!

Don’t “Survive” the Holidays…THRIVE!

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are, once again, almost upon us. It seems like just yesterday we were lighting sparklers and celebrating our country’s birthday on July 4th, and now we’re planning family get togethers for Thanksgiving and (yikes!) the Christmas holiday season is just around the corner.  Does thinking about everything you have to do and everywhere you need to be during the holidays stress you out?  If so, you’re not alone, but you need not suffer.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), more than half of all women and men in the United States experience heightened stress during the holidays – enough stress to put them at increased risk for physical and mental health effects.  With some advance planning, the holiday season can be a time to truly thrive, not just “survive”.  Here are some great tips to help you navigate the holiday season with as little stress as possible:

Identify:  What usually stresses you out during the holidays?  Is it spending time with your extended family?  Is it finding the “perfect” gift for everyone on your list?  Is it worrying about how you’re going to afford travel, gifts and entertaining?  Identifying what stresses you out is the first step to reducing stress.  Make note of what stressors you have, and use the tips that follow to help exert control over them.

Prioritize:  Recognize that you can’t do it all.  If you accept every party invitation you receive, join every friend’s cookie exchange, shop on every lunch hour, and never say “no”, you will definitely not thrive this holiday season.  It’s okay to say “no” and prioritize how you spend your time.  The key is to set your parameters NOW, before the invitations start rolling in, and before you are inundated with requests for your time.

Stay active:  With so much going on during the holidays, it’s an easy time to let your exercise routine fall to the wayside.  However, the benefits of physical activity include improving your mental health and mood, strengthening bones and muscles, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and even your risk of some cancers…and that’s just the beginning!  If you don’t have time for regular workouts, try burst training at home.  Running in place, jumping rope, or doing jumping jacks or squats in 30-60 second bursts, 4-6 times a day will get your heart rate up and energize you to take on the holidays.

Eat and drink right:  With holiday and party food aplenty, the holidays are a tough time to stay focused on eating right.  Next month we’ll look at some specific ways to navigate holiday eating, but for now, just focus on eating regular meals and limiting “recreational” eating.  Put more “God-made” food in your body than “man-made” food, and drink plenty of water to assure proper transport of nutrients to all cells and tissues of the body.

Stay positive:  It may sound corny, but looking on the bright side will de-stress your holidays.  You are more motivated to get things done and more likely to achieve your goals when you have a positive attitude.  When you face a problem, consider how you can turn that into an opportunity.  You’ll have more perseverance if you expect things to work out well in the end.

Multi task while socializing:  Consider teaming up with friends to tackle your holiday “to do” list.  Shopping with friends is always more fun, but have you considered having friends over for a holiday decorating party?  Or getting a group together to address holiday cards?  These are easy ways to double your productivity.

Stay healthy:  Germs are everywhere, and the best way to keep them from making you sick is to wash your hands frequently.  Don’t smoke, and avoid exposure to second hand smoke.  Be smart about food and alcohol poisoning by keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold, and keeping alcohol out of reach of children. 

Keep your spine in line by continuing chiropractic care.   I often hear “I’m not coming in for my adjustment because I think I’m coming down with something.”  Actually, that is the BEST time to come in.  Regular chiropractic adjustments restore the body to its optimal form and function, allowing you to be healthy enough to maintain the hectic holiday schedule and be at your best while doing so!

Friday, September 6, 2013

You Never Know...

A recent event caused me to remember a time I was on a long flight and there was a very fussy baby (to put it mildly) sitting across the isle from me and one row back.  He was somewhere between six and eight months old by my best guess.  Everything started out fine, but about ten minutes into the flight he began whimpering, then crying a little harder.  This kept up for about five minutes or so when he suddenly reared back and let out a yell that sounded like someone was torturing him.  He cried at the top of his lungs no matter how his mother tried to comfort him.  He wouldn’t be distracted, he wouldn’t nurse, all he would do is scream, scream, scream!

I was thinking about saying something to the mother after roughly ten minutes or so of this to see if she would allow me to help her when she said to her baby, “Oh Honey, it won’t be much longer before you will get to see Dr. Rich.  We’ll go right to his office from the airport!”  I turned around and asked her, “Dr.?  Does he have a problem he’s being treated for?”  She answered, “No, he’s usually very happy.  But we’ve been out of town for two weeks and he’s been in a lot of strange places and hasn’t seen his chiropractor for an adjustment since we left.”  I smiled and replied, “I’m a chiropractor, is there something…”  Before I could finish she got up out of her seat, holding her baby out in front of her, arms fully extended and pleaded, “Would you mind?!”

I put him on my lap, assessed him, adjusted him once very gently in his upper neck and once in his mid-back, and he was quiet within twenty seconds.  The people around us were amazed and a few even clapped.  She took him back and he went to sleep for the rest of the flight.  As we landed, the flight attendant thanked everyone for flying Southwest, and then added, “And how about a huge thank you and a round of applause for the wonderful chiropractor who not only helped that little guy asleep there, but who also saved the rest of us from whatever horrors we might commit as the result of listening to over an hour of screaming!”  Everyone clapped and cheered.

You may think the point of this story is to tell you how wonderful chiropractic is at helping babies in distress – it’s not.  You may think it’s about the fact that more and more people are not only accepting but actually praising chiropractic care – it’s not.  No, the one and only point I want you to get goes back to what the flight attendant said, even if she meant it as a joke.  She talked about how I, “not only helped that little guy asleep there, but who also saved the rest of us from whatever horrors we might commit as the result of listening to over an hour of screaming!”

B.J. Palmer once said, “You never know how far reaching something you may think, say, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.”   Who knows how everyone on that plane’s lives were different because they had a better experience after he went to sleep?  Who knows what may have been said out of frustration to an innocent person by any one of the 163 people on that plane?  And what about the ripple effect of all those people everyone on that plane interacted with after the flight?

You may not realize just how important you and your health are to those around you, but I can tell you that there are 163 people who now know that truth a whole lot better now than they did a week ago.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stress and Weight Gain

You’ve just lost your job, your daughter came home with pink hair, the debt pile is getting higher and higher and your son needs braces on his teeth. So…do you run to or away from the refrigerator?

It’s a fact, people who are under a lot of stress tend to do one of two things – either they eat more or they eat less. But despite what they do, more often than not, people under stress gain weight!

The body’s response to stress is a release of adrenaline which triggers the “fight or flight” response in your body. You’re highly energized to either fight the immediate danger (stress) or run away from it! Another hormone, known as corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) is released at the same time, along with cortisol. These elevated levels of adrenaline and CRH decrease your appetite at first, but unfortunately, this response is short–lived.

The purpose of cortisol is to increase your appetite after an immediate danger (stressor) has passed. The trouble is, with chronic stress, your body is in a perpetual state of “fight or flight,” meaning more and more cortisol is being produced, thereby increasing your appetite. And even if you don’t eat more…the mere presence of this hormone slows down your metabolism and tends to cause fat retention, especially around the midsection!
So…what can you do when stressed to combat weight gain?
  • Get proper rest – cortisol levels rise when you lose sleep and you may feel hungrier than you would with proper rest!
  • Take a walk – even if it’s only for 15–20 minutes several times a week. Exercise releases “good” hormones that make you feel better and reduce stress and it burns calories – so it offers 2-for-1 benefits!
  • Eat six smaller meals a day and keep the diet healthy! This helps keep your blood sugar (insulin) and cortisol levels in check.
  • Find ways to relax – yoga, meditation, sitting on a beach, reading a good book, watching a movie that makes you laugh – this works like exercise to reduce stress by producing positive brain chemicals!
  • Laugh – no matter what – always find reasons to laugh! Watch a funny movie or an old television program; go out with friends you enjoy – laughing also releases the “good” brain chemicals that relieve stress.
Just keep in mind, nothing lasts forever. There’s a saying, “This too shall pass.” The stress will go away eventually, that is for sure.  However, the damage that occurs to our body may not!  Just try to minimize the weighty effects it can have on you while it’s around!

Now get on the move!  It's time to move forward to a healthier lifestyle.  Many of you, if not all, have thought about increasing, or starting to, exercise as a personal goal.  I ask you, where are you with that goal?  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Real Experiences from Real People

Did you know that back pain affects 60 to 80 percent of U.S. adults at some time during their lives, and up to 50 percent have back pain within a given year? 26 to 52% of all golfers have lower back pain, 30% play with lower back pain at any given time.  Lastly, 49% of all work absences are due to back, shoulder and neck pain. And, we thought it was the common cold. 
Musculoskeletal disorders rank as the No.1 cause of work absences lasting three days or longer, according to a study last year by the Work Foundation in London.  These conditions include pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and arms, topping stress and anxiety in the No.2 spot and minor illnesses like headaches and upset stomach at No.3. 
The survey included all types of workers, so it wasn’t just heavy-lifting factory hands spending their sick days.  Researchers recommended ‘prevention and intervention’…. No kidding!!! 
Effective treatments for musculoskeletal problems involve treatment in a chiropractor’s office, bottom line.  The unfortunate fact is that too many individuals wait for major negative health signals to occur before moving proper spinal health up on their priority list.  Read the stories of these two individuals whose common musculoskeletal issues created enough urgency to take action. 
Meet Jacob May, son of Curtis and Sue May, an Oak Mountain High School student and football player.  He’s a young developing athlete and power house.  Playing football has been part of his entire life, as has been the injuries.  For most, no blood, guts or broken bones… you’re fine get back in it.  For those knowing Jacob, playing the game was the ‘it’. 
However, Curtis began noticing Jacob being off his game.  “He has always had great motor skills but he would appear off balance. You would see him be explosive on one play and the next play he would be hesitant and slower.  It was obvious he was struggling with his back.”  Curtis knew that college and pro level players utilize Chiropractic Services to maintain their physical ability sharp and ensure their focus is clear for every game. For his son, “Chiropractic was the logical route for us to go”.
During the consultation it was revealed that Jacob also suffered from severe headaches among other health issues.  His mom Sue being a nurse at first was skeptical about the correlation of his spinal structural compromises coinciding with Jacob’s symptoms.  However, if this could help their son, she was all for it! 
As expected, with proper corrective Chiropractic care Jacob regained his strength, agility and powerful lower body force to not only have a great competitive senior season but nail the final play of the last game.  If you ask Curtis or Jacob their thoughts about Chiropractic care for teenage athletes there comments are “I think everyone should consider Chiropractic care to resolve problems but more importantly to give your kid the chance to play at their best.”  
Next, there is Sylvia Drummond Hoehn, a vibrant and active 70 year old.  She’s a mother of four and grandmother of several more.  She could have spent her last 30 years in a wheel chair due to severe lower back pain and arthritis if it weren’t for a recommendation by a physical therapist to pursue Chiropractic care.  It is amazing to hear.
“Chiropractic saved my life” Sylvia will be quick to tell you.  In her mid 30’s after having her kids, she started losing the feeling of her left side and having severe lower back pain.  According to Sylvia, the pain became intense and debilitating.  After multiple doctor appointments, variety of tests and several second opinions, she was recommended surgery by three different doctors.  She was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis. At this time, Ms. Sylvia couldn’t afford the necessary recovery time due to the rising of her young children.  Therefore, she refused the surgery recommendations and proceeded to Mayo clinic for more acceptable answers to her health issues.   
Once there, “every test known to man was done” Sylvia recalls, “it was very unpleasant but I thought I will have an answer and be fixed”.  After four days of test including two psychological evaluations, she was told there was nothing wrong.  “I couldn’t believe it” she said. “I told them ‘You mean I am loosing the use of my left side and there is nothing wrong’”.  The reason she was given was that due to so many babies in a short period of time her stomach muscles had weakened and physical therapy would help strengthen those muscle regions.   This answer was better than surgery however she was still not satisfied. 
Once back in Birmingham at a physical therapist session, the therapist mentioned she should consider visiting a chiropractor for help with her osteoarthritis. Sylvia was skeptical.  In those days, Sylvia had not heard anything positive about Chiropractic however, “I was desperate, frustrated and decided it beats my alternative’.  She has never looked back since.
"It was a long journey to get back to where I was”. Sylvia remembers that within two months, she was beginning to feel her left side again.  After a short while longer, she was back to doing things with her kids that she was unable to do for a long time.  Throughout the years, Sylvia continued her Chiropractic care as a lifestyle habit.  “I played golf, tennis, raised my kids and traveled, which I thought would never happen again”.  
“Most of our society does not understand chiropractic, but I can assure you it works. When I think I could have been in a wheel chair for the past 30 years it is frightening.”  Sylvia is right.  Many in our community need to consider prevention and intervention from a natural proactive non invasive approach like chiropractic.  The Chiropractic approach and lifestyle is congruent with the message of prevention of health issues and intervention when present.  Like these two stories, millions have chosen Chiropractic care as a vehicle to maximize their health and live lives of significance.
Take time to ask yourself, what are your intentions for your life?  How do you expect your health to play out in the years ahead?  Decide this year to step through a wellness oriented chiropractor for a break through with your health.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Freight Train

Every once in awhile, a practice member will ask us when a certain symptom or complaint will begin to resolve.  Even though they understand that they are here to facilitate the process of regaining function, re-establishing their brain-body connection and then growing consistently stronger each day, they still have some concerns about when they will begin to feel better.  I would like to answer this by first reminding you that everything in life is a process.  This includes both the process of growing stronger (healing) and the process of getting weaker (dying).  And, all processes require time.  I would like to answer the question more specifically with a metaphor called “The Freight Train.”

Let’s pretend you are traveling in a freight train at 60 miles per hour, when suddenly you realize you have been going in the wrong direction.  Coming to a conscious awareness of this fact is the first important step in changing it, but concrete action steps are still required to do something about changing your situation.  Because your movement is a process that has some momentum, it is impossible to change your direction immediately.  The first thing to do is stop going the wrong way.  The best way to do this is to apply a positive force in the form of the brake.  This slows the train over time, and eventually stops your momentum in the wrong direction.

Next, you reverse your force so that you are actually producing what you want (to go in the opposite direction).  Slowly at first, then with increasing speed, you begin to travel back in the direction you came from.  After a while, you reach the place where you first realized you were going the wrong way.  Then you continue past that point until you reach the place where you started going the wrong way.  Finally, you gain the momentum needed to keep moving steadily toward your ultimate goal.

When you began your care here, you were going in a specific direction.  This direction was very likely opposite to what you desired.  In the freight train example, you would have been moving toward sickness, aging and death.  We have begun applying a positive force to move you in the direction you want to go.  This positive force is in the form of the chiropractic adjustment, which increases the expression of your Total Natural Health by restoring alignment and function in your spine and re-establishing the connection and communication between your brain and all the cells of your body.

Just like our train, the first thing that must happen is a slowing down and stopping of the momentum in the wrong direction.  We identify this as an increased ability to adapt to all of the physical, chemical and mental stresses you encounter each day.  Only then can a reversal (healing) occur and begin moving you in the right direction, toward growth and the full expression of health and Life!

The thing to get from this story is that everything is a process.  You have begun the process of moving toward what you want, but it will take time to see some of the specific results you are hoping for. 

One last thing, just like that freight train, as long as you keep applying a positive force in the direction you want to go, you will eventually go far past the point where your sickness process began and move toward bigger and brighter horizons than you may have been able to even imagine before.   You see, like everything else in life, your health development is a continual process.   And as such, there is no “final destination!”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to school should not be such a pain in the back!

Everyone who has a mother has endured the lectures on posture; stand up straight, sit up straight, don't slouch! As much as we have rolled our eyes in annoyance and exacerbation, it turns out that mom was more right than we knew. Now you are hearing the same thing from your doctors, especially your chiropractor.

So what is the big deal? The big deal is that it has to do with a lifetime of health. Poor posture obviously can cause back pain, but it affects us in ways that most of us don't even realize. Fatigue is one example. Did you know if you are not practicing good posture you are using more muscle groups to maintain that position which means you get tired quicker. Even more importantly, a slouching posture causes shallow breathing. This is the beginning of more serious problems than fatigue. Oxygen deficiency will result, causing decreased awareness, ability to concentrate and overall blood circulation possibly affecting ones academic performance. Decreased circulation and oxygen deficiency also make a person more susceptible to diseases, including cancer.

Poor posture is a serious concern for all individuals and everyone needs to be aware of what contributes to poor posture. Consequently the causes, like subluxations (what your chiropractor finds), loss of proprioception (knowing where your body is in space), weak or unbalanced muscle groups, poor eyesight, weight problems, psychological factors, and injuries, need to be addressed with the same level of seriousness as the poor posture they can cause. Although I would love to spend time on all of these, it simply isn't possible. What I do want to shed some light on is how the back pack that our children carry to and from class every day has the potential to create four of these causes.

According to a recent survey, children's backpacks are usually packed with 17-30% of a child's body weight. If we do the math that means that a 90-pound child would be carrying 15-27 pounds! For a 140 pound adult that would be 24-42 pounds! That's a lot of additional stress on the body. Your child "may not" be overweight at all, but the added weight of a backpack poses a serious threat to their health and welfare.  For example:

o       It can prevent normal spinal development and posture, resulting in back pain and altered mental performance.

o       Backpacks also affect the normal gait cycle of the individual carrying it, which again causes a change in the normal way the body moves and adds stress.

o       It also causes a child to be "top heavy". Although this is not a loss of proprioception, it is an alteration in the proprioception that will cause a forward lean of the head and trunk, a slouching posture.  Which is also prevalent from endless hours of electronic gaming not just from backpacks?  

o       Increased risk of falls and subsequent injuries is the result of a child with an overloaded pack that creates "top heaviness" because the pack will create a center of gravity behind them (pulling them backwards).

o       An imbalance in the muscles will also develop in a child that is carrying a bag that is either too heavy or carrying a pack only on one shoulder. This is again a cause of poor posture.

o       Last but certainly not least is subluxation. The added weight of a backpack has been demonstrated to cause altered spinal motions which in turn cause the spine to subluxate more easily and frequently.

Now coming from a chiropractic point of view, I would argue this last point to be by far the greatest risk to your child's health.  Think of it this way, spinal subluxations are to our children's spine as cavities are to our children's teeth.  If gone untreated can result in deterioration and come with a significant price tag to resolve.  Early detection of subluxations, again as with cavities, is key to resolve the issue early and promote long-term health.

If you would like to see first hand the effect your child's backpack has on their posture, consider a visual postural analysis activity.  Have your child pack their backpack with the typical amount of books they would carry throughout the day at school.  Have them stand in front of a panel door and take their picture facing you and another of the profile.  Then take another set of pictures in the same positions without their backpack.  Please note, this is not a time to panic, simply look at how your child has to over compensate for the weight and how it is affecting their posture.  If you would like a more comprehensive test performed, this is the time to contact us at Chiropractic Today where we will perform a comprehensive Postural Analysis as well as an EMG & Thermo graphic exam which will provide a complete picture of your child's spinal health.

So don't just tell your child to stand up straight, it's just not good enough any more. Consider the backpack that your child is using for this school year and make the necessary changes that will protect their health.  Remember, make sure that your child's backpack does not exceed 10% to 15% of the child's total body weight (10% for the younger child, 15% for the older).

Other helpful tips:
·         Don't get your child a pack that has only one strap.

·         Buy a pack with wide "S" shaped straps that are padded and preferably one that has a built in back support or lumbar pillow and waist or chest straps.

·         Require that your child wear both straps on their shoulders to distribute weight evenly.

·         Pack the book bag evenly with the heavier items close to the spine.

·         When lifting a bag, take the time to do it safely and correctly, i.e. with your legs.

·         Have your child examined quarterly or no less than twice a year by a chiropractor so any potential problems will be detected early!

As parents, our biggest responsibility is guiding our children to live a productive, sound and successful adult life.  Taking the time to instill healthy habits such as regular Chiropractic care will be one of many things they will thank you for later, trust me.  I know I thanked my parents, hence why I am a Chiropractor today.  If you would like to know more, I encourage you to go to my web page ( to read my story.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Corporate Stock worth Buying

You are the CEO of your own personal enterprise. In addition to whatever business you might be running or might be in, your personal corporation consists of the value you generate during your time on Earth.

Some persons such as government officials make choices and take actions that obviously affect the lives of many others. For most of us it may seem that we have less scope and reduced impact, but that is not necessarily so. Our choices and actions affect those people closest to us - our family, friends, and colleagues - and their choices and actions affect persons closest to them. An ever-widening series of ripples continues to flow, affecting more and more people, all stemming from the actions we take and the choices we make today.  As B.J Palmer said early on, “You never know how something you say, think or do will affect lives of millions tomorrow.”  If we haven't recognized this potential and this power, all that's required is raising our gaze to the horizon and widening our field of view.

In order for a corporation - a personal corporation - to be effective it needs to have a sound balance sheet. If there's a lot of red ink it's going to be difficult to be able to provide goods and services. Depletion of resources leads to depletion of energy. We need to provide a steady stream of raw materials so we're able to create new products that are desired in the marketplace.

Our personal corporations require specific raw materials.
·         Healthful, nutritious food
·         Regular vigorous exercise      
·         Sufficient rest
·         A positive mental attitude
·         A fully functioning Nervous System and Spine – CRITICAL
If we're not receiving sufficient amounts of any of these inputs, the debit side of our balance sheet increases. We don't have enough energy to accomplish our daily tasks, let alone do the things that will make our corporation and lives profitable. With sufficient inputs we have energy to spare and our corporation thrives.

What are some of the outputs a healthy personal corporation provides? Everything we all want, a healthy, happy family and life. Also, other things like: a creative work environment, ongoing engagement in rewarding social activities, an ongoing experience of accomplishment, positive self-expression, peace and joy. Simply put, an opportunity to live a life of significance and leave a lasting legacy to those left behind!

Therefore, in order for our personal corporation to continue to grow and prosper, its basic needs must be met.  It's important to have all departments working efficiently and effectively. Similar to an accountant reviewing the financial health of a corporation, Chiropractic reviews its physical health. "Adjustments" are made wherever and whenever necessary, enabling your personal corporation to continue to evolve and prosper toward the profit center, the green wellness zone.

This zone is where the major profit and return on your investment lies. Striving for the green will yield a quality of life superior than the other colored zones.  Wellness oriented chiropractors are driven to improve this bottom line. The objective is to assist, lead, and guide entire families and communities toward living in the green zone, a wellness lifestyle. Surely the alternative does not look attractive?

Side note:  keep in mind, the red or green direction is a choice. You either actively pursue and enjoy the fruits of your labor or you passively live the average American lifestyle and become an unfortunate statistic. 

As always, the beginning of the year motivates everyone to start moving toward being ‘healthier’.  Some may even have a game plan; however, few have a chiropractor on their team.  Therefore, shortly after a few weeks, it’s put aside due to injury, motivation or life.  Make this year different by doing something different, GO TO A WELLNESS ORIENTED CHIROPRACTOR!  It’s your partner in getting from point to point with the end result being a life we are genetically programmed to live. A life filled with health, vitality, happiness and endless possibilities.  Isn’t this the mindset and example we want to instill in our children?  Imagine the difference it can have in all the areas of your life?  More profitability, more energy, and available resources to ensure you become part of the solution and not a statistic!   

Make THIS the year YOU dictate your direction. BE proactive and take the following steps.

1.      Relax. Restoring one's health is possible.  The body is continuously changing.  Adding positive health habits will yield the results we all want and drive you toward the wellness green zone, regardless of your current standing.

2.      Decision or denial?  Whether you are consciously aware of it or totally oblivious of the following fact, your awareness of health has an impact on your direction.  Our human body requires an interference free nervous system and spine so that you can achieve higher levels of health and well being.  Our human body’s health is constantly improving or digressing.  This is a fact and here’ another one, our lifestyle choices drive the direction. Therefore, spend more time each day getting stronger with positive choices and through the INSIDE OUT approach chiropractic offers.

3.      Contact our office or a wellness oriented chiropractor local to you to develop a winning game plan for you and your family to succeed in 2010.

4.      Sign up for our free community newsletter on our new interactive website.  Loaded with video exercises, articles, advice and recommendations on how to drive you toward the wellness green zone.      

Lastly, realize there is a non disputable truth regarding the human body.  Chiropractors have been educating and lecturing the masses for over 100 years toward the truth that the human body's God given intelligence is genetically programmed to strive for health, balance and homeostasis.  Being healthy and balanced requires accountability, personal responsibility and knowledgeable choices.  Chiropractic care is the natural non invasive, gentle and proactive solution because the goal of a wellness oriented chiropractor is clear.  Drive as many as possible toward the destination of HEALTH and WELLNESS.  

This year choose to be proactive by being part of the solution to our National Healthcare problem.  Understand that the Chiropractic Wellness Lifestyle is the solution. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chiropractic Approach to Inside – Out Health Dr. Irma Palmer

As a wellness oriented Chiropractor specializing in total natural health, many enter my office looking for a new beginning with their health. I believe this journey is best approached from the inside out, where many of our health answers lie anyway. 

Health from the inside out isn't complicated.  Our bodies, designed by God, are self healing and regulating.  Examples of this truth exist all around us as when you cut your finger, your body mends it.  Therefore our body's natural state of health is powered by an amazingly designed nervous system.  This nervous system controls and coordinates all functions and systems of the human body from birth to our last breath.

Our brain, spinal cord and nervous system provide the electricity and conduit that allows the body to function 100 %, as God intended. However, should something interfere with this communication system at any particular level, then proper function will not occur.  For example, people who suffer from stomach and digestive issues have compromises in their middle back region.  The same is true for those who suffer from headaches or arm issues will have some form of compromise in the neck region. 

Have you ever wondered, since the body is able to mend cuts, heal fractured arms, regulate its temperature, maintain proper breathing cycles, etc.  Why can it not heal other health compromises as well?

In the Chiropractic profession we understand the constant truth regarding the body’s ability to heal and regulate. Therefore, when someone walks in with a health problem we also understand the solution resides within them.  It is my objective to determine where and at what level the spine and nervous system is compromised obstructing the proper nervous system flow and thus keeping the person from being as healthy as they were designed to be.   

God gave us everything we need to be happy healthy and productive in this life.  Total natural health via the Chiropractic approach provides a strategy to restoring our health from the inside out.  Remember, the four required lifestyle habits to express health on the outside truly begin on the inside anyway.  These necessities are a properly functioning spine and nervous system, a healthy diet of God’s foods, regular exercise, and lastly a healthy mind, heart and soul.  Follow these habits with your greatest effort and be amazed as your God given potential is restored and your health rejuvenated. 

Experience the remarkable difference chiropractic care can have on your health. Start looking at health from an inside out approach and the possibilities will amaze you.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Simple Truth

Most people go to the doctor because they think they have something they shouldn’t have and want to get rid of.  But over the years, we chiropractors have come to understand that the problem when you aren’t feeling well is NOT that you have something you shouldn’t have and need to get rid of; the problem is really that you have LOST something you need to be healthy and happy.  You see HEALTH (also called “EASE”) is your natural state!   If you are experiencing anything other than ease, it is usually because you have simply LOST something that is necessary for you to maintain ease/health.  Understanding this very simple truth will not only help you get the most out of your chiropractic care, it will also help you and your family to keep growing stronger and healthier for the rest of your lives!

Let’s begin helping you understand this by looking at how your body really works.  There are three things you need to know in order to move consistently toward health, wellness and wholeness.

1)     Every day, your body either gets a little stronger or a little weaker.
2)     In order to get stronger instead of weaker each day, you must have a clear neurological CONNECTION between your brain and your body.
3)     In order to have a clear connection between your brain and your body and keep growing stronger every day, your spine must be properly aligned and functioning normally (because of the intimate connections between your spine and nerve system).

If you understand these three things, you can also understand that if you lose normal alignment or function in your spine, you will also partially lose the CONNECTION between your brain and your body.  This is very important because without proper communication, you lose the ability to purposefully ORGANIZE all of the various parts of your body to work together harmoniously and with EASE.  In other words, you get a little weaker rather than stronger each day and you gradually LOSE your natural state of health/ease.

Chiropractic has only ONE GOAL, which can be summed up in what we call “The 3 R’s.”  Our goal is to;

1)     Help Restore and maintain alignment and function in your spine, in order to…
2)     Re-establish and maintain the neurological CONNECTIONS between your brain and your body, so that…
3)     You can Resume purposefully ORGANIZING all of the parts of your body to work harmoniously together and consistently grow stronger and healthier every day.

And, as you continue growing stronger and healthier every day, you will move consistently from wherever you are right now toward first regaining your natural state of health (EASE), and then keep on moving toward wellness and ultimately into what we call wholeness.

So as we said before, the problem is NOT that you have something you shouldn’t have and need to get rid of; the problem is that you have LOST something you need to be healthy and happy.  HEALTH is your natural state, and if you are experiencing anything other than ease, it is usually because you have LOST your CONNECTION…and our job is very simply…to help you get it back and keep it for Life!

It’s as simple as that!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Food For Thought

If you are very hungry and you eat some food, will your hunger go away?  The answer is, yes if you eat enough.  However, is getting rid of hunger the purpose of food?  If you eat food regularly, will it keep you from becoming excessively hungry again?  The answer is, yes if you eat enough of it consistently.  However, is preventing hunger the purpose of food, of course not.

Even though eating food is a very effective strategy for decreasing or even eliminating hunger temporarily, hunger will always return over time.  This is the nature of life.  As our bodies use up the nutrients contained in the food, it requires more food / fuel to continue operating at peak efficiency, and so we become hungry again.  Even though eating food consistently can be a good way to keep from getting too hungry, it would be ridiculous to say that the purpose of food is to eliminate or prevent hunger. 

Certainly we are all aware that food serves many more important functions than simply addressing hunger.  It is our fuel for keeping us alive, helping our bodies coordinate all functions, adapt to the environment, heal and continue growing throughout our lives.  We all know this is true about food, but many people do not apply this line of thinking to their chiropractic care.  Why is this? 

Do these people perhaps not fully understand that the purpose of chiropractic care is to maintain the flow of communication freely over the nerve systems between their brain and all of their trillions of cells, so that the natural energy of life within the body can actually perform all of the functions listed above – animating, coordinating, adapting, healing and growing our bodies from conception until death?  Do they not understand that without total unobstructed neurological connection, nothing would function as well as intended?

Maybe it’s because chiropractic care in the right amount is so good at decreasing or even eliminating pain and dis-ease?  Or perhaps it is because with consistent enough care many people can even prevent the recurrence of their health problems?  Even though chiropractic care is a very effective strategy for helping you regain your natural state of health and feel better, your level of health and vitality will always vary over time, due to physical, chemical and mental stresses of every day life.  If these stresses are beyond your “internal resistance,” they break you down and you progressively lose your health and well-being.  Health (normal function and the ability to adapt to stresses) is the natural result of the free flow and adequate expression of your health. 

When your brain and body are fully connected (because of a well-aligned spine and functioning nervous system), they communicate effectively and your natural health abilities are functioning, comprehending and responding to any changes (stresses) in your daily environment.  The result is your ability to adapt to these changes with effortless ease.  In addition, you are able to heal and continually grow in every way – physically, mentally and emotionally – including thinking at a high enough level to make good choices in every area of your life. 

The truth is we are all growing and dying at the same time, but one of these two processes always predominates over the other everyday.  In other words, overall we are either getting weaker and moving toward dis-ease and death, or we are growing stronger and moving toward health, wellness and wholeness.  The chiropractic approach to life and the adjustment process allows us the opportunity to progressively grow stronger than weaker, everyday.

So you see, saying that the purpose of chiropractic care is to eliminate or prevent pain and illness is as short-sighted as saying the purpose of food is to eliminate or prevent hunger!  The real purpose of lifelong, family chiropractic care is to continually maximize the flow and expression of your natural god given health and to help everyone consistently and progressively demonstrate the highest levels of health, happiness and the full expression of life! Simply put, Chiropractic is about life and what makes people live.

If this has made you think of your own life, join us and be part of the adventure at Chiropractic Today! Visit us online at for upcoming events, to request your next appointment, or send us a question you would like to have answered. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Are You Blind?

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Meditation is the key to a balanced life – If you don’t go within, you’ll go without.  Water is the true fountain of youth.  Laughter is the best medicine.  If you stay fit, your health will never quit.  A deep breath is a breath of life.  Except the Lord build the house, he who labors, labors in vain.

Each of these is a familiar phrase and each of them is true.  We definitely need a balance of movement and rest, including enough sleep.  But is that enough?  Good nutrition is essential, but can an apple a day keep us healthy all by itself?  Do you know relatively happy and healthy people who have never meditated?  How long would we last on just air and water?  Those body builders are totally fit, but most of them don’t look too healthy to me!  Some of the most spiritual people ever to walk the planet have died of terrible diseases.

What’s the point here?  It is simply that each one of the phrases above claims that there is ONE THING above everything else that is the true key to a long, healthy and happy life.  While I will not deny that each of these things is a piece of the health and life puzzle, it takes more than a single piece to complete the whole picture.  It reminds me of the story of the six blind men from India who were out walking together one day and came across an elephant in their path. 

These six sightless men had of course heard of elephants, but none of them had ever had the opportunity to see one.  Each man stepped up to feel the elephant attempting to ascertain what it must look like.  The first man fell against the elephant’s side and said that it was like a wall.  The second felt the tip of the tusk and was convinced the elephant was like a spear.  The third, upon feeling the squirming trunk, proclaimed that an elephant was like a snake.  The fourth put his arm around a leg and came to the conclusion it was like a tree.  The fifth grabbed an ear and announced that an elephant was like a big fan, while the sixth, upon seizing the tail, declared it was like a rope.

They all then fell to arguing about who had the truth.  While each of them had discovered a part of the picture, all of them had missed the whole picture.

This is the same thing that has happened in the world as far as our health is concerned.  Yes, it is vital that we do all of the things in the beginning of this article, for each of them is a vital part of the puzzle.  But, none of them is enough by itself to completely carry us consistently toward wholeness.

There is one more crucial piece of the puzzle that hasn’t yet been mentioned specifically.  That is the need for a clear and balanced nerve system so that your Life Force can FLOW normally throughout your body.  This is where chiropractic comes in.  Actually, it has been mentioned in a way.  This is one way to actually use the Biblical quote above…Except the Lord build the house, he who labors, labors in a practical way.  You see, all of your efforts to build a healthy body will be in vain if the Power that made the body is not allowed to flow effortlessly and continue to help us adapt, heal and grow.

One more thing is important to understand here as well.  The reason the blind men got only little bits of information is that they were all blind to the wholeness of an elephant.  When you keep your nerve system clear, your INNATE INTELLIGENCE will be able to SEE each piece of your healthy lifestyle and integrate them into keeping your body and mind in the whole and perfect state that is your birth rite.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Just Call Me "Mythbuster"

Maybe you’re familiar with the hit show “Mythbusters” that airs on Discovery. The show’s hosts and team members take common scientific myths and put them to the test. This month, I’m going to do the same with myths about chiropractic, to bust what I believe are the most common misconceptions about chiropractic care.

Let’s start with science and Myth #1:  Chiropractic is not scientific.  BUSTED!  There are many studies that outline the efficacy, safety, and cost effectiveness of chiropractic care, and no, not all of them were done by chiropractors! Paul G. Shekelle, M.D., M.P.H., of the RAND Corporation made the following statement on ABC’s 20/20:  “There are considerably more randomized controlled trials which show benefit of this (chiropractic care) than there are for many, many other things which physicians and neurosurgeons do all the time.”

And speaking of physicians, let’s look at Myth #2:  Chiropractors are not real doctors. BUSTED! A chiropractic college grants a D.C. (Doctorate of Chiropractic) degree which follows a curriculum that is extremely rigorous and virtually identical to medical school curriculum. Chiropractors are licensed to practice only after passing national and state board exams and, like medical doctors, are subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing and monitoring by peer-reviewed boards.

Now here’s a myth I hear all time, and it may be the one that drives me the craziest.  Myth #3:  Chiropractic is only effective for back pain.  BUSTED!  This couldn’t be further from the truth! Your nervous system controls everything that goes on in your body, and when there’s interference to your system, you will have health issues. Chiropractic care identifies where the interference is occurring, and through all-natural corrective care can minimize or eliminate the lack of correct function, resulting in pain and disorders. I’ve had literally hundreds of patients over the years come in for back pain only and after just a couple of visits find themselves amazed at how their overall health had improved…allergies, digestive issues, diabetes…you name it!

Perhaps the other myth that causes MY blood pressure to rise is Myth #4:  Chiropractic care is too expensive. BUSTED! In a wellness-oriented practice like mine, we focus on improving your health, not managing your sickness. To that end, we work towards restoring your health which actually SAVES you money (in fewer doctor visits, medicines, etc.)  Wellness-oriented chiropractic care is an investment in your health. Consumers don’t give a second thought to spending money on annual or bi-annual dental checkups, or annual trips to the eye doctor…yet we often think it’s too expensive to keep up good spinal hygiene! When you consider the incredible variety of health issues that stem from poor spinal hygiene, it becomes a no-brainer to make sure yours is checked and maintained!

One of the myths that keeps people from coming in to see a chiropractor is Myth #5:  Spinal adjustments hurt/I don’t want my bones cracked. BUSTED! Chiropractors don’t crack bones, and the adjustments themselves are not painful. On the contrary, many patients feel instant relief immediately after their spinal adjustment. So what makes the “popping” sound you hear when being adjusted? It’s the release of nitrous oxide gas that occurs when the manipulation opens the joint space. It’s certainly nothing to be afraid of!

Finally, there’s a myth that requires a bit more explanation.  Myth #6: Once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to go forever.  Semi-BUSTED! Let me explain. If you come in for back or neck pain, chiropractic care will alleviate that pain within a set period of time and that problem will be resolved, so in that sense, you do not HAVE to go forever. However, if your problem is chronic or recurrent, or if you want to avoid future problems, you will benefit from periodic care to stay ahead of the strain that accumulates as well as acute flare-ups.

Think of it this way…just as it would be ridiculous to believe that visiting the dentist once per lifetime would ensure permanently healthy teeth and gums, it’s equally insane to think that visiting a chiropractor a few times will ensure a lifelong healthy spine. Our spinal tissues undergo daily stresses from many different sources…the environment, sleeping and postural habits, psychological stress and our hectic lifestyles, just to name a few. If you truly want to manage your health and not your sickness, then investing in lifelong spinal hygiene with a wellness-oriented chiropractor is a worthwhile investment.

I hope I’ve busted some myths for you this month, and that you’ll call my office to see for yourself how beneficial chiropractic care can be for you and your family. And if you’ve got a myth I didn’t bust here, bring it on…I’m happy to play the role of chiropractic mythbuster any day of the year!

Cast Don't Heal...

If you were unfortunate enough to break a bone, you know what it's like to get a cast. With a little re-positioning and some skilled plastering, the fracture is stable. After a few weeks when the cast comes off, you're just as good as new. So did the cast do the healing?

Plaster casts and Chiropractic Adjustments have something in common... neither one can heal you. Sure, both may be necessary after an injury. But they can only create the environment necessary for healing to take place. Casts align broken bones so they can mend, adjustments align misaligned vertebrae to optimize nerve flow- but it's the innate healing power of LIFE inside you that scripts the healing.

The next time you come for an adjustment to instantly ease your headache, your sciatica or your sleeping problems, understand it's not the adjustment that produces the result. Adjustments simple create an environment conductive for healing. The doctor inside you is the one who does all the work.