Don’t be a Boiled Frog!

What is a boiled frog? There is a metaphor that has been around that describes how the inability to change and adapt will eventually lead to sickness, disease and death. It involves frogs and pots of water with varying temperatures. For instance, consider if we had frog “A” and a large pot of boiling water. If we were to take frog “A,” drop it into the boiling water, and if it were to remain in the boiling water, eventually that frog would succumb to its death. Because it notices the extreme change in environment, it wants to make a change. So, it shifts its energy to change its environment in order to not just survive, but to continue thriving. That frog jumps out of the pot of boiling water and will be on its merry way. Now consider we have frog “B”. Frog “B” is placed into a large pot of room temperature water. The frog remains since the environmental temperature appears to be non-threatening. If we were to apply heat to the water and very gradually increase the temperature of the water, we notice a very different reaction compared to frog “A.” Frog “B’ will not perceive the change in temperature, will not perceive its environment changing. What is the eventual outcome? Death…a boiled frog. Albeit not very pleasant, this metaphor illustrates an underlying, yet very essential dynamic which is different for both frogs – communication. For frog “A”, somehow there is communication of information that the environment is no good. Frog “B” seems to lack such vital communication as it remains in the deadly environment. Because of a change in how communication occurs, there are two very different outcomes. Are you a boiling frog? Are your family members and friends boiling frogs? Recall that your body is always communicating back-and-forth with your brain, passing along information about your environment, and coordinating millions of processes every minute without your conscious awareness, and it does so through your nervous system (“lifeline”) which is your spinal cord and nerves with your brain. Is your temperature too hot? Thermoreceptors in your skin touch the air, send messages through your nerves, up your spine and into your brain to complexly process. Your brain sends signals through your spinal cord and nerves back to sweat glands in your skin to release sweat. Did you have to think about it? Nope. There are a TON of functions that happen with your body every moment in addition to temperature. For instance, creation of red blood cells, circulation of hormones, stimulation of the immune system, digestion of food, moderation of liver enzymes, changing how kidney filters...

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Salute! A Toast to Health!

Imagine that your body is a sacred home. There are many ways you need to care for your body as it has many different requirements. Requirements are related to activity and physical stimulation, proper influx of nutrients, limited or avoiding toxins in foods and in environment, the state of your relationships with yourself, your loved ones, your community, the types of thought patterns that course through your mind daily, etc. Consider each of these as raw materials and nutrients to help you build your body and keep it at its best. Much like a house that always needs work in repairs, additions, re-painting, your body is never the same as it was a moment ago and is constantly changing based on its environment. Now what if your “temple” has a fire, a crisis? Naturally, you would call the fire department. They will come with their tools of water hoses and axes, they will bust open the doors and windows, spray down everything within the home and do everything necessary to remove that fire and its negative effects. They will save your life. And for this, we should be grateful. They did their amazing job. Then what? The fire is extinguished, and your house just underwent a lot of trauma in order to do so. Would it make sense to call the fire department back to the house with their same tools to repeat the process? Obviously not. This will lead to more destruction of materials, soaked floors and walls, mold buildup, etc. The next step needs to be something different altogether. The next step needs to focus on repairs and enhancements using tools that are very different than water hoses and axes. Is this to say the fire department is wrong? No way! They served an important purpose in a life-or-death crisis. Now our focus is no longer on a crisis, but on rebuilding. How does this translate to your health? How you care for the health of you and your family ultimately determines quality of life and enjoyment. Yet, when it comes to forms of healthcare, there are two very different forms that need to be understood.   Let’s call the first one – pathogenic care. “Pathogenic” means the birth of disease. So, this type of care focuses on sick care, on disease, and how to decrease a disease or a negative event of some kind. Typically this the primary focus of the conventional medical system in that there is some negative situation with the body, and treatment revolves around taking away that negative event to avoid pre-mature death. Any changes that occur to the patient is perceived...

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Chiropractic for Better Relationships and Community?

What role does chiropractic play in relationships? We know that chiropractors look to the spine for the connection to the brain. This impacts the brain-body connection for overall vitality and health. But is there a connection with relationships – relationships to self, to another person, to our community? The autonomic nervous system is that branch of the nervous system over which you have no voluntary control. It connects to all of your visceral organs for adaptation and appropriate changes to environmental stimuli. If you are in a state of stress, your visceral organs change function for survival or protection (aka “fight or flight”) and you can notice changes within your heart, lungs, muscles, immune functions, digestive functions, reproductive functions, etc. Staying in this state long-term means your vitality and health suffer. On the contrary to the state of surviving is the state of thriving, and functions of your body change more for growth, repair, regeneration, and healing. This is all coordinated and controlled through what your brain perceives in your environment as well as on the messages sent through your nerves back-and-forth between all of the trillions of cells in your body and your brain. As long as your brain properly perceives its surroundings, and messages are properly directed throughout your nerves, your body will always respond the best possible way to its environment. You cannot be in a state of surviving and in a state of thriving at the same time. The parts of your nervous system that coordinate these functions are the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. But what about relationships? Dr. Stephen Porges Ph.D. is a professor at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and researches the areas of psychology, behavioral neuroscience and evolutionary biology. Through his endless work he has developed what is called the “polyvagal theory.” You see, in addition to the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems is a third involving awareness, intimacy and relationships. First, your nervous system is all about sensory and awareness about you. This same division of the nervous system is then about creating connection with others around you – lover, friends, community. As long as you are not in a state of chronic survival due to the inability to deal with stress, and your brain has best perception and awareness of your internal body and external environment, then can you better connect with others. How does this relate to chiropractic? Because the true purpose of chiropractic is working with the awareness of self and with the brain’s perception of the body. As stressors – physical, chemical, mental/emotional – accumulate over the years, one becomes sympathetically (fight or flight) dominant and becomes...

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PET Scans of Brain Show Life is Better with Chiropractic

Of course you hear about how your family can have a better life with regular chiropractic care? Simply put: your family is better able to process the stress around you as your brain and nervous system can work better. When our minds and bodies become overly stressed, there are a multitude of changes in our physiology. The following is a comprehensive, although not absolute, list of known changes that occur when under chronic, unmanaged stress. (Is this is your first time reading this list, it will be staggering.) Increased stress hormones (cortisol, catecholamines) Increased heart rate Increased blood pressure and vasoconstriction Increased blood sugar levels Increased blood lipid levels Increased blood cholesterol (more LDL, less HDL) Increased blood clotting factors Increased protein breakdown of muscle and connective tissues Increased insulin resistance Increased feelings of stress, fear, anxiety and depression Decreased short-term memory, ability to concentrate and learn new material Decreased serotonin levels Decreased immunity Decreased growth/repair hormones like growth hormone, testosterone, luteinizing hormone, etc. Increased sensitivity of body’s sensory systems including those for pain Increase bone loss Simply speaking, your body can be in one of two modes: survive or thrive. When in constant survive mode, your body will eventually break down as it is not meant to stay in this level for a long period of time. When in thrive mode, this is when we best rest, repair, digest, reproduce, and build. Yet, there is a lot stress in the modern day environment. Stress that is physical, mental/emotional and chemical. Researchers in Japan looked at how Chiropractic changes brain function and nervous system function to reduce stress and increase quality of life.  12 individuals were used. Before and after chiropractic they had positron emission tomography (PET) scans to show activity of brain, measured amylase enzyme in saliva, overall muscle tension. Furthermore, each participant completed a stress response scale. What did their results show? The PET scans showed increased activity in brains related to autonomic nervous system (the stuff we can’t voluntarily control), relaxation processes of the body, cognition, emotion processing, and attention. The major brain areas were the inferior prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and middle temporal gyrus. The PET scans also showed decreased brain activity related to mental stress, pain perception, sympathetic fight or flight. These major brain areas were the cerebellar vermis and visual association cortex. Furthermore, the saliva also showed decreased stress response with all individuals who received chiropractic adjustments as the salivary enzyme decreased. Included with this were more balanced muscle tension and improved quality of life as measured by the survey. Look, it is impossible to permanently remove all stress from our environments,...

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Healthy Spine, Healthy Heart!

Did you know that Chiropractic care can provide benefits to your heart through improved function? In 2016, a paper was published in the International Journal of Statistics in Medical Research showing how the resting heart rate of a patient had been assessed. After the patient had a chiropractic evaluation of the spine and received one chiropractic adjustment, the resting heart rate was re-assessed and was found to positively change showing neurological effectiveness of the adjustment. The body is awesome! This is not the first published paper showing effects on the cardiovascular system. Previously published papers have discussed different functions of the heart such as resting pulse rates (RPR) and heart rate variability (HRV). Individuals who receive chiropractic care can function at a more optimal level, and their bodies can adapt better. How can chiropractic provide an effect to the heart by correcting a subluxation in the spine? It all traces back to the neurological system. Recall that the spine sends information up to the brain. When those signals are improved, the brain’s function and chemistry changes. This impacts the autonomic nervous system which connects to your heart, lungs, blood flow, digestive organs, sexual organs, immunological organs, etc. Remember, your spine is your lifeline. The better it functions, the global impact it has on your body’s health!...

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Discovering the Flu and Your Neuro-Immune System

‘Tis the season! Not just for holiday and New Year’s celebrations, but for the infamous season when awareness of the influenza (flu) virus and the symptoms associated with the infection skyrockets. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mounts a well-orchestrated campaign each year to generate interest and demand for flu shots. Along with posters for the public, flyers and health care provider materials, the government encourages an urge for the flu shot. There is a strong push for families to receive this vaccination, but how much education is shared with the general public? Do we see as strong of a push for families to address lifestyle factors in order to make a greater change for health and immune system? My goal with this article about the flu is to empower you by giving knowledge to ask better questions about how you should proceed to make decisions for your family’s health during this season. The purpose of this article is not to instruct you whether or not to vaccinate, or to make any specific health-care decisions for your family. I always say that it is only your best-informed decision made from your heart which knows the appropriate path to take in any situation. I simply want to ensure that certain information is shared with you and is in your vision to aid you in the process. In 1957 and 1958, there was a pandemic where many people were dying due to complications of the flu. In 1960 as a response to this increase in morbidity and mortality, the U.S. Surgeon General had recommended influenza vaccination for groups with chronic, debilitating diseases, people aged 65 years or older, and for pregnant women. Let it be clear that this decision was made in an effort to deal with the pandemic. Furthermore, let it be clear that this decision was made without any data for vaccine efficacy or effectiveness for these high-risk populations. In 1964, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC noted that there was an absence of efficacy data but, yet, still reaffirmed this recommendation. Since then, this has become a long-standing recommendation and has not only included just these high-risk populations, but has absolutely crept its way to include the ages of children and of the elderly. Every year depending upon the type of influenza vaccine, influenza vaccination is recommended for all individuals aged 6 months or older. But on what grounds? Why? Let’s take a look at how your immune system works. There are two major categories of your immune system: one known as “innate” or “cell-mediated” immunity which employs white blood cells to balance infections,...

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