Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On the path...

Okay, so it's been QUITE a while since I've posted and I'm working at getting more consistent at updating here. Which brings me to the topic of today's post. The question I have is, where are you on your wellness path? As you know, the approach to wellness that I believe is the most effective is when we apply wellness principles to multiple areas of our lives at a time.

Wellness is the degree to which we each experience health and vitality in multiple areas of life. Those areas include the physical, bio-chemical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, social, and career. For example, what this means is that while each of these areas is clearly a part of wellness, by only focusing on one area we limit the amount of wellness we can achieve in our own lives. The illustration I often use with my patients is that of a theoretical marathoner. The ability to complete a marathon requires a significant amount of physical fitness and ability. But, if this fictional character of ours is mentally and emotionally burdened with excessive debt, or goes home and screams at his wife and children, while he is clearly physically very fit, his overall wellness is highly lacking.

Often we see patients in our office who first seek us out to eliminate some physical or organic ailment. What we work very hard to do is to help each individual move beyond simply removing that which bothers them, and into increasing their overall wellness and subsequently their effectiveness and enjoyment of life.

So, how do we do this? We do this by what I call "being on the path." My confession to you is that I recently had the epiphany that my own physical fitness is an area that I had neglected for far too long. And, in so doing, I was allowing my lifestyle choices to contradict that which I was advising my clients about. This week I have committed to doing what is necessary to get back to the gym consistently and even begin running (short distances, mind you) to get back that which I have lost. (I'll leave the long distances to Michelle, my little half-marathoner.)

So my question to you and yours is this: "Where are you 'on the path'?" Are you neglecting areas of your life that can contribute to (or detract from) your overall wellness?

We don't all have to look like Jason Statham or Jillian Michaels to have wellness in our lives. We just have to be "on the path."

Please comment and share. I look forward to seeing your responses!

Dr. Brian

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

7 +/- 2

We had the first of our Advanced Wellness Workshops in our office last night and it went very well! We had four patients and four guests in attendance. Last night's talk was titled The 7 +/- 2 Action Steps to a Healthier You! and I think this may very well become one of my signature presentations.

It was a great evening with lots of laughter, education, and questions. The theme of 7 +/- 2 is that there are 9 simple action steps that, when combined, can have a dramatic impact on our individual and collective health. Many of these steps are basic common sense if we would take the time to think about them and implement them into our lives. The problem is that many of us are simply overwhelmed by them and feel that we already have too much to do to add 'just one more thing' to our daily routines.

The ironic part about our feeling that way is that if we would develop a strategy to implement even just 5 of the steps, we would find more time and more energy to do all we are currently doing, and more!

My BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is still hanging out there looming, so any clubs, organizations, churches, or companies that you are part of that would like to provide a health & wellness speaker for their membership, please have them contact me. My contact info, as always can be found at

Thanks for reading today's post, and please take time to comment and share.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Conservative AND Progressive???

A friend of mine a few days back posted a comment on my Facebook account that “accused” me of being conservative and progressive at the same time. I say “accused” because, on the surface, that could sound like an accusation of being a bit ambivalent. I’ve not asked him to explain what he meant by his comment, but given the heels of the discussion on which it came, I believe he was referring to the conservative stance I take on social and political matters versus my sometimes seemingly-progressive position when it comes to health care.

This comment came from a friend who I respect, so I’ve actually been giving this quite a bit of thought. The mental energy I’ve invested in this seemingly innocuous comment is a direct result of my belief in the principle described by Ayn Rand that the level of destruction or chaos in your life will be a direct result of the level of contradictions in your life. If that’s true, then the path to peace and contentment is a life of consistency between one’s actions and one’s beliefs.

While I wouldn’t consider myself a “student” of Ayn Rand or her Objectivist philosophy, I do find myself leaning toward the foundation of this belief system. Ultimately, for me, it comes down to this. The rights of the individual are ultimate and sacred, and anything that impedes the free exercise of those rights should be eliminated. The expression of these rights however is a two-sided coin. Meaning that for each free exercise of rights, we have a responsibility on an individual level for the impact that our actions can and often do have on our fellow individuals as well as corporately. In short, we are each responsible for ourselves and our actions, and therefore, the consequences of those actions.

I believe the federal government of our land has long overstepped its bounds of Constitutional empowerment of providing for the common defense and promoting the general welfare. In my reading of our Constitution, these are the only two rights/responsibilities given to the federal government. Anything that goes beyond this in providing a benefit for someone based on some qualification that differentiates them from another citizen of our country clearly does not promote the general welfare, but rather promotes the welfare of that individual or class of individuals. From a political and social perspective, this is the basis of my opposition to much of the course I see our federal government pursuing.

As a health care provider, it sickens me to see the extent to which we as a nation have transferred the responsibility for our health to others. To a large extent we have given the authority to make decisions on our behalf to many different entities that have no vested interest in our well-being. This applies to the federal government (should nationalized health care become reality), the health insurance providers (“I can’t receive X health care procedure because my insurance won’t pay for it.”), the media (just look at how many news stories we see with conflicting interpretations on the same health care intervention), and to a certain extent our physicians (My doctor told me I had to take Y pill for Z condition.) I believe that we, as individuals, need to actively take back the responsibility for our own health. Are there conditions that need ‘medical’ intervention? Yes. Do doctors save lives? Yes. Are the vast majority of people with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other lifestyle conditions suffering with them because of their own choices? YES! And, if that is true, then can’t a change in lifestyle give the body the opportunity to reverse the effects of those choices? ABSOLUTELY, YES!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why don't we get out of our own way?

So I just finished reading an article on Yahoo! News about a link between restless leg syndrome and erectile dysfunction. The article spends most of it's words on saying that researchers aren't sure what the connection is, whether one causes the other, and if so, which one comes first.

It's interesting to me (but not surprising) that this article focuses so much on the relationship between these two conditions, but fails to address the likelihood that the presence of both of these conditions may actually be related to a much more significant total health situation.

As chiropractors, we base what we do on the simple premise that our bodies, when given the opportunity to function properly and free from excessive physical, chemical, or emotional stress, and free from interference with normal body processes, have a miraculous ability to heal and regulate themselves. When these stresses and interference are present and unmanaged, it only makes sense that we would begin to develop symptoms.

The trick is in understanding that a particular stress or interference at a particular point do not always create the same symptom or symptoms in every person. We are all unique to a certain degree, and even within families, the stresses and how each individual experiences them are unique.

So why not take a look at these situations where people have a seemingly unrelated combination of signs and symptoms and take a more "30,000 foot view" approach to see if something else is going on that could explain these, and quite possibly many other, problems the individual may be experiencing?

This is the value of a vitalistic approach to health care, and specifically to Creating Wellness Chiropractic.

For more information on what this new (old) approach to health may be able to do for you, check out our website at