As a health practioner I am exposed to mountains of information about what helps keep us healthy, what is detrimental to our health, and strategies to maintain health. It’s difficult to sift through especially since scientific health “truths” are constantly changing.
As I get more mature it is apparent to me that the mind-body connection is more important all the time. Our thought patterns, our relationships (especially our relationship with ourself), our social interactions- all have a major influence on our overall wellness. Of course nutrition, exercise, are important but emotional health is just as important.
This article on loneliness really resonated with me- researchers found that social isolation was as detrimental to your health as smoking! It was related to many health problems in the elderly.
Unfortunately I believe that social isolation will become more common and happen at an earlier age due to “screens”. Increasingly people of all ages are spending more time in front of screens which may seem like a connection to others but really is a tool for isolation.
Connecting with others is crucial for our wellbeing- from casual encounters in the store to daily relationships with family and friends. It’s all better without a screen in the way!
Expect Health, Dr Matt
I’ve heard many people express that they are glad to see 2016 over and expect 2017 to be better. When asked about the hardships or negative aspects of the past year many are things out of our personal control. The economy, the election, the random acts of violence all over the world. Of course we do what we are capable of but sometimes it feels inadequate.
It’s better to focus on what we have control over- ourselves! Our thought patterns, what we put in our mouths, how we move. If we make improvements in these areas life gets better! Becoming the strongest possible versions of ourselves allows us to be more effective in all aspects of life.
The most effective path to self improvement is self experimentation and assessment. Try something new and see how it effects you- keep the habits that promote a better you and ditch the ones that don’t work. If you need help ask for it. Hire a trainer, consult a nutritionist, get your spine checked. The amount of health strategies available to us is virtually endless- don’t get stuck in a rut.
Mary is experimenting with an on line course called OM Clear . It includes daily strategies to help “clear” what is holding you back from being the best you.
Rather than looking back at 2016 nows the time to look forward to making 2017 the best year ever- for YOU!!
Expect Health, Dr Matt
I have always taken pride in my right to vote. I research the choices and make a decision based on the issues, the candidates, and my values. Looking back I am proud of my voting record.
I will vote tomorrow with some trepidation. It is getting harder and harder to sift the truth from all the ads, social media deluge, and the fact that it is common for canidates to dismiss the facts.
While I am unsure what tomorrows outcome will be I do know a few things;
-Life will go on. Wednesday the sun will rise and I will get up and try to be the best possible version of myself.
-America will survive. There may be some disturbing events but there are too many good citizens that will rally together.
-This election may be the call to action that we need to take our country back from the politicians and the military industrial complex. How much worse can it get?
We need to realize we are all in this together. I am reminded of a quote by E Hall “I may disagree with your opinion but i will defend to the death your right to have it!”
Expect Health and good things, Dr Matt
“The only thing constant is change”
“The more things change the more they stay the same”
Everything in our lives is in a constant state of change. Our bodies are breaking down and regenerating. Our thought patterns, like waves, are undulating. Nature is constantly going through it’s cycles. Life is changing so constantly that it seems to be the same!
Ask someone how things are going and you’ll get; same old s***, or same s***, different day. By getting trapped into thinking everything stays the same we miss opportunities to live the life we want!
Because change is constant, and out of our control, we should embrace the opportunities that come with it and create the things we want. Want better health- embrace the changes your body is going through and learn new ways to help it. Want to be more positive- we have 16,000 thoughts per day- start focusing and giving power to the ones that support us. Want better relationships- smile more and help others more- it will come back to help you!
It’s your choice – ignore the changes in your life and miss opportunities or embrace them and learn to create the outcome you want!
In Health, Dr Matt
One of the challenges of finding the key to unlock your concern- to solve your physical, emotional, or mental issue is that there are so many places to look. Go to a hundred sources and you will get 100 different possible solutions. How can one possibly find the right one?
I find that simplifying my choices, and going back to basics is crucial. In our society we are often faced with unlimited choices (except in the Presidential election!), which can often lead to consumer burnout. More options can sometimes be good for us, but often leads to anxiety and stress.
When contemplating changes to the way we think, what we put in our mouths, or how we move I find it beneficial to start at the most basic changes, assess the outcome, and then move on to more complicated changes.
Take the Whole 30 eating program. It has you simplfy your eating choices for an initial period, then add in other foods to see how your body responds. By not having as many choices you can concentrate on the quality of your food, eating that food, and enjoying the food you ingest.
The same approach can benefit you in other aspects of your life. Simplfy your wardrobe, your committments, your activities and your relationships- get comfortable with them, then slowly add more choices and see how they affect your life.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint!
IN Health, Dr Matt
I often say to patients “Think of your health concerns as a lock. There is a key that can unlock it and lead to better health. It’s your job to find the key”
If you are not happy with your expression of health maybe you are using the wrong key. Maybe your eating plan is not right. Maybe your exercise plan (or lack of) is not right. Maybe your thought patterns are not right. Maybe the drugs you are taking are not right.
Finding the right key requires work and the key is different for everyone. The key also changes as we age- what worked at 16 is not the same as what works at 60. Here are some strategies to help you find the key.
– Question everything! Question your doctors, the ads on television, your friends advice, accepted protocols. There are alternative ways to deal with any physical, mental, or emotional issues. Experiment and assess how new strategies make you feel and function.
-Put yourself first. Focus on your health and build your life around better nutrition, better exercise, and better thoughts.
-Get outside more- access the energy of the planet by immersing yourself in it.
-Take a technology break. Spend time each day without a screen. Let your mind create its’ own connections.
-Ask other people what works for them. Finding the key is your job but it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Get peoples input, then experiment and self assess!
One of the main goals of life is to be the strongest version of ourselves- if you feel the need to improve start looking for a new key!!!
Expect to find it! DR Matt
“Self experimentation is the most efficient path to self improvement”
I find it difficult to understand how people blindly put their trust in others (doctors, food companies, chiropractors, etc.) to protect their most valuable asset – themselves! If history is any indication we are all lab rats! A few examples of medical and nutritional “truths” that harmed and continue to harm countless people;
-The sugar industry promoting a low fat/ high sugar diet as healthy. You can read about this scam here.
-That GMO’s are no different from natural foods!
These are but a few examples of how the pharmaceutical indrustry, agri-business, and the regulatory agencies that are supposed to protect us have put profits over health. What happened to “first do no harm”? How do we protect ourselves from the system?
Firstly we need to realize the we are responsible for our health. That means we need to experiement with different approaches, assess how our bodies react, and choose the right path for ourselves! If a medication or food causes a negative response should we keep taking it because someone told us to? If we are constantly hurting from our exercise routine should we keep at it because your trainer told you to?
Today is the day to start- start experimenting, start assessing, and start making changes that feel right to you!!!
Expect health, Dr Matt
High intensity interval training (HIIT) changed my life! Despite exercising regularly for most of my life my physical capacities were diminishing. Out of the blue I starting training with Russian kettlebells and a partner who found them at the same time. With time HIIT helped promote signifigant positive changes- mentally, physically, and emotionally. I love HIIT because;
-It cut my workout time in half- want to do more in less time?
– Despite working less I got stronger because my body recovered more completely.
-My body demanded better fuel and my digestive system ran more efficiently.
-Feeling my body get stronger and more flexible made my mind stronger.
Please check out this video about how one gym is rebuilding broken men and women who have physical disabilities. It’s awesome and may be the motivation you need to start exercising! Remember if you don’t like where your health is going you need to change something! or a lot of things! I did and it has made all the difference.
Expect health, Dr Matt
It’s been an interesting few months that have taken me off my blogging routine. You know- elderly parents, sick and unhappy friends, daily activities (when did life get so busy?), working on some “creaky’ body parts- it all adds up. Put the current political situation, climate change, senseless violence and other societal concerns on top of personal issues and you have quite a turbulent time.
During uncomfortable times I try to look for the good in every situation and person- there is a lot of good left in our world!
While on the train to Philadelphia to visit my mom a bedraggled, smelly man entered the car asking for money for a train ticket. As I was getting my wallet out a woman across from me handed him some money, then I did, and then another woman. When the grateful man left one of the woman related how her daughter had got on a train recently without her wallet (pilfered by her two year old just before she got out of the car). Strangers helped her and now the mom is in the habit of helping anyone who asks!
It re-emphasized to me that helping each other is the easiest way to put good into the Universe and that the more we do it the better we feel and the better the world is. It’s the little gestures that can turn our society around. Keep an eye out for any opportunity to give to others- they are all around!
Expect Health, Dr Matt
Do you ever get nervous when being followed by a police car- even though you haven’t done anything wrong? It’s become a more typical response lately with the increased awareness of random violence and heightened security.
Can you imagine feeling that uneasy feeling all of the time? How about being scrutinized when walking down the street, or shopping, or simply sitting in a public place. I’ve been very aware of white privilege lately, and recently read a great blog post about it and racism. It made me think long and hard about the inequities in our society.
I notice it most when I go to Seaside park in Bridgeport to bike or walk. In the summer there are lots of police, guards and city workers. It’s apparent that I register hardly a look while other groups of people recieve more scrutiny.
For this reason Jeff Cooks’ post resonated with me. As he says “I lived (and live) a life marked by opportunity and forgiveness; and while I may not have always had “much”, I have always had the benefit of the doubt”!
Doesn’t everyone deserve the benefit of the doubt? It’s a goal to strive for- in our own lives and in society.
Expect Health, Dr Matt