“When you live on a round planet, there’s no choosing sides!”. Wayne Dyer
It’s apparent to me that one of the main factors causing problems in our world is partisanship, or predjuice in favor of a particular cause, or bias.
Politics, protests, professional sports, childrens sports, religions- it seems as if every facet of our society drives us apart. My viewpoint is better than yours- my religion is better than yours- the way I look is better than the way you look- is it any wonder that our world is becoming more seperated by the moment?
We should be looking for similarities rather than differences in each other. We don’t need to agree but we need to have mutual respect for each other. Because no issue or answer is clear cut it’s important to analyze all views on a particular subject.
I saw this important concept professed on a tee shirt; “I’m a Unitarian Universalist (which I am), the bedrock of my faith is an unshakable belief that YOUR guess is as good as MINE!
Let’s work together to find solutions to our problems, no create more by being devisive as our default!
Expect Health, Dr Matt
A few weeks ago I had a limb come down in the high winds. As often happens I learned some life lessons from a “negative” event. In no particular order they include;
Gratitude- While this event was inconvienent it could have been dramatically worse. No one was hurt, there was minimal damage to my house, and the power was only out for 24 hours!
More gratitude- Many people helped us after the accident. Everyone from my tree guy, my electrician, and my roof guy to friends who helped me split and move wood and gave advice. It’s times of need that causes us to ask for help. I’m thankful there are so many “helpers” out there.
Anger- This event made me realize how Insurance companies are not very concerned about you and me. After paying premiums for years my insurance agent informed me that it was not worth putting a claim in- for the amount I would have gotten from them it was not worth having a claim on record- how does that work? (of course I deal with insurance companies in the office- do they have the patients best interest in mind?).
Wonder- It made me stop and think about the awesomeness of the natural world- the tree was 100 plus years old and was magnificent. All the years I have lived there and I did not appreciate it until it came down! I’ll try to pay more attention in the future.
Life is about making the best of every event- planned or unplanned- and learning from it. I have a lot to learn still!
In Health, Dr Matt
“Your inner being is loving and optimistic. When you align with it you feel good. When you don’t…. well, not so much” Jim Hovey
These words from one of my Chiropractic mentors struck a chord with me. Of course Chiropractic is focused on proper alignment of the spine to optimize health- but it goes much deeper than that.
Most of us do not know our bodies and treat them like tools- we take it to bed, drive it to work, feed it. We don’t take the time or effort to study it, listen to it, or experiment with what it needs.
When you do self-assess you will find that it is much more than physical. Proper alignment means living physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally in accordance with your unique inner being. The more we can do this the more abundant our lives become. Abundant physical health, abundant emotional strength, abundant love and compassion.
My daughter Liza is taking a yoga teacher class this summer. She was suprised that the first principle in her book was not the poses, or the bresthing, but about being in alignment with yoga principles throughout your life- not just when you are in class!
The more you nuture our inner being, and live according to it’s unique messages, the more peace and happiness will come your way!
Listen and learn! Dr Matt
Like most people I have had my share of doubts, fears, and not so optimal experiences in my life. Why don’t we talk about these emotions rather than attempting to pretend everything is great? Is it socialital pressure to act a certain way? Being afraid of how those around us will react? Fear of giving these emotions more power by expressing them? All of the above?
I believe that by getting negative emotions out in the open we can actually diminish their power. Keeping them to ourself tends to magnify them, “outing” them puts them on the same page as thoughts we easily express like joy, happiness, and love. I was struck by this while reading my daughter Lizas’ blog on the subject. Her thoughts on this subject helped me a great deal.
The other point she made was that action is critical. Being inactive lets negative thoughts grow and multiply- action makes us feel better- mentally, physically and emotionally!
Expect Health, Dr Matt
Most people are aware that we have a serious drug problem in America. In all areas of the country overdose deaths are on the rise- from not only heroin but also opioids. A bigger problem, in terms of lives affected and cost, are the sheer numbers of people taking perscriptions on a daily basis.
The numbers are staggering- for example 76 percent of people 60 years old and above are taking two or more drugs daily. Because my mother is in that group I did a little research. How many studies are done on drug interactions? The scary answer is ZERO. Massive efforts are undertaken to get new drugs to market and into people but no follow up is done. Please check out this Ted Talk that discusses this.
All medications have side effects and should be used as a last resort when life style changes are ineffective. Please, please, please be careful when taking any medication.
Expect Health, Dr Matt
12 week body transformation vs 12 year!
I read an interesting article following up on the reality show contestants from the biggest loser. After dramatic weight loss, over months and years most people put on most if not all of the weight they lost. In the article it was revealed that a major factor was that the severe weight loss had PERMANETLY reduced the resting metabolism (how many calories your body burns ar rest). It was as if the body was fighting against weight loss. As Dr Hall, an expert on metabolism said “It is both frightening and amazing”.
This is one reason I warn people about super intense workout programs, diets, or other dramatic attempts to undo a lifetime of bad habits. It is better to make changes that you can maintain for a long period of time. There will be less risk of side effects and more chance of lifetime success.
Rather than week to week, think about your health in 5 to 10 year segments. How is what you are doing going to affect me in 10 years? Am I trending up (towards optimal function) or down? The habits you have now will determine your health in the future!
If you look ahead and don’t like what you envision it’s time to make some changes. Start small, self assess how your body responds, and keep going. The key to long term change is consistency and progression not fad diets, workouts, or potions.
Rather than a 12 week challenge take a 12 year challenge!
Expect Health, Dr Matt
Like many people, helping family members navigate the aging process is becoming more important, and more difficult. It adds another layer onto an already hectic schedule.
This weekend Mary and I went to Philadelphia to help my mother. Until recently she was extremely healthy- lucid, active and totally independent. Of course there were signs that she was slowing down mentally and physically but overall there was little concern. She needed to have some tests and the trauma (hospital stay and being put under) took a toll. She has been confused, unable to sleep, and has trouble with taking care of herself. Witnessing this dramatic change brought up the topic of “what can we do to keep ourselves healthy for as long as we can”?
While staying healthy requires an individual approach, and our understanding of how the human brain and body work is constantly evolving, I believe there are a few simple strategies that may prove to be effective;
- Exercise daily- movement is the key to brain and body health. It keeps us strong, and much of the nervous system is stimulated by moving us through space. Mix it up- try new activities- don’t let it get stale.
- Nutrition- Eat a whole food based diet high in veggies, good quality protein, and lots of good fat (coconut oil, avacados, nuts). The brain runs on fat- don’t deprive it.
- Drugs and vitamens- Try to take as few as possible. Research side effects, interactions, and self assess how YOU react to them. There is more and more evidence that long term use of many common drugs may be linked to dementia.
- Stimulate your being by learning new things, spending time with other people, and practicing some form of mindfulness. Reduce your time in front of a screen and interact with the real world!
While this list is by no means complete it may be a good place to start. Don’t blindly follow someone elses advice! Think for yourself! If you are not happy with the direction your health is headed change something!
Start today with one step! Dr Matt
As my trip to Spain is fading to a pleasant memory I am trying to distill my experience to make some changes in my daily life to be a stronger version of myself. Rather than monumental breakthroughs, my immersion into another culture provided confirmation of things I have been thinking about for a while.
-Relationships are more central to health and happiness than any material goods. Spending time with others allows for us to support and help each other- the more time we spend together, the more we know others’ strengths and challenges, and the more we can provide and ask for help.
-The more simply we live the more time we have for each other. Needing less means we can work less, worry less, and spend more time with each other!
– Consuming less is good for the world. In Spain there was less packaging, less (or none) take out, and less stuff. The products I did see were simple, well made, and energy-efficient. Yes, they tended to be smaller and less flashy than what we are used to but it felt good to have a smaller footprint in daily life.
I have resolved to spend more quality time with the people in my life- and less with my stuff. Try it for thirty days and see what happens!
Expect Health, Dr Matt
Mary and I are off (with my sister in law Katie) this week to visit Liza who is “studying” in Espana. Because of our hectic Fairfield county lives there has not been an abundance of planning or contemplating our upcoming adventure. Despite this I am anticipating a life changing experience full of new sights, smells, foods, people, and a new perspective on life!
Many people have expressed fearful thoughts about visiting Europe at this time. “They don’t like Americans”. “People slash your tires, pretend to help you, and then rob you”. “What about terrorism”.
Rather than let these negative thoughts into my conciousness I am relying on my faith- my faith that if I do my best it will be enough. Treat people with respect, be open to everything, and be awake. I came across this excellent post about doership . This karma yoga principle talks about “doing” without being attached to the outcome. Many times we go into situations expecting certain results and are disappointed.
Instead I will attempt to be my best, go with the flow, and enjoy the ride! All good thoughts gratefully accepted!
In Health and adventure! Dr Matt
“The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter, and the spirit heals with joy”.
Sometimes I feel like I am going through a second adolesence. One phase of life is winding down (parenting) and another emerging (what is the purpose of my remaining years on earth?). It can be very confusing to have options after 20 plus years of doing mostly what I had to!
Fortunately I got involved with an innovative restorative exercise program called Original Strength through my love for kettle bells. It helps you “reset” your bodies movement patterns through basic development touch stones like rolling, rocking, and crawling. I love it because the founders encourage you to experiment – not blindly follow a protocol. Just like every baby develops differently, we need to find out what works for us individually! What is the right eating style for me? What exercise protocol makes me feel great? Are my thought patterns helping me to become a stronger version of myself?
Thinking about these questions, experimenting with different solutions, and enjoying the journey will take you places you don’t even know exisit right now!
Let me know if you need more information, or want an introductory session and beging to “reset” yourself! What you do today determines how you will be in 10, 20, or 30 Years!!!
Expect a long, healthy, life! Dr Matt