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Guide to manage and improve your Stress level

 

 

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, most everyone is experiencing more stress in today world.
With all the uncertainly around Covid 19, job loss, closed businesses and schools. The looming question is: when is this going to end? We are also dealing with issues of racial inequality that has lead to riots and protests. Putting these issues on top of everyday life, it’s hard not to be anxious in the world today!

In January before all this began 1 in 5 Americans were diagnosed with anxiety and now it is certainly an even bigger concern. According to recently released data from the Census Bureau, 1 in 3 of Americans now show signs of clinical depression or anxiety, this is the result of chronic stress.

What is Stress?

Stress is a built in, age old survival response. Its purpose is to give us extra strength to fight off danger.
When stress is controlled, it helps us perform our best. It can help us direct all of our energy towards a challenge.
Continued exposure to stress can be destructive if it is not controlled.
It can lead to mental and physical health problems such as:
• Anxiety
• Ulcers
• Muscular aches and pain
• High blood pressure
• Stroke or heart attack
Research is now suggesting that cancer and the common cold are related to stress as well.

How does stress work?

Stress works like this – When the brain detects that something is dangerous, either real or perceived, it triggers the body’s “fight or flight” response.
1. This begins in the amygdala then sends a signal to the hypothalamus.
2. This, in turn, sends a signal to the adrenal glands to release adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone that causes the heart to pump faster and deliver oxygen to our muscles. You need this to run away or stay and fight.
3. Next is the release of cortisol that keeps the brain on high alert.
This is all great until it leads to chronic stress and begins to have deleterious effects on your brain and body.

For example if you do not allow down time from watching or reading the news, you may have a hard time sleeping or focusing. You may be crabbier or short tempered more than usual. You may be more ill more often or feeling more run down.

This is your body telling you to STOP! Or at least, slow down the stress. Because it’s likely having harmful effects on your heart, blood pressure and immune system.

 

What are symptoms of Stress?

When people are under chronic stress and it leads to anxiety, some of the symptoms may be:
• sensations of warmth in areas of your body
• heart palpitations
• rapid heartbeat
• tightness in the chest
• butterflies in the stomach
• trouble taking deep breath
• weakness
• tremors
• dizziness
• dry mouth
• sweats
• confusion
• fatigue

What can we do to eliminate stress from our lives?

The short answer of this is NOTHING. The goal is not to eliminate stress but to turn stress into something good.

Antony Robins is quoted as saying, “the purpose of pain, is to move into action. It is not to make us suffer.” This can be applied to stress. Without stress we would probably get bored or depressed, too much stress is overwhelming. We need to learn to manage stress and find a balance.

 

Things we can do to eliminate stress are:

-Being aware of things in your life that cause stress, good or bad.
-Try not to react too strongly to bad stress.
-Keep the perspective of not needing to please everyone.
-Physically breath deeper with your belly.
-Learn relaxation techniques like meditation and/or prayer.
-Exercise, at least 3-4 times per week for 30-60 minutes
-Sleep 8 hours per night.
-Eat right! Especially important!
-Add 4 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
-Foods to avoid when trying to manage stress are: coffee, alcohol, chocolate, cola drink, sweets and processed or fast food. These foods aggravate the stress response.

Of course, have your spine and nervous system checked regularly, by a chiropractor.

What Does it mean to have your nervous system checked?

• A chiropractor can check to see if your autonomic (stress) nervous system is in a state of Sympathetic tone or a good balance. The sympathetic nervous system is activated highly during times of stress or ‘fight or flight’ response. This system regulates your heartbeat, sweating, butterflies in the stomach, nervousness, and pupil dilation. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of people function on a daily basis. (in chronic stress) The parasympathetic system opposes the sympathetic nervous system, in that it slows everything down. It regulates digestion and allows healing to take place.
Chronic stress will cause the autonomic nervous system to be out of balance. Generally in a state of sympathetic nervous system dominance. The body is not balanced between sympathetic and parasympathetic functioning.

• Chronic stress will lead to headaches, nervousness, depression, moodiness, difficulty concentrating, neck and or back pain, digestion issues, skin problems, muscle twitching, resistance to colds, flu and inability to sleep.

What do chiropractic adjustments have to do with handling stress?

In short , chiropractic adjustments improve the way the body performs in its environment.
Chiropractic is proven to lower the sympathetic tone more to normal and balance. In other words, our bodies are better able to adapt and respond to a wider array of life stresses and situations without losing that balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic that is required to maintain health.

In summary , your body will run smoother and handle more if is isn’t under stress from within. Bones out of alignment (subluxations) can cause an inability of the nervous system to cope with stressors outside the body.

It’s a great time to finally make that move and make an appointment!

 

Wishing you optimal health and wellness,

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Joe

Turn your Immune System Dial up to 11 !!!

Click here to watch and hear Dr Barrett or Read below:

Your immune system can be bulletproofed if you know these secrets to super immunity.

Most people who struggle with infections from respiratory to urinary tract to skin, are depleted and exhausted in immune function. This can happen because you were exposed somewhere along the way to an overwhelming infection and nowhere along the way in school did any teacher tell you the things that build immunity and the things that damage immunity. Our culture as a whole, prefers to wait until we are sick and then have medicine hopefully save the day with cutting edge antibiotics, immunotherapy (you can’t watch TV without seeing 3 drugs per hour, with names you can’t pronounce, for autoimmune diseases) or chemo and radiation. This is not health nor does it build health. Health is your body’s ability to adapt to the environment. Disease happens when it can’t respond or adapt.

All dis-ease states can be defined as the inability of the body to adapt. Let’s focus on adapting to a virus for today. All the media, the governors, the president and the CDC are all working on plans for yout to avoid the virus. Masks, gloves, staying away from everyone…. Let’s assume that those measures helped. The answer is not clear just yet. But let’s say it does. That’s going to work for a bit, but eventually you must leave your house. You DO have to go back to making a living. Your kids DO have to interact with others at some point. How are you going to get your body to defend itself when you can get out and about again?

You can wait for the vaccine. Vaccines “work” by the way. Many think I am anti-vax because they think they don’t work. They “work” but they are unsafe. Nobody tests, nobody measures the safety. But, let’s talk about efficacy. how well will it or could it work? In the case of a single stranded RNA virus, they kind of work. Because it’s easier for a single strand to change its makeup, any vaccine may seem to help initially, but once the virus mutates or evolves, it won’t any longer. This has been shown already with other coronaviruses. Maybe not this one, but that is a concern. The other concern is what vaccines are intended to do in the first place, “prime” the immune system. In this particular pathogen, one main mechanism of death is a hyper response by the immune system (cytokine storm) causing respiratory distress or other organ failure. An example of a vaccine for single stranded RNA virus causing even worse hyper response of the immune system is the Swine Flu vaccine. Many suffered neurological damage as the immune system was kicked into overdrive when the vaccinated came in contact with the virus. Thousands were left permanently partially paralyzed by Gullain Barre Syndrome. So, the upshot of this is waiting for a vaccine to protect us isn’t going to be a bulletproof or completely safe solution. I will not be signing up.

I WILL work on my immune system.
Dial up your immune system to 11.

  • Is that a 100% guarantee? Nope.
  • Is it safe? Yes. 100%.

It also has other benefits in addition to a concern about this particular virus. So, there does not seem to be a reasonable argument not to do these simple things I’m going to lay out for you.

Here they are in short list and I’ll explain after:

Sleep
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Probiotics
Omega 3
Nervous System

Sleep
Your nervous system goes between sympathetic and parasympathetic dominance to keep you alive. Sympathetic to dial up your skeletal muscles and blood sugar to run away from a lion. And parasympathetic dominance to procreate, growth and repair. Parasympathetic is your immune system. It is dominant when sleeping. That’s when you repair. So, sleep is essential. Figure our your pillow and mattress so you can sleep uninterrupted. Go to bed at the same time everyday. 8 hours or as near to it as you can get. Supplements that help include 5 HTP for serotonin production. It is safe because it is an amino acid, food basically. It is a precursor to serotonin, the sleep and happiness chemical in your body. And magnesium, which helps skeletal muscle relax.. Well, all muscle really. It will lower blood pressure a smidge and calm the brain down that doesn’t want to quit talking to you at 2am.
Lots of people ask about melotonin. It’s a hormone. I’m not a fan of adding hormones to the bloodstream. It’s not terrible. I’ve used it for jet lag for a day or two to get back to this time zone when I’ve been 9 hours off for a month. But, don’t recommend for long term tool to sleep. Rely on 5 HTP , magnesium and exercise as the main tools.
Lavender essential oil helps some relax.

Vitamin C
It’s an antioxidant. If your body is fighting off germs, there will be lots of “dead germ bodies” laying around that need to be oxidized in cleaning up after a fight with bacteria and viruses.

Vitamin D
D3 really, but nobody uses D2 anymore so just D will suffice. This helps your immune system in many ways. Not just for colds and strep throat protection. But also helps in your body identifying and killing cancer cells. No reason not to include this inexpensive supplement in your daily routine.

Probiotics
There are books being written everyday about this new frontier and understanding of how “bugs” interact with our own physiology. We know now that bacteria help us digest our food, make neurotransmitter chemicals for us, make vitamins for us in our gut, create mass for stool so we don’t get constipated, but mostly what we are learning lately is the makeup of the strains of bacteria on us and in us, we call the microbiome, protect us from bad bugs and viruses. Like a healthy lawn won’t have much room for dandelions, a healthy microbiome won’t let pathogens set up house in your body.
There are so many strains of bacteria and we are only just beginning to learn how they interact with our own physiology, for now, we are just using a “shotgun” approach. More is better. In the future we may be able to tell you which bacteria do what for you. That’s not today.
Today, we recommend using 50-100 billion “bugs” of multiple strains per day. I use Visbiome. 112.5 billion per capsule and its 8 different strains. It’s about the most economical. Helps regulate bowel and I just don’t deal with any coughs or colds etc… Perhaps I’m just fortunate.

Omega 3
The virus that has the world turned upside down activates an immune response that for some gets out of hand and suffocates them because they can’t exchange oxygen or causes body wide inflammation resulting in kidney failure or cardiac failure. We are now hearing of a system wide inflammatory condition in children called Kawasaki Syndrome, a system wide inflammation.
So, mitigate inflammation by cleaning up your diet. We all eat too much inflammatory foods. Sugar and things that turn to sugar. It’s not table sugar. It’s bread, pasta, mashed potatoes, french fries, crackers, bagels, chips, rice…. anything in a box. If it says “low fat” that means high sugar.
Use grass fed or range animal proteins. Add omega 3 supplement. 1,500 mg of EPA/DHA daily. See previous video on this.

Nervous System
It runs everything. It is fact that if your nervous system can’t communicate from your brain to your body or vice versa, you will experience health problems related to the specific area of nerves impaired. We recognize numbness and tingling as a nerve problem. Sciatica, stress headache, carpal tunnel…. etc…. everyone gets that. But, nerves are responsible for chemical balance, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, serotonin levels…. well, everything. There is no cell or process in your body that can operate independent of your nervous system’s control. Impaired nervous system due to spine misalignment causes disease. It’s that simple.
Does that mean a misaligned spine causes impaired immune system? Yes. Either directly or by virtue of wasting energy trying to work around it and adapt. Does that make you more susceptible to THIS virus? Maybe. Nobody knows anything about this virus.

Government and other health officials are doing their best with what they know. But, they know very little about what keeps us healthy. So far it has amounted to advising us to wrap ourselves in bubble wrap and stay inside until the threat passes. When will it pass? Oh, we don’t know. Not only when, we don’t know IF it will pass.

In conclusion it seems reasonable to Turn up the Dials on your immune system. If you feel better staying home, wearing a mask and gloves, do so. You can still do these things in addition.

Stay safe by improving your immune system.

Sincerely,

Copyright © 2020 Vibrant Life Center, All rights reserved.
Member of Vibrant Life Center

The New Normal

I hope you and your family are doing well and adapting to the changes we’ve all been experiencing in our lives.   I’d like to share some hope if you read on, but first, a bit of housekeeping:

We’ve modified our hours until the Stay at Home order is lifted currently scheduled for first week of May, but stay tuned. 

We have closed Tuesdays in both offices.  We have made mid-day appointments available on Monday and Wednesday for those who would like to physical distance during this time. 
Lastly, Dr. Sutcliffe and I switch locations on Wednesday afternoon instead of Tuesday.  Which means, Dr. Barrett is in Edina Wednesday afternoon and Dr. Joe is in Oakdale.   
We hope to be back to normal soon.

nor-mal
adjective
  1. 1.
    conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
    "it's quite normal for puppies to bolt their food"
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    2.
    TECHNICAL
    (of a line, ray, or other linear feature) intersecting a given line or surface at right angles
    2.1
    TECHNICAL
    a line at right angles to a given line or surface
 
 

Normal is exactly what I want to talk about today.   I don’t want to see us go back to the normal we had.  We were already the sickest, wealthiest nation on the planet.  The pandemic has just exposed how little we know about being healthy and staying healthy.   We have people scared to death of each other.  People feeling helpless as if there’s nothing they can do to protect themselves or their families.   It just isn’t true.  If you watch the media, any media…. You would think all we can do is just sit in our homes waiting for the grim reaper to come get one of us or someone we love. 

It is not all doom and gloom.  But, let's get real.   We can run be we can’t hide.  If you’re hoping for a vaccine, that’s a year away and you should know that vaccines for single stranded RNA viruses are notoriously difficult because the single strand type of organisms (not really alive) like to mutate.  After that happens, the vaccines will no longer match…. Much like the flu vaccines.    The other significant problem is like the vaccine experience in swine flu (also single strand RNA).  What happened to thousands was vaccine injury resulting in Guillain Barre Syndrome.  A progressive neurological destruction that caused paralysis and immobility among other things.   The reason for this was not that the vaccine itself caused it, but the arrival of the virus in the vaccinated that resulted in a cytokine ‘storm’.   A hyper-response to the virus due to the earlier action of the vaccine in ‘priming’ the immune system causing the inflammation and damage to the central nervous system.   Never say vaccines don’t modify the immune system.   They certainly do that.   The point is, a vaccine is a long time away and when it's here will not be foolproof tool either.

We are left only with fear if we believe there is nothing we can do, can’t get away and there’s no vaccine.  But, hang on a second.  If you look at case reports daily you are seeing that reported cases are increasing.   Remember, there has not been enough test capacity to determine what is really happening with the infection rates.  What we are seeing may be more cases.  But for sure it is more cases reported because there are more tests being done.  So, yes… that’s the reports daily.  But, whether we are on the upslope, peak or downslope of the spread, we can't determine.  It may not be exactly what we've been told.  

Please, put this information where it belongs for now.   It is incomplete data and drawing conclusions from this is going to make you very afraid. And fear, like mentioned earlier, dampens your immune response.  It puts you in ‘fight or flight” mode.   You will be fighting ghosts in your sleep.   Over time, you will not have the ability to fight when the real fight arrives.   This works just like eating carbs.  It pushes your body into cortisol secretion.   The worrying will not protect you.  It can only make you sick…. And fat.  

So, I know that fact does little to alleviate anyone's fear.  So, let's figure out what we can do.  The world has causes and effects.  Whether you get sick or not is largely under your control.   I know the medical world tells us that it doesn't matter.  It's a giant Wheel of Fortune game.  Some just get sick.  They get dealt a bad hand.  This is particularly true in the oncology industry.  But, it's being sold here too.  The virus, because medicine has nothing,. is being advertised as the worst thing imaginable because it just kills everything.  You've heard the hyperbole.   But, If it really doesn't matter what we do, what we eat or anything else, why not just eat Dilly Bars all day.? I love the mint ones.    Why not just do that if nothing matters?   Or, does it matter a just teeny bit?  But, when push comes to shove we need the medicine.?   The GOOD stuff.     

I think the daily Dilly Bar question is the crux of it.  What we eat everyday, how we sleep, how we think, how our bodies adapt to stressors is what determines whether you will not know if you have had the virus or it destroys you.   Medicine is there for a crisis, but we needn't create our own crises.  

Where are we now?

 

The emergency pandemic I think requires us to examine what we call healthcare.   Our healthcare system is very limited.  Fabulous for trauma.  Second to none in the world.  But, there is nothing it can do to protect us or make us healthier.  We are left only with the fear that our faith placed in it, has created.  Sadly, what we get for that is advice to stay at home to protect ourselves from the virus.  We've come to believe well, that's just normal. Wait until you need to be on a ventilator.  There's nothing to do until then. 

That is hopeless and helpless.   How about a new normal?  Take matters into your own hands.  Be responsible for you and your family’s health.  That doesn’t mean sitting at home waiting for the “all clear” signal from government.  It won’t be “all clear” ever again.   There is no reason to wait until then when changes can be made right now that will protect you.  

So, let’s focus on some hope for a bit.  I am hopeful that most of us will make use of the changes we’ve been forced into and make healthier habits and choices as a result.  I’ve already seen it.

The new normal will be riding our bikes and walking on the paths.  I’ve never seen so many people outside moving.  This is fabulous!!!!

The new normal will be shopping and eating better all the time.  To reduce the inflammation that makes us susceptible to disease, arthritis and autoimmune problems ….and fat.

The new normal will be spending more time with our kids and spouse.  Figuring out how to get along instead of getting out of the house to deal with these things “later”.   As we are seeing, sometimes “later” doesn’t come. 

The new normal will be assessing just how much time we want to spend at work.   You’ve heard it before.  Work is not everything.  And some of us may have been praying for a new job before this happened.  We hate our jobs.   Well, then.   Perfect.    Time for a new normal there.

The new normal might be permanently working from home.

The new normal might be less traffic (because now many will work from home)

The new normal may be reassessing how many soccer games, t-ball, dance lessons, karate classes, hockey, football, cheerleading, figure skating, la Crosse games…. Etc….  we want to invest our family’s time in.   Some of us parents may have been wishing we didn’t have to do all these things.    I get it.  I’ve been there myself.   

The new normal might be homeschooling from here on.  A rocky start, but some have been wondering about this before now.

The new normal may be spending more time looking at what’s coming after this life.  Like it or not, some of us are going to lose some people we love due to this.   If you haven’t considered that there’s more to it than “this”, the new normal might have you reconsidering matters of faith. 

The new normal might be clearing out the clutter in your house.

The new normal possibilities are endless.   We just need to get past this time of fear.  Everyone has been impacted and some terribly, in their work and financial lives.   And, some have even lost friends and family already.  It is terrible.   It is not hopeless.   I don’t have all the answers, but we can’t just let it all be terrible.  We NEED to get or make some positives out of this.  Spread the hope.

If you need our help, we are here.

Dr Barrett,

Vibrant Life Center

   Oakdale                     Edina

651-777-3611        952-835-0006

Life IS Short – Play your song

I’m sure you’ve heard NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and another entire family were killed over the weekend in a tragic helicopter crash.  It moves me to write on urgency.

Before I get there let me say basketball skills are not my gift. As a result, I don’t follow too much of the NBA. I have of course seen Bryant in action in highlights and even to the untrained NBA “fan”, the guy was something special. I saw some clips of his Top Ten and he’s definitely working on a different plane than the rest of us or even the players on the court.

The loss of life strikes home with me.  And urgency is what’s important in deciding what to do everyday.  Separate the everyday stuff from the important.   The important is what’s urgent and what you will be happy focusing on.  What’s important?

We think our jobs are, but consider that if you get hit by a bus, the business will still go on without you. You are not essential to your work. Not even me. People will still need to be adjusted and somebody will still be adjusting. That said, for some, they combine their unique gift with their job. That’s when your job is urgent, but not because you make money. Because you love it.

Consider what is uniquely yours. What can you do that nobody else can? For which, there is no replacement. Those things are your gifts, like Kobe’s amazing basketball prowess which he happened to be born at a time when that was celebrated. If he were born 200 years ago, it wouldn’t be recognized.

All of us have these things and ideally, during our lifetimes they are celebrated. If not, so what. You still do them. Nikolai Tesla died broke. He did what he did because it was his love, his passion and his gift.
You may have a flair for decorating like nobody else. Maybe you play the ukulele. Maybe you are stellar at plumbing.

One way to determine if it’s your gift or your job is, consider whether you’d be doing it if you didn’t get paid. Or, do you lose track of time doing the activity.

The other super important thing that is urgent is your relationship to others. You are the only mom, the only dad, the only brother, the only oldest sibling, the only youngest, the only you…. to the people around you. What is urgent is you consider how to be that person for them and be the gift that you were given.

What do you need to do? Just move those relationships to the foreground in daily life. Practice and refine your gifts so the rest of us can see them. Do not hide your light under a bushel basket so to speak.

A couple years ago I was urged by a member of our practice, to pick up playing an instrument again. As I child I was naturally attracted to playing the piano. I never took lessons but there was a piano in the house because my sisters all were required to take lessons. (I don’t know the reasoning for this and my parents are no longer here to ask) I could hear things on tv and play them on the piano. I would play jingles, weekly theme songs and some movie theme songs for some reason. I don’t know how I learned these because the movie was only shown once a year or so. Like the theme from Brian’s Song and Exodus. Those are weird songs to learn when you’re 10 or 12 but they stick in my memory.

I had played in a band in high school and then until I was 31 years old and quit it all cold turkey because I thought that running a business was urgent and being a parent was urgent, requiring all of my time.

I donated all my gear to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, the last “gig” I played was keyboards for their Easter production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1992.
Geoff, the aspiring guitarist member of our practice was putting pressure on me to play again ostensibly so he could play in a group of some sort and jam. As a concession to “help him” I actually did begin to play again. That was exactly 4 years ago. I still refused to go back to keyboards thinking, I’ll never be “that good” again as when I was playing full time 6 nights a week. I could only disappoint myself. So, I learned to play the ukulele in concession to Geoff’s request. We played a few songs that summer at a pool party. People were very gracious about our skills. 6 months into learning the uke doesn’t exactly sound like Jake Shimabukuru playing Bohemian Rhapsody on his uke. We’re talking 3 chord rock here.

But, what happened next is, I kind of got sucked in. There was a free piano on Craigslist not far from my house. Now, it isn’t that I couldn’t afford a piano, it just that I wasn’t ready to admit this was something I was going to spend money (energy) on. But, free? well, OK….. I can excuse it then. So, I picked up this baby grand, had it tuned and started plinking around on it. Turns out, it’s much simpler for me to play this than the uke. Geoff happened to be over practicing some 3 chord uke stuff, or maybe a new song for which I was having trouble getting my fingers to do what they needed on the uke and just walked over the piano and banged it out like I knew it. My friend wryly commented “What are you doing with the uke?” Basically, ‘you’re and idiot’. “You sound REALLY good on the piano.”.
Well, long story I know…. what happened from then to now is, I picked up some other keyboards, started actually playing in a band again. That is coming up on 1 year since my first live gig on Valentine’s Day last year.
All during my gigging years in the 80s, people were very appreciative of the music I played with the band back then. I never really gave it much credence because I thought anyone could do it if they just decided to. After all, I didn’t have to be forced to do it. I wasn’t sitting their after school trudging through sheet music. It just was a natural for me. So, I never gave much thought to people’s compliments. I always thought that “anyone can do this”. I turned 59 last week. And NOW I see the error of that thinking. That’s like me telling Kobe had a great game and him thinking… well, you can do that Dan. Ummmmmm….. No. I can’t. Not in this universe. Maybe if they had a Peruvian basketball league, where I’d tower over all the Peruvian’s…….

I understand now that in addition to my blessings of being a father, husband, friend, sibling…. all important and urgent to keep up those things. I’ve also been given at least a few gifts that no one else possesses. And that one, playing keys, I’ve kept under wraps unwilling to share for 25 years. What a mistake.   What if I never got good at adjusting?  What if I never regained my music skills.  What if I never told my kids or my wife I loved them?  What if I never went shopping with my wife?  What if I was too busy to go to my kids’ games?  (actually, during my kids’ teen years I was only at the office Mon-Thursday because I regarded being a father as more urgent)  What a waste that would’ve been.  That’s what’s important and that’s what’s urgent for me.  You have to figure it out for you.

Fortunately, you and I woke up this morning with yet another opportunity to share our gifts. That is what is urgent. Share your gifts. Play YOUR “song”. Nurture your relationships. And by all means, protect your health so you CAN share your gifts and nurture your relationships. I know all kinds of people who let their health go and can no longer play music, ride a bike, heck… even hold a job.

If you’ve lost your health, that’s a rare bird that can also keep relationships up. Losing your health takes so much time, energy and money. The people in ill health haven’t much left in their lives other than doctors, treatments, hospitals and such.

Health isn’t the most important. It is number 2 though. I’ll save the tools for staying healthy for another blog post another day.

Thanks for being you.
Thanks for sharing your gifts.
Take care of your relationships.
Take care of your health.
Blessings,
Dr. Daniel T. Barrett

Welcome to 2020!

It’s time to consider what you’re going to feel like and look like by the end of the year and what you want to be doing so that you become that person that looks and feels like you would like.  We could consider this every day, week or month, but we don’t. We all like to hit the ‘reset button’ at the start of the year.  So, let’s just up our game for 2020 beginning in January.

Step one: What’s it look like for you?   Are you happy with the way things are with your health, family, job or fun?  If you’re like me, there’s SOMETHING that isn’t exactly the way you’d like it.
Today, we’re going to focus on the health aspect since everyone’s coming off a holiday week where it’s hard to stay on track eating and working out.   I can tell you that last year, was not so great for me.  I even developed sore elbow joints, knees and wrists because I succumbed and ate one too many cookies or something.  I thought I was getting old.  I’m thinking,  ”what the heck!  This is what people come in complaining of.  Now it’s happening to ME?”    It took me til mid January to realize it was the “falling of the wagon” that caused that.  So, step one for me was, I needed my life to look like it did prior to that holiday season.   I wake up without an alarm clock.  I don’t have aches and pains.  I don’t get the coughs, colds, influenza stuff.  Pretty much enjoy pain free, happy go lucky health.    Sometimes just getting back to where you were is good enough.

Step two:  Happy go lucky health isn’t an accident. There are steps to follow and a price to be paid for not following them.  So, decide how much health you want.

We use a scale in here on your initial paperwork.  The question is “How willing are you to change your lifestyle to achieve your health goals?”   Rate that on a 1-10 scale.    This changes over time for people.  As much as the platitudes will admonish ‘There’s nothing more important than your health’, I can tell you after caring for people for 28 years, that frequently people decide there ARE more important things than their own health.   Moms are notorious for putting kids before themselves for decades.  Guys are notorious for putting everything from the house to the pontoon or ’63 Stang in the garage, ahead of their health.   These are generalizations to be sure, but you know these people.  They are real choices that real people make in different seasons of life. So, decide for yourself for 2020.

It’s your life.  You call it like you see it.  So, if  the answer is you rate your willingness to change at 3 out of 10, don’t beat yourself up for your health experience.  Just accept you’ve chosen other priorities for now.  Call it good if you cut back to a half pack a day, or only a couple cans of soda per week.

If you’re kind of a 5 ish person, well, you can make some progress.  That’s where you are willing to look at a couple areas and make small improvements in activity levels and junk food consumption.  Great.

If you’d rate yourself a 7 or 8, well then, explore what area is going to be easiest to dig in and improve the most for 2020, but work on all of them.

If you’re going to say, 10..  I’m not going to accept anything less than my best… well, then make sure  you’re coming to all the workshops this year.  Focus across the board.  From your spine, to nutrition, to workout, to relationships, to spirituality and your retirement account.  You will need to change where you get your information, how many books you read, how you take care of yourself, etc… beginning with making your bed everyday.

I watched a biography of Luciano Pavarotti yesterday. He’d survived life threatening illness as a child and vowed that he would enjoy every sunny day, every thing to eat, every song, every friendship…..  Exemplified in a disagreement with record company over an exclusive contract.  The record company exec called him up furious to learn that Pavarotti was making recordings with his wife, because she wanted him to and he enjoyed it.  Pavarotti claimed he did not know his contract meant he couldn’t record for anyone else.  Seems a bit naive to me, but anyway, Pavarotti says “Life is too short for this”.   Meaning, limiting himself to this record company.  He didn’t care what it cost in money, fame or future fortune.  He was focused on enjoying his life and doing what made him and his family happy.  He parted ways with the contract by paying a sum of money to be done.  There ARE more important things in life….

And one of the most important is life itself.  His then adult daughter (older than his then wife) quoted him as he was dying as saying he felt cheated in life.  He finally had a wife he loved and a new baby, and here he was dying of pancreatic cancer.

Pavarotti, clearly winning on all fronts, rockstar status, no financial concerns at all, homes here and there, ladies’ man.  He had it all…. and his only regret was his health.

So, yes… pick an area of your life to work on for 2020, but recognize that health has the largest return on investment.  January then, is when we get focused.

So, if that’s where you want to improve, our next workshop is going to be on fasting.  Fasting isn’t just for weight loss.  It “resets” the immune system.  Fights cancer.  Reverses type 2 diabetes.   Clears the brain.  And, yes, teaches your body to burn fat for fuel.

That’s going to be
Monday, January 20th 6:15 PM in Oakdale     651 -777-3611 to register
Tuesday, January 21st 6:15 PM in Edina          952-835-0006 to register

We will be doing more workshops this year.  Shopping Tours, Detox, Weight Loss etc… pretty much all things that you need to get healthier for 2020.

We look forward to seeing you.

Yours in Health,

What is it really about?

I was recently thinking of a time a couple of years ago. We delivered gifts to one family on a Friday evening, over in Minneapolis.  They lived on the upper floor of an older duplex.  2 of the kids met us at the door at the bottom of the stairs and we carried the first arm loads upstairs.  At the top of the stairs was the very nice woodwork, wood flooring, wooden archways you’re accustomed to seeing in those early 20th century homes.  Immediately at the top of the stairs was a large living room and another large living room space in the middle of the house.  Aside from the old radiator heater, there was an old loveseat and a couch in the first room overlooking the street.  No rugs, no curtains, no end table, coffee table, pictures… nothing.  A 4-year-old slept on the couch and didn’t wake up as we came thru chatting.  Through the wonderful old dark wood arch was the second, nearly identically sized large room with 2 closed doors on the left wall with a good space between them. I suppose these went to a bath and a bedroom.  There was one open doorway on the far end of the room which I suppose went to the kitchen as it had no door.  In this spacious room was only a 3 foot tall pine tree on the floor between those two doors on the left.  No decorations, just a tree.  No rug again, no chair, couch, table, end table, pictures, curtains…. nothing in the room… just that tree… which at that size it would’ve fit on a table, but there was no table, so there it was, on the floor.

Standing between the rooms with my hands full of gifts, it didn’t seem necessary to ask where to put them, but I did just the same.  The pre-teen kids made a couple trips back downstairs with us to get the rest.  When we were done, the pile of gifts eclipsed the small tree.  You couldn’t see it anymore.   It was a stark picture.  The empty room with now a pile of Christmas gifts on the floor on the left side of this big empty room.   I turned around to face the first large room and the two couches, the 4-year-old was still sleeping somehow.   She’s gonna wake up and truly think Santa was there while she slept.

This was the family where the grandmother had just “rescued” her grandkids from a tough situation out of state and was now caring for them.  They had nothing.  I made a comment on the t-shirt the boy was wearing, a band name on the front he couldn’t possibly know of as it was from my era.  I was excited and asked where he got the shirt thinking it would come with a story about some uncle or someone he knew who saw the band.  I don’t remember if it was his grandma or him that offered “WalMart.  4 dollars.”  Oh, yes, of course.  The kid was wearing clothes, not making a statement.  He really didn’t have the luxury of making a statement.  They were just clothes…. from WalMart.

I couldn’t think of anything else to give them so I gave the boy who helped us the Santa hat I was wearing.  Juli gave hers to the girl.  Maybe THAT will be a story he tells someone when he’s older and can return the favor to someone else.  Meanwhile, the 4-year-old never woke up.  Grandma was in tears, thankful.  As an aside to this story, grandma didn’t sign up to be on the list to receive gifts, someone had done it for her.  She was surprised and beyond grateful.  The families are without exception, blown away by the generosity of strangers to them.  It ultimately, IS what Christmas is about.

These people have nothing.  Most of us have cell phones, cable tv, cars and we don’t think twice about it and worry about what vacation we’d like or boat or whatever toy… we are so fortunate that way.  We worry about wants.  This family literally, has almost nothing.  It is, like every year, humbling and gives me a sense of how blessed we are and makes me feel guilty for complaining about anything.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been around so long now or because it really was a more difficult year this year for families here losing loved ones.  I’d also like to say a few words to those families who’ve lost a loved one, because sadly, that person won’t be here to gather over the holiday.  It is the toughest time of year for you.  It feels like there’s nothing left in your tank.  It’s hard to feel merry and like celebrating when it feels like there’s a big hole right in the middle of your Christmas wreath.   Well, the same spirit that was gift giving for those families we ‘adopted’, is in all the people around you.  Everyone really wants to help.   Even though you don’t feel like it, please allow others to ‘gift’ you with a visit and their presence.  It will not fill the hole.  It will build a bridge over it so you can carry on.  You won’t forget.  The hole is still there.  This won’t be the last holiday you work at celebrating without them.  Let your friends and family carry you.  We got this one.

Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday Season,

Sincerely,

Dr. Charles Mayo vs. Dr. B.J. Palmer

Here is a little story I wanted to share with you about the mindset of Chiropractic approach vs. Medical.

Enjoy and be well!

In the early 20th century, Dr. Charles Mayo, physician, surgeon and co-founder of the famed Mayo Brothers Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, brought his wife for treatment to the Dr. B.J Palmer Chiropractic Research Clinic in Davenport, Iowa.
Dr. Mayo had taken his wife to the other physicians, including doctors in Europe, all distinguished diagnosticians and specialists had agreed upon a diagnosis – osteochondromatosis of the knee joint. They had tried everything medical to heal Mrs. Mayo but all treatment had failed.
Dr. Mayo brought his wife to Dr. Palmer for his chiropractic professional services. He addressed Dr. Palmer as Mr. Palmer. To this Dr. Palmer replied: “This is a case of Greek meeting Greek; a test of steel against steel’ a test of our simple chiropractic principle and practice against your complex medical theories and experiments.”
Dr. Palmer ordered spinographs (x-rays) taken of Mrs. Mayo’s spine.
“Mr. Palmer, why are you only taking spinal x-rays?” queried Dr. Mayo.
“Because, we are going to locate the vertebral subluxation cause of her sickness, so we can correctly adjust it.” Replied Dr. Palmer.
Dr. Mayo rejoined, “There is no such thing, and if there were, you couldn’t adjust it by hand only.”
“Dr. Mayo,” Dr. Palmer said to the world-renowned clinician, “while you are here, we are going to ask you to remain silent.”
Dr. Palmer performed readings with the neurocalometer and neurocalograph, then analyzed the patients spinographs. Afterward, he gave her an upper cervical chiropractic adjustment to release spinal cord compression from the vertebral occlusion in her spinal canal.
After the chiropractic adjustment, Dr. Mayo asked, “Is that all you are going to do? What is wrong with my wife? Where is she sick? What is your diagnosis”
Dr. Palmer replied, “We don’t know. What is more, we don’t care.”
“You are a very ignorant man,” retorted Dr. Mayo.
“We are ignorant of everything you think we should know,” countered B.J.
After a pause, Dr. Palmer spoke again. “You, too, are a very ignorant man. You are ignorant of everything we think you should know about the cause of disease in the backbone of sick people. We know cause; you know there is a difference, or you wouldn’t be here. That’s the difference in your approach, which has done your wife no good, and our approach, which will get your wife well.”
“That remains to be seen,” Dr. Mayo replied.
Dr. Palmer continued: “I am ignorant of everything you think I should know about disease of the sick. You know all this, and what good has it done your wife? The fact that you brought her here proves your methods have failed. Because of reports of the success of our methods of vertebral subluxation and adjustment, you brought your wife here to us.”

Mrs. Mayo received chiropractic care for several months and went home well. Dr. Mayo stated it was impossible for her to get well with what Dr. Palmer did, yet he also admitted she was well.
Dr. Palmer expounded: “Medical doctors are concerned in knowing everything about effects, while chiropractors are vitally concerned in the cause in the backbone and how to correct it. What a difference between medical care and chiropractic care! A patient can come to the B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Clinic and be deaf, dumb and blind – not telling or indicating anything – we could and would locate the cause of whatever, wherever they had it; we adjust them and send them home well. It is as simple as that.”
I was on the staff of the B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Clinic in 1953-54. Although “Dr. Charlie” had passed away in 1939, during that time, 60-80 percent of our patients were referred by “someone” on the staff of the Mayo Clinic.

By L. Ted Frigard, DC PhC

Sincerely,

Are you Prepared?

 

 

Preparedness

We read a lot lately about Preppers, SHTF and Doomsday scenarios and what we should be doing to prepare for emergency situations.   Living in the Midwest, we aren’t subject to earthquakes and hurricane food, water and gasoline shortages.   If you follow any Prepper sites advice, where you live doesn’t matter.  There’s always a risk of catastrophe of some sort and you should be prepared.  There’s always the threat of foreign powers disrupting the fuel or power supply.   Heck, right now, the threat is probably most from Washington D.C. and the political power struggle there.  Never mind China, Russia or ISIS.  It’s our political parties creating the most risk right now.

I was in Utah for a week with my kids speedskating at the Olympic Oval a few years back.  Because we were there so long, we went to the supermarket for food rather than eating out all the time.  One of the standout sights at the supermarket in Salt Lake City, were the aisles full of institutional sized cans and jars on the shelves.    Far more than your typical Sams or Costco.   This was to serve the large contingent of Mormons who regard it as their duty to be prepared, not only to care for their own families, but others as well.

I have a couple thoughts on this:

 First, why not?   We have insurance on our house, our cars, our health (well, that’s not insurance but we pay the premium anyway).  We invest for a rainy day.   The cost of having a month or 6 of food and water, always on hand, is certainly less than a year to insure your car.  Makes sense.   That’s insuring our food supply.

Second, the preparation in food supply and water is important, but what about the preparation of our bodies?   Have we insured our health?  I’m not talking about paying your health plan premiums.    Really, if there is no gasoline and you need to get somewhere, you’re going to have to walk, run or ride a bike or something.    Can you walk or run a mile or two right now?   What kind of physical preparation can we make for this situation?  Can your hips and knees take the extra weight we’ve been carrying around?   Consider that you may need to obtain water from a distant source if the grid goes down and it no longer comes out of our faucets.  How able are we to move 5 or 10 gallons of water at 8 pounds per gallon, a few miles?    What if the natural gas supply gets cut off?  Are you prepared to cut and split wood to supplement heating your home?     This is the kind of thing Preppers think about.

Making sure that we can do these essential things is real health insurance. Paying our premiums to health plans in exchange for paying some of our medical expenses doesn’t insure our health.  It ensures somebody’s gonna get paid to treat our disease but does not insure our health.

In the Past:

When I was growing up in the 60s, there were Duck and Cover exercises at school because the world wasn’t terribly stable.  We’ve enjoyed a few decades of stability but lately I’d say the world is coming back to that Duck and Cover state.   I was a child then, I can’t gauge what the adult politicians’ rhetoric was relative to today’s talks of impeachment, treason etc….   But, clearly, we are entering a less stable day to day than a decade ago.

What to do:

So, do nothing or get ready?  For me, that means making sure my family is healthy now, so if things get more difficult in the future, we are prepared as we can be.  Physically as well as shelter, food and water.   That’s why my family gets adjusted at least weekly.  We limit our inflammation inducing foods and maximize our fresh, organic nutrient intake.  That’s what is going to prevent arthritis and the physical limitations that come with it.   Making sure we are keeping fit to perform up to task if our lives depend on it.

Fortunately, no one in our family uses medication and would not be dependent on the supply chain in some upheaval.  If you are, now is a good time to start reversing the disease process if possible.   This can be done for lots of things.   The top prescribed medications are for thyroid, cholesterol, asthma, heartburn and diabetes.  Many times these can be reversed by adopting the lifestyle measures we teach at Vibrant Life Center.  Now is a good time to start.

The best place to start is where the people live those principles.  Don’t “ask your doctor” who prescribed the stuff unless he or she is free of medications themselves.   Otherwise, it’s like asking poor people how to make a million dollars.   Don’t ask sick people for advice on health.  Ask healthy people how they did it and do it too.  No need to reinvent the wheel.  The rules of getting healthy haven’t changed.  We’ve just been sold some bad advice.   I’ll leave it to you to decide from whom.

Blessings,