I see this with so many good people when it comes to their health. They put everyone first and ignore their own needs. They have kind hearts and desire to help others. Yet they don’t realize this admirable quality will lead to their downfall. On an airplane you always put your oxygen mask on first so you can help others, instead of becoming a victim yourself. It’s the same thing with your health. Take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others. If you don’t eventually everyone else will be taking care of you. #lifehack #motivation #health#success #chiropractic #fitness #fitfam #fitlife#fitnessmotivation #weightloss#weightlosstransformation #weightlossjourney#weightlifting #paleo #nutrition #bodybuilding#bodytransformation #discipline #focus#commitment #mindgrind #mindset
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Born in the YOU.S.A.
Did you know that statistics indicate over 70% of Americans are on some kind of prescription medication? If you live in America today, you are also more likely to be overweight and develop diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and any variety of autoimmune condition compared to any other country in world. I don’t know about you, but this is NOT the America that I am proud of.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” –Mark Twain
I think it’s time for ALL Americans to pause and reflect, rather than just the majority. We are all in this together. We need to put ourselves and our health first, not only for ourselves, but for the betterment of our country.
The greatest fear our country should have is the loss of health. If we don’t protect our health, we will be paralyzed as a nation. We will continue to suffer greater amounts of lost productivity due to being busy spending time and money caring for the sick.
First and foremost, we must recognize that this many people on medications is NOT acceptable. We must realize that “the greatest country on Earth” is now the sickest country on Earth. Slowly, over time, we have been lulled into believing that taking medications is normal. It may be more common, but it most certainly is not normal.
Furthermore, recent data published by the British Medical Journal indicates that “medical error” (drugs, surgeries, procedures, etc.) is the #3 cause of death in the United States. Some studies even suggest that “medical error” is actually the #1 cause of death due to under-reporting. These statistics indicate that medications are clearly not the best way to maintain good health. Yes, there may be circumstances where the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks…but 70% of the time?
Along with EVERY medication there is an associated risk or side effect. But the biggest consequence to medication is alleviating symptoms so that people can go on ignoring the root causes as their problem gets worse.
The U.S. spends nearly 20% of the GDP on healthcare, most of it toward pushing drugs into the market to “manage” mostly preventable conditions. We rank #1 in the world in terms of spending, yet The World Health Report 2000 ranked the United States 37th among first world countries!
With nearly $1 out $5 being spent on healthcare, we are throwing more money toward a bad solution that is only making Americans less healthy and pharmaceutical companies more wealthy. The majority of healthcare reform is geared toward providing more access to cheaper drugs and surgeries, the very thing causing at least 250,000 deaths each year.
The system isn’t just broken and corrupt, it’s flat out wrong. We don’t have a health care system…we have a “sick care” system that doesn’t profit from healthy people. The problems with the health of America are multifactorial and very complex. There will never be a perfect system, but there can be a better system.
It starts with YOU! You are in control of your health…not the doctors, not the insurance companies, and certainly not the politicians. Please do not lose faith in the body’s ability to heal itself. Don’t forget to be proactive when it comes to health.
Important tips to remember:
- Keep your spine adjusted so your nervous system is functioning at its optimal level.
- Make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of GOOD sleep per night.
- Stay active, make healthy food choices, and advocate for your health (i.e. read food labels!)
- Finally, ask questions! Get to the root of your problem. That is something medications cannot do for you!
It’s time for us to step up. It’s time for the YOU.S.A.
“Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. About 70 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 adults.” – Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Jeff came to Dr. Graf at Abundant Health Chiropractic for care of his lower back pain. His history also revealed that he had already undergone two open heart surgeries and suffered from chronic high blood pressure that was uncontrolled by the two medications he was taking.
Jeff’s blood pressure was measured upon arrival to his appointment after an adequate rest interval of a few minutes. While relaxed, Jeff’s blood pressure measured high at 180/95.
After one specific adjustment to the cervical spine (neck) and a few minutes of rest, another blood pressure reading was obtained. Jeff’s blood pressure reduced to 140/80.
This finding confirms the research that exists on this topic that Chiropractic care is more effective than two blood pressure medications.
“This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination.” -George Bakris, MD
Since there are many factors leading to hypertension, it is not guaranteed that every Chiropractic patient will see a reduction in his or her blood pressure.
However, if a person has subluxations in his or her spine causing hypertension, then reducing these subluxations may improve overall blood pressure.
You may be saying to yourself, “This is great news for people who suffer from hypertension, but I don’t have that.” Well, it is important to note that wellness or preventative Chiropractic care can help prevent blood pressure problems from ever occurring in the first place.
Tooth vs. Spine Decay
You Don’t Know Because We NEVER Told You!
No health care profession does a better job at educating the public about preventative care than the dental profession. A majority of Americans know and comprehend the importance of regular cleanings and check-ups at their dentist’s office.
Unfortunately, as a whole, the Chiropractic profession has done a poor job of educating the public, so most people have no idea of the importance of regular maintenance care to keep their spines as healthy as possible over a lifetime.
According to the American Dental Association, two-thirds of Americans visit a dentist for care regularly. Comparatively, only 3.9% of Americans seek Chiropractic care for wellness and maintenance of their spinal health.
Ultimately, most Americans recognize the importance of regular dental check-ups in order to maintain the health of their teeth, even in the absence of any symptoms. However, they fail to understand that the same concept applies to their spines, simply because they just don’t know.
They don’t know because nobody has told them.
Another part of the problem is that people are focused only on what they can see. Imagine if you smiled and greeted people with your spine, instead of your teeth. Imagine if you wore your spinal x-rays on the exterior and were judged by others based on your spinal health.
Plenty of studies link posture with confidence and its ability to make a difference in how others perceive you. It could impact how an employer awards a job promotion or affect a first impression on a date or interview. If people were better educated on these connections, then we would probably see a lot more of them running to the Chiropractor!
Inevitably, it is human nature to wait until there is a problem. Some people even wait until they are in unbearable pain from a cavity or tooth abscess before they go to their dentist.
The reality is that your spine is far more important than your teeth. Unlike your teeth, your spine cannot be replaced. After all, your spine is responsible for protecting the nerves that control every aspect of your health; ironically this also includes the growth, development and maintenance of your teeth.
My goal is not to downplay the need to take care of your teeth, because it is absolutely an important part of your health, but it does have its own place on the wellness totem pole. Taking care of your spine should be positioned far above taking care of your teeth.
It is frustrating that people understand that they should do these regular check-ups with their dentist, and that it is necessary to perform daily maintenance on their teeth by brushing, flossing, and avoiding sugary foods. The fact that people are visiting a Dentist more than a Chiropractor is really troublesome.
Yet, again, most people don’t understand they should be getting regular Chiropractic care to maintain their spine. This includes not recognizing the need to do daily stretches and exercises, monitor postures, etc. in order to better preserve the health of the spine.
Conversely, they understand that braces can correct the alignment of the teeth and are willing to spend $5-10K on these types of services. But they fail to understand that Chiropractic care is necessary to keep the spine in alignment, so as a result, are very resistant to spending a fraction of that cost on correcting their spines.
“Everybody thinks they don’t need a Chiropractor…until they need a Chiropractor.”
Ultimately, people have fit the perception of Chiropractic therapy into the current healthcare model, which, in reality, is sick care or crisis care. In other words, they wait until there is a problem. Being proactive and acting well before you are in crisis mode is truly the best way to use Chiropractic.
Since most people don’t comprehend this concept, many will show up in my office as a result of years of neglecting the health of their spine. They are often in severe pain and have many related health issues that are negatively affecting their quality of life.
This puts the Chiropractor in a difficult position and is often one of the reasons why someone may be dissatisfied with his or her Chiropractic experience. They’ll come in with the pill mindset, in hopes of a quick fix, while assuming one magic adjustment will correct the problem.
Don’t get me wrong, Chiropractic can be fantastic at getting people out of pain and certain health crises. A majority of patients are satisfied with their care as long as their expectations are realistic and consistent with their particular condition.
There are so many striking similarities between dental and Chiropractic care, in terms of maintenance and corrective services, that should be handled in a similar way.
I’ll refer once again to the braces example, noting how a majority of people understand that they can correct the alignment of teeth. They also recognize that it takes time, sometimes even years, to get optimal results, and accept it as a corrective force in the right direction toward straighter teeth. Yet, they don’t seem to make this same connection with the corrective force of a Chiropractic adjustment in the process of aligning the spine.
Furthermore, they understand that x-rays need to be performed to identify cavities. Yet, many still resist the idea of getting spinal x-rays to identify subluxations in the spine. They’re also aware that you can have cavities without ever feeling anything, but don’t understand that this can prove true for subluxations as well.
Just like good self-dental hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing, can help reduce future problems, spinal hygiene, including simple stretches, exercises, and postural awareness, can spare you numerous problems in the long run as well.
It is safe to say most people know sugar can lead to dental decay. What they probably don’t know is that excessive sugar also leads to inflammation throughout the entire body, contributing to the early breakdown of the spine and surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments.
More recently, people are becoming aware that dental health can translate to the overall health of the individual; for instance, the connection between dental health and heart health. At the same time, hardly anyone in our society truly grasps the vital role our spine plays in our health and well-being.
Our spine, which is made of bone, or the hardest substance in the body, was intelligently designed to protect our nervous system, the softest and most delicate part of our body. These protected nerves are in control of EVERY aspect of our health.
As a result of lack of knowledge or misperception of Chiropractic, I have even had people come to me saying they can’t afford Chiropractic care, while at the same time, wear a $3-4K Invisalign! Doesn’t make sense after reading all of this, does it?!
In conclusion, this is what needs to be done: you need to take control over your spinal health. This starts with having a Chiropractor evaluate your x-rays to get a baseline of the current health of your spine. If you have issues, they need to be maximally corrected. Then, once you have achieved maximum correction, you must work to maintain it.
Now that you possess the knowledge of proper spinal care, you have two responsibilities. One is to take action for yourself, and two is to inform others, so that they can benefit the same way that you will.
If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment below on something you learned and will take action on in the article. I read every comment. If you know someone who can benefit from the article, please copy the link and share it on Facebook.
The last two years were by far the busiest years of my life. In addition to starting a new job and a family with my wife, we moved from Allentown to Macungie and became home owners. Needless to say anyone would be stressed.
Let me tell you about my wife and I. We are in our early 30’s and while we haven’t slept much in the last 3 years, we still make an effort to either get out for a run or lift everyday. We do our best to eat organic and feed our kids the best food possible. From the outside, anyone would say that we are ‘healthy’ or that we at least fit the image of ‘health’.
True health is more than just running fast and a six pack
Working with Dr. Justin Graf over the last two years has opened my eyes about health being more than just being fit and running fast. Shortly after starting my new desk job, I started to develop pain in the my leg and my left shoulder. I didn’t get why this was happening. I foam rolled. I stretched. I got up and walked around a couple times a day. When the pain started to get unbearable, I’d schedule a session with Dr. Graf. I fell into the bad habit of trying to fix myself and then when I couldn’t, I would pop in for a session or two. He finally convinced me to get X-rays to see if there were any underlying issues with my spine.
What the X-ray said about my neck
There is supposed to be a curve somewhere in there. Maybe it was all the time I spent designing websites or editing images, leaning forward into my 13″ Macbook. I can’t imagine how much worse it would be if I had a smart phone all those years. Dr. Graf informed my I had a 93% loss of curve in my neck. Even with the evidence of what was causing my pain right in my eyes, I didn’t commit to the care plan. For me, it was about the making the time for it. Not the cost or whether it would work or not. Life was so hectic that I didn’t care enough about the loss of curve enough to commit.
Instead, I dabbled. I committed for 3 weeks after the X-rays of 3 visits a week. Over the adjustments, the pain in my shoulder subsided and in my tricep. I decided I was fine to now come in 1-2x a month just for maintenance. Over time, the pain in the neck, tricep and mid back would come and go. There were periods where I felt absolutely amazing and pain free, and other times where I stretching every 5 minutes at my desk to get through the day.
This continued over the next two years. With no progress with the discomfort and seeing a lot of the recent success stories on the Abundant Health Facebook page, I decided enough was enough. I was curious though to see if there was any progress I had made in two years. This time my wife, shortly after having our third child, decided to commit with me. We went to X-rays together, almost exactly two years to the day of my previous X-rays. The result? Well, see for yourself.
Two years after sporadic treatments
Two different images, two years apart. I was pretty disappointed. But to completely honest, I know I half-assed the treatment. There wasn’t enough consistency in what I was doing. The pain came and went and I let that dictate my treatment. So two years and 33 visits later, nothing. At least it didn’t get worse, but this wasn’t the result I was hoping for.
So now it’s time. My wife and I are committing to a 12 week Spinal Care Corrective Plan. Will I get back to a perfect curve? Maybe, maybe not. But I know that this is causing my issues. The nerves that run down into my left arm relate exactly to the vertebrae that is the most locked up.
The message is now plain and clear to me. I didn’t get the results. I tiptoed around the problem and tried to do it my way. I’m sharing this story with you so you can learn from my mistakes. Don’t make the same mistake I did in waisting your money and time by letting pain dictate your treatment as I did.
The only way to fix this is to commit. The before and after results of the other patients graduating from the care plan are amazing and my inspiration. They are real patients like you and me getting results. The only difference is they are committing, going all in with the care. No matter how much organic food I eat, weights I lift or miles I run, I won’t get the curve back in my neck. Only Dr. Graf can do that for me.
It’s about my family
At the end of the day, it’s not about me. It’s about being able to run and play with my kids as the grow up. I’m doing this for my family to not cheat them out of having a father who can drive to the parkway and go on a bike ride or run. I’m pumped to start this journey. one week in, my spine is already moving in ways it didn’t over the last two years. No one ever got straight teeth after taking their braces off in 3 weeks, so I’m very excited to share my results with you in 12 weeks.
Did I miss something or did we go from winter right into summer?
Please feel free to forward and share with someone who could benefit from this.
Top Foods that inhibit Lung Cancer
- Brussels sprouts
- Savoy cabbage
- Fiddlehead fern
- Red Chicory
- Red Cabbage
- Boston lettuce
- Green Beans
Top Foods that inhibit Colon Cancer
- Brussels sprouts
- Savoy cabbage
- Fiddlehead fern
- Red chicory
- Red cabbage
- Boston letter
- Green beans
Top Foods that inhibit Brain Cancer
- Brussels sprouts
- Savoy cabbage
- Green beans
- Red cabbage
- Fiddlehead fern
- Jalapeno peppers
* Source: Anti Cancer, A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD
Did I get your attention?
All joking aside…this is a pretty serious topic for discussion.
Think this can’t happen to you? Think again.
Male or female, spinal weakening over time can lead to a condition called a Dowager’s Hump. To a certain degree this problem is correctable, however, once significant changes have taken place unfortunately there is no returning to normal. What’s vital to understand is that this is a completely preventable problem.
It is a product of physical changes in the spine over years. Let’s face it – no one just wakes up one morning with a hump on his or her back. This takes time develop and it starts without anyone even really noticing. Wouldn’t it be better to try and prevent this from occurring in the first place?
A Subluxation is a misalignment or fixation of one or more bones in your spine.
At the root of all of this is the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). This is caused by stress on the body such as traumas, accidents, injuries, slip and falls, poor posture, etc.
Many times people have Subluxations in their spine and don’t even know it.
First and foremost, most people don’t know they have Subluxations in their spine because they don’t know what a Subluxation actually is.
Secondly, Subluxations may not cause any pain at all. Sometimes people have mild symptoms like tightness, soreness, or achiness in their neck and back. Many people get massage, stretch, heat, ice, or take pain pills to alleviate their symptoms…only for it to come right back.
Most people chalk this up to the daily stresses of life or getting older or genetics. But the truth of the matter is that it likely due to a subluxation in the spine.
Subluxations are the root cause of the weakening of the spine and must be corrected so you can avoid this problem from happening.
One of the most common signs and earliest indicators that you are heading down this path is a forward head carriage. This is something I see a lot of in the office, especially with the increased usage of technology.
So why is this hump a bad thing besides making it harder to find a date for Saturday night?
- A hyperkyphotic posture (hunching over) has been linked with increased mortality rates and can be associated with decreasing the length of person’s life by up to 10-15 years
- Increased risk of vertebral/spine fractures
- Decreased respiratory function or breathing capacity leading to diminished
oxygenation of all of your body’s tissues
- Early breakdown of your soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia)
- Early degeneration or arthritic changes in the spine
- Increased rates of neck and back pain
- Increased rates of disability
- Decreased balance,
- Limited mobility
- Decreased muscular strength and endurance
- Increased likelihood of disc herniations/bulges
- Spinal cord tension and stenosis
- Increased shoulder, arm, and hand pain
- Decreased upper extremity/grip strength
Invest in Yourself
I know that reading this can be scary for some of us but I’m sharing this with you because I truly care about your health.
There is no better day than the present to start to take action. Invest in yourself so that 5,10,20 years from now, you can still be living the life you want to.
7 Steps to avoid letting this happen
- Get your spine checked and adjusted regularly to correct your Subluxations…regardless of whether or not you have pain.
- Stay proactive about the health of your spine, rather than waiting for a problem
- Achieve more awareness about the postural stress you are putting on your spine and make the necessary changes.
- Avoid sitting for too long. Get up and move at least every hour or so.
- Strengthen your body to hold your posture and spine in a better position
- Do your best to limit and manage your stress levels
- Get adequate rest and sleep everyday so that your body can recover and be strong.
What a week! We have been busier than ever helping everyone stay healthy so that all of you can be at your very best. We owe this to you and your family for choosing us. It’s amazing how many friends, family members, and co-workers have been referred in lately. So keep spreading the word. I am honored to be a part of your health team.
In laast week’s email, we talked about 2015 being the year of health for you. I’m so excited to share some life changing facts with you today. It’s something that affects everyone with a 9-5 desk job or that binge watches “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix for hours on end. It’s something you are probably doing right now as you read this email.
You ready? Here it is:
Sitting for a long time is a huge detriment to our health. And everyone from the Today Show to the Washington Post to your very own Dr. Justin Graf is trying to get you to do something about it.
Why is sitting so bad for your health?
- Trouble thinking clearly
- Strained Neck
- Sore Shoulders and Back
- Inflexible Spine
- Disc Damage
- Weak Abs
- Tight Hips
- Soft glutes (lets be honest, nobody wants a mushy butt)
- Soft Bones
- Poor circulation in legs
- Dowagers Syndrome (That little hump in your back? More on that later!)
(If you got about halfway down the list and started to panic, you can schedule an appointmenthere to get you on the right path.)
Here are the facts about sitting
- Sitting 6+ hours a day makes you 40% more likely to die within 15 years than someone who sits for less than 3. Even if you exercise!
- As soon as we sit, calorie burn drops to 1 per minute and enzymes that help breakdown fat drops 90%.
- People with sitting jobs are 2x more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who stand at their jobs.
Think about it: If you are sitting all day at work, even if you workout for 30 minutes, it doesn’t undo the damage! So what do we do!?
Lets admit it, our jobs aren’t going to buy us all treadmill desks so here is an awesome stretching chart I put together over the weekend that you can do right in your office. And I promise, any awkward looks that you get will be worth it in the long run.
5 stretches for sitting all day
Download this infographic and share it with someone you think could really benefit from it.
Click button on the left to share on Facebook or email to your HR Manager.
How can I remember to do these stretches everyday?
Lastly, what good are these exercises if we forget to do them? We get busy, hours fly by. It’s tough to remind ourselves. Here are two apps you can download, one for Mac and one for Windows. You set how often you want the reminders to pop up and how long you’d like for them to last.
Big Stretch Reminder: http://www.monkeymatt.com/bigstretch/ (For windows)
Anti RSI– http://antirsi.onnlucky.com/ (For Mac)
I think our weathermen have one of the most difficult jobs out there. Have you ever heard someone say “they NEVER get it right!” or “I wish I could get paid for being wrong all the time.”??? Maybe you’ve even heard these words coming out of your own mouth?
But have you ever stopped to think that its improbable and likely impossible to ever predict the weather with 100% accuracy. Even with the best technology and the smartest meteorologist cannot predict mother nature.
There are just simply too many variables at play…temperature, pressure, air density, humidity, etc. A change in any one of these variables may dramatically change the forecast.
So why am I talking about this??? Well being a Chiropractor has a lot of similarities.
As a Chiropractor I get a lot of questions. What’s my problem? Where is my problem? What do we have to do to fix it? Why did this happen? These are all important questions and I try my best to answer each of them.
But one of the most common questions that I get is… “how long is this problem going to take to fix?” If only people knew how loaded this question really is.
If only people knew how loaded this questions is.
So let’s dig in.
First and foremost, when I first start working with someone I try to gather as much information as possible. Information can be collected in many ways…your history of symptoms, examination, posture, palpation, and what I feel is the most important and most objective…a detailed spinal x-ray analysis.
This is the equivalent of a meteorologists collecting as much data as possible about a potential storm system. Based on this data, as well as their experience and judgment, they are able to make some assumptions by following the best forecasting model.
Just like the weather, there are a lot of variables when it comes to someone’s health picture. Lifestyle, injuries, accidents, etc may contribute to how fast someone my heal.
Each person is a unique individual with different problems. Just like no two snowflakes are identical and no two storm systems are ever the same, no two people ever have the same exact problem.
Certain storm systems may have similar characteristics and may be categorized into a nor’easter or a hurricane or a blizzard. Certain medical diagnoses or conditions may have similar characteristics, and be grouped together as things you may be familiar with as sciatica or headaches.
But one person’s sciatica is not another person’s sciatica. One person’s headaches are not another person’s headaches.
This is important to understand because someone may come to me with headaches. And I helped their Aunt Peggy get over those headaches in just a couple of visits. Now if you heard this, what would you expect? Of course you would think that you would have the same response. Unfortunately this is just not the case.
Based upon all the information I gather I am able to make some educated opinions as to how long it may take to correct their problem.
This doesn’t always hold true, but there are some common trends that I see:
- The longer the problem has been there, usually the longer it will take to resolve it
- The more damage that is present, the longer it will take to heal.
- The more effort and proper action someone takes, the quicker the problem will resolve.
- Failure to identify and modify lifestyle behaviors that may be contributing to the problem will slow the healing process.
- The more consistent someone is with their care/ care plan…the faster and better their results.
So what’s the bottom line of all this? Most people, myself included, are impatient and want results yesterday. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.
The spine and body take time to heal…I don’t make the rules and neither do you. There are no quick fixes.
Speaking of “fixes”…
Just because people get out of pain, in most cases this person is not “fixed”. For example someone could come to me with neck pain. Their x-rays could indicate a reverse curve (one of the worst things I can see on x-ray), yet after a couple of visits they could be feeling much better.
Does this mean that they are fixed? Nope. Not even close. Fixing a curve reversal takes much more work and time than this, but it can be done.
Everybody, especially truly motivated people, want all of the answers to their problems right now. Quite frankly, it’s impossible to teach everyone everything in one visit. There is no way anyone could understand, comprehend, and retain everything anyway.
Becoming educated about your problem is a process. I have found that those people who stick out their recommended care plans will absolutely learn the most about their health. Most people don’t even realize the long term value in this.
Unfortunately, I have encountered far too many people that have come and gone in my office. I knew they were in the right place, getting the right care, but for whatever reason they didn’t stick it out.
This is one of the most frustrating things I encounter. There is nothing more helpless than having the power to help someone, but yet they are not willing to put the work in and follow through.
Alas, just like the weatherman I can’t 100% with certainty predict the future. But with the right game plan and the right action steps we can get a good idea of what it takes to get someone back on the path to health.