'Tis the Season ~ For Gratitude

 

 

Gratitude Season

It isn't always easy to find gratitude in one's heart. Times can be hard, feelings can be hurt, daily life can be just plain...plain.

I'm thinking about Dr. Rachel Remen who has taught many doctors, and others, about healing on levels deeper than the purely physical. One of our favorite practices of hers is centered on gratitude.

At day's end, take a few minutes to review the day and ask yourself three questions: What touched me today? What surprised me today? What inspired me today? No need to spend hours on this, simply alight on the first answers that come to mind. You might want to keep a journal or, as John and I like to do, ask your partner these questions and share them together.

The point is simple: Through practicing awareness of gratitude, one becomes accustomed over time to catching the moments, the often simple delights that invite gratitude. After each of my several surgeries, I have been caught breathless in the simple joy of going outside, the color of the sky, the way the air smells, the anticipation of going to my own bed, my own home. Food that has flavors! The people I love! No need to wait for life's grueling processes to acknowledge the grace all around us. Gratitude is always available.

It is so easy to live in some mental space other than the moment we happen to be in. Gratitude brings us back, delicious and alive.

 

Happy, happy Thanksgiving ~ May your gratitudes be with you and yours in full measure!

John and Cathlyne

 

 

Why Chiropractic?

Why the World Needs Chiropractic

The world needs chiropractic today because it needs men and women who offer an alternative to drugs and surgery. In the past, the world needed practitioners who were willing to fight and even go to jail for the right to practice conservative approaches to health care. Today's revolution in health care has been carried on the shoulders of those people.

The world needs chiropractic because bodies need to be touched, bones repositioned, and muscles relaxed. The world needs chiropractic because it needs doctors who witness and chart the day to day miracles that simple, non-invasive approaches to health problems can yield. Without this, who would remember such healing is possible? The world needs chiropractic because it needs practitioners who can remind us that lifestyle changes can come first, with conservative interventions second, and drugs or surgery third.

The world needs chiropractic because it is sane. If a patient has been prescribed a course of treatment including pharmaceuticals (with their side effects) or surgery, and the chiropractor recommends a more conservative approach with a positive outcome, that patient has been brought into a whole new experience of self-empowerment. He or she now recognizes that a level of wellness can be maintained though lifestyle choices.

The world needs chiropractic because it needs doctors networking with other health care practitioners who believe that less can be more, that "First, do no harm" is still...first.

Finally, the world needs chiropractic because as long as there are nerves, bones, joints and muscles, there will be a need for people skilled in helping them function optimally. As one of the oldest forms of healing, there has always been the need for such an approach, and there always will be.

Have a healthy week ~ John

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Musing for October 23, 2017

We in America are among the most sleep deprived populations in the world. How does that affect our health, especially our brains? Read on!

 

Sleepless in America

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of us are sleep-deprived. We get less than the recommended seven to nine hours, especially those of us working at night or more than forty hours a week. Nearly 41 million Americans are getting less than six hours of sleep nightly, and that's a problem. Sleeplessness is linked to obesity, high blood pressure, depression, memory loss and a weakened immune system.

More recent research has enlightened us on the need for sleep. Dr. Daniel S. Reich at the NIH utilized a method of injecting dye into the dura of the brain. It had always been a mystery, the brain's ability to cleanse itself much as the rest of the body does with the lymph system. It wasn't thought that the lymph system extended into the brain, so how did it work?

The lymph system does, in fact, work in the brain as well. The lymph vessels showed up in his sophisticated dye studies, illuminating a very old riddle.

As we sleep, the brain washes itself. It uses the lymphatic and "glymphatic" systems to do this important work. It is further thought that those plaques and toxic proteins in our brains that contribute to dementia are removed and cleansed during sleep.

 

Trouble Sleeping?

One of the most prevalent factors to sleep difficulties is the constant viewing of tv and use of cell phones and social media. Our brains are awakened and stimulated by both the light and content. Make it a practice to turn off all devices an hour before bed, and keep the bedroom dark and cool.

It is suggested from recent research with mice that sleeping on one's side is the most efficient posture to encourage the lymphatic system's work. We would suggest you make sure you have enough pillows under your head to align the neck and spine, avoiding a crunched shoulder or sense of neck "cricking." Also, a pillow between the knees is most helpful.

Warm herbal teas, meditation or prayer, breathing deeply and in a relaxed fashion, all contribute to happy sleep hours. Setting aside time to plan the next day and put away concerns before bed is a great idea.

With time and consistency, sleep can improve and your brain will thank you.

Have a wonderful week!

~Cathlyne

This Week

We will be in Sierra Madre on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Please call 626.224.3476 or email us at drtalevich@gmail.com to make your appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

What are the chances?

What Are the Chances?

We all know by now that being grateful is very good for you. "Counting your blessings" has been the subject of numerous studies on brain function and well being. I'd like to point out the ultimate gratitude ~ your very existence.

A blog titled "What Are the Chances of Your Coming into Being?" by Dr. Ali Benazir explains in no uncertain terms just what a miracle your existence is. What is the probability of YOU?

Consider the population of San Diego, roughly 2 million people. They come together to play a game of dice, each one using a trillion-sided die (that's a one and twelve zeros!). They throw the dice ~ and every single person comes up with the same number. The definition of "crapshoot" ( a toss-up, anything can happen event) sums up your birth very nicely!

While the practice of finding and affirming the daily gratitudes in our lives is important and deeply beneficial, take a little time to remember the biggest gratitude of all: You.

~ John

Want to have your mind completely blown? Read the blog:

Ali Benazir ~ What are the chances?

S.O.S. ~ Sensory Overload Syndrome

The dramatic world events of the past several months have found many of us glued to the tv, internet, radio and journals each day. With CNN in the background, NPR in the car and frequent visits online to monitor the latest reports, we live in a constant state of vigilance. Once we've obtained information on how we might help (donations, volunteering, etc.) and taken action, we feel a bit better. Yet, for many of us, the disasters become obsessive.

With so much competing for our energy and attention, it is easy to create an overload. This sensory state forces the body to produce higher levels of stress hormones, particularly cortisol. Normal function is sacrificed to fulfill the increased hormonal demand. As our beloved friend and classical homeopath, Dr. Ian Marsh, D.O., once said, "You're writing a check your body can't cover."

~Custody of the Mind

In the science of psychoneuroimmunology, it has been demonstrated that chronic stress can be reduced by practicing relaxation exercises. This doesn't necessarily mean finding the nearest hammock; rather, we can reduce stress by changing what we focus on. Negative thoughts become a tool to remind us to breathe, relax, and return to the present moment. With so many powerful images of disaster, war and human suffering surrounding us, we may find a greater need to ask ourselves what we can do about them. Take an appropriate action. If there is no action to take now, we must be able to set the negative aside and practice good self-stewardship.

These are difficult times; because of this, it is all the more important to take care of ourselves. As with the aperture of a camera, if we leave ourselves open too long, we will become overexposed. Perhaps we can make an agreement with ourselves to monitor the amount of exposure to the media we allow during the day, safeguard our space before bed, and practice being at peace in a world of unrest.

Have a healthy week ~

John

 

Your Monday Morning Wake-Up

Stuck in the habit of constant worry? Happily, there are ways to move on.

 

Ruminations

While working with one of my patients, she brought up her concern with"turning off my mind." Mary stated that it was normal for her to be worried about something most of the time. She said she no doubt worried in her sleep!

From a clinical point of view, we know that unmanaged stress leads to the development of physical problems. Since Mary had severe neck pain, along with the usual treatment modalities, we talked about taming that monkey mind we all know so well.

I recently read an article on mindfulness therapy that mentioned research which combined findings from thirty-nine previous studies involving 1140 patients. Mindfulness therapy was effective for alleviating anxiety in patients recovering from cancer and other serious illnesses. The greatest degree of improvement was demonstrated in those patients suffering from mood disorders, including anxiety.

What is mindfulness therapy? In a nutshell, it is the practice (practice, practice, practice) of bringing the mind back to the present moment. One can use breath, movement, and various mental exercises to dismantle the habits of worry. As an example, when a negative thought comes up, we can remember that it is simply a thought, a feeling, and not a fact. Realizing that feelings need not be our sole source of truth could go a long way in reorganizing stress habits.

Another great practice in our busy world is to ask, "Where are my feet?" Inevitably, if we take a few breaths, we find that initially we were nowhere near those feet; after a moment of mindfulness, we find them just where they ought to be.

~ John

 

Here is a link to a simple three-minute breathing exercise: Three Minute Mindful Breathing Break

 

 

 

This Week

This week we will be in Sierra Madre on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Please call 626-224-3476 or email us at drtalevich@gmail.com to make your appointment.

Have a great week!

 

Got Music?

September 18, 2017

Your Monday Morning Wake-up

Love music? Us, too! Did you know it is one of the best healing tools you can utilize? Read on!

 

Music as Medicine

My late father-in-law, Ralph Pyle, had a long career playing French horn in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Over the years, several orchestra musicians came in to see me for repetitive stress injuries. You can imagine that playing a horn, violin, cello or oboe day in and out, usually for decades, can cause severe demands on the musician. These are compounded by the unwieldy positions many instruments require.

One thing that amazes me is how people in the performing arts can perform at such high levels consistently. Most performances are at night, usually after a rehearsal earlier in the day with, perhaps, teaching in the afternoon. A quick dinner, a concert and about midnight, they come home.

How is it that many musicians play successfully for more than forty years? The answer may be in the music. If you ask an orchestra member what they experience, the upbeat answer is often that it feels like being bathed in a sea of beautiful sound. While it is grueling, there are definite highs!

Science agrees. Numerous studies have been done on subjects as various as stroke recovery, learning enhancement, and heart disease; all point to music's promotion of healing on all measurable levels. Got a cold? Going in for surgery? Try on some Mozart, perhaps a little Berlioz.

I am grateful to the artists and musicians I've met over the years. No only do they offer a unique perspective on life, they demonstrate that creative expression is perhaps the most important medicine of all.

~John

 

Here is a beautiful Berlioz song by the inimitable Dame Janet Baker. Enjoy! ~Cathlyne

 

Janet Baker sings Berlioz "Les Nuits d'eté"

 

 

 

This Week:

 

We will be in the office on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Phone: 626-224-3476

Email: drtalevich@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Your Monday Morning Wake-up

As we say good-bye to a patient, we can offer tools to keep learning and healing in her new life.

Departure

Kate is a long time patient who occasionally checks in for treatment of neck and low back pain. In her mid-sixties, she travels thousands of miles a year on business and has been contemplating a permanent move to Italy.

During our last session, she shared that her beloved corgi had died and a long term relationship had ended. In the Five element Theory, these are themes of loss and grief and are treated in much the same way as any physical issues would be. The associated organs are the lungs and large intestine, so an emphasis is placed on conscious breathing and proper elimination.The neck and low back pain are part of the total package and provide reminders to be aware of thoughts, feelings and breath. This way of thinking about one's body is a departure from the old model of "body as machine" and creates the opportunity to form a lasting dialogue between the conscious and unconscious self.

Perhaps Kate will be back one day but, if not, she has some fresh tools to keep herself in a good place. As is said, "Give me a fish I eat for a day, teach me to fish, I eat for a lifetime."

~John

Have a stellar week!

 

 

 

 

   

Bad News

Sarah is a patient in our office who primarily works with Cathlyne doing physio-synthesis, our postural training. At one point, she injured her left hip and was referred to the radiology lab for x-rays. When the images came back, the news was not good: severe degenerative arthritis. The next week when she came in for her training session, she seemed fine; when asked about the x-rays, I told her that she had some arthritis that had developed over the years. She did not seem surprised, and that was that. It has been over eight years and she has had no further problems.

About the same time, Mary was referred with hip pain following an auto accident. The primary physician informed her that the hip was arthritic and would need to be replaced. I asked if she had ever had the problem prior to the accident, and she said no. Mary was convinced that even though the accident had contributed to her discomfort, the real problem was the arthritic hip and surgery was the solution. She was not interested in pursuing conservative care.

In many cases, information regarding a person's condition can be life and death. If the passage of time and appropriate changes in lifestyle can resolve the problem, they should be implemented first. The person delivering the information can influence, to a large extent, what direction the patient goes. As they say, "When you're a hammer, the whole world's a nail."

 

When it comes to living a conscious, connected life, a health challenge can be just the thing to bring us closer to who and what we are. If the intervention is necessary, let it be a part of a deeply considered process and not just an opt out, a short cut. In the long run, "First, do not harm" applies to both the physician and the patient.

~John

Lou

 

Our patients are a rich source of learning for us! Lou's story demonstrates wisdom and healing in a special way.

About thirty-five years ago, I had the good fortune to meet Lou. At that time he was ninety and had hurt his back a couple of months before. Upon examining him and going over the x-rays, I could see why this problem had developed: he had almost no disc at the L5-S1 level. I remember trying to soften the news by empathizing with him and noting that he had probably learned to live with the pain over the years. When he told me he had never had any pain before this incident, I was floored. Additionally, he reported that he had been working on his roof when the pain began!

The other doctors had left him with the impression that he should not expect too much due to his age. While sharing their perspective to some extent, I kept thinking that he had gone this far, why couldn't we return him to his former glory? He was all over this idea, and within a few weeks had returned to his nearly normal status.

During that first couple of weeks, something happened that seemed to turn the tide. Lou shared that he'd been pretty down because two of his brothers had passed away that year, and the low back episode just made him feel more helpless. Once he got that off his chest, he moved on and back into life.

A few months after Lou was released from care, he showed up at the office with a gift. It turned out that Lou was an accomplished woodworker and had made a beautiful replica of the snake oil wagon we had out front of the office and in the 4th of July parade. It sits on my wall as it has for the last 35 years, reminding me of Lou and what he taught me.

This story has been told countless times in situations similar to Lou's and, when taken to heart, has helped others return to their glory days, too.

~ John

Facetime

Face to Face

What happens when we become overwhelmed by the challenges that are occurring in our personal lives, our society and the world that we live in? Do we go numb, disconnect, disappear? This is the nervous system's way of protecting itself and can become the normal default, leading to isolation and, in time, depression.

 

Not surprisingly, having lunch with a trusted friend or reaching out online to someone who shares a positive outlook can rewire our brains to come in from the cold. The act of doing the very thing we are disinclined to do is at the heart of the issue. Understanding that we have gotten ourselves into a rut and can effectively rock ourselves out makes the difference.

 

If the very thought of contacting someone to make a lunch date causes feelings of anxiety and dread, then this avenue of action is for you. One way to approach this is to write down the commitment. For example: "I promise to call Steve this week and ask him to get together for lunch." Simply be mindful of the possible discomfort the action might cause, and do it anyway. This bouquet of feelings is a gift from our deep ancestral brain which equates uncertainty with danger. Unless Steve is a saber tooth tiger, these feelings are artifactual and can be appreciated for what they are. Once we step through the discomfort, we find another gift from our tribal ancestors waiting on the other side: the acknowledgement that we are loved, valued, and that we belong.

 

~ John

 

 

Full Measure

Full Measure

At any given moment within the body, there are millions and millions of reactions-circuits switching on and off.  The system operates on a simple premise:  action/reaction. Consider then, the body's response to something like a car accident; the stimulus (concussive forces passing through the body) requiring an appropriate and complete response.  Neurological studies indicate that areas "switched on" by trauma may stay active for some time after that initial event, and in some cases remain on indefinitely leading to stress-related disorders.  Simply put, there is the ping without the pong on a giant scale.

 

There are many approaches to treating trauma and its effects, but they all depend on one factor:  appreciating the fact that this need exists.  Chiropractic  and other body-centered therapies address the issue, as do meditation, relaxation techniques and systems that are trauma-specific, such as EMDR and EFT to name only a few.  

 

In the course of life we all accumulate a little damage, a little rust.  Appreciating that the body is tirelessly working to come to grips with all of this is to help it regain full measure.

 

~John

Coffee: Friend or Foe?

 

There's really nothing like a good cuppa joe.  Even better, studies indicate that coffee has many health benefits due to its antioxidant qualities.  The literature suggests that one to six cupsper day may decrease our chances of developing diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and some cancers.  So, let's get to drinking, right?

At the expense of sounding like the proverbial scold, I'd like to suggest we just hold on one minute.  I'm all for scientific inquiry, but if you've been to a Starbucks in the early a.m., you know full well that underneath those pleasant smiles lurks an urgency saying, "Get between me and my venti and I'm taking your down!"  If you don't believe me, try a little experiment:  Lure a half dozen customers to the inside of a coffee joint and lock the door.  Video and interpret the responses from the people who cannot get in.  Look slightly rabid?  "Frustrated" would be an understatement.

So, on the one hand we have these positive studies and on the other, real time.  Road rage?  Forget the alcohol levels, check the caffeine.  Blazing, flu-like headaches experienced when quitting coffee?  We'll just avoid stopping.  How about trouble sleeping?  "I only have one or two cups in the morning."

What to do?  First, some people are actually allergic to coffee and it may be possible to desensitize  oneself.  Second, liver and adrenal function have a lot to do with how the body responds to caffeine.  Speak with me on what will help with these issues.

The truth is, some people are fine with caffeine, but if you are irritable, sleepless, headachy or in a world of hurt should you stop drinking coffee, you can't handle the truth.  All said, a little bit of discomfort may be worth it.  If not, put down that cuppa joe and walk away slowly!

 

The Innate

Last summer I began to have some painful symptoms that did not go away.  The first thing I did was go to the lab and have a blood panel done which revealed some problem areas.  I checked in with my primary, Dr. Tushla, for a consultation, made appointments with my chiropractor, Dr. Bowerman, and with my acupuncturist, Steven Chen.

Over the period of the last few months, the symptoms have abated and my blood has returned to normal.  For this, and for my health care team, I am grateful.

The real hero, however, is the innate intelligence of the body to heal.  In chiropractic, we have a saying:  "The power that made the body heals the body."  Our ongoing quest as practitioners of the healing arts is to unlock the mysteries of how nature expresses itself and find ways of working with her.  That is also innate.

~Dr. John

At the End of the Day

At the End of the Day

Overwhelmed and perhaps unappreciated, we go about our busy day.  A lot of energy goes out with little time for its return.  You might say we are operating at a deficit; in physiological terms, this is referred to as cortisol dominance, or chronic stress. This hormone (actually, some forty different types) signals the body to be ready for anything at any time.  Such comes with a cost, though, as vital reserves are used up.

 

What to do?  I find the following practice especially helpful:  Each evening before bed, draw a map of your community - all the people that have been in your world that day.  Start with a small circle about the size of a quarter, and write your initial inside it.  Working clockwise, add more circles representing your community, with their initials inside each.  As you go, gently breathe in and out.  When you have added everyone, draw a symbol of connectedness at the center ( spiral, cross, star, whatever you like).  Then, imagine that you are all actually together in the room, acknowledging each person as the energy from the center fills the larger circle, cleansing and vitalizing all.  Remain for a moment and let the grace of your world fill you, repair you, and bless you.

 

Enjoy your week ~

 

Dr. John

Body Speak ~

Body Speak

Our bodies speak in countless ways. From the more obvious use of spoken language, to the subtle feelings and emotions that emerge through gesture, we express ourselves.  One of the least discussed, yet most important languages, is posture.

 

Peruse your favorite comic for a moment.  Notice how much of the cartoon's expression is through exaggerated  posture.  From the puffed-up chest of pride to the hangdog slump of depression, a good cartoonist uses the language of posture to get his or her message across.

 

An interesting element of posture is how it loops with emotions and feelings.  Fatigue and sadness introduce a slumping, shoulders and head forward.  Anger encourages a leaping to the feet, hands clenched.  Joy creates a sense of lightness,  an ebullience.  Every single feeling has a postural component.

 

The posture then loops back into the feeling.  When one is tired or sad and slumping, that posture neurologically creates more fatigue and sadness.  If one jumps up in anger, the body goes into fight or flight patterns and the anger grows. When one feels joyful, expressing it in expansive gestures or laughter creates more joy.

 

Physio-synthesis was created as a postural technique of physical correction.  It works with pain and chronicity, inflammation and illness.  After many years teaching and practicing this work, I cannot emphasize enough how effective it is  with balancing emotions as well.

 

With growing postural strength and awareness comes a sense of evenness.  By practicing balance, one can catch thosethose less-than-desirable emotions, and gently rewire them.  By correcting the accompanying unhealthy postures, we can actually assist in our profound sense of well being.  Amazing, really, that we can be so gracious with ourselves by standing tall from the inside out.

 

Who knew that balanced posture could make you feel so much better?

 

Your grandmother was right.

 

~Cathlyne

Sniffles Soup

 

Here are the holidays, once again (what...already?)  We are seeing a lot of colds and sniffles in the practice this month.  Here is a dilly of a soup to help get you through.  It's easy, delicious, and can make a whole lot of difference in how you feel.  Heck, I love it anytime.

Chicken, Dill and Lemon Soup

  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 (or more) cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach
  • 3 tbs. fresh dill, chopped
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 tbs. (or more) fresh lemon juice

Heat the oil in a big pot over medium-high heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and saute gently until onions are soft, 4 to 6 minutes.  Add broth, chicken, bay leaves, and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer about half an hour, until the chicken is cooked through.

Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Add spinach, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to wilt the spinach.

I like to add more garlic and lemon to this recipe. I encourage you to play with your food!

Serves 8. (Or 4 really hungry people.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solace

 

 

This past week has been a busy one at our office.  The holidays are upon us, the carbs abound, and family stress patterns are amplified.  Business as usual.  In the course of the day, we may discuss whether it might be better to eliminate dairy, un-invite a troublesome family member to dinner, or ask a boss for a raise.  We might explore whether the manipulation is working to reduce that stubborn case of sciatica, indigestion or migraines.  The emphasis is always on one question, though:  "How are you?"  This is not meant to be rhetorical as it invites us to identify specific stressors which are directly influencing each person't sense of well being.  These are often physical, such as sitting at a computer too long or eating inflammatory foods.  Sometimes, they may be emotionally based as int he case of an overbearing boss threatening the loss of employment.  This week has been different, though, with many feeling overwhelmed, angry, and helpless in the face of events in San Bernaradino.

As I have shared in past articles, one of the ways we identify a specific concern is the use of the Chinese Five Element Theory.  In that approach, each element tells a story.  For example, the Metal Element is associated with the lung and large intestine, and has an emotional connection to grief and loss.  At this time of year, it is not uncommon for people to feel a sense of sadness over loved ones who will not be here this holiday, or perhaps some regret about living another year without accomplishing what we might have hoped.  That's what I expected to find when testing Monica (not her real name) and finding an active lung point.

It soon became clear, though, that what was profoundly bothering her were the shootings.  She described feelings of deep loss and helplessness and was worried about the world she was raising her daughters in.  To be honest, without sugarcoating the issue, there was little I could offer except the series of acupuncture points used to balance this meridian.  As I finished working on those, I remembered a workshop given at Word and Life in Santa Barbara by Dr. David Richo, a psychologist and former Catholic priest.  During the presentation, he spoke of the Sacred Heart of the Universe and that it is found in world traditions to describe the principles of compassion, wisdom and healing innate in each of us.

When he opened the floor to questions or comments, I shared that, while driving up to the workshop, there had been a program on the radio telling the story of a group of elite Israeli soldiers who were sworn to avenge crimes committed against the Jewish people. They carried out a number of executions over a period of time, starting after WWII.  I asked Dr. Richo if he felt these men were justified in their actions.  He answered that this was the old code, the caveman model.  At the time, that answer was not very satisfying to me; after all, I had grown up with a father who'd been a marine in the Pacific in WWII.  But, while talking with Monica, another perspective arose.

Monica is a social worker who serves in the public school system.  She works with kids who are often raised in a hopeless environment.  To state that these are "at risk" kids is an understatement and Monica, more than most of us, has a day in, day out, front row seat to a world that threatens to go up in flames if there are not a few strong souls caring enough to do something about it.  That does not mean they can fix it; it does mean they are committed to the possibility of something better.  So, it was out of this shared dialogue with Monica that I could see the greater truth lying within us.  

We must place in our hearts the intent to first be people of peace, we must look in the mirror each morning and ask ourselves, "Can I, will I, be a person of peace today?"  In this way, each person that we meet is offered an invitation to feel included, accepted.  There is no lack of opportunity to practice being a person of peace ~ the checkout line, the freeway, office, at home, even in dealings with ourselves, all offer openings for kindness.

Can we change what happened in San Bernardino?  We all feel helpless and saddened. It is not possible to feel otherwise.  Tomorrow,though, when I look in the mirror as I always do, I will remember Monica and ask myself, "Am I going to be a person of peace today?"

~Dr. John

 

 

The Control Panel

The beauty of chiropractic lives in the idea that by restoring the flow of energy moving throughout the body, a normal sense of well being is promoted.  In this state, we are able to express our own unique design.  You can see that this model, what we call "the big picture," includes a person's whole life experience. 

The question arises:  How can we help each other become more fully alive?  I think we can do this in many ways.  In our  office, we borrow from many sources, including the Five Element Theory of Chinese Medicine.  In this design, meridians are used to evaluate areas of imbalance and various practices are recommended to restore integrity.  For example, the liver and gallbladder are associated with the Wood Element.  The emotional component of Wood is anger and resentment, and the practice used to balance this (the Virtue) is forgiveness.  The practice of forgiveness works to reshape deeply seated feelings of helplessness and victimization, thereby reducing chronically elevated levels of cortisol and other inflammatory chemicals that contribute to pain and degeneration.  We can then powerfully influence our way of experiencing ourselves, others, and our world.  This is our built-in control panel.

Gratitude?

Sad hearts.  Our gathering on Saturday in the aftermath of the Lebanon and Paris attacks was filled with grief.  A quiet, deep sense of helplessness, hopelessness, and frustration was shared by all.  Here we were at a class on the benefits of practicing gratitude.  Why bother?

 

In that shared experience, we were able to see that while it is important to be grateful for what we have, it is essential that we appreciate the gift of our own being. This is the one thing that all of creation shares, human and otherwise, and it allows us to stand with those who have lost so much, not against those who have committed injustice, but rather as fellow human beings.

 

This morning when I went out to the car, I saw a large white bird pecking for bugs across the street.  At first it appeared to be a small gull, but soon it became clear that it was a very large white dove.  She seemed determined to put on a show as she calmly staked out her space and continued to eat.  As a car came down the street, she took off, deftly circling and weaving through the oaks, then alighting to finish her meal.  Soon thereafter, the sky continued to darken and a light rain ensued.

 

By coming together last night, we ritualized what our ancestors have done since before memory; we gathered to comfort each other in our time of need and to extend our compassion and caring to those who now need it most.  For this I am grateful.