Sunday, August 31, 2008

I have a cure for the common cold!

It's true; I do. So far, it has never failed. It has worked 100% of the time.

The cure...? It's the innate healing wisdom of my body!

I seldom catch a cold, but when I do, I don't have to do anything to cure it. My body can do that all by itself. I simply make sure my body is fully expressing life so that my immune system can work as designed. (See last week's blog.) I maintain a positive attitude, keeping in mind that I am a being of beauty and perfection; I keep my body, mind, emotions and spirit in alignment with each other, and with my external environment; I eat whole, nutritious foods; I practice yoga and meditation, I keep well hydrated; and I remain as active as possible.

In sum -- I turn on life!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Health is more than the absence of pain, disease or symptoms. Health is balance. Health is harmony.

Vibrant health is like playing on a teeter totter.

When two kids (or young-at-heart grownups) are playing on a see saw, the fun is in going up and down…up and down. What fun would it be if the see saw remained motionless – in a perfect state of balance – with both kids hovering at an equal height above the ground. That might be a fun challenge for a moment or two, but it would get boring pretty fast and they would go right back to teeter tottering. You might say that their enjoyment comes from existing in a constant state of imbalance.

Or you could look at it a different way: that their ebb and flow – their cyclic exchange of energy – is really a state of harmonious, dynamic balance.

That is the way health works. For example, you may believe that if you catch a cold, you are out of balance. This is the conventional view of what a cold represents. This view holds that if factors in your life get out of balance, you are more susceptible to disease because of suppressed immune functioning, and that the purpose of the immune system is to fight germs and disease.

Under Dr. Mark’s teeter totter theory of health, a cold isn’t an illness. Colds are cool! When you are experiencing the fever, coughing, sneezing and runny nose of a cold, that shows that your immune system is working perfectly – just as Nature designed – to keep you in a state of harmonious, dynamic balance with your environment.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pain is a gift – an opportunity to do something special for yourself.

What would you do if you were in serious pain and there were no drugs, surgery or other medical care available?

As a Chiropractor, I hear it every day: “I just want to get rid of the pain!” I can relate. Pain – chronic, debilitating pain – is something I experienced for years. For most of those years, all I did was fight the pain. Fight, fight, fight! With drugs…with herbs…with meditation…with yoga…with Chiropractic…fight, fight, FIGHT! The more I fought, the more pain I attracted into my life. What I didn’t realize was that the pain wasn’t an external thing; it was me. My pain was manifest in every aspect and at every level of my being. It wasn’t until I stopped fighting and started loving and honoring myself – including my pain – that I finally gave myself a chance to move past the pain. By making decisions based on love rather than fear and anger, I elevated my rate of vibration and brought myself into resonance with who I really am, and connected with my true calling in life. Eventually, my real, pain free self emerged.

Sometimes pain forces the issue.
At this point in history, there are drugs – lots of ‘em – for pretty much anything that may trouble you. But, as many people have discovered with dismay, often drugs provide little, if any, relief. Sometimes the side effects are even worse than the original problem. Yet the pain persists…

When that happens, the only way through it is to embrace a new perspective based on self love. This new perspective allows you to grow, thrive and evolve in life rather than remain locked into a cycle of pain, helplessness and despair.

Two important points:

1. The pain might never go away, or if it does, it might come back. So…adopt your new perspective for what it can add to your life, and not as just another way to fight. Then, if the pain does go away, cool. If not, you still become more than what you were before.

2. A change of perspective doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything you have been doing. You can still do things that you feel benefit you. For example, I still have my spine adjusted regularly and I still practice yoga and meditation. But now I do those things as an expression of love rather than loathing.

You are a gift. Your pain is you; therefore, your pain is a gift. Receive the gift with deep gratitude and enjoy all of the wonderful things that you will invite into your life as a result.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Health isn’t something you squeeze in. Health is the priority that you plan around.

Are you building your house upside down?

Everybody knows that if you want to build a house, the first thing you need to do is to lay the foundation. If you put up walls and a roof without a solid foundation, everything will crumble and fall before very long.

If you want a happy, successful, fulfilling life, you must build that life upon a foundation of vibrant health. Unfortunately, many people allow their health to take a back seat to other, less important aspects of their lives. Even though they know the importance of healthy activities, they prioritize their time, money and energy on everything else first, planning to squeeze health in when they can. They’re putting up walls without a foundation. All too often, health is squeezed out entirely.
(“I just can’t seem to find the time…”)

I can understand why. We’re busy. We have many competing priorities. Things that seem urgent in the moment can overshadow what is really important.
(“…just as soon as I…”)

Then, as health issues begin to show themselves, cracks begin to form in careers, relationships, dreams…
(“If only I had…”)

A few days ago, I planned to go out for a nice run, and then do a little bit of house cleaning afterwards. Before I walked out the door, I decided to move the dishes from the sink into the dishwasher. (…real quick…then I’ll go.) Then I washed the sink. Then – since I had the cleaning rag in my hand – I started wiping down the stove…then the counters…(just one more thing…real quick…then I’ll go.) Finally I said, “STOP!” I threw down my cleaning rag, dashed out of the house and went on a great run. After I got back, I didn’t have time to finish cleaning the kitchen. I had to stretch, take a shower, and then go see my Chiropractor for my weekly adjustment.

So, did I ever finish cleaning my kitchen? Yep. I managed to squeeze it in later.

Your health is the most important part of your life – the part that deserves the front seat – the part you plan around – your foundation.

Healing update.

My beautiful, perfect, self-healing body is awesome! Last weekend I participated in my first event since my injury. I swam in the 1.76 mile Long Bridge swim in Sandpoint, Idaho. I didn’t set any speed records, but I’m back out there, and having a great time. I have gone running several times in the last couple of weeks and there is no more pain around the injury site.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Do you want healthy children? Then let them get dirty!

When my son was in elementary school, I helped coach his baseball team, the Bulldogs. Our players were younger, smaller and less experienced than the players on the other teams so everyone expected us to finish in last place. But what these kids lacked in size and experience they more than made up for in spirit, determination and heart. They were scrappy, they played hard and they had a blast. After the first few practices a team motto emerged: “Get Dirty!” Parents used to joke that soon we wouldn’t have a field to practice on because the players wore most of the field home with them. To everybody’s amazement, except ours, we ended up being one of the best teams in the league. At the end of the season the players presented me with two autographed baseballs. On one were penned the words, “Coach Mark, Get Dirty!” It was signed by Maury Wills who used to play for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, and is considered one of the greatest base runners in the history of the game. In fact, he was the first player to steal more than 100 bases in a single season, breaking Ty Cobb’s record that was almost 50 years old. Maury Wills was a guy who liked to get dirty. The second – and most important – of the two autographed baseballs said, “To Coach Mark, Get Dirty!” and was signed by all of the Bulldogs.

Getting dirty on the baseball diamond, rolling around in the grass, and wet, sloppy puppy kisses help children build natural immunity. As kids are exposed to microbes from a variety of sources, their immune systems respond by developing a broad range of antibodies. These continuing challenges strengthen developing immune systems just as pumping iron builds six pack abs and rippling biceps on body builders.

In fact, keeping our kids too squeaky clean can actually lead to diminished immune capacity and poorer health. In the late 1990’s a hypothesis known as the Hygiene Hypothesis emerged which supports this point. A German health researcher named Dr. Erika von Mutius set out to show that children who grew up in the poorer, dirtier cities of East Germany developed more allergies than their counterparts in West Germany. When she compared the disease rates between the two countries she found just the opposite. Dr. Von Mutius concluded that children in East Germany had fewer allergies precisely because they were exposed more to other kids, animals…and dirt. Studies since then have shown that kids who live on farms, have pets, come from larger families or start day care at a younger age have a much lower incidence of asthma than other kids. Another report tells us that the more often kids catch colds during their early years, the less likely they are to develop asthma later on. When kids are exposed to common bacteria, their immune systems are able to mature the way Nature designed them to. Their immune systems are on the front lines maintaining their edge while the immune systems of kids in overly clean environments are kicking back all day and letting themselves get soft and weak.

Of course good hygiene is important; just try not to take it too far. Teach your kids to wash their hands before meals but resist the temptation to hustle them to the sink and slather them with antibacterial soap every time they pet the neighbor’s cat. Our well-intentioned attempts to shield our kids from every cootie in the neighborhood deprives them of essential opportunities to develop a robust immune system.

So, believe it or not, germs can be good for you! The next time your kids come in from playing outside, check their hands. If they are too clean, tell them, “Young lady, young man; you march right back outside and when you come back in I had better see some dirt under those fingernails.”