Sunday, December 27, 2009

Empower your potential, not your problems!

What an exciting year 2009 has been! Thank you for traveling this journey with me. Here are my Top Ten Healthy Thoughts for 2009. And make sure you read beyond the quotes so that you can also enjoy more beautiful Nature photography, a couple of great videoas, and my number one favorite book!

Empower your potential, not your problems.
This is my all time favorite. (So far...!)

You can't change. You can only hide or emerge.

You are more than just the main character in your life story. You're also the writer, the producer and the director.

Are you hoping for a healing miracle? The miracle is already inside of you, just waiting to be released…

Exercise is for elevating your spirit, not just your heart rate.

Stop worrying so much about IT. Start taking care of YOU!

Each moment, you are in the process of becoming.

It's not whether you have the time; it's whether you take the time.

Sometimes the fog that shrouds the beauty has a beauty all its own.

Your health can change in two ways: by design, or by default. Make 2009 your year of design.
(Well, how did this one go...?)

The Photos:

The Breathtaking Synergy of Nature; Selkirk Mountains, North Idaho

Coeur d'Alene Resort Marina, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Chimney Rock in the Fog; Selkirk Mountains, North Idaho

Maiden Rock, Lake Pend Oreille, North Idaho

The Videos:

Talk about potential!!!

We are designed to live in harmony with Nature!

AND...My favorite book! (I wrote it!)

Oby's Wisdom is curently available as an e-book in various different formats:
To read all about Oby's Wisdom, download a free excerpt and purchase a pdf download, visit

Oby is available in various other digital formats at:
Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader.

Coming soon to Amazon's Kindle e-reader and the Sony e-reader. Print version will be available in early 2010. Stay tuned...!

See you next year!
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, lightworker, energy healer, writer, speaker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Visit From St. Nick – To His Chiropractor!

by Dr. Mark William Cochran

'Twas the night before Christmas, and at the North Pole
Jolly Old Saint Nick was getting ready to go.
Mrs Claus said, "You must fly now, before it get's dark.
Your first stop this year is to see Dr. Mark."

"Dr. Mark?" he asked as he filled his last sack,
"Why go to the Chiropractor? I've no pain in my back."
She said, "Having your spine checked is simply essential!
It's not about pain, it's about releasing potential."

"Okay, okay!" laughed the jolly old elf.
You're right. I need to take care of myself."
He gave her a kiss and he dashed out the door.
His adjustment was scheduled promptly at four.

I knew they had arrived when I heard on my roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
They had far to go and had traveled many a mile.
And I greeted each one with a hug and a smile.

I said, "This is your big night. It's not a vacation.
Let's make sure you are free of subluxations.
First of all Santa, I will check your spine.
Then I will check your reindeer--all nine!"

You know," Santa sighed, "If the truth be told,
My body's slowing down, I think I'm just gettin' old."
I smiled, then I offered a gentle correction.
"Santa, you're a being of beauty and perfection!"

He said, "To travel the world in one night is quite pleasing.
But the weather…I'm either frying or freezing.
The deserts are scorching, the rain forests torrential,
And I love it! So I need to be at my maximum potential."

I spoke not a word, I went straight to my work.
I adjusted each spine with nary a twist nor a jerk.
After we finished, Santa said, "This is terrific.
All of your adjustments are so gentle and specific."

"This is cool!" he exclaimed, "My step feels so much lighter.
And just look at Rudolph. His nose is shining brighter!
Blitzen and Dancer, I've never seen them so spry.
Thank you so much. We are ready to fly!"

Then Santa paused and did thoughtfully ponder.
'Tis a wonderful thing that we do way out yonder.
The toys we deliver are all very fine.
But I wish you could come along and check each child's spine."

Then he sprang to his sleigh, to his team he yelled, "Whee!"
And away they all flew, subluxation free!
Then I heard him exclaim, as they flew o'er the city,
"Chiropractic adjustments are the gift of vitality!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Empowering outlook or limiting outlook? Your choice...

What do you choose to focus on?
In this photo...?
In your life...?

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, energy healer, lightworker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

PS: Remember to check out my new e-book, Oby's Wisdom! A Caveman's Simple Guide to Health and Well-being.

Oby is available as an instant pdf download as well as other electronic formats. Coming soon, Kindle, Nook and Sony! Stay tuned!

Visit to learn more about the book, download a free excerpt, and read about the incredible bonuses available if you buy by Dec 26th.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You Are a Symphony!

A symphony is a beautiful musical composition performed by an orchestra made up of a large number of gifted musicians. These artists, with their diverse selection of instruments, play many different melodies in harmony with each other, bringing the symphony to life.

You are a symphony. More sophisticated than any orchestra, you consist of a vast array of complex systems, subsystems, organs, tissues, cells, and chemical and biomechanical processes. The adult human body is a thriving community made up of an estimated 75 trillion cells. These countless parts and processes work together to perform functions as obvious as the circulation of your blood, movement of your limbs, your thoughts and emotions, and perception of sensations such as heat and cold. They also include functions that take place on such a tiny scale that you are completely unaware of them. For example, the Kreb's Cycle—the cellular process that provides energy for cells to live and function—is generating energy in thousands of trillions of microscopic power plants throughout your body right now.

A thousand trillion looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000,000.

There are untold numbers of other functions, large and small, working in synergy in your inner universe, nonstop. For you to live—to express life—everything from your major systems to your countless intracellular processes must play in harmony. You are a wondrous and beautiful symphony.

Who conducts this magnificent symphony? Your life force. As long as your life force can express itself with no interference, you perform a harmonious and delightful symphony.

But what happens when there is interference? Let’s pretend that you are the world’s most gifted virtuoso violinist, performing with one of the world’s finest symphony orchestras. Suppose an audience member walks up onto the stage and stands in front of you, completely blocking your view of the conductor. Would you be able to play your part of the symphony? Of course you would. You are, after all, the greatest violinist in the world. You can still read your music, listen to the other musicians and play along with them. Even so, would your performance be flawless? Perhaps not; a bit of disharmony may result from the lack of communication between you and the conductor. Since you are such a gifted violinist, probably nobody but you will notice the disharmony. In other words, the life expression of the orchestra is diminished, but to such an insignificant degree that no “symptom” manifests.

Now, what if 25 more people joined the first on stage, each one blocking a different musician’s view of the conductor? Will these musicians be able to play their part of the symphony? Of course they will; this is the world’s finest orchestra. But will it be the orchestra’s best possible performance? Probably not, because so many musicians are unable to see the conductor. Now, because of all of the interference, the disharmony may become noticeable to the audience. We now have a symptom in the symphony.

For the orchestra to come back into harmony, an important factor would be for the musicians to be able to follow the conductor’s directions without the interference of the stage crashers. The first response would be an innate one—the musicians would simply shift their positions a bit so they could see the conductor. If the trespassers continued to block the musicians’ view, an usher might ask them politely to leave. If they remained, then someone could call security and have them forcibly ejected from the concert hall. Once they were gone, the orchestra would be able to play beautifully again, because that is what orchestras do. The point is that the orchestra is inherently capable of restoring the harmony it lost due to the interference. Even if the source of interference is removed by external means, ultimately, the orchestra’s ability to return to a state of harmony is due to the talent of the musicians and the conductor, rather than the security guards who removed the interference.

Until next time,
Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, energy healer, lightworker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

PS: Remember to check out my new e-book, Oby's Wisdom! A Caveman's Simple Guide to Health and Well-being.

Oby is available as an instant pdf download as well as other electronic formats. Coming soon, Kindle, Nook and Sony! Staytuned!

Visit to learn more about the book, download a free excerpt, and read about the incredible bonuses available if you buy soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Secret to Healthy Nutrition: Never Go On a Diet Again!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I sure did. It is such a wonderful holiday, celebrating one of the most beautiful and empowering states of consciousness there is: gratitude.

Thanksgiving is a day of feasting and it ushers in the winter holiday season. The holidays are fun and joyous time of celebration and fellowship, but they can also be a time of great challenge. The challenge I am talking about is, of course…


For many, food is a battle. Almost all of us have been on a diet at some point in time. Some people always seem to be on a diet—and usually not a consistent one. Opinions as to what comprises healthy nutrition change from time to time, and our eating habits usually follow the latest theory or fad. (How many people have stayed on their 1970’s low cal diet through the low fat and low carb eras?)

So here is a simple solution:

Never go on a diet again!

When I say, “don’t go on a diet,” I am referring to the intention, not to the behavior. Anybody can benefit from healthier eating habits. The important thing is the intention—to incorporate better nutrition into your life for the health benefits, and not to fight yourself.

So many diet plans, diet books and weight loss programs exist that it would be pretty much impossible to count them all. Low cal, low fat, low carb, slow carb, raw food, beer and cookies—the list continues to expand.

And they all work…

But none of them work…

That is, they all work if you stick to them, but virtually no one sticks to them over a lifetime. I’m not joking about the beer and cookies diet. When I was a college student, I had a good friend who was famous for his beer and cookies diet. He wanted to maintain a healthy weight, but he knew that beer and cookies, on top of everything else he ate and drank, would probably cause him to gain weight. He decided to do away with the unnecessary foods and just stick with the important stuff: beer and cookies! He stuck with it religiously for a good two months. His cookies of choice were home-baked oatmeal raisin cookies or, in a pinch, the occasional box of vanilla wafers. Whichever cookies he had on his plate, he washed them down with his favorite beer: “whatever’s cheap and cold.”

I would never suggest a strict regimen of beer and cookies as a healthy approach to maintaining your ideal weight. My friend never tried to pass his diet off as serious; it was just a fun college guy thing. But he did follow his diet for two months, and he met his objective. It supports the point I am trying to get across. In terms of weight management, lots of diet plans will work, no matter how kooky or unhealthy. The challenge is sticking to a regimen…for the rest of your life.

So often, a diet is process of doing something you don’t like, to fix something you don’t like. What are the odds of that succeeding?

It will be much more self affirming for you to remember The Basic Truth:

You are beautiful and perfect!

This is a more empowering way of thinking than the dieting mindset. Feel love and gratitude for yourself as a beautiful and perfect being, and live your life from that perspective. Then imagine what your life and health will be like in 5…10…25…50 years from now, compared to what it will be like if you keep loathing yourself. Just love yourself and do everything you do—including eating—from that place of self love.

Until next time,
Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, energy healer, lightworker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

PS: Remember to check out my new e-book, Oby's Wisdom! A Caveman's Simple Guide to Health and Well-being. Visit to learn more about the book, download a free excerpt, and read about the incredible bonuses available if you buy soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Make one commitment to yourself today – just one – just for today.

This photo is of the breathtaking view of the Cabinet Mountains from South Chilco Peak in North Idaho.
(I made a commitment, and traveled to the summit, one step at a time!)

The type of commitment you make is important. (More on that below…)

As I said in last week’s blog, the most effective way to make profound changes in your life is to go one step at a time.

Just one step at a time.

So today, take one step. Make one commitment – just one – without even committing to do it tomorrow, much less every day for the rest of your life. Make it an easy step.

Eat more green veggies for dinner.
Uprade one food purchase from non-organic to organic.
Spend more quality time with your kids, your partner, your pet or even yourself.
Go out for a nice walk, run, bike ride, swim or whatever you enjoy.
Meditate or pray.
Drink as much water as you know you should be drinking.
Go back to the yoga class you’ve been missing.
Read something that's been waiting in your "gotta read" stack for awhile.
Go out and play!

Now a note about what type of commitment to make to yourself. Notice that all of the items on the list above have one thing in common: They all add value to your life. None of them are about quitting, cutting down or avoiding.

My commitment for today: to enjoy a longer yoga session than usual.

It's that simple!

Tomorrow, make another commitment – to yourself – just one – just for tomorrow. Make it a commitment that adds value to your life. It can be the same as today, or something new. You get to choose. But don’t even think about it until tomorrow.

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, energy healer, lightworker
Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, Idaho

PS: Remember to visit to check out my award winning new e-book. There are some great limited-time-only bonuses AND you can download a free excerpt.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

You can go anywhere one step at a time...

This is a picture of the most recent lofty peak I reached, one step at a time.

Sometimes we have a goal or desire in life and set to work to achieve it. We are excited about what lies ahead for us and we know that we just have to set an intention, take some action, and - poof! - what we desire falls into our lap! Easy, right?


But not always.

Achieving a goal can take longer - sometimes a LOT longer - than we expect, but as long as we keep taking the next step, we WILL arive.

There are two important things to keep in mind.

1. The road is usually not as smooth and straight as you expect.

I reached a major milestone this week. I just launched my new e-book: Oby's Wisdom! A Caveman's Simple Guide to Health and Well-being. When I came up with the idea, I thought I could complete the book in just two weeks. That was over 4 years ago. And I also knew that my idea was SO great that as soon I sent a book proposal to my chosen publisher, they would love it so much that they would snap it up and pay me a juicy advance. So I mailed off the proposal...and got it back, returned to sender, unopened, with a note scrawled on the outside of the envelope: "No unsolicited manuscripts accepted."


I could have given up right then, but I didn't. I kept taking steps. On the way, I took wrong turns, got lost, hit dead ends...everything you can expect on such an adventure. But I just kept taking steps, taking steps, taking steps...

And now, Oby's Wisdom is published by a real publisher!

2. Sometimes the destination you reach is different (and even better) than the one you planned.

At one point on my journey, I felt like I had exhausted all options. I wasn't moving. I couldn't see any new paths to try. At that point, I was invited to help start a new publishing company with several other authors. And now, I'm part owner of my own publishing company! Never foresaw that. And a couple of months ago, Oby's Wisdom won first place in the 2009 Idaho Writer's League nonfiction book contest. Never imagined that one, either. But here I am, an award winning author!

Whatever you want in life, go after it. Keep moving. Step by step. Keep your eyes open for new destinations. And always, take your next step!

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropracrot,energy healer, lightworker
Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint Idaho

From atop Mallard Peak, Idaho

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Your immune system does not fight anything. Health is not about fighting; health is harmony!

Pause for a moment to contemplate the peaceful beauty in this photo. It's a photo I took several years ago from atop Maiden Rock overlooking Lake Pend Oreille in North Idaho. The scene is tranquil. Everything you see exists in harmony and synergy with everything else.

If you wanted to, you could look at all of this as a product of an endless succession of fights. Wind and rain have "lashed" the rocks, the forests have "succumbed" to fire, glaciers "gouged" the landscape and created the lake.

Of course there have been forces in opposition with each other. But opposition does not automatically mean combat. Opposition of forces also exists when a child (or an adult) swings on a swingset. No one would ever think of swinging on a swingset as a fight. Swinging is a state of harmony that brings joy!

It's the same with immune functioning and all other processes inherent in life. We exist in a dynamic state of balance and harmony.

Take a look at the photo below. This photo is one I took about a year and a half ago, looking up at Maiden Rock from the beach. Notice how the wind and rain have revealed magnificent rock formations, how the plant life is flourishing because of how fires have cleansed the land and enriched the soil, and how masterfully the glaciers sculpted beautiful Lake Pend Oreille.

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, energy healer, lightworker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Is the Swine Flu just a Self Fulfilling Prophesy?

Let me tell you a personal story about how words and thoughts can effect our physical bodies:

One morning, a couple of years ago, I was working on my computer, and I wasn't feeling very well. My son got up, got ready for work and walked out the door, saying he wasn't feeling well, either. The symptoms he described were the same as mine: a little bit of nausea, a bit headachy, some dizziness, and feeling quite lethargic. We had both been feeling that way for a couple of days. It occurred to me that, as best I could remember, those sounded like the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. I did a quick internet search and, yep, those were the symptoms. That HAD to be it. Why else would two otherwise healthy men be feeling like that? I immediately began to feel worse. I called the fire department and asked if they could come by and check my house for carbon monoxide. Then I went outside to get out of the danger zone. As soon as I got out into the fresh air I began to feel much better. Before long, a big ol'fire truck pulled up and three firefighters hopped out; one with a magic carbon monoxide detecting wand. They walked through the house, checking every nook and cranny, as well as my crawl space where my gas furnace is located. CO. My abode was fresh as a daisy. One of them even checked the CO detector and found it to be in good working order. (I hadn't thought to do that.) I thanked these fine, brave public servants and went back inside feeling fine, and more than a little embarrased. I came to realize that I had been putting in some long hours and I was just run down. Same with my son. That's all there was to it.

The main point of the story is that my reading a set of symptoms on my computer screen, along with my preconceived suspicion that I may have CO poisoning, caused my symptoms to dramatically worsen almost immediately.

This illustrates the nocebo effect. The Nocebo efect is kind of like a reverse placebo effect, and causes a person to experience symptoms and other adverse effects based on their expectations. Nocebo, and not carbon monoxide, is what caused my nausea, headaches and dizziness to worsen on that morning.

Words are powerful. Consider how many times we have all heard the word, "pandemic," lately. We're being pummeled by it. We hear it on the news, in commercials, on the street, and even from our president. Is it unreasonable to suspect that, to a very significant degree, we are creating a pandemic with our consciousness alone? It's a possibility we all need to consider.

Because words are so powerful, I'll leave you with the same positive, empowering words I left you with last week:

You are beautiful and perfect.
Empower your potential, not your problems.
You are inherently healthy.

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, energy healer, lightworker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We find health in the light, not in the shadows.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Well, on second thought…

I scoffed at SARS and the bird flu, and they both turned out to be about as dramatic as Comet Kohoutek. (You probably don’t even remember Comet Kohoutek, which made a pass through our solar system in the early 70’s. After months of hype about how it would light the night sky for months, it fizzled. By the time it got here, it was hardly visible at all. Comet Kohoutek was entirely UN-dramatic.)

I’ve done a lot of scoffing at the swine flu, too. After SARS and the bird flu, I’ve come to regard this latest threat to humanity as nothing more than another cry of “wolf.” Despite all of the screaming, fear based headlines, I don’t personally know one single person who has come down with the swine flu. I am a healthcare practitioner, and none of my clients has come in sick or called to cancel because of the swine flu. None of my friends, family, acquaintances or colleagues have gotten the swine flu. Within my sphere, which is considerable in size, the swine flu has yet to show up.

So, I was a bit surprised by a conversation I had just a few days ago with one of my clients who is a nurse at the large medical center in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Before I go on, let me say that she is one of my very favorite clients and, even though our philosophies differ on some health issues, I have the utmost respect for her professional knowledge, experience and insight. She told me that her hospital is inundated with swine flu cases. The emergency room is overflowing and doctor’s offices are full. She also told me it’s the most virulent flu she has ever seen. She is scared of it.

She went on to tell me that, earlier on, she advised her family not to get the swine flu vaccine and she had not planned to get it herself. Now, after dealing with the disease first hand, she plans to get the vaccine when it becomes available, and she is advising her family to get it, too. I told her that if my son ever says he is going to get the vaccine, I’ll handcuff him to his bed and guard the door so he can’t leave the house.

I pointed out that the vaccine is largely untested and contains some very toxic components. No one has any inkling of what adverse long term effects may show up, and it’s likely not to work anyway.

Her response: “Yeah, I know. It’s a crapshoot.”

That was a real eyebrow-raiser for me. Her decision was based on fear. She’s more afraid of the disease than she is of the vaccine. Not a very empowered position is it?

After our conversation, it occurred to me that I used the same tactic as the fear mongers of the flu. Fear. Toxicity…questionable efficacy…long term risks…

Another thing occurred to me. My client’s experience shows that the swine flu virus is among us. That means that, by now, we have ALL been exposed to it. Yet, I still don’t personally know one single person who has come down with the swine flu. I am a healthcare practitioner, and none of my clients have come in sick or called to cancel because of the swine flu. None of my friends, family, acquaintances or colleagues have gotten the swine flu. Within my sphere, which is considerable in size, the swine flu has yet to show up, even in my client, who is surrounded by it every day at work.

That’s because we all have an immune system—part of our innate healing wisdom—the most powerful healing force available.

I’ve decided to move away from fear-based arguments and stick with MY message, in its various forms. That’s what I left my client with the other day and it’s what I’ll leave you with today…

You are beautiful and perfect.
Empower your potential, not your problems.
You are inherently healthy.

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, energy healer, lightworker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, October 18, 2009

You can't change. You can only hide or emerge.

This photo of a gorgeous wilderness sunrise on a smokey summer morning tells the tale of your life...

The darkness of night and the smoke from a distant forest fire made the towering pines, sparkling river and majestic mountains invisible to me only an hour before I took this photo. Still, although shrouded in darkness, they were there in all their splendor and it took only the light of dawn to reveal their beauty.

Vibrant health, joy, inner peace, abundance, wisdom, success and everything you could ever want are already a part of you. Perhaps they are veiled -- even hidden -- but they will always be there. Beauty and perfection are the real you. That can never change. You just need to decide whether you want to keep hiding, or emerge into the light.

(Photo taken in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness area about 6 years ago.)

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, energy healer, lightworker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Prevention is not the answer. Wellness is.

Continued from last week...

When we last heard from our friends, Bright Dwight and Silly Willy, Willy had given up on ever swimming across the river and making it to the market to sell his heavy load of apples. He sat upon the bank, despondent, wondering what could be done to solve this river problem. His brother, Dwight, on the other hand, had devoted his thought, time, energy and resources to building a boat. His boat was strong and swift, and he glided across the river to the market with his load of apples and returned with a tidy profit.

Silly Willy knew that the river had been a threat in previous years. He had heard tell of the swift and rapid stream (SARS) a few years earlier. And only the previous year, waterfowl had been seen swimming in the river, giving rise to great fears of bird flow. And this very year, wild boars had been seen frolicking upon the banks of the river upstream of the village. “Certainly, with hogs in the river,” Willy thought aloud, “we must protect ourselves against swine flow.” Silly Willy thought and thought, and soon formulated a brilliant plan. “This river is a menace to all our land,” thought Willy. We must prevent this dangerous and life-threatening flow.”

Willy rose early the next morning and swam across the river to meet with the Village Executive Council. He swam with fear gripping his heart for he knew that the river threatened his very existence.

“First there was SARS, then Bird Flow, and now Swine Flow,” admonished Silly Willy to the council. “This river is a grave threat to the people of our fine village. Something must be done!”

“Yes, but what?” Asked the Chief of the Executive Council.

“We must stop the flow before it can reach us,” answered Silly Willy. “We need only build a dam, far upstream, and that will prevent the water from ever reaching us.”

“Brilliant!” exhorted the Chief Executive.

“Yes, brilliant indeed!” echoed the council.

“From now on, you will be known as Wise Willy,” proclaimed the Chief Executive.

“Wise Willy…Wise Willy…Wise Willy!” chanted the council with great adulation.

Soon after, the wisest of the land’s Magnificent Dambuilders (MD’s) teamed up with the Committees for Drainage and Canals (CDC) and before you could say, “belly flop,” they had a plan approved by the Fence and Dam Authority (FDA).

The people of the land rejoiced at the wisdom of the plan, knowing that their lives would be safer and more pleasant as soon as they were dammed.

Most people rejoiced, but not all…

Some warned that damming the river was dangerous, and a dam would never work anyway. Among these voices of reason was Bright Dwight. “We need the river,” he said. “If the river stops flowing, everybody’s well will go dry. Dry wells are a much greater threat to our health than a flowing river. We must preserve our wells. Well-ness is far better for us than trying to prevent the flow.”

“Preposterous!” replied the MD’s and the CDC in unison. “Don’t you know that 36,000 people die each year from the flow?”

“Um…who?” asked Dwight.

“Well…(ahem)…uh…we don’t know exactly who. Everybody just knows that 36,000 people die from the flow every year. This is an incontrovertible truth because we say it every year.”

One villager chuckled to a friend, “These ‘well-ness’ people are strange ones, to be sure.”

“Strange indeed,” agreed the friend. “And this Dwight fellow is the strangest among them. Too bad he isn’t brilliant like his brother, Wise Willy. Obviously one brother got most of the brains in the family.”

With that, this story—from a time long ago and a land far away—comes to a close. I don’t need to tell you the outcome. It’s easy to figure out…

Author’s note: Please forgive the unsophisticated humor in this tale. You may even consider it pun-demic! (Oh, that one even makes me groan!)

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Chiropractor, Energy Healer, Lightworker
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Empower your potential, not your problems!

Two brothers— Bright Dwight and Silly Willy—had grown up together and decided it was time to leave the cozy hearth of their mother's and father's home, and make their own way in the world. They set out on an early spring morning and spent the days walking the byways and marveling at the beautiful mountains, forests and rivers of the surrounding countryside. As they traveled, Dwight and Willy shared their dreams, excited about the many possibilities that lay before them.

By and by, they came upon an old apple farmer who wanted to spend the rest of his days in leisure and offered to sell them his apple orchard. After a lively discussion and a good bit of friendly haggling, they struck a fair bargain, with each brother buying one half of the orchard.

Growing up, they had learned much about farming. Now, as the months passed, they tended their apple trees with skill and nurtured them with love. When the cool breezes of autumn arrived, both Dwight and Willy enjoyed abundant harvests and each expected to reap a handsome profit when they sold their delicious, juicy apples at the market.

The bustling village market was nearby, just on the other side of a deep, wide river that ran past the brothers’ orchards.

Willy viewed the river with great consternation, worrying about how he would ever be able carry his heavy load of apples across such a great obstacle. He loaded all of his fruit into large sacks and stepped into the flowing river, intent on swimming to the other side. Although he was a strong swimmer, his heavy load caused him to sink beneath the surface when he was still but a short distance from the bank. It took all of his strength to struggle, sputtering, back to the bank from which he had come. He tried time and again, always achieving the same result. Eventually, he used up all of his energy and fell, exhausted onto the ground.

“I give up,” he moaned. Willy cast a forlorn glance at the bustling market on the other side of the river. “This river is much too great an obstacle for me to cross with such a heavy load of apples. I guess I have no choice but to give up apple farming.It's not my fault and there's nothing I can do about it.”

Dwight had not even noticed his brother’s struggles. He had been busy building a boat.

To be continued next week...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Take the Next Step...

See that beautiful picture? It's not just of a magnificent mountaintop on a gorgeous day. Look closely and you'll notice a tiny speck at the top. That tiny speck is a person. In fact, it's me! I'm standing atop the Selkirk Crest way up north in the Panhandle of Idaho.

The view from the summit was one of the most amazing I have ever expeirenced. To the west lay sparkling blue Priest Lake. To the southeast stretched the vast, silent and mysterious Lake Pend Oreille, the largest and deepest lake in Idaho. Snaking its way to the east was the rugged and green Pack River Valley. The memory of that magnificent vista still gives me goosebumps!

It wasn't an easy trip. It took hours of bushwacking and boulder hopping before we made the summit. There was no trail to the top, so the route wasn't obvious. Some of the routes we tried didn't work. Several times we had to turn around, backtrack and try another route. The dead ends weren't "failures" because each of them presented their own backcountry beauty. Eventually, we made it to the top. We had an objective; we made a commitment and we kept going until we reached our mountaintop.

There are magnificent vistas awaiting you. Even if you have no idea how to get there, you always have one thing available to you: your next step!

Until next time,
Dr. Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

(Photo credit: Chic Burge)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Your body is smart!

During a trip to India several years back, I visited an old fortress that had a large population of monkeys. Although the monkeys usually managed to tolerate the thousands of visiting tourists, sometimes—as I learned personally—they can become downright unfriendly. At one point, I ventured a bit too close to a female monkey who had a baby with her. She felt threatened and attacked me. Monkeys have sharp fingernails and the attack left me with several deep, bloody scratches on my forearm, not to mention a significantly elevated heart rate and just the slightest bit of shakiness.
What did I do to treat this potentially serious wound? Well, basically, nothing. No antiseptic or antibiotic ointment found its way to my cuts, nor did any bandage shield them. Afterwards, contrary to conventional medical wisdom, I chose not to get a tetanus shot. My scratches never got infected and they healed nicely with no scarring at all. My arm was able to heal without any outside intervention because...
My body is smart!
Your body is smart, too. Nature designed all of us to be healthy and vibrant. Nature’s ingenious design gave us an innate intelligence that we carry with us throughout our lives. When we are injured, it is the wisdom within, and not what we put on, that does the healing. It is our innate intelligence that allows us to heal, grow and thrive.
When the monkey attacked me, my innate intelligence initiated my fight or flight response, and my internal functions shifted gears instantaneously. My pupils dilated to make my vision more acute. My hearing and mental ability became more focused. My blood glucose concentration increased to give me a surge of energy, and more blood flowed to my muscles to give me a burst of strength so I could jump away. The blood supply to my digestive organs decreased. Digestion was not important at that moment. I had to get outta there!
As soon as the threat from the frightened monkey ceased to exist, innate intelligence allowed me to resume my normal mode of living. My muscles relaxed, my heart slowed back down and my digestive processes resumed. Thousands of internal functions that had so radically shifted just seconds earlier, gradually readjusted moment by moment, at exactly the right time, in precisely the right sequence. All of this happened within the space of just a few minutes and I did not even have to think about it.

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What is the center of your world? You get to choose!

Last weekend, Cricket and I were in Yuma, Arizona visiting family. On Sunday, we took a short road trip across the river and visited the tiny desert community of Felicity, California. Felicity has the distinction of being The Official Center of the World.

This auspicious title isn't just something that the residents decided to paint on a sign. It's a designation that is officially recognized and codified into law by the governments of Imperial County, California, and France. (Hey, official is official.)

Here's the important thing: Of all of the communities in all the world that could have been selected as The Official Center of The World, Felicity is the one who has the title. Why? Because they went for it.

It wasn't random and it wasn't blind luck. Felicity is the Official Center of the World by design.

Reflect for a moment on what the center of your world is. Is it something you chose, or did it just...kind of...happen? Or might it even be something someone else chose for you?

The center of your world is your choice. Choose wisely!

Click here to read more about Felicity.

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho

Sunday, September 6, 2009

First, add value.

This photo of a beautiful sunrise
is a perfect metaphor for today's thought.

Soft morning sunshine is illuminating the smoky wilderness rather than darkness being removed.

Life works the same way.

"I'm going to start eating more fruits and veggies," is more empowering than, "I gotta stop eating so much junk food."

"I've been wanting to learn to meditate. I feel like this is a good time to start," is more affirming than, "I need to stop stressing out so much."

"I'd like to get back to shooting hoops," is more fun than, "I'm going to quit watching so much TV."

There's something positive you've been wanting to add to your life. Today is a good day to start. Enjoy it!

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Health is synergy.

Contemplate this photo for a few moments. Elegant genius...!

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho

Sunday, August 23, 2009

You are more than just the main character in your life story. You're also the writer, the producer and the director.

(And, although I have no idea what a key grip is, you're probably the key grip, too.)

Here is a story about two friends. You know both. You probably identify with one more than the other. One may even be your clone.

Once upon a time, two friends sat down to catch up. One had driven over from a fast food restaurant via the nearby donut shop. The other wheeled in on a bicycle, carrying a few bags of organic foods from the local Farmers Market. The cyclist commented on how wonderful it was that they were finally getting some rain, and told of recent experiences that had brought joy and fulfillment...then got an earful as the donut eater complained about politicians, the boss, the traffic, the economy and every other aspect of life including nonstop headaches ("I just ran out of iburofen. Do you have any I can bum? You don't? Hmmm. I'll pick some up on the way home.")

As they parted, one of the friends hopped in the car, stomped on the gas and sped off to make it home for prime time. The other pedaled away to drop the vegetables off at home and still had plenty of time to walk to yoga class.

Now, this is a different sort of story. I'm not going to tell you the ending or even the middle. I'm only telling you what's happening today. The two characters that I introduced each get to write the rest of their own story. The plot, supporting characters, ending (and even the key grip, I guess) are all a matter of choice.

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You can’t conquer your fears. (Why would you want to, anyway…?)

Let’s face it; we’re all human and humans have fears. Fear is an inextricable, necessary and even a beautiful and perfect part of you. If you try to defeat your fears you’re just fighting yourself.

Let me tell you about one of my fears.

Yellow jackets.

In the summer of 2003, I was out cutting firewood, and some yellow jackets apparently took exception to my chainsaw. So they swarmed me. They stung me through my jeans and through my shirt. There were yellow jackets in my hair and even one inside of one of my gloves, stinging me. In all, I think I got about 20 stings -- enough stings to elicit a minor anaphylactic reaction. It was a painful and frightening experience.

Although it has been six years since my run in with the yellow jackets, I still have some fear of them. Even so, I don’t let the fear determine whether or not I enjoy my life. Here in North Idaho, the easiest way to avoid yellow jackets is to stay indoors. If you look back over my earlier blogs, you’ll see numerous posts about hiking, backpacking, trail running and kayaking. Obviously, I love to spend time outdoors and, even though I’m uncomfortable whenever a yellow jacket is buzzing around me, I still enjoy spending as much time outside as I can. What’s the worst thing that can happen? I can get stung. In fact, last summer, a yellow jacket stung me right on the upper lip. Wow, did that ever HURT! But I healed. I haven’t conquered my fear of yellow jackets—it’s still there—I just don’t let the fear imprison me.

The challenges in your life that give rise to fear are always an opportunity for you to learn, grow, evolve and become stronger. So don’t try to conquer fear; embrace it. Don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by it and don’t let fear be the determiner of your life experience.

Take a look at the photo above. I took it jut a few days ago with my camera phone. My hand was just inches away. I was nervous, but I didn’t want to pass up that fleeting opportunity to capture the beauty of the yellow jacket sitting on the flower. The lesson: even if I’m afraid, I’m still willing to go after what I want. Good lesson; good self reflection; good feeling.

Until next time,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene,Idaho

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Are you hoping for a healing miracle? The miracle is already inside of you, just waiting to be released…

There are countless miracle stories in Chiropractic, especially when it comes to children. One of my favorite miracle stories is the one of little Winifred Gardella. Stricken with polio, Winifred was the March of Dimes poster child in 1952-53. The image of this beautiful little girl standing with crutches and leg braces tugged heart strings nationwide. After two and a half years of the finest medical care available, her doctors pronounced her “hopeless” and condemned her to a life on crutches and braces.

Little Winifred, March of Dimes poster child, 1952-1953.
(Before Chiropractic)

Winifred’s grandparents refused to accept this fate and sought something different. They took Winifred to Dr. Lewis Robertson, a Chiropractor in Glendale, California. After six months of Chiropractic adjustments, Winifred no longer needed crutches or leg braces. She was again able to ride her tricycle and play with her friends!

Winifred after Chiropractic.
No more crutches, no more braces.
Ready to run and play again!

Did Dr. Robertson “cure” Winifred’s polio? No. What Dr. Robertson did was facilitate the expression of life. Chiropractic adjustments released Winifred’s own miraculous potential for vibrant health. It was her own innate healing ability—her beautiful and powerful life force—that allowed her to throw away the crutches and braces, and run and play again!

Photos originally published in Chiropractic Home, August 1957.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The answer to our society's healthcare challenges -- and yours -- isn't who pays. It's who takes responsibility.

This is me, living a healthy lifestyle --
physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

One of the hottest topics in the news of late is the healthcare reform debate in our nation’s capitol. Put in simple terms, the discussion boils down to one question: “Who’s gonna pay for my health?”

Whatever answer eventually emerges as the winner in the current debate, it won’t make any meaningful change in the health of our society. Health costs are a challenge, but they aren’t the real problem. Spiraling costs and an ineffective healthcare delivery system are mere symptoms. The root problem is the predominant, rigid belief system that health comes from someone else. A majority of people have relinquished responsibility for their personal health and well-being to external parties. That’s understandable. We’ve been conditioned that way our whole lives. How many times have you heard or read, “always consult a doctor before you…?” And how many times have you been told that such and such a drug, supplement, machine, etc., is necessary for you to achieve and maintain good health?

Health comes from within and only from within. It does not, never has, and cannot come from the outside. The only way we will ever have a healthcare system that actually enhances the health of our population is to instill in everyone a sense of personal responsibility for one’s own health and well-being. When that happens, lifestyles will change, dependence on expensive medical care will be greatly reduced, and the need for most pharmaceuticals will disappear. Think that might save a few dollars?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting back to basics is powerful, often difficult...and, ultimately, unavoidable.

Double rainbow picture I took from my
backyard a few years ago.

Deja vu?

You may notice that the title of this week's blog is the same as last week's. Last week, I addressed the first part: that getting back to basics is powerful. This week, I'm addressing the part about basics being difficult but ultimately unavoidable.

Take a look at the photo above. It's a double rainbow -- a rare and breathtaking spectacle. The concept of a rainbow is pretty simple. The rays of the sun shining through water droplets suspended in the air refract into the colors of the visible spectrum. We all learned about that in elementary school science classes. We can duplicate the process with a prism. Simple. Basic. Why, then, do I claim that getting back to basics can be difficult? Well, I would suggest that a rainbow is more basic than a prism-generated spectrum because a rainbow does not require anything that is human made. Although a rainbow is more basic, it's a good bet that humans will never be able to duplicate the majesty of a rainbow arcing across the sky.

It's the same with health. Even with the countless drugs, "natural" remedies, surgeries, therapies, machines, books, retreats and everything else humanity has invented, healing always -- always -- comes down to the healing wisdom that resides inside each of us.

Now take a look at the next photo.

Hot air baloon photo I took from my
front yard a few years ago.

A hot air balloon operates on a simple principle. Hot air rises, therefore a balloon filled with hot air will fly. Wind currents at different altitudes move in different directions, so it is possible to steer a hot air balloon by changing altitudes. No ailerons, vertical stabilizers or pitot tubes required. A hot air balloon may not be as fast or precise as a sleek new Boeing 777, but it's a lot safer because a balloon is in resonance with Nature. I doubt any hot air balloon gondolas are equipped with the same state of the art entertainment packages as the latest airliners, but the experience of floating in silence above the beauty and grandeur of the Earth will leave a more indelible memory than a first class airplane flight because flying in a balloon is flying closer to Nature.

High tech airplanes, balloons and all other aircraft have one thing in common. They all gotta land. It's unavoidable. The only way anyone can restore, improve or enjoy health is by facilitating the expression of one's inherent vitality.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Getting back to basics is powerful, often difficult...and, ultimately, unavoidable.

Perfect reflection. Simple.

This month, in my yoga class, we're working on the yoga posture that is the most difficult of all to master. It also happens to be the most basic. At class this past Thursday, it struck me that that's a perfect mirror for life.

The especially difficult posture I'm talking about is sitting. That's right; sitting. Seems simple, but try sitting motionless, spine straight, mind quiet, for even a few minutes. Sitting is an important skill to develop. Even if a yoga practitioner never "masters" sitting, regular practice of that basic posture will enhance one's overall practice.

That's an important reflection of our approach to health. As a society, we have become so enamored with new technology -- "miracle" drugs, vitamin supplements, surgery, machines, natural remedies, new therapies and the like -- that we have lost sight of the healing gifts of Nature.

Think about it. How much healthier would humanity and Mother Earth be if we all ate fresh, whole, local foods, drank clear water, exercised regularly in Nature, and practiced a living art such as yoga or tai chi? In my profession -- Chiropractic -- how much more powerfully would we serve if we focused on empowering life by just adjusting rather than treating complaints with gizmos and peddling other products?

One thing that I have observed time and time again -- in myself and those that I serve -- is that the most amazing health breakthroughs come when we embrace the simple, breathtaking healing wisdom of Nature that exists right inside of each of us.

More thoughts on this next week...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Your body is not just for display, it's where you live, work and play.

If you re trying to lose weight, and are doing so mainly for the sake of appearance, chances are, you will fail. Again. And you might be sacrificing your health in the process. There is one reason why almost all diets fail:

Usually, a diet is a process of doing something you don’t like...
to take care of something you don’t like.

What are the odds of that succeeding?

Here’s a real life story that illustrates this point vividly. When I was a captain in the Marines, we had a Gunnery Sergeant in my outfit who did not meet the official Marine Corps height and weight standards. Back then, the Marines had a program known as the Weight Control Program. Despite its official wording, it played out as appearance-oriented, and had little to do with health and performance.

Even though the Gunny was deemed overweight, he was in pretty decent shape. He easily passed the Marine Corps physical fitness test (PFT) and he could perform all of the duties required of him. That didn’t matter when the Gunny hopped on the scale. Time after time, the doc had to slide the weight farther along the bar than was allowed. There was no avoiding it; we had to put the Gunny on weight control. Once on weight control, a Marine was given a certain amount of time to lose a specified amount of weight. Failure to lose the weight meant a discharge from the Marine Corps. Despite a great deal of counseling, cajoling, joining the Run for Lunch Bunch, and weekly weigh-ins, the Gunny went quite a long period of time without losing any weight. He eventually found himself with one month left and still a long way to go to meet the standard. He was facing the end of an honorable and productive career because of that stubborn spare tire. Out of desperation, he went on a crash diet. He lost a lot of weight in that last month and met his objective.

He succeeded!
He made it to his healthy weight!
He was off weight control!
Hooray for the Gunny!
Hooray for the Weight Control Program!


The Gunny failed his next PFT. He looked better in his uniform, but he had weakened himself so much in his desperation weight loss that he could no longer accomplish his mission. We had a good looking, physically unfit leader of Marines. My purpose for telling this story is not to criticize the Marine Corps. I love the Marines. They have my deepest respect and admiration, and always will. Physical fitness is paramount in the Marines, and I would never suggest that Marines be allowed to have unhealthy bodies. I tell the Gunny’s story to show that the ultimate purpose of the old weight control program—although ostensibly to improve health—was really to make Marines look better. What happened with the Gunny did not serve the Marine Corps and it certainly did not serve the Gunny. Thankfully, the Marine Corps has a better program today than the one we had back then.

The Gunny’s story is a reflection of our society. Many people resort to unhealthy, even dangerous lifestyles in their quest for that ever-elusive Hollywood physique. People have even died on that quest. Good looks, as defined by fashion and fitness magazines, are mere judgments.

When you eat for the vitality that fresh, whole foods give you, rather than dieting for looks, your health and life will improve.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Exercise is for elevating your spirit, not just your heart rate.

I have discovered the perfect exercise program. Two simple steps. Guaranteed to extend the years in your life and, more importantly, to improve the life in your years. It's a program that can be custom tailored to most people.

Step 1: Think of a few physical activities that you enjoy, used to enjoy, or have been wanting to try.

Step 2: Go out and enjoy them!

It would probably take more than ten fingers to count all of your friends, acquaintances and relatives that have plunged into a workout regimen but quit after a short time because they lacked the motivation. And…it may take all of your digits to count the number of times you have done that yourself. In too many lives, exercise without joy has become yet another stress.

Fun is the key to success.

One of my favorite activities is trail running. I enjoy other activities too, but trail running may very well be my favorite. You need only look at the three photos on this blog post – pics I took on a recent trail run – to understand why I love it so much.

We are all busy. We have too much to do and not enough time to do it. If our exercise regimen is something we dread, it becomes easy to ignore it. Why would someone leave something hanging that they have to do, to go do something they don’t like to do?

Physical activity is important for the whole person, not just for the physical body. Our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects are intricately intertwined. Your mind, emotions and spirit dwell in your physical body. The better each one works, the better they all work; when you exercise your body, you also sharpen your mind and nurture your soul. Physical activity makes you feel good deep inside. Being active is part of your core essence. You are designed to move. You must move. All living bodies are enlivened by physical activity.

The greatest benefit of exercise is that it elevates your spirit, not just your heart rate.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stop worrying so much about IT. Start taking care of YOU!

In recent years, we have been searching for something new, different and better in our approach to health and well-being. Since 1997, people in the United States now pay more visits to alternative healthcare practitioners such as chiropractors, acupuncturists and homeopaths than to medical doctors. We have thousands of natural and conventional remedies and therapies, and new ones continue to emerge. Yet, as a society, our health continues to decline. So, what are we missing…?


Even though people are looking outside the medical box, we still have not experienced a fundamental shift in thinking when it comes to our health. Today’s healthcare system—conventional and alternative—seems to ignore health and life. Our overarching concern is disease. We have countless names for the ills that befall us. But there is one name that fits them all: “IT”

We are consumed by IT.

Fighting IT.
Finding a cure for IT.
Losing IT and keeping IT off.
“Let me kiss IT and make IT feel better.”
IT cetera, IT cetera, IT cetera...

We do not have a health care system; we have a disease care system. And again, that holds true for the alternative market as much as the conventional one. We may be buying more herbs and vitamins rather than pharmaceuticals to fight IT, but we still worry mainly about IT.

Well, guess what? IT is YOU!

That’s right. As with vibrant health, IT comes only from within. Sure, there may be external factors in play such as pathogens, trauma, poor nutrition or stress, but all of that needs to be experienced, interpreted and integrated before your body can express IT. Ultimately, IT—however IT manifests—comes from within.

When you fight IT you are only fighting yourself. So stop fighting. Find peace with yourself. That does not mean to “give up and just learn to live with IT.” Just stop devoting all of your time, energy and money to your disease, pain or weight, and start paying attention to your life. Concern yourself with enhancing your life and maximizing your life expression. Place your priority on life, rather than IT, with your loved ones, too. “Let me kiss you and make you feel better.”

Understanding that IT is you does not mean to blame yourself for IT, but it does allow you to take responsibility for your life. Blame anchors you in the past, leaving you with a feeling of powerlessness, whereas taking responsibility gives you strength by allowing you to shape your future.
Stop worrying so much about IT and start taking care of you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Each moment, you are in the process of becoming.

As I was flying back from Australia a few days ago, I had a profound realization. It was one of those moments that shifts the way you look at everything. Forever.

The flight between Sydney and LAX is a long one. I was taking some time to read a classic spiritual novel, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. If you consider yourself spiritually conscious and have never read it, I highly recommend it. If you have read it, I recommend it even more. This was my second time through. The first time was in 1979.

Anyway, one passage in the book refers to the sound of the river as, "not just water, but the voice of life, of Being, of perpetual Becoming." For me, that was an illuminating thought. It became clear to me: I'm not just who I am; I'm who I've become. And, in the future, I won't just be who I'll be, but what I become.

As I go through each day, I am not just doing or being; I'm becoming.

All that I say, think, plan, eat, drink, do (or don't get around to), feel, choose, react to -- everything -- contributes to what I am becoming. Kinda makes the mundane more important.

How about you? Take a look at the past week, month, year...
Think about your habits, your relationships, your plans.
What are you becoming...?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The greatest adventure is the journey of self discovery.

As with last week's post, this is one of my all time favorite healthy thoughts. I'm on holiday in Australia, kicking back and enjoying my time off. I'll be back next week with a new post. Until then, enjoy this collection of a few of my favorite Healthy Thoughts.

Just love yourself!

It's not whether you have the time; it's whether you take the time.

Focus on process, not progress.

Sometimes the fog that shrouds the beauty has a beauty all its own.

Health can change in two ways: by design or by default.

The best health insurance is a wellness lifestyle.

Healing is like a roller coaster -- you may not know what's over the next hill but you can be pretty sure it will be exciting!

How can we know the true power and beauty of Nature if we always "assist?"

Are you seeing the beauty that surrounds you? More importantly, are you recognizing the beauty within you?

You are beautiful and perfect!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Empower your potential, not your problems

This is one of my favorite healthy thoughts. At present, I'm on vacation in Australia taking a much needed break. So, instead of writing new blog posts, this week and next week will be collections of some of my favorite Healthy Thoughts. Enjoy!

What you do makes things happen, but who you are decides what happens.

Don't love unconditionally. Just love!

If we are to have peace on Earth, we must first make peace within our own bodies.

Stop avoiding and start living!

Life is an art, not an act.

Trying to get well quick is like trying to get rich quick.

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

Health isn't something you squeeze in. Health is a priority you plan around.

Live your life as a best seller, not as a rough draft.

You are beautiful and perfect!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's not whether you have the time; it's whether you take the time.

These days, we're all busy. We feel like we can't possibly fit everything in that we want and need to get done. Often, people let let their health take a back seat. That's a challenge I face myself.

For me, lately, the challenge has been taking the time for physical activity. Lots of important things, good things, things that fullfill and enliven me, things that I care about, compete for my time. In the last couple of months, I've traveled to California, opened a new office in Sandpoint, moved my office in Coeur d'Alene, am preparing for a trip to Australia, and am getting ready to publish and market my first book. I also attend Toastmasters meetings and am heavily involved with the Sandpoint Transition Initiative. So...lots on my plate...all important to me.

What has taken a back seat? Exercise. And you need to understand, I love the things I do for exercise -- yoga, hiking and trail running. My busy schedule isn't an avoidance excuse. For me, it's so easy to get wrapped up in everything I perceive that I "gotta" do, that I've often been known to let exercise slide. Over the past few months, I've missed a lot of yoga classes, and I haven't been on the trail as much as I want (and love) to be.

So, last week, I did something important. I prioritized! Lately, the reality of my schedule is that, every week, something is going to be moved to the back burner. Well, I can promise you (and me) one thing, it's not going to be my health. Because, if my health takes a downward turn, so will everything else. If my health stays vibrant, so will everything else...!

You do have the time to live a healthy lifestyle. Take it!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Good health isn't something you can get. You already have it; you need only reveal it.

This is something with which I have extensive personal experience. For over 20 years, I struggled with health challenges. And for most of that 20 years, I was in a fight. Eventually, I figured out what I was fighting. Or, I guess I should say, I finally figured out who I was fighting...myself!

I thought of my disease as something external, something I could defeat. And I thought of health as something I would be able to add to my life once the disease was gone. It took me years to realize that all of the vibrant health I could ever want was already inside of me. I also figured out that the disease was part of me too, and not an external invader. By fighting the disease, I was only fighting myself.

When I tell people my story -- that, at times, I could barely walk due to arthritis pain, then later ran my first marathon at age 49 and took up snowboarding at age 50 -- they ask, "how did you do it?"

That's a really tough question for me; there's no easy answer. My current state of vibrant health isn't a matter of what I did, it's who I became. For years, I "did" lots of things to fight the pain. I bounced from this remedy to that gizmo to this treatment to that drug. Doing never got me anywhere. It wasn't until I decided to love myself as a beautiful and perfect being, and began engaging in a glowingly positive internal dialogue that I was able to reveal the robust health that was shining within me all along.

Always remember this: You are inherently healthy!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One of two things will happen to you today: you will either get a little healthier, or a little less healthy. You get to choose...

"One of two choices?" you ask. "Isn't there a third choice? Staying the same...?"

Nope; there are only two choices. Nothing in between. Ask any business professional or athlete -- you're either growing or shrinking, improving or going downhill. There's no such thing as maintaining. (Why would we want to maintain, anyway, when we can always choose to improve?)

When I tell you that you get to choose, that doesn't mean that your choice needs to be a conscious one. You're making your choice all day long, every day, whether you're thinking about it or not -- what you eat, how physically active you are, how often you have your spine adjusted, how much clear water you drink, how you relax, how much sleep you get, whether or not you engage in a spiritual practice, how much you laugh, and many other choices.

Think back to the choices you made yesterday. Taken as a whole, in which direction did those choices steer you...toward becoming more healthy, or less. What choices will make today...this week...the rest of the year...the rest of your life?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Amid the hype and hysteria surrounding the swine flu, remember one thing: You are inherently healthy.

SARS...bird flu...swine flu...I'm seeing a pattern. The news media and governments worldwide are administering a huge overdose of fear, while overlooking the most important, most obvious and most powerful form of protection available: The human immune system.

We read headlines about measures being taken to fight the swine flu. Governments are mobilizing, schools are closing, athletic events are being canceled and the VP of the United States is publicly advising his family to avoid subways and airplanes. But I have heard nary a whisper about what we can all do to stay healthy.

Aggressive public health measures may be helpful but your immune system is what is most important. Mobilizing government agencies and canceling track meets, while ignoring human immune functioning is akin to a bank installing a state of the art security system and hiring highly trained guards but not bothering to lock the vault.

So don't buy into the fear. Just take care of yourself. Eat fresh, whole natural foods; be active, drink enough water, get enough sleep, remember your spiritual practice, have your spine adjusted regularly and LIVE.

You probably won't get the swine flu. In fact, chances are, you won't even know anyone who gets the swine flu. But even if you do, your immune system is well equipped to see you through.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

When the light is just right, you will discover beauty within you that you never knew existed.

A couple of weeks ago, while landing at the Las Vegas airport, I was capitvated by one of the most dazzling, breathtaking light shows I've ever seen. But it wasn't The Strip. Not New York, Paris, dancing waters, shiny hotel towers or extravagently illuminated casinos. The light show that took my breath away played out on the streets, cars and parking lots of Las Vegas.

Cricket and I were on our way back to North Idaho after spending four fun filled days with her family in Silicon Valley. The trip included a short layover in Las Vegas. As we landed, The Strip happened to be on the side of the plane where Cricket and I happened not to be. Of course, the passengers on that side of the plane were ooh-ing and aah-ing at the shiny human made terrain of The Strip. As far as I'm concerned, they got the boring show.

As our airplane was making it's descent, the sun happened to be precisely at the right angle to illuminate every reflective surface facing us. The sun is so far away that, even as we descended, the relative angle between the sun and the ground didn't really change. So this light show unfolded from when the outskirts of the sprawling city first came into view, until we were on the ground. Thousands upon thousands of car reflectors, and hundreds of street signs glinted brilliantly as we passed. As we flew past each street, the 20 to 50 or more street signs of every cross street flashed a simultaneous brilliant green. Every parking lot was a wave of shining red and amber. Every street was a flowing procession of brightly colored reflection. I have been to Las Vegas several times, and this was by far the most breathtaking light show I have ever seen there. The inherent beauty of the cars, streets and parking lots was revealed by a new light.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Are you seeing the beauty that surrounds you? More importantly, are you recognizing the beauty inside of you?

Below is a great story with a powerful and thought provoking message. It left me doing a bit of deep introspection. Am I appreciating all the beauty that surrounds me? Are you...?

Recently, a friend of mine shared this story at our Toastmasters meeting. It really impacted me so I asked her to forward it to me. (Thanks, Kate!) I knew I wanted to shae it with all of you. It will take a couple of minutes to read -- well worth the time. And, the busier you are, the more important it is for you to pause and take this in...

I personally confirmed that this is legit; not an email hoax. Here's a link to the Washington Post article that tells the whole story:

The article will take a lot longer to read, but I encourage you to take the time to read it through to the end and watch the very brief videos that are included. The whole thing took me about 30-40 minutes. I can assure you, it's well worth giving up one of the sitcoms you may be planning to watch. As great as the short version below is, it doesn't come close to capturing the whole story. I was riveted from beginning to end!

And, please take note of my "PS" at the end of this post.

Enjoy the story, the article and the beauty that surrounds you!

Dr. Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Subject: The Violinist In The Metro
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

PS: Here are a couple of illuminating quotes from the Washington Post article that we will all be well served to ponder...

First, a vivid illustration of the wisdom of our children, and how we can learn from them:
"But the behavior of one demographic remained absolutely consistent. Every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away."

And, from a passage about a young man who walked within 4 feet of Joshua but didn't notice him because he was listening to his iPod:
"For many of us, the explosion in technology has perversely limited, not expanded, our exposure to new experiences."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A message that is worth repeating: Now is the perfect time for internal spring cleaning.

As I've found out over the last few days, sometimes, if you want to clean up a mess, you need to make a bigger mess first.

In last week's post, I mentioned that I was going to participate in a sweat lodge and then start a fast to cleanse myself of old energys and make room for rejuvenation and rebirth. Well, the sweat was powerful; it initiated a very deep cleansing process for me, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I actually felt kind of sick for a couple of days, didn't sleep very well and had some really freaky dreams. And the fast, which I began on Monday, magnified the experience. It wasn't until about midmorning on Thursday that I started to feel a bit normal. By early afternoon, I felt fantastic -- lighter and with more energy than I have had for awhile. I got lots of work done and even went on a short trail run to enjoy the beautiful spring afternoon.

A photo I took from the trail

If I didn't understand the nature of healing, I might have been tempted to end my fast as I started to feel worse and worse. Luckily, I knew what was going on; feeling sick was how my body happened to be reacting to the deep cleansing that was taking place. Sometimes, in order to wash old stuff out, you need to stir it up first.

Over the last week, I have had several new clients. Two of them actually felt a bit worse after their first adjustment. To explain why, I used the analogy of cleaning a room. When you do your spring cleaning, part of the process is pulling things out of drawers and closets so you can decide what stays and what goes. Initially, the room that you're cleaning will have junk strewn all over the place. It will be chaos. Then, as the cleanup progresses, the room begins to look neater and cleaner. Fianlly, the job is done, the room is neat as a pin, and there's no more junk hiding in the closets.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Time for some internal spring cleaning! Get rid of what's no longer serving you to make room for better health...

Happy Spring! This is a time for renewal...for rebirth...

As we all know, one of the most time honored of spring traditions is spring cleaning. I'm an enthusiastic proponent of it myself. But for me, it is not as important to clean out my house as it is to cleanse and renew my self.

There are two personal rituals I practice in conjunction with each spring equinox. First, if you happen to be reading this on Sunday afternoon, think of me -- I'll be sitting with fellow sojourners, in a sweat lodge ceremony of the Native American tradition. The day after the lodge, I will begin a multi-day fast. (I always wait until the day after the lodge to start my fast, because a sweat lodge is followed by a feast, and I don't want to miss the feast.)

Both the sweat lodge and the fast are deep, cleansing experiences, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They both provide an opportunity to release things that no longer serve -- toxins, foods, vibrations, ego, habits, patterns, relationships, limiting blockages, beliefs, judgements...the list goes on...

When we let go of things we no longer need, we make room for a new, healthier, more empowering way of living. In other words, fasting and sweating -- or whatever avenue you may choose to do your own spring cleaning -- can lead to rebirth.

Enjoy your new life!

What does this image have to do with your health?
I'll leave that to our imagination...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The greatest adventure is the journey of self discovery.

I went on Arctic expedition the other downtown Coeur d'Alene...during my lunch hour!

I often like to take walks during my lunch hour (which is actually two hours). One of my favorite walks includes walking around the CdA Resort's floating boardwalk, around City Park and back around the boardwalk. The boardwalk is just over a half mile long and is the world's longest floating boardwalk.

It was a bitter cold day. The temperature was close to zero; the wind chill was no doubt below zero. The wind was splashing waves up onto the snow-covered boardwalk, making for icy, treacherous walking conditions on a boardwalk that was rocking heavily.

In all, the route is only about two miles, but in conditions like this, two miles has the feel of a raw, extreme, epic adventure! It was a challenging walk, but exhilirating. And it was just outside my office door. You don't always need to travel to a distant locale to find adventure

In fact, you don't even have to step outside your front door. The most daring, sometimes frightening, always breathtaking journey that you will ever take is to go deep inside yourself.

Your journey will take you to beautiful vistas you could not have imagined, by way of dark canyons you never expected. As you descend into the deepest, darkest of valleys, you will behold magnificent views on the way down. At the bottom you will discover some of the most verdant and unexpected beauty—beauty you could not see from the top. Not until you reach the bottom can you find the treasures that the valley has to offer.

As you climb out of each valley toward the next peak, you will rarely get a straight shot to the top. On the way up you will encounter dips, plateaus and unexpected detours. Each of these milestones has a gift which you will find if you keep your eyes open. You will always find the top. Always. Sometimes it might not look like what you expected. Remain open to the different gifts that life has to offer, and you will always make it to the top...

Enjoy your adventure!
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Are You Afraid of Better Health?

I overcame a great fear the other day -- my fear of mashed potatoes.

Seriously. Mashed potatoes.

These weren't just any mashed potatoes. They were the ones that had been gradually changing color in a Tupperware container in the back of my fridge since Christmas. This past Christmas, I had the good fortune of partaking in three separate Christmas dinners. As a result, I enjoyed many meals of leftover turkey and fixings. Finally, sometime toward the end of January, I called it quits on Christmas dinner. The last holdout was one small container of mashed potatoes. It has since been lingering behind the orange juice and yogurt, not really in the way and usually obscured from view. On those occasions when I noticed them, I would pause, say to myself, "I need to throw those away. Later." Then I'd slide them back out of the way and close the door. I just didn't want to deal with them. Every time I looked at them, I could tell that finally opening up the container was not going to be pleasant. When I finally did it, it was very unpleasant. But I did it, and now I don't have to deal with it anymore. And I have Tupperware container that I can use again.

So, what does this have to do with health?

Better health means change. And life changes -- even positive ones, and even easy ones -- can be scary. Maybe better health will require you to change parts of your lifestyle that are ingrained and you know will be inconvenient to change. Maybe better health will nullify some of your excuses. If you become healthier, you may not fit in with your current group of friends. Perhaps others don't believe you can change your life, and you're afraid of their nay-saying. Or, maybe, (fill in your own fear here.)

Now is as good a time as any. Reach back to the back of the fridge and clear out your old, green mashed potatoes. Don't be afraid. It'll be OK...

Wishing you a vibrant week,
Doctor Mark William Cochran
Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho