From the monthly archives: "June 2010"

One more thing regarding my last post: When it comes to making the decision of whether to die in comfort and dignity, or whether to be treated with chemotherapy or radiation during the last days of your life, consider these side effects:

Chemotherapy:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Hair Loss
  • Anemia
  • Infection
  • Blood Clotting Problems
  • Mouth, Gum and Throat Problems
  • Diarrhea and Constipation
  • Nerve and Muscle Effects
  • Effects on Skin and Nails
  • Kidney and Bladder Effects
  • Flu-Like Symptoms
  • Fluid Retention
  • Effects on Sexual Organs and Sexuality

Radiation Therapy:

  • Tiredness
  • Skin reactions (such as a rash or redness, permanent pigmentation, and scarring) in the treated area
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inflammation of tissues and organs in and around the body site radiated, which can cause burn or permanent pigmentation
  • Decrease in white blood cells–cells that help protect the body against infection

When put in these terms, I can’t think of any person that would choose this over going peacefully.

Ready for some controversy? Here goes: Our illusion that death is “bad” is costing us oodles in unnecessary health care, prolonging pain and suffering, and preventing people from finding beauty in their inevitable transformation. According to a recent report, more and more Americans are being treated to death—that is, receiving costly and often ineffective care, instead of choosing to die in dignity and comfort.

More than 80% of all deaths in the U.S. are due to chronic and progressive illnesses such as cancer and heart failure. Of these, more than 80% say they would like to avoid hospitalization and intensive care at the end of their lives; yet in actuality, Americans are being treated aggressively until their last dying breath.  Here are the numbers:

  • The average time spent in hospice and palliative care (focused on comfort without curing) is decreasing.  In 2008, one third of people receiving hospice care had it for one week or less.
  • Hospitalizations during the last six months of life are rising: from 1,302 per 1,000 Medicare recipients in 1996 to 1,441 in 2005, Dartmouth reports.
  • 12% of cancer patients who died in 1999 received chemo in the last two weeks of life, up from nearly 10 percent in 1993.
  • Almost 20% of patients with colorectal cancer that has spread are on at least their fourth chemotherapy drug. The same goes for roughly 12% of patients with metastatic breast cancer, and for 12% of those with lung cancer. The analysis is based on more than 60,000 cancer patients.

These numbers are particularly concerning since treating chronic illness in the last two years of life eats up nearly one-third of all Medicare dollars.

This controversy lies in that some people believe we should try to extend life under all circumstances. As long as an inkling of hope remains, some say, people should fight on. And the controversy is as much political as it is moral. During the debates over universal health coverage (Obamacare), opponents stressed that health care rationing would take place, and that “death panels” would be responsible for determining who received further care and who was left to die.

Although I find this notion and fear of death panels ridiculous, I do think that our obsession with life at all costs dishonors the magnificence of the human life cycle. We are born, we live, we die.  It has been said that the only thing certain in life is death, and in that we are all the same. Not one person walking the planet today will be alive in 150 years.  In fact, neither will our planet live forever, nor our sun—all things move on to the next transformation.

Does this mean people should not fight for their lives? Well, it depends. To a 92-year-old, I’d say, “For what?” However, to a 22-year-old diagnosed with lung cancer, I’d say yes…with a catch. If you have an inspired purpose, something driving you to live, I believe you can beat the odds. But the purpose must be a part of your essence, a drive so strong that not even the sands of time can keep you from completing it. It cannot be some fabricated deal you try to cut with your maker in an attempt to hold on; it must be in your heart, truly a part of you. Even then you won’t escape death for long. Death is inevitable for all of us—something for the young and healthy to think about regarding their own life’s purpose, and acting on your dreams…now!

No I don’t know for sure if having deep inspirational purpose will extend your life, but my intuition tells me it is so. I think about some of the lives we have had the honor of observing, like Michael Jackson’s or Tupac Shakur’s, believing that some people know when they are not long for this earth. When we observe how some people work long and hard at the ends of their lives to complete “unfinished business,” it humbles you to the magnificence of living on purpose.

As far as dying is concerned, it is true that we all have opinions on how we will handle the inevitable, until it is our time to go. Our survival instinct—the one hard-wired into all living things—makes it very challenging to accept death as we imagine within our philosophical belief system, but we can all ultimately appreciate that transformation is all there is; and one day everyone of us will move on to the next experience. We can fear it, or we can see the beauty in the transition and be grateful. Death is the completion of one cycle, and the beginning of a new one.

*This post is dedicated to my role model and inspiration, Nate Pressman, a lover of life and God.  You are dignified and beautiful in all your forms, Grandpa; and you will be with us, around us, always. We love you.

Another piece of evidence showing how genetics plays a instrumental role in shaping sexual orientation.  A recent study out of York University in Toronto showed that the ability to recognize faces, both in speed and accuracy, is a skill sharpened in women and homosexual men.  And to add an interesting twist–left-handed heterosexual men have quicker and more accurate face recognition than do right-handers.

The ability to recognize faces has been shown through imaging techniques to be a purely right-sided brain function in men, while women use both hemispheres.  This “doubling-up” of brain power allows women to scan their memories much more rapidly than men, making it easier for them to recognize people at cocktail parties.  Researchers believe that the same holds true for homosexual men–their brains likely use both left and right hemispheres when evaluating faces, accounting for their mirroring women’s abilities in this function.

Face recognition is complex.  It takes a number of brain regions, visual processes, and memory for recognition to take place.  Researchers studied this phenomenon by recruiting a sample group of homosexual men, heterosexual men and heterosexual women, of both left-handed and right-handed variety.  The volunteers were shown pictures of 10 faces and given time to try to memorize them. The photos were black and white, and digitally altered to remove ears, hair and blemishes, so as to eliminate the physical landmarks people often use to remember faces.  The 10 faces were then mixed with similarly altered images of 50 other people and flashed on a screen for just milliseconds apiece. The subjects’ job was to press a key when they saw a face they’d seen before.  The results were that women and homosexual men scored nearly the same, and both groups fared better than heterosexual men.  Homosexual women were not studied.

Genetics determines symmetry and asymmetry in body and brain.  For instance, previous studies have shown that gay men have a 39% greater chance of being left-handed than heteros (southpaw heteros performed better on face recognition than did righties, remember?).  Gay men also have a greater chance (~80%) of having a counter-clockwise hair whorl.

When it comes to brain morphology (shape), both women and homosexual men have two symmetrical halves, whereas heterosexual men and homosexual women have asymmetrical brain regions, with the right side being larger than the left.

What is unknown is if homosexual men are, in fact, using both brain regions when attempting to recognize faces.  The only way to know for sure would be to image the brain as it goes through the same experiment, but this would bring up some serious ethical considerations.

Either way, I find this research absolutely fascinating.  Despite some still believing it to be a lifestyle choice and not genetic, evidence points to homosexuality being a multi-factorial phenomenon.  Genetics, hormones, and environment all play a part in developing sexual orientation, many of them early in embryonic development.  Some have even proposed an evolutionary advantage to homosexuality being maintained in the population, despite its lowering reproductive success.

If genetics are involved, then there must be phenotypic differences that go beyond sexual preferences.  What are these differences?  How are they expressed?  Politically speaking, if we could recognize that sexual orientation is biologically determined, then it could lead to an advancement in equal protection rights for homosexuals and same-sex couples.

I also find this study interesting because, well, it explains my total lameness in not remembering people whom I’ve met in the past, some just days earlier.  Duh…I’m a little slow, um…er, uh…what’s your name?  Forgive me, I’m hetero–half brain, you know?

When it comes to influencing your kids away from heavy drinking, is indulgent parenting better than being strict?  According to a new study, neither parenting style will keep kids from experimenting with booze; but as it turns out, one approach can prevent your children from becoming heavy drinkers, and that’s warm parenting.

Based on a survey of almost 5,000 teens aged 12 to 19, researchers at BYU found that parents that were both warm with their children and rigorous about wanting to know where their teen was spending time and with whom were less likely to have teens that engaged in heavy drinking (defined as more than five drinks in a row).  The findings are being published in the July issue of Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Indulgent parents, those that were warm but lacked holding their children accountable had teens that were three times more likely to engage in heavy drinking, while strict parents had twice the chance.

“While parents didn’t have much of an effect on whether their teens tried alcohol, they can have a significant impact on the more dangerous type of drinking,” said one of the study’s authors, Stephen Bahr, a professor in BYU’s College of Family, Home and Social Sciences.

Another of the study’s authors, John Hoffmann advises parents to, “realize you need to have both accountability and support in your relationship with your adolescent. Make sure that it’s not just about controlling their behavior–you need to combine knowing how they spend their time away from home with a warm, loving relationship.”

Word, Professor Hoffmann–a healthy counterbalance of disciplinarian and pussy cat–purrrrrrrr–that’s the way to influence best.  Too soft leads to mollycoddled cretins who don’t take their parents seriously, while too strict leads to rebels without a cause.  Either one of these parenting styles makes children more likely to get wasted.  And why not?  They know they are either going to get their butts kicked regardless, or be let off the hook as usual, so why not push the limits?

No doubt heavy drinking among teens, which can easily lead to problem drinking as adults, is something that every parent would be wise to be on top of.  As always, good sense is in the center, and knowing what your kid is doing, when and with whom is the best approach to showing how much you care.  And a good ol’ arse-whoopin’ (with a loving smile and hug) goes a long way.  Really, they’ll thank you for it one day.

To radiate or not to radiate, that should be the question all doctors ask continuously.  Unfortunately the explosion of higher-sensitivity diagnostic imaging has some patients asking for them by name, a dangerous scenario as CT (CAT) scans are being implicated in increased cancer risk.

I have had my Los Angeles chiropractic patients ask me (more like passively demand) for an advanced imaging study, despite it being unnecessary.  Why?  Because doctors have been pushing them in the same manner they’ve been pushing antidepressants, statins and other drugs.  When doctors order CT scans and MRIs for every patient coming in with an ache or pain, regardless of how small, the public will start to think advanced imaging is a medical necessity.  Often it isn’t.  Here’s the skinny:

An article just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, discloses that X-ray computed tomography (CT) is being overused by doctors, and this overuse is leading to increased medical mistakes as well as increased cancer risk.  CT scans generate three-dimensional images of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation.  CT scans use far more radiation than traditional x-rays, and their use has increased dramatically over the last two decades–for example, approximately 72 million scans were performed in the United States in 2007.  According to the report, 10% of the U.S. population gets CT scans every year, and that number is growing by more than 10% every year.

Increased CT scans is a concern not only because of the heightened cancer risk, but also because one of the main groups getting this type of mega-radiation is children.  The lifetime cancer risk for children receiving CT scans in non-negligible.  To put this into perspective:

In the United States, of approximately 600,000 abdominal and head CT examinations annually performed in children under the age of 15 years, a rough estimate is that 500 of these individuals might ultimately die from cancer attributable to the CT radiation. (via Wikipedia)

The good news is that the FDA and Congress are considering measures to prevent medical mistakes.  However, discretionary use is still in the hands of doctors, and I imagine the overuse of CT scans will continue as long as the fear of liability continues to loom over doctors’ heads.

Although MRIs use no radiation, their overuse is also epidemic.  I am of the opinion that this is one reason medical costs are out of control.  You can give every American double the health coverage, if doctors don’t stop using these imaging techniques indiscriminately, costs will continue to soar.

The way I handle unnecessary MRI requests is to explain that diagnostics should guide treatment.  For the most part, if knowing whether a spinal disk bulge is present radiologically will not change my treatment protocol (and it rarely does), then the study is unnecessary.  I simply remind the patient that MRIs are not cheap–they run around a couple thousand dollars–and even with the best insurance, the patient is responsible for the co-payment, which will be several hundred dollars.

You still want it, even though it’s not going to change anything we do here?

Yes.

Be my guest.  Here’s your scrip.  Have fun.

Some people just can’t be convinced; but I’m hoping the fear of developing cancer from unnecessary CT scans wises people up.  We’ll see.

Do you swing?  Swinger? Over 45 and swinging? Oh…then you’d better swing wisely…’cus I got some not so swinging news for you: Aging swingers are at a heightened risk for STDs.

According to a recent Dutch study, swingers in general, but especially the older set, pick up sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at a greater rate than heterosexual non-swingers, teens or gay/bisexual men (the latter two considered high risk groups). The study looked at data collected on nearly 9,000 patient visits at three sexual health/STD clinics in 2007 and 2008. Approximately 12% of those visits were reported to be by swingers–heterosexual people that engage in wife swapping or that frequent sex clubs for couples.

About 55% of all chlamydia and gonorrhea cases diagnosed in the study were in swingers, compared for instance to 31% in gay men. One in every ten swingers tested positive for chlamydia, while one in twenty tested positive for gonorrhea. Bummer.

And as the swingers aged, their incidences of STDs also increased. 10.4% of the male swingers over age 45 had chlamydia and/or gonorrhea, compared to only 2.4% of other male heterosexuals; while 18 % of female swingers over 45 had chlamydia, compared to 4% of other heterosexual women, and less than 3% of prostitutes.

Wait…what? That’s right, prostitutes had lower incidences of STDs than did swingers. Doh!

OK, ok…too obvious: Hookers use condoms…swingers don’t. Not smart swinging, if you ask me.

Listen, if you’re gonna swing, would it hurt to bring a few rubbers? I know, I know…but maybe others will catch on. Why, you could be a swinging STD activist. Yes, I can see it now, the swinger that brings responsible behavior to the orgy. A little square, yes–but safe, no doubt. And better to be safe swinging than urine stinging, I always say. So go ahead, buck convention. Wear condoms—they work.


Cancer detecting canines are here.  Dogs trained to sniff out prostate, breast and lung cancer did very well in two recent studies.  One presented earlier this month at a meeting of the American Urological Association found that a particular breed, Belgian Malinois shepherd dogs, can be trained to detect prostate cancer, and they do it through their incredible sense of smell.  Another study in 2006 showed trained dogs sniffed out breast and lung cancer quite accurately.  Well I’ll be.

The prostate cancer study was conducted at Paris’s Hospital Tenon, and looked at dogs trained to distinguish between the smell of urine from men with prostate cancer and those without.  At the end of the study the dogs correctly identified 63 of 66 samples.

Dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than do humans (100,000 times stronger) and can detect subtle changes in odor that go unnoticed by man.  Dogs’ olfactory sense is so good that they’ve been used by police for years to sniff out drugs, explosives and escaped prisoners.

It is believed that cancer cells, particularly of the prostate, may give off distinct odors; and the molecules responsible is what has scientists most interested.  Lead researcher Jean-Nicolas Cornu concluded that the dogs “are certainly recognizing the odor of a molecule that is produced by cancer cells.”

Some critics think the phenomenon might be due to subconscious cues the researchers give off leading the dogs to pick up which samples were cancerous and which were not.  This was the case with a horse named Hans, in early 1900s Germany, which was claimed to be able to solve math problems, read and understand German, and perform other uncanny tricks.  With more investigation, though, it was found that Hans was indeed picking up on subconscious cues from his trainers.  This led to the term being named in research circles as the “Clever Hans effect.”

The study’s authors acknowledge that more investigation needs to be done, but they are optimistic.  If it turns out that they are right and dogs are picking up the distinct smells of cancer, the hounds can be used as an screening tool for cancer, much more accurate than the current blood tests used today.

Well, it’s interesting to me that the sense of smell is being used to detect something humans can’t on their own.  Olfaction is a primitive sense that developed along with the limbic system.  Smell evolved as a survival mechanism to warn living things of eminent danger, whether a poisonous plant or an approaching predator.  Many organisms have better smell than humans, so why not recruit one to help?  Heck, dogs do just about everything else, why not don a white coat and participate in some research?  Now, that’s a good boy.

Amazing as it may seem, medicines routinely taken for granted as safe are turning out to be more cause than cure.  This is especially true as they relate to drug overdoses.  For the first time in history, pharmaceuticals have caught up to illicit drugs in the number of overdoses they cause every year, according to a government report released yesterday.

As recently as five years ago, illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine led in ER visits from overdoses as compared to prescription drugs by a margin of 2:1.  But in 2008, ERs saw an estimated 1 million overdoses from over-the-counter and prescription meds–mostly painkillers and sedatives.

When it comes to ODing, painkillers are king, particularly oxycodone and hydrocodone, with ER visits from overdoses more than doubling from 2004 to 2008.  Data was collected from more than 200 U.S. hospitals.  Although many of the cases were overdoses, some were from mixing drugs, or mixing drugs and alcohol.

I find this news particularly disturbing, although not very surprising.  All one need do is take inventory of all recent celebrity drug overdoses to observe the unfortunate trend.  When I was a kid, many a celebrity OD’d and died–John Belushi from speedballs, Jimi Hendrix from barbiturates, and River Phoenix from heroin and coke (to see a list of celebrity drug deaths).  Today seems no different–celebrities dropping like flies–however, they are doing so from legal prescription meds.  Michael Jackson (lethal dose of propofol along with two sedatives), Heath Ledger (oxycodone, hydrocodone, temazepam, and others), Anna Nicole Smith (lethal combination of chloral hydrate and various benzodiazepines), and on and on and on.

As I said, no surprises, though.  Retail sales of five major leading painkillers nearly doubled over an eight-year period from 1997 and 2005, according to Drug Enforcement Administration figures.  The only thing I find real surprising is that “health officials are not sure why painkiller abuse rose so dramatically.”  Well, duh!!!  Doctors today write prescriptions like they are going out of style, for everything from sniffles to hangnails.  What the heck do they think is going to result?  I wouldn’t care that much except many of these arrogant stethoscope holders absolutely refuse to accept so-called alternative methods for treating pain.  Chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga therapy and massage are all possible long-term solutions to pain, but doctors aren’t passing referrals.  Oh, one of those alternatives didn’t work?  Try another–every one of those beats a daily Fentanyl patch.

Counting on painkillers is not the answer, docs.  And consumers better listen, too.  The man in the white coat isn’t responsible for your lack of discipline, your lack of initiative to find a real solution to your physical problems, or your lack of understanding that you aren’t supposed to mix your hydrocodone…with coke!  Geez.


No free ride—dang!  There never seems to be something for nothing. Always a cost, always a price. Anyway, now it looks like a popular blood pressure medication may raise cancer risk. You mean I can’t eat what I want, neglect exercise, or indulge in type-A behavior at any time I want, and then just take a magic little pill that’ll make everything all right? Whuh?

According to a recent analysis of five previous studies following about 60,000 patients, researchers found a link between taking angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and cancer. ARBs are taken by millions of people worldwide for conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetic kidney disease. Researchers found that people taking these meds had a one percent higher risk of developing a whole range of cancers, including prostate, breast and a noticeable spike in lung cancer. About 85 percent of the people in the studies were on telmisartan, sold as Micardis, made by Boehringer Ingelheim Corp.

Although the individual risk is modest, the wide numbers of people taking these drugs means that the overall cancer numbers worldwide should increase due to ARB use. It is unknown at this time if the cancer risk is reduced following discontinuation of the drugs.

Of course, Boehringer Ingelheim Corp., makers of the drug Micardis, dispute the results, claiming their hypertension drug is one of the most-studied in the world. The company claimed in a statement that it had “internal safety data” contradicting the recent study. According to studies run by the pharmaceutical company, there was no link between increased cancer risk and Micardis. Yeah, yeah, yeah…

Lead author of the study, Dr. Ilke Sipahi, warned patients not to stop taking their drugs, and recommended they consult their doctor if they were concerned. However, he does say that he now thinks twice before prescribing ARBs himself. Nevertheless, for some people that can’t handle the side-effects of some of the other hypertension drugs, the risk of dying of stroke or heart disease far outweigh those of developing cancer.

Well let me interject my two-cents. Hypertension comes in two flavors, primary and secondary, the former being due mostly to lifestyle behaviors, the latter secondary to other causes, many hormonal. 85 percent of people with high blood pressure have the primary type. I hope you see where I’m going. If you handle your own lifestyle modification, take things into your own hands, why…you could lower your blood pressure and avoid the increased risk of developing cancer by using and ARB, like Micardis. Go figure.

Here are a few simple tips to lowering blood pressure:

  • Get adjusted—studies have shown chiropractic care can reduce blood pressure by 17mmHg systolic and 10mmHg diastolic*
  • Lose weight—obesity increases blood pressure; the heart has to work harder to pump through the fat
  • Reduce sugar intake—yeah I know it’s hard, I live it every day. So what, do it anyway; sugar is a killer
  • Reduce salt intake—this decreases blood pressure in about 33% of people
  • Quit smoking and reduce or quit drinking alcohol—I know, I know, but just so you know, both increase blood pressure immediately
  • Learn to handle your stress—stress is a necessary part of life; however, putting things into balanced perspective is essential (don’t know how? contact me)

Blood pressure medications are supposed to be prescribed after lifestyle changes have been modified. But you know as well as I do that, like pretty much all medications in our arsenal, they are prescribed first and immediately, with lifestyle behaviors touched only obligatorily with the five second, “Oh, and you should probably lose weight and quit smoking,” line your doctor says as he hands you your scrip and walks out the door.

Listen, don’t rely solely on your doctors. They are overworked, and they know that most people won’t comply with suggestions on lifestyle changes (although this is not entirely true, it is a belief of the average medical doctor).  Be good to yourself, take your health into your own hands.  The results are yours and yours alone.  Trust me, there’s never something for nothing.  Nobody can do your exercises for you, and there is no such thing as a magic bullet.  Don’t worry, it’ll be worth all the hard work.

*Thank you Dr. Tim Swift, best chiropractor in San Clemente, for the reminder of my obvious oversight.

Probably no surprises here, but regular exercisers have more lift to their libido.  So says a recent study out of the VA medical center in North Carolina.  According to the research, men that worked out regularly (and quit or refrained from smoking) reported better sexual function.  This was true even after adjusting for age and race.  Nice. A related Finnish study showed that women who exercised regularly and quit or refrained from smoking had better urinary health.  These findings are scheduled to be released tomorrow at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco.

photo-1427384906349-30452365b5e8 (Copy)Although the benefits of exercise and disadvantages of smoking are pretty evident for most people, many do not realize how quickly they can benefit by just getting started now.  I’ve done it, quit smoking after twenty years.  I loved tobacco; but without a doubt, my greatest gains have been in my cardiovascular endurance, and that alone was worth quitting. I do not miss the feeling of being out of breath on the slightest brisk walk or run.  Sure, I continued to work out, play sports and be relatively active, but I was entirely aware of my cardiopulmonary limitations, simply because I’d get winded.  However, since I was smoking from a very early age, I didn’t realize how much it effected my endurance until I quit.  To this day I say it’s the greatest effect I’ve noticed, and that benefit alone keeps me from ever restarting.

When it comes to sexual health, the cardiovascular system is everything.  For men to get and maintain an erection, receiving proper blood flow to the penis is imperative.  That’s how Viagra works, by increasing penile blood flow.  But you can do it naturally: Kick the nicotine habit, and work out, both anaerobically (resistance training), and aerobically (treadmill, bike, hiking, elliptical, etc.).  I guarantee if you do both these actions (keys #2 and #6 in my book The Six Keys to Optimal Health), you’ll feel results almost immediately.  You know they say a hard man is good to find…well, it’s good for the man, too.

Here’s something you don’t hear everyday–a New Jersey woman vying to be fattest in the world.  You got it right–who cares about being phat when you can be fat?

According to recent reports, Donna Simpson, 42, of Old Bridge, New Jersey is seeking to be the largest woman in the world.  She does insist, however, that she’s not likely to reach her goals.

“I’d love to be 1,000 pounds,” she said. “It might be hard though. Running after my daughter keeps my weight down.”

Simpson admits that she’s a bit of an attention seeker, contacting Guinness World Record officials to be categorized as “biggest woman ever to give birth,” as she was 532 pounds when she gave birth to her daughter Jacqueline in 2007.

Although Guinness does not currently have that category available, they are thinking of creating it specifically for Simpson.  She’ll have a hard time getting into the records as fattest living woman as of now, though.  The biggest woman ever recorded was Rosalie Bradford, of Auburndale, Fla., who weighed 1,199 pounds in 1987.  The U.K. based Guinness outfit denies encouraging her to gain more weight, saying that it simply records freakish people and their undertakings.

Here is why I love this story: It is no secret that I refrain from pushing the “you must lose weight” agenda.  My simple life philosophy is that you must either change the aspect of your life that no longer serves you or love it, plain and simple.  Far too many people strive for what society, or some other outside authority, tells them they must strive for; yet, it’s not really in their heart to do so.  These people then board the hamster wheel of life, running in circles trying so hard to fulfill their false desires.  Phucket!  Just love your weight and your food, like Ms. Donna Simpson does.  She’s got a man (“He’s a real belly man, she says, “and completely supports me.”), kids, and a website, where adoring fans pay to watch her eat.  Shoot, what the hell else is there? 

Love who you are, live your dream, and let the world know about it.  Otherwise, change what you no longer value.  Just stop bitching about it while running your ass ragged on the freakin’ hamster wheel.



Treating shoulder pain can be tricky business if a proper assessment and diagnosis is not achieved.  Visiting a sports chiropractor is a good first step to relieving the pain and disability that usually accompanies a shoulder problem.  If it turns out that you are suffering from a rotator cuff syndrome, you’ll need to get your shoulder worked on manually before rehab begins.  Retraining the muscle to bring back strength and stability will be of the utmost importance.  Watch the video above to see how we treat a rotator cuff syndrome causing shoulder pain in my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood sports chiropractic office.


Here is an affirmation I have given to a new client who is being treated with chemotherapy for cancer:  The pain IS the healing.

I was thinking very deeply about this client, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma late last year, when I came up with the affirmation.  He is being successfully treated with the chemo, but the it has put him in excruciating pain.  He says it feels as if his bone marrow is boiling.

What we don’t always realize is that life is often painful; but the pain we endure is often our greatest blessing; it’s what usually brings our greatest growth.  That is the gist of this post.  And the gist of the affirmation.

Affirmations are statements that we say over and over to ourselves, to help establish in our minds the truth behind the statement.  What we say to ourselves repeatedly we believe.  What we believe we create.  In other words, we create our reality, whether you want to believe it or not (hidden wisdom, hidden wisdom, reread, ponder).

However, affirmations are powerless if we don’t really believe what we are saying in the first place.  For my client, it is not too hard to get him to believe.  First off, he’s super-sharp: He already sees the blessing in his illness, and he sees how his life (and mind-set) has led to where he is now, for all of which he is grateful.  Second, he’s a fighter; he feels like ess ayech aye tee (i.e. not well), yet he comes for his visits anyway.  He is doing everything he can to get well, including chiropractic, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, and very soon…rehab.  Third, he knows he is getting better; this man knows the principles of the universe, and he gets that he’s getting a second chance; he understands the process.

So “the pain IS the healing” rings true for him.  But I have given him the affirmation to get him through the rough times.  When his bone marrow starts feeling like it’s boiling from the chemo, the affirmation makes it firm in his mind that it is an integral part of the healing process; and he’ll help his body along through his certainty.

And you can use this affirmation too.  Whether you are going through a tough breakup, financial or legal troubles, or any other painful experience, just remember…the pain IS the healing.

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