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Healthy, As Long As I Feel Good

December 10, 2009

Monday night I gave a seminar for a wonderful group of people on “Staying Healthy through the Holidays.”  Opening the talk, I asked a simple question, “What do you think health is?”  The responses went a little like this: “If I’m not sick, I’m healthy,”    and “As long as I’m feeling good, I’m healthy.”

If you notice, they all had the same premise… If I don’t have a symptom, I must be healthy. Over my many years of practice, I have noticed that this basic thought is the model by which the majority of people gauge their health.   Most of us are judging our health totally on the basis of how we feel. .. Not how well we are functioning.

I feel this is one of the most relevant pieces of information that I will ever share with you… How you use it will determine if you continually distinguish emergencies or if you actively prevent adverse health events.

So, why should you do more than judge your health by how you’re feeling?

Being an avid St. Louis Cardinal fan, one particular name came to mind, Darryl Kile.  His baseball season began very similar to previous years.  Like all other major league athletes, Kile was placed under rigorous tests to make sure that he was “healthy” to play.  During spring training, Kile passed his annual physical, including routine blood tests and EKG.  But, the day he was to pitch against Chicago in 2002, he was found dead in his hotel room.

We’ve all heard stories like this one.  Someone, in presumably good health, died unexpectedly.  And, up unto that event, they felt good and had no outward signs that something negative was happening within their body.

I found a shocking statistic that 50% of young adults between the ages of 20-25 have signs of clogged arteries.  How many of those people do you think feel that happening?

My point… it pays dividends in years to take an active role in pursuing a greater state of health!

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3 Principles For a More Healthful Life

November 30, 2009

Today I had a wonderful conversation with one of my senior patients.  Although this gentleman was in pain when he first came to me, pain wasn’t what motivated him to seek help. Instead, it was his inability to do the things he loved to do – this is what drove him to look for answers outside the standard medical model.

Over the past few months, he has become a man that I truly admire. As we were talking today, I complimented him on his perseverance, and we shared an insightful conversation. From that, I wish to propose to you 3 basic principles for healthful living.

Principle #1: Keep Your Wheels TurningBasically, keep moving.  Movement is essential in engaging your heart, lungs, and other vital organs.   Remember, generally speaking, some moving is better than no moving.  If pain or some other symptom is preventing this, seek professional help.

Principle #2: Maintain the MachineWhy do you change the oil in your car?  The answer is simple… you do that regularly to increase your car’s longevity and to ensure it runs well as long as you own it. So, what do suppose would happen if you ignored the oil light in your car?  Do you think it is possible that decision may lead to mechanical failure in the future?

Shouldn’t we apply the same principle of maintenance to the most important vehicle, your body?  Get regular check-ups and learn to listen to the body’s warning signals!

Principle #3 The Road to Health is paved by DesireThis is a very interesting topic. Your brain and body are connected!  The way you think and your desire to get better has shown to be a vital component in the healing process.  Translated:  Better thoughts = Better Health.  And the best part about this one is… simply making the choice!

H1N1– Decisions, decisions.

November 14, 2009

H1N1 – Doc, What Should I Do?

Over the past few months, there is no doubt that the H1N1 virus has created a frenzy of concerned citizens and swiftly became a media star. Although I have not been able to find any high caliber peer-reviewed studies proving the effectiveness or safety of the H1N1 vaccine, this post will not be focused on the “what if’s.”

My goal is to give you information to support your health. Whether or not you choose to get vaccinated is up to you.

Let me give you some good questions to ponder before getting vaccinated. One of the best resources I have found regarding vaccination is www.nvic.org.

Below are some questions you should ask before vaccinating your children… And if it’s good enough for your children, it’s good enough for you. The questions are as follows:

  1. Is my child sick right now?
  2. Has my child had a bad reaction to a vaccination before?
  3. Does my child have a personal or family history of:
    • vaccine reactions
    • convulsions or neurological disorders
    • severe allergies
    • immune system disorders
  4. Do I know if my child is at high risk of reacting?
  5. Do I know how to identify a vaccine reaction?
  6. Do I know how to report a vaccine reaction?
  7. Do I know the vaccine manufacturer’s name and lot number?
  8. Do I know I have a choice?

 

Get the facts. If you’re on the fence, ask the right questions to get the proper perspective for you and your family.

 

Don’t panic. If you or someone in your family gets the flu, keep hydrated, eat responsibly, and rest. If severe complications arise, get to your primary care doctor or an immediate care center.

 

Be proactive. Eating well, exercising, and decreasing stress are ways to optimize your immune defenses, to minimize risk of both becoming ill and of complications. This approach will also help to maximize your recovery should you become ill.

 

Vitamin D. These vitamin levels and immunity have been linked, especially in conjunction with respiratory infections. An informative article on this topic can be found at http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/44680902.html. It’s a good starting point.

 

No matter what your choice may be, I hope that you consider the research and make an informed decision.