Dr. Bell's Blog

LIVE, Love, Laugh...NO Regrets


Today, I am writing this blog with a heavy heart.  A friend, and wonderful soul that I have come to know in the past 10 years suddenly passed away.  He was a staple in the local triathlon and running community for many years, always had a smile on his face, and was tough as nails.  It is always hard when someone you know well passes away, but that much more difficult when it's so unexpected. I try and think these experiences happen in our lives to bring us perspective - perspective that life is fragile, never take one day for granted, and to live life to the fullest with no regrets.

To live life to the fullest does not mean to be reckless however.  I believe we still have a responsibility to take care of this body and the life we are blessed to have been given.  Does this mean by doing so we are guaranteed a long and healthy life?  Of course not, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Take care of the body you have been given, and be thankful every day you have the opportunity to do so.

No Regrets!

I believe that living with the regret of not doing something has to be one of the most painful things you can experience. In many cases as we get older our body naturally breaks down. Some of that isn't within our control, but so much of it is. Rather than find ourselves in a situation where it's too late because we've let it go too long, let's commit to doing what we can today to take better care of ourselves. Let's not wait any longer. Let's not leave life to chance. Get out and live life to the fullest, however that looks like for you, but don't live with regret. 

Travel the world. Experience different cultures.  Conquer a fear.  Do that race you have wanted to do.  Spend time with your loved ones.  Smile often.  Laugh every day. Don't take yourself too seriously.  Most of all just live YOUR life on YOUR terms.

I will leave you with this...

In life, it is always people and experiences that matter most.

They will stay with you forever...not things.  

RIP Joe....

LIVE well.  BE well.



5 Effective Natural Remedies To Relieve Headaches


Headaches, including migraines, are one of the most common chronic health problems.  More than 15% of adults in the United States alone complain of regular severe headaches or migraines.  The prevalence of headaches is twice as high in women as it is in men.  Before we dive into some helpful remedies, let's take a look at the 3 most common headaches people suffer from.

Types of Headaches

Tension:  This is the most common type of headache. Close to 90% of the population will have one at some point in their lifetime.  It generally presents with a dull pain/pressure on both sides of the head/neck that is often tender to the touch.

Migraine:  This is the second most common headache that affects roughly 16% of the population.  They are typically, but not always, unilateral (one side of the head) and usually have some sort of trigger that will kick off the headache. The pain is generally throbbing and many times there is light sensitivity.

Cluster:  These are the least common (<1% of the population), but are the most severe.  They generally will come on very abruptly and appear in cycles that can last from hours to days.  Thankfully for the victim, they usually leave just as abruptly as they come.

5 Effective Natural Remedies

1.  Hot or Cold Compress:  Which one will work depends on the person as well as the type of headache.  In my experience with patients, the cold compress seems to be effective more often than the warm.  In the scientific community it is not well known why this works, but is likely tied to inflammation and/or blood flow.  No matter the reason, it can be very effective to lessen the symptoms of a headache.

2.  Chiropractic: There is a strong nervous system correlation with all types of headaches.  Removing nerve pressure/interference in the upper portion of your neck can not only help to get rid of a headache, but most importantly help prevent them from coming in the first place.

3. Massage:  This is especially effective for tension headaches.  Muscular tension will develop at the bottom of your head where it meets your neck.  This can produce and/or keep a headache from going away.  Gentle massage to the back of the head and neck can help loosen those muscles, relieve the tension, and ultimately ease the headache.

4.  Butterbur or Feverfew: These are two of the more effective herbs at relieving headaches, particularly migraine headaches.  Multiple studies have shown Butterbur in particular to reduce migraine headaches in those who suffer from them by as much as 50%.  Be sure and look for Butterbur that is "PA-free".

5.  Essential Oils:  Basil, lavender, and peppermint oil have all been shown to relieve symptoms of a headache. Massage the head/neck with a few drops of the oil mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil.  Lavender oil can also be added to a warm bath for the benefits as well. 

Like many health problems, it's always wise to approach the care and correction of headaches with a big picture approach.  Look at all aspects of your life in order to figure out what may be causing them.  This can include diet, posture, stress, sleep, and many more. Taking care of yourself in a holistic approach can not only improve the frequency and severity of headaches, but can also improve the overall quality of your life so you too can...

LIVE well.  BE well.

What's The Solution To Making Lasting Change? This...


We have all been in this scenario.  You are driving down the road well over the speed limit, when out of seemingly nowhere you spot a police car with his lights on coming up behind you. Your heart starts to beat a little faster, and you slow down to exactly the speed limit.  The police car then goes buzzing past without pulling you over.  For the next 10-15 minutes you are driving with two hands and exactly the speed limit right?  Then what happens?  You go back to speeding...

This is what happens to many when it comes to their health.  A health scare occurs, you start eating better, getting adjusted with consistency, exercising, etc., then when it passes you slowly retreat back to your old ways.

Why Does This Happen?

At the most basic level, there are two forces that motivate people to do what they do.  This is the desire to avoid pain or the desire to gain pleasure.  In the short term, when there is a crisis, the desire to avoid pain (the sickness, pain, etc.) is the overwhelming motivation.  This however, does not have deep roots, therefore it generally doesn't last for long.  The desire for the pleasure of being comfortable, which is going back to your old ways, will take hold of you once again.  Tony Robbins once said "The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of pain and pleasure using you.  If you can do that, you are in control of your life.  If you don't, life controls you."

So, What's The Solution To Make Lasting Change?

There is not one simple answer to this, or we would not be having this conversation.

Take the small steps.

Do the little things.  Over time this will create a sturdier foundation to build on.  Be specific about what you want to accomplish, and have a very firm reason why you want to do it.  Try to create a scenario where the pain of not following through with it, and/or the pleasure of accomplishing your goal far outweighs settling back in your old ways.  It can also be beneficial to enlist the help of a friend or family member.  Invite them on your journey, and make them hold you accountable.

Finally, don't be too hard on yourself.  No one is perfect, and change is not a linear straight line event in most cases.  There are ups and downs over the course of time to accomplish any goal.  The end result is all that matters.  Success is in the climb.  With this in mind, you too can..

LIVE well.  BE well.




Can Your Mindset About Health Be Holding You Back?


What if I told you there was more to your health and well-being than physically taking care of yourself?  What if I told you that your mindset around health was nearly as important?  This might sound a bit out there to some of you, I know, but there is actually plenty of science to back this up for those of you who need proof.  The placebo effect, which is used in every health study done, is the primary example of how powerful your mind can be.  Essentially a placebo is the idea that your brain can convince your body a fake treatment is the real thing.  It is real, and it is POWERFUL!  Lets take a look at how it can impact your health for the good AND the bad.

Dr. BJ Palmer, the developer of Chiropractic, used to regularly say "Be careful who you rent your upstairs out to."  He was fully aware of the impact our minds can play on our overall health and well-being.  If you let the wrong people and ideas get a firm hold on you, your well-being can take an unhealthy turn. Be steadfast in your core beliefs, but still be open to healthy change and new ideas to make you a better person.

Another aspect around health is whether you are approaching it from a position of faith or fear.  Are you on the offense or defense?  Do you fear what sickness is coming around the corner? Do you hear yourself saying negative self talk about your health? In chiropractic, our approach is one of being proactive and not reactive. Health is not something you can regain and hold on to from a position of fear.  Be confident in what you do on a daily basis to take care of your overall health, and that it is exactly what you need to be healthy.  The stress that comes from living a life of fear can have a serious impact on your health.  

In closing, go about life living it in a positive light.  This doesn't mean you can think positive, live an unhealthy lifestyle, and think that you are going to live a long and healthy life.  Try giving yourself a placebo (science has shown you can actually do this).  Engage in the ritual of living a healthy life.  Tell yourself you are the healthiest person you know.  Do what is right and necessary, but then walk in faith knowing you have done all you can do to...

LIVE well.  BE well.