Dr. Bell's Blog

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.   




Does Organic Always Mean Healthier?


Organic food has become one of the fastest growing sectors of our food industry as more and more people are trying to take better care of themselves.  Many questions however remain. 

Does the food simply being organic mean that it is healthy for you? 

Is organic food really necessary?

What qualifies a food product as being organic? 

What is the difference between "All Natural", and "Organic"?  

First off, lets look at what is an organic food product and what that means.  According to the department of Agriculture, organic means the following:  ‘Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation. 

That being said, how does that differ from "All Natural"?  This can be the source of major confusion for people.  "All Natural" is a very loosely regulated term that frankly means whatever the food manufacturer and it's marketing division want it to mean. To put it simply, don't trust the "All Natural" label when you see it.  It has a lot of wiggle room for interpretation, and by no means does it mean the food is healthy for you.

Should you assume that when a food is organic that it means it is healthy for you then?  The answer is a firm no.  You can make a food product, that is loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, that still meets the definition of organic.  You still need to check labels.  "Healthy" sugar is still sugar, and has a negative impact on your health.  When it comes to meat and vegetables, the short answer is generally yes, it tends to be healthier for you than it's non-organic counterpart. The nutrient content tends to be much higher, and the pesticide content very minimal.  Just be aware, especially this time of year when local fruits and vegetables become  available, that "local" does not necessarily mean organic.  

Finally, after all this information, is organic food really necessary?  The answer is definitely yes.  There are some products that I believe are more important to eat organic than others, but as a whole, they tend to be significantly healthier for you (cumulatively over time).  Yes, they tend to come at a higher price, but your health is that important.  One way to help off set some of the cost would be to grow your own fruit and vegetables in a home garden.  This can be done quite inexpensively, and can provide you with very nutritious food. 

Remember, this is only one piece of the health puzzle.  You must also focus on a healthy lifestyle in other aspects of your daily life.  With some consistent effort however, you too can be well on your way to...

LIVE well.  BE well. 


ADHD: How Chiropractic Can Help


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder that is now happening to more and more children every year.  It is often characterized by difficulty concentrating, staying focused, paying attention, remembering details, etc..  In the past 8 years alone there has been a 42% increase in the number of children that have been diagnosed with this problem.  6.4 million American children between the ages of 4-17 currently have the diagnosis. We can talk and debate for hours about all of the potential reasons for this, and possible solutions, but the fact remains the numbers continue to increase every year.  

Standard Treatment

Traditionally ADHD has been treated with medication to manage the symptoms.  These medications include but are not limited to Ritalin, Focalin, Methylin, Dexedrine, and Adderall. Essentially they are classified as stimulants, and some (including Adderall and Dexedrine) are also in the Amphetamine category.  Yes, giving your child a regular dose of amphetamines should scare you.  These are dangerous medications than can cause many long lasting side effects. Aside from the dangers of taking the medication, the main issue is that this approach fails to address why they have this problem in the first place.  Dig deeper and try to look for the root cause(s) of the problem.

Look At Everything

There is not one sole cause of ADHD symptoms, and it can get very complex.  However, the following tips and lifestyle changes are a great place to start in order to begin to get the symptoms under control.

  • Diet:  Strive to virtually eliminate sugar, food additives, and processed foods from their diet.  These things can have an enormous impact on how your child's body functions.  While you are at it, join them. These products are not good for an adult either.  Get healthier at the same time you are trying to help your child.
  • Exercise:  Are they getting enough exercise?  Many children today sit around way too much.  Get them involved in regular exercise.  This can be signing them up for a high energy burning sport like basketball, soccer, hockey, etc..  These activities can really help them to burn off excess energy.
  • Allergy testing:  Many children today (for reasons which are somewhat unknown) are allergic to many common foods and substances.  Get them tested to see if this could be playing a role.

The Role of Chiropractic

If you think chiropractic is limited to adults and back pain, you are mistaken.  Chiropractic care can benefit children of all ages including those with ADHD.  Nervous system pressure, particularly in the upper portion of their neck, can significantly impact how their body functions.  This happens when one of the top vertebrae in your spine become misaligned.  We call this problem a spinal subluxation.  Specific chiropractic adjustments correct subluxations and help restore proper nerve flow between the brain and body.  This has been shown in study after study to have a significant positive impact on a child's behavior.  Combining this with the necessary diet and lifestyle changes can help lead your child to better health, and allow them to...

LIVE well. BE well.