Tag Archives: health

He’s Got Your Back; The Great Chiropractor

23abe7abedf0156e394a3963be4310a3It is with a heavy heart that I begin writing this month’s topic, “Back Posture And Spine Health.” I chose the title, “He’s Got Your Back,” just days before our beloved dog, “Selah”, took her last breath. If there was ever a time Lillian and I needed to know God had our back it is now (prayers graciously accepted!).

If you had the good fortune of reading April’s edition of HCTW in my article I mentioned a car accident where I went through the windshield of a car, breaking my neck as a result. Even though I was told I would never walk again God miraculously healed me completely and I walked out of the hospital three days later! Years later I took a fall down a flight of ice-covered stairs in Gatlinburg and I was rear ended by another car a few years later. Because of these injuries I visited a chiropractor once a week for a spinal adjustment.

In 1996 Lillian and I moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to Florida so I could take a position as an associate pastor and youth pastor in Coral Springs. Our church office was in a shopping center next door to a chiropractor so one day I walked into his office to meet him. The chiropractor was Howard Newman  I shook his hand and said, “How are you?” his response, “Simply spine how are you!” I totally cracked up (no pun intended) little did I know that my former chiropractor in Nashville, graduated from Life Chiropractic with Howard and they were close friends!

Today, 17 years later, I am not only Howard’s patient I am Howard Newman’s friend and he has taught me so much about the spine, its function and the body’s need for alignment. Howard Newman is a wealth of information and his state of the art clinic in Coconut Creek Florida East West Physicians offers the best of western and eastern healing modalities.

One term I picked up from Howard was subluxation, which occurs when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of alignment and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. This can cause a myriad of issues as these nerves run through the bones of you spine thus subluxation causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves. This interference of signals to other parts of the body inhibits the body from operating at 100%.

It does not take much to subluxate your spine believe it or not it is often a little impact like missing a curb, bending over the sink while brushing your teeth, starting an old school lawnmower, bowling or even sneezing! The culprit or pre-condition should be no surprise to anyone…STRESS causes your muscles to tense and tense muscles make it easy for bones to become misaligned or subluxated.

One day while reading the bible I came across a verse I have read countless times Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” and it hit me…there is a big difference between peacemaking and peacekeeping just as there is a big difference between a chiropractor and a masseuse. On a recent trip to Minnesota a dear friend booked a massage for my wife and I and the masseuse would say, “how is that too much pressure not enough?” Although the massage made my muscles a little less sore it certainly didn’t help with my alignment. Yet one visit to the chiropractor and BANG alignment… no questions asked.

In the last 29 years of ministry God seems much more like a chiropractor than He does a masseuse He knows exactly what it takes to move me and bring me back into alignment.

Here is a working definition for alignment:

“The process of adjusting parts so that they are in proper relative positions or order.”

Have you ever driven your car when it is out of alignment? It makes a bumpy road bumpier, a crooked road more crooked and it takes a lot of extra effort and concentration just to keep the car straight because even on a smooth surface there is a constant pull to one side or the other. The problem is compounded when other people choose to ride with you in your misaligned car. And so it is on this journey called life. When your life becomes misaligned with God your journey becomes a perilous one at best things begin to wobble and shake, you are pulled in many directions and eventually you can completely lose control. When you are a leader (leaders are leaders because people are following them!) and your life is misaligned sadly the people who are following you are equally misaligned thus creating a fool’s parade that’s heading nowhere fast.

are you lostSometimes the reason we continue traveling in the wrong direction is pride. I remember a friend telling me that her husband refused to stop and ask directions if they were lost he would say, “I’m not lost you’re lost I know exactly where I am going,” she said once he drove four hours out of their way because he had too much pride to admit he was going the wrong way until finally they ran out of gas!

When you look at the horizon it appears to be the line where Earth meets sky but as you move, the horizon moves with you it’s just an optical illusion. A man can miss his objective by hundreds of miles if he is navigating by magnetic north all the while believing he was following true north. In the bible and throughout history there are accepted terms for men and women who are aligned with God. In the Old Testament God’s criteria for kings was simple, he did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord or he did what was evil and wrong in the sight of the Lord. Words like upright, upstanding, stand up guy and righteous are just a few that are used to denote a person who is aligned with God.

Obviously people who don’t know God are misaligned but even the righteous have their seasons of misalignment I call this, “The horizontal conundrum of the upright man.” Proverbs 24:16, “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.”

You can’t keep a good man down when a righteous man falls he is redeemed when a wicked man falls there is no redemption available for him. Look at the story of King David in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters He restores my soul. He guides (aligns) me in path of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, (not death just the shadow!) I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod (correction) and your staff (guidance) they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Sometimes God makes us lie down in the midst of our busy lives to align our souls (thought, will and emotions). Psalm 23 was written on a battlefield. God made David drop his sword and lay down on the battlefield in the midst of a bloody battle; to show David who was really in charge and to bring him to a place of trust and peace in the knowledge that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob HAD HIS BACK!

Remember dear reader it is usually the little things that remain secret that eventually lead to an obvious misalignment with God. Song of Songs 2:15, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards our vineyards that are in bloom” it doesn’t take much to get your life out of alignment and begin careening down the road to ruin. Friend, take a minute and get to a quiet place and do what King David did…ask God for a personal diagnostic test! Psalm 139: 23,24 (A psalm of David) “Search me O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any wickedness in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

God knows you inside and out He wants you to know yourself so you can make the proper adjustments to be aligned with Him. When your car is in alignment you experience a smooth ride because the car is already headed straight and the shock absorbers can more readily do their job. When your life is in alignment your course is set to the straightest road available, the King’s Way! Be advised being in alignment doesn’t patch the potholes or remove the bumps it simply allows the greatest shock absorber in the world, Jesus Christ to do His job, to carry you! No matter what life throws at you always remember, HE HAS YOUR BACK…

                                                                                                              Michael

PERSONAL ALIGNMENT CHECK LIST:

  1. If you were lost on the road would you have too much pride to ask for directions?

  2. Who are you following?

  3. When was the last time you took a self-diagnostic test with The Almighty? What did He show you about you?

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Smoke and Mirrors: Resolve to Quit 1/2

Part 1 – Removing the Smoke

Greetings from sunny Florida, where it is currently a lovely 72 degrees, Fahrenheit! Well there is something to be said about living in a state where instead of wearing sweaters and coats at Christmas, you are sweating and coating yourself with sunscreen. Oh, and before I forget, Happy New Year! January 1st is traditionally a time to make (and often break!) a “new year” resolution. The word resolution defined simply means; “A firm, unwavering decision.”

Health clubs and personal trainers know that they will have a bevy of ninety day disciples come January, complete with good intentions and bulging holiday bellies. Unfortunately, like clockwork, dreams of  “6 pack” abs and “buns of steel” soon become “6 packs” of beer and “buns of oatmeal.” Human beings are notoriously creatures of habit, which leads me to; “How To Quit Smoking.”

Before I proceed, let me share this disclaimer: I am a minister, not a doctor, or a licensed nutritionist. I write for, Home Cures That Work, which offers its readers a variety of articles written by authors who focus on their area of expertise. My modality of healing is predominantly spiritual, however, in no way am I undermining the importance of doctors, psychologists or nutritionists. Though we may see through different lenses, we are all looking for the same result, a healthier more vibrant… you!

 It is estimated that 26 million men (25%) and 23 million women (21%) in America smoke.

Considering those numbers, few would argue that cigarette smoking is a powerful addiction. If you google “stop smoking” a multitude of sites pop up, each with a bold promise of instant freedom from your smoking addiction. What they don’t tell you is, their success rate! Why? because a smoker can “quit” the habit on Monday and be chain smoking again by Friday! It is my prayer that this article will help you leave your addiction in the rearview mirror, for good. In order to get free from this addiction, you must have an open mind, so open in fact, that truth can walk in right now and delete all of the misconceptions you have filed away in your mind concerning your smoking addiction. And by the way, I know a little bit about addiction, I will be sharing how this former crack addict was set free, literally over night!

Before you can understand your smoking addiction, you must first understand how you are designed. We are triune beings, or three expressions in one. Let me explain. A laser-beam is actually three lights focused into one! That’s how we are designed; we are body, soul and spirit, divinely packaged into one being.

Our body or “Earth suit” is a wonderful, yet extremely vulnerable container. Our soul is the “epicenter” of our thought, will and emotions. Another interesting feature of the soul is its ability to enable either physical consciousness or spiritual consciousness. In other words, it acts like a selector switch that determines if your thought, will and emotions are based on the spirit or the body (flesh). Learning to “flip that switch,” will change your life, and as you read this article you will begin to see how simple this is, and suddenly you will realize that the key to your freedom has been with you all along.

Romans 8:5, “Those who live according to the flesh, (body) have their minds set on what the flesh (body) desires, But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”      

Your spirit wants you to be free, but your flesh (body) desires momentary gratification at any cost, and your mind is the key! Lets get one thing straight, as a man believes, so he is, whatever you believe, you conceive. Notice, I did not say, whatever you think you conceive. This is where most people miss it, thinking something and believing something are two different things! A thought is subjective or suppositional; a belief is something the mind accepts as truth. The difference between thinking and believing… is knowing, and this is where faith comes from.

Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is being sure of what we hoped for. It is being certain of what we do not see.”

Faith moves mountains, faith is resolute, and faith changes things. Years ago, there was a clinical study performed by a group of oncologists. They told five cancer patients with malignant tumors, that they would be receiving “cutting edge” cancer fighting medicine that would shrink the tumors and completely cure them of cancer within a few months. The “medicine” the doctors gave them was a placebo, pills made of sugar. In a few weeks, the doctors noticed that the tumors of all five patients had begun to shrink! After four months, all five patients were discharged, cancer free. What caused their healing, sugar pills? No dear reader, their faith made them whole.

As a child, I recall one of my neighbors taking his son to the doctor to get a wart treated. When the little boy came home, I noticed he was pressing a wooden tongue depressor on his wart. When I asked him what he was doing he replied; “The doctor gave me this special wart stick and told me keep it on the wart and it would go away.” A few days later, when I saw that little boy again, his wart stick was gone and so was the wart.

Faith has a nemesis, fear, they are diametrically opposed, and therefore, you can only experience one at a time. Fear cancels faith and faith cancels fear… period. Remember, a double-minded man is unstable in ALL of his ways! Vacillation and resolution are also juxtaposed, hence, people that make New Year resolutions they believe in, succeed, and those who merely think it might work, do not.

How powerful is fear? It can kill you.

Years ago in Atlanta, Georgia, I met a minister who shared a tragic childhood story with me. The minister said that his mother was so affected by her mothers passing that after the funeral, she began to say; “I will never live a day longer than my mother and I will die the same way she did.” With tears in his eyes, the minister said; “ and you know Michael, my mother died the same age as her mother, with the same disease, on her mothers birthday.”

The bible tells the story of a man named Job, who makes this powerful statement after seemingly insurmountable loss; “the thing I feared the most has come upon me.” Before you can find faith, you must lose fear. I will show you how in these 2 segments of this article.

The title of this article, “Smoke And Mirrors” is a metaphor for a deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial belief or description. The source of the name is based upon a magicians’ ability to manipulate the natural (often using mirrors or a puff of smoke) to makesmoke n mirror it appear supernatural. This is called, an illusion. Top illusionists like Chris Angel or David Copperfield make their money by getting people to think (some actually believe!) that something happened that never actually happened. David Copperfield made the Statue Of Liberty disappear right? No, its still there. Chris Angel walked on water in Vegas right? No, there was a plexiglass platform in the pool and strategically placed mirrors (note, one of the pool chairs has 6 legs!) creating the illusion that Chris Angel walked on water.

Here’s the truth, what you believe about your smoking addiction, is an illusion! Read part 2 to find out how to remove the illusion.

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Smoke and Mirrors: Resolve to Quit 2/2

Part 2 – Mirrors Revealed

Here’s the truth, what you believe about your smoking addiction, is an illusion! Addictions are predominantly divided into two categories mental (emotional) or chemical (physiological). The truth is, all addictions are a bit of both, because you cannot affect the mind without the body being affected and visa versa. Lets dispel some classic misconceptions and shatter the illusions that have kept you from quitting.

1) After quitting, you are always one puff away from being addicted again.

Really? A close family member smoked for years, she said she started to look cool. One day she read a report from the American cancer society and never smoked again.

2) Nicotine is a powerful highly addictive drug.

Really? No, cocaine, heroine and opiates like oxycontin are powerful highly addictive drugs. People have quit cigarette smoking with hypnotism, however you will NEVER find it effective with cocaine, heroine or oxycontin. Smoking is predominantly a mental addiction with a slight chemical interaction. I have never met anyone with a nicotine deficiency, likewise, I have never seen junkies snorting, shooting or dropping nicotine.

Here is a list of myths former smokers have shared with me to help you identify your own.

“Smoking makes me look more attractive, calms my nerves, keeps me thin, helps me cope, gives me confidence, helps me focus, makes me look “cool.” ‘

What do YOU believe? Do you believe a wooden stick can cure warts? Do you believe sugar pills can cure cancer? Do you believe a cigarette has power?

The truth is, your addiction is attached to a personal belief system or imagined rsmoke n mirroreality that you have created, all based upon an elaborate…illusion!

Every smoker I have encountered that has been unsuccessful quitting, says the same thing; “I can’t quit, I’ve tried everything!” Look at your words, can’t never could!

The truth is, you have tried everything that doesn’t work. Trying hard has made you skeptical, frustrated, tired and numb.

Lets change that now, first realize that your healing began the moment you started reading this article and truth is gradually replacing the lies that you have been telling yourself for years. Next, begin to laugh at yourself, seriously, see the humor in you, Gods greatest creation being afraid of a piece of paper with tobacco stuffed in it! (If your still not laughing) remember the scene from the “Wizard Of Oz” when Dorothy and her friends were shaking like leaves in the presence of Oz, the great and terrible, when all of a sudden, Dorothy’s dog, Toto pulls back the curtain revealing the real Oz, a short old man with a loudspeaker, smoke and mirrors! Now realize, you don’t have to work or try harder, just change what you believe, change your mind and you will change your LIFE!

Let me leave you with one last story: Years ago, a dear friend of mine (lets call him, David) was beside himself because after trying everything, he could not stop smoking. David’s wife was pregnant with their first child and he wanted to quit before the baby was born. Many of David’s well meaning Christian friends offered suggestions, but it was the advice of a new convert that changed David’s life, he said; forget the patch, forget will power, this is what you do. Every time you walk out to the dock to smoke, hold that joker in the air and say, “God, You know I hate this, but I have been powerless to stop, what can you do for me?” On David’s seventh trip down the dock, he threw his cigarettes into the lake, that was over seven years ago and he has never smoked again.

 I love the word, Emmanuel, it means: God with us! Friend, you are not alone in your struggle.

He is always there, and created you with the ability to overcome any obstacle in your way. I am looking forward to hearing your stories, please write and let us know if this article was helpful.

It is my prayer that you will be ringing in the New Year with a prayer of gratitude on your lips, instead of a cigarette. LOL, which is short for: Lots Of Love, Michael

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Natural Pain Management Part1

Pain Management, No Laughing Matter… or is it?

 With out a doubt, pain management has become the hot topic in today’s health care arena. It is estimated that over 85 million Americans suffer from some type of chronic pain. Pharmaceutical companies have developed powerful drugs to bring “relief” to those suffering with chronic pain. The problem is, these powerful narcotics merely “mask” the symptoms and once the effect wears off, the sufferer’s pain returns. Is it any wonder that people suffering from debilitating pain would become addicted to these drugs?  Oxycontin, a highly addictive narcotic (opiate) “pain-killer” has captured the tabloids with countless stories of celebrity addictions, sting operations, the closing of several pain clinics in Florida and other states, with prominent doctors being arrested for “back door” illegal drug sales. 

As a “natural” health advocate, my heart breaks for anyone experiencing pain or disease, however, I am in favor of a non-narcotic, non-steroidal approach to pain management with the emphasis on finding a cure instead of a crutch. The following supplements have all shown promise in alleviating chronic pain, at a fraction of the cost of prescription drugs. 

 Along with supplementation, there are some tried and true methods of therapy that I highly recommend: 

  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Cupping
  • Hydro Therapy
  • Infared Sauna

 By this time, you may be thinking, “I’ve tried every one of these suggestions and I don’t feel any different,” well, read on, I have a couple more up my sleeve that won’t fail! – M

Please read both part 2 and 3 and rest assured this only scratches the surface of future discussion!

 MUSIC THERAPY: LINK TO PAIN MANAGEMENT PART 2

LAUGHTER THERAPY: LINK TO PAIN MANAGEMENT PART 3

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Music Therapy; Pain Management Part2

MUSIC THERAPY:  

As a professional musician and songwriter, I have experienced, first hand, the powerful effect music has upon the soul (thought, will and emotions). One note can bring someone to tears or provoke them to anger. Since the beginning of recorded history, music has been an integral part of culture. From wars to worship, we find music playing a major role in history, truth be told, you would be hard pressed to find to many places without it!

Music sings in elevators, fills the ears of procrastinators, face it, whether you are a hacker, a slacker or a Green Bay packer, music is the soundtrack of your life. Music is so important to us that once apple (thanks Steve Jobs) created the ipod, it quickly became the best-selling device of all time, with the ipad right on its heels. Why the popularity? Convenience, people want to have a world of entertainment in a hand-held device. And when polled, what did Americans say was most important to them? Their music! I have seen people completely healed after being exposed to music. I am happy to report that doctors and health care practitioners alike are beginning to sing the praises of music therapy.

Music Therapy

When I did my research, I realized that some practitioners used music as the sole modality for healing, while others joined it with other types of treatment. Here are just a few of the benefits practitioners saw when music therapy was applied: 

  • Anxiety and stress reduction
  • Non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Active and positive patient participation in treatment
  • Decreased length of treatment when music was added

 I cannot stress the importance of music therapy.

If you investigate the medicines often prescribed in most pain management protocols, you will be horrified by the list of side effects. If you investigate music therapy, you will be delighted by its side effects: healing, happiness and hope! When I was asked to write on the topic: Pain Management, I was both excited and concerned. I was excited because I have a vast knowledge of the condition and the myriad of treatments available, and concerned because I have a vast knowledge of the condition and the myriad of treatments available! I can only “scratch the surface” in this blog, perhaps, a book may follow.

 Why does music therapy work?  Music is frequency and everything has a resonant frequency. For example, the musical note, A, is actually 440hz. 440hz has a sound generated by frequency, the note A! Every cell, organ and atom responds and resonates when a note or combination of notes with a corresponding frequency are played. Thus, when subjected to music, our physiology is affected both internally and externally.

That’s right, music affects us, inside and out! We are just now beginning to discover the amazing benefits of music therapy, yet music has been with us since the beginning of time. The Bible, for example, often speaks of music. Lets examine a verse from the Old Testament, 1 Chronicles 15:16. “Then David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their relatives, the singers, with instruments of music, harps, lyres, high-sounding cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.” This is King David, the primary author of the greatest songbook ever compiled, the Bible’s, Book of Psalms. 

It is interesting to note that even reading the book of psalms (songs) has a therapeutic effect on the body. The most common effect reported was, joy and peace instead of depression and anxiety. It is also noteworthy to mention here that Bible history tells us (1 Samuel 16:14) that when King Saul was tormented, David was asked to play psalms upon his 10 stringed harp. And the result? David’s music brought peace to the King and an end to his torment. I will be sharing much more on this subject in the future, so, stay tuned. – M

LINK TO PAIN MANAGEMENT PART 1

LAUGHTER THERAPY: LINK TO PAIN MANAGEMENT PART 3

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Laughter Therapy; Pain Management Part3

 LAUGHTER THERAPY: 

Try to recall the last time you had a really good laugh, I mean a rip-snorting, gut-buster of a laugh. How did you feel after-words?  That’s an easy one, YOU FELT GREAT! Laughter therapy is quickly becoming a commonly accepted modality in modern healthcare. Here are just a few benefits of laughter therapy:

  •  Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel good” chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of wellbeing as well as relieving pain.
  • Laughter decreases cortisol, a powerful stress hormone, as well as increasing infection-fighting antibodies, thus bolstering the immune system.
  • Laughter calms the body, relieving stress and relaxing muscles, after a good laugh, the effect can linger up to 45 minutes!
  • Laughter strengthens the heart by increasing blood flow and improving the integrity of blood vessels, thus decreasing he probability of a heart attack or other cardiovascular issues.

 I think you will find the following “factoid” extremely interesting; People who laugh are much healthier than those who don’t. Dr. Lee Berk at the Loma Linda School of public health in California found that laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds have it best; they laugh an average of 3oo times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day. Lets do the math, if at age six, you laugh 300 times a day and your immune system is at its peak, then you grow into adulthood with a compromised immune system and you only laugh 15

 to 100 times a day, what is the solution? Laughter! Uproarious, side-splitting laughter! We have greatly underestimated the healing power of laughter. Part of the reason that laughter was ignored for years in the medical field is simple, it is free, and you don’t have to be trained to administer the therapy.

Laugh!(Chandra Dee Photography 2011)

My favorite “side-effect” of laughter is its contagious nature. Even if you are in the foulest of moods, someone laughing next to you can immediately flip your switch and send you into hysterical laughter! But once again, laughter therapy is nothing new, just sadly overlooked. If we look at the Bible once more, we will find scriptures that confirm a childlike nature, like

Matthew 18: 2.

For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom.

Children are simple and they laugh a lot. Adults are complex and they take things a little too serious. I would rather be a healthy simpleton, than a sickly genius! Laughter therapy is mentioned in the Bible? You bet.

Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

The title of this first blog is: Pain Management, No Laughing Matter… or is it? Maybe now you know why. People, who laugh a lot, live a lot. The Bible puts it best: 3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and prosperity, even as your soul prospers. That is my prayer for you today, dear reader, and I am sure I can speak for everyone at Barton publishing when I say; there are three things you can do to immediately begin the healing process, live, love and laugh… a lot! By the way, since my two favorite modalities for healing are music and laughter, someone who does both would have quite a gift indeed. If you need a jumpstart right now, I highly recommend Tim Hawkins. You can find him on youtube and at: http://www.timhawkins.net Cheers! -M

NATURAL PAIN MANAGEMENT: LINK TO PART 1

MUSIC THERAPY: LINK TO PART 2 of Pain Management

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