Tag Archives: Pain Management

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…



  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?


Filed under organic spirituality, spiritual health

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!



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Music Therapy; Pain Management Part2


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



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Laughter Therapy; Pain Management Part3


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


MUSIC THERAPY: LINK TO PART 2 of Pain Management


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