Where’s the Block?

By Dr. Michael Roth

I believe that we all have the power to change, to grow, to move from an old way of being into a new way of being in our lives.  Every day in my holistic chiropractic office I work with people who are suffering with chronic pain.  They have been to many doctors, have spent large amounts of money on prescription drugs, remedies and devices to alleviate their pain, all to no avail. They are stressed and unhappy.

Using muscle response testing, the first thing I ask them to say is, “I am OK having my pain be gone” or “I am OK getting out of pain.” Usually, the muscle checking indicates that their mind-body system is NOT in congruence with the concept of being pain-free.  This tells me that there is a hidden belief that is sabotaging their efforts to heal.

How can this be, you ask? Why would someone unconsciously be holding on to his or her chronic pain? Somewhere, there is a payoff to keeping the pain—perhaps to get more attention directed their way, to have less responsibility, to not have to make decisions, etc. There is a blind spot that is unconsciously keeping them from healing. The emotional component is so powerful as to block the healing that is being applied to the physical body.

Flickr photo credit Washington State Dept. of Transportation

How we value ourselves, our beliefs about our self-worth, can be a factor blocking healing. If we don’t think we are worthy enough to be whole and healthy, we have created a block. If we are under constant stress, from pollutants in air and water, traffic jams, over-packed schedules, eating unnatural and over-processed foods our bodies weren’t built to digest, the demands of work and family, financial obligations and so on, this stress can severely reduce our ability to live life with grace, ease and power, and to heal our bodies.

There may be chemical stressors on our system that are blocking healing. Whether they are prescribed, over-the-counter, or otherwise, drugs introduce toxic ingredients to our body’s organic system. If we’ve lived a lifetime ingesting chemicals, we’ve been compromising our body’s capacity for healing. Not only do inorganic chemical compounds mess with our physical system, they can play havoc on our energetic wiring, our emotions and the way our mind processes information.

In the over 20 years that I have worked with the mind-body connection, I have found that holding on to bitterness or resentments, or in any way being unable to forgive one’s self or others is a major block to healing of any kind. When we forgive, the energy to heal is released and flows more freely.

Flickr photo credit Iqbal Osman

 

No amount of healers in the world can help us if we don’t allow it. Belief is mighty. Belief moves mountains and changes lives – for better or worse. When we believe our well-being is out of our hands, then it surely is.  I work closely with my patients, coaching them to feel empowered that they can and will heal!

If you or someone you care about has been suffering from chronic pain, please call Crystal in our Ventura office at (805) 644-0461 and make an appointment for a consultation with me.  Don’t let unrecognized beliefs block your road to healing and living a full and vibrant life!

 

HEALING IS A CHOICE!

Published in: on June 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Pro-Active Approach to Reducing Stress

By Dr. Michael Roth

This post concludes my three-part series on stress, excerpted from my book, Balancing Your Emotional Health. I specialize in the mind/ body connection, and as I’ve stated in previous newsletter articles, stress is the underlying culprit of many of the issues my clients present in my Ventura holistic chiropractic practice. Here are three tried-and-true activities you can start using right now to reduce stress.

Flickr photo credit Giuseppe Milo

Dr. Herbert Benson is a pioneer in mind/body medicine. In his 35-plus-year career, he has defined the relaxation response and continues to lead teaching and research into its efficacy in counteracting the harmful effects of stress. When Dr. Benson introduced this simple, effective, mind/body approach to relieving stress in 1975, his book became an instant national bestseller. The Relaxation Response has become the classic reference recommended by most health care professionals and authorities to treat the harmful effects of stress.

Relaxation Response

by Dr. Herbert Benson

1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.

2. Close your eyes.

3. Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep them relaxed.

4. Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word “ONE” silently to yourself. For example, breathe IN…OUT, “ONE”; IN…OUT, “ONE”, etc. Breathe easily and naturally.

5. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm.

6. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened.

7. Do not stand up for a few minutes.

8. Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating “ONE.”

9. With practice, the response should come with little effort. Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.

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The neck is a primary target for stress. Here is a simple exercise to release tightness and tension in the neck and shoulders.

NECK AND SHOULDER RELEASE

1. Begin by letting your left ear drift slowly towards your left shoulder. Only go within your normal range of motion, and relax.

2. Place your arms on your lap or at your sides. Then, move your right hand behind your back to extend the flexion for that area.

3. Breathe and relax in that position for 15 to 30 seconds.

4. Repeat on the other side.

5. Next, gently let your chin fall to your chest. Slowly rotate your head in a small semicircle from one side of your collarbone to the other.  Hold your extension for a few seconds at any spot that is a particularly stressed or tight.

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This last exercise is designed to release tension in the neck and shoulders and increase the natural range of motion when turning your head side to side.

TRAPEZIUS RELEASE

 1. With the right hand, grasp the top of your left shoulder muscle (trapezius) and squeeze it gently.

2. Take in a deep breath. When you exhale, turn your head away from the hand, while looking over your right shoulder. Inhale when turning the head back to center.

3. Exhale while turning the head to look over the left shoulder. Return the head to center position.

4. Exhale, drop the chin to the chest. Inhale and raise the head to face forward.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 three times.

6. Next grasp the top of the right shoulder with the left hand and repeat steps 2-5 on the other side.

I encourage you to practice these exercises and feel for yourself the difference they make. As always, I am here to support you in health and wellness. Please call Crystal in my Ventura office at 805-644-0461 for an appointment.

 

If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to purchase my soft-cover book, Balancing Your Emotional Health, please call the office or click here for more information.

 

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Attitude Creates a New Path

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

Today  I offer the second of three selections from my book, Balancing Your Emotional Health. We continue our look at stress and the havoc it can wreak on our bodies. Stress is the number one underlying cause of many of the conditions I see in my patients in my holistic chiropractic practice. I specialize in the mind/body connection and I am constantly reminded through my work of how deep and tangible this connection can be.

 

Some people see their cup as half full, others half empty. Some people like change, others resist and fear it. Some see the unknown as full of potential, while others go into drama and trauma.

 

The secret is your outlook – your attitude – and how you perceive your reality. Some take stress and convert it into positive energy that drives them forward to success – that’s called eustress.

 

Others let stress wear them down until eventually they die and cease to exist anymore in our physical world. Outlook and perception are the keys you need to investigate.

 

Take a moment, and think about what could happen when stress is continued over years and years and years. Eventually you’re going to have problems with the various systems of the body: digestive, circulatory, reproductive, etc. Stresses result in disease – it’s plain and simple, and you won’t find one doctor on the planet that’ll tell you to increase your stress levels to improve your health.

Flickr photo credit Bernard Goldbach

Sooner or later, you’ll reach your stress limit and then a lot of things are going to degenerate. It could start with arthritis that affects all the joints of your body because you’re holding emotional stress. Most people report that arthritis (rheumatoid-type) makes it difficult to grasp things with their hands. Psychologically (or emotionally) arthritis of the hands relates to being incapable of grasping why something in life is the way it is.

 

Cancer is another stress disease, or stress-related condition that can be traced back to the root cause. When speaking to cancer patients, the question is almost always asked, “Are you depressed?” The answer, of course, is YES! Then, when asked if they had had depression before their diagnosis, the majority said YES again.

 

Depression, I believe, is the major cause of non-tobacco-related cancer. Therapies may treat the depression with expression, positive thinking, and positive visualization, along with allopathic or other medical choices. The key here is that the restriction of energy flow causes more stress which creates depression and disease in the human body.

 

What disease will stress cause you? None, I hope, but perhaps there is a science to this ill thought out plan of reaction to STRESS. Here is a chart of some common diseases with their possible emotional causes:

 

DISEASE                                                         CAUSATION

Arthritis                                                           Inability to grasp situations

Cancer                                                              Depression – lack of expression

Diabetes                                                           Lack of Sweetness (happiness) in life

Gallstones                                                       Suppressed anger, bitterness (gall)

Sexual dysfunctions                                      Guilt or shame

Skin Conditions                                              Inability to face life

Urinary system problems                            Inability to let go of hurts

 

This is the short list; the real list is actually endless. Either the causation is either related to stress, or some form of infection or toxic environmental reaction. Remember that your body reacts to your thoughts. You don’t have to accept any illness or disease into your body. Keep this in mind: your brain is the ultimate computer operating system; your heart is the ultimate power supply unit. You simply don’t have to accept anything that is not good for your health! Reject stress.

Flickr photo credit Celestine Chua

 

If you are wondering if stress may be the underlying cause of your dis-ease, I invite you to call Amber in my Ventura office at 805-644-0461 and make an appointment to discuss your issues.

 

If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to purchase my soft-cover book, Balancing Your Emotional Health, please call the office or click here for more information.

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Published in: on August 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Summing Up Stress

By Dr. Michael Roth

“Mind is where the action is… body is where the reaction is.”               Frederick Eikerenkoetter (Rev. Ike)

In my holistic chiropractic office in Ventura, I often see clients whose conditions are aggravated or even caused by excess stress. This month’s article is an excerpt from my book, Balancing Your Emotional Health.

SUMMING UP STRESS

Flickr photo credit sandiegopersonalinjuryattorneydotnet

Over the last 50 years, many researchers (psychologists and computer language specialists) have compared the brain/mind relationship to that of a computer and its operating system (program that directs the computer).  When the program is properly written, fully functional, and free from flaws, the computer functions perfectly, giving accurate responses and producing valuable and necessary operations.

The mentally balanced human being functions perfectly when under conditions of no stress to low stress. Under conditions of high stress, the overload causes restriction to the flow of energy, which leads us to disease, illness, exhaustion, system breakdowns, etc.

Your own state of health comes from your most constant, deepest felt, emotionally based, thoughts. Negations, those diseased (dis-eased or lacking ease) thoughts, transmute themselves into sick cells and a sick body.

For example, if you tell yourself, “I can’t stand it when my boss does this or that”; your body simply responds with a “Yes, sir!” as if a soldier was respectfully doing what was ordered by the commander.

The body is the servant of the mind and it will obey the commands you just gave when you said, “I can’t stand…” That’s what your mind heard and therefore, created. It might takes a few months or maybe even several years, but the repeated negative thought will eventually give you a reaction that you don’t really want.

Flickr photo credit Trizoultro

Thus, the mind (or brain/mind) is where the action is, and body is where the reaction is. If you say you can’t stand something, expect back and leg problems.

WATCH YOUR WORDS – whether your thoughts are intentional or spontaneous, they will create some reaction. When the mind is directed by negative or fearful thoughts, the bodily response usually will be disease and/ or functional failure.

Fearful thoughts cause STRESS. The two combined (fear + stress) are as deadly as the most dreaded diseases of our time. Fear, caused by excessive and/or non-rational worrisome thinking, kills people everyday.

Flickr photo credit Nate Steiner

Stress is more deadly than any influence, viral infection, or any disease currently affecting humanity. Stress is responsible for 95% of the disease on the planet. Just as it drives people to smoke, drink, use drugs (legal and not legal) to manage it, if left unmanaged it leads to smoking, drinking, drug use, and life-threatening disease.

People who live in fear of disease are too often those who get ill. They who fear the worst can always discover it in their lives or in the lives of those they know.

When you are fearful, upset, anxious, or nervous, those stressful forces can begin the gradual breakdown of your entire nervous and immunological system and your entire body. Stress, caused by negative thoughts that include fear, guilt, shame, envy, jealousy, and more, will kill you if you don’t control it.

Negative thoughts open the body to physical disease by taking the Triad (the balance of the physical, emotional and chemical components of your body) out of balance by weakening the mental/ emotional side. They also weaken the immune system by blocking  the natural flow of energy within your body. It has been shown, time and time again, that fearful, unbalanced, disharmonious thoughts can lead to the stresses that damage your health.

 

When your mind is given pleasant and courageous thoughts, a world of wonder, beauty, health and happiness prevails. Positive, strong, pure, and healthy thoughts always bring health and vitality.

Most members of the medical profession have either heard or believe that positive thinking, happiness, and humor can reduce the effects of disease or surgery and aid in the recovery process.

If you possess thoughts that are impure, or if you have thoughts that lack a high vibrational quality, meaning that they are negative in nature and vibrate in opposition to your values and beliefs, you’ll have a body with toxins in your bloodstream, weakened antibodies, and you’ll get sick regularly with illnesses that are very difficult to remedy.

From a clean heart and mind comes a clean body. From an unclean one, comes a diseased and weakened body. Always remember that health or disease and the quality of your experience on Earth is up to you, your attitudes, and your thoughts.

Flickr photo credit Matt Madd

If you would like to make an appointment for an office visit, please call Amber in my Ventura office at 805-644-0461.

If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to purchase my soft-cover book, Balancing Your Emotional Health, please call the office or click here for more information.

emotional_book

The Myth of Cholesterol

By Dr. Michael Roth

 

It seems common knowledge in this day and age that a high cholesterol count is bad for your health. Cholesterol is blamed for heart attacks and arterial disease. As a holistic chiropractor, I see patients who are stressed because they have been told they have high cholesterol. Yet, remembering that our bodies are innately programmed for wellness and wholeness, let’s take a look at just what cholesterol is and why we need it.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. Cholesterol is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function.

 

Cholesterol comes from two sources: your body and food. Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75 percent of blood cholesterol. The other 25 percent comes from the foods you eat.

 

Cholesterol has received plenty of negative media over the last decade as the reason behind heart attacks and arterial disease. Yet, several pivotal studies have shown that cholesterol is not the cause behind problems of the heart as once thought.

 

Cholesterol has been blamed for heart disease, however inflammation is actually the true culprit. When the body experiences an inflammatory response due to an injury, the system responds by constricting blood vessels, thickening the blood, and triggering cells to multiply in order to repair the damage.

 

Cholesterol is produced because cells need it to form. It helps create plaque in our blood vessels when a damaged artery needs to be repaired. When an individual is in a chronic state of inflammation, the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack greatly increases. It is the chronic inflammation, not the cholesterol that increases the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure.

 

The Great Cholesterol Myth authors Jonny Bowden, Ph.D. and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra reviewed the data of numerous studies and found that cholesterol levels are not a good predictor of heart attacks:

• Half of the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol

• Half of the people with high cholesterol have healthy hearts

• Keeping cholesterol levels low has few benefits

The Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948 and continues to this day, distinctly shows that those who lived the longest were inclined to be in the highest cholesterol category.

 

In another study in the 1990s, researchers in France decided to observe the effect of different diets on heart disease. One group was asked to eat the American Heart Association diet that is low in fat and cholesterol. The second group ate a Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, and olive oil.

 

The study ended early because the results of the Mediterranean diet were so striking. Those in this group had a 70 percent reduction in fatal heart attacks, yet their high cholesterol levels remained the same throughout the study!

Flickr photo credit Kelly Sue Deconnick

So, what does this all mean to you? Turn your attention away from your cholesterol level number and the pharmaceuticals that you may be using to “control” it and put your attention on the things that you can control that will make a difference. Eat healthy foods, take nutritional supplements and reduce your stress to improve your heart health.

 

Please call Amber in our Ventura office at (805) 644-0461 and make an appointment with me for an office visit to discuss the health of your heart and body. Your choices do affect your health and your health is more than just a number!

Your Gut Response

By Dr. Michael Roth

At one time or another, most of us have felt our stomach talking to us. Perhaps we overate, or ate something that didn’t agree with us. Maybe we are stressed by our thoughts or our circumstances, or can’t “stomach” what is going on in our lives and it is affecting our health.

The fact is that most of us will suffer from one digestive disorder or another at some time in our lives. The highest number of calls received by the National Health Service is from people suffering with digestive problems. Our diet and the foods we eat play a major role in keeping our digestive system in good order. This month, I’d like to discuss three common digestive problems that I see in patients in my holistic chiropractic practice: heartburn, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

 

Heartburn

First of all, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart itself. Rather, it is a term used to describe the burning sensation that occurs in the chest area, just behind the breastbone. Heartburn pain is often worse when lying down or bending over.

It may be accompanied by other symptoms including: regurgitation, a bitter taste at the back of the mouth or throat, excess salivation, belching, and difficulty or pain when swallowing. There is often a feeling of “fullness” after eating, feeling sick and/or vomiting. Heartburn can develop at any time and may not always be as a result of eating or drinking. Stress is also a common cause of heartburn.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Normally when you swallow, your lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of your esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again.

However, if the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. The acid backup may be worse when you’re bent over or lying down.

Flickr photo credit evindc

The advice for sufferers is to eat slowly and in a relaxed environment, concentrate on enjoying your food and chew it thoroughly. Do not drink too much while eating. Sip fennel, mint, chamomile or apple tea.

Foods to avoid include crisps, chips, nuts and rich creamy or fried foods; acidic foods like vinegar and pickles; citrus fruits or unripe fruit can cause acid reflex. Smoking can also cause heartburn—another reason to quit!

 

Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a term used to describe one or more symptoms including a feeling of fullness during a meal, uncomfortable fullness after a meal, and burning or pain in the upper abdomen. Sometimes the term indigestion is used to describe the symptoms of heartburn, but these are two different conditions. A person can have symptoms of both indigestion and heartburn.

Indigestion can be caused by a condition in the digestive tract such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts. If the condition improves or resolves, the symptoms of indigestion usually improve.

Sometimes, however, a person has indigestion for which  a cause cannot be found. This type of indigestion, called  functional dyspepsia, is thought to occur in the area where  the stomach meets the small intestine. The indigestion  may be related to abnormal motility—the squeezing or  relaxing action—of the stomach muscle as it receives, digests, and moves food into the small intestine.

Most people with indigestion experience more than one of the following symptoms:

Fullness during a meal. The person feels overly full soon after the   meal starts and cannot finish the meal.

Bothersome fullness after a meal. The person feels overly full after a meal—it may feel like the food is staying in the stomach too long.

Epigastric pain. The epigastric area is between the lower end of the chest bone and the navel. The person may experience epigastric pain ranging from mild to severe.

Epigastric burning. The person feels an unpleasant sensation of heat in the epigastric area.

 

Some people may experience relief from symptoms of indigestion by eating several small, low-fat meals throughout the day at a slow pace, refraining from smoking, abstaining from consuming coffee, carbonated beverages and alcohol, stopping use of medications that may irritate the stomach lining such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, getting enough rest, and finding ways to decrease emotional and physical stress, such as relaxation therapy or exercise.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS affects a third of the population at some time or another and about one in ten people suffer symptoms bad enough to go to the doctor. It can be painful and distressing, and a qualified medical practitioner should confirm diagnosis of IBS.

Symptoms include abdominal pain or a sharp pain felt low down inside the rectum, spasm/diarrhea and bloated stomach, rumbling noises and wind, constipation, nausea, belching and vomiting. Stress is believed to play a significant part in the occurrence of IBS.

Despite current awareness of IBS and its effect on the quality of life, a cure has yet to be found. Some people find their IBS is due to food intolerance. Foods to avoid are wheat products, cereals, pastries and pasta and sauces made with flour. Cut down on diary intake – milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and custard.

It is best to keep food as light as possible – try milk substitutes such as organic soy or rice milk. IBS is sometimes aggravated by particularly fatty and rich foods like fried or creamy dishes.

 

Stress

The common denominator found in all three of these conditions is STRESS!  Mental, emotional and physical stress often shows up as dis-ease in our body. Our “gut response” is a communication from our body that something needs to change.

I have found QNRT (Quantum Neurological Reset Therapy) to be an excellent program to remove the emotional stressors that prevent the body from functioning at its best. QNRT is a great complimentary therapy designed to aid with any other treatment you are now seeking to find relief from disease, behavioral issues, relationship challenges and addictions.

Flickr photo credit Celestine Chua

If your gut has been talking to you and you don’t know what it is saying or asking, please call Amber in our Ventura office at 805-644-0461 and make an appointment for an office visit with me. Don’t let the symptoms of heartburn, indigestion or IBS rule your body and your life. You CAN take charge of your health and wellbeing!

Proactive Steps to Manage Your Stress

By Dr. Michael Roth

Controlling your stress level is a necessity in today’s fast-paced society. For many people, the challenges life brings rest heavily on their shoulders and they don’t know where to begin to alleviate their tension.

Flickr photo credit Bottled Void

Worry – we all do it to some extent. Worrying is a stress-producing activity. Multiple worries can lead to a cycle of non-stop agitation.  Humans usually can tackle only one “worry” at a time effectively.  And really, does the act of worrying ever make anything better or easier?  At the end of the day, put worrying on hold until the morning.  Getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce the urge to worry.

Yoga and other stress-relieving movement exercises are always an asset. For example, the simple act of focusing on your breath allows your mind to take its attention off the stressful thought.  The deep breathing sends fresh oxygen circulating to all parts of your brain and body, refreshing your entire system.

Flickr photo credit Matt Madd

As a holistic chiropractor, I often recommend breathing and movement activities to my patients.  Locally here in Ventura, there are many such choices available.

Rigorous stress-busting exercise works wonders on an emotional and chemical level.  The mood enhancing endorphins created during a good workout relieve stress and may even improve your attitude!  Make sure your primary care doctor clears you for vigorous activity before you begin.  The last thing that you want is to cause more stress through a sports related injury or a cardiac-related mishap.

You are what you eat.  Making good food choices and managing your portion size will reduce the stress that improper nutrition and excess weight put on your system. Many people love their caffeine in coffee and colas. It is wise to limit your caffeine intake to reduce any undue stress it may be creating in your digestion or circulation. Please come talk to me about making healthy food choices—it is a passion of mine!

Treating yourself to some fun is always a good strategy for reducing stress and making life more enjoyable. Go for a walk in the hills or at the beach. Have a catch, toss a Frisbee, go for a swim. See a movie, visit a friend, play with your pets, or tell a joke. Laughter is always a great stress-buster. Laughter chases away the worry and oxygenates the body at the same time!

Flickr photo credit Kendall

Balance is a wonderful word worth reflecting on for a moment. Financial, emotional and physical balance are goals we all wish to achieve. You can start balancing your life today by managing your stress level, releasing more energy to meet those goals. Choose one thing right now that you can do to help release the stress in your life. Come see me for more discussion on how to optimize your health and wellness and reduce YOUR stress!