Category Archives for Stress

Number One Contributor To Your Health

number one contributor to health

The number one contributor to our society's health is not stress, it is selfishness.

This is a rant, be forewarned.

Why do you eat this or that?

"I like it. It tastes good. It is what I have always eaten."

To this I say, “so what?” Grow up, step out of your lazy box and branch out. A lot of things taste good, that has no indication to how good it is for you, and in today's world with all the sugar, chemical sweeteners, and processed oils it probably means it is bad for you. Anything can taste good, healthy eating does not have to taste bad, but you have to learn how to prepare it and re-grow your taste buds that you killed with all the junk and processed foods and high sugar intake you have indulged in for decades.

Why don't you eat healthy?

"It is too expensive. I don't have the time. I don't know how to cook."

It does not have to be more expensive to eat healthily. You can't just buy health food and add it into the list of junk you already eat, you have to make a lateral shift and replace the junk with the real food.

Plus, you eat too often. You might eat too much, but I don't know that, but if you are eating more than 2-3 meals a day, with maybe one snack, then you eat too often. Eating is when ever you put food or any liquid in your mouth that is not water. You must count EVERY time, and if you do, you will see, that like most Americans according to research, you probably eat 12-20 times a day. TOO OFTEN! Eat just 3 meals a day and eat well when you do, no calorie cutting, and you will save money.

Budget and plan and you will save money. Cook at home and buy intelligently and you will save money. Learn what should be organic and what can be conventional and you will save money. Make the time if your health and the health of your kids are truly important to you. You spend time eating junk, buying it, waiting in lines, driving to junk pushers, take all that time and prepare, buy and prep accordingly and you might even save time as well as money. Learn to cook, yes, even you men, learn to cook, it is part of being a self supporting adult. NO excuse not to.

Do you exercise regularly?

I move all day. I don't have the time. I don't like to."

Physical activity is not the same as exercise. I am glad you get physical activity in your day, keep it up, but that is not exercise, nor should it be counted as such. Make time. Even 10 minutes 2-4 times a day is better than nothing and can be as beneficial as one 30-40 minute continuous workout. Get up early and move your body. Get up 30 minutes earlier and do it. Go to sleep earlier if you need to, but do it. Time issue solved. And I don't care if you don't like it, find something you do like, anything, there are more options than ever from dance aerobics, to drumming aerobics, lifting classes, intensity classes, yoga, spin classes, home videos, and so much more....just find something and do it, you can not have optimal health without it.

Do you work on yourself?

"I don't know what that means. I can't meditate. I am not into all that."

We know to much now and have too many studies and overwhelming research on the impact of self improvement from building awareness, to mindfulness, visualization, breathing techniques, meditation, goal setting, and much more to not be doing something. If you don't reframe your thinking about stress from the current conventional thinking, then you are destined to choose to have it consume you.

Celebrating silence and taking time for yourself is a must, not a luxury, and only something you can do for you. But you have to learn, seek it out and do it. Do it not, and you get more of what you got.

Look, life is busy, I get it, I have a few things on my plate as well, but that is why you must do these things and your excuses have to be checked at the door. The people who allow these excuses I listed above to guide their reactive lifestyle are the same people that when they get sick with a chronic issue like diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, pain, digestive disorders, and much more they ask "why?" Why did this happen to me.....they say it isn't doesn't make sense.....I didn't do anything bad.....etc.....and the other people around them say, “wow, I didn't see that coming, they were fine yesterday.”...NO, they were not! And if a health scare is not enough to wake these people up they then will say, “it was in my family.” They then use the lie of their health issue being a genetic problem that they could not avoid and continue to pull the same cop-out card and waste away miserably.

We can do better.

I don't claim to be perfect or that anyone else is or should try to be. But you have to try, you have to have these things on your radar and be working to learn about them and incorporate new ideas and behaviors into your life at any level and pace that you can. We have to be sharing and teaching each other and watching out for slip ups and the gradual decline in our efforts to we can check our behavior and course-correct.

This blog will bring a lot of things up for a lot of people. Before you tell me how you are different, how your excuse is justified, how your health issue is "really" genetic and how your doctor enables that belief, how your life is unique or any other excuse to not be doing all you can in these areas, read the post again, and if you still want to defend your lack of doing all you can, write it all out in an email, every detail, your history, what you have been through, what you have been told, what you have tried, how your life and situation is different, and send it to yourself. Or better yet, send it to your spouse and family, send it to your kids or grand kids. But don't send it to me.

Look, I love you and I want the best for you and will be happy to support and help you GET BETTER. Going through all your excuses will not help you get better and only push people who want to help you away. I am very interested in planning new action steps, developing support systems, building proactive nutritional, supplemental, and exercise protocols, getting the supportive health services needed, and creating a long term strategy to change your path and create a new future for you and your family.

Strategy is key. Strategy is the process of aligning your personal goals and values in life and for your health improvement with how you want to get there and when. When you have your strategy you then can build your team and resources and list out your options as they reflect your values and goals. Then you choose. No one can tell you what to do, but they can share info, interpret information and tests, offer options, insights and experience, even propose a course of action, but at the end of the day you have to choose to follow it and do it. Even a prescription is a fancy official way of making a suggestion and you are in no way obligated to take that suggestion any more than you are obligated to take any other suggestion along the way.

At the end of the day you pay the ultimate price or reap the ultimate reward for the choices you make based on those suggestions. So, gather them well and from the best sources you can and make sure they all align with what you truly value and are wanting. Do it not, and the potential to go right back to excuses and being the victim are high.

Don't be negative. This is not meant to put you down or make you feel bad but to give you a little health tough love and help you see you can go where you want to health wise and you have more control and options than you might think. You can do this. And honestly, only you can do this for yourself and your kids. Do not take it lightly, it is an opportunity, whether you take it or not is up to you.

Live well my friends,

Dr. Don

P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<


Does the Brain Control the Body or the Body Control the Brain?

Control and coordination of our body is not always linear and definitely not reliant on just one system, and just may work differently than we thought.

It is almost like there are three separate levels of control within our body keeping it going together as one. The nervous system, hormonal system, and cellular action.

First we have the brain and nervous system that act as the great data cruncher and responder. About 10% of the central nervous system’s nerve fibers are for out going messages telling the body what to do. Things like voluntary movement, like when you want to walk, shake someone’s hand or get up out of bed. This control seems to have more of a broad stroke concept as the nerves branch out all over and innervate the tissues of our body. The other 90% of the central nervous system’s wiring is for incoming messages from the tissues, organs, and different parts of the body reporting back to the brain what is happening and where we are. Those messages tell your brain where each part is and what it is doing so that when you pick up some food to eat you can put it in your mouth and not your ear without thinking much about it. A big part of that body to brain relay is so that we can do two things very well. One is walk. Upright posture and walking take a tremendous amount of coordination in both the brain and the body. The other major focus of this communication is for chewing. The jaw and all of it’s associated structures like the tongue require more innervation from you nerves than any other single part of your body.

This neurological reporting system sets up the general tone for the body. We have two opposing neurological tones that are in force at any given time, the sympathetic stress mode and the para sympathetic healing mode. Both of these tones are vitally important but they do two very different things to keep us alive and only one mode can be dominant at any given time. The sympathetic stress tone is what stirs things up in our body and gets it ready for action. This mode is traditionally seen and talked about in relation to our fight or flight response. Most people are pretty familiar with the concept of fight or flight. When we perceive a threat, and yes we have to cognitively sense a threat, it is not a given or an automatic response, our brain and nervous system start sending the messages all around our body to defend ourselves by fighting for our life or running away. In either case the nervous system triggers a massive cascade of hormonal chemicals that shut down energy in our digestive tract and organs as well as our immune system to shift that energy to our brain and muscles for action. Blood sugar, our energetic turbo boost fuel, is liberated and sent all over the body to make sure we can do what ever we need to do to get through this threat. Once we take the needed action our body starts to shift it’s tone from the sympathetic stress mode to the parasympathetic healing mode. As this mode becomes more dominant we adjust our breathing, our energy returns to our internal organs, we start up our digestion and immune system again as our body starts to attempt to repair any damage that was done by the turbo boost chemistry and the life saving action that followed.

This example is a good model showing how our nervous system works on a higher level to coordinate movement, direct neurological tone and coordinate responses and certain functions. It also leads us into how the next tier of bodily control works, the endocrine system. The endocrine system is basically our hormonal organs, tissues, glands and the hormones themselves. This system uses very small in size and amounts of hundreds of different types of hormones to influence and direct tissue action all over our body.

Hormones are very powerful and they guide tissue action and sort of take over where the nervous system left off by keeping all the feedback loops together that create the message from the cells that the tissue they make up will report back to the brain. Hormones direct action inside the tissues from one cell to another, from tissue and organ to other tissues and organs, and then of course back to the nervous system and brain. Hormones are very powerful, so powerful that most of the free hormone that gets secreted it bound up immediately by what are called hormone binding globulins to help mediate their effect. Consequently, a little goes a long way. We like to say, hormones whisper, not scream. Just their mere presence in a tissue or the blood stream will jump start action at the tissue and cellular level, even if that particular hormone doesn’t even bind to the corresponding cell.

That brings us to the next and in my opinion the ultimate level of body control. The cell. Each of your 70,000,000,000,000 (that is trillion) cells are alive. Well, almost all of them, it is questionable if red blood cells are alive since they don’t have a nucleus and can not divide…..but anyway. Each one could live independently, for a while. Each and every cell eats, eliminates waste, repairs it’s damage, breathes (so to speak), and divides, or reproduces. The job of each cell s to take care of itself. Be the best cell it can be, because if it does it’s job and stays healthy, and his neighbors do the same, his community will then be healthy leading to healthy tissues that build healthy organs that make up healthy systems that work together to make a healthy you!

True healing, as well as disease, starts at the cellular level. Heal the cell and you get well. The cell drives the feedback to the hormonal system and to the tissues that report to the nervous system and brain and they all respond to what that little cell has to say. I know a lot of people say the brain controls the body, but when you look at the magic of how all this works it is easy to see how the body controls the brain, and the body is built by, and controlled by the cells.

So, now, to this diagram I have made. I am trying to show the relationship of the hierarchy of system and tissue control within the body, just as I have explained here above. It shows the brain and its gross motor control and interpreting what goes on in the body at the top leading down to the general balance and tone of the nervous system. That then directs action in the tissue via the hormonal response. From there and we see how there is a two way street connecting back to the cells. How the cells use fuel (among other things) can influence our cellular health and what gets reported and responded to back up the chain leading to healing or disease.

I also included some beneficial health modalities that can be used at each step to help direct us towards optimal balance, function and healing.

Top tier efforts that have been shown to help promote stronger parasympathetic healing tone and reduce the sympathetic dominance that influence all processes to follow are: Meditation, Chiropractic, Paced Breathing

Sleep. No one single effort has been shown more powerful in helping clear the mind, detox the brain, reset the hormones, clear cell receptors and promote overall healing as sleep.

Stress resilience is different from stress resistance or traditional stress management where it helps your build and condition your system and response to stress in a way that it can build you up and make you better vs. break you down and cause problems.

Diet and exercise play the single number one role in whether our cells are chronic sugar burners promoting oxidation and inflammation or effective fat burners that promote cellular structure and function integrity, healing, and growth.

So I propose that it just might be time to change our perspective from the top down model of physiology to the bottom up cellular driven feedback model. Well, anyway you look at it, it is one amazing system this beautiful body of ours, and no matter which way it works one thing is certain, it can be, and wants to be healthy, if we get out of it’s way and let it.

Be well Tribers!

Dr. Don Clum

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P.S. Do you feel like you've tried EVERYTHING? Feel like you've been let down? I understand! If you want to see if I can personally help you in your health journey... schedule a call with me and let's discuss what you've been through and where you are now... where you want to get... and how I can help you get there.​ >> CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A PRIVATE PHONE CALL WITH ME <<