Wellness Articles

Positive Attitude, The Secret Weapon for Better Health

It’s easy to see how being happy, upbeat and optimistic can make you fun to be around and a good friend, but did you know that a positive attitude can actually help you to be healthier?

In a recent article published by the Mayo Clinic, a clear relationship is drawn between positive mental attitude and numerous health benefits, including:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

One explanation for these benefits is that having a positive outlook helps you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful effects of stress on your body. Another is that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and have reduced rates of smoking and alcohol consumption.

Whatever the reason, positive people seem to live longer, healthier lives – try it and see how it works for you! Here are some tips on how to be more positive:

If your self-talk tends to be more negative, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to an unhappy or unhealthy life. You can learn to transform negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it takes time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive way:

  • Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are too negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
  • Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. See humor in everyday occurrences. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn to manage stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people, those who believe they have no power over their lives, may increase your stress level and may make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about yourself.

By recognizing the patterns of positive thinking and choosing to be upbeat and optimistic, you enhance the likelihood of health and happiness – spread the word!

Lifestyle Choices Make All The Difference

Dear Patient and Friend,

There’s a reason why America spends more money on health care than any other country, yet the overall health in the US lags behind dozens of other developed countries.

At present, America ranks 37th in overall health, a surprisingly low position, especially in spite of the massive expenditures pointed toward treating disease – and that may turn out to be what’s wrong with the system, that too much effort is directed toward treating disease, and not enough toward preventing disease, or even better, developing healthy lifestyle habits so the likelihood of disease is greatly reduced.

It would be oversimplified to say that all disease could be stopped by making better lifestyle decisions, but some scientists say that 70% of all heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses could be avoided or reduced if people would simply accept the responsibility to make better lifestyle choices and improve the quality of their health and wellness decision-making.

We’re not talking about extreme changes like running ten miles everyday or eliminating all your favorite foods. Something as simple as drinking more water, taking a walk for a half hour three times a week, or taking some vitamin supplements could produce significant and beneficial shifts in blood chemistry, physical fitness and even attitude.

In fact, many researchers believe that regular exercise, even moderately applied, can be the best of all the stress reducers, with little or no side effects that could accompany chemical stress management through drugs.

Look at your own lifestyle, and consider choosing two or three small habits you could change or adopt – eating fresh wholesome foods in reasonable quantities, sleeping better, simple exercises like stretching, walking or yoga, limiting empty calories like sweets, especially early in the day or right before bed, including massage, or meditation, or being more diligent about keeping your spine and nerve system healthy – many people need only minor changes, while others need more of an overhaul, but one thing is for sure – taking the responsibility to make such decisions and choices will come back to reward you in a greater probability of good health and longer life.

The odds are in your favor, if you’ll choose healthy habits – it’s up to you to make such decisions, so ask us for some advice on how and where to start, and you’ll be glad you did.

Life Exercises

  • Every so often push your luck.
  • Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed.
  • Never give up on anybody; miracles happen every day.
  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  • Learn to listen.
  • Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures.
  • Don’t expect others to listen to your advice and ignore your example.
  • Opportunity sometimes knocks softly.
  • Leave everything a little better than you found it.
  • Don’t forget a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
  • Never waste an opportunity to tell someone that you love him or her.
  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  • Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
  • Don’t use time or words carelessly; neither can be retrieved.
  • Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love.
  • Smile a lot; it costs nothing and is beyond price.


It is time that you recognize how wonderful, powerful and perfect you already are. All of the answers you will ever need are right inside of you. All you need to do is trust your inner wisdom. Set your goals, raise your standards, and choose to show up as the “Best YOU Ever!” Decide to live in the present and live an “EXTRAORDINARY” life. Share this valuable information with those you care about so they can transform their lives too!

Closing Thoughts… Lifetime Resolutions

No one ever gets out of this world alive.

Resolve therefore to maintain a good sense of values.

Take care of yourself.

Good health is everyone’s major source of wealth.

Without it, happiness is virtually impossible. 

Resolve to be cheerful and helpful.

What you give to the world comes back to you.

Resolve to listen more and talk less.

No one ever learns anything by talking. 

Be cautious in giving advice.

Wise men don’t need it and fools won’t heed it.

Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and wrong.

Some time in life, you will have been all of these.

Do not equate money with success.

The world abounds with big money-makers who are miserable failures as human beings.

Resolve to not procrastinate another day, for it is the thief of today’s peace of mind and tomorrow’s happiness.

Resolve to be the person you want to be … today!

Making Promises

Making a promise is a very powerful action to take.  Many times during our lives, we are asked to make promises to do certain things.  For example, at age 16, we receive a driver’s license that requires us to make a commitment to obey the laws of the road.  If we fail to obey these laws, we may pay a price.  We might pay a fine or lose our driver’s license for a while.  Many lessons can be learned through experiencing loss.  We learn quickly to pay close attention to speed limit signs and reduce speed when necessary.  Experiencing loss can teach us a practical lesson such as this; however, it also helps us change behavior in other ways. 

Have you ever experienced the unfortunate loss of a loved one?  

Grief is a common and expected emotion to feel at this time; however, in addition, we frequently feel a sense of regret that we did not fully appreciate and value the relationship we had with our loved one until it was lost.

Regret is a very difficult emotion to deal with.  Usually we can choose to celebrate the wonderful memories; however, sometimes we may choose to change our future behavior with our loved ones who are still with us.  We make promises to spend more time with the people who are important to us and tell them how much we value and appreciate the relationship.  Loss has taught us a valuable life lesson.

In other words, sometimes we tend to take things for granted until we lose them.  It is when we lose them that we truly understand their value in our lives.  We can understand this concept in other areas of our lives as well:  financial independence, health and happiness.  We can promise ourselves that we will reach specific goals regarding financial independence and even happiness.  These promises have little value if we don’t have good health to follow through with them.  It seems unfortunate to me that our own health frequently seems to be the personal asset we take most for granted.  Because we take our health for granted, we may never have set an effective plan to insure optimal health today and in the future.

The best promise you can make TODAY is to make the health of you and your family top priority.  Promises are powerful.  A promise means that we state an action that we will take and not allow anything to stop us.  We can use this powerful tool of making a promise to create and implement a health plan that focuses on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.  Make a promise to yourself to prevent health problems before they arise by eating well, exercising, getting enough rest and committing to a chiropractic corrective and wellness care plan. 

Chiropractic care focuses on YOU and your body’s ability to heal itself.    Chiropractic emphasizes the necessity of having a healthy spine in order to insure optimal health.  The brain, the body’s central command center, sends messages to every tissue, organ and cell of the body through the nerve system.  These messages can be interrupted through misalignments of the spinal vertebrae (subluxation) caused by activities of daily life including falls, sports and accidents. 

Traditional medicine utilizes drugs to treat and mask the symptoms, while chiropractors realign the vertebrae of the spine, restoring the body’s natural communication system.  Chiropractors locate and correct the cause of the problem so true health can be restored.

Don’t make an unfortunate mistake that so many people make.  Don’t take your health and your family’s health for granted.  Make a promise to yourself TODAY to make chiropractic a part of your healthy lifestyle and insure yourself and your family a healthy future.

All About Gout

In the late 1980’s I worked as a real estate sales director for a firm in Helen, Georgia, and I was the understudy of one Mr. Richard “Dick” Etherton.  He was in his late 70’s, very chauvinistic, and a member of the “Old School.”  I never really figured out just what the Old School was, but I was certain that a young, ambitious, and energetic female was not ever invited to be a part of it.  Dick was angry at the world that he was on his way out professionally and that he, by the order of the owner of the firm for which we both worked, had to train me to take his place.  He was hard on me.  He had a particular penchant for pointing out every little thing I did wrong.  I now understand some of his predicament, but then I thought he was just a grumpy fellow who needed to retire.  Every morning my cheerful greetings were met with his moans and groans about all of his physical ailments as he walked across the floor with an exaggerated limp.  I thought he was making half of it up, but now I know that was far from the truth.  Dick always complained that his gout was getting the best of him.  This was the perfect reason for me to do all of the grunt work around the office and, I thought, a huge excuse for him to have a legal slave.  I did not understand the absolute torture that people with gout actually experience until I started to deal with it clinically.

Gout is a name for a form of joint inflammation (arthritis) that affects primarily the big toe.  The type of pain it causes is inexplicable.  Some compare it to the feeling that the toe is on fire.  Most often the attacks of gout come in the middle of the night with no warning whatsoever and even the weight of a bed sheet on the toe is unbearable.  The affected joint becomes excruciatingly painful, hot, and the skin around it might even turn red and shiny to show the outward signs of the inflammation that is occurring inside.  Gout has been referred to as the rich man’s disease since it is exacerbated by eating rich foods and drinking excessive alcohol, but in recent years it has been recognized to be a complicated and widespread disorder that can affect anyone.  While gout affects mostly men, women are more susceptible to it after menopause.

Gouty arthritis is caused by the deposits in the joints of tiny sharp crystals formed by excessive uric acid in the bloodstream.  Uric acid is formed naturally by the metabolism of purines.  Purines are substances found in certain foods and in alcohol, especially beer and wine.  As the purines are broken down by the body, uric acid develops and in most cases is excreted naturally.  In some cases, though, an excessive amount of the uric acid builds up in the bloodstream and is deposited in joints in the form of tiny needle-like crystals which get into the joints themselves or the tissue surrounding the joints and cause pain, inflammation, and swelling.  The intense pain from gout usually lasts from 5 to 10 days per episode, and there really is no way to prevent attacks once they begin.  Sometimes it can be weeks, months, or even years between attacks at first, but as the condition progresses the attacks get closer and closer together.  Gout can ultimately bring about more intense pain and even joint destruction.  Treatment consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and in some cases steroids to control the acute nature of the attacks.  Most doctors suggest a preventative strategy to reduce the amount of uric acid in the bloodstream and, hopefully, squelch the intensity of future attacks. 

Foods which are high in purines and should be restricted or avoided altogether include organ meats, shellfish, red meats, peas, lentils, and beans.  Excessive alcohol intake should also be avoided, especially beer and wine.  No more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women is a safe bet for those who suffer from gout.  Certain blood pressure medications can cause an increase in uric acid levels in the blood.  If gout becomes an issue and you are taking blood pressure medication, check with your doctor to make sure that the medications you are on are not increasing the likelihood of an attack of gout.  It is also a good idea to increase your water intake if you suffer from gout.  Increased intake of water can dilute the uric acid in your body and ultimately decrease the amount that is in your bloodstream.

For the time that I worked with Dick Etherton, I felt that he was a huge cross for me to bear.  His attacks of gout were intensified by his absolute defiance to do anything other than eat three or more portions of red meat every day, smoke multitudes of Winston cigarettes and drink copious amounts of Miller High Life.  I did not realize at that time, though, how much pain he was in more often than not.  I look back and am grateful that he was hard on me, as that helped build my work ethic and character, but I often regret that I was so hard on him, as that just added one more pain to an area of his anatomy that was pain-free before I came into his life.  Treat your body well.

Bedwetting & Nocturnal Enuresis

Few issues present more embarrassment for children and more frustration for parents than nocturnal enuresis, or night-time bedwetting.  For children it becomes quite a social burden when they are old enough to be invited to sleepover parties only to dodge the invitation due to possible bed-wetting problems.  Some children even go so far as to stay up all night in such situations just to avoid the possibility of embarrassment.  Friends can’t be invited over without lengthy explanations of all the preparations for bed, and no adolescent wants his or her friends to know that they have to wear pull-up diapers every night.  It is a real issue for them. 

Parents are left feeling frustrated by the turmoil the problem of nocturnal enuresis causes at home, too.  Extra loads of laundry have to be done, plastic sheets have to be arranged to avoid ruining mattresses, extra expense of pull-up diapers must be borne, alarms must be set in the middle of the night to wake up their children to get them to the bathroom, and the list goes on.  Add to this list the worry about what might be causing the problem in the first place, and the frustration mounts.  Parents have to be very patient, balance their irritation with their concern, and be careful not to scold children for something that is completely beyond their control.  If you are one of these parents, you are not alone.  According to Claudia Anrig, D.C., author of a textbook on chiropractic pediatrics, approximately 2-3 million children in the U.S. are afflicted with this disorder.  About 10 to 15 percent of 5 year olds and 5 percent of 10 year olds suffer.  The cause is largely unknown, although there is a hereditary component in some cases.

First handling for nocturnal enuresis should always be ruling out organic causes for the problem.  Your child’s pediatrician will know where to turn to make sure there is no urological or neurological cause.  Once these systems have been cleared as being the primary cause of night-time bedwetting, doctors often will prescribe medications for the problem.  Sometimes the medications are temporarily effective, but are not without their side effects and often the problem returns when the medication stops.  So there is no long-term effectiveness against which to weigh the down-sides of medications.  Night-time alarms are also used in the treatment of bed-wetting, but they don’t do anything to stop the problem.  They warn many times only when it is too late.  Often nocturnal enuresis is a self-limiting problem, or one which a child seems just to “grow out of”.  The questions are, however, “When will the child grow out of it?’ and “How much more of this can I take?” 

There is some evidence both clinical and published that chiropractic treatment might help those with nocturnal enuresis.  In the peer-reviewed Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, a study was published that was performed at the Palmer Institute of Graduate Studies and Research in Davenport, Iowa.  The study included a group of enuretic children who received a series of chiropractic treatments and a control group which received no chiropractic adjustments, and showed a 50 percent decrease in bedwetting episodes- measured by frequency of wet nights as reported by parents. Other studies report similar findings, while still others report a smaller decrease but a decrease nonetheless.  Most often the area of spinal manipulation that has shown to be the most effective in aiding those with nocturnal enuresis is the lumbar, or lower back, region of the spine.  The nerves in the lumbar spine supply the kidneys and bladder, so if there is a spinal misalignment in that area which is putting pressure on the lumbar nerve roots which supply those organs, the interference could cause them to malfunction.  It is the job of your chiropractor to locate the areas of misalignment and make the necessary corrections in order to restore the proper nerve flow to the body.  Proper nerve function helps us rest assured that our body’s self-healing, self-regulating properties are at work the way nature intended for them to be.

Getting adjusted can cause a number of positive effects on the body’s nervous system, and helping to decrease the episodes of bedwetting is one of those possibilities.  Ask your chiropractor about the many wonders of correcting interferences in your child’s nervous system.  You will be glad you did.  Treat your body well.