Carrots are Tasty, Sticks Leave Bruises

September 13, 2019 by

Just like you can make a horse move by using both the carrot and the stick, humans are motivated by both pain and pleasure. Which one of those two that acts as your primary motivator will have a dramatic impact on the results you achieve and the quality of your life?

     For the most part, humans respond more readily to the stick than they do to carrots. Most people would do more to prevent money being stolen from them than they would to earn the same sum. What moves you more? Carrots or sticks?

     The reality is that life will always give you both carrots and sticks. Tasty pleasures to pursue and painful sticks that will leave bruises and scars. We can, however set up our lives in a way that provides us with MORE carrots (which are also healthy) and as a result reduce how often we need to be hit by sticks.

     Let’s use health as an example. The predominant approach most people take to their health is that they only respond to sticks. When they have pain, symptoms, or a disease they seek a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment to manage the bruises from the stick. The bigger the stick, typically the more extensive the treatment. If the treatment is successful and the blow from the stick is no longer hurting, they go back to normal and wait for the next stick.

     This is how the vast majority of our health care and health insurance system is set up also. Have a problem, get fixed, repeat. While ‘Prevention’ is a wiser approach and definitely a step up, it is still about avoiding the stick and not about earning carrots (getting healthier).

     The healthiest people I know typically don’t spend much time or energy worrying about sticks. They enjoy carrots and focus their efforts on their tasty goodness. Sure, some sticks show up from time to time and they deal with the bruises, but because they are so healthy, they are few and far between and can deal with them much faster when they must.

     Being hit with sticks is not a fun way to live our lives, and as the hits accumulate, we become battered and bloodied. Eating carrots, on the other hand make us stronger, fitter, happier, more energetic, more fun and to some extent immune to stick attacks!

     Ask yourself what it is that you focus on in life? Do you wait for pain in order to act or do you get after the good things in life? Do you move from one health problem to the next, or do you see your level of health improve each year? How about in your finances? How about in your relationships?

     The care we provide at Nexus Chiropractic – believe it or not – is based on getting you carrots. Yes, most people come in bloodied by sticks and some of that must be corrected. Most of our results though, come from IMPROVING the health of the spine and nervous system and helping them to become more AWARE and ADAPTABLE, so that not only are they more functional – they are more able to navigate around the sticks.

     Eat more carrots – they are healthy and taste so good.

The Hierarchy of Health – Part 5 and Final

April 1, 2019 by

In this, the final installment of the Hierarchy of Health series, we will be reviewing each of the approaches. Each has their benefits, and each has their costs. In order to be satisfied with our health, it is imperative that we match our goals and values with the approach most likely to meet them.

The first approach is Symptom Treatment. Symptom Treatment is about getting rid of the superficial pain or secondary condition. Success is determined when we feel relief, or at least more comfortable.

The benefit of this approach is that it can buy us some time until we can get to true healing. If we break a bone, we know that the pain killer is not healing us – but provides some comfort while the healing work is done. Symptom treatment is also typically rapid and not time consuming (relief occurs quickly).

The cost of symptom treatment is that it does little to improve – and often impairs – overall health. A comfortable person taking Tylenol is not healthier than they were 20 minutes earlier when they had a headache – in fact one could argue they are now less aware and not as healthy. A lifetime of mere symptom treatment may lead to a significant decrease of health and serious health problems and disease.

 

The next approach in the Hierarchy of Health is Addressing the Cause. This goes deeper than symptom treatment. This approach understands that in the majority of cases, symptoms are secondary conditions with an underlying, primary cause and that just treating the secondary effects will do nothing to solve the real problem.

At Nexus Chiropractic, our Initial Phase of Care (IPC) is designed to address the primary problem of a spine and nervous system locked in an abnormal state.

Does this take longer to correct than just treating a symptom? Of course. The benefit is that the outcome is typically much more sustainable and even better, when you correct the underlying pattern, very often there are other ‘side effect’ benefits as well.

 

The third approach in the Hierarchy of Health is Protection. Protection is the first approach that is proactive, as opposed to reactive. Instead of waiting for problems to arise, you take steps on a regular basis to ensure you stay in good shape, much like most reasonable people have the oil changed in their car whether their engine light comes on or not.

While Protection does require regular care, it can go a long way towards preventing major crises that are very inconvenient and very expensive to address in terms of time, energy, lost opportunity, and money.

 

Our final approach that sits highest in the Hierarchy of Health is Optimization. This approach doesn’t react to problems, or even try to prevent them. The focus of Optimization is continued improvement.

A person utilizing this approach uses their experience to look for new and refined ways to be better tomorrow than they were today. These individuals are maestros of their health and lives.

The more advanced care we provide at Nexus is designed to deliver optimization by helping the nervous system to become ever more adaptable and highly organized.

 

Where do you spend most of your time on the hierarchy of health? Be honest.

Are you happy with the results you are getting with your currently approach? If yes, keep doing what you are doing.

Do you want more out of your health? Where will you be in 5, 10, 20 years if you keep going the same way? Start by moving up one rung on the Hierarchy of Health, commit to it, and observe what happens.

There is perhaps nothing more rewarding in my work than watching someone choose a higher path for their health and life. It is never too late to make that choice.

 

Thorin Gault, D.C.

April 1, 2019

 

Patch, Fix, Protect, or Optimize?

April 17, 2018 by

When it comes to health problems, we have 4 ways in which we can approach them. All four have their own benefits and are appropriate at different times. Which we choose for a given situation is not only important in having short term success, it is also paramount to achieving the health we want long term.

Let us take a look at each of Patch, Fix, Protect and Optimize.

     Patching is what we do when we know there is a larger problem, but we need to buy ourselves some time in the short term. Your old springs a leak and you know it will need to be replaced, but you need to finish watering the garden. So, you wrap some duct tape around the hole, so the flowers don’t die today.

The Patch strategy is a great one when we are in crisis and if something is not done immediately, disability and even death may result. If someone were shot with a bullet inside them, yes, the bullet will eventually need to come out. However, in the short term, compressing the wound with a bandage will keep them alive long enough to be properly fixed.

Antibiotics can be a great patch when faced with an infection that may kill you. They buy you the time (save your life) so that you can make changes that will strengthen your health and immune system in the future.

Patches can become a problem when they are used as fixes. Antibiotics used unnecessarily will harm your long-term health. Pain medication used simply to cover up a secondary condition(symptom) actually allow people to continue to damage their bodies without knowing it – leading to more serious problems down the road.

Most people truly only need patches (hopefully) a few times during their lives when in serious crisis. When we need them, they are wonderful. When we over use them, we suffer needlessly.

 

The Fix strategy is one that looks to get to the cause of the problem. It looks to correct the primary condition leading to the secondary effects. If faulty electrical was leading to burned out light bulbs and malfunctioning appliances the patch solution would be to replace them. The Fix solution would be to hire an electrician to correct the wiring.

When we Fix something we typically gain parallel benefits as well. Corrected wiring improves the function of EVERYTHING requiring electricity. Perhaps the electrical bill goes down as efficiency increases. Safety also improves as the chance of a devastating electrical fire decreases.

The Fix approach works the same way with our health. Taking a pain pill may make us feel better for awhile but correcting abnormal spine structure and nervous system function is not only more sustainable but leads to a myriad of health benefits besides.

 

The Protect strategy begins to move beyond being focused on problems or symptoms. Once we have corrected what was abnormal we have a choice to do some regular work to keep it that way. Protect recognizes that maintaining proper function is better than waiting for the next crisis. Once we get the old piano in tune, it is much less work more enjoyable to have it retuned on a regular schedule than to let it get back to it’s previous state and start over again.

A health crisis can be a time, energy and resource draining thing to face. They are certainly not convenient. Some attention to Protection is a great way to stay healthy long term and avoid future problems.

 

Finally, we come to the Optimization strategy. This is where exceptionally healthy people spend most of their energy and attention. Instead of focusing on patching, fixing and preventing problems, they look to optimize and improve their health, function and performance regardless of problems.

They know that the best way to be healthy is to continually improve their adaptability and efficiency. Does it mean they will never have a crisis or problems? Of course not, but they will sure be better equipped to handle them when they occur.

 

Unfortunately, most people spend most of their lives in Patch, and Fix modes when what they truly want are the benefits of Protect and Optimize. Fortunately, changing that only requires a few simple decisions.

At Nexus Chiropractic we are not interested in patching people up. Very few people entering our office truly need patching and if they do, a trip to the ER is probably in order.

We begin seeing most people from a Fix perspective, which is what we do during the Initial Phase of Care (IPC). By addressing abnormalities in the spine and nervous system (Neurospinal Shift) and objectively measuring those changes we know our patients are going back into life healthier.

Once the system is normalized, people may now choose to enter either a Protection or Optimization program. This is where we see people really create long term health strategies that spill over into not only physical benefits, but mental/emotional well-being, greater energy and vitality and an over all greater quality of life.

 

After reading this article, take some time to look at where you are perhaps frustrated with your health, or not getting the results you would like. Maybe a small shift in your approach is all you need to get what you want?

 

Thorin Gault, D.C.

April 17, 2018

 

Rise Above (Your Problem)

March 27, 2018 by

We have all heard the Einstein quote, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when creating them.” Not surprisingly, there is a lot of wisdom in that quote, and it has powerful applications to our health.

Just as we cannot solve life’s problems with the same thinking that created them, we can’t solve our health problems with the same approaches that created THEM.

 

I am a competitive Masters (old timer) weightlifter. For the first 4 years of my competitive career, I made consistent and rapid progress in the results I was achieving, which culminated in winning the Pan Am Masters championship in 2016. Everything was great. Then, I plateaued. Then I noticed that my numbers were dropping. This continued for almost a year and I didn’t know why. It definitely was a big PROBLEM!

Because I am not that smart, my first approach to the problem was to just do the same thing (in training and preparation), but more of it. I trained more often and harder. What was the outcome? You guessed it, the problem got worse.

People told me that I was just getting old and I should just accept it, but I was not quite willing to go down without a fight. I knew that I had to change my approach to training (thinking).

So, I studied books and articles looking for answers. I changed my approach to recovery between workouts. From the new insight I gained, I came up with a new plan with a significantly different approach and it has started to work. My trajectory is now upwards again, and I am excited for what will come as opposed to being scared and frustrated regarding to future.

 

I see a similar narrative play out with many individuals regarding their health. Everything is fine and then one day a health problem shows up. Back pain, headaches, anxiety, digestive problems.

Most people focus on the elimination of the symptom. What is rarely considered is what the symptom (more accurately termed a secondary condition) means. A secondary condition means that your body is no longer able to effectively adapt to the stressors being placed upon it.

A symptom or disease means you have an adaptability deficiency. So, you can eliminate the stressors in your life (such as work, your kids, physical activity), or you can upgrade your adaptability and re-enter life functioning at a higher level.

Most of the time when we treat a symptom, we are really just decreasing our awareness, which leads to even less adaptability. That is what I was doing by training harder. I was ignoring what both my body and the scoreboard were telling me. Had I continued on this path, my results would have continued to decline, and I likely would have either burned out my system or had a serious injury that would have taken me out of the game.

What if instead of making the secondary condition the enemy, your asked yourself, ‘how can I rise above this? How can I take my thinking, approach, and awareness to a whole new level?’

There are many ways to do this that will provide you with an entirely different trajectory in both your health and life.

 

One of the reasons we get the results we get at Nexus Chiropractic is that we don’t chase symptoms – we upgrade the body’s software (nervous system) to help it become more aware, more efficient, and more adaptable. Instead of fighting your body, we help it rise above the problem.

Why go back into life the same – only a little older and more fragile – when you can rise above and play the game of life at a whole new level?

 

Thorin Gault, D.C.

March 27, 2018

 

2018 – The Best Year of Your Life – Part 3

January 23, 2018 by

Awareness: Enhance vs. Suppress

In the last article we explored the first principle the healthy minority live by, which was that they focus on building health as opposed to treating symptoms.

This article continues into the second principle of healthy people and it has to do with awareness. Healthy people look to enhance awareness, while unhealthy people seek to suppress awareness.

There is no area where this is more obvious than when someone experiences pain or symptoms. I am always surprised at how many people literally walk around with a bottle of pain killers in their purses or backpacks. You don’t see that with healthy people.

All symptoms have a common purpose or meaning. They are there to get us to, 1. Stop, 2. Pay Attention, and 3. Do Something Different. That is the job of a pain or symptom.

If we feel the beginning of that signal being delivered by a symptom and immediately suppress it, we miss the opportunity for steps 2 and 3. In fact the suppression may actually allow us to not stop at all, but continue with the behaviours that were causing the damage and pain.

Let’s take your average blue-collar worker with back pain, or desk worker with neck pain and a headache. The symptoms they are experiencing are letting them know that something is wrong, and they are doing damage by continuing to do things as they are. The back pain forces the labourer to bend and lift in a way that protects their injury. The desk worker is forced to sit up straight or take stretching breaks or perhaps even alter their work station.

Even beyond their immediate work environment, perhaps the symptoms motivate them to join a gym to get themselves in shape, change their diet to decrease inflammation, or see a health professional who can address any structural or functional issues they have.

You see, very often the pain and symptoms we experience are not the problem at all – they are the first part of the solution. However, if we suppress the solution with pills, potions, and lotions it is any wonder why so many people are frustrated and failing in their health?

 

Healthy people know that pain and symptoms are a call to pay attention and ENHANCE awareness. The great thing about this is that awareness is like a muscle in that the more we pay attention, the better we get at it. We can actually learn to listen to our body’s whispers so that it rarely has to scream at us.

Healthy people can listen to the subtle signals their body is giving them, which not only keeps them out of crisis, but allows their body to become wiser over time.

I have missed only about 2 total days of work sick in almost 18 years. Why? I listen to my body and don’t suppress symptoms when they arise. Over time I have developed the awareness that allows me to know when I am just a little bit off. When I feel that way, I make sure I get a little extra rest, clean up my diet, and maybe handle some stresses I have been ignoring.

The same applies to my competitive weightlifting, where aches and pains are a constant and important companion. Pain may mean I need to back off, correct an imbalance I have, work on mobility, fix a technical issue or focus more on recovery. Because I pay attention to these more subtle things I have never had a serious injury that has kept me away from training for more that a couple of days.

 

The care we provide at Nexus Chiropractic is different from many other approaches in that Enhancing awareness is an integral and necessary part of the process. Patients leave our office MORE aware of their bodies, not less. As a result of this, they become more adaptable over time and can often return to their same lives, but handle them more effectively. At this point the focus of their care shifts from fixing what is wrong to optimizing their ability to adapt in the world.

 

Homework time! Write down a circumstance or area of your health where you have consistently SUPPRESSED your awareness in order to feel more comfortable. How has worked out in the long run? Are you more or less adaptable than before?

Next, write down some ways you could increase your awareness next time this issue arises. Even better, how can you increase your awareness before issues arise?

 

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for another principle of the healthy minority next week.

 

Thorin Gault, D.C.

The 4 Ways of Healthcare – Part 1

February 7, 2017 by

Over the next several articles we will be exploring – in detail – the 4 Ways of Healthcare. Each Way has a different approach to how we treat our health, different outcomes or objectives, and different ways to measure success. Above all else, which Way we focus on will certainly determine how healthy we are – or are not.

We all spend at least some time using several of the Ways of healthcare, yet most of us do so unconsciously – unaware of exactly what we are doing and why. The unfortunate, yet all too common, impact of this lack of understanding and awareness is desiring one health related outcome and acting in a way that cannot produce it. This is not due to a lack of discipline or will power – it is due to an ineffective approach.

It is my experience and belief that the major cause of frustration with our own personal health, as well as the ‘healthcare system’ is this lack of understanding. We spend too much time, effort and resources on approaches that cannot create the result we desire.

The purpose of this series of articles is to help you to define PRECISELY what you want in regards to you and your family’s health and then to CONSCIOUSLY choose a Way to get there. Included in this will be some suggested practices and interventions in each of these ways.

 

Something very important to understand is that each of the  4 Ways are good and appropriate at specific times. Each is effective at producing its own result. I have seen some health ‘gurus’ promote one Way as the only way and I believe this to be folly.

Each has a time, each has a place. The key to great results is to apply the appropriate approach at the appropriate time. The only way to do this is to understand what you want and how to get it.

 

So without further delay, the 4 Ways of Healthcare are:

 

Symptom Treatment – This approach seeks relief from pain, symptoms, or crisis. I prefer the term secondary condition over pain or symptom because it more accurately reflects what is actually going on. Pain and symptoms don’t typically exist on their own – they are secondary to something more primary underlying the problem.

The Symptom Treatment Way of healthcare is considered successful if the immediate secondary condition is relieved – by any means possible. If a person with back pain or headache takes a narcotic and feels better, the treatment is deemed successful and we move on our way.

There are many treatments and practitioners who are very good at Symptom Treatment. This is NOT our focus at Nexus Chiropractic.

An easy to understand analogy is that of a lawn covered in dandelions (I kind of like dandelions but my neighbours do NOT). Using the first Way of healthcare we would simply chop the heads of the flowers off with a lawnmower and call it a day. Quick, easy, effective…..until?

 

The second Way of Healthcare goes a bit deeper than symptom treatment and Addresses the Primary Condition that may have led to the symptom. This is the baseline type of care we provide at Nexus and where most people start with us.

This Way of healthcare may monitor symptoms in the background but does not primarily use symptom relief as a measure of success.

Obviously this second Way of healthcare requires a bit more work than the first and absolutely requires baseline objective indicators (an examination beyond symptoms), a reasonable plan of correction (beyond symptom relief), and an objective follow up to determine whether the primary condition was handled.

To go back to our dandelion analogy, in this Way of healthcare, we have to get down on our hands and knees with a tool and start pulling weeds out by their roots. More work? Yes. More time? Yes. More sustainable and long lasting results? Absolutely.

 

The third Way of healthcare is Prevention/Adaptability. The focus here shifts away from fixing anything to preventing problems in the future. This includes tuning things up before they get turn into pain or disability as well as helping the body to be more adaptable to future stress and trauma.

At Nexus, people using this third Way of healthcare are what we call our protection patients. We have already done the work to normalize the primary condition and now do regular tune ups to keep things in tip top shape.

Going back to the dandelion story. Prevention may include pulling a few weeds from time to time or feeding the lawn special nutrients twice a year to prevent future dandelion overgrowth.

 

The fourth and final Way of healthcare is Optimization. Optimization goes beyond correction and prevention and focuses on making things better and more efficient over time. This Way is extremely rare in healthcare today.

The folks who use this Way of healthcare at Nexus are our optimization practice members – different from patients looking to treat or prevent something bad. These people desire continued improvement in spine and nervous system efficiency and evolving levels of health.

In our lawn analogy, the focus now turns on the health and beauty of not only the grass, but the entire grounds. Planning, time, and effort go into making the yard more functional and brilliant every season.

 

In the upcoming articles we will be digging deeper into each Way of Healthcare, the results they produce, and how you can choose which one is appropriate for you at any given time.

 

 

Why I Drive 3 Hours Every Week for My Chiropractic Care

September 10, 2012 by

I would like to preface this article by emphatically stating that I am in NO way commenting on the quality of the other chiropractors in my community. In fact, I think Cornwall is lucky to have a nice complement of chiropractors who do good work. I frequently refer potential patients and practice members to other chiropractors if their goals do not match the objectives of my office. Okay, on with the story.

This past Friday I hurt my neck during an Olympic weightlifting training session. No big deal, but it left me with a stiff neck that I could not turn very well and moving a bit like the Frankenstein monster. I was running some errands yesterday and ran into an acquaintance who commented that I looked kind of stiff for a chiropractor and we joked that it would be difficult for me to adjust myself.

I realized in that moment that I had not even considered phoning another chiropractor in town to get care. It had not even crossed my mind. The reason that I am writing this article is that I think most people would find it very strange that a chiropractor wasn’t seeking chiropractic care for himself after injuring his spine. I will tell you why.

First of all, I do not use chiropractic care as a reactive tool. My sore, stiff neck does not mean that my body isn’t healing. I had 265 pounds of weight crash a little too hard onto the front of my shoulders – some pain is understandable. In fact, the pain and stiffness restricting my range of motion are probably exactly what my neck needs to heal quickly and fully. Why would I want to get rid of that?

Why am I so confident that my body is healing well, even while I am in pain? In addition to taking good care of my health, I see my chiropractor in Gatineau for 2 entrainments every week. I have been doing this for 11 years. Because of this, I heal better than last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.

So why do I take every Wednesday afternoon off from the office, get in my car, fill up with gas, sit in Ottawa (the most inefficient drivers in the world!) traffic, pay big city chiropractic prices and wait in a busy reception room? All of this when I could probably drop in to an office down the street, be out in 10 minutes and have it all done for free. As I mentioned earlier, it is not because the doctors in town aren’t good – they are.

The reason that I go to all of the hassle and expense for my care is that what I want from my care is NOT to react to health challenges. What I want is to develop ever evolving strategies to live a healthy, happy, adaptable, and a forever increasing quality of life. I want reorganization, NOT restoration. Network care is the only health care system I am aware of that has this as a direct objective. If I ever find anything better at creating this result I promise I will learn it and provide it.

As a side effect of this care, I do have fewer occurrences of pain and disease, and heal much faster when they do arise. Bonus!

It is my belief that most people hunger to reorganize, step up, and evolve yet settle for comfort because they don’t think the former is possible for them. People want a life that becomes richer, fuller, healthier and more vibrant with each passing year yet don’t take the steps to achieve it. You can.

In any endeavour in life, be sure your actions, effort and the people you work with support your highest vision for what is possible.

 

 

 

“People don’t know that pain can lead to something GREAT. If they did they would not try to kill it.”                     Donny Epstein

 

September is Transform Time

September 4, 2012 by

As told in the Book of Ecclesiastes and later made popular by The Byrds’ version of the song Turn, Turn, Turn!, there really is a time for everything. One of the great lessons I have learned as I have become older – and hopefully a bit wiser – is that life is not about pushing all of the time.

With the seasons come different actions, different routines, and a changing focus. For most people, summer is a time of rest, relaxation, indulgence, socializing, and fun. This is great because it actually prepares us for the next season of autumn – which surprise – starts today!

September marks the beginning of transform time. Transform means taking massive action, making progress, getting results, and following a plan or routine. The transformation we make over the next several months will be what we celebrate at Christmas and the New Year.

So, starting today, how can you maximize the results you will achieve this season? Here are some tips to make sure you transform to the fullest this autumn.

The first step is to Decide what you want. In what areas of your life must you make progress in? Perhaps your career, finances, relationship, or hobby require some transformation? Certainly health is a huge area for most people after a summer of beer and burgers. Make a list of 3-7 areas of your life that need an upgrade.

Now, for each area write down what your progress will look like. Here is the key: make sure that what you write down is in the positive. So, instead of focusing on ‘losing’ weight, phrase it as ‘gaining’ leanness, vitality, health or the ability to fit into size x jeans. Write these down now.

The next step is to come up with a Plan to achieve the results you have committed to. One of the best ways to do this is to model someone who is already getting those results. If you want to be healthy, find the healthiest people you know and model their behaviour, focus and structure. Once you decide what changes you will make, it is essential that you write your plan down and schedule it. In my experience, weekly planning is the best way to incorporate any changes into your life.

The last step is the one that most often causes failure. The final and most important step is Action. It doesn’t matter how inspiring your goals are, or how well laid out your plans are, without massive and consistent action you will never get there. You must act and you must do so with pig headed determination (thank you Chet Holmes)! The practice members who get the greatest results in my office who become more healthy and adaptable every year are those who commit and follow through. Likewise, the chiropractors I coach who get the greatest results in their practice commit and take massive action. If you are not going to take action, save yourself the disappointment and don’t even start this process.

 

Do yourself a favour and make the most out of the season of fall by really creating some transformation in your life. Think about good it will feel to celebrate all of your progress in a few short months. When it comes to transforming both your health and life, I know of no better support than Network care. Our office will be holding several workshops over the next few months to help people take the next step. If you are reading this in another community, feel free to contact me for a practitioner close to you.

 

To close, a quote from peak performance and transform master Tony Robbins.

 

“Network Spinal Analysis and Somato Respiratory Integration, Donny Epstein’s revolutionary methodologies, are amongst the most powerful sources of personal transformation I have ever experienced or seen. They produce embodied and empowered strategies that are both sustainable and enjoyable for enhanced human resourcefulness and wellness.” I am stronger, more inspired, creative and healthy because of this work. It has personally and professionally helped me to maximize my ability to contribute to others.”Anthony Robbins

 

Different Doctors, Different Focus

March 11, 2012 by

and Focus determines Results

 

One of the most important determinants of success in any endeavour is focus. We tend to attract what we focus on and the more we focus, the more it grows. Our success requires focus. This is why it is important that the doctors, coaches, advisors and fiduciaries we work will possess a focus that is consistent with the results we are looking to achieve. When what WE want is very different from our doctor’s (or any other advisor) the outcome often leads to frustration, disappointment, and failure.

 

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to give a lecture to trainer Tom Irvine of Quest Personal Training Studio’s fitness class at St. Lawrence College. I have been speaking and demonstrating NSA for his classes for years. This time, I chose to speak less about what I do and more about the different approaches in chiropractic and what the differences were. After all, I did not want to turn a potential future chiropractor off of the profession if they were not personally interested in MY focus in practice.

With so many techniques and systems within chiropractic, the best way to break down our differences was where we place most of our focus. I defined 4 distinct groups:

1. Pain and symptom treatment focus. These chiropractors aim to ‘fix’ your pain and symptoms and do so as quickly as possible. Success is defined as the pain going away and treatment is focused on achieving that goal.

2. Pain and symptom prevention focus. These doctors feel that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so focus more on stopping problems before they happen. This may be in the form of regular ‘maintenance’ care and prescribed exercises. Success is a lower frequency of problems in the future. A doctor in this group may sacrifice the quick ‘fix’ of a symptom to ensure an injury more fully heals to prevent a future flare up.

3. Optimizing function focus. While pain and symptoms may be addressed, the focus is on getting your body functioning at its’ optimum. This may include optimal movement, immune system function, and in the chiropractor’s case definitely optimal nerve function. This doctor recognizes that pain and symptoms can be a part of a well functioning body so will not treat them at the expense of the whole. Often, these chiropractors are “subluxation-based” and recommend regular check-ups to ensure being in tip-top shape.

4. Evolving strategy focused. These doctors recognize that a living human is not a static entity and that there is an opportunity for everyone to develop new strategies for health and life. They know that once function is optimized, there is still another level to go. There is no ceiling to our potential for awareness, adaptability, resourcefulness, vitality, and happiness. The goal of these chiropractors is to help their practice members develop never-ending refinement. They also recognize that new physical strategies can impact our emotional, mental and spiritual lives. These doctors see pain and symptoms as a calling for more awareness and new strategies, not something to do battle with.

 

Of course, most chiropractors do not fit into only one of these categories. They do, however have one in which they place the most focus. One is not better than the other but they will definitely get different results. In my experience, when you start to take care of optimal function and evolving strategies, the symptoms often take care of themselves.

The great thing is that you get to choose which one fits best for you. A great way to find out what your doctor’s focus is to ask them what their highest vision for you in care. This also applies to any other coach or advisor you employ (a financial advisor focused on getting you out of bankruptcy will get very different results than one focussing on building your legacy for generations to come)!

Make sure your doctor’s focus is consistent with yours. What I look for in any coach is someone who is a little bit beyond me. Someone who will stretch me just beyond my comfort zone and makes sure I am learning something new. If you can identify your health focus above I would encourage you to choose a doctor 1 level past it.

 

 

“The more presence and congruence you possess, the less force is required in any endeavour”

–       Dr. Donny Epstein

 

 

Make 2012 the Best Year of Your Life – Part 4 (final)

January 31, 2012 by

We have now defined our Prime, Keystone and Drain sides of the Triad of Change – if you haven’t go back to the previous articles before reading this. We are now ready to use the Triad to create success in any and every part of our lives. We are now ready to use our personal combination of Structure, Perception, and Behaviour for optimal results.

First, decide on something you are committed to changing, improving, or getting desired outcome in. Using the Triad is a muscle that will get stronger in time, so I would recommend starting with something simple. One of your New Year resolutions (even if you have already dropped it) is a great place to start. What are you COMMITTED to changing?

Now comes the magic of using the Triad. The reason most attempts at change fail is because people tend to attack the wrong (drain) side of the Triad. Using our new model we will address our strengths (prime and keystone) and then merely observe the shift in our drain.

When we shift any 2 sides of the Triad, the third automatically and effortlessly will become congruent with the others! Let’s say you want to lose weight and behaviour is your drain. Most people would focus on exercising more and eating better food. This won’t work in a sustainable way. A more successful approach would be to create a Structure of perhaps scheduling workout times, setting up a home gym, only shopping on a full stomach, and keeping a food diary as well as changing Perceptions by reading affirmations, doing SRI exercises, envisioning a new thin you, imagine being a beacon of health for your grandkids, etc.

Do you see how when you change your perceptions and structures, the behaviour will have no choice but to shift also? If you took the above actions you would naturally and effortlessly exercise, eat better and therefore lose weight, however if you focused on those things with a behaviour drain it would be a struggle and inevitably lead to failure.

So, this process can seem very complex – especially if it is your first exposure to it. Allow me to attempt to simplify the steps:

1. Decide what you are absolutely committed to changing.

2. Address your Prime and Keystone sides of the Triad (DO NOT go after your drain).

3. Be certain that you are congruently using all of your fuel sources (from previous articles).

 

That is it! You will see that success is addictive and as you build your muscles you will be able to apply this to more and more things in your life.

In case you need some motivation, mastering these skills is much more important and urgent than losing some weight, winning a game or making some extra money. Our world is changing and we are moving into a period where resources will be scarcer and institutions we have grown up with will be thrown into instability. The greatest asset you can possess in these times is resourcefulness and adaptability. Those who have it will thrive while others will struggle.

Things like the Triad of Change, SRI exercises and NSA care are designed to provide resourcefulness and adaptability. Commit to mastering your Triad and not only will it allow you to create the life you deserve in any climate, but it will set the stage to create a legacy for your loved ones and everyone to come after you. The time is NOW.

 

I would like to thank everyone who made it to our 2 Making 2012 the Best Year of Your Life Workshops last week at Gault Family Chiropractic. I look forward to hearing all of the success stories.

Stay tuned for some exciting programs that are being created in the community that can help you take your life to the next level in so many ways!

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