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Stress and the Toll it Takes On Your Health

In a world filled with alarm clocks, rush hour traffic, deadlines that must be met, bills to pay and mouths to feed – multitasking, sleep deprivation and stress have become the norm. Everyone has “one of those days” once in a while. 

When stress invades and takes over your world becoming a way of life something needs to change. The human body was not meant to operate on coffee and adrenaline on a daily basis. This type of fast pace high-pressure lifestyle takes its toll on your health, your emotional and spiritual well-being as well as your relationships.

What is stress? – Stress is any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes the body mentally or physically to be in a state of unrest. But what can you do about it? Quite a bit it turns out! I am going out on a limb to make a controversial and shocking statement. Here goes…are you ready? YOU are creating your life. Pure and simple. Because of this, YOU are the only one who can change it and free yourself from this crazy pace that is taking a toll on your very existence.

“What? No, you just don’t understand” you may think to yourself… “It’s not MY fault, it can’t be. I am not the one causing me all this stress it’s my boss, husband, kids, mother in law, insert another possible scapegoat here.” While it is true that you cannot control anyone else’s actions, what you can control is your reaction to them.

The first step in eliminating stress from your life on a permanent basis is to start with the basic concept that you are in fact 100% responsible for your life.  Once you do that, you can see clearly what (and sometimes who) is not in your best interest to keep. We know this is a big step for some, but by doing this you not only take responsibility you take back control.

Step two is changing your outlook. What is it that we all want out of life? A new car? A nice house? A vacation to Tahiti? Well, sure. We all like those things. But why? What is at the core of wanting these material items and experiences?

It’s happiness, joy, relaxation, and excitement! I think we can all agree that what we all want most is simple. We want to feel good.

Here are a couple of exercises to help:

When you wake up first thing in the morning jump out of bed and declare out loud “Today is going to be a fantastic day!” You may feel like a complete buffoon doing this at first, and even like you are lying to yourself. It’s ok to feel silly, humor us and do it anyway. Your subconscious hears you and cannot differentiate between the truth and a lie, it believes everything you say to be true and so accepts it as fact. Believe your day will be fantastic and it will be.

Another very helpful idea is to make a Gratitude List. Any piece of paper will do, just write down everything you have in your life that you feel grateful for. You will be amazed at how much actually ends up on your list. The more you focus on the positive, the more positive you will draw into your life. And in turn, the better you will feel overall!

Some of us start from such a chaotic low place it’s not easy for us to “feel good” now. Ok, we get that, your goal should be to just feel as good as you can right now. Do something nice for yourself. Take a “me” moment. Go for a walk, have a coffee, just let the world fall away for a minute and allow yourself to be at the center of your world and really be in the present time. After all, if you don’t take the time and care for yourself, who will?

Changing the way that you think is no easy task. It takes practice for the mind is like a child with attention deficit disorder. It runs amuck from thought to thought, making order and serenity difficult at best. Meditation is a good way to practice quieting the mind. Take some time out without distractions and turn on some calm soothing music and just “be” in the stillness. Allow your mind to wander but with the focused intent of being calm and clear and just breathe. With time and practice, you will be able to clear your mind of all thought and you will achieve a serene feeling that will stay with you.

In recent years we have been taught in the workplace that in order to succeed we have to do a million things at once and do them correctly. That is a lot of pressure! And this is in fact, is not what successful people do. Successful people do one thing at a time with intent and with focus. They use a to-do list not on the computer or on a palm pilot but on good old-fashioned paper with a pen or pencil, scratching things off and moving along. Why? Because it’s tactile. It becomes more easily engrained in your mind making it easier to remember. We will touch on that in another article.

In order to lead a low-stress existence:

  1. Take responsibility for your life. By doing so you take back control.
  2. Change our outlook, the old saying “fake it till you make it” is more than true. It’s very difficult to be sad when your face is smiling.
  3. Clear your life of things that stress you out – if you don’t like your job –get another one. The same is to be said for personal relationships – if they are beyond repair, love the other person enough and your self enough to appreciate it for what it was and what you have learned from them and let it go.
  4. Take time for yourself – be nice to yourself. You are important! Maintain your body by eating healthy foods, getting regular care – chiropractic and massages.
  5. Clear your mind and allow peace to become a part of your daily life and realize that you deserve it.
  6. Organize – When everything is in its proper place it brings balance to both the heart and mind.
  7. Just breathe – oxygen is very important for the body and most of us breathe way to shallowly. Make sure to breathe from your diaphragm – your shoulders should remain still.

Stress is a top cause of many illnesses as it manifests itself in the body in numerous ways – high blood pressure, anxiety, heart attacks, headache, cancer, depression and many others. Taking steps today to simplify and distress your life could save your health and your life tomorrow.

Chiropractor & Nutritionist in Fort Myers, FL.

Fort Myers Chiropractor, Dr. Jason B. KasterChiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent them before they start?

Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor, and nutritionist in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.

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Happiness does not come in pill form

Happiness does not come in a pill. These days this is a very controversial statement. Doctors have attempted to prescribe happiness and it is failing miserably.

We live in a society inundated with media and social messages that if something is wrong in your life – take a pill. If you aren’t happy – take a pill. Depressed – have a pill. Can’t sleep? Stressed out? Take a pill. We are medicating ourselves into oblivion and the range of side effects can be catastrophic if not fatal.

The problem isn’t that you aren’t consuming enough pills or even the right pills. The pills themselves are only compounding the original problem. Medication does not fix unhappiness. What it does do is allow you to bury problems and not deal with them for the current moment. Do you feel better temporarily? Sure. But as soon as you miss a few doses you are right back where you started, only now with a slightly more toxic body. Many of these medications can be addictive as well which can lead to even bigger problems down the road.

If magic pills aren’t the answer, what is?

Change.

If you are not happy that is a message that something needs to change in your life. It isn’t an easy thing to really take a good hard look at our world and realize that something just isn’t working. It can be a belief, an attitude, a job that makes you unhappy, your living situation, even relationships.

Humans have a tendency to mull things over, dwell on them, think them through and then think some more all the while staying emotionally and literally stuck. Stuck is a terrible feeling. Stuck is why many run to the doctor for the prescription in the first place.

How do you get unstuck?

First and foremost be clear-headed when you make life-altering decisions. Mood altering medications do not allow you to think like yourself. Once clear, then it’s time to commit to change. Ask yourself and be honest -What would make you happy? What steps do you need to take to get there?

Change can be painful, but like ripping off a Band-Aid the more slowly you do it the more painful it is. Once it’s off, it’s off the real healing can begin.

Additionally, if your body is out of alignment or not receiving the proper nutrients it can show up as depression or anxiety as well as other ailments. If you are in the Fort Myers, Florida area visit the office of Dr. Jason Kaster, D.C. www.drkasters.com 239-332-2555.

The Value of Journaling for Health

While it may sound out of the box at first when you hear the suggestion that you should journal your feelings and thoughts in order to be healthy and even defeat illness the truth is it can help and it most certainly cannot hurt.

Sometimes there are just certain feelings and topics you really don’t have anyone to talk to about, at least not without forking over $150 an hour to a therapist. Journaling is free. You can do it by yourself, and there is no one there to judge.

The point of journaling isn’t to record whats going on in your life, soul or brain, it is to get it out of you once and for all. Its a form of self-therapy and self-awareness. You don’t need a topic and you don’t need to be a writer. All you need is a paper and a pen or pencil, or if you prefer, a keyboard and a word processing program.

No one else ever need read your thoughts. There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason to them. There is no right or wrong. Just start. Whatever comes out of you comes out.

You can write freeform – thoughts, feelings, ideas, concepts, just let it all go.

You can also use journaling as a way to get out things that you wish you could say to someone – this may be someone who is living or who have passed on. You don’t have to do anything with the letter, or if you are so inclined and think it would help you further, mail the letter to the receiver afterward. Tearing it up or burning them are also other options that seal the feeling of closure.

There really are no rules. Journaling can be done as often as you like and is sometimes referred to as automatic writing. The words sometimes start to flow so freely many have stated that it feels as if someone is writing through them. That is because writing is creative. It involves the right side of the brain. Time may seem to stand still. The thoughts are coming from your subconscious mind. Don’t fight against it, you may be surprised at some of the things that come out and the breakthroughs you may have.

It’s a good feeling to be able to work through tough situations and times all on your own. Though we also want to make sure to mention that if you are going through something and do feel like you need outside help, asking for help is never a sign of weakness but of strength.

How this is helpful for health

Health is often a manifestation outwardly of our inner emotions. While treatments, medications, diets, and more may help us fix and adjust our bodies to truly heal its that inner cause that needs to be rooted out and corrected.

For more interesting health information keep checking back or sign up for our newsletter!

Chiropractor & Nutritionist in Fort Myers, FL.

Fort Myers Chiropractor, Dr. Jason B. KasterChiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent them before they start?

Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor, and nutritionist in Fort Myers can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.

Over the Counter Pain Reliever Dangers and Alternative Suggestions

Over the counter medication is generally believed to be safe by most of us. They come in colorful easily recognizable boxes that sit in our medicine cabinets. We reach for them whenever we have an ache or pain and don’t give it much consideration – at least not in the same way that we do with prescription pills.

Listening to the vast array of drug commercials on television these days we have grown accustomed to hearing a huge list of side effects which range from mildly irritating to permanent and possibly life-changing on controlled medications. But what about the medications we take without thought on a fairly regular basis. Do they have side effects as well?

Let’s take a look.

The three most commonly used non-prescription pain relievers on the market today here in the US are Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Acetaminophen.

IBUPROFEN: Also known by a whole host of brand names including Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, and Ultraprin.

The USES: It is used to relieve pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness, as well as menstrual pain, headaches, toothaches, arthritis, and backaches.

Possible SIDE EFFECTS: The warning label states that people who take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke than those who don’t. Common side effects include: constipation, diarrhea, gas or bloating, dizziness, nervousness, ringing in the ears, unexplained weight gain, fever, blisters, rash, itching, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, tiredness, pain in the upper right hand portion of the stomach, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin and or eyes, flu-like symptoms, pale skin, fast heartbeat, cloudy urine, back pain, blurred vision, red or painful eyes, stiff neck, headache, confusion and even aggression.

NAPROXEN: Also labeled as Aleve, Midol Extended Relief, and Wal-Proxen.

The USES: Nonprescription naproxen is used to reduce fever and to relieve mild pain from headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, menstrual periods, the common cold, toothaches, and backaches. It is also suggested for menstrual pain, bursitis, arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and tendonitis.

Possible SIDE EFFECTS: All of the same listed side effects of Ibuprofen plus possible difficult or painful urination.

ACETAMINOPHEN:  Marketed as Tylenol, St. Joseph’s Aspirin Free, Panadol, and Halenol among many others.

The USES: Acetaminophen is used to relieve mild to moderate pain from headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, colds and sore throats, toothaches, backaches, and reactions to vaccinations, and to reduce fever. Acetaminophen may also be used to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen is in a class of medications called analgesics (pain relievers) and antipyretics (fever reducers). It works by changing the way the body senses pain and by cooling the body.

Possible SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects include rash, hives, itching, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles or lower legs, hoarseness, difficulty breathing or swallowing. Additionally, Acetaminophen, when taken beyond recommended doses or mixed with alcohol, can cause liver damage.

Additional to the side effects listed, we also need to be mindful of mixing with other medications, which can cause interaction issues.

One danger that isn’t often talked about is Drug-Induced Liver Disease. This encapsulates all liver diseases that are actually caused by physician-prescribed medications as well as over the counter medications and also recreational drugs. Some of the main culprits are pain relievers (primarily the three we have been discussing), antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-cancer agents, high blood pressure medications, high cholesterol drugs and those for diabetes and irregular heart rhythms.

There is a wide range of severity in DILD. The scale goes like this. 1.abnormal blood levels of liver enzymes – no symptoms, 2. Hepatitis, 3. Necrosis, 4. Steatosis (accumulation of fat in the liver cells) 5. Cirrhosis, 6. Liver failure, 7. Blood clots in the veins within the liver likely resulting in death.

If you have taken a good amount of these products, signs that you may have an issue and may need to be checked out are fatigue, weakness, vague abdominal pain, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin, itching, bruising easily. More advanced cases you may see fluid accumulation in the legs and abdomen, mental confusion, coma, kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding.

If these medications are so potentially damaging, what is there that we can do if we are in pain? Are there alternatives?

Here are a few suggestions:

Chiropractic: getting your body in working proper alignment is vital to overcome pain.

Heat: increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the area and also suppresses pain signals to the brain

Ice: relieves inflammation and works as a local anesthetic

Stretching: your body is designed for movement – this gets the blood flowing and the healing process as well

Sleep: You need a healthy amount of sleep to heal and restore your body

Therapeutic massage: Can work wonders – it releases endorphins (a powerful pain-relieving substance in the body)

Turmeric: Used in place of NSAIDs as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory

Devil’s claw: Back pain and arthritis – this is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory

Arnica: For injury, bruising and muscle soreness

SAM-E & MSM: for osteoarthritis – this is a painkiller and anti-spasmodic with analgesic properties.

Boswellia: Great for arthritis. More potent and less toxic than standard NSAIDs

White Willow Bark: Effective fever reducer and pain reliever (never take with aspirin)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Acts much like Ibuprofen – anti-inflammatory and painkiller.

Fish Oil: Omega 3’s help with rheumatoid arthritis, Chron’s disease, gout and even sinusitis.

So next time, before reaching for the over the counter pain reliever, you may want to swing by the nearest health food store or stop into our office and get an adjustment and some heat, ice, ultrasound or electrostimulation therapy.

Chiropractor in Ft Myers, FL, and Naples, FL

Fort Myers Chiropractor, Dr. Jason B. KasterChiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent it as soon as possible?

Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor in Fort Myers and Naples, can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.

Have You Heard of Cross Patterning?

While cross patterning may be a term you are unfamiliar with, you already do one form of it on a daily basis. Cross patterning is the natural motion of the human body in opposition to itself. As you perform a natural walking motion your right arm swings forward in step with your left leg and your left arm in stride with your right leg. This can also be done in a crawl or stationary crawl pattern.

Electrical impulses fire in the brain, crossing between the two hemispheres to coordinate bodily function. It’s the human equivalent of a perpetual motion watch that never needs winding. Movement, especially cross pattern movements “wind” the body up, energizing, stabilizing, strengthening and balancing. It can also help break up areas of held tension.

We all know that going for a walk is good for us. It burns calories and tones muscle as well as getting you out in the fresh air and sunshine. What most don’t realize is that the act of cross patterning can also improve self-awareness, situational insight, clarity of thought, memory, impulse control, anxiety and overall coordination. It can even help with arthritispain, and help boost immunity.

Cross patterning of any sort is a stress buster. It allows your brain to enter what is known as a whole brain state. It trains the brain to create new neuropathways. Cross patterning can make you more adaptable and susceptible to learning.

Cross patterning can be done at any age from infancy (assisted) to elderly. It helps to activate the brain.

How to Cross Pattern

  1. The Walk! – get out there. Walk boldly and swing your arms high walking with a forceful yet steady gate. This is the most natural and easy form of cross patterning. It can be done with or without poles, some prefer to use poles for balance during rehabilitation times or just by preference. They do not make a difference in effectiveness. 
  1. Cross Crawling – Kneel down on all fours – hands, and knees. Then, to cross pattern, lift and stretch out your left leg all the way back while simultaneously reaching as far forward as you can with your right arm. Hold for 10 seconds and switch both arm and leg. Repeat, going back and forth for 3-4 sets.
  1. The March – This is the most advanced form of cross patterning. Standing straight and tall, raise your right knee till it is at a 90-degree angle from the floor or higher if you are able. At the same time raise your left arm straight up above your head pointing at the ceiling. Switch sides so that your left knee raises up along with your right arm. Perform this in step like a march for a good 30 seconds. Advanced: Add in a head turn. Turn your head to the side as you march – whichever arm is up, look the opposite direction and back and forth. Really Advanced: Really want to test your skills? Add in your eyes. When your head turns left close the left eye. When your head turns right, close the right eye. All of this is done in step and simultaneously.
  1. The Goose Step March – Similar to a traditional march, Goose Stepping is done with a straight leg extended out and lifted to about a 45-degree angle. Arms may be swung straightforward or angled in at the elbow and crossed over the chest/stomach area. It is interesting to note that the Goose Step March has been done by many militaries around the world and is an amazingly strong form of cross patterning.

Cross patterning can be done by just about anyone, anywhere and requires no equipment. For more information on interesting little-known therapies, check back soon! www.drkasters.com Dr. Jason Kaster, D.C. has Offices in Naples and Fort Myers, FL.

Chiropractor in Ft Myers, FL, and Naples, FL

Fort Myers Chiropractor, Dr. Jason B. KasterChiropractic care is a safe, alternative treatment when applied appropriately. Chiropractic treatments help in dealing with the symptoms of many conditions. Are you going to wait for your symptoms to be felt, or are you going to prevent it as soon as possible?

Dr. Jason B. Kaster, a chiropractor in Fort Myers and Naples, can help you and your family achieve their optimal health.

Chiropractors and Alternative Doctors – The Superheroes of Health

Having been raised from birth visiting alternative doctors and healers to boost and maintain my health I can honestly say I cannot imagine what state I would be in if it were not for them.

In the United States, the accepted norm is to visit your primary care medical doctor and when something is wrong outside of their scope of treatment, to be referred to a specialist. It is not unusual to wait very long periods past your appointment time sitting in waiting rooms for a five-minute visit where very little is actually analyzed yet prescription medications are often given. Side effects are accepted and even expected and root causes are not the main concern, working to cover symptoms are.

In Western medicine, the agenda is to treat the symptom, not the cause. This seems so incredibly backward to me.

Of course when you are ill what you want most is to feel better (symptom relief) but don’t you also want to address the root cause so you don’t end up feeling this way again once you stop taking whatever medication is causing the symptoms to subside?

Alternative medicine – Treat the cause not the effect.

When visiting alternative medicine doctors there is a huge difference. Far more of an in-depth background is taken and considered. Time is actually spent talking with and listening to you. They work with you to help figure out what it is in your life, diet, environment, or genetics that could be causing your current health issues. They then, depending on modality, will work with you to correct the imbalance, whatever it may be.

The times in my life where I have consulted medical doctors, I have almost always inevitably regretted it. Side effects from medications were worse than the initial illness, misdiagnosis’s that could have killed me, the total dismissal that anything was wrong at all… yet in all of these cases, they were more than happy to continue billing me anyway. Large bills for zero results or answers. That is our medical system.

Your best health comes from working with your body, not against it. Finding a practitioner who is knowledgeable, skilled and willing to listen and help you intemperate the signs your body is giving you is the key to lasting whole health.

My personal recommendation is to find a great Chiropractor, a masterful Massage Therapist, and a practiced Nutritional Response Therapist. That combination has been what has saved me time and time again.

Sincerely,
Sarah