Category Archives: Opinions

Opinion Articles

The Price of Beauty

The Price of Beauty:
What You Put On Your Body Goes INTO Your Body!
By Eric Zielinski, DC Student

While Americans are incessantly enticed by the intoxicating aromas, flashy packaging, and false promises of sustained youth and beauty from health care products, the global beauty market is expected to reach $265 billion in 2017! Now, there is nothing wrong with making a buck, but one question we all should be asking is what is the real cost of using these products to our health?
“Well, nothing.” You may be thinking to yourself. “I don’t eat them, I just put them on my skin!”
True, but did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body and EVERYTHING you put ON your skin goes INTO your body! Just think about the price of beauty when you consider the long-term effects of putting chemicals on your body every day!

If this weren’t enough reason to think twice about the personal care products you use:
• Hair sprays, perfumes and powders are oftentimes inhaled.
• Laundry detergent is rarely completely rinsed off and rubs against your skin when you wear clothes.
• Lipstick is oftentimes licked off and swallowed.
• Makeup is regularly absorbed by sensitive mucous membranes.
• Shampoos and conditions run down your face into your eyes and mouth.

Can you see now how vital it is to be an avid label reader and to make sure that you are not (ignorantly) poisoning yourself and your family!

Most people think that they’re “doing their bodies good” by moisturizing their skin. Why not? It feels good, makes your skin feel smooth and attractive and you’re bombarded with advertisements telling you that “Dermatologists recommend” that you should hydrate your skin. The inquisitive mind should be asking:
• But are you really hydrating your skin?
• What if you were told that you were just clogging up your pores with dangerous chemicals?
• Wouldn’t it make more sense to use natural oil that our ancestors used for your hands and legs than a mixture of chemicals in a plastic bottle?

Here’s a safe rule of thumb: If you won’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your skin! Keep in mind that the price of beauty goes well beyond what you pay for skin products at the store…

Whether you’re at a bank or doctor’s office, a big jug of hand sanitizer greets you at the counter. Antibacterial soaps are in every pubic bathroom you’ll go into, and Yoga Moms in grocery stores across the nation have little bottles of scented antibacterial lotion clipped onto their strollers. They’re everywhere!

Why should you stay away from them?

Price of Beauty CosmeticsSimply put: they kill ALL the bacteria on your hands; including the GOOD bacteria you need for healthy skin and a properly functioning immune system. In fact, they have been shown to weaken your immune system!

Eliminate Toxic Body Care Products

If lotions and hand sanitizers can be bad, then what are you to do? First of all, the Environmental Working Group has evaluated over 72,000 products and rank them in an easy-to-understand guide to make sure you have a resource to keep your family safe. Check out EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” and see if your favorite products pass the test. Secondly, be an avid label reader and stay clear from the harmful chemicals that are killing you and your family!

Although NOT an exhaustive list, be sure to stay away from these ingredients:
• Coal Tar – Banned in Europe because it’s a known cancer-causing agent, coal tar is a primary ingredient in anti-dandruff/anti-lice shampoos. Be careful because it can also be listed as a color additive like FD&C Red No. 6.
• DEA (Diethanolamine) – Primary foaming and wetting agent that is highly reactive to other ingredients. Can form nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA) and has been linked with bladder, esophagus, liver and stomach cancers.
• Formaldehyde – Deadly neurotoxin and carcinogen in most nail products.
• Fragrance/Parfum – Blanket term for hidden chemicals that should be avoided. Up to 50% of the products listed in Skin Deep contain the ingredient “fragrance.”
• Mineral oil – Petroleum byproduct that causes allergies, impairs brain function and can lead to birth defects.
• Lauryl sulfates – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), and Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS) are in most body care products. According to the EWG review, research has shown that they put you at risk for cancer, skin irritation, and organ toxicity.
• Parabens – Synthetic preservative that include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. Linked to breast cancer, decreased sperm counts and precocious puberty (early onset of puberty).
• Propylene glycol (PEG) – Form of mineral oil that is used in everything from brake fluid to e-cigarettes to snack foods! Has been linked to respiratory problems, indigestion, skin irritation, allergies and eye irritation.
• Talc – Made from the purified mineral bearing the same name. Is poisonous when inhaled or swallowed. Chronic exposure has been shown to cause a slew of disorders including: cancer, comas, convulsions, drowsiness, fevers, low blood pressure, muscle twitching, respiratory problems, and decreased urine output.

Keep in mind that you can’t trust everything in Whole Foods, Trader Joes or your local Co-Op. And don’t be fooled by companies claiming that their products are “all natural” or even “organic.” Be a voracious label reader and make sure that you’re not putting dangerous chemicals onto your skin!

Healthy Alternatives

So what are your alternatives?
Do it yourself and make products that you and your family can use without having to worry about getting poisoned!

• Coconut oil – Quite possibly the most versatile fruit in the world, oil made from the coconut has been touted as one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Additionally, it is a fantastic moisturizer, anti-fungal agent and is great for oil pulling. It absorbs into your skin quickly and leaves a pleasant aroma.
• Essential oils – Add essential oils to a base lotion for added health benefits. Studies have proven that oil of oregano is more potent than antibiotics, rosemary helps balance blood pressure and tea tree is a wound healer. To make a therapeutic blend add 50 drops of essential oil per ounce of the carrier oil of your choosing. For a body massage or moisturizing blend add 10 drops per ounce. My favorite brand is doTERRA because they are therapeutic grade and are harvested in their natural environment.
• Olive oil – Used for over 3,000 years, olive is a fantastic carrier for essential oils. Because it is thicker than coconut oil and doesn’t absorb as quickly, you can use it for excessively dry skin and as a sunscreen.
• Shea butter – The fat extracted from the nut of the African sheaf tree, pure shoe butter is a fantastic source of Vitamin A that has exception health properties. For centuries, people have used it to treat a number of skin issues including: sunburn, insect bites, frostbite, skin allergies, wrinkles, dermatitis and eczema.

Some of my favorite DIY recipes

Like growing your own food, making your own skin and beauty products is not only the healthiest option, it’s absolutely Abundant Life giving as it will empower you to take more control of YOUR life! Here are the names of some of my favorite DIY recipes that you can easily (and cheaply) include in your natural health regimen.

Antibacterial Lotion – courtesy of The Prairie Homestead
Anti-Itch Cream – courtesy of Fabulous Farm Girl
Beeswax Lip Balm (for the guys) – courtesy of Mom Prepares
Burn Cream – courtesy of Mom Prepares
Coconut Oil Deodorant – courtesy of The Prairie Homestead
Dead Sea Mud – courtesy of Joybilee Farms
Diaper Cream – courtesy of Wellness Mama
Facial Cleanser – courtesy of The Homesteading Hippee
Honey Shampoo – courtesy of Empowered Sustenance
Lavender Hand Cream – courtesy of The Happy Housewife
Naturally Tinted Lip Balm (for the ladies) – courtesy of Scratch Mommy
Sea Salt Curl Booster/Refresher for Curly Hair – courtesy of Mom Prepares
Toothpaste – courtesy of Sprouting Seed
Toner (great for acne!) – courtesy of Schneider Peeps
Whey Water Bath – courtesy of Northern Homestead

Price of Beauty

Start Out Doing Things Right

Lifetime Patients or Inactive Files
Start Out Doing Things Right
By Eric Plasker, DC, LIFEForce Doctor

Starting a practice will be one of the most exciting times in your life. After years of school you graduate and plant yourself in a community to make the biggest difference you possible can for the people who live there. What a great opportunity to make all of your chiropractic dreams come true! You are ready to build your business that also finances a wonderful life.

It will be exciting when you get your first new patient and then your first ten new patients. Before you know it you are up to 30, 50 even 100 new patients. The momentum builds until you arrive at your office one day to realize you have a long list of inactive people. You’ll be wondering, “Where have all my New Patients gone?” How frustrating for a young chiropractor, especially when you could have avoided this altogether by doing things the right way from the beginning.

How you structure your practice and how you educate your patients and your community about what you do will result in a lot of lifetime patients or a lot of inactive files. If you are a lifetime chiropractic patient yourself and you want this for your family, why would you do anything other than create lifetime patients for your practice from day one?

Think about the potential that lifetime patients bring to a practice. 10 New Patients a month over 5 years equals 600 New Patients. 20 New Patients a month over a 5 year period of time is 1,200 New Patients. 30 New Patients per month over 5 years works out to 1,800 New Patients. That is a lot of New Patients.

Now, think about what your practice would look like if 50% of those people stayed with you and made chiropractic care a part of their lifestyle. This would be an absolutely staggering result for your practice. Your income would be extraordinary and you would be surrounded by people who love, appreciate and value your work and its meaning to their family. If a more conservative figure of just 25% stayed with you for lifetime care, this too would be fantastic. Think about that midrange number of 20 new patients mentioned in the previous paragraph. Over five years that would mean 300 people were still under your care, receiving chiropractic care as part of their lifestyle and paying you on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, most chiropractors do not have a system in place to create results like this. After five years in practice and over 1000 New Patients they are stuck at 80 -120 visits per week with so many inactive files that the practice owner begins to question their worth, confidence and value as a chiropractor. Do not let this happen to you. It is not necessary.

Over the last 15 years The Family Practice has helped thousands of chiropractors grow by nearly $500 million in collections by delivering high integrity lifetime chiropractic care to people of all ages all over the world.

Here are 5 important things that you can begin to do today to create more lifetime patients from day one in your business.

  1. Brand Yourself with Lifetime Care
    When you deliver the Big Idea up front with a brand for lifetime care then it makes it very easy for people to understand what you do. You won’t have to constantly be trying to upsell people to more care. With The 100 Year Lifestyle brand, we are co-branding this big idea of lifetime chiropractic care with chiropractic offices so they stand out in the crowd.
  2. Need vs. Want
    Package your care so you attract people that need care as well as those who want to live an active healthy life. Too many chiropractors will focus on one or the other without having a clear strategy to transition people from one to the other. As we say in The 100 Year Lifestyle, “Crisis Care is based on need and Lifestyle Care is based on want.” The better you are at attracting the people that need chiropractic care and transitioning them from need to want, the more Lifetime patients you will have in your practice.
  3. Value Your Care
    Do not present financial policies that devalue your care. Cheap care will not be valued or appreciated by the consumer. People looking for the cheapest place in town will drop you like a hot potato if they find it cheaper elsewhere. Cheap care has nothing to do with compliance. Compliance will result when people value the care. Valuing the care will be achieved through your branding, your patient education process, and the quality of the service you provide.
  4. Have a Congruent System Inside and Out
    Congruency is vital. Our 100 Year Lifestyle Affiliate chiropractors tell us they are blown away by the level of congruency that they are delivering in every phase of practice. You too must achieve this. Everywhere you are incongruent becomes a crack that patients fall through. From visit 1 to the 100th visit of care, be congruent in everything you do.
  5. Build Community Relationships
    Lifetime patients want to see you active in the community. Inactive files don’t care. When you build relationships, keep your bigger vision of Lifetime Care for everyone in mind and establish quality relationships that are enduring.

Follow these five tips when establishing your practice and you will be amazed how 5 years into practice you are thriving because of the number of lifetime patients who value the care your practice provides. After all, if it is good enough for you and your family, it is good enough for them too.

Dr. Eric Plasker is the founder and CEO of The Family Practice, Inc. and the bestselling author of The 100 Year Lifestyle and The 100 Year Lifestyle Workout.
The 100 Year Lifestyle Licensed Affiliate Program is helping chiropractors thrive in practice from those just opening their doors to those who have been in business for decades. Dr. Plasker and his team can be reached at 866-532-3327 x109 and thefamilypractice.net.

Oats

Oats: An Amazing Whole Food
By Stephanie Davidson, Nutrition; 3rd Quarter DC; Nu Omega Honor Society

Oats began to be grown as a cultivated crop about 2,000 years ago in Asia Minor. The crop came to America from Europe at the turn of the seventeenth century and was first planted in Massachusetts, on the Elizabeth Islands. By the late 1800’s, the primary oat-producing lands were the mid-western states of the middle and upper Mississippi Valley; today, they are grown primarily in Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, and Iowa. Oats are also grown throughout Europe and Canada.

According to Purdue University’s Center for New Crops and Plants Products, different oat varieties are planted and harvested at different times of the year: some in winter and some in spring. The plants are harvested with a thresher for both straw and grain. Livestock are fed with whole or ground straw and grain; only the grain is intended for human consumption.

The primary macronutrient provided by oats is carbohydrate, the human body’s primary fuel source, with eleven grams per one-half cooked cup (including three grams of fiber), but small amounts of protein and unsaturated fats are provided as well, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The primary recognized health benefit of oats is their ability to affect cholesterol levels. Researchers believe that this effect is a result of beta-glucans, a naturally-occurring carbohydrate compound with a specialized structure; the same studies showed that these compounds were more effective in whole, unprocessed oat products than when isolated. Another study showed oat products to be more effective against high cholesterol than even other whole cereal grains.

Another lesser-known benefit of beta-glucans is their distinctive immune-enhancing qualities. In laboratory studies, beta-glucans have been shown to improve the function of leukocytes, the white blood cells responsible for neutralizing pathogenic microbes, without increasing inflammatory response. These cholesterol-lowering and immune-enhancing functions combine to make oats a powerful dietary tool for lowering risk of many disease states.

Those going gluten-free can also enjoy the health benefits of oats. Although traditionally oats were grown side-by-side with wheat, due to increasing demand, these farming practices are changing. Several brands, including Bob’s Red Mill, now offer oat products that have been grown in fields protected from cross-contamination and certified gluten-free.

OatsThe nutrient intake is greatest when whole oats are prepared as a standard cereal grain by heating with water. This preparation can be made more “taste-friendly” by mixing in spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, fruits such as raisins or apples, or even nuts such as almonds or walnuts. These additions can be made at any point of preparation, depending on the desired outcome.

Another way to enjoy whole oats is by toasting them carefully in a stovetop skillet without fat. These toasted oats can then be added to trail mixes with fruit and nuts or used to make granola. The key to retaining oat nutrients is to use them whole, with bran included; further processing removes key nutrients by stripping the bran away.

The two key factors to consider in processed oat products are loss of bran and added sugars. Rolled oats are processed to remove the bran, thereby reducing protein, fiber, and several key minerals. An example of a rolled oat product would be old-fashioned oatmeal cereals, such as those widely available from Quaker and most store brands.

The other important factor in choosing an oat product is to consider added sugars. A typical chewy granola bar contains forty-two calories from added sugars, according to the USDA. These added calories, as well as those contributed by added fats, greatly reduced the health benefits provided by the few oats the finished product contains.

So go enjoy whole oats for your health!

Don’t Sweat It!

Don’t Sweat It!
Why Most Deodorants Stink
By Trystanna Williams, DC Student

According to the CDC, aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. This metal is used in a variety of things such as soda cans, pots and pans, aspirin, antiperspirants and even food. The average adult consumes 7-9 mg of aluminum a day in their food! Aluminum is a silver metal that is strong and light and that is used for making many products. Even though the FDA has determined the use of aluminum used as a food additive is generally safe, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) along with the EPA has yet to evaluate the effects of aluminum as a potential carcinogen; this personally concerns me!

Sweat is an extremely important function of the body and unless you have anhidrosis (the inability to sweat normally), we all sweat; especially in this hot Georgia weather! One method of thermoregulation is achieved through sweating. Our skin contains many glands that produce sweat, especially in our armpits. The evaporation of sweat has a cooling effect on the skin thus helping to maintain the body temperature. Sweat itself doesn’t have an odor. It isn’t until bacteria begin to feed on the sweat molecules that an odor is produced.

The use of antiperspirants has been a safety concern of mine for quite a while. Blocking sweat ducts may lead to a build-up of toxins because sweat is not pure water; sweat1in addition to water it is composed of minerals, lactate and urea. Aluminum based antiperspirants work by blocking sweat ducts thus decreasing the amount of sweat that reaches the skin’s surface. This concern has been countered with the argument that humans do not excrete large amounts of toxins via their sweat ducts. Most toxins are excreted through the liver and kidneys and later into the urine and feces. Touché. Honestly, I am more concerned with the dangers of absorbing aluminum, even trace amounts, through the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system and it plays a huge role in absorption.

A dense amount of lymph nodes are housed in the underarm area. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system and play a role in filtering and trapping foreign particles. Antiperspirants are applied in the arm pit, close to lymph nodes. Interestingly enough, many breast tumors develop in that general vicinity. Please note that it has not been proven that antiperspirants can cause tumors. The American Cancer Society states there is very little scientific evidence to support the claim that breast cancer and the use of antiperspirant are linked. However, applying a potentially toxic substance in an area highly concentrated with lymph nodes seems risky to me.

I haven’t worn commercial deodorant in over a year because the idea of preventing perspiration is an opposition to the body’s natural health maintaining system. Yet, the thought of embarrassing social situations due to strong body odors is not highly appealing either. My solution: make my own deodorant. If you don’t feel comfortable using an antiperspirant and you don’t want to make your own deodorant, simply use aluminum-free deodorant. It won’t stop the sweat but it will take care of the odor.

DIY Deodorant

sweat23 T Coconut Oil
3+ T Baking Soda
2 T Shea Butter
Essential Oils (optional)
Melt shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until barely melted. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Mix well. Add essential oils and pour into a glass container for storage. It does not need to be refrigerated.

www.atsdr.cdc.gov
www.cancer.org/cancer

Gluten

GlutenGluten
By Nicole Garten, Dietetic Student

For the past few years, many of you have probably been hearing about the “craze” on gluten. With gluten-free aisles in the grocery stores, gluten-free options offered in restaurants, and gluten-free diets and recipes popping up everywhere you go, it is clear that a new market in the food industry has opened up. The term gluten-free has been advertised for not just the diseases it affects, but for becoming the new healthier way to eat for everyone. Here at Life University, health and wellness are our passion, which is why I thought it was important to understand why gluten has piqued the interest of the public. You might be wondering, “Who exactly benefits from gluten-free diets?” or “Will gluten-free diets really make us healthier?” But first, let’s begin with the question, “What is gluten”?

If you like to eat breads, pastas, cereals or chocolate chip cookies; then it is very likely you have consumed gluten. It is present in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is a protein made up of gliadin and glutenin, which combine with starch in a variety of grains. Glutenin is the main protein in wheat flour and Gliadin is the component that allows bread to rise and keep shape. Gluten is the key factor in giving dough its elasticity and giving bread its chewiness. But for some people, this protein can be harmful.

People who benefit from gluten-free diets are those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or who are allergic to wheat. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where once the body detects gluten, it attacks it. During this process, the lining of the small intestines becomes damaged, so avoiding gluten completely is necessary for their health. Those with gluten intolerance can experience symptoms like stomach cramps or digestive problems, and people who are allergic to wheat can experience inflammation that can cause stomach problems, rashes or hives. Eliminating gluten from the diet can clear up these symptoms for people who cannot digest this protein properly. For most of us, gluten can be digested without any problems.

For people without these conditions, going gluten-free will not necessarily make you “healthier.” Gluten itself may not offer any special nutritional benefits but foods containing gluten do, like whole grains. Eating whole grains are important, since you gain a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber; Gluten2and, if you eliminate whole grains from the diet, it is possible you can become deficient in B-vitamins, iron and fiber. Because this protein is found in starch, consuming a diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in fruits and vegetables can be unhealthy; especially, if a majority of your diet comes from refined grains, like white bread, snack foods, cereals, or crackers. Gluten can also be found in many foods that contain preservatives and artificial flavorings, so eliminating processed foods from the diet can be beneficial. Just like foods that contain gluten can be unhealthy, foods not containing gluten can also be unhealthy. Some gluten-free foods are also high in calories, sugars, fats, and have fewer vitamins and minerals.

Eating gluten-free foods can be either beneficial or non-beneficial for you, depending on what you choose to eat. It is always important to know what is in your food, to eat things in moderation and overall, a balanced diet that contains whole grains, fruits and vegetables is what will make you healthier.

Aside

In The Lyme Light Part II By Rachel Brower, UG Student Go <a href=”https://vitalsourcelife.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/in-the-lyme-light-part-1/”>here for Part I</a> “Hey man, how have you been?” Stephen high fives you in the hallway on your way to your next class. “Been alright, hanging … Continue reading

Inevitable

Inevitable
By Sean Lyons, DC Student

The head of the stairs reached, only to find it the beginning of another flight. As the young boy was lying comatose in a tear-laden hospital room, they didn’t LOOK at the trouble they could SEE then; rather, they fixed their GAZE on things that could not be SEEN. For the things they SAW then would soon be GONE, but the things they could not SEE would last FOREVER.

The winters in northwestern Pennsylvania are known to be frigid and blanketed with feet of white snow. New Year’s Day of 2009 was no exception. My good friend Matt was home on leave from the Navy for the holiday, and he was returning to base the following week. Before he went back to serve, he wanted to visit with his entire family. At about 6:00pm Matt and I, along with two other friends, took a trip to his grandmother’s house to spend time with her. The four of us got in his brand new, baby blue 2008 Toyota Tacoma to leave for a journey that would change my life forever.

At this time, it was beginning to get dark out. As we drove down the back highway, the headlights would reflect off of the dense curtain of white snowflakes falling from the sky. We approached a small car on the back road going 10mph under the speed limit. Being in a four wheel drive truck with studded tires, we went to pass the car. As we returned to the right lane, the truck hit black ice.

Teach them the brevity of LIFE, so that they can GROW in wisdom.

As we returned to the right lane, the back end of the truck slid sideways and caused the massive machine to roll five times before it struck a tree. Witnesses say it was the only tree for miles; of course it was. The other passengers were able to escape fairly unharmed, however, I was knocked unconscious from the impact. The rescue team used the Jaws of Life to cut the roof off of the truck in order to get me out of the wreck. I was immediately “life-flighted” to Youngstown, Ohio where I remained comatose in the Intensive Care Unit for five days.

As I slowly regained consciousness, I was transported to HealthSouth recovery unit in Erie, Pennsylvania. They discovered I had suffered from a traumatic brain injury. I was not able to walk, talk, or even comprehend the words I read. My mother would look at my battered face, watching drool come out the sides of my mouth because I could not swallow my saliva. And my neck hurt. My neck hurt so bad it kept me awake for days at a time. The doctor overseeing my case was a Doctor of Osteopathy and refused to prescribe me pain medication. Instead, after ruling out any possible contraindications, he unsuccessfully attempted to manipulate my cervical spine.

That doctor had one of the biggest influences on my life. He understood how taking a drug would only mask the pain and it wouldn’t treat what was causing the pain. He understood the pain was a signal, telling my body something was wrong. He understood the subluxation causing the pain in my neck was manifesting itself as other symptoms as well. He agreed medication was going to interfere with the healing capabilities that God had already masterfully created my body to do, on its own, when there is no interference. He also understood my body needed to be free of any interference in my nervous system to allow my body to heal properly. So he referred me to a doctor who specialized in removing nervous system inference, which provided my body with the ability to heal and function at its full God-given potential, a chiropractor.

As I entered the chiropractor’s office, I thought I would be stuck with this debilitating pain for the rest of my life. My walking was still unbalanced with no signs of improvement and I wasn’t expected to ever be cleared to drive a vehicle. Drool still dripped out of the corners of my mouth and I was very sleep-deprived because of the pain I was in. I was re-learning how to read, how to write, how to cook, how to play guitar. All of this had left me. As I laid on this chiropractor’s table, I finally felt at peace. With my eyes closed, the Doctor placed his gentle hands around to the back of my neck and said, “How am I supposed to get that one?”

That adjustment changed my life.

I felt a sudden rush of relief, like all my tension, all my problems were melting away. The excruciating pain I was in for months was immediately gone. Instantaneously I was able to swallow my saliva. I regained my balance. Reading, writing, talking all became easier. My memory was gradually getting better and I was soon able to drive again.
It is said that our FATE is a product of a Universal Intelligence, our PURPOSE fixed; inevitable.