Thursday, November 30, 2017

How Do Chemicals Affect Your Nervous System?

I have often been asked, in response to my addressing the downsides to popular medical interventions (such as the flu shot or statins) in my Orientation Class or in an article that I have written, “Why does someone whose specialty is not medicine spend so much time educating people about different perspectives on it?”  My answer, in part, is “awareness.”  Doing what I do, I am exposed to the failures of the medical model and the statistics that showcase the reason why it so often fails; coming from where I came from, pre-Upper Cervical Care, I personally was a failure of the medical model; and knowing what I now know, I feel it is part of my calling to better inform you of the realities of healthcare in the midst of teaching you new, safer, and better ways to achieve health.  However, awareness is only part of the answer.

The primary purpose of Upper Cervical Care is to either awaken a depressed nervous system or calm an over-excited nervous system by facilitating the removal of any stress on the system’s hub, the brainstem.  Such is how a person with chronic Migraines or an autoimmune disorder like Crohn’s disease or widespread pain throughout his/her body gets well from having a bone in the upper neck moved into its proper alignment with the skull’s base; remove the figurative rubber band wrapped around the brainstem and the by-product is the gradual restoration of life to the body.  Medications either deaden or over-excite nerves, so the other reason for discussing them in addition to awareness is that medication fundamentally stands at odds with the primary intent of Upper Cervical Care.

Take, for instance, pain medications, the class of drugs known as analgesics.  To achieve their desired therapeutic effect, Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen, Celebrex, Aleve, et al block neurotransmitters, the substances between nerves that transfer electrical impulses throughout the nervous system.  Neurotransmitters are what allow for such conscious actions as typing and speaking, as well as for such subconscious, automatic functions as digestion and cardiac output; inhibiting such an important agent in your body’s ability to work normally is the main source of analgesic side effects.  The pain medications which have anti-inflammatory properties (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) also directly hinder the production of cells designed to help the body heal from injury and combat the invasion of bacterial or viral intruders.  Analgesics are, by nature, a double-edged sword, capable of making you feel better, but often at the expense of your true health.   

I know it can be strange to think of medication in that light – something that works against health even if it makes us feel better – but the reality is that all chemicals produce internal reactions that can be both positive and negative and it is important to contextualize the ratio between the pros and cons.  As a society, we have done that for chemicals like nicotine, which is a nervous system stimulant that constricts the arteries, causing increased blood pressure and heart rate and more rapid breathing patterns.  Like any chemical that affects the brain, nicotine (combined with the other additives in cigarettes) disrupts normal brain function, creating a unique biochemistry within the body that activates pleasurable feelings that are addicting and pattern your body into an altered physiologic state that must be re-stimulated to avoid easily acquired withdrawal affects.  Accordingly, we have classified nicotine as a drug to avoid in spite of its ability to make its users feel better.  Medications, however, have been placed in a higher class due to their association with disease management.  Considering that they are responsible for a comparable number of injuries and deaths per year, though, should we not talk about them in a similar context? 

It is important to remember that, in this discussion, the all or nothing mindset so detrimental to our society has been checked at the figurative door; there is no implication here that medicine is always bad or that patients cannot improve while both taking medications and going through the process of Upper Cervical Care simultaneously.  Yet, it is also important to have an understanding about the negative effects of chemicals such as medicine or nicotine – specifically the affect that they have on your nervous system – because, without that insight, there will be a missing piece of your understanding for how to get well and stay well. 

Life lives through nerves and anything that distorts their activity can prevent you from maximizing your health goals.  That means we have to pay attention to what we are putting in our bodies, including to what is currently found in our food.  Gluten (the protein found in wheat), for example, triggers a dangerous series of reactions.  Our bodies do not recognize gluten in its modified form the way that they recognized it 20-30 years ago before its mass hybridization.  Now our bodies recognize gluten as a foreign invader and react as if we had swallowed a spider – surrounding it with an inflammatory response to section it off so that the immune system is triggered to deal with it; all of these internal reactions are dependent upon a nervous system communication that is often already disrupted by other chemicals.  The prevalent consumption of gluten places our systems under constant stress, bombards our bodies with widespread inflammation, and overloads our immune systems.

This discussion unfortunately even extends to naturally occurring elements like aluminum, which we are exposed to in our water supply, in antiperspirants, and as an ingredient in several vaccines.  Aluminum reduces the electrical conductivity of your nerves, reducing their ability to properly transmit the impulses necessary for your basic functions to be optimally maintained; it also causes oxidative stress on brain tissue, meaning that it weakens the body’s ability to rid itself of harmful toxins.  Though we eliminate 99% of the aluminum we are exposed to through the kidneys when ingested orally, we unfortunately retain between 40-75% of it when it is injected or applied in other ways.  Accordingly, it has been linked to numerous health problems, including memory loss, brain fog, anemia (too few healthy blood cells), and autism spectrum disorders among others. 


In my decade-long career, it is no coincidence that the patients who got well the fastest on my watch were the ones on the fewest medications and who were subjected to the least amount of other kinds of chemical insults (cigarettes, alcohol, gluten, etc.).  Simply put, the Upper Cervical correction removes the number one cause of neurologic distortion in the body, opening the main channel for communication throughout, but the ensuing healing process is slowed by chemicals, which cause secondary neurologic interference.  So, please allow this information to both better inform and to perhaps also rekindle the desire to limit your exposure to chemicals proven to be counterproductive to your health goals. 

Thinking good things for you,

Dr. Chad 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dr. Chad's Whole30 Food Diary

Day 1: scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado; spinach salad with chopped turkey breast and a homemade ranch dressing (I actually made it myself!), cashews (in place of my staple dark chocolate), and an apple; turkey and cranberry protein bar; pork shoulder with squash, tomatoes, and kale.

Day 2: scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado; spinach salad with chopped turkey breast, chopped carrots, and a homemade ranch dressing, cashews (in place of my staple dark chocolate), an apple, and ½ of a Kombucha drink; Shepherd’s pie w/ sweet potato

Day 3: scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado; leftover Shepherd’s pie with avocado slices mixed in and cashews; chicken hash with apple, sweet potato slices, and spinach

Day 4: scrambled eggs and bacon; leftover chicken hash, a banana, and cashews; chicken, onion, and red pepper kabobs with cauliflower (made like rice)

Day 5: scrambled eggs with salsa; spinach salad with chopped turkey breast, topped with homemade ranch dressing, plus cashews, a banana, and the other ½ of Day 2’s Kombucha drink; hamburgers dipped in homemade ranch dressing

Day 6: scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado; turkey salad with homemade ranch (Sarah’s version), a banana, cashews; turkey and cranberry protein bar; chicken stir fry

Day 7: scrambled eggs with salsa; leftover chicken stir fry, grapes, and cashews; chicken primavera

Day 8: scrambled eggs with salsa; turkey, carrot, and zucchini salad with homemade ranch, grapes, and cashews; leftover chicken primavera

Day 9: scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado; salad with chicken topped with homemade ranch, apple slices, and a Kombucha drink (whole); hot dogs, kale, and mashed sweet potatoes

Day 10: scrambled eggs with chopped red peppers, mushrooms, spinach, plus a sprinkle of pink salt; leftovers from breakfast with leftovers veggies from Day 9 dinner and a banana; Shepherd’s pie w/ sweet potato

Day 11: scrambled eggs with chopped red peppers, mushrooms, spinach, plus a sprinkle of pink salt; leftover Shepherd’s pie with spinach, a banana, apple slices, and cashews; chicken kabobs with red and green peppers

Day 12: scrambled eggs and sausage with mushrooms and spinach, plus a sprinkle of pink salt; leftover chicken kabobs, apple slices, and cashews; spaghetti (with crushed tomatoes and zucchini noodles)

Day 13: scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado; grilled chicken nuggets (Chic-fil-a) and grapes; a banana and apple slices; chicken patties with asparagus

Day 14: scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado; leftover spaghetti, a banana, and cashews; walnut crusted pork tenderloin over spinach topped with homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Day 15: scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado; leftover walnut crusted pork tenderloin over spinach topped with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, a banana, and cashews; buffalo chicken burgers with tomato and avocado and sweet potato “buns” in place of bread

Day 16: scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado; chicken with spinach and homemade ranch dressing, banana, and cashews; tacos with peppers and onions served over kale

Day 17: scrambled eggs and bacon; leftover tacos; dry-rubbed steak with stir-fried veggies and a homemade A1 replacement

Day 18: scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado; leftover steak and veggies; chili with a few apple slices

Day 19: scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado; leftover chili with ranch, grapes, and cashews; chicken fajitas

Day 20: banana and cashews; hot dogs with chili and kale; spinach frittatas with bacon

Day 21: scrambled eggs, sausage, and sweet potato chunks; chicken and avocado salad with ranch; chicken marinated in chipotle mayo with stir-fried veggies

Day 22: scrambled eggs, sausage, and sweet potato chunks; leftover chili with ranch, a banana, and cashews; shredded chicken cooked in the crock pot with a homemade ranch mix marinade, served with fried cauliflower and zucchini

Day 23: scrambled eggs, bacon, and sweet potato chunks; leftover chicken and veggies with a banana and cashews; pork shoulder with roasted vegetables

Day 24: scrambled eggs and spinach; leftover pork shoulder and veggies with cashews; banana for snack; chicken marinated in sunshine sauce and stir-fried vegetables

Day 25: scrambled eggs, bacon, and sweet potato chunks; leftover chicken and veggies with a banana and cashews; turkey meatballs with stir-fried vegetables (and a couple of apple slices)

Day 26: scrambled eggs, sausage, and spinach; leftover turkey meatballs and veggies with grapes and cashews; Shepherd’s pie with sweet potato

Day 27: scrambled eggs, sausage, and spinach; a hot dog, peppers over spinach salad with Caesar dressing, a handful of grapes, and cashews; cashews and a protein bar for a snack; leftover Shepherd’s pie and 1 ½ fried eggs

Day 28: scrambled eggs, sausage, and avocado; apple slices and a protein bar; dry-rubbed steak with stir-fried vegetables

Day 29: scrambled eggs, sausage, and yellow peppers; chicken over spinach salad with Caesar dressing, a banana, and a protein bar; spaghetti served over zucchini noodles

Day 30: scrambled eggs and onions with bacon strips; chicken over spinach salad with Caesar dressing, a banana, and cashews; chicken fajitas 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Primary Reason Why 90% of People Are In Pain

Pain is an aggravating and draining experience, affecting our jobs, personal lives, and general quality of life.  It is also increasingly prevalent; 50% of the population suffers from a headache-related condition; 30% suffers from neck pain, with over half likely to experience recurring episodes; low back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the United States (neck pain is fourth) and accounts for $100 billion in lost wages per year due to decreased productivity. 

Perhaps the most frustrating things about being in pain are the ineffectiveness of commonly prescribed treatments and not understanding the cause, with conflicting and numerous opinions making it all seem so complicated.

Well, what if it was really not that complicated?  What if a big part of the explanation was as simple as, “You are showing signs of physical breakdown because the foundation of your body has shifted, forcing every bone and muscle in your structural frame to compensate”?  Could it possibly be that simple?

That it is absolutely possible for it to be that simple is one of the best kept secrets in healthcare. 

You see, your body is not unlike your home in that its foundation has to be level in order for it to maintain its structural integrity.  If your home’s foundation shifts, then at some point – be it months or years later – noticeable adverse reactions will develop; the same thing happens in the body, but a quick review of Anatomy 101 reminds us that the body is structurally designed from the top down, not the ground up like in a home. 

While developing in-utero, the first bones that form are the skull and the upper cervical vertebrae in the neck to protect the two most important parts of your body: the brain and the brainstem; such is the foundation upon which the rest of your anatomy is built.  After development is completed, the balance of the head and neck becomes crucial to your body’s ability to maintain and sustain itself physically; to recover from the stress of day-to-day life, to heal following vigorous activity or exercise, etc.

Unfortunately, nine out of ten people have lost their foundational stability, most frequently on account of head and neck injuries from birth to the late teenage years, when trauma is far more common and the body is still developing.  That header off the top bunk, tumble down the steps, fall off the bike or backyard tree, teenage sports injury or auto accident – one or more of these things happen to everyone – can actually become very clinically relevant.

When your head and upper neck are taken out of their normal state of alignment due to injury, the first cervical vertebra no longer positions squarely under the head, and a chain reaction occurs (through your body’s righting reflex) that prompts your bones and muscles from head to toe into an adapted physical state in order to return your head to as balanced a position as possible; the body uses the level positioning of your eyes, along with the fluid inside of your ears, to establish equilibrium, so when your head and upper neck are off balance, failure to adapt would keep you consistently dizziness or disoriented. 

In the adapted state, one shoulder often shifts up higher than the other and one hip draws higher than the other, dragging the attached leg up and giving the appearance of that leg being shorter than the other, frequently by a quarter to a half inch or more; the head also tends to jut forward over the shoulders, biomechanically disrupting the normal structural support system that helps carry the weight of your body on its structural frame.  This shifting causes muscles that run along the left and right sides of your body, as well as the muscles positioned in the front and the back, to pull against one another instead of working in tandem as they are designed; persistent muscle strain on the head, neck, shoulders, back, and hips can cause pain in various areas of your body as early in life as youth. 

Uncorrected body imbalance creates on-going structural stress and has a very negative long term effect.  Though incredibly resilient by nature and capable of reorganizing well enough during the early phase of foundational adaptation to avoid much more than minimal warning signs like pain or other symptoms, your body will break down if the head and upper neck alignment is never restored.  Foundational shifts result in the loss of natural support curves in the spine (i.e. straight spines), causing the body’s weight to stack on the discs in between each vertebra in the short-term and, consequently, premature degenerative disc disease, disc bulging and/or herniation, and even a closing down of spinal nerve canals (stenosis) in the long-term; it also causes unequal weight distribution across each hip and leg by up to twenty pounds, resulting in degenerative joint disease in the hips/knees/ankles/feet.  Just as driving your car with the front end out of alignment causes premature tire wear, long-term body imbalance causes your body to age faster.   

Logical as all of the above may be, that you may never have been made aware of it before speaks to the primary flaw in our health system; we have collectively become so enamored with symptom management that a basic, extremely common cause of pain goes chronically overlooked.  We all experience trauma and, thus, are all susceptible to foundational misalignment, but when head/neck balance is restored, immediately your body can begin to re-adapt, your innate self-healing process can more effectively resume, your muscles can begin to relax, pain can start reducing, the degenerative process can be curbed, and even disc bulges and herniations can be reabsorbed.  It really can be that simple. 

Sources: The National Institute of Health, The Mayo Clinic, Dr. G. Gutmann (Manuelle Medizin), The World Health Organization


Dr. Chad McIntyre owns and operates the Triad Upper Cervical Clinic in Kernersville.  Specializing in Upper Cervical Care, his office emphasizes a proactive, goal-oriented approach to health rooted in strong patient education.  If you would like to learn more about Upper Cervical Care, visit www.triaduppercervical.com or call 336-992-2536 to schedule a consultation.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Guest Blogger Series: The Energy of Healing

Everything is energy. Our physical bodies – that which we can see and touch – are comprised of atoms that are constantly in motion. The fact that they are more densely packed and are moving more slowly than, say, the atoms of water or air is what gives them their tangible physicality. Science now proves that our body actually extends beyond what we can see and touch.

This energy body, or biofield (called the ‘aura’ in more new age terms), is what we recognize when someone steps into our ‘personal space,’ when someone is too close for comfort, when we feel someone looking at us, when we step into a room where the tension can be ‘cut with a knife.’ This energy can be measured in hertz by scientists, and can be felt or seen by some people.

Because we are holistic beings – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, energetic – healing in one aspect can heal the whole. I choose to work on the energetic level to affect change in all other levels. By working with the energy body and raising our vibration, we bring about an authentic balance that holds space for whatever healing or ‘wholing’ is needed for each individual.

My path to this work has been lifelong and meandering, but persistent and seemingly inevitable. As a child, I would give family and friends shoulder and foot rubs, and it was satisfying to see how good it made them feel. On some level, I determined then that I would be of healing service in the world.

In my 20s, I became a licensed massage therapist. From my perspective, the opportunity to professionally touch my clients was simply an excuse to let the ‘real’ healing happen, to be a vessel for healing energy. Since then, I have studied, practiced, and been certified in numerous techniques and modalities.

At the same time, I have been committed to my own healing and spiritual growth. Like everybody else, I’ve had my own physical issues and emotional wounds to deal with, and have explored myriad healing methods. So not only am I able to share my knowledge and training with my clients, they also receive the benefit of my personal healing experience.

In every aspect of my practice – Healing Touch energy therapy, Conscious Creation Coaching, and WeightLESS™ System Detox Program and Health Coaching – I focus on my client’s energetic and vibrational body. Everything we do together is to raise their vibration so as to make everything in life easier. The higher your vibration, the more able you are to release stress and fear and pain and resistance. The higher your vibration, the more able you are to attract ease and joy and comfort and abundance.

I am committed to sharing with my clients with the means to facilitate their own innate healing/wholing process. My long-term goal is to divest myself of all clients, to send them on their way with their own toolbox full of self-healing techniques and exercises so that they are empowered to take care of themselves and their loved ones.

I invite you to order my free e-book, “Conscious Life Creation: 10 Easy Steps to Raise Your Vibration and Begin Living the Life You Were Born to Live” ( http://www.betzmckeown.com/a-gift) and take the first steps towards your inherent wholeness. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

An Open Letter Encouraging Change, Innovation, and Opportunity

The following is written specifically to the Chancellor, Provost, and Board of Trustees at North Carolina State University, in hopes of breaking new ground in health care through the opening of the first public Chiropractic school in the United States.

Dear Dr. Woodson, Dr. Arden, and Others To Whom It May Concern,

I write to you today thinking about innovation and opportunity for North Carolina State, my alma mater, and encourage NCSU to consider advancing the cause of the first public university school of Chiropractic in the United States. 

In the winter of 2005, I was in the midst of completing my undergraduate degree in psychology and had been accepted to the two most prestigious Chiropractic colleges in the United States.  I went onto receive a merit scholarship, for which one of the requirements was a written essay about the future of the Chiropractic profession. 

At that time, I was just beginning to learn about Chiropractic’s place in American society.  I knew of it previously only through a patient’s perspective.  I was thirteen years old when I experienced my first debilitating bout of pain.  Medical physicians knew not what to do with a case like mine other than to prescribe pain medication, but a family friend, who was a Doctor of Chiropractic, got me back to functioning and feeling relatively normal again.  It was not until years later, when I began to consider becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic myself, that I first learned that seeing a Chiropractor was uncommon or that it was considered “unscientific” by a medical community whose leadership (namely the American Medical Association) had been found guilty of violating the Sherman Act with an unlawful conspiracy against Chiropractic by the United States District Court (1), a decision affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in February 1990 (2). 

With the above in mind, I wrote my merit scholarship essay about the advancement of Chiropractic in the mainstream through a new Chiropractic college set to be opened by Florida State University.  There are presently only fifteen schools in the United States which offer the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree; FSU would have been the first public school to house a Chiropractic college on its campus.  Unfortunately, Florida State rejected the project, citing protests primarily by its medical school staff, but the subject of my essay has stuck with me and I have long thought my own alma mater to be the perfect site of the nation’s first public Chiropractic school.  Since receiving my Doctorate in Chiropractic, I have seen firsthand the perception that my profession faces; I have seen the public resistance in my own clinic; I have seen graduating classmates, frustrated by the lack of acceptance for Chiropractic, return to school for medical doctorates or leave the health care field altogether.  It is, in some ways, a constant uphill battle.  However, change does not happen without forward-thinking innovators, the types that we produce regularly at North Carolina State.  I like to think that graduates of NCSU are the more logical sorts who, in a world where so many see a problem and circle around it endlessly, instead draw a straight line toward getting to the root of the issue and solve it. 

It is a very logical assertion that Chiropractic as a profession would greatly benefit from an association with a school like NC State and that, in turn, NC State would greatly benefit from its forward-thinking status as the home of the first public Chiropractic school in America. 

From a business standpoint, the front-end costs (such as facilities and staff) would be quickly off-set by the popularity of the program.  If NCSU were to adopt a similar tuition-structure as the Veterinary School (roughly $80,000 total over four years), for example, the 10-trimester or 14-quarter D.C. program would be more cost-effective for aspiring Chiropractors than any other school in the country which, combined with the early year novelty of attending the first public Chiropractic college and the eventual reputation for an unmatched standard of excellence that I can only assume NCSU would produce, would make for a very profitable venture. 

In addition to tuition fees and the added influx of what realistically could reach as high as 150 students per graduating class, NC State could expect to be a harbinger for federal grants related to researching alternatives to medicine.  The results when Chiropractic has been properly studied have disproven the dated, unjustified notion of it being unscientific; for example, a 2008 randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study through the University of Chicago showed a highly specific correction  in the upper neck (down to the nearest millimeter and degree) was more effective at consistently lowering blood pressure than two antihypertensive medications (3); and an on-going study by a team of medical scientists in Italy of an upper neck misalignment’s direct link to the disruption of cerebral spinal fluid flow (4) and its consequent causative relationship with the onset of conditions such as Migraines and Multiple Sclerosis has offered powerful evidence to support the outcomes that millions have achieved through specific chiropractic procedures. 

So, again, I return to my thoughts of innovation and opportunity for NC State.  We need change in American health care.  A report of the Commonwealth Fund stated in October 2015 that the U.S. spent 17% of its GDP on health care – more than 50% greater than any of the other countries studied (5) – yet according to the World Health Organization, we rank 37th in health statistics (6) despite our consumption of 80% of all the pharmaceutics produced in the entire world (7).  Americans collectively suffer from a lack of education and understanding about the basic necessities for healthy living (8). 

We have to shift health care’s priorities in the United States.  A grassroots movement to broaden the philosophic scope of health care research has been underway for years, with people becoming increasingly sick and tired of being sick and tired, and chiropractic has been a leader in that movement.  It would be of great benefit, though, if the process happened faster and I believe that the nation’s first public chiropractic school could further stimulate the necessary adjustments.  A mutually beneficial relationship between North Carolina State University and the chiropractic profession is just waiting to be cultivated.  Will you accept the invitation to help us lead American health care out of the doldrums and into the future?

Yours in Health,

Dr. M. Chad McIntyre

Sources
1- Wilk v. American Medical Ass’n, 671 F. Supp 1465, N.D. III. 1987
2- Wilk v. American Medial Ass’n, 895 F.2d 352, 7th Cir. 1990
3- Journal of Human Hypertension (2007) 21, 347–352
4- Mandolesi S, et al. Ann Ital Chir. 2015 May-Jun.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Guest Blogger Series: From The Corporate World To The Healing Art Of Reflexology

There are some days in life that you never forget; Friday, December 4, 2015 was one of those days. I had just finished a sales call with a prospective client, as I was working at the time for the world’s largest online faith and spiritual website. Working from home was a dream! Flexible schedule, the ability to take care of my wife who was recovering from knee replacement surgery and connecting with people all around the United States; what’s not to love? I receive a phone call from the home office in Denver and it was the president. The CEO is a High A, driven, ex-military, commander in chief at our organization and thankfully he liked me and we had a great rapport. I could tell by the tone in his voice that today’s call was serious. He just came right out with it;”Troy, we like you and you do a great job, but we are selling the company and your position is being eliminated.” I was stunned but had peace. As he went on with details and the standard separation speech, my mind was racing with worry, fear, and trying to determine next steps. This was the fifth layoff in my career and I was done working for corporate America!

It’s amazing how things from your past, play an important role in your future. 18 years ago I became fascinated with Reflexology, the science of reflex points in the feet and hands that correspond with specific organs in the body to help stimulate blood flow and bring about natural healing. My wife’s aunt is a practitioner in a little town in Blue Ridge, GA and her passion and zeal to help others utilizing this form of work made a lasting impression on me. I decided to take the course and become certified in the art of Reflexology and for a short while worked part time in this healing art. It was actually more of a hobby and when people were ailing with aches and pains that could not be corrected with traditional medicine, I’d offer a hand and they experienced amazing results! I was in need of Reflexology myself and went to a local studio to get some work. While there, I mentioned that I was a reflexologist and to keep me in mind if they ever needed assistance. A seed was planted and started to germinate and as it turned out, their reflexologist became ill and could no longer practice and they offered me an opportunity to serve.

At the urging of my incredible wife, she suggested that I give it a try; “What do we have to lose? You’re a gifted man, great reflexologist and you’ve always wanted to work for yourself, so go for it.” I was in awe of her support, love and belief in me and we started in January 2016. I started working one day a week and my mom was my first client! As word spread, my practice continued its growth and then two full days a week started becoming the norm. It soon became necessary for me to move to a larger practice space and I started at The Wellness Collective on Fifth, in June 2016. An amazing health and wellness center with other likeminded phenomenal practitioners, I had found my tribe, my calling and my new journey to help others! I’m happy to say that I now work five days a week and have helped hundreds of people with their health and wellness goals through the power of Reflexology.

Along this journey, I’ve accepted the mantle of becoming a healer. I’m thankful for my Christian roots and faith and also grateful for my intuitive gifts that I have discovered along the way. People have often asked me if I had ever thought about becoming a minister; funny, because I used to do that type of work in various capacities. Although this work is “Hands On” physical work, stimulating the feet to help increase blood flow, it’s much more spiritual and emotional than one may realize. So in a many ways, Yes, I am a minister, but not in the traditional sense of the word. I am also a Reiki practitioner and taking classes to become a medical intuitive, to continue my abilities to help others. I’ve learned many things on this new journey and one of the most important discoveries: Never underestimate the power of love and encouraging words! Having my wife believe in me, when I did not believe in myself was more powerful that she realized. Listening to my client’s needs and concerns aids in the healing process. Listening to the body’s needs is important as well, for if we stop, ask and listen it will tell us what needs to be done to help facilitate healing. Although fearful at first, I am now fearless in my passion to help educate others to the healing power of Reflexology, the healing power of words of encouragement which leads to healing of the spirit, soul and body. I am now truly happy and have found my calling; service to others is the greatest work on earth!


Troy Hurst is located at The Wellness Collective, 823 West Fifth Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 and can be reached by calling 336-831-5615, Planetreflex@gmail.com, Planet Reflex Wellness Management. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Root Cause For Migraines And A Simple Solution

Migraines are one of the most commonly debilitating conditions in the world, affecting 20% of the population.  Those who have suffered at least one, with any combination of the hallmark Migraine symptoms ranging from pain to sensitivity to light and/or sound to nausea to vomiting to visual disturbances to numbness or tingling to clumsiness to having difficulty communicating, etc., can vouch for how it takes over your world from when it hits to when it goes away. 

In a single word, Migraines are awful.  They are also one of the most aggravating conditions to treat through traditional medical options, as drugs used to combat symptoms are potentially dangerous and can cause a whole host of side effects, including increasing the likelihood of more consistent Migraine episodes. 

As with most complicated matters, part of the frustration over the prevalence of Migraines is a lack of understanding as to what causes them.  While many triggers have been discovered – caffeine, cigarette smoke, excessive light or sound, fatigue, certain foods, head trauma, hormonal changes, hunger, poor sleeping posture, stress, and weather changes among them – the causes largely remain a mystery; and, without knowing the causes, treatment programs are predominantly designed either around stopping Migraine symptoms after they have already been triggered or prophylactically taking medications.   

Years ago, Dr. Seymour Diamond, Executive Director of the National Headache Foundation, identified what he believed to be perhaps the root cause of Migraine Headaches: a malfunction in the nervous system’s hub, the brainstem.  Using advanced imaging, he mapped neurologic activity throughout the brain and the brainstem before, during, and after Migraine attacks.  Before a trigger was introduced, the brainstem was overactive.  Once the trigger was introduced, there were spikes across the board, consistent in the brainstem as before and also in various parts of the brain.  Imitrex was then introduced via injection and, although the turmoil reduced throughout the brain as Migraine symptoms decreased, the brainstem remained overactive. 

After subsequent follow-up studies, Dr. Diamond concluded that the drugs used to suppress Migraine symptoms were not affecting the brainstem and that the brainstem remaining overactive was the reason that symptoms were so prone to return even after drug therapy. 

The research begged the question: if the brainstem malfunctioning causes Migraines, what causes the brainstem to malfunction and, then, what if anything can be done to correct it?

Given that the brainstem is located where the head converges with the neck, a misalignment in the Upper Cervical spine quite commonly affects the brainstem’s function.  The brainstem is the control center of the body responsible for the regulation of pain perception, breathing, heart-rate, balance, blood pressure, digestion, and the expanding and contracting of blood vessels; when it malfunctions, it provokes a state of crisis throughout the body and prompts the blood vessels surrounding the brain to swell, laying the foundation for one of the aforementioned triggers to set off a Migraine. 
  
Upper Cervical spinal misalignments have been shown through a variety of clinical trials to be underlying causes of several vascular conditions, Migraines, Hypertension, and Multiple Sclerosis among them.  The primary reason why these misalignments occur is physical traumas, particularly those associated with the head and/or neck.  Traumas occur throughout our lives, from the birthing process to the thousands of falls we incur during youth to sports injuries to bike wrecks to major falls to car accidents.  When the upper neck vertebrae consequently misalign, the brainstem’s ability to normally regulate internal functions is impaired and the vertebral arteries which run through tiny openings on either side of the vertebrae can be compressed, decreasing the blood and oxygen supply to the brain and preventing the veins that drain fluid in the brain from working the way that they are supposed to.


Fortunately, these misalignments can be precisely identified and safely corrected by an Upper Cervical Practitioner, who uses specific diagnostic imaging to discover the complexities of the problem and who expertly sets the vertebrae back into their proper positions, removing the irritation to the brainstem and restoring proper blood flow to and from the brain in order to decrease and often eliminate the principal cause of Migraines. 

Kimberly Bostic, a Triad resident, stated the following about her experience with Upper Cervical Care: “Since I began my treatment in January 2011, I have suffered approximately 4 or 5 Migraines.  I had a Migraine at least monthly, if not more frequently, for almost 30 years.  In my mid-20s, I became aware that I could predict most precipitation-related weather events rather accurately because of my Migraines.  The first time that it rained after the correction that put things right, I was thoroughly shocked to watch the news and see the radar indicated it was raining outside.”

Thirty four years ago and pregnant with my first child, I experienced what I now know to be a Migraine,” Jan T. recalled about her history with the life-altering condition.  “I [saw] medical doctors, neurologists, and chiropractors.  I have had x-rays, MRIs and a list of neurological tests – all of which showed nothing of concern.  I tried numerous medications and injections (as needed and preventative), but continued to experience Migraines.  [Learning] about how misaligned upper cervical vertebrae can affect the entire body system made complete sense to me.”  She said of her work with an Upper Cervical Practitioner that “the headaches have [become] much less frequent and intense” and that she “highly recommends” Upper Cervical Care. 

When Gwen Brown first visited an Upper Cervical Practitioner, she had become increasingly miserable and frustratingly unsure as to the reason why. “My diagnosis was very unclear but ER doctors and a Neurologist were calling it anywhere from a weird Migraine to the possibility of MS,” she said.  “After one [Upper Cervical correction], my focus began to improve and my chronic Migraines went away along with the stress of anticipating surgery or life-long drugs to manage my condition. This completely changed my life.”

Finding the cause is the key.  If you or someone you know has been plagued by Migraines, encourage them to see an Upper Cervical Practitioner who will not only pinpoint the cause but correct it as well.  Upper Cervical Care is restoring the health and function of thousands of people who were sick and tired of being sick and tired, suffering from conditions like Migraines.


Sources: The National Institute of Health; The National Headache Foundation

Thinking good things for you,

Dr. Chad