Thursday, December 22, 2016

Missing Time Due To Migraines....Unnecessary Perhaps?

Dr. Chad Note - I happened across this article recently and, though it was written in 2011, it's still very appropriate today.  Stories abound regarding athletes missing games, just as so many others miss school or work, because of Migraines and the most common treatment option that they are offered is strong medications that speak nothing to the underlying cause.  This article provides a different perspective on the matter, specifically geared toward Upper Cervical Care vs. Migraines.
One of NBA Basketball‘s most exciting players Dwyane Wade continues to battle migraine headaches after sitting out Saturday night’s game against Toronto, ESPN reported.
“Most of the time it lasts for four days,” Wade said. “This time, the effects are going into the third day. I’m doing everything with the doctors, but there are certain things you can’t control.
Or can you?
Is it possible that there is an underlying cause associated with your migraines Dwyane?
If you got to the underlying cause would it be possible to prevent these migraines?
Would it be possible to eliminate them completely?
Dwyane Wade is a very physical player.  He frequently dives on the floor and has had several head and neck traumas over the years.  Here is one example of Wade whacking his head on the ground in the playoffs a few years ago.
What happens when you get head and neck traumas?
Well these accidents and injuries can tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place and create a weakness, which then allows the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.
Now I am sure that the Miami Heat have a staff Chiropractor, as almost all professional sports team do.  But to get to this problem he may need a more advanced approach than general chiropractic.  Learn more from a recent WebMDstory
If Mr. Wade has a misalignment in the upper neck at the base of the brain, blood flow has been shown to be effected.  Research is demonstrating that these misalignments in the upper neck at the level of the Atlas can be an underlying cause with several vascular conditions such as Migraine Headaches, High Blood Pressure, Multiple Sclerosis and others.  The veins that drain the brain are not working the way that they are supposed to be.
The main way that this takes place is the physical trauma associated with head and neck injuries.
The only way to safely, precisely and gently realign the spine is by acquiring precise upper cervical x-rays.  Once the upper neck is viewed from all three directions then a plan can be put together to correct this complex condition.  The NUCCA procedure is very effective at restoring the upper neck to it’s proper alignment.
Dwyane Wade…why don’t you get checked and get back on the court…
Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist.  He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista.  He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck).  This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at
His blog:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

'Twas Your Health Before Christmas

Tis the month of Christmas, the year’s nearly through
Let us commemorate 2016 with an exciting review.

The New Year began, as it so often does,
With Resolutions aplenty creating a buzz
About health and well-being and what that entails,
In hopes the good over the bad habits prevail;
We offered our guidance with the goals that you made
Go awry, goals tend to do, without the best plans laid.

While on the topic of the best laid plan
A new podcast series about health we began;
If a peruse of the short audio list suggests “lazy,”
There are actually so few because life got so crazy J

Nevertheless, health education remains a top priority
As the basics of being healthy are unknown to the majority;
Awareness is key, “Awareness of what?” is the question,
That too limited in scope are most health suggestions.

We teach you how to give your health a solid foundation,
To decode any confusion with a simple translation.

Health starts, simply, with your body’s normal function,
Which is disrupted by interference at the head/neck junction;
Such is where your brainstem resides in your spine
Upper Cervical Care is designed to keep it in line;
Next is structural balance, a little known part of the mission,
And of course the most obvious: exercise and nutrition;
Last but not least is how you manage your stress,
As too much stress will cause your health to regress.

This was a year when my writing expanded in scope,
Some provided direction, while others provided hope;
From sleep positions to health insurance myths,
To drug rebound effects to what Upper Cervical helps with;
Then to positive attitudes and the power of your thoughts,
To black and white thinking and how it’s all for naught.

As we progressed through the summer, it became very apparent,
That efficiency in our scheduling was no longer inherent;
We give you ample time; we do not your symptoms mask,
We thoroughly educate; we encourage questions you need to ask;
These are our office principles and on them we won’t bend,
Thus changes were made so that we didn’t overextend.

It was another banner year for Operation: Back Pack indeed,
For our school supply drive that helps children in need;
One hundred eighty-two is our new record collection,
A number we all smile about with great affection.

Speaking of records, let’s talk about the clinical kind,
Since Upper Cervical Care and health are intertwined;
We have nearly 90 patients who have maintained for a year,
Whose balance holds steady and whose nerve systems stay clear.

As much as we may spread knowledge on various topics,
Serve the community and strive to be more philanthropic;
Our first and foremost goal – our primary assignment,
Is to help you achieve and sustain your Upper Cervical alignment.

It may be repetitive, but to not repeat it would be remiss,
If you learn nothing else from us, then please remember this:
The brainstem is the organ that gives your body its power,
To distort its function is like interfering with a cell tower.

So, as we prepare to conclude another three sixty-five,
We want you to know how much we hope that you’ll thrive;
And if you set goals and work hard to get well,
Then it’s only a matter of time before your health will excel;
As your journey continues, we just want to say “Thank You,”
For spreading the word and all else that you do.

For the final time this year, I'll be thinking good things…
For you and your families as the New Year's bell rings;
Oh, I forgot, there's one thing left to write,

Merry Christmas to all…and to all a good night!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gratitude: An Antidote to Life’s Hardships and a Magnifier of its Blessings

By Margie Warrell, Forbes

Gratitude expands our capacity to feel joy and infuses a deeper dimension into our living. It’s not something to practice only when fortune strikes – when we land the job, cure the illness, or win the client – but something to practice at all times. In fact a little gratitude can help us stay far more buoyant when the storm waves are high and we are struggling to stay afloat. Gratitude elevates our spirit; it gives us access to humor amidst our hardship, strength amidst our struggles, and hope when despair looms large.

Of course, like any worthwhile endeavor, practicing gratitude demands daily mindfulness and ongoing effort. It’s so easy to get caught up focusing on all that isn’t as you want it to be – what people do (or fail to do), what’s happening in your job, community, or family; the state of your health or the shape of your finances. It’s why so many spend the best years of their lives anxious and resentful, cursing the gap between their plans and reality!

Sure, life provides a constant stream of situations that we would never consciously choose for ourselves. But beneath that stream runs a deeper current of blessings that can easily be taken for granted. Gratitude takes nothing for granted. It shines a spotlight on all that is good, amplifying its presence, all while putting your ‘problems’ into perspective and emboldening you with the courage you need to respond to them more constructively, less resentfully; more graciously, less begrudgingly.

There are many whose bodies have been crippled with arthritis, who are facing an early death from an illness they didn’t deserve and cannot cure, who have lost children to wars and homes to disaster yet who, amidst their misfortune, have radiated a quiet gratitude and special brand of joy.  How could they be so happy when life has been so hard for them? Simple. They choose to live in gratitude. As holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once wrote, “For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.”

On the other hand, there are people who have problems that millions would pray to have – seemingly living a life of success and enjoying every luxury money can afford – yet who seem lost and forever looking for something more. The truth is that gratitude has nothing to do with good fortune. Unleashing its power in your daily life takes nothing more than recognizing that life itself is a gift, that it has an expiration date, and that every day—from the most pleasurable to the most anguished—is shaped by the mindset you bring to it. So as you read this now, take a moment to be grateful for even the littlest most ordinary things because one day you’ll look back to see they were the actually the big things.

Of course, living in a permanent state of gratitude is a tough task for anyone. As human beings, we all succumb to the temptation of comparing and complaining and focusing on what’s wrong over what’s right. Living in gratitude entails an ongoing exercise of accepting ourselves as the imperfect yet magnificent beings that we are. So instead of berating yourself for occasionally taking things (your kids, your home, your freedom, your friends) for granted, instead forgive yourself for being human, take a long deep grateful breath, and commit to radiating gratitude with, and for, those around you…whoever they are (and however maddening they sometimes can be!). After all, feeling gratitude without spreading it is like preparing a magnificent Thanksgiving feast without sharing it.

Gratitude is an antidote to life’s hardships and a magnifier of its blessings. We must practice it not just at Thanksgiving, or just when life is easy. We must practice it always.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Exploring the Efficacy of and the Rationale Behind the Flu Shot

Each year, the demand seemingly gets stronger.  “An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others,” the Center for Disease Control (CDC) states on its website. 

Now, more than ever before, that advice is being heavily scrutinized.  First and foremost, a very pertinent question exists as to whether or not the flu shot is really the best defense against the influenza virus.  Your immune system is designed to combat foreign invaders such as viruses, and you encounter on a daily basis a plethora of things from the environmental allergens in the air that you breathe to the bacteria that may live in the food that you eat to which your immune system must respond.  Immunity is built by these interactions and its development is one of the many automatic processes that occur in your body. 

Everyone is exposed to the many different strains of the flu virus; whether or not you start to exhibit signs that it has entered your system and proliferated in its battle against your innate defense is determined by the strength of your immune system.  Viruses like influenza are not predators; they are more like scavengers.  Rather than attack people at random, you might say that the flu seeks out hosts that will allow it to thrive; if your immune system is weak, then you are a prime candidate. 

The long-established medical mindset has been that the human body is not capable enough to build immunity on its own, but considering that you are exposed to millions of potential microorganisms that can cause infection every day yet only rarely fall ill, it would be fair to say that the exception is being treated as the rule.  Logic and a basic understanding of physiology would, therefore, dictate that a strong immune system would give you the best chance to prevent the flu and not the vaccine.

Though you have no conscious control over the actions of the immune system, you still have the ability to consciously make choices that will heavily influence the strength of your system.  Your brain is directly linked to your immune system via your nerves, your spinal cord, and ultimately your brainstem.  Like the general of any defense system, the brain must be able to properly communicate with the cells that it deploys to fight your body’s battles.  How well that communication system is functioning (see Upper Cervical Care) is, therefore, very important.  The cells are replenished regularly, produced by glands that get the materials necessary to build new cells by the food that we eat, so nutritional decisions also govern your ability to create a strong and efficient immune system. 

Of the five essential categories to healthy living, normal function and nutrition are the core elements that control immunity but, stress being like a vice-grip on your body, your ability to manage stress plays a key role too.  Your basic internal reaction to stress is to prioritize the systems of the body necessary for acute, in-the-moment action; the immune system does not make that list and is weakened accordingly when high levels of stress go unmanaged.  So, if you manage your stress, your body is functioning properly, and you eat well, your system should be strong enough to fight off the vast majority of pathogens, influenza included. 

As to the pressure exerted on the public by those in favor of mass flu vaccination who champion it as our collective best chance to prevent the flu, it is reasonable to expect a strong body of evidence in support of their position.  So, does the flu shot’s efficacy establish well enough the widespread suggestion of its necessity?

In an interview with Dr. Thomas Jefferson, coordinator for the Cochrane Vaccine Field in Rome, Italy, he stated that, in a thorough review of 217 published studies on flu vaccines, he found only 5% reliable.  In other words, 95% of published flu vaccine studies were considered flawed in his professional opinion and that their conclusions should be dismissed.  In 2013, Dr. Peter Doshi of MIT and Johns Hopkins University published a devastating report in the British Medical Journal discrediting the official fear tactics about flu season.  "The vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza seems to be overstated," he said.

If you simply evaluate the data offered by the CDC over the past 12 years, the claimed-effectiveness of the flu shot has averaged out at less than 50%, bottoming out at a low of 10% and last year professing to be only around 20%.  Even in a year when the effective-percentage has topped 50% overall, the effectiveness for the more likely to be immunocompromised elderly population has been as low as 8%.  Some studies have suggested 20% as the standard instead of the exception.

All such effectiveness studies, as pointed out above, have their issues and biases, meaning that even the ones that champion 65% effectiveness may not actually be that effective.  It is not a simple thing to study, especially when you take into account that flu vaccines do not protect you against the common strains of influenza to which you would generally be exposed today because they contain the common strains of influenza from several months to a year ago; viruses adapt, so the strains you face now are rarely the same as the ones in the vaccine.  If you do not get the flu and did not have the vaccine, the answer as to why is simple: your immune system was strong; if you do not get the flu and did have the vaccine, the answer as to why is not as simple – statistically, it most likely was because your immune system was strong in the first place rather than from getting the flu shot.

Next for your consideration is that the flu shot ingredient list includes a wide variety of things that can actually suppress the immune system’s normal response, such as known carcinogens, allergens, and neuro-toxins, to which everyone reacts differently.  It has been said that the flu is unpredictable; just as unpredictable are chemical concoctions put into the body, hence the frequency of adverse reactions not just to vaccines, but pharmaceuticals in general. 

Admitted side effects of the vaccine range from low fever and chills to swelling where the shot was injected to headaches and Migraines to extreme fatigue to joint and muscle pain; yet it has also been known to cause major digestive issues, narcolepsy, intense vertigo, paralysis, and even death.  If your exception to not getting the flu shot is getting the flu, then that is one thing; but if your exception to getting the flu shot is an adverse reaction causing paralysis or death, that is entirely another.

The supporting research is incredibly weak, the effectiveness is scientifically unverified, and it presents with considerable risks.  Far more cons than pros exist for getting the vaccine.  Meanwhile, a healthy lifestyle allows you to build a naturally strong immunity; and, make no mistake, the burden of proof is not on the non-vaccinated to prove that they can build immunity without a flu shot; it is on the proponents of the vaccination to prove you need a flu shot to build immunity.   

Thinking good things for you,

Dr. Chad

Thursday, October 13, 2016

All-or-Nothing Thinking: An Enemy of Progress

Do you get the feeling that we are collectively on the precipice of one of those defining periods in our history?  As a society, we are at a crossroads in so many ways; necessary changes are hopefully around the corner as they relate to health care, economics, politics, on down to the sociology of how we treat each other as human-beings. 

Change is rarely easy, though, as essential as it may be.  When we converse on the human condition, we understand that the characteristics that define our world are constantly shifting, but change is still often wrought with struggle.  A certain way of doing things becomes the standard and, when it comes time to reevaluate and redefine the standard, there is a common tendency to put up a mental wall or push back in the face of change.

Though our minds are capable of accepting that change is a natural part of life, we live in a world that, perhaps now more than ever before, gravitates toward an all-or-nothing attitude.  We collectively seek to oversimplify that which is far from simple and, in actuality, end up further complicating matters.  Politics offer both a prime and timely example.  A typical list of the key issues is fairly complex and lengthy, yet the manner in which people often choose elected officials to represent their interests on a larger scale has been reduced to a pair of overly simplistic categories. 

This year’s Presidential election is poignantly proof positive.  Given the social climate and the aura of imminent, prominent changes on the horizon that we need to cultivate and embrace rather than block, it would seem that, this year, it would be extremely important to pick a leader who can help guide our country through a potentially era-defining transition.  Please forgive anyone who views this election as a choice between the lesser of two evils, a borderline reality TV show masquerading as a presidential race and a hallmark instance of the need for more than two viable options.  Unfortunately, in politics as in many areas of life right now, black and white thinking is an enemy of progress. 

In the world of psychology, there is a disorder named for this type of thinking; it is called splitting and it is used to describe the all-or-nothing mindset as a defense mechanism for when people are unable to decipher the reality that there are both positive and negative aspects of various situations.  One could say that it is a very childlike state of mind.  When you are young and your mind begins to develop, one of the signs of maturity is the ability to process information beyond fixed and finite categories.  If you tell a child that he/she has to eat food in order to live, the less mature child might assume that if they fail to eat dinner, he/she could die; conversely, the more mature child would be able to assimilate that skipping a meal would not necessarily be problematic, but that skipping several meals could be dangerous.  As the ability to form more intricate personal relationships grows and our responsibilities increase, the psychological skill of seeing the shades of gray in life becomes more important; it also allows us to be self-aware.

It is important that we recognize that the general shift toward black and white thinking is detrimental to our society.  Another socially-relevant example would be the hysteria created by athletes not standing for the national anthem in protest of modern race relations.  As with politics, the vast majority of responses to the matter fall to one extreme or the other.  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his contemporaries have been labeled by many as blatantly disrespectful of the United States of America, with one prominent voice of opposition comparing their act to flag burning. 

The subject is an important one, however, and should not be marginalized by distracting from the point of the stance being taken by these athletes that race relations – and, by extension, equality overall – need to continue to improve.  The silent protest has generated consistent attention that has kept race relations at the forefront of the national conversation without rioting or any other forms of violence.  If we can snap out of the all-or-nothing mindset, we can increase our awareness on this perplexing issue and do something to help make positive strides as did UNC basketball coach, Roy Williams, who was at first “very angry” at the anthem-kneeling but, after listening to Kaepernick’s message, came around to at least supporting the reasoning behind it. 

A typically accepted thought within the health community is that people who are not healthy are less capable of making sound decisions.  That the United States ranks last among industrialized countries in overall health may offer insight into our national propensity toward black and white thinking, which has permeated health care too.  Generally, we are not well, so we do not think particularly well, and our system for getting well is dilapidated; it has become a vicious cycle. 

Health care in America is predominantly built on diagnosing symptom sets and treating them with medication; patients consequently either fit into this box or that box, each with its own drug treatment protocol.  This system may be scientifically-based, but it is logically flawed and, statistically, it has not proven to enhance our health and well-being. 

A local resident recently experienced several hours of severe foot pain.  She was advised to immediately seek a medical opinion, despite the fact that the pain had completely gone away days prior.  When she saw the doctor, she was told that her symptoms were classic descriptors of Gout; blood work was done and she was sent home with a prescription for a medication specific to treating Gout before the lab results came back.  Days later, they called and emphatically told her that she should immediately cease the use of the previously prescribed medication, as it turned out that her blood work showed no signs of Gout; she was then given a clean bill of health. 

The above example is a microcosm of the dangers of the all-or-nothing mindset.  Your health gives you the foundation for every other aspect of your life; largely limiting the scope of health care to diagnosing and treating symptoms therefore gives us a fragile foundation for our lives.  The universal truth is that everybody is different and nobody should be pigeonholed into a single classification.  Our awareness of the realities of health care is the first step to reshaping it.   

Understandably, it can be very difficult to break the habit of the all-or-nothing thinking, but we have to be up to the challenge because that attitude is hindering our ability to evolve as a society.  We have the innate capacity to mature our mindset to see the shades of gray and be the best possible versions of ourselves, but we will struggle so long as we restrict our thinking to black and white.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Going The Extra Mile

At the end of August each year, I always get a burst of energy from the success of Operation: Back Pack.  I honestly cannot name any one specific thing that is more gratifying to me than helping kids in need and I would struggle to name anything more inspiring to me than the fact that we have been able to build our school supply program to its current level almost entirely through our patient base; so many of you travel far and wide from different communities yet still find it within your hearts to help children in the Kernersville community.

My personality is such that I tend to do a lot reflecting and, via my studies of self since opening the Triad Upper Cervical Clinic seven years ago, I have determined that at no point at any given time during the year am I happier than right around Labor Day.  Some of that credit should go to the start of college football season, as my wife would readily point out :-) , but a lot of the credit goes to the back pack drive.

Napoleon Hill, vaunted author on personal success, would call my post-Operation: Back Pack surge of enthusiasm the result of “going the extra mile,” a basic principle stating that, whenever you volunteer your energy, money, or time to helping others, it improves your life too.  Hill provides an excellent example of this principle in action in his book, The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement; a young salesman working at a Philadelphia department store in the early 20th century waited on a woman drenched from head to toe who told him she merely wanted to escape the pouring rain and, instead of ignore her (she had no intention of buying anything), he brought her a chair to sit in until she was ready to leave.  It turned out that the woman was the mother of Andrew Carnegie; soon after, the young salesman became a high ranking executive in the department store.

Hill, himself, when tasked by Carnegie with compiling the common traits of the world’s most successful people, was not actually paid for his work, but he had so much passion for the project and such a strong desire to help people help themselves that, despite having a family to support, he poured everything that he had into it.  He went the extra mile and it afforded him rewards later (and often); and he was much happier in the long run.

Psychological studies have verified the extra mile-happiness relationship, suggesting that the people most likely to describe themselves as content in their lives volunteer in some form several hours per month.  By volunteering, they also increase their overall sense of purpose and have a higher view of their self-worth, especially when entering phases of their lives less defined by parenting and/or their careers.  The effect of going the extra mile is not just a psycho-social phenomenon either, but is also a harbinger for the release of hormones that offer physiologic boosts.  Doing good deeds, like giving someone a hug, just makes you and other people feel better.

As happiness is a reflection of a positive mental attitude, harkening back to attitude/constructive stress management skills being one of the five basic tenets of healthy living, helping others therefore also improves your health.  People who go out of their way to help others manage stress better and, consequently, have lesser tendencies for depression, heart disease, cancer, and chronic pain.  One particular study suggested a statistically-significant 40% decrease in heart-related health problems as a result of volunteering for 200 hours or more per year.

Going the extra mile does your body good.  It also inspires others to follow your lead.  They say that “you are who you hang out with,” so if you surround yourself with people who enjoy giving back to their communities than you will, in turn, be more likely to do the same and then your friends and your kids (who tend to perform better in school and develop better self-images when they volunteer) will gravitate toward altruistic acts as well.  

Hill is prone to stating in his works that if you are having some sort of problem, one of the best ways to solve it is to help someone else solve their problem.  Most self-improvement authors and documentaries tend to point toward the Law of Attraction, which has been heavily featured in many of my own newsletters over the years.  Another Law to be familiar with that closely follows the ideology of Attraction (what you think about, you bring about) is Compensation.  The Law of Compensation states simply that you get what you give.  So, just as you would, in for example being judgmental about other people and their intentions, be more likely to act like a magnet for people who would in turn be judgmental of you (the Law of Attraction in action), you would also, in for example by consistently going the extra mile for your co-workers, community, family, or friends be more likely to find them in turn go the extra mile for you (the effect of the Law of Compensation).

Each day, when we pay attention, we are provided opportunities to help others.  I encourage you to look for them and to remember that the old saying that “you reap what you sow” can have a powerfully positive impact on your life and your health.  I thank you for being you and I encourage all of us to collectively strive to inspire each other to be even better.

Sources: Napoleon Hill (various works); National Institutes of Health

Thinking good things for as always,

Dr. Chad

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Adverse Drug Reaction Nobody Talks About

The Drug Rebound Effect

In our New Patient Orientation Class, one of the topics of discussion is the facts about medication use that are rarely put into proper context.  Acknowledgment of the flaws in the mindset of reactively treating symptoms and disease primarily through pharmaceuticals segues into the prevalence of adverse reactions.  Side effects should not be deemphasized in an “oh, by the way” side bar to the dialogue about whether or not to take recommended drugs.  The dangers are very real, with adverse reactions to medications the third leading cause of death in the United States.  When the last resort is treated as the first option, bad things are prone to happen.

Given that the class is just an hour in length, only specific details of the medication discussion are highlighted, but the conversation could last for several hours.  An interesting question to ask about drugs, building on the information provided in the Orientation, is how they work inside of your body to create their desired results.  An understanding of the mechanism of action for medication may help you better comprehend the mechanism of adverse reactions.

Simply put, drugs are designed to do one of two primary things: speed up or slow down.  For constipation, as an example, medications are taken that stimulate the digestive system to shift from first to third gear, speeding up the process of elimination.  For pain, conversely, medications are taken to downshift the central nervous system’s activity, slowing if not outright blocking the transmission of the alert signal from the painful area to the brain.

All medications, regardless of type, have chemical reactions internally that affect your nervous system – a fact that is important to contextualizing why side effects are so common.  Since the nerves supply the power that makes your internal assembly line run, any substance that seeks to interfere with the activity of your nerves (regardless of intent) runs the risk of throwing a wrench into that system.  Sometimes, the wrench causes a minor problem and sometimes the wrench causes a catastrophic problem; the spectrum of adverse reactions is variable and vast.

One of the most common side effects to medication use is actually one that very few people know much about; it’s called “the rebound,” which occurs when the body reacts symptomatically to the introduction of a drug taken to reduce certain symptoms.  Your body is constantly seeking an adequate-to-optimal level of stability internally, a harmony if you will among its 75 trillion cells while they each perform their 200,000 chemical reactions every split second.  Medication disrupts that inner desire for homeostasis, forcing your body to adapt and sometimes the mere consumption of a drug prompts a more pronounced adaptation that can trigger the very symptom that medication was taken to eliminate.

There is a pattern to normal nerve activity; an EKG measures it specifically in relation to the heart, to give you a frame of reference.  Like the waves gently breaking against the sea shore on a beautiful day, that normal pattern accounts for typical movements (walking, talking, use of your hands, etc.) and basic functions (digestion, blinking, hearing, heartbeat, etc.).  Part of the problem with the misalignment in the upper neck is that, by compromising the brainstem, it throws off that normal nerve pattern, similar to what you might see with waves crashing into the beach on a stormy day.  Harkening back to the assembly line analogy, symptoms often arise from little more than that disrupted pattern, which in and of itself unfavorably affects the system.  Again, though, medication is like throwing a wrench into the system, prompting a more impactful change in nerve activity akin to the ocean massively swelling when a hurricane strikes.

Temporarily, the symptom may dull as the drug takes effect, but once the body tries to reestablish the normal pattern in an effort to resume internal harmony, there is a spike in nerve activity that often brings the symptom back with a vengeance.  It can become a vicious cycle because, when symptoms return, the first reaction is often to take more medication, even when in actuality it may be the drug itself that is proliferating the symptom.  Long-term drug use sets the nerve activity into an abnormal pattern that can be difficult to break regardless of the original cause of the symptom being dealt with – like correcting the upper neck misalignment’s negative effect on the brainstem and its foundational shifting of the body’s structural balance – or medication use being curtailed up to several weeks prior.  

Rebound effects are happening at an alarming rate despite a distinct lack of awareness on the part of those prescribing medications.  According to Dr. Stephen D. Silberstein, a professor of neurology and director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University, at any given time, 3 million Americans suffer headaches brought on just by taking pain relievers.  Dr. Silberstein states that “some doctors may not be aware that drugs they recommend are causing a problem, not solving it” and that, actually, they may inadvertently reinforce the idea that taking more medication or increasing the drug dosage will improve the situation.  

Common medications for everything from pain to respiratory congestion to skin conditions to eye irritation have been known to cause rebound effects.  So, please be aware of this phenomenon.

Sources: Harvard Medical School; Thoms Jefferson University

Thinking good things for as always,

Dr. Chad

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fox News: Fibromyalgia vs. Upper Cervical Care

For more information about Upper Cervical Care, visit

Originally published on on October 5, 2015

After enduring  car accidents when she was a young woman— none of which were her fault— Mary Steinhoff was left with chronic, debilitating pain that lasted for 29 years.

“I was in constant pain, [from] head to toe,” the 56-year-old from Morrisville, North Carolina said.  
In fact, the pain was so bad that she couldn’t raise her right arm or lie flat. As a result, she battled insomnia and fatigue, sleeping just 2 to 3 hours every night for years. It was also challenging to drive and impossible to concentrate or read a book.
“It can be an excruciating journey physically, emotionally and spiritually,” she said.
It wasn’t until 2002 that she was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but she continued to live in pain as she tried virtually every treatment available: physical therapy, massage, aqua therapy, acupressure, medication, yoga, psychotherapy and prayer. She even bought a new mattress, tried a gluten-free diet and stopped eating sugar— nothing helped.
“I was desperate to fix this,” she said.
Although chiropractic treatment helped a bit, it wasn’t until she met Dr. Ray Drury, an upper cervical chiropractic doctor in Charlotte, North Carolina last year that she finally found some relief. Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in correcting a small misalignment of the upper neck known as the Atlas Subluxation Complex, according to the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association.
Drury discovered that Steinhoff’s atlas, or C1 vertebra, was tipped 4 degrees forward, which meant that her neck was flat. Since it didn’t have a natural curvature, it was impossible for her to lay flat. He also discovered that her upper cervical spine was not only turned to the right, which caused her spine to turn left, but it was also severely twisted.
After her first upper cervical adjustment, Mary returned home, took a shower and started sobbing. When her husband walked in, alarmed, she rejoiced, “It doesn’t hurt to wash my hair!”
“It was startling to say the least,” she recalled.   
What is upper cervical chiropractic?
The first spinal adjustment ever performed was on the upper cervical spine in 1895 by Dr. D.D. Palmer, who restored a deaf man’s hearing. Although the practice faded out over time, it has seen a resurgence in the past 15 years and is the fastest growing area in chiropractic, said Drury, who is also the author of “The Best Kept Secret in Healthcare.”
The concept of upper cervical chiropractic has to do with the brain stem, which comes out of the head through the top two bones of the neck, known as the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). The brain stem works like a switchboard operator, controlling all of the messages between the brain and the body.
“If one of those bones gets even slightly out of line it can interfere with the messages between the brain and the body,” Drury said.
Using gentle adjustments to the upper cervical spine, the treatment can help people with things like ear and sinus infections, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, sleeping disorders and digestive problems, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, immune disorders, trigeminal neuralgia and seizures.
In fact, a recent study conducted in Italy found  that upper cervical chiropractic adjustments on patients with chronic venous cerebral-spinal insufficiency and multiple sclerosis had improved function in multiple areas of the body after just 6 weeks.
Instead of treating the symptoms as Western medicine does, upper cervical chiropractic looks to identify and treat the root cause.
“We don’t treat conditions, we treat the body. When everything is balanced and nothing is interfered with, the body is a self-healing organism,” Drury said.
The amount of adjustments needed and how often depend on the individual, the degree of misalignment and how long the individual has had the misalignment.  
“As it holds longer, they need to see us less and less,” Drury said. 
Julie Revelant is a health journalist and a consultant who provides content marketing and copywriting services for the healthcare industry. She's also a mom of two. Learn more about Julie at

Friday, July 22, 2016

Multiple Sclerosis vs. Upper Cervical Care: The Newest Research

When the human body develops in-utero, various types of internal roadways are built.  Similar to how, when building a city, roadways are needed to transport people and the things that people need to and from the city, the body's roadways are designed for travel/flow of various organic essentials.  The nerves, for example, provide our electrical network along which impulses carrying energy to all of our organs, muscles, tissues, and cells travel; the cardiovascular system carries blood to and from the heart, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the body; there are vessels that carry lymph (an integral part of immunity); cerebrospinal fluid flows all around the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord, coating and protecting the core of the nervous system.  
The many vessels of the body

As with any roadway, there exists the possibility of traffic jams that prevent normal travel within your body’s vessels.  If you hit your elbow in a certain spot, for instance, the ulnar nerve that carries electrical impulses into your hand becomes affected, temporarily disrupting the neurologic flow before normal sensation returns; that is the mechanism behind the popular expression “hitting your funny bone.”  Much more severe occurrences can occur in other parts of the body, diminishing the normal function of the heart, lungs, immune system, etc.  Another example would be decreased circulation of blood or lymph through their respective vessels, causing a variety of problems all their own. 

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can also be compromised.  As with other types of fluid, it is constantly reproduced, the old being reabsorbed to make room for the new, like an everyday oil change of sorts.  One of the most common areas to cause disruption of CSF flow is the junction between the head and the neck, which is the main intersection between the brain and the spinal cord through the brainstem.  Top segment of the spinal column, the first cervical vertebra (C1), is a highly mobile bone held in place by muscles and ligaments instead of interlocking joints, making it less stable and more susceptible to misalignment when traumas occur.  The head and neck misalignment affects all types of fluid flow, not just CSF, but there is increasingly widespread data that shows it to be perhaps the most common cause of CSF interruption, be it in flowing freely or draining properly. 

In 2008, an Italian researcher made the connection between CSF and blood flow disruption and Multiple Sclerosis, calling it chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency.  Multiple Sclerosis is the most prevalent autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system at roughly 400,000 people in the United States (a whopping 16% of total worldwide cases known).  The condition is distinguished by the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord being attacked by the body’s own immune system.  As these core areas of the nervous system are our life line, the devastation often left in the wake of severe cases is life-altering. 

The most pertinent question regarding any autoimmune disorder is: why is the defense system attacking the very body it was designed to protect?  In regards to M.S. as relates to the CSF flow disruption, the research shows that failure to drain causes an accumulation of fluid in various parts along the brain and spinal cord.  CSF does not actually flow through vessels like blood or lymph, but instead travels in between spaces; when its course is impeded, it creates a scenario similar to a car attempting to find an alternate route to escape traffic – the CSF simply moves around the hindrance.  Unfortunately, there is not much space for it to go and pockets accrue.  The immune system consequently recognizes these areas, views them as threats to the body, and signals an attack.  The aftermath is several tiny areas of scarring, otherwise known as sclerosis; multiple areas of scarring are called multiple sclerosis. 

The Italian doctor found that a procedure to restore normal fluid flow had an incredible effect, prompting symptoms to decrease and the regression of the condition.  His method involved surgery to apply small balloons or stints, but newer research has centered on the efficacy of a less invasive option: the upper cervical specific chiropractic correction. 

One of the problems with the surgical route is that there was found to be a high reoccurrence of scarring in newer areas, primarily because it never did address the most fundamental issue: if distortion of blood flow and improper drainage of CSF prompts the immune system to attack the body, then what caused the fluid not to flow or drain properly in the first place?  The new research points to the upper neck misalignment.

Dr. Erin Elster, an Upper Cervical practitioner, has previously established that 90% of patients diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis had previously suffered a trauma to the head or neck prior to the onset of their symptoms.  Another Upper Cervical practitioner, Dr. Scott Rosa, is using upright MRI to specifically identify the pooling of CSF in the brain, correcting the diagnosed upper cervical misalignment that presumably caused the CSF disruption, and then doing another upright MRI to confirm that the CSF pools have dissipated.  Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Jim McMahon, is a major advocate for this technique, describing his post-correction experience as “like a toilet flushed in my head.” 

In 2015, the results were released from a multi-year collaborative project between several medical physicians in Italy and American Upper Cervical practitioners, supporting Elster’s and Rosa’s studies and showing that the upper cervical correction had a dramatically positive impact on restoring fluid drainage and flow, essentially reproducing the surgical option’s results without the downside.  “We believe that the Upper Cervical correction on C1-C2 could be the main non-invasive treatment of CCSVI in patients with MS,” they concluded from their findings.  A larger clinical trial is now underway. 

Anyone suffering from M.S. is an encouraged to at least have their upper neck evaluated by an Upper Cervical practitioner, especially if they have a history of head or neck trauma (and most do).  Traditional methods to treat autoimmune disorders like M.S. are not popular in the scientific community.  One method sees the immune system depressed by powerful drugs, making the entire body more susceptible to infection or cancer, while others see powerful steroids introduced in an attempt to boost immune function, but as scientists at Oregon State are confirming, that approach "is like hitting an ant with a sledgehammer."  There is nothing to be lost by seeking alternative options such as Upper Cervical Care.   

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Staying Positive Through Challenging Times

Life can be exhausting, can it not?  Relationships can be challenging, work life can be tumultuous, debt can rise astronomically in a matter of months, the trials and tribulations of parenthood can be overwhelming, etc.  Plus, there is a lot going on in the world right now and a constant stream of information brings other energy-draining issues to the forefront like disease, politics, poverty, and war.  These are trying times. 

Health often takes a backseat to dealing with these various matters.  A culture has been created in our society that has made health more a luxury taken for granted than a necessity that we must strive to achieve.  The two most common reasons to address health among American families are the onset of significant symptoms and New Year’s resolutions, the former very commonly a sign that health has already been lost and the latter a motivation that yields sustainable results just 8% of the time.  These reasons coupled with the adoption of the instant-gratification mindset into our healthcare system exhibit a significant under-appreciation of the work that must be put in to achieve health. 

Maximizing your health potential is all about goal-setting and being proactive.  It is easy to do that when things are good and life has reached one of its calmer stretches, but it is your ability to maintain your healthier habits when times get tougher that defines your overall well-being.  It is said that “stress is the leading cause of disease,” so turmoil should in fact only heighten the importance of working toward a healthy lifestyle, the single most underrated aspect of which is stress management. 

Emotions such as fear, doubt, judgment, and righteousness often promote a demoralized perspective that strips away your vitality and weakens your overall health.  Stress triggers these negative emotions and, like a vice grip on the body, forces you into detrimental long-term patterns similar to a “fight or flight” response in reaction to acute danger.  Imagine you walk outside to take out the trash and a bear is twenty yards away; your body prioritizes the internal organ systems necessary for immediate action like in Star Wars when Han Solo diverts all the power to the Millennium Falcon’s shields amidst attack.  Energy increased to certain systems means that energy must also be depleted from others, so when in stressful situations the body accentuates the function of the heart, lungs, and extremity muscles, it then deemphasizes the digestive and immune systems.  Emotional stressors must consequently be dealt with.

Navigating our respective paths toward wellness when the going gets tough begins with faith that everything is going to work out in the end.  As Napoleon Hill aptly put it when he was studying the common traits of the world’s most successful people in the early 20th century, faith is “the greatest outlet for the expression of initiative, imagination, enthusiasm, self-reliance, and definiteness of purpose.”  People genuinely grounded in faith offer us templates; when they encounter a rough patch, notice how they accept it as an opportunity and move strongly forward to the next phase of their lives. 

Faith is what allows us to see the forest through the trees, maintaining perspective during our journeys that what defeats us is not the challenges themselves but our attitude toward them; it provides a basic framework that we can operate within to give us the best chance to succeed at building ourselves into our best possible versions while life’s challenges abound.  

However, faith is merely the foundation; there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.  Your attitude is therefore incredibly influential on your life.  Your attitude's role, one might say, is to put your faith into action.  Stress management is made much easier by a fundamentally positive attitude.  The power of positivity has become somewhat cliché, but the reason why it is so important is that it is an agent of reestablishing an emotionally even-keel without which the body remains in the subtle-but-destructive fight or flight response (to stress) and struggles to end the internal chaos thereof.  It is clinically proven that the ability to remain positive through crises yields a far healthier and productive person than a pessimistic counterpart.  Hill once noted that “a positive attitude will naturally attract the good and the beautiful.  A negative attitude will rob you of all that makes life worth living.”  

Genuine positivity allows you to see challenges in more constructive ways and to recognize that we get to choose what kind of energy with which we react to various situations.  Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you respond to it, so if you can react constructively nine out of ten times, then you are going to be an emotionally elastic person quite flexible in your ability to bounce back from assaults on your psyche. 

 “Laughter is the best medicine,” they say, because in the face of adversity it simultaneously favors confidence and zeal while suppressing deprecation and apathy; it is one of the many ways to hit your emotional reset button - a helpful tool in creating positive trains of thought.  A deep, focused breath is an additional way to prevent the onset of a negative thought pattern and coupled with a quiet affirmation that all will be well becomes doubly effective.  A song with a strong (and positive) emotional resonance is another valuable avenue; so too is a picture of a fond memory positioned in a prominent spot in your office or the thought of an upcoming event that you are really excited about.  You can also try counteracting a negative thought with three positive ones, writing them down to get yourself into the habit.

Disingenuous positivity is not helpful in the long-term, so these methods should not be thought of as distractions from problems so much as emotional segues that transition your thought patterns from the potential to dwell to the tendency to advance your day uninhibited by any antagonistic albatross. 

Like a garden, your attitude can either thrive or barely survive; it must be cultivated to be positive and left undeveloped will become negative.  It is much easier to maintain a good attitude if we take the time to gain perspective on our situations.  Finding quiet moments to relax your mind reinforces faith and breeds the wisdom necessary to endure the plethora of exhausting tasks on our mental to-do lists.  It is ever more important to find that time for reflection in an age when it seems that all mediums from television to radio to social media are clobbering us repeatedly with the world’s ills; if someone told you that you were stupid over and over again, you might eventually start to believe it, but if you sit back and think about it, you will remember that you are actually quite smart.  Thinking well makes it easier for you to be well.  Taking time to think better allows you to think well. 

While developing a constructive attitude, keep in mind that each of the five essentials of healthy living – normal function, proper nutrition, structural balance, stress management, and physical activity – are important aspects of regaining or maintaining your health as you go with life’s flow.  We do not have to use chaotic times as excuses to take backward steps toward destructive mental and physical habits.  It is all too easy to concentrate our attention on our problems, but these are the times when it becomes most important to concentrate on the brighter side of life.  Resilience is defined as battling back from adversity to become stronger than before and one of the characteristic traits of resilient people is their positive outlooks on life.  

Thinking good things for as always,

Dr. Chad

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Realities of Health Insurance: Part 2

What role do you think insurance should play in your health goals? 

With costs higher than ever, our collective answer to that question will ultimately help determine the future of healthcare and health insurance. 

A few months ago, in Part 1 of this exploration of modern insurance, health was clearly defined as the condition in which an organism performs its vital operations properly and a simplified process was identified to serve as the basic standard for how to achieve it; in review, health is most readily restored or maintained through the combination of optimal nervous system function, proper nutrition, stress management, regular exercise, and structural balance.

The process of regaining and sustaining health is analogous to car maintenance.  The human body is a well-oiled machine designed to heal itself but, like an automobile, it has foundational requirements.  We are educated at a young age of the importance of car maintenance; we become aware that there are certain items on a list that must be checked off to ensure that our vehicles work as well and last for as long as possible.  Oil changes, tire rotations, fluid level checks, air filter replacements, etc., they are all part of a preventative model established from the time a car is purchased.  We budget for car maintenance accordingly. 

Most of us treat our cars much better than we treat our bodies.  When the check engine light comes on in a car, for example, we know it to be a small warning sign of a potentially bigger problem that may not have yet exhibited significant symptoms.  In healthcare as we know it today, the common protocol for the physical version of the check engine light coming on is to do the equivalent of covering up the light with a piece of electrical tape and pretending it is not there; the underlying problem persists without addressing the early warning sign and eventually manifests as a more substantial issue sooner or later. 

Particularly apt for the current season, the example of the air conditioning unit provides another relevant analogy.  Having it serviced is far more cost effective than waiting for something major to malfunction because it was not maintained.  Like any other machine, it needs maintenance to ensure that it operates at peak efficiency and will otherwise break down; the human body is the same. 

Insurance is designed to act as a failsafe should health requirements not be met and should your body experience the catastrophic results of physical decay; it is also designed to meet the needs brought about by the unforeseeable circumstances that we have no control over such as car accidents.  Treating sickness and disease is not the same thing as becoming (or staying) healthy; neither is crisis management.  The preventative-maintenance model utilized with our automobiles and A/C units is the type of mindset that American healthcare principally lacks and needs to adopt

Redefining health and reshaping our understanding of how to become healthy are vitally important to establishing economic equilibrium for healthcare costs.  Right now, there is a huge demand for health, but basic health education and knowledge about those practitioners who can facilitate and guide you toward maximizing your health potential is in comparatively low supply. 

Consider that 99% of the $3.27 trillion total expenditure for healthcare in the United States last year was spent on conventional medical practices (mainly drug therapy and surgical procedures) and on the health insurance designed to cover these treatments.  The unfortunate facts of the matter are that the average American spent over $10,000 on healthcare in 2015, all but 1% of which went toward a methodology that has yielded America as a whole dead last among its peers in the industrialized world, statistically, when it comes to being healthy. 

We are collectively stuck in a vicious cycle.  For several decades, we have demanded health from sources that are primarily tasked with treating symptoms, disease, and trauma.  That alone has kept healthcare spending higher (15% of the average American yearly income) because we have utilized insurance coverage more often to help cover medical fees.  The basic law of health insurance is that the greater the likelihood of using medical services, the more money it will cost to have medical insurance.  Insurance is, therefore, most affordable when fewer claims are being filed for medical services.   

The cycle will not slow down – much less end – until we command it to change.  First and foremost among the changes is our mindset.  Health is a goal, its various aspects in need of evaluation and intention.  Education is very important in changing the way that we think about health; we need to bring greater awareness to the gaping holes in our current system and put programs in place to outline for the general public the pillars of healthy-living.  If we jointly move away from the symptom-based model and toward a preventative model, we will be collectively healthier and be more consistently productive members of society, resulting in less insurance usage and decreases in cost accordingly. 

Coinciding with a more constructive approach to healthcare will be a shift in our way of thinking about who should cover health expenses.  Going back to the opening question, insurance should go back to playing its original role of disaster relief – the role it plays in all other aspects of life.  So, just as maintenance of a car or AC unit is a separate cost from car or home owner’s insurance, it is important to recognize that the associated costs for the education and guidance that health professionals can offer to help you and your family become healthy are understandably separate, in many cases, from your “health” insurance.  In reality, being healthy is the best insurance, its premiums small and its dividends large. 

Sources: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Institute of Health

Dr. Chad McIntyre owns and operates the Triad Upper Cervical Clinic in Kernersville.  Specializing in Upper Cervical Care, his practice emphasizes a proactive, goal-oriented approach to health heavily rooted in thorough patient education.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Guest Blogger Series: Why a Physician Became a Shamanic Healer

The Path of Healing
(and why a physician became a shamanic healer)

Healing is usually seen as a curing of an illness or relief of symptoms. But true healing is much more. True healing doesn’t focus only on symptom relief, but on seeking the foundation and source of any underlying imbalance, while moving towards health and wholeness in the largest sense.
I have spent my life seeking to understand the nature of healing and help people to heal. That journey began with my going to medical school, becoming a physician, and then spending an additional 4 years training as a psychiatrist, followed by 10 years of private psychiatric practice. But I soon realized that despite my intense years of training, I was still limited in how much I could help people heal – and how I myself could heal. So I pursued other more alternative trainings with a passion, one leading to another, including meditation, hypnosis, breathwork, and shamanic work.

The pursuit of the latter led me to explore and learn about ancient ways of healing from traditional native healers in this country, South America, and Africa.  Those years of intense and diverse (and fascinating!) training and experiences changed my world dramatically and gave me a much larger perspective through which I view healing – a perspective that goes well beyond the western medical model. I have learned of the powerful healing wisdom that exists deep within all of us, the amazing creativity that is our essence, and the necessity of attending to the energetic and spiritual dimensions of healing. I have experienced and witnessed deep healing at all levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – of myself and others.

My greatly expanded view of healing led me to leave my practice of psychiatry in 2005 to fully follow a shamanic path that focused on this deeper nature of healing and transformation. I offer this work of deep healing in my practice in Winston-Salem, in individual healing sessions as well as group classes and workshops.

What does this work entail?

So often, the source of our ailments and suffering lie in aspects of ourselves of which we are not conscious – and which are not often appreciated or understood in our western culture. We are complex beings – and the deeper we go within, the more clearly we can see beliefs, patterns, contradictions, and energetic imbalances that are troublesome.  Healing often entails breaking free of old limiting beliefs, patterns, and traumas, while reconnecting with your own deep inner wisdom, passion, and purpose.

In more concrete terms, healing sessions start by talking about what you are seeking help with as I begin to intuitively sense more deeply into your situation. For most sessions, I offer hands-on healing work with the client laying on the healing table. I create a safe space in which we can open to and track energies, emotions, thoughts, or patterns that need attention. The healing may involve grounding work, clearing of energies, reconnecting to parts of self or Source, balancing, opening to guidance, and more.

At other times I may guide a presencing meditation, helping you to listen to and access aspects of your body, psyche, and soul that have been unseen and unheard for too long. Shamanic hypnosis sessions may also do that, as well as connect in with spiritual guidance or with past lives that need healing.

A note regarding the spiritual aspects of my work: Although there is a spiritual component to shamanic work, it is not religious in any way and there is no dogma or set belief system. When I use the term ‘spiritual’, I mean it in the largest sense, regarding our deepest essence and our relationship with all of creation. I always respect and honor a client’s personal beliefs and faith (or non-faith) as we work together. 

People often ask what kinds of issues or illnesses I help people with. If someone feels drawn or called to work with me, it’s good to listen to that even if you’re not sure why.  That said, most often I find myself helping people with trauma, depression, anxiety, and/or fatigue, as well as those who are seeking more meaning and purpose, a deeper spiritual connection, and/or overall increased health, vitality, and passion for life. I also mentor other healers and health care professionals.

I view a path of healing as one that not only helps to heal illness, but also moves us towards more peace, vitality, and deep connection. A path that helps us access deeper levels of wisdom, intuition, meaning and purpose. A path that brings us more balance and allows for more joy and love. A path that opens us to deeper relationships with ourselves, others, and the world around us.

Sandy Phocas is a shamanic practitioner and workshop leader in Winston-Salem NC. She can be found online at