Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Health to thy Navel, Marrow to thy bones

Health to thy Navel, Marrow to thy bones
- Proverbs 3:8

Dr. Kyle D. Christensen, DC, ND, MH

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, taught over 2000 years ago that "all disease begins in the gut". This sentiment is also echoed by the writer of Proverbs, in that we can be blessed with Health in thy navel - or in other words - good digestion.  Additionally, we should enjoy marrow to our bones - or a healthy immune system - as the marrow is the producer of blood cells.
Sadly in America, when it comes to food, our focus is more on taste than digestion or nutrition.  We have all fallen victim to advertisers for the food manufacturing industry who tempt us towards foods that can rob us of "health in our navel and marrow in our bones".
There are intense battles raging for our dollar.  And it seems to me that many in the food industry will do anything they can to get it.  Just as much of the medical industry is more interested in managing illness - rather than curing it (diabetes, heart disease, etc.), likewise the food industry is more interested in getting you hooked on their product. 
The most simple and direct way to get you to purchase and repurchase their wares, is to create an addiction or chemical dependency.  This can be done with caffeine (soda pop and energy drinks) or with good old fashioned sugar. 
Understand this about sugar. Because God loves us, he gave us taste buds.  (Thank you, thank you, dear Lord!) And some of these taste buds are designed specifically to taste sweetness.  In his brilliance, these sugar-tasting buds are wired directly to the pleasure centers in the brain. So when something sweet goes in the mouth, the brain oohs and ahhs with delight. 
Because taste is a God-given blessing, He has provided us with the perfect foods for sweetness.  Foods such as raw honey and fruit. These foods contain natural sugars but also vitamins, enzymes, minerals and are truly healthy for our bodies.  On the other hand, it seems that for everything that is good, there’s a counterfeit. If Gods healthy foods for sweetness is honey and fruit, then the counterfeit would be processed sugars or sweeteners.  They have the taste we are designed to love, but do not have the healthy nutrients we need.  And in many cases contain harmful substances classified as "Excitotoxins" that overstimulate and damage the nervous system. 
It seems to me, that the path to health is a natural one.  We live in a world of shortcuts and quick fixes.  These approaches are usually dressed up in fancy and attractive packaging, but they are as Christ described "whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."(Matthew 23:27).
We have learned that our taste buds can become damaged and distorted if fed a diet of chemicals and stimulants.  Changing dietary tastes and preferences can be as difficult as getting a habitual coffee drinker to enjoy the subtle nuances and complexities of an herbal tea.  When exposed to and acclimated to unnatural food products, we sacrifice sensitivities to our tastes as well as our health.  Not only physical health, but mental, emotional and I believe spiritual health as well.
God, in His infinite wisdom, has blessed us with symptoms. Sensations in our body that things are amiss. Of course, a symptom such as pain, or gas, or diarrhea or headaches or a rash are not pleasant, but how else is your body going to get your attention. The good news is that for most of us, simple course corrections in your lifestyle can turn things around.  I said SIMPLE, not necessarily easy. 
Listen to your digestive tract.  Is it healthy? Are you feeding your body what IT needs or is your total focus on taste buds that have become distorted through sensational stimulants, such as high fructose corn syrup, and the plethora of chemical additives and flavor enhancers? Do you experience constipation, diarrhea or urinary urgency? 
How's your immune system? Do you wake up each morning with energy? Do you suffer from frequent infectious illnesses (colds, flu, etc.)? Do you experience allergies?
If so, rather than taking something to soothe each symptom, consider healing and rebuilding the digestive tract.  I've written about how to do this so much you may be getting tired of it, but in a nutshell, here it is again.  Eat whole natural foods.  Foods that could have been served from your great grandmothers table (that was in the days before food additives and processed foods).  Re-mineralize your gut with foods such as bone broths and gelatins. Reestablish the good bacteria through food sources of probiotics such as sauerkrauts, yogurt, kefir, sourdough, kombucha and kvass. Gain a testimony or a spiritual witness of how and what you should eat.  View the healing of your body as part of your spiritual journey and devotion to God.
Strengthen your immune system through herbs and mild foods (foods that are very digestible). Avoid processed sweets - which depress and ravage the immune system. Eat sweets, but only healthy ones.  Make your own homemade chocolate - which by the way is better than anything you can find that is commercially manufactured. 
As you are willing to take steps toward spiritual maturity, treating your body with the reverence and respect it deserves, you will be blessed with health in your navel and marrow in your bones.  Healthy Gut, Healthy Immune System.

Dr. Kyle Christensen
July 29, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Valley of the Shadow

The Valley of the Shadow
Dr. Kyle D. Christensen, DC, ND, MH

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; - Psalms 23:4

People talk. That's just what we do. When something is bad or when something is good, we talk about it. We like to share ideas, experiences, goals, dreams and visions. In my work, we talk. Sometimes a lot. I have learned to also listen. In this age of information overload, I rely on my patients to do their homework. Which often can mean figuring out what is going on with their own health so that we can, together, figure out a course of action.  
The internet is a marvelous tool. Simply enter in your problems and begin sifting through what others have discovered.

Discovery is just the beginning. Once information has been gathered, I often urge people to listen to that inner voice of the spirit for a confirmation of the course of action that should be taken. None of us are exactly alike and so what is right for one, may not work for another. However, we are all human (at least I think most of us are) and general trends, patterns and recommendations often hold true for the vast majority of us.

One concern that has been growing in the lives of many is that of depression. The overwhelming approach offered by the medical profession is that of pharmaceuticals. These can often lead to unwelcome side affects and really only manages the problem rather than fix it. There may be times when health concerns can only be managed, but if there is a way to fix it, that clearly should be the direction pursued.

I was recommended by a friend to look in to Dr. Neil Nedley's work with depression, and I believe he has really come upon a well balanced approach that can truly heal the body, mind and spirit from the affliction of depression.

Depression Recovery Program

Exercise - 6 days a week, you must be moving you body doing something that would be considered exercise. Walk, swim, cycle, you've got to do something. Log how many minutes each day. Set some goals. Remember: A goal not written, is only a wish.

Sleep - we've been taught from childhood that we need eight hours each night. Understand that hours of sleep BEFORE midnight are more beneficial than those after. Schedule bedtime so that you get at least 8 hours. You may need more or less, but plan on eight. Figure what you really need

Deep Breathing - Oxygen is vitally important for good brain function. Take time to breath deeply each day. Think of it as clearly out the cobwebs in the lungs, circulation and brain. You may want to try Dr. Andrew Weils programs.

Avoid Negative Thinking - Stinkin Thinkin! Are you stuck there? Certainly, you must live in this world of grief, sorrow and gloom, and we are not promoting naivete, but as you focus on the positive, your brain will begin to change in good way. Goal: I went a whole day without saying anything negative.

Water - This eight 8 oz glasses of water  
per day should be pure, filtered water. Drink from glass containers. Avoid plastic.

Diet - This is what has gotten so many in trouble as far as depression is concerned. You cannot expect to be healthy if your body is taking in harmful chemicals, preservatives, food additives and the plethora of unnatural foods. Eat whole natural foods! Enjoy a plant-based loaded with fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables diet. At our home, we are vegetarians that cheat.

Spiritual Activity - Truly, this is a key to overcoming depression. Develop a spiritual pattern of daily prayer/meditation/contemplation and scripture study. Avoid reading so many chapters or pages, rather spend 20 to 30 minutes each day. It is okay to spend all of your time on just a verse or two. Ponder and reflect on what scripture means in your daily life. Memorize favorite verses.

Classical Music - Music can fill your soul with light or darkness. Relaxation or tension. Classical music, harp music and lovely melodies really can soothe the soul. Download or purchase music that will lift your soul. Listen to it. Really listen.

Sunlight - We all need light. Consciously get in the sunlight every day. It is healing, it will increase your vitamin D. Most depressed people are vitamin D deficient and taking a supplement is not as good as the Vitamin D created by sunlight touching your skin. Depending on the fairness of your skin, you will be able to tolerate more or less direct sunlight. Remember, you do not want to get sunburned.

If depression is an issue for you or someone you care about, I would recommend that you look in to this program.  

I would add to Dr. Nedley's program a detoxification program that may include FIR (far infrared) sauna and a few other  
detox related things.

Is this program all inclusive for everyone? Of course not! But this a very good place to start. What I have found is that nearly all of my patients who suffer from depression have major issues with most  
of these recommendation. These recommendations are a good place to start and should stand as a gentle reminder of what all of us should be doing.

I believe each of us are called upon to walk through this valley of the shadow of death, which can also be translated as darkest depression.  Recovery and maintaining our sanity must be a very conscious and concerted effort. I urge each of us to make the necessary adjustments to our lives to create balance and happiness.


Dr. Kyle Christensen
July 15, 2014

Degree of Difficulty

Degree of Difficulty
Dr. Kyle D. Christensen, DC, ND, MH

Poised from the platform, a diver leaps and executes a nearly flawless forward somersault dive with a half twist. The spectators erupt in applause for the local favorite. Her competitor follows with a reverse one and a half somersault with with two and a half twist. The second dive is very ragged, but she manages to get it off. Spectators smirk, guffaw and respond indifferently. 

Some are very surprised, even upset, when the second more sloppy diver stands on the podium as winner of the competition.  What was the difference? Degree of Difficulty. Whereas the first divers flawless performance carried a degree of difficulty of 1.7, the winners degree of difficulty was 3.0 and sealed her victory.

Sometimes in life we judge others by their flawless performance.  Their beautiful face, their lean and fit physique or their intellectual excellence.  Often what is hidden is their degree of difficulty.   

It is human nature to judge others based only on what we can observe from our limited perspectives. Rarely can see or do we take in to consideration the back story of a persons life or circumstances.  In life, the person who may appear disheveled or sloppy may in fact be performing at a much higher degree of difficulty as compared to you.

Life's Degree of Difficulty can be heightened by our upbringing.  Clearly being raised in an abusive home lacking positive support and opportunity would carry a greater degree of difficulty.  However, for many being afforded too great of privilege and ease can likewise hinder true growth and development. Physical traits and features can also greatly influence our degree of difficulty in life.  The unattractive as well as the highly attractiveness of an individual can influence our success in life.  With the one can come a poor self image and the other a heightened self image often resulting in pride (which can be far more detrimental for the development of the soul).

Some are blessed with sharp clear minds, while other struggle to grasp basic concepts.  Some with brilliant minds lack social and interactive skills.  Some with superb communication ability are lured into pathways of manipulating others who may be less skilled.  Brains and bodies have been damaged by chemicals, be they drugs used by a pregnant parent, exposure to poisons in the form of pesticides or toxins within our food supply or chemicals related to our work place or environment.   

My point is: we simply cannot know to the full extent, the degree of difficulty under which a person is living. But like the divers, it is absolutely necessary that we each strive to continue to improve, grow and progress.  Degree of Difficulty cannot be used as an excuse for not trying.  There are far too many that have settled into laziness or an entitlement mentality because of their disadvantaged circumstances.  

In our modern culture, success is measured by the degree of wealth, popularity or accolades in the entertainment arena (sports, music, politics, or business). True success is having found your God-bestowed path of serving your fellowman.  Success is having become a good person who listens to and strives to follow that inner voice (spirit).  Christ taught us "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" -Mark 8:36   Becoming a disciple implies discipline, which is to overcome weaknesses and faults.  

We all have varying degree of difficulty in various aspects of our lives.  Many of you have overcome obstacles that have given you a perspective on life that is more compassionate and understanding than those who have not yet been drug through the same knot-holes of life. It is vital that we gain the perspective of our life as a training ground designed to give you the necessary experiences so that we can take those lessons learned and bless those who are struggling. 

Because we have a loving Father-in-Heaven who cares for us, we are not led down the path of comfort and ease. We are on the trail (and a rugged one at that) that will travel through dark valleys of depression and traverse jagged cliffs of anxiety and over dangerous chasms of grief. We have learned that the pathway to heaven truly must first go through hell.  However, we are not to negotiate the dangerous terrain alone, but we have been placed within the circle of influence of many others.  As we assist, inspire and motive, we likewise will be assisted, inspired and motivated.   

Whatever your calling (mother, father, professional, or unskilled laborer), your experience or your skills and talents, as you use them to touch and bless the lives of those within your influence, we can rise together.  One of the keys is to simply listen. Begin your day with the simple prayer: "Lord, please show me who I can bless and love this day." One of the greatest blessings from God is to be an instrument in His hands in helping another. Listen, follow and obey those promptings.  

Most of us may not be considered by others to be the best, the brightest, the funnest (or whatever you wish you were more of). We are who we are and have each been endowed with the ability to love.  And that is what we are each called to do. LOVE.

 Mother Teresa taught: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."  


Dr. Kyle Christensen
June 25, 2014