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Friday, November 20, 2015

Gratitude Is Good for Mental, Emotional, and Physical Health

By  Dr. Jon Thomas D.C PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.


As we enter into the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, we enter into a time for reflecting on the many blessings we have seen through the year. Acknowledging those people, organizations, and the times that have shaped them is important and rewarding in ways you may not have thought of.
“Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life.” Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul
According to Wikipedia, gratitude is, “a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions, and has been considered extensively by moral philosophers.”

In every culture, philosophers and sages have taught that gratitude is one of the keys to happiness, fulfillment, and well-being. Although the concept of gratitude seems warm and fuzzy, there has been a great deal of research in the past few decades which shows that being grateful has a significant positive impact on people’s lives.  

Gratitude Research

Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California is widely regarded as the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. In 2003, he and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami examined the effect of a grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being.

The study involved 201 undergraduate students who were enrolled in a psychology class at a large university. Dr. Emmons and Dr. McCullough split the people into three groups. Participants were asked to keep diaries. One group recorded daily events without being told specifically what to write about. The second group was instructed to make a list of unpleasant experiences. The third group was instructed to note the things they were grateful for.

Dr. Emmons and Dr. McCullough discovered that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher levels of enthusiasm, optimism, and energy. Participants in the gratitude group experienced less anxiety and depression. They were also more likely to help others and to achieve their personal goals. The findings were summarized in 2003 in a paper titled Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life.

Since that time, much more research on gratitude has been done. On his website, Dr. Emmons writes, “Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives. We are engaged in a long-term research project designed to create and disseminate a large body of novel scientific data on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential consequences for human health and well-being. Scientists are latecomers to the concept of gratitude. Religions and philosophies have long embraced gratitude as an indispensable manifestation of virtue, and an integral component of health, wholeness, and well-being. Through conducting highly focused, cutting-edge studies on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its consequences, we hope to shed important scientific light on this important concept.”

Benefits of Gratitude

The research continues to show that people who maintain an attitude of gratitude are healthier, both physically and emotionally, than those who do not. People who have a grateful outlook enjoy the following benefits.

  • Better sleep
  • High energy level
  • High level of optimism
  • Capacity for forgiveness
  • High levels of joy and happiness
  • Healthy hearts and immune systems
  • The ability to handle times of loss or crises
  • Lowered incidence of stress, anxiety, depression, and headaches.

Journaling for Gratitude

One of the most common methods for maintaining a sense of gratitude is keeping a journal to record experiences one is grateful for. For example, a person might feel gratitude for something he or she saw in nature or in a work of art. Also, a nice conversation with a close friend or something as simple as a good cup of coffee could be noteworthy in a gratitude journal.

Recording positive experiences can boost levels of energy, enthusiasm, and determination. Gratitude journaling for as little as two weeks can produce positive effects for as much as six months. Here are a few questions to get started with a gratitude journal.

  • Who or what inspired me today?
  • What made me happy today?
  • What gave me peace today?

It’s a good idea to avoid repeating the same items over and over. This will require you to dig a little deeper each day. As you do, you will see more and more in your life to be grateful for.

Inspiring Thoughts About Gratitude

“Reflect on your present blessings, on which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

“Gratitude is an immensely powerful force that we can use to expand our happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve our health. If you want more happiness, joy, and energy, gratitude is clearly a crucial quality to cultivate. It is a fullness of heart that moves us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When we’re appreciating something, our ego moves out of the way and we connect with our soul. Gratitude brings our attention into the present, which is the only place where miracles can unfold. The deeper our appreciation, the more we see with the eyes of the soul and the more our life flows in harmony with the creative power of the universe.” Deepak Chopra

“Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.” Marelisa Fabrega

“Researchers have found that individuals who exhibit and express the most gratitude are happier, healthier, and more energetic. Grateful people report fewer symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, even acne, and spend more time exercising! And the more a person is inclined towards gratitude, the less lonely, stressed, anxious, and depressed he or she will be.” Ellen Goldman


In this article, I have discussed the positive impact gratitude can have on a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. I’ve noted that maintaining a gratitude journal can be a very effective way to develop an attitude of gratitude.

If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section. If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please share it with your friends, colleagues, and on social media.

The Google Plus button and other social media sharing buttons are below.

At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.

Through December, new patients can get complimentary Posture Analysis, Tytron Nerve Scan, and a one-on-one consultation about their health with Dr. Thomas.

Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and  his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weight Lifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.

Monday, November 16, 2015

What to Expect When the Unexpected Happens!

"Your First Visit to the Vibrant Life Health Center"

By Tracy Thomas, Vice President 

Dr. Thomas
Visiting a chiropractor for the first time can be like a box of chocolates. As Forrest Gump once said, “You never know what you’re gonna get.” For the most part, chiropractors do a more comprehensive job of getting to know you and your concerns before providing any treatment than regular MD’s. Having said that, not all chiropractic centers are created equal.
At the Vibrant Life Health Center, we want to provide you with a picture of what you’ll get on your first visit. But first – and there’s no way around it – there’s some paperwork to take care of. Naturally, to treat you effectively, we will need to know about your history and whatever discomfort you may be experiencing.
The nice thing is you can get the forms on our website, complete them in the comfort of your home, and bring them with you on your first visit to our office. There are diagrams for you to illustrate where your problem areas are. Filling out this material at home will allow you to put some thought into exactly what problems you would like Dr. Thomas to address.
When you get here, you’ll be greeted and you’ll need to sign a few additional forms that have to be signed on site. While our receptionist inputs your information into our system, you’ll have an opportunity to watch a short video about chiropractic. It’s very informative, and it explains terms like subluxation.
As defined by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, a subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health. Both the video and Dr. Thomas will explain why subluxations are a problem and how Chiropractic treatment can help.
Shortly after the video is over, you’ll meet with Dr. Thomas. He will begin discussing your medical history with you and ask you about whatever health problems motivated you to make an appointment.
The Tytron Nerve Scan
Dr. Thomas will then do a nerve scan with a Tytron instrument. Every organ in the human body is controlled by the central nervous system. The nerves are like wires running from the brain, down the spinal column, and out to each organ in the body, including the heart, the lungs, and even the skin. Each of the nerves emanating from the spinal column is associated with a particular part of the body and with a specific area of the skin. Interferences in the nerves can be the cause of problems in the body part associated with that nerve.
The Tytron Nerve Scan is a tool for measuring what’s happening on the outside of a person’s spine and upper cervical area. It’s completely painless and it only takes a minute or two. The data collected show where any interference may be occurring in the nerves. The printout from the Tytron shows the doctor and patient where the problems are. This enables the Vibrant Life team to specifically address areas of concern. It can also help to address problems that aren’t yet causing any symptoms for the patient.
Weighing in on a Bilateral Scale
The bilateral scale looks like two normal bathroom scales adjacent to each other. Being weighed on a bilateral scale shows how much of your weight is normally on each leg. The ideal is for a person’s weight to be evenly distributed. However, that frequently is not the case.
It can be surprising for patients to see that they’re carrying ten pounds more on one side than the other. An imbalance can cause discomfort in other parts of the body. It can lead to problems in the knees, the pelvis, and even in the shoulder opposite to the leg bearing most of a patient’s weight.
The Examination Room
In the examination room, Dr. Thomas will take you on a brief illustrated tour of Chiropractic. The pictures and diagrams on the walls, which have just the right level of detail, are there to show patients how the spine and the nervous system work with the rest of the body.
At some point, Dr. Thomas may mention that people make plans to buy vehicles, plans to buy houses, and plans for advancing in their careers. Then he may ask, “What have you done to plan for your health? What is your five-year plan?”
It’s a thought-provoking question because most people don’t think about planning for their health as much as they should. Lots of folks put more thought into rearranging their furniture than they put into planning for their own health.
Posture Evaluation
As a highly trained and experienced Chiropractor, Dr. Thomas can easily recognize many of the posture problems people are having. It’s not hard for him to see a condition like forward head posture, or to see when one shoulder is lower than the other, or a variety of other abnormalities.
However, patients don’t have to take his word for it. Believe it or not, he has an app on his phone which will take pictures from the front and side of the patient and will then provide an overlay diagram showing patients their posture challenges. Then and there, a patient will see the posture problems he or she is living with.
Tests to Make Sure Patient is Ready for Treatment
As he moves the patient from room to room, Dr. Thomas is becoming familiar with the patient, evaluating his or her condition, and developing a plan for treating the patient. Toward the end of the process, which takes about 45 minutes, Dr. Thomas will perform several tests to make sure the patient is able and ready to be adjusted. Before making any adjustment, Dr. Thomas performs several tests, including orthopedic, neurologic, sensation, reflex, and muscle tests.
Many chiropractors have one, or two, or perhaps three techniques at their disposal. Dr. Thomas has mastered many more techniques than the average Chiropractor. This enables him to approach problem areas in more than one way, depending on what he thinks will produce the best result and what the patient is comfortable with.
After the Adjustment
After getting an adjustment, the patient will be escorted to another room. He or she will be seated on a chair with a special pad for exercising the pelvis. Then the patient will be shown how to move around on the pad. This final step hydrates the spine which helps to lock in the adjustment.
 Consultation with Dr. Jon Thomas

In this article, I have discussed what patients can look forward to when they visit the Vibrant Life Health Center for the first time. Through December, new patients can get complimentary Posture Analysis, Tytron Nerve Scan, and a one-on-one consultation about their health with Dr. Thomas. 

If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please share it with your friends, colleagues, and on social media.  

The Google Plus button and other social media sharing buttons are below.
If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section.
At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.    
Dr. Jon Thomas D.C PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weight Lifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Chiropractic Care for Headaches, Allergies, and Digestive Problems



By  Dr. Jon Thomas D.C PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.
Many people think Chiropractic is exclusively for neck and back pain. While it is very effective for that, there’s much more to Chiropractic care than “cracking backs” to relieve pain. Chiropractic is also very effective for treating other medical issues, from allergies to headaches to digestive trouble.
Nerves from the brain go through the spine and out to every part of the body. The spine significantly affects how organs throughout the body function. When the spine is out of alignment, it can cause problems in other parts of the body.  Chiropractic care helps the immune system to function properly, lowers blood pressure, and improves the body’s ability to adapt to stress.
Headaches
“Research shows that spinal manipulation may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.” American Chiropractic Association
One of Dr. Thomas’s patients found relief for a headache she had been suffering with for over a week. “I had a headache for over seven days straight. After taking pain relievers and seeing other health care providers, I came in to Vibrant Life Health Center desperate for relief! Dr. Jon located my problem, adjusted it, and the headache was gone!” Ramona said.
“Evidence suggests that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches.” The National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Allergies
Courtesy Wikipededia
There are two heavy allergy seasons in Northeast Florida. Many allergy sufferers sniffle and sneeze in the Spring when trees and other plants are pollinating. Many people also have problems in the Fall when ragweed is present. Some seek relief with over-the-counter allergy medicines. One thing many allergy sufferers are not aware of is that chiropractic care can be more effective than those medicines without the drowsiness or any of the side effects.
In an article for General Media Newspapers, Dr. Ira Shapiro wrote, “Although chiropractic care is not normally associated with allergy relief or chronic sinus trouble, it offers a profound and medically sound method for improving well-being and fending against common, everyday afflictions. This is achieved through the release of stress on the nervous system, which then permits the immune system to function more effectively — a requirement for all allergy sufferers.”
Digestive Problems
Digestive problems are rampant. Heartburn, abdominal pain, ulcers, nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion have become so common that many people have simply accepted their condition and are attempting to learn to live with it. Sometimes they turn to remedies which actually complicate their problems. Recent studies have shown that chiropractic adjustment can be very effective in the treatment of internal organ disorders.
Every cell, tissue, and organ in the body is controlled by the nervous system. Chiropractors remove various forms of interference in the nervous system, allowing various parts of the body to heal themselves naturally and without side effects. Maintaining a healthy nervous system and spine is one of the keys to wellness throughout the body.
“The nervous system controls digestive function from several different regions. The vagus nerve, which courses out of the brain stem and runs near the atlas bone innervates all the major organs of digestion and functions to stimulate the digestive process. Other major areas controlling the pace of digestion include the sympathetic nerves coming out of the thoracic & lumbar regions and the sacral parasympathetic nerve fibers. Spinal misalignment in any of these regions can lead to neurological compromise and altered digestive function. Several studies have demonstrated the power of chiropractic adjustments for restoring optimal function in individuals with digestive disturbances.” Dr. David Jockers in Natural News
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To find out how chiropractic can help with allergies, headaches, digestion, or other health issues, call Vibrant Life Health Center today. You can set up an appointment to receive the following services for free:
Posture AnalysisThe Posture Analysis involves looking at the patient to see where any part of the body is out of alignment. For example, the spine should be straight and the head, shoulders, hips and feet should be lined up. Dr. Thomas will make note of any abnormalities, including the following:
  • Head is visibly tilted, shifted, or rotated in one direction
  • Head is jutted out in front of chest and shoulders
  • One hip is higher than the other, turned in one direction, or shifted to one side
  • One shoulder is higher than the other, turned in one direction, or the whole upper body is shifted to one side.
Tytron Nerve Scan
Courtesy Titronics
The human body and all of its organs are controlled by the nervous system. These nerves run from the brain, down the spinal column, to various organs throughout the body. These organs include the heart, the lungs, and even the skin. Each of the nerves leaving the spinal column innervates specific areas of the skin.
The Tytron Nerve Scan provides detailed information about where in the nervous system any interference may be occurring. The Tytron accurately scans the full spine or upper cervical area. The visual imaging available with the Tytron shows the doctor and patient where the problems are. This enables the Vibrant Life team to specifically address areas of concern.
Consultation with Dr. Thomas
In a one-on-one consultation, Dr. Thomas will address any questions you may have and will present you with treatment options to help you achieve your health and fitness objectives.
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One Patient’s Story
Cheryl, the wife of a Vibrant Life Health Center patient, writes, “The entire staff at Vibrant Life is professional, welcoming, and extremely knowledgeable. They put patients at ease. The office has a sense of personality and warmth to it that is out of the ordinary for a healthcare office! After three sessions with Dr. Thomas, my husband’s comfort level and range of motion have changed dramatically. Simple tasks that were grueling for him are now almost natural again.”
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In this article, I have discussed some of the uses of chiropractic care in addition to relieving back and neck pain. Chiropractic care is also very effective for headaches, allergies, and digestive problems. I’ve also mentioned that new patients can get complimentary Posture Analysis, Tytron Nerve Scan, and a one-on-one consultation about their health.
If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please share it with your friends, colleagues, and on social media.
The Google Plus button and other social media sharing buttons are below.
If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section.
At Vibrant Life, we address all of the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.    
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weight Lifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Jacksonville.