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Everyday Sustainability

By Dr. Jon Thomas D.C., B.C.I.M.

In the past, my blog has concerned itself with telling you how to correct health issues or improve a condition.  Whether you wanted to lose weight, eliminate pain, correct a structural or nutritional imbalance, and/or become more active, I have shown you the steps needed to accomplish that goal. This week, I want to cover the other side of chiropractic care, which is concerned with helping patients sustain their health day in and day out.  This philosophy is at the heart of my practice.  

At Vibrant Life Health Center, this tenet is so important that it’s stated right on our homepage:

We at Vibrant Life Health Center are here to help you obtain optimum performance so that you feel healthy and have a positive outlook on life.  However, this is only going to happen if you are able to SHIFT your mindset and lifestyle in these five areas:  Skeletal Structure, Headspace, Intake of Nutrients, Functional Fitness, and Toxic Burden.

No Bones About It

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When it comes to keeping your body healthy, it all starts with your skeletal structure.  Proper positioning of the bones in your spine is not only important to eliminating aches and pains, but it’s also vital to the health and wellbeing of your entire body.  Think of your spinal column as the main communications highway for your body.  If your spine shifts out of alignment, it can impede the flow nerve impulses to other parts of the body.

A misalignment in even a single vertebra can have far-reaching consequences.  Take for instance the T5 Vertebrae.  Located in the middle of your back in the thoracic spine, it is responsible for such things as the proper functioning of your esophagus, solar plexus, stomach, heart, and liver.  Should the T5 Vertebrae become misaligned, it can manifest such symptoms as stomach problems, ulcers, liver problems and circulatory issues.

When you consider the fact that all adults have 24 vertebrae that are divided into three areas, the cervical spine, the thoracic spine, the lumbar spine, then you can appreciate the fact that keeping all of them aligned is a big job.  While it has taken millions of years to evolve our spine, a number of things in the modern world have the ability to throw this delicately balanced system out of balance.

Humans were never intended to sit in chairs, much less spend hours hunched over computers and smartphones.  All of these simple, everyday activities can adversely affect the proper alignment of the spine.  Periodic assessment and adjustment by a chiropractor can put the spine back in alignment and keep the lines of communication open to the rest of the body.

Feed Your Head

The human body is a complicated, high-performance machine.  As such, it not only needs to keep all its parts well-maintained, it also needs the right fuel.  Since the brain is the part that controls this machine, if you want to lead a happy, healthy and productive life, one of the most important things you need to do is feed your head.  If you usually have a pessimistic outlook on life, you are setting yourself up to suffer from higher levels of tension and anxiety. This anxiety can derail your health and lead you to become physically ill.

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Anxiety in and of itself is a normal reaction to stress.  Part of our fight or flight response system, it was intended to help our forebears deal with life or death situations that occurred every day in the wild.  As we evolved into modern humans, we no longer needed to deal with the imminent threat of being attacked by a saber-toothed tiger or a dire wolf.  But try telling that to your limbic system.  

Just as some people’s immune system is hyperactive, causing allergic reactions to everything from pollen to food, some of us have a hyperactive fight or flight system as well.  This causes an overreaction to stress both real and imagined.  It is estimated that in the US alone, there are more than 40 million adults that are affected by anxiety disorders. Aside from medication, if you suffer from anxiety and depression, what can you do to shift your thoughts from positive to negative?

To start with, only use positive fuel for your mind.  When negative thoughts start filling your head and when you start criticizing yourself and others, try replacing that negative energy with positive energy.  Figure out what it is that’s at the root of these thoughts and try to assess what’s holding you back.  Is there something you can change that can quell these thoughts?  Not only will changing your pessimism into optimism benefit your health, but it will spill over into the lives of those you know and love. In fact, a 21 day challenge is to pick three positive affirmations about your three biggest stressors in life and say them out loud every day. You will be surprised by the results!

You Are What You Eat

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The very cells in our bodies are fueled by the food we eat.  If we consume wholesome food rich in vitamins and nutrients, our bodies will respond positively.  If on the other hand, we eat a lot of poor quality, processed food, our body will react in kind by feeling run down or by exhibiting other health problems.  

Most packaged foods have been highly processed.  They are loaded with fillers, sweeteners and other ingredients, some of which we can’t even pronounce, let alone understand what they do in our bodies.  If you find yourself routinely eating fast food, nuking a frozen dinner after work, or grabbing a bag of chips for a snack, I strongly recommend you reassess your eating habits for the good of your body.  
The next time you think about grabbing a burger after you leave the house, try grabbing a piece of fruit and some nuts instead.   You know that choosing whole, natural foods will help you gain speed and momentum on the healthy highway of life.  Maybe it’s time to learn some new recipes!  Contact Vibrant Life Health Center, and we’ll give you some!

Get Up and Get Moving

While we may not run with the herd looking to bring down our dinner anymore, humans still need to stay active if they want to stay healthy.  Just as your body needs food and water to survive, it also needs exercise to maintain body tone and decrease excess fat.  Having unhealthy levels of fat is the root of many of today's health problems, including disease and toxicity.

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As I pointed out in a recent blog, while Big Pharma wants you to believe that they have a pill that can cure most anything that ails you, if you really want to lead a healthier, happier life, you can’t get there by being a couch potato.  When it comes to choosing the right kind of exercise, there is no magic pill for that either.

At Vibrant Life Health Center, we can formulate a customized workout program specifically designed for your personal needs and desires.  Our fitness program, designed with you in mind, eliminates the top two reasons that people do not exercise on a regular basis.  In recent studies, people say they don’t exercise because of a lack of time and a lack of results.  Our program is designed to be done in only minutes a day and will achieve better results than other programs that take hours per day! 

Are You Toxic?

Our bodies have been designed to naturally remove toxins.  However, modern society puts us into contact with toxic substances such as pesticides, chemicals, air pollution and other man-made toxins every day.  As a result, our bodies can become toxic.  A toxic body is an unhealthy body.

As part of our effort to help you stay healthy, we can help you learn how to detox your system using a combination of chiropractic care, natural foods, and exercise.  Additionally, we can provide the highest quality supplements when needed that will give your body the boost it needs to SHIFT you to a healthier, happier you.  

Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center, is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. 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 regularly seen 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 Northeast Florida.


  1. You can't be healthy by living an unhealthy lifestyle. A few small changes is all it takes to get back on the road to recovery.

  2. As I've gotten older, my priorities have changed. I spend more time taking care of my health and being with my family. If you make good health a priority, it can become a reality. ;D