Last Blog of the Tri (Crazy Semester in Review)

Hey NUHS, 

As always, hope everyone had a great week. The last weekend featured a nice seminar from Dr. David Renner, the 3rd seminar in the 100-hr AK certification. The seminar went over neurological disorganization, acupuncture, thyroid, cranial faults, and a few others. I highly recommend all new NUHS students to come check out AK club and see if it's something for you! Shameless Plug: I'll be teaching next trimester (along with Jordan Bray if he can swing it from clinic shift). AK material I've learned in seminars is completely unique and different from what is taught at this school and has completely changed the way I practice and given me extra confidence to treat literally anything that walks through my door. 

Getting back to my routine trimester review. If you've been reading the blog for a while you know I have generally taken an objective look back at the trimester and tried to figure out what I did well and what I stunk it up at! I give myself self-imposed 'grades' for each section. 

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Classes (Grade: C+) 

This trimester was a little daunting class-wise for a couple reasons. Heading into final exams I have Bs in all my classes except Chest which I bombed the midterm. I have to do really well on the final (which is supposed to be a lot easier) to pass Chest. I'm not too worried though. The tough part has been that by the time you get to the end of Trimester 7, you're body has been beaten through literally years of exams, tests, practicals, research, and papers. It's a grind folks, and you'll find the majority of classmates saying, "I just want to pass" by this trimester and "get me to clinic." For incoming students, don't be alarmed, you are becoming DOCTORS, not technicians or undergraduate bachelor's, you have someone's health in your hands post-NUHS so I'm glad at the same time we get inundated with education. My tip for the faculty and the administration is: CUT OUT THE CRAP and POLITICS and ADD in some more passion (and faster Internet)! But I digress.

Seminars (Grade: A-) 

I attended the Spine 2 seminar taught by the incredible, Dr. Tim Francis. Dr. Francis is truly a ray of light and an entirely rare and unique type of doctor. The guy fixes all sorts of conditions that typical chiropractors and MDs don't even fix or manage well. I loved all the material he presented and learned a ton for my own skills. The reason it's not an A is that there were some 100-hr AK seminars I wanted to attend but didn't have enough money for, so I stayed home and studied the material they were being taught on my own and got the notes. Remember, kids, there's always more than one way to skin a cat and even if you don't have the money you should still be hunting down the people that have taken the seminar and get their notes to learn! I did this with my friends that took TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) golf certification and got the notes to a $900 seminar. Does that mean I'm certified? No. Does that mean I know how to treat golfers much better now? Yes. 

I'm sorry if this post sounded like I'm exhausted, I am. I cannot wait for break. I'll be back in full force and energy after break for an epic summer session. I've got some really fun material pumping out for you that includes How to Learn to Play Guitar! 

Peace out until Summer Session! 

Christian

Happy Easter Egg Hunting

Hey National, 

Twelve weeks down. Three to go! Time on the grind is in full mode from here on out. Thankfully, Easter was a little early this year and allowed a nice weekend of some celebration, fun, and poor eating choices to gear up for the stresses of finals. 

Being from Boston, weekend holidays are pretty tough to get home to see the family, financially and time-wise. I spent Easter weekend with my girlfriend's family in the local area. Her brother and his girlfriend came home from college and added to the fun shenanigans. A couple weeks ago, Ashley's mom mentioned she planned on a dinner and asked if we wanted to do anything else. I, being a true kid at heart, suggested EASTER EGG HUNT! To my happiness, she rolled with the idea and went next level creative on that hunt! The rules were we had 6 eggs carefully hidden in the backyard so at least part of the egg was showing (my grandpa is notorious for completely burying eggs so this was a nice positive). We came to find that each egg had a piece of paper with a word on it. We had to find all 6 eggs, open up all the pieces of paper inside and put them in a sentence. Mine read: GO TO THE DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM. I almost peed my pants leaping across the house to the bathroom (get it ;). I busted open the door to find a wonderful Easter basket! I wasn't sure what to expect but an Easter basket was above and beyond what I expected and I was elated, along with my blood sugar, as I consumed some delicious chocolate and thanked Ash's family for such a great holiday. 

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On a school note, I attended a Gonstead adjusting seminar off campus. Dr. S was the instructor and as usual for my readers of this blog, if you aren't going to seminars, don't come to chiropractic school. You're wasting your time. As abruptive as I can be: School will prepare you to become a licensed doctor--a pretty good doctor, but not a Great doctor. You need to learn from the best and practice a ton to be the best, assuming you want to be a great doctor, of course. (Sadly, there are plenty of people that don't care...you know who you are). The one big knock I have on National is they don't expose their students to enough techniques. Why should they choose what techniques from our rich Chiropractic history that we should get taught? Shouldn't we be taught most of them and then choose which ones we like the best and want to integrate into our tool bag? Just my humble opinion. As usual, there's a way around this fault by just going to outside seminars and seeing for yourself! Problem solved! Boom. Hope you have a great week, email me with any questions. 

For starters look into AK, Gonstead, MPI, Functional Rehab (SFMA/FMS), DNS, Nutrition, Sports Rehab, Homeopathy, TBM, etc. Have fun future docs. 

Well, that's it for me this week. See, National isn't all work and no play? It's for people that work hard and play hard. 

Stay Classy,
CC

Suggested Supplemental Guidelines - Clinical Nutrition

Hey National, 

Hope the week is going well. I often get asked about supplements, which ones are great, and what amounts should be dosed. 

In clinical nutrition class, we have to memorize popular and effective supplements and the doses that the research has deemed efficacious. It's taught by one of the leading nutritional experts in the States, Dr. David Seaman. I love Dr. Seaman's anti-inflammatory diet and supplemental approach to disease, prevention and health promotion. The new integrated/functional MDs are catching on that most disease processes, such as the biggest killers in America (heart disease, stroke, some cancers, Alzheimer's, hypertension, etc., etc.) are rooted in chronic inflammatory processes! 

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The three biggest physiological disruptions in a person in a chronic inflammatory state are: 

  1. Excess Pro-Inflammatory Chemicals (TNF, IL1, etc.)
  2. Decreased ATP production (mineral/vitamin def)
  3. Increased Oxidative Stress (Free radicals >> antioxidants) 

Dr. Seaman recommends his 'Basic' Supplemental Suggestions: 

  1. Multi Vitamin
  2. EPA/DHA 1-3g/day
  3. Vitamin D 1000-10,000 IU
  4. Cal Mag (1:1 and 400-1000mg/day)
  5. Probiotics 

The general supplemental guidelines we have to memorize for the quiz this week: 

  1. Multi Vitamin
  2. Mag 400-1000mg/day
  3. Calcium 1:1 cal:mag
  4. EPA/DHA 1-3 g/day
  5. CoQ10 >=100mg/day
  6. GLA 200-500mg/day
  7. ALA 2 gr/day
  8. Vitamin D 1000-10,000IU
  9. Lipoic Acid 200mg BID
  10. Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500mg BID
  11. Ginger 2-6 g/day
  12. Turmeric 1-2g/day
  13. Garlic 1g/day (5mg allicin)
  14. Proteolytic Enzymes
  15. Bacteria
  16. Fiber >10-15 g/day
  17. White Willow  1-4g/day
  18. Glutamine  4-8g/day
  19. Hydroxyapitate 1000mg
  20. Glucosamine Sulfate 1500mg/day
  21. Chondroitin Sulfate  1200mg/day
  22. MSM
  23. Vitamin C  500-1000mg/day
  24. Vitamin E 400-800mg/day
  25. Citrus Bioflavanoids  2000mg/day
  26. Proanthocyanids/GT extract 1-2 caps/day
  27. Cayenne  300-600mg/day
  28. Gingko 120 mg/day
  29. Ginseng 200 mg TID
  30. Saw Palmetto 160 mg BID
  31. Valerian Root 150-300 mg/ b bed

Whew...that was a lot! Obviously you SHOULD NOT TAKE ALL THESE SUPPLEMENTS, but if you're interested in taking a few, here's a cool research for what sort of dosage you'd be looking at.

Have a great healthy week,
CC

A Simple Guide on How to Meditate for NORMAL PEOPLE

Hey National, 

Hope everyone had a great week. Does anyone else notice that the weather has been (enter explicative here) lately? Can't wait for warmer days!

OK, now for some other shenanigans I get into....

Meditation. It's a word that felt so hippy and New Age mumbo jumbo, I avoided it like the plague. Lately I've been having this odd urge to try it. Everyone who isn't a complete jerk understands the benefits of 1-3x a day quieting the mind and slowing down and relaxing. I could include a fancy list of "medical benefits" like "lowers stress, blood pressure, anxiety, etc.", blah blah. You KNOW IT'S GOOD FOR YOU. 

So why haven't I done it--ever? I'm a natural medicine doc-to-be and I still haven't done it?! What hope is there for the other Joe Blows who don't care about health as much as I do? 

Therein lies why I write today. A challenge--a self-improvement challenge and experiment into the realm of developing automatic habits. When someone tells me, "Oh, I can't eat healthy or (enter healthy habit)," I respond with, "Do you brush your teeth?" The answer is always, aside from the strange look they temporarily shoot me as they move farther away as if my hidden message was they have terrible breath, "Yes." Good! That means you can be healthy! 

You see, all habits are simply routines in your life that you have ingrained into your LIFEstyle. In fact, once you have automated them into your daily routine it literally feels awkward when you don't do something. How many people feel weird when they forget to brush their teeth more than once day? Or don't buckle up on the highway? Nevertheless, you get my point. Ingrain a habit, and after 22-66 days, it will be almost indefinitely a part of you for the foreseeable future. 

That's why diets don't work. People don't actually take the time to ingrain the habit of healthy eating. They just crash diet on some crappy low calorie foods and hope the weight stays off when they return to the SAME HABITS THAT PRODUCED THEIR CURRENT BODY MASS. 

Einstein famously said, "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of INSANITY." Most dieters, are by Einstein's logic, INSANE. Can you be more successful than the 98% of dieters that fail? Yes, check out Dr. John Berardi at Precision Nutrition. They focus on HABITS and they have INCREDIBLE results and, more importantly, LONG TERM SUCCESS. Alas, my rant is over, and this segues into our post on the habit of meditation and our challenge for you to try it! 

How To Automate a Lifestyle Habit

  1. Overcome/address what I call the "Obstacles to Commit." Have a SIMPLE habit/plan that you can confidently say on a scale of 9/10 you can do EVERY DAY. If you're not 9/10 confident? Make it easier.
  2. Research shows it takes 22-66 days to fully automate a habit. Drinking a glass of water took about 22 days and doing 50 pushups took 66 days to fully automate. Complexity of the habit takes more time to become like a "brushing your teeth" habit.
  3. The app "LIFT."

What were my biggest obstacles to actually trying meditation? 

My Obstacle 1: "I didn't know HOW to meditate and I didn't want to do it wrong."

My Solution: I looked up a SIMPLE 5-minute meditation (explained at the end of this post) to make sure it was effective and a novice could do it and still expect benefits. 

My Obstacle 2: "I didn't really care about doing meditation."

My Solution: I realized that I was so stressed out from school, and I like experimenting, so I decided to try it to be exposed to benefits and see if it's worth it. Notice: I put it in terms of how does it benefit my life. We are selfish creatures. When something is in it for you, you are more likely to commit. 

Is the habit simple enough?

My Habit: Do a 5-minute meditation first thing in the morning before my shower.

Confidence Check: 9/10. Pass. 

A Bad Habit: Do 20 minutes of meditation in the middle of the day.

Confidence Check: 6/10. Fail. Why? It still seems simple? Well, I have never meditated before, and 20 minutes even for more advanced "meditators" is challenging. In addition, although the middle of the day may be the "best" time to neutralize the stress of midday school, I simply would not be able to find 20 minutes to do it. Maybe I could give up part of my lunch break? Do you see why it's not a 2/10 but it's not a 9/10. If it's not a 9, you're going to fail. Focus on early wins and Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. 

I'm going to do the challenge for 14 days. Why? Mainly because I want to track the benefits of meditation. My criteria are: Do I feel more at ease through the day? Do I get overwhelmed by schoolwork? If I really feel better and have higher will power/self control throughout the day then I will make the habit a long-term addition to my day (extending the challenge past 22-66 days). It costs me zero dollars and only 5 minutes of my time.

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Download the Lift App from the App store. Plug in the Habit "Meditate." There are currently 18,000+ people on the app all with the goal of meditating so you will be more motivated to "Check that habit off on a daily basis" and see the tally tracking of the app pile up! Positive reinforcement works!

How To Do A Simple 5-Minute Meditation that Works

Breath focus is a simple but powerful meditation technique for training your brain and increasing willpower. It reduces stress and teaches the mind to handle both Inner Distractions (cravings, worries, desires) and Outer Temptations (sounds, sights, smells).

Step 1: Sit Still and Stay Put.

Sit on a chair or side of your bed. Get comfortable. Put your hands palms up on your lap/thighs. Get relaxed. If you feel itchy or uncomfortable try to refocus on staying still. Staying still is the foundation of self-control and a simple act to control impulsiveness in your brain. 

Step 2: Turn your Attention to Your Breath.

Close your eyes. Begin to notice your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. Silently say "Inhale" and "Exhale." Do this for the first couple minutes to help focus your brain on your breathing. About this time your mind will wander (it will) try to refocus every time this happens on your breathing. The act of refocusing on breathing in and out and being aware of the breath will activate your prefrontal cortex and quiet stress and craving centers in your brain. 

Step 3: Notice How it Feels to Breathe, and Notice How the Mind Wanders.

After a few minutes, drop the labels "inhale/exhale." Try focusing on FEEEE-LING the breath. You might notice the feeling of air flowing in and out of your nose and mouth. You might feel your belly pushing out and in, or (less efficiently) your rib cage elevated and depressing. This part of the practice trains self-awareness along with self-control. 

PRO TIP: Only do 5 minutes a day. If you feel uber confident, do a little bit more like 10-15 minutes. Don't wander from the 5 minutes until you've completed 14 days IN A ROW. Then start experimenting and adding your own stuff to it. Once you've got 14 days under your belt you will be better at meditating than 905% of the population. BOOMMMM! 

Have a Great Week,
CC 

Can Your Coffee Stop Bullets?

Hey National, 

Hope everyone had a great week and weekend. As a student at National you'll find that once you're in the flow of the trimester and tests, assignments, and quizzes are rolling around, the weeks have a tendency to just fly by. After about Week 10, I start getting bored with my classes and I'm in the mood for fresh material and a new start. Now onto more interesting stuff....

BulletProof Coffee For A BulletProof Morning

"I don't always drink coffee… but when I do I drink BulletProof coffee."
-- Most Interesting Coffee Drinker in the World

coffee beans

One of the biggest sets of complaints and biggest obstacles to achieving health revolves around breakfast. People don't have enough time. People don't know what to eat. People are tired or mentally sluggish 2 hours after eating...etc., etc., etc.

I have stumbled upon a solution from Dave Asprey aka The BulletProof Exec. Since, blood sugar stabilization and healthy fats are essential for sustained energy, and increased mental performance throughout the day (remember your brain is 80% fat), Dave conjured up this incredible "biohack" for your morning routine. Toss the insulin-raising, energy-sapping, fat-storing toast, bagels, oatmeal, and cereal in the morning and get a load of coffee mixed with...2 Tbsps....of Grass Fed...wait for it...BUTTER!?!!?!

Am I serious? Yes. Will it cause heart disease? No. Know Your Fats by Dr. Mary Enig put that whole fat scare to rest years ago. This recipe I had to try when I read it and I must say it's incredible! The odd thing was it actually TASTES GOOD and produces LASTING ENERGY and MENTAL CLARITY. I wish I thought of this sooner! 

My Twist: I add a heaping scoop of chocolate protein powder for extra protein in the morning to take better advantage of the fat loss properties explained in the 4 Hour Body (30g of protein within 30 minutes of waking had the highest correlation with fat loss effectiveness of all other lifestyle changing habits!)

Bulletproof Coffee Recipe 
(Original Post Here:  How to Make Your Coffee Bulletproof...And Your Morning Too) 

  • Start with 4-500 ml (2 mugs) of black coffee brewed with my BulletProof mold-free upgraded coffee beans (this is important)
  • Add 2 Tbsps. (or more, up to 80 grams, about 2/3 of a standard stick of butter) of Kerry Gold or other UNSALTED grass-fed butter
  • Add 30 grams of MCT oil for max energy, weight loss and brain function (this is 6 times stronger than coconut oil, your next best choice)
  • Blend with a pre-heated hand blender, Magic Bullet, or (best) counter top blender until there is a creamy head of foam. (It doesn't work well if you mix it with a spoon) 

Enjoy Your Morning that Stops Bullets,
CC