6 Jun

3 Questions that will make you “smarter than a 5th grader”

Filed under: Mental Health No comment

When Miami Dolphins, Head Athletic Trainer shared the wisdom of his fifth grade teacher, Sister Mary Aldoncha (sp), I was fascinated.

Something must be working right, as Kevin O’Neill has been in the National Football League (NFL) for 21 years, while enduring five regime changes and is still going strong. He was awarded training staff of the year in 2007, so you can imagine what I learn from this friend and colleague.

He never forgot these golden questions and neither will I …

1) Who am I?
2) Where am I going?
3) Do I like myself?

“Who am I?”
– If you were to provide a description of yourself, how would it sound?
– Would there be positive descriptors or negative ones?
– If someone else was to describe you, what do you think they would say? Maybe you should ask? Should you take a random selection of friends and co-workers and find out?
– Does it really matter to you what they think?
– If you don’t care, then answer your own question and hope the answers are consistent with the people that are important to you and help you make a good living or living good.

“Where am I going?”
– Need direction? As we often get lost in what our purpose is in life, it may be a great time to consider what direction you’re taking your life. Maybe you lost the steering wheel and life is taking its own course. Are you enjoying the scenery?
– The journey is grueling, but should be fulfilling. Pro athletes work extremely hard at their skills, yet learn so many lessons for a life of spiritual prosperity despite winning or losing. I repeat … DESPITE winning or LOSING.
– Are you living the life of your dreams or destined for mediocrity?
– Most of us wish to leave a legacy; are you paving the way for such an outcome?
– When was the last time you positively affected a person (or animal)? Or impacted a group or mass of individuals?

Most importantly …

“Do I like myself?”
There are SO many folks out there that are “successful” beyond our wildest dreams, YET, they hate who they are! If you don’t think so, then check out the headlines, every day we read about someone at the top of their game, damaging themselves with any of the following:
Sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and substance abuse
Namely: Drugs (Recreational and Prescription) – Alcohol – Gambling – Spousal

If none of these abuses are part of your life, then do you like who you have become?
Only YOU can answer this question with compete honesty. There is no hiding from yourself, unless you distort your perception of yourself with the above abuses.

Consider looking into the mirror and asking, “Do I like you?” – “Do I really, truly and deeply like you?”

Sound off if you care to share!
I want to hear how your “life’s survey” is going.
Otherwise, share these three questions with someone you love or may be going through some challenges. OR they may be clueless on what they are doing to the people around them. It will provide a wonderful path for their revival.

30 May

Perfect timing … just finish one thing!

Filed under: Mental Health No comment

Timing - Stopwatch
So, I heard you’ve been sitting on the, proverbial, fence with regards to getting that one thing done. You know what I’m talkin’ about, that project you’ve wanted to get started (or finish) for quite some time now.

It’s Memorial Day, which means to most people an extra day to relax, eat and do nothing. Yet, it could be a perfect time to start that dream scheme, or get that activity you’ve been working on finally completed.

Maybe it’s an exercise program you wanted to try?
Maybe a slight change in eating your habit?
Maybe you want to finish an art project?
Develop a design?
Clean out a closet?
Call an old friend?
Walk on the beach?
Shut your phone off?
Take your favorite person or pet on a picnic?

This is a time to pay homage to the fallen men and women who gave of themselves to protect our country. It is also a time to embrace the freedom we’ve been given to enjoy your life the way you are meant to.

Do something that will allow you to feel that much closer to getting the most out of this life.
Do something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time now.
Do something that will add flavor to your life, instead of just your meal.
Do something that will put a smile on another’s face.

It’s a perfect time to treat today like a New Year’s resolution.
Recall some of the commitments that you have allowed to fall by the wayside, as you honor the awe-inspiring commitments that complete strangers have made to this country – for you.

Share with me what that “one thing” is that you will start or finish today?
Please share with others the dare to do the same.
Enjoy the “long weekend,” now is the time to have a great time.

Doc B

23 May

If everyone had nothing, who would stand out in the crowd?

Filed under: Mental Health 1 comment

Standing out

So, last week was interesting, to say the least … I smashed the whole front end of my eight month old vehicle. Luckily, I was fine, no subsequent injuries, not even a bit of soreness… $5300 later, I continue to remain emotionless about the whole thing.

Seconds after the 30 mph collision, during 5:00 pm traffic on a rain slick highway, my thoughts instantly defaulted to my GOOD fortune …

For some strange reason, I’m hardwired that way as I did this quick inventory of all that went right.
– My kids were not in the car. I had just dropped them off.
– I’m still alive.
– My car was still drivable.
– It stopped raining.
– I didn’t have to be anywhere special.
– I have good insurance.

Within 10 minutes of the accident, my Mom calls, leaves a message, “Just checking to see if you are okay.” That woman is freaky! I know she doesn’t have a police scanner, but she has some sort of cosmic AT&T system. She later told me she felt something had gone wrong.

Within those 10 minutes, a potentially large, business deal for an infomercial called in, as if to compensate for that not-so-good accident that just happened.

My grandmother, Mama Mia, used to shrug her shoulders and say, “It could’ve been worse.” That seemed to be her answer for all bad news. And she was right!

Have you ever:
Had a prized possession vanish?
Broke your favorite crystal wine glass, necklace or a cell phone?
Lost a bet?
Ruined your favorite art piece?
Tore or stained your shirt?
Or something unfortunate happen to one of a variety of things that is valuable to you?

Did you subsequently:
Act out your anger?
Displace your anguish onto something or someone else?
Feel controlled by these emotions for hours, days, months, years?

It’s the worst way to feel – powerless. You are being totally controlled by “YOUR STUFF.” When you really think about it, it’s crazy!
All your “things” are only as important to you as the value you place on them.
You’ve heard the saying, “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.”
Well, everything on this planet that deeply means something to you is only due to the passion you have for that possession. That’s it!

It’s a tough issue to resolve, yet one needs to deeply consider what value the “item” represents. For instance:
– “I worked hard for that!”
– “It’s been in the family for years and years!”
– “It meant SO much to me!”
– “That’s all I have!”
– “It’s one of a kind!”

Yet when you truly think about the value you have assigned it, you may be creating a disproportionate amount of stress than the item is worth.

My sister has our father’s ashes from his cremation. She wondered why I am totally fine with not keeping any. I explained, it’s because Dad lives largely within my thoughts. I don’t need reminders or symbols.

Professional athletes lose a meaningful game, and then need to forget about it and look to winning the next one to define who they are. WHO they are must be larger than the game.

Reclaim the value you place on your material possessions and address the value of “who you are” whether you have “things” or not. Make it bigger than anyTHING you could ever have, own, inherit or possess. In the end, it’s all about how your value is expressed from the inside out.

Be careful not to become emotionally attached to your stuff!

Please comment and share your feelings, someone out there needs the pump up.

16 May

Bone Health

Filed under: Physical Health,Videos No comment

“Bone Health” was the topic of a Nurse’s Day presentation to approximately 100 nurses at the Miami-Dade County Department of Health – Florida.

Common areas of degeneration:
The neck – due to poor posture which produces spurs at the front of the spine.
The hips – lack of proper exercise results in inadequate mineralization of the weight bearing joints, subsequently potentiating the risk of hip fractures.

Here are some highlights from the seminar that show two safe and effective exercises you can easily perform to ease and slow down and, possibly, reverse the ravages of aging.

See the seven minute video:

Building Better Bones from Dr. Spencer Baron on Vimeo.

9 May

One Possible Solution To Lower Body Pain – Your Feet

Filed under: Physical Health 2 comments

Foot and lower leg injury

Having been fortunate to rarely sustain an injury to the lower extremities, it’s been of recent that I trashed my knee after one – 3.5 mile run in a bad pair of sneakers.
Yes, I’m also aware that being built like the primitive, Neanderthal Man, I shouldn’t be running long-distance, anyway.

In the days preceding the injury, time was limited, despite the need to buy a new pair of running shoes. The indicators were a slight, transient soreness in the knee and some left hip discomfort, which are usually the 6-month markers prior to shoe replacement.

Just before leaving the house, I decided to change sneakers to a pair I rarely use, forgetting that they were meant to run on grass or sand, not on pavement. One mile into the run, pain was escalating while adrenaline and endorphins were kicking in. Thus, my perception to the discomfort was masked, only to end the run with the dire consequence of six weeks worth of rehab and healing from a patellar tendon tear (below the kneecap) and some chondromalacia patella (excessive cartilage irritation and wear).
patellar tendon strain
Even with all of the modern and sophisticated therapies and treatment applications, every time I went for a run, the pain would return at varying degrees.

Until last week . . .

While walking through the vendor exhibits at the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians – Sports Science Symposium in Chicago, I was reunited with a guy I met about two years ago, Gordon from A-line Orthotics.

The long and short of it is that his understanding of foot mechanics and the application of support during the running gait was impressive. I was placed on this specialized platform while a laser clearly identified the corrections that were needed in my problematic leg (it also showed the normality of the right leg in comparison).

After the orthotic was placed in my shoe, pain began to ease almost immediately. Over the next several days, there was an 80% improvement, even after a couple of short runs.
I was fascinated!

Sudden RE-injury!

On the fourth day of my new orthotics, I went for an early-morning run.
To my absolute dismay, it felt like I was running with cement shoes. Not having offended any of the Mafia, I could not understand why my knee was becoming extremely sore (again). It felt like bone-on-bone as my joints were taking a beating and my muscles felt as if they were tearing. Something went gravely wrong.

How could that be?

If you’ve ever dealt with an injury that keeps rearing its ugly head, you can imagine the frustration I was experiencing.

In a complete quandary, all I could do at this point was to pull out the new orthotics and just stare at them …


A small piece of plastic that Gordon snapped onto the left, lateral underside of my orthotic had popped off (probably due to moving the one pair of orthotics from casual shoe to running shoe) and created a significant and improper shift in my running mechanics.

Having related this to Gordon, he quickly sent a replacement piece and a second pair so I don’t have to move the inset from shoe to shoe.

Blown Away!
I temporarily rigged my orthotic (prior to receiving the permanent piece) and went for a five-mile run. I am SO extremely fascinated at how an inexpensive and simple piece of material, when placed in the PERFECT spot, can remedy SO many exercise-limiting aches and pains. The basic orthotic that A-line produces is a technological work of art and, together with the right modifications, life is back to normal. Not to mention, I’m feelin’ like my bones aren’t as old as they felt a couple of weeks ago.

It quickly became important that I share a foolish, distressing and sore experience since, in all my years in healthcare, I never quite realized the incredible impact that a great foot support can provide.

Please feel free to comment and share your experiences with aches, pains, and orthotics.

25 Apr

The Second Coming — Vitamin D?

Filed under: Nutritional Health No comment

Vitamin D

With so many possible interventions, the media has hyped this nutrient as noteworthy as techies have pumped up Apple’s iPad. When the New York Times states that consumers spent some serious coin on “the D” with a price tag of $235 million in 2008 (up from $40 million in 2001), I’d say it’s time to review the literature and deliver the goods on what science is intending to say, minus the propaganda and publicity.

With such a health benefit bonanza, much confusion comes with finding true importance, doses and, cost values when such a frenzy hits the market.

Let’s start by knocking out 61 years of investigation:
The Journal of Endocrine Practice published a review of ALL research papers published from 1948 to 2009. The results determined which studies were performed under the most reliable and credible standards. Only 13 papers made the cut!

Of those papers that were critically assessed, it was revealed that . . .
We need to do more research (not totally kidding), as results showed some strong evidence supporting Vitamin D therapy for the FLU (influenza), viral upper respiratory tract illnesses, and tuberculosis.

There were other tests done with Vitamin D and its effects on bacterial and viral infections, HIV, fungal, parasitic infections, and hepatitis B. The tests were somewhat positive; unfortunately, they didn’t follow reliable testing protocol; therefore, not counted.

Until recently. . .
Heart disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, infection, and autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis) have all shown encouraging to very convincing results for supplementing one’s diet with Vitamin D.

Here’s why:
– If your car did not have seats, pedals, or a steering wheel, it’s not useful for taking you where you need to go, thus having no value in the world of transportation.

In the body – There are seats, pedals, and steering wheels (known as receptors) for Vitamin D in these organs (different vehicles):
– -Brain
– -Prostate
– -Breast
– -Colon
– -Heart
– -Immune System Cells

Without enough Vitamin D driving these organs, they will not run properly, causing potential for some of the leading diseases.

Where should you get your “D”?
Sunlight helps in a big way, but what if you live in your office, or the sun isn’t out, or you’re afraid of wrinkles or skin cancer. If you’re using sun block greater than SPF 15, Vitamin D production is reduced by 99%. [New England Journal of Medicine 2007]

Then eat salmon, mackerel, and sardines!
Fortified milk and cereals have extra Vitamin D added.
Sadly, this is still not enough . . .

Supplements (two types):
– D2 for vegetarians – from plants and yeast – one third as effective as Vitamin D3;
– D3 – derived from the lanolin of sheep; more potent that Vitamin D2

Dosing up on D:
If you are D deficient, crank up your intake –
———- 50,000 IU (D2 or D3) – once a week for 8 to 12 weeks

If you are just maintaining your normal levels –
Pick either approach:
———– Monthly
– 50,000 IU (D2 or D3) every 2-4 weeks [NEJM, Journal Am Coll Cardiol]

———– Daily supplements of 1,000 D3 daily or 3,000 IU D2 daily [JACC]

How to know if you are deficient?
There are blood tests available that determine exactly whether you are in need or not. It takes the guess work out, especially if someone takes pretty good care of themselves. They may be in for a surprise.

After a good 3 to 6 months of supplementation, it would be ideal to recheck your Vitamin D levels.

Even though dosing on “D” is safe, simple, and relatively inexpensive, don’t overdo it. Excess of 10,000 units a day can get you some wicked kidney stones.

Are you “Doing the D”?
Please comment on your own experiences and share how this information will benefit a family member or friend.

18 Apr

Two Most Powerful Personality Traits

Filed under: Mental Health No comment

Hay - Dyer - 300
Before going to bed it is best to end a challenging day with an inspiring video.
The decision between Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer was difficult; neither moved me at the moment, until I glanced over at . . .


Yes! I instantly felt the adrenaline and testosterone coursing through my veins.
This is the movie of all movies . . .

The ancient Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. The message rang clear as Leonidas exhibited a leadership of the highest esteem while challenged by insurmountable odds. Their valor and sacrifice inspired all of Greece.

Don’t stop reading; see past the muscled up, barbaric, “guy-flick” impression as this is about steering the fabric of personal integrity — something we all must embrace.

The beginning of the movie reveals a profound message:
After training his son in hand-to-hand combat, King Leonidas asks, “What was today’s lesson?” The eight-year-old child responds with . . .

“Respect and honor”

Needless to say, I got goose bumps . . .
I found myself standing tall and repeating this tribal tenet.
“Respect and honor the people around you.”
“Respect and honor your possessions.”
“Respect and honor your pets and other animals.”
Most of all . . .
“Respect and honor yourself!”

What do “respect and honor” mean to you?

Can you imagine the troubled children of today growing up with this affirmation?
By embracing these two character traits, suddenly your body becomes a holy place — a temple — where commitment to eating right and fitness is a natural part of life.

Nothing can trump your deep, undying loyalty and dedication that start within and permeate every facet of your communication.
Your word becomes golden.
You become dependable.
Consistency, reliability, and trust are what you are known for, and it all begins with RESPECT and HONOR.

You CANNOT control other people’s actions, only your own.
Thus, to lead by example is leadership at its best.

King Leonidas: “Dilios, I trust that scratch hasn’t made you useless.”
Dilios: “Hardly, my lord, it’s just an eye. The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare.”

Nothing would stop Dilios in the name of honor and respect.

Where do you have that kind of commitment?

Please comment on your own experiences and share how this information will benefit a family member or friend.

11 Apr

This blows! Two Ways to Ease Allergies

Filed under: Nutritional Health No comment

Allergies - Sneezing
Your kids are snotty, you sound like a crank caller, and your friend looks like she cut up onions all day – this is a rough time of year – it’s allergy season!

Never having allergies, it’s my physician’s empathy that brings me to share some dependable remedies.

Truth be told, as a kid, I found that the best way to clear packed sinuses was to take the hose to my Mom’s Electrolux Vacuum cleaner and create and air-tight suction around my nostrils. It worked SO well!

Okay, but this was not one of the solutions . . .

Let’s talk immune system – the army of infection-fighting cells must be in full force, trained and ready for action, defeating (actually, eating up) the invader, foreign body.
Without a “green card,” this stuff is not supposed to be in this body!

Your immune system is meant to clean up and clean out all sorts of crazy stuff that invades your system at any given time. It can even clean out cancer cells!

The problem arises when you’ve run down the battalion of military personnel to the point that you are unable to naturally fight off infection and the body begins to lose the battle.

The early signs of foreign body invasion:
Lethargy – being slightly and unusually tired
Runny nose – especially after you eat (not referring to spicy food)
Watery eyes – maybe a slight tear, for no apparent reason
Scratchy throat – slight, but enough for the need to clear the mucous

Full blown, obvious signs:
Consistent coughing, hacking, sneezing, dry mouth and throat – Need I say more?

The Asian Way . . .
If we adopted a method of identifying the potential for infection before it ever became obvious to you, you’d win the battle. The Chinese appear to be able to diagnose conditions before they manifest to obvious signs and symptoms, even before the “early signs.”

It’s kind of like seeing the nail in the road before running over it and blowing out a tire. For those of you who might be a little slow and didn’t get the metaphor due to congestion, allow me to be crystal clear . . .
Seeing the nail and swerving to miss it is “the Asian way.”
Seeing the exploded tire and dealing with the repair is . . . “the American way.”

With that said, there are two ways to manage the strength of your immune system before it gets hammered:
1) Minimize the amount of your exposure to germs;
2) Strengthen your immune system.

There are a multitude of ways to keep germs out, short of walking around in a space suit.

Here is a powerful one that you may not know about:
– Food sensitivity testing: The simple explanation, a couple vials of blood are drawn and interacted with 200 different foods and airborne substances such a dust, dander, etc. The results are received as a printout, three columns:
A. Foods you need to avoid
B. Foods that are mildly offensive to your body
C. Foods you can eat without concern
It’s said to be a lot easier and more accurate than the age-old “Scratch Test” that every allergist uses. It’s worth checking out; I’ve observed several folks have a great experience with it when modifying their diet according to the results.

Now let’s work from the inside out …

Support the immune system with different supplements:
Here is a potent arsenal that I urge patients to practice BEFORE any signs of potential infection. Working with teams of athletes that may be run down and sick, and since my job entails close contact, I routinely get hacked on, coughed on, and sneezed on. I crank up the “formula” during the potential for becoming sick.

Here’s the not-so-secret formula:
– Grape seed extract (Resveratrol): The skin and seeds of grapes are rich in proanthocyanidins (antioxidant flavonoids that remove harmful free radicals from cells). You can find these supplements in many health food stores.
– Omega-3 fats: Get appropriate amounts of animal-based sources, preferably fish.
– Vitamin D: Get your buns in the sun! Safe amounts of sun exposure will assist your body in producing the appropriate amount of Vitamin D.
– Limit your sugar intake.
– Get exercise.
– Get rest: Five to seven hours per night has been found to be ideal.
– Get your spine in line: Get adjusted by a Chiropractor . . . This is not a pitch to come in to see me, since my practice only consists of professional athletes, but I can recommend someone for you to see or let you know who, around the country, can get the job done.

Now, please comment on your own experiences and share how this information will benefit a family member or friend.

3 Apr

7 Life Regulators of Professional Athletes – Elements of a WINNER

Filed under: Mental Health No comment

Referee - Touchdown

There’s a sign posted up in the one of the locker rooms. It is seen by each member of the team before they leave through the door. Like so many other inspirational messages, it changes from time to time so as not to blend in with the scenery and lose impact.

This particular sign caught my eye as it depicts seven areas of one’s life that can be modulated to enhance your full potential. The intent was to establish a specific “checklist” where an individual could do his or her very best, with hopes that all “regulators” have been maximized to “peak performance” levels on the day of an event.

I use the term “event” in a generic sense, as it could be:
– A sports competition
– A spelling bee
– A job interview
– A speech
– Getting in your “zone” for creativity
– A new exercise program
– Keeping a promise regarding your New Year’s resolution
– Your wedding day
– A Bar Mitzvah
– A social event
– General health

How many of you have a “checklist” or personal criteria to work with?

To break down the multiple ingredients that, when combined, can generate what it takes to achieve your goals

Here are . . .

The Regulators:
1) Discipline – This is the supreme quality of all traits; it is what separates the winners from the rest of the population.
Without this form of obedience, you have nothing.
With it, you must have a menu of tasks to follow – a recipe for success.

2) Communication – with yourself and your teammates, constituents, family and friends. When was the last time you studied the art of communication?

3) Punctuality – The greatest form of respect!
Would you be late for a million-dollar meeting? How about for your kid’s baseball game?

4) Accountability – Do you play the “blame game” or do you take responsibility, like a true leader?

5) Unselfishness – Help others get what they want as others will come to your side to assist you in your ambitions.
Random acts of kindness!
Pass it on!

6) Classroom – Are you studious?
Do you work IN your trade or do you work ON your trade?
A leader is also a student of his own profession.
Never stop learning!
You can always discover how to improve yourself.

7) Weight Room – This is about a healthy body!
Energy begets Energy!
The more you put out, the more you’ll get back.
If you are a couch potato, the more you’ll laze and bake into that position.

Let this be your guide to self-management.
Where are you stuck in this list?
What will it take to have a breakthrough?
Now you have control!

28 Mar

What can you learn from the mating habits of a sloth?

Filed under: Mental Health No comment


Having trouble reaching a goal or completing a task?
Then it may behoove you to take a few tips from our fine, furry friend, the sloth.

A popular derogatory remark for those who seem to procrastinate or meander along is, “You move like a Sloth. C’mon, hurry!” May not be such a bad thing after all.

The heat of the moment …
A recent study showed that a female sloth will find her mate by letting out this insanely loud, screeching yell … kinda like an angry ex-wife (although certainly not for mating purposes). The outrageous part of this animalistic eHarmony.com experience is that males from up to a half mile away will bolt towards this scream-for-sex ritual with no regard to the obstacles and dangers that pave the journey.

Now, this National Geographic, take-away point is NOT how it takes this poor, male sloth three and a half days to travel a half mile, but the extremely admirable risk he takes with absolute focus and intention.

Achieve – no matter the obstacle!
One clearly defined goal and fear nothing!

The male sloth cruises on the ground (not only in the trees) at the speed of a snail, completely exposed and vulnerable to his predators.

When was the last time you were this focused and consistent with something you wanted?

How many times were you sincerely committed to a project only to find yourself way off course within a short period of time?

1. Create an image of what you want.
——– Put it on paper, draw it or find a photo
——– Or just write it up as an affirmation
2. Read the affirmation or look at the image EVERY day (even consider reading it multiple times a day)
——– Share the goal or wish with family, friends or colleagues.
——– This sphere of influence will help keep you on track
3. Know that you will come up against obstacles – be clear that this is normal
——– It makes the achievement of your goal so much more majestic as it took self esteem and incredible motivation to beat the opponent … the “opponent” being all the possible negative forces that usually keep someone from completing a worthy task.

There are people out there with less talent and ability and yet, are doing amazingly incredible things as they live their dreams.

Most of all, when the journey becomes tough …
It is time to become …
A sloth in heat!

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