Category Archives for "Health & Wellness"

Bastille Day, the Sistene Chapel and Chiropractic Birthdays

15 years ago today, I became a chiropractor. It’s amazing to me that it has already been that long and I am humbled to think about all it has brought me.

From practicing in Costa Rica for a year, to opening a practice with my brother in San Diego.

From adjusting babies just minutes after they are born to help them start off life healthy, to adjusting men and women in the last days of their life to help ease their transition.

From meeting the woman who would years later become the mother of my child, to now working in a prenatal wellness center because of my son.

I can trace all of these incredible life experiences to me becoming (and being) a chiropractor.

I wrote this piece about how I celebrated my 10th chiropractic anniversary years ago. I wanted to share it here again because it helps explain the deep gratitude and honor I feel about being privileged to work with people the way I do.

While I might not be celebrating in Rome like I did 5 years ago, it will still be a celebration!

Originally published on July 14, 2011 on

July 14th is Bastille Day. It’s France’s version of our Fourth of July. Honestly, all that really had meant to me over the years is that a bunch of French cyclists will try to break away from the peloton to get some camera time for their sponsors while their country (and me) watches the Tour de France today.

But now July 14th has another meaning to me: it’s my anniversary. It’s the anniversary of the day I became a chiropractor.

Now, some of my mentors contend that I became I chiropractor the day I started chiropractic school. I know what they mean by that and I agree with them to some extent.

But July 14, 2000 is the date on my professional license for the state of California (the only state I’ve ever practiced in) so that’s the anniversary I go by.

Today marks my 11th year of being a chiropractor – something I’m very proud of. Tonight I’ll probably celebrate in my usual way of making a number of toasts: to my profession, to what I’ve accomplished so far, to who I am today and to what I am becoming as a doctor, a healer and a professional. That’s a lot of toasts I know, but hey, I have a lot to celebrate!

But on Bastille Day a year ago, on my 10th anniversary, I found myself in Rome, Italy staring up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

For so many years, Michelangelo’s classic image of God reaching out to touch Adam’s finger has been a symbol to me of the work I do as a healer. And there I was, gazing up, standing directly underneath it, pondering all of it’s meaning to me on my 10th anniversary of becoming a chiropractor.

Early on in my career, while I was still a student actually, a doctor I was training with had shown me this image of Michelangelo’s to impress upon me the significance of what we do as chiropractors.

His message to me was that by placing our hands on people and delivering adjustments, we are restoring life to the people we work on, not unlike Michelangelo’s depiction of God giving life to Adam.

Now, from that story I don’t carry around a “God complex” or anything like that. I’ll leave that to other types of doctors.

But I’ve always loved that analogy. So now it serves as a reminder to me to stay in a reverent space when I have my hands on people. Powerful forces are in play when someone allows me to work on them and it’s important to me to be respectful in that space with them.

But it wasn’t until the morning of July 14, 2010 as I was walking into Vatican City that I realized I’d be seeing the real image with my own two eyeballs on my chiropractic anniversary.

I was raised Roman Catholic so as a kid I saw plenty pictures of the Pope on his balcony waving to the people in St. Peter’s Square (when he wasn’t cruising around in his Pope Mobile, that is). We learned about the Vatican City and how one of the statues in our church was a replica of the Pieta inside St. Peter’s Basilica. We also learned about the “Sixteenth Chapel” and Michelangelo’s famous ceiling painting and I remember my small curious mind wondering if he painted the ceilings of the other 15 chapels too.

It was over 100 degrees in Rome that day (or however many degrees Celsius that is) but that didn’t melt my excitement as I slowly moved along the long, sickeningly hot hallways to get inside the church. The room was much smaller than I expected but the painted ceiling was much bigger and much more beautiful than I imagined.

I wiggled through the mass of people (pun intended) to get myself directly under God and Adam’s fingers coming together. And there I stood for a good 10 minutes staring straight up at it, taking it all in.

It was so impressive and I stood there smiling ear to ear as I looked up.

I would have stayed to bask in it’s glow for even longer were it not for 2 reasons:

1) chiropractically, my neck was killing me arching my head upwards for so long


2) thermally, I thought I was going to burst into flame if I didn’t get outside soon. (And no, I didn’t think I was going to burst into flame because of any “sinner in a church” thing. It was well over 100 degrees in a small room with hundreds of other people all jockeying for positioning to get a good look at Michelangelo’s handywork.)

Unfortunately, one wrong turn leaving the Sistine Chapel changed the vibe for the next few hours. That part of the story isn’t relevant to this one so suffice it to say that later, at dinner recounting the day, the meaning of seeing Michelangelo’s masterpiece in person really sunk in for me.

How cool it was  to be able to travel to Rome, to be in the Sistine Chapel, to see Michelangelo’s work of art with my own eyes AND on my 10th anniversary.

What an amazing gift chiropractic is and how fortunate I am to be able to give this gift to people.

How wonderful it is that people come into see me for help, they trust their body and their health to me and I am able to deliver hope and care when they most need it.

How special a life I lead that my work environment is full of candles, water fountains, peaceful music, and one where people are happy to see me when they come in and they get to feel even better when they leave.

I am so grateful!

I appreciate every single one of you who trust me with your body and with your health. I consider it an honor to work with you and I want you to know that I take it very seriously. I want only the best for you and I am happy to do all I can for that to come to you. That day a year ago today, was truly a spectacular day for me and obviously, I look upon it fondly.

And a year ago tonight, I toasted the same things that I’ll toast tonight: my profession, what I’ve done, who I am now and who I am becoming.

Cheers! Salute! Salud! and A Votre Sante!

P.S. The day before this day in the Sistine Chapel, I was in Florence with my jaw on the floor standing in front of Michelangelo’s David. This is another work that has tremendous significance to me as a chiropractor. Maybe someday I’ll share that story with you too…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays. I love it because along with all of the amazingly delicious food, I get to spend an extended weekend with family and friends. My own family has grown a lot this year. So the gathering around the table at my family’s cabin will as full as our bellies will be soon after dinner is served.  I am looking forward to this special time with family and I hope you get to enjoy special time with your loved ones as well.

So today, instead of giving you a Health Tip along the lines of: “7 Healthy Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Dinner”, “Detox Program for After Your Holiday Indulgences” or “How to Stress Less Over the Holiday Weekend”, I’ll share with you this Health Tip for the Thanksgiving Holiday: ENJOY!

Taste and eat without guilt.

Laugh and hug without restraint.

Be aware and grateful for all that you have in your life now.

Be open and excited (and grateful in advance) for all that is coming to you in the near future.

Know that you make a difference in the world and appreciate those who make a difference in yours.

Thank you for being a part of mine.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Jay

Secondhand Stress Can Be Contagious

A pair of recent studies have proven in the research lab something that you may already be instinctively aware of: being around stressed out people can make you stressed out.

And while this may seem obvious to you, understanding their research findings and incorporating this new term, “secondhand stress” into your vocabulary will help you decrease your stress levels.

One study performed at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany looked at couples and how their stress affected each other. One person was taken into a room and had to solve complicated math problems in front of two supposed behavior analysts who assessed their performance. As expected, Continue reading…

3 Ways to Boost Your Energy at Work

Do you feel like you’re dragging at the end of your work day (or in the middle of it)? Fatigue in the workplace decreases your productivity and effectiveness in your job duties. Depending on your work, you can also place yourself and others at physical risk of injury if you are tired and your ability to react is compromised.

Here are some tips that you can use to boost your energy at work so not only do you get your job done, but you are more likely to feel good about the job you are doing: Continue reading…

Alignment is Critical for Optimal Health

OK, one more car analogy!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about the windshield wipers on your car and how it relates to your health. Now I want to talk about the tire alignment on your car and use it as a metaphor about your health as well.

Obviously, everyone knows that for your car to drive straight, the wheels need to be aligned properly. When you drive your new car off the showroom floor, everything is aligned perfectly. Over time, the tire tread is going to wear down with normal usage. But, after a while you might also start to notice some extra wear and tear on the edges of your front tires. They might start balding on the sides of your tires more than the area that contacts the road.

This uneven wear pattern is a symptom of misalignment of the front end of your car. If left alone, that balding will get worse and worse and eventually Continue reading…

To Be Healthy, You Have to Be Regular

Last week’s Health Tip talked about how getting an adjustment is like using the windshield wipers on your car. Sometimes you just don’t notice the haze that has built up until it’s been wiped away. Similarly, sometimes you might not notice how much tension has built up in your system until you get off the table. “Wow, I feel so much better right now and honestly, I really didn’t think I felt bad when I came in!”

To go a little further with this Windshield Wiper analogy, this is why I recommend to my patients to continue with regular “tune-ups” even after the pain or the problem that initially brought them into my office has gone away.

How many times do you have to use the windshield wipers over the lifetime of your car to keep your windshield clean?

The answer to that question depends on a few factors: Continue reading…

You Live Your Life Through Your Nervous System

You live your life through your Nervous System. Every sound, taste, touch, smell and sight – all of that energy and information gets transmitted to your brain so you can make sense of the world. All of your perceptions get filtered through your Nervous System.

If the transmission of this information from the outside world to your brain is distorted, then your perception of the world will be distorted.

Think back to the last time you were driving in your car and for whatever reason, you decided to turn on the wipers to clean your windshield. After the windshield wipers were done, your view was a lot clearer, right?

But then if you looked at the corners of your windshield that the wipers couldn’t reach, what did you see there? You saw a layer of grime on the glass left behind. Those corners were much dirtier than the area cleaned by your windshield wipers weren’t they?

But just moments before, Continue reading…

Rivers, Whitewash and Healing

Often when I am explaining the healing process and how adjustments work, I use the analogy of a river. This metaphor is a simple one to understand, yet it also explains more complex concepts about healing, bodywork and energetics. I’d like to share it with you here in case you haven’t heard it before in hopes that it will help you understand how your body works, how it breaks down and more importantly, how it can heal itself.

Imagine yourself standing on a bank of a river. As you look upstream, you see a seemingly endless flow of water coming towards you. Then as you turn your head downstream, you watch the river flow off into distance. Right in front of you, you can hear the roar of the whitewash created by the water rushing over huge rocks that lie in the river just a few feet away from you.

Now imagine your body is that river for a moment. Continue reading…

7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Are you a person who is worried about the next coming “cold & flu season”?

Are you one of those people that always seems to catch whatever bug that is going around your work, school or neighborhood?

If you live your life afraid that any sneeze or cough is going to get you sick, then this information will help you.

I know that you don’t want to live in fear of germs or in fear of getting sick. I know that you want to live more fully, doing what you want, when you want to do it.

And fortunately, you don’t have to.

There are safe, natural and effective methods that are proven to boost your Immune System so you can stay healthy. A strong Immune System is what will fight off any bacteria or virus that you come in contact with so you don’t get sick.

I am going to share with you here information and tools that will help you to:

  1. Strengthen your Immune System on a day-to-day basis thus preventing you getting sick in the first place.
  2. Fight off an infection more effectively and more quickly if you happen to have already become sick.

Continue reading…

The Incredible Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin

I’ve discussed Vitamin D before and how important it is to your overall health. It has been shown to help with heart disease, cholesterol, cancer and high blood pressure.

Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in activating your Immune System to fight off sickness. T cells are immune cells that are involved in your first line of defense. T cells must have Vitamin D to be mobilized and activated against foreign bacteria and viruses. (1)

Vitamin D also helps your Immune System produce over 200 different types of antimicrobial peptides that protect you against colds and flu’s. These natural peptide are much more effective and than synthetic antibiotics or antivirals.

The higher your blood serum Vitamin D levels, the lower your risk is for contracting colds, flu’s and other respiratory tract infections.

Many research studies have proven that people with lowered Vitamin D levels are more vulnerable to respiratory tract infections. (2-6) One study showed that school age children that were given Vitamin D supplements from December 2008 to March 2009 were 50% less likely to get sick compared to children who got a placebo. (7) Incidentally, these children’s asthma rates went down too.

What Are Optimal Vitamin D Levels?

Continue reading…

Using Colloidal Silver to Fight Infection

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to stay healthy, your body can get overwhelmed with stress and you do eventually get sick. But do not worry. There are simple, natural things you can do to help your body fight the infection so you can start feeling better as soon as possible.

If you’re starting to feel a tickle in the back of your throat, a runny or stuffy nose or if you’re just feeling a bit more run down and tired than usual and you think you might be getting sick, this is what you can do.

I’m Getting Sick! What Do I Do Now?

Continue reading…

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” Because That Will Kill You Too

A new study published in “Experimental Gerontology” shows that its not only the big stressors that increase mortality rates, but the little hassles of life can kill you as well. Not such great news since we all experience stress and much of it cannot be avoided. Some stress is just part of life.

But it’s not all bad news. There is a small overlooked part of the study, a way that the study was designed, that reveals how you can free yourself from an early visit from the Grim Reaper.

Carolyn Aldwin, director of the Center for Healthy Aging Research at Oregon State University, examined the mortality rate data of 1,293 men whose stress levels were tracked over a 21 year period. She looked at two long-term stress patterns: Continue reading…

Could 50 Autopsies in 1921 Have Revealed the Keys to Long Life?

In 1921, Dr. Henry Windsor wanted to see if there was a connection between diseased organs and the structure of the body. He conducted 50 autopsies at the University of Pennsylvania and published his results in the Medical Times in November of that same year.

His findings were overwhelmingly conclusive that maintaining a healthy structure of your body is vital to enjoying a long, healthy life. Hopefully what Dr. Windsor learned can teach you a new perspective about how to take care of your own health.

After performing autopsies on 50 cadavers, Dr. Windsor had isolated a total 139 diseased organs. The diseased organs included the heart, lungs, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidney, prostate, bladder and uterus.

He then traced the nerve that went that organ all the way back to Continue reading…

Parenthood, Cancer and the Life Force Inside of You

As many of you already know. I am a new father. My son, Nikolas, is 10 1/2 months old and will be walking any day now. To say that he has transformed my world is an understatement. But this isn’t going to be a post by a dad about how great he thinks his son is. This week’s Health Tip will start out with a parental observation, venture briefly into existential musings and then segue into understandings about your immune system and the Life Force inside of you that is on constant watch to protect and heal you.

Interested in seeing how these dots are connected? If so, read on… Continue reading…

14 Videos on How to Stretch Your Body Properly

Recently I was approached by’s Health and Wellness division and was asked to put together a set of short and helpful videos together on stretching and exercise. We shot them all in one day in my office and the finished products are up on the eHow site. In each video, I explain the particular stretch or exercise and then show you how to do it properly.

I’ve collected all of the links here for you so you don’t have to search all over their site to find all 14 of them. You’ll see from the headings that we covered everything from the neck and shoulders to the lower back to even the feet.

Look at the list I’ve created below and watch the ones that you think will help you the most. (The most popular videos are the ones on: Continue reading…

The Attitude of Service

Some people believe that each of us is put here on this planet in this time for one specific, pre-determined purpose.

I believe this causes a lot of really well intentioned people out there to really struggle with uncovering their life purpose. They feel frustrated that their destiny has been hidden from them. They feel that if they don’t figure it out, then they will have wasted their life. They feel that if it were only just revealed to them, that specific thing they were born to do in this life, then they would be so much happier and then they could get to it already and finally start living a meaningful life.

But I believe the struggle that they bring to it only clouds their way. I believe this because I have done it. I have spent so much time in my life Continue reading…

The Attitude of Happiness

The Attitude of Happiness works hand-in-hand with the Attitude of Gratitude. When you are grateful for your life, you just can’t help but feel happy as well. Isn’t that what you want to experience more of in your life – more happiness? I have never met anyone that would turn down more of that and I’ll bet you wouldn’t either.

The way to get into this Attitude of Happiness is simply choosing to focus on what makes you happy and then doing the things that make you happy. Life all too often gets full of work and family obligations. We get so busy with “To do” lists and “honey-do” lists and with feelings of “Have to” and “Got to”. What about your “want to” list and better yet, your “I’d love to” list?

To help you remember what you love to do and what really makes you happy, I going to recommend Continue reading…

The Attitude of Gratitude

Much has been written about how showing Gratitude can positively affect your life. But did you know that there is research that shows Gratitude can actually affect the molecular structure of water? Well there is and after telling you about it, I’ll explain to you how important this can be for your physical and well as mental health.

Dr. Masuro Emoto performed his research on how different stimuli affected the molecular structure of water in the 1990’s. To do this, he would take a regular glass of water and then expose it to different light wavelengths and sound waves. He started by placing speakers right next to the samples of water and played music next to them. Then he would freeze the water to look at the crystal structure it formed under a microscope.

Regular, ordinary water produced some regular looking crystals. Interestingly, Continue reading…

The Attitude of Optimism

You can either view everything that comes to you as a problem or you can see it as an opportunity.

Is your glass half full, or half empty?

When you start looking at your glass as half full, the rest of life will appear to you as more full as well.

Let’s revisit the traffic example for a moment: the half empty view is that the traffic jam as just another example how messed up the freeway system is and how poorly people drive. You could get stressed out about how late it is going to make you. You could get angry at the people cutting you off and get self-righteous that these people need to taught by you how to wait their turn.

The half full view is now you have some the extra time to listen to your good music or to learn something new in the audio book you picked up for your commutes. You could practice being the super friendly driver that lets everybody in front of you because you have decided that you have got all the time in the world and you want to help people along their way.

It is all up to Continue reading…

The Power of Attitude

Another powerful area for you to consider when creating a healthy environment for yourself is the Power of Attitude in your life.

Your attitude directly affects every experience you have in your life. You can either have a positive attitude or a negative one. You either take a positive attitude towards your experience or you take a negative attitude towards your experience. What is so powerful about Attitude for you is that it is completely under your control at all times.

A perfect illustration of how you can choose a positive attitude no matter how horrible the circumstances may be, comes from the movie “Life is Beautiful”. Continue reading…

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