Who says Arthritis has to Cause Pain?

This November I have decided to focus these emails on Placebo studies and the effects that the mind has over the body.

For those of you who don't know what a Placebo study is, it is defined as the following: 

"Placebo-controlled studies are a way of testing a medical therapy in which, in addition to a group of subjects that receives the treatment to be evaluated, a separate control group receives a sham "placebo" treatment which is specifically designed to have no real effect."

This can take the form of a pill that is given to the Placebo group in which they believe they are receiving the actual pharmaceutical or the form of a surgery in which the Placebo groups believe they have received a real surgery when in fact they did not receive a surgery at all and only received a series of strategically placed "incisions". 

Prepare to have your mind blown when you begin to research Placebos and the power that they have to make a change in how the people in the studies feel and heal.

So in honor of expanding our minds to what is possible, this month we are going to focus on Placebos.

The first study that I would like to mention is a very interesting study that was done on patients complaining of "Knee Pain" due to arthritis.

The results were fascinating.

Out of 180 people who were studied, they were place into three groups of nearly 60 people each. One group received debridement of the knee, another group received a lavage procedure, and the final group received a sham Placebo intervention where only incisions were made on the skin in order to give the appearance of a real surgery. The patient in the Placebo group had no idea that they received a sham surgery.

At the two year follow up point, all three categories of interventions reported nearly identical results.

“At no point did either arthroscopic-intervention group have greater pain relief than the placebo group. For example, there was no difference in knee pain between the placebo group and either the lavage group or the debridement group at one year.”

“Similarly, there was no significant difference in arthritis pain between the placebo group and the lavage group or the debridement group at one or two years”

“Furthermore, at no time point did either arthroscopic-intervention group have significantly greater improvement in function than the placebo group.”

What’s EVEN MORE, the debridement group actually showed a worsening in abilities to walk and climb stairs!

“Indeed, objectively measured walking and stair climbing were poorer in the debridement group than in the placebo group at two weeks, and one year, and showed a trend toward worse functioning at two years”

In conclusion the authors went on to state…

“This study provides strong evidence that arthroscopic lavage with or without debridement is not better than and appears to be equivalent to a placebo procedure in improving knee pain and self-reported function. Indeed, at some points during follow-up, objective function was significantly worse in the debridement group than in the placebo group.”

This really goes to show that when you TELL someone that you have “fixed” the problem (even when they have received a sham surgery), it makes a lasting IMPRESSION on their subconscious mind, enough to mimic the results of an actual surgery.

It makes you wonder if simply telling people that Arthritis is “bad” is actually doing the same thing.

What if we began to view Arthritis for what it truly is?

A natural part of the aging process with no conclusive evidence that it causes pain.

You can view the study yourself by following this link.

WHEN to Practice the Ideas of Health

Being a human in the 21st century means that our first impulse in the morning is to generally reach for our phones and check to see which notifications we have received during the course of sleeping. This is a habit that I am willing to bet most of us share. 

I am not immune to the addiction of my phone. That being said, I work to overcome the addiction and set boundaries so that I do not become a slave to my phone, but rather aim to be the master of my phone; and when and how I use it.

Recently I cancelled my unlimited data plan and switched to a smaller data plan. Now instead of aimlessly scrolling through Instagram or mindlessly checking my email for the 20th time that day, I am able to remain present when I am away from a WiFi signal and actually take in my surroundings during a dog walk or while out with friends. 

I once heard a great quote about our phones and life in general... 

The speaker said "You want to be the thermostat in your own life and not the thermometer."

The speaker was also referring to checking, or refraining from checking, your phone first thing in the morning. 

By slowing down and not reacting to life as soon as we open our eyes, we become the THERMOSTAT in our own lives, controlling the flow of information or the flow of our day, instead of being a thermometer and reacting to our phones or the things that happen to us during the day. 

Which brings me to the point of this email. I promise it's all tied together.

Last week we spoke about "Practicing The Ideas of Health" and today it occurred to me that I did not speak about when to practice those ideas.

Maybe you see where I am going with this already....

The best time to practice the ideas of health is first thing in the morning and right before bed. This is a time when out minds are most fresh and able to assimilate new ideas more easily. 

If practicing the idea of health, or the idea of "oneness" is a new concept to you, then the best time to "flex that brain muscle" is first thing in the morning when the mind is clear. This is also the time of day when our subconscious minds are more receptive to new material. 

The same can be said for those few moments before we drift off on our pillows, however, I truly feel that implementing this habit first thing in the morning will serve you more than only doing this before bed. I like to make sure that the morning meditation or contemplation is not missed (as often as possible) and is merely supplemented by the evening one.

Try it this week. 

Before reaching for the phone, or turning on the news, or checking your work emails, take FIVE MINUTES and spend time with an affirmation of your choosing that will bring you closer to your health or personal development goals.

The affirmations should be simple. Something like...

"My body (back, neck, shoulder) is healing."

"I am safe."

"I am whole."

"I am complet."

"I am one with everything."


Really the sky is the limit. Choose something that resonates with your personally and where you are trying to go.

Spending 5 minutes in the morning focusing and practicing the ideas of health will set your day towards a radically different perspective, one of healing and positivity, instead of one of reaction and negativity. 

If we don't practice these ideas and flex our mind muscles, then they will begin to weaken within our conscious and subconscious minds and we will find ourselves being tossed around with the whims of the world. Which, if you look around, there is plenty of that going around and the world is in need of a few more "anchors" if you know what I mean.

Marianne Williamson says that "Meditation is as important as showering each morning"

She goes on to say that "We shower to clean yesterday's dirt off of our bodies, just as we meditate to clean yesterday's dirt off of our minds.... So that we may go out into the world and be fresh and clean and not carrying around the baggage of yesterday's mental and emotional dirt."

(I'm parasphrasing, but you get the idea.)

If we wake up and immediately pile on the emotional and mental dirt of the world or our previous subconscious patterns... "I'm broken.", "I'm not worthy.", "All is doomed." etc... by checking the news or reacting to our phones etc... then we will continue to carry those mental impulses with us throughout the day.

If we simply take the time in the morning, five minutes, to focus on healing, love, God, or any other positive force or deity that we admire, then we can rest assured that the remainder of our day will be one that is more aligned with the values that we seek as the highest forms of expression in this life. 

If 5 minutes is too long, then start with a minute.

If 1 minute is took long, try 30 seconds... You get the idea.


Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day or can't make it to 5 minutes. Celebrate that you set the intention and that you showed up for whatever amount of time that you are able. 

Be the THERMOSTAT. Control your day and control your life.


I want nothing but all the peace and happiness in this world for you that it has to offer.

Practicing the Ideas of Health. It's a Mind State.

If you’re anything like me, then you may not always find it easy to focus on the positive things in life. Our brains just seem to be wired to be constantly looking out for the worst… (Thanks evolution!)

It seems that 8 things could do well during the course of the day and yet most of us will focus on the one thing that went wrong and didn’t go the way we had planned.

This next recommendation may not always be our first choice when responding to a situation in life, but I feel that it is an EXTREMELY important choice and one that we can make with enough practice.

The beauty is that this health tip can also apply to many other areas of your life as well.

Often when we are experiencing physical discomfort, we have a difficult time thinking about anything else. Our evolutionary minds then go to work and we begin down a dark rabbit hole of thinking about the worse possible outcome for the pain…

“This will never get better.”

“I always have pain.”

“I have a bad neck/back/shoulder etc…”

These are not constructive thoughts and actually TRAIN our brains to believe the stories that we tell it.

Instead of thinking one of the stories above, I recommend switching them up, and putting a more positive spin on them. This is not ignoring the pain, this is simply training your brain to think about the pain in a more constructive way.

So they next time you are experiencing pain, try something like these instead…

“My body is designed to heal.”

(Think about that for a moment and let it really sink in. When you cut your skin or break a bone, your body does all the “magic” healing work and you don’t even have to think about it. It is literally programmed for health.)

“This pain will pass.”

“I have a neck/back/shoulder that is currently in recovery.”

Simple change in the story can have a HUGE impact on the speed and quality of our recovery.

You can also take this idea to another level and begin applying it to other areas of your life.

Again, if you’re anything like me, maybe you get annoyed and defensive around the people on the streets. Especially in New York where there are people EVERYWHERE.

I would often find myself thinking things like…

“Why didn’t that person get out of my way?!?”

“Can’t they see I have a dog?”

“Why are they standing so close to me?”

Walking around the city would often put me in a slightly irritated state…

This low level irritation is only a few short steps away from the feelings of anger.

I would literally be tensing my back while walking around the city and thinking these thoughts.

What’s even more interesting, is that those type of thoughts become so common, that we view them as normal and then hardly even notice when we are thinking them.

Stop and think. Show of hands. How many of you get annoyed while walking around in a crowded place?

The thing is, those people I am passing are not even aware that they are annoying me. They are in their own little bubble just like me, and are very likely thinking similar things about the strangers they are passing.

So lately I have been working really hard to change my internal story around the people I pass on the street.

Many spiritual traditions teach that we are all connected. That we are all one.

Physics is starting to prove that we are all exchanging electrons constantly throughout the day. What we perceive as matter is really just that — a perceptionof energy as a solid object.

Physicists have shown that the atom is primarily empty space.

So now as I walk down the street, full engaged in the idea that we are all one, I have begun to change the stories inside my head as I pass a stranger.

Instead I softly whisper inside my head…

“Peace be with you.”

“The love in me salutes the love in you.”

“One love.”

And so on….

Changing the story from one of attack, to one of love, helps me to release the tension that I was holding in my body when I felt that everyone owed me my rightful place on the sidewalk or subway car. Now instead of cursing them internally I am working to bless them internally.

As I see them as one with me, I begin to recognize that what I give is what I get.

If I get love, it’s because I gave love.

If I get “attacked”, it’s because I was attacking and condemning in my own mind.

I wanted to share this because it really does apply to our bodies too. If I show my body love and compassion, it will give me love and peace in return.

If I attack and condemn my body, it will continue to “attack” me and very often that attack comes in the form of chronic muscular tension leading to pain.

So which one is it going to be? Love or attack?

Would you say that your mind is thinking thoughts of love towards your body and your neighbor, or do you think it is the opposite?

Would you like to talk about it and find out more about which one it could be?

What interests me most as a health provider is our mind states, and how they affect our lives. I enjoy listening to clients and asking questions based on the things they say in hopes of helping them see things in a new light.

This is what really gets me excited about health and helping people!

I truly do believe that we are all one. As I heal myself, I heal the world. As I teach others about healing, they heal not only themselves, but also myself and the world.

Showing ourselves and our neighbors love is the first step towards true peace and happiness on this planet.

“There’s no path to peace ya’ll, PEACE IS THE PATH.” 
-Bliss N Eso

A big revelation for me lately, based on everything that I just wrote above, has been that life is more about what you give than what you get.

So I have decided to change how I offer my health coaching sessions. Instead of putting a price tag on coaching sessions, I have decided to offer them at a “pay-what-you-can-afford” rate.

This is a brand new decision as of this week. It is not an attempt to attract more clients, or make more money. It is simply a way of surrendering more to the flow and trusting that everything that needs to happen will happen.

Maybe next time I’ll write some more about trusting and letting go…??? A “pull versus push” kind of vibe….

Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with. I’m here for you. You can reach me via my website drmikemurray.com

Wishing you all the peace and happiness in the world!

Let's Talk About Emotions Some More...

The Saga Continues…

So where were we? We had left off with a few questions regarding pathology, or a lack thereof, and the presence of pain.

Here they were.

Why is it that both groups, with and without a pathology have pain? 

What is contiguous in both of their human experiences that would lead to the feeling of physical discomfort?

Well for one, they believe they are having a human experience.

And with that experience comes all kinds of confusion, anxiety, fear, and many other emotions stemming from the belief that we are only human. 

When you feel that you are only a human being, living a life separate from those around you, then you feel alone and afraid. 

When you feel alone and afraid, fearful, you lash out in anger, in order to protect the image that you have of yourself. 

But lashing out in anger doesn’t FEEL good. 

The people that we lash out at can be people that we see as outside of ourselves, or also our inner selves. Either way, we react in anger in hopes of protecting the image that we have of our small isolated selves. 

And then, to compound matters, as children, we’re taught NOT to do that.

"Be a good boy/girl!"

"Don’t have a tantrum in the grocery store (or church, or school, or wherever)"

"Don’t cry, be a big girl/boy, and get back out on the field!"


We’re often not taught that it is okay to experience the feelings that we are feeling, and… we are often not taught healthy ways to process those emotions. This is no one person’s particular fault. This just happens to be the way that we tend to raise our children, currently….

And so what do we do with all of these emotions?
 

We learn to stuff them down. We develop patterns in which we continue to suppress our emotions in order to protect the image that we hope others will have of us. ("A good boy" or "A good girl" or "A good X") 

These patterns of suppression that we learn early on, become patterns that we carry with us throughout our lives. And just like a bottle that is shaken under pressure, eventually, with enough emotions built up and suppressed within, we begin to experience symptoms in our bodies later in life.

Suppressed emotions can come in the form of neck or back pain, ulcers, digestive issues, allergies, and so on. 

The medical community admits that the number one cause of hospital visits is stress. At least, that is what is lying at the core of the matter, no matter how we dress it up or what name we give it. And yet, it seems easier to just go on giving things unique descriptions so that we can go on giving humans unique prescriptions… All aimed at masking the symptoms and none aimed at the true cause of our discomforts….

It occurred to me one day while walking my dog, that our Emotions (Energies IN Motion) are called "FEELINGS" for a reason.

Often our own language and the way we use words and phrases will give us very clear insights into what was meant by using those words.

We call our Emotions FEELINGS because we FEEL them in our bodies.

"That guy is a real pain in my neck."

"She/he is a real pain in my butt."


Those expressions CAME FROM SOMEWHERE for a reason.

Someone had an interaction with another human being and felt a sensation in their body. Recognizing that the sensation was stemming from the interaction, they proceeded to begin using the phrases listed above. 

That right there should be a good indication that our emotions cause pain. 

It is not a weakness to admit this. In fact it is a strength to recognize this.

When you can look within and recognize that your reactions and feelings towards life are causing you to suffer discomfort in your body, then you can begin to evaluate the root cause of those emotions and how you can more appropriately respond to life.

Maybe you need to take a break from working too hard, or stop pushing yourself to try and be more than you already are in this moment. Remember, YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Maybe you need to cut a toxic relationship out of your life… Handled of course in a lovingly strong way where you are not purposely trying to hurt that person, but rather loving yourself and them by speaking the truth of how the relationship is affecting you.

Maybe you need to heal a wounded relationship with a family member or loved one, using forgiveness, so that you can stop carrying around the emotional charge of the stress that the strained relationship causes you…

There are many areas of our own lives that we can turn to with loving eyes and ask if we can choose a new direction that will serve our higher good. 

What is one of those areas in your life?

A good hint will be to stop to notice the story that seems to be on repeat today within your head.

Are you worrying about work? Money? Family? A relationship? There really only tends to be a few big themes that cause us to be off of our center.

Which one is yours today? Which one will it be tomorrow?

Wouldn’t you rather evaluate the stories and the emotional charges that they carry? 

Then you can learn to overcome and heal the emotions, which will lead to more energy and mental freedom in your life, ultimately leading to less and less physical discomfort…

Is there anyway I can support you in this process? 

Many of you may know this, but I no longer offer traditional chiropractic services to my clients. To me it seemed that we were only AFFECTING the EFFECT of the complaint, and not getting down to the root cause of the discomfort. My time spent as a chiropractor led me down a different path than most, and I am happy to be on it now and honoring the qualities in myself that cause me to ask more questions.

I must have been such a nuisance as a kid… "Yeah, but why mommy?", "Okay, yeah, but why that too?" and so on…. ;)

If you are open to having a conversation, I would love to sit across from you and ask what it is about what you are experiencing in life that has led to the physical discomfort you now have.

I have never been thanked so endlessly and so sincerely, than when I started doing this work, and that lets me know that I am on the right path.

Sometimes all it takes is a kind person to sit across from you and hold a mirror up to the things you do and say.

I know that I have benefited immensely from those things, whether they came in the form of a life coach, a friend, a relationship, or a loved one… Even if I didn’t always want to admit it.

Growth is uncomfortable. It is no wonder that we all seek remedies outside of ourselves. Most people simply prefer to have the problem "fixed" for them than to rather seek the change within.

However, I have found, that seeking the change within allows you to overcome the obstacle in an empowered way, knowing that if it comes up again, you already have the tools within yourself to face the challenge confidently, know that you do not need someone to "fix" you.

I have also found that what is more uncomfortable is continuing to wallow in the pains that are preventing our growth. In fact, medicine is making big business out of it….

I am here for you. 


I am here to listen and ask gentle questions. 

I am not here to give you answers. 

I am merely here to reflect back the things I hear and ask you if those things are your true self talking, or some other voice…

All sessions are done one on one via technology and the world wide web, unless of course you happen to live where I currently live. But since this email is going out mostly to people who live across the pond from me, the internet will have to suffice for now.

Please reach out if you would like to grow together :)

Wishing you nothing but all the peace and happiness available in this lifetime!

Let's Talk About Emotions...

Now for starters… Why is a chiropractor talking about emotions?

Shouldn’t I be talking about how "poorly aligned" your spine is, or what "terrible condition" you muscles and ligaments are?

Wouldn’t it make more sense for me to confirm every suspicion that you already have about your body, whether acquired from acquaintances or the internet? That seems to be why people are coming in in the first place. Somewhere along the lines, when you visit any type of provider for that matter, you have acquired a grand idea that there is something wrong with you.

Have you ever wondered if maybe the thing that is "wrong" is that you THINK there is something wrong? 

What about the emotions involved when you are anticipating the worst?

Do you think that the fear and anxiety associated with "knowing" something is wrong with you has any effect on the discomfort that you feel?


And then you go see someone like me, and I have been trained to confirm exactly that. 

Isn’t strange that no matter who you go see, each one of them has a unique way of confirming your suspicion that something is terribly wrong and only that person has the unique solution you need.

Isn’t it also strange that many people, with the same "condition", at the hands of all kinds of unique and different professions, GET BETTER. Yet some still will not… What is that all about? 

Could it be that the clients faith in the confidence of the providerunlocks a force within themselves, that they begin to heal?

Because let’s face it. There are millions, if not billions of people with back and neck pain, and there are almost as many methods for solving the pain, each of which are successful. If it were truly a cut and dry condition, wouldn’t you think it would have a cut and dry solution? And then if so, wouldn’t there only be one profession that solves back and neck pain?

As a chiropractor, with the unique teaching that I received, how did I get to this point that I started to question my own profession?

(I guess it’s the philosophers stone that lives in my mind….)

For starters, I began noticing that some people got better RIGHT AWAY, while others seemed to have lingering pains that would come and go, or shift to different areas of the body...

That got me asking, "What else could be going on that is causing these people to feel continual discomfort?" 

At the same time, I was experiencing my own unique set of symptoms that seemed to come and go mysteriously. My neck and shoulders would almost always hurt in the evening after a working day. They would always feel better in the morning after sleep, and there was never any pain on the weekends or holidays. Unless of course I was anxious or stressed…

Now; my teaching had taught me that the reason I was experiencing pain was due to a misalignment of my spine and or a degeneration of some sort in my ligaments, muscles, or discs.

Reason stands that if that were true, then the pain would not go away after sleep or on the weekends because the "pathology" would still be present.

This really got me thinking…

I noticed a lot of similarities in the reports from my patients on a day to day basis. Their pain also seemed to come and go, as did they when it was worse or better. 

Then I started digging into some research from the 50’s and 90’s that contradicted everything I had been taught in school. This was really the last straw for me. 

How was it that there was research demonstrating arthritis, disc degeneration, scoliosis, herniations, etc… in PAIN FREE people? 

How was this NOT what EVERYONE was talking about?

Instead it seemed to be more convenient to keep telling people things to the contrary. It seems that instilling more fear into our minds, is exactly what keeps people coming back for care. Don't get me wrong, people are not doing this on purpose. We have created legions of providers who believe they are doing the absolute best thing by telling you all the things that are wrong with you.

(Where are the providers who tell you all of the things that are RIGHT with you?!?!)

This got me thinking… If disc degeneration and arthritis could be present in people without pain, was it possible for adhesions and spinal misalignments to be present without pain.

Reason would stand to argue that this is absolutely possible, because to my knowledge, every single person on the planet is experiencing those last two scenarios in one form or another based on our current lifestyle decisions, and yet, not every single person on the planet is seeking care or relief from those two things. 

The research that I was digging into was screaming one thing. Nearly EVERYONE has arthritis as they age, nearly everyone has disc degeneration by the time they are twenty, nearly everyone has adhesions from muscles repairing themselves due to injuries, and nearly everyone has spinal misalignments due to how they sit and stand.

BUT….

Not everyone with those "conditions" has pain.

Did that mean that they were not the cause of pain?

And if they were not the cause of pain, what was?

It seems logical to conclude that most people are going to experience physical discomfort at one point or another in their lives. 

Research has shown that you can have what the majority of the medical community deems a "pathology" and yet not have pain.

So....

You can have the pathology and have pain.

You can not have the pathology and still have pain.

You can have the pathology and not have pain.


And you can not have the pathology and also not have pain.

Show of hands, who wants to be in those latter two groups?!?!

How about those first two options?

Why is it that both groups, with and without a pathology have pain?

What is contiguous in both of their human experiences that would lead to the feeling of physical discomfort?


For the sake of not making these emails unbearably long, I am going to dig further into those last few questions in an email later this week. I'm sure by now, you have an idea of where I am going with this...

For now I want you to ponder those last few questions and realize that despite what you have been told about what you are experiencing,there are people living on this planet who have overcome it, or are living with it and do not have pain.

Where there is pain, there is life. And where there is life, there is always the potential for healing.

Wishing you all the peace and happiness in the world!

Until next time....

The Message of Pain

I’m sure you’ve all heard before that pain is a messenger.

On the surface, the message is quite simple. It’s telling us to “Stop”.

When does it want us to stop?

Now.

Why does it want us to stop?

So that we can heal.

I’m sure many of you have also heard that healing is an “inside job”

Having experienced exactly that with the physical pain in my own life and the lives of clients who I have encountered, I truly believe this is the case.

So if healing is an inside job, why do we often look to others outside of ourselves to “fix” the problem?

I believe in cause and effect. Hence the business name ;)

When a client comes to me, my true interest is getting down to the CAUSE of the problem

And often, the client professes to want the same... That is, until I start poking around with all my questions about lifestyle etc... ;-)

You see, in my experience most people really only want me to AFFECT THE EFFECT with my hands. It’s logical given our mainstream model of medicine that - rubbing a tight muscle, or adjusting a spine, or taking a pill - is treating the cause of the pain. This stems from our current Newtonian understanding of the outside world.

But then guys like Einstein and Heisenberg came along with all of their physics mumbo-jumbo and blew our old understanding of the world out of the water. (I’ll get into to more of that in a later email, but if you’re interested right now , look up “The Observer Effect” and prepare to have your mind blown.)

Back to Newton - living in our physical, action/reaction, world - it is logical to think that tight sore muscles are the cause of our pain, and leave it at that...

Honestly, there’s part of me that wishes I still could leave it at that... But once my understanding of what truly causes chronic pain deepened, it became harder to ignore the reality that Einstein helped us understand. 

Think of it like this.... Physics has proven that we are 99.9999999% empty space. That means that the "physical" things we see in this world, are really only our perception (through the 5 senses) of "solid" objects. So if we are basically a pile of empty space, why do we perceive our pains to be physical problems? It seems to be that they are actually energetic problems.

You see, instead of asking, “Who can help me take this "physical" pain away?” And then looking for a chiropractor or massage therapist to temporarily relieve it, what if you asked “How am I living that allowed this to happen in the first place?”

And look, I am not saying that the pain you are experiencing is not real, or that you do not feel it in your body... What I am saying is that our current understanding of pain and how to solve it, is severely limited and it is time to broaden and deepen our understanding of our lives and what causes pain.

The quick answer to what is causing pain is often one of the following:

  1. Working too much/long hours -> leading to "damaged" muscles...

  2. Working out too often -> leading to the same things...

  3. Slouching/Poor posture -> ^^^^

These are the most common things we read and think about when it comes to pain.

But those, again, are really only surface level conclusions...

The REAL question becomes then, “WHY am I pushing myself so hard at work or the gym?”Or “Why is it that I can’t find the energy to stand or sit up straight?”

I hear a common answer to that second question - that the person feels they lack the strength, but that is really just a way of avoiding the depth of why people don’t stand up straight... If you truly lacked the strength to stand up straight, then you wouldn't even be able to stand up period. The strength is there, but the WILL is lacking.

All three of the above scenarios boil down to one perception that we commonly have about ourselves...

THAT WE ARE NOT ENOUGH.

(Please don’t let the all caps fool you into thinking that that is a true statement. Nothing could be further from the truth.)

We feel that we are not successful enough so we push ourselves until our bodies break down...

Or strong/skinny enough - leading to the same results...

Or worthy enough - leading to a lack of confidence and subsequently poor posture...

I want you to know, YOU ARE ENOUGH! 

The world may try to teach us that we are not, so that we will worship Golden Cows and buy more things or work harder, but our happiness will never be found on the other side of those accomplishments or things

Our happiness can only be found inside ourselves, right this very instant, and when we recognize the truth, that we are already more than enough, then and only then, will we find happiness.

That happiness won’t come in the form of something outside ourselves, it will come from deep within. It will come from a place where we recognize that we are one with every single thing we lay our eyes on...

Think of it like this. When a baby is born, or a puppy, for that matter, they are born as 100% loving creatures. They are the closest living example we have to the Source Energy that we ALL came from, and they exude LOVE. That means that at our core, WE ARE LOVE. We are born from it and we are bathing in it 100% of the time whether we realize it or not. There is no other truth.

When we realize that we are COMPLETE LOVE, we will no longer feel the need to push ourselves beyond our limits (whatever our unique limits may be), then we will act from a place of full confidence, standing tall, knowing that there is nothing we need other than be our loving selves and love each and every thing we encounter. That doesn’t mean we won’t work, or workout, but that means that our actions will come from the fullness of our love for ourselves and not from a perceived lack.

I’m on a journey to find that sweet spot of love and happiness inside myself. It starts by accepting myself for who I truly am.

For the longest time I have wanted to speak my heart and mind about my thoughts on healing. Instead I pushed them down to conform to some standard that I felt the world held me to. The standard of being a “body-doctor” only, and not talking about anything besides rest and strengthening and all the other worldly “fixes” we employ to temporarily buy us more time from feeling the pain.

Not speaking my truth, meant not loving and accepting a part of myself, and that caused me pain. Actual physical pain, stemming from psychological pain. The mental and emotional back and forth of not speaking my truth, led to a tensing of my neck and shoulders, which led to pain.

I tried all the normal patches and still had the pain. The adjustments and massages only relieved it temporarily.

Expressing my inner rage onto pieces of paper helped, but again I needed to go a level deeper and ask, “Why was I angry at myself?”, "Why do I need to keep expressing anger?", "What is it that is making me angry?"

It wasn’t until I began to dig deeper into the why’s behind the pain, that I really got any relief.

I was angry because I wasn't standing up and speaking my truth.

Seeing now my own ability to help myself, I no longer needed an outside force to “fix” me...

With that in mind, I began my mission to share this information with everyone that I speak with about pain.

I want nothing more than to see you all living happy and free lives. It is my hope that this email resonates with you and brings you closer to a pain free life.

If I can be here to listen and support you in any way, please reach out. I am here to help.

Wishing you all the peace and joy in the world!

Form Follows Function - Why Function Matters

Form Follows Function

It’s a well-known saying in the exercise world – you can’t change what you don’t measure. Most of us are used to keeping track of a number of health-related metrics, from our blood pressure to our mile time or bench press max. Yet very few of us even consider measuring the range of motion and function in our bodies, and this is a critical oversight that prevents us from seeing the full picture of our health.

If your muscles and joints can’t easily move through a full range of motion and normal function, you could be doing just as much damage long-term to your body as you would be doing to your heart and blood vessels if you had untreated high blood pressure.

If you’ve never had your body’s mobility evaluated by a musculoskeletal specialist, you could be setting yourself up for disaster down the line. You may be completely unaware of mobility issues you’re dealing with, or be chalking it up to “tight hamstrings” or maybe a family history of bad shoulders. The truth is that mobility issues can cause chronic pain, nerve damage, and a range of other adverse effects if left untreated.

Knowledge of where you’re at and what specific challenges you face starts with testing and measuring your function. The tests below can be performed easily at home and can give you a clue as to how your body is moving and whether you should consider seeking treatment for mobility and musculoskeletal issues. Failing any of the below tests means that you’re not moving properly and should be seen by a professional for evaluation and treatment.

Straight Leg Raise (SLR).

This test measures the range of motion of the hip and the health of the muscles and nerves of the low back and hamstring. This includes the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body and a common culprit of low back and hip pain. To perform this test:

1 – Lie on your back with legs extended

2- Keeping your knee straight but muscles relaxed, have a friend lift your leg, hinging at the hip to raise the foot, aiming to get the leg perpendicular to the floor (90 degrees).

A healthy hip and leg will easily raise to 90 degrees with a mild stretch through the hamstring. Pain, constriction, pinching or intense pulling indicates a problem.

Supine Hip Flexion (SHF)

Another test used to check hip joint and low back function, this one also starts with lying on the back with legs extended. One by one, bend a knee and, interlacing hands behind the thigh, try and pull the knee and thigh to touch the bottom of your ribcage. This should take minimal effort and be pain free. Pain or pinching in the hip flexor, hip joint or low back indicates a failed test.

Shoulder Abduction 

This test measures range of motion in the shoulder joint as well as the health of the rotator cuff and shoulder cartilage. Anyone who regularly lifts or throws overhead should regularly perform this test to ensure their long-term shoulder health isn’t being compromised. Stand facing a mirror with hands at your sides and head straight. With palms facing up, raise both arms straight out to the side and overhead in a big arc. Try and have your palms meet overhead with your biceps touching your ears. This movement should be uniformly easy throughout the arc, and pain free.

If you experienced pain during any of these tests and were unable to achieve the full range of motion, Dr. Mike is here to help you. If you’re experiencing pain or limited mobility in an area of the body not described above, there’s a test and help out there for you as well. Dr. Mike at Karma Chiropractic is an expert in diagnosing and treating mobility issues throughout the entire body. Call him at 347-841-6076 to schedule your evaluation today.Call us at 347 841 6076 or visit us at karmachiropractic.com today to get started.

Healthy Runners' Series Part III of III - The Tight Hamstring Myth

This is the final post in a three-part series we are writing this spring about issues pertaining to runners and common complaints we see in the office from our clients who are runners themselves. With summer just around the corner many of us are returning to our exercise routines -  which for some means dusting off the old sneakers and hitting the pavement or treadmill. We’ve written about the drawbacks and potential benefits of running before on our blog, and now we want to give our readers an insider’s perspective into the common issues that stop some runners in their tracks and what you can do to support your body as a runner.

If you are struggling with pain or an injury related to running - we can help resolve your pain for good. Call 347-841-6076 or get in touch at karmachiropractic.com to schedule your FREE phone consultation today!

Tight hamstrings are the curse of many a runner. But did you know that for many of us, no amount of stretching, massage or foam rolling will loosen up those tight hammies? Stretching is a fantastic preventive measure to keep healthy tissue in good working order, but if you’re already experiencing chronically tight hamstrings, you’ve most likely progressed past the point where stretching will be of any help. This is because the two most common causes of tight hamstrings actually have NOTHING to do with a lack of flexibility in the hamstrings. These two phenomena are:

  • Protective Tension

    • A term coined by Dr. Bill Brady (Dr. Mike’s mentor and the founder of Integrative Diagnosis), protective tension describes the tendency of muscle tissue to contract around an injury to prevent excessive stress from being exerted upon damaged tissue. In the case of the hamstrings, they will often go into protective tension mode when damaged muscles or discs in the lower back are strained with activity, such as bending over.

  • Sciatic Nerve Entrapment

    • This occurs when the sciatic nerve - the largest nerve in the body- gets stuck to surrounding muscles and connective tissue in the hip joint or lower down throughout the leg. Sitting is the number-one-culprit for sciatic nerve entrapment, which is often associated with shooting pains in the hamstrings and low back. Other symptoms of sciatic nerve entrapment are tension, burning, tingling and aching pains throughout the backs of the legs, hips and/or up into the low back.

If you’re experiencing protective tension in the hamstrings as a result of low back degeneration or sciatica related to a nerve entrapment, stretching the hamstrings will NOT fix your problem. Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms in the low back or hip, your tight hamstrings are probably telling you something about one of these two areas.

These conditions are frequently overlooked by the medical community, which is a big problem! How many hundreds of thousands of folks are out there creating nascent disc injuries and nerve entrapments thinking the problem is tight hamstrings? The truth is that you would have to have an adhesion the size of a baseball in your hamstring muscle alone to cause a decrease in your ability to stretch that muscle. The sole cause is almost always an adhesion between the sciatic nerve and the muscles of the hips and legs.

Determining the root cause of your tight hamstrings and the severity of your condition takes an expert’s skill set, but there’s a simple self-test you can use to gauge the health of your hip and low back. Here’s how it goes...

How To: Straight Leg Raise - Test Your Range of Motion in the Low Back/Hips

  1. Lie on your back with legs outstretched straight on the ground in front of you.

  2. Keeping leg straight and foot flexed, raise one leg at a time, aiming to get the raised leg perpendicular to the ground, forming a right angle.

  3. You PASS the test if you can raise your leg 90 degrees easily and without pain

  4. You FAIL if you cannot get the leg to 90 degrees perpendicular to the floor, or you experience pain or discomfort in the hamstring, low back, or hip joint during the leg raise. 

A failed test indicates that you are likely suffering from a buildup of myofascial adhesion in the hip or low back. Our bodies layer adhesion - a dense collagenous form of internal scar tissue - in and around weakened and/or injured structures as part of its normal healing processes (if you’ve never heard of adhesion before, check out this post for a more thorough explanation). Over time, repeated activity leads to a buildup of adhesion that can limit range of motion and cause structures that should be separate to become glued together. This is an incredibly common phenomenon, not only for runners and other athletes, but also for sedentary people and those who work a desk job or spend a lot of time sitting down.

If you fail the test above on one or both legs, you could already be on the way to a disc injury or suffering from an entrapped sciatic nerve. Integrative Diagnosis can quickly identify the structures causing you pain and works to remove adhesion over the course of several treatments, unloading your soft tissue and restoring movement and function to the affected areas. Dr. Mike Murray of Karma Chiropractic is the most advanced practitioner of Integrative Diagnosis within 100 miles of New York City and specializes in finding and fixing myofascial adhesion throughout the entire body. Call 347-841-6076 or visit karmachiropractic.com to book a FREE phone consultation with Dr. Mike and take the first step toward living the life you love, pain-free.

Healthy Runners' Series Part 2/3 - Do Your Knees Pass the Test?

This is part two of a three-part series we are writing this spring about issues pertaining to runners and common complaints we see in the office from our clients who are runners themselves. With summer just around the corner many of us are returning to our exercise routines -  which for some means dusting off the old sneakers and hitting the pavement or treadmill. We’ve written about the drawbacks and potential benefits of running before on our blog, and now we want to give our readers an insider’s perspective into the common issues that stop some runners in their tracks and what you can do to support your body as a runner.

If you are struggling with pain or an injury related to running, we can help resolve your pain for good. Call 347-841-6076 or get in touch at karmachiropractic.com to schedule your FREE phone consultation today!

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Even casual runners are familiar with the knee pain that often results from starting or ramping up a running routine. Certainly, a small to moderate amount of soreness and aching is to be expected when we make a change to an exercise routine. What many people don’t realize is that this knee pain shouldn’t just be brushed off as an inevitable nuisance to be ignored. If you’re a runner and have been experiencing knee pain, your body may be trying to tell you something important.

If there were a simple way to test your body and determine whether you are running yourself into a knee injury, you’d want to know about it, right?

In order to be a healthy runner you need to make sure your activity of choice isn’t doing more harm than good, and you can’t be a healthy runner without healthy knees. If you rely on short-term pain relief measures like painkillers in order to get through your day or “run through the pain” in hopes that as you get stronger you’ll get used to it or it will go away, you could be running your way into a chronic issue that could stop you in your tracks.

The following is a simple test we use in the office with our clients that will reveal whether your knees are able to move without pain through a full range of motion. Here’s how it works:

Knee Health Self-Test

1. Lie down on your back with legs outstretched.

2. Raise one knee to 90 degrees - perpendicular to the floor.

3. Grab the shin/ankle and try to sink your heel into your butt.

4. Repeat on the other side to compare your results.

  A dysfunctional knee won't flex fully; the heel of the foot doesn't touch the buttock. In a healthy joint, the heel and buttock touch with ease with without pain. 

A dysfunctional knee won't flex fully; the heel of the foot doesn't touch the buttock.
In a healthy joint, the heel and buttock touch with ease with without pain. 

A failed test means your knees are not fully functional and could be setting you on a path to more serious injury down the line. The most common cause of reduced mobility, weakness and pain in and around the knees is myofascial adhesion. Adhesion is like a glue that your body fills in around injured, overloaded and under-oxygenated structures in the body as part of its natural healing processes. 

If you PASS the knee function test but are still experiencing knee pain, your problem almost certainly originates in either your low back or your feet/ankles. Pain that refers to other areas of the body removed from the actual injury site should NOT be ignored- it could mean your damaged tissues are already impacted to the point of affecting the nerves, and could become an even more serious problem if you don't get proper care. Determining the severity of your condition takes an expert's skill set.
Don't wait to get evaluated and treated until you're no longer able to run or walk without pain. 

Adhesion is one of the most under-recognized, under-diagnosed and most common pathologies in the human body. Luckily, it’s also among the most treatable. Dr. Mike Murray of Karma Chiropractic is NYC’s foremost expert in finding and fixing adhesion. If you’re suffering with knee pain, (or musculoskeletal pain in any part of the body) we can help!

Call us at 347-841-6076 or get in touch via our online contact form to book your evaluation and get on the path to pain-free living today.

Healthy Runners' Series Part 1 of 3 - Feet and Ankles

This post is part one of a three-part mini series we are writing this spring about issues pertaining to runners and common complaints we see in the office from our clients who are runners themselves. With summer just around the corner many of us are returning to our exercise routines -  which for some means dusting off the old sneakers and hitting the pavement or treadmill. We’ve written about the drawbacks and potential benefits of running before on the blog, and now we want to give our readers an insider’s perspective into the common issues that stop some runners in their tracks and what you can do to support your body as a runner.

If you are struggling with pain or an injury related to running - we can help resolve your pain for good. Call 347-841-6076 or get in touch at karmachiropractic.com to schedule your FREE phone consultation today!

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If you love running and/or jogging - be it on trails, treadmills or sidewalks, you probably realize that you’re in for some foot and ankle pain at some point. All athletes push their bodies beyond their present limits -  and while this can make us bigger, stronger, faster and fitter in the short term, we need to actively support the body’s healing and recovery processes in order to 1) get the best results possible, and 2) to ensure that our results are sustainable in the long term.

Most runners rely on a combo of stretching, ice, and lots of ibuprofen to manage the intermittent pain inevitable in restarting or ramping up a running routine. What most people don’t realize is that ignoring the pain or masking it with temporary fixes like painkillers and massage sets up the body for a more acute injury down the road.

To add another layer of complexity to the story, because of the Kinetic Chain of the lower body, the way a runner’s foot hits the ground impacts not only the ankle joint and connective tissues - it reverberates all the way up to the knees, hips and back. So if your ankle is not properly managing the load you place upon it, you risk not only injuring the ankle but other parts of your lower body as well.  

Without a proper understanding of how running is impacting your body, you could literally be running into an injury that could land you back on the couch for weeks, months or even years. This could affect your ability not only to run and engage in athletic activity, but also to complete day to day tasks like walking, sitting comfortably or using the stairs with ease.

In order to ensure that your running routine isn't doing you more harm than good, you need to know whether your feet and ankles are functioning properly. Diagnosing the health and flexibility of the tissues of the ankle is the first step to determining your specific risks. Testing the ankles' range of motion is the easiest way to achieve this. 

A healthy ankle will move easily and without pain through a full range of motion in order to properly support you when running or jogging. Here is a simple test you can use to check the health and flexibility of your ankle joints:

Is My Ankle Healthy? Quick Self-Test

  1. Stand facing any door or wall, placing one foot 5 inches from the wall with the other slightly behind.

  2. Keeping the heel of the foot on the ground, flex the ankle, bending the knee toward the wall in front of you. You can outstretch your hands or use the wall for balance, if needed.

  3. You PASS if you can touch the knee to the wall in front of the flexed ankle with just a relatively easy stretching sensation through the calf.

  4. You FAIL if your heel wants to come off the ground, or if you experience pain and difficulty while performing.

  5. Repeat on the other side to compare results. 

 This is a Passing test - the knee easily touches the wall in front of the foot at 5 inches from the wall. 

This is a Passing test - the knee easily touches the wall in front of the foot at 5 inches from the wall. 

 This is a FAILING test - the knee can only touch the wall at 2 inches distance.

This is a FAILING test - the knee can only touch the wall at 2 inches distance.

 This is a FAILING test - the knee is unable to touch the wall due to lack of mobility. 

This is a FAILING test - the knee is unable to touch the wall due to lack of mobility. 

 This is a FAILING test - the heel peels off the floor when the knee touches the wall. 

This is a FAILING test - the heel peels off the floor when the knee touches the wall. 

If you fail this test, there is a high likelihood that you are suffering from a buildup of myofascial adhesion or tissue degeneration in the foot and/or ankle. If left untreated this will eventually prevent you from running without pain, and potentially from simply going through your day-to-day life with ease. 

At Karma Chiropractic, Dr. Mike is an expert at finding and fixing adhesion and helping clients return to their activities of choice pain-free. Contact our office today to schedule your free phone consultation and take the first step toward solving your pain, for good.