Losing Our Rights

Earlier today doing  a mid-morning Facebook check, I ran across a story that caught my eye. One of the sites that I follow is NaturalNews.com. Today’s headline particularly caught my attention. The headline was WI judge declares that individuals have no fundamental right to own cows, drink raw milk. I like to be thorough before I make an opinion about something so I made sure to read both the article and the actual judge’s decision. While I have to say that based on the judge’s response, I may be partially inclined to agree with the reasoning behind his judgment, I am distraught by the actual judgment itself.

The major part that bothers me was the following phrase taken directly from the judgment itself: “…Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume foods of their choice.” Do you understand the serious implications of that one statement? I am not trying to use this to advocate raw milk. Do your research, learn about it and make an informed decision. What I am bringing up is solely the implications regarding this one single decision. You don’t have a RIGHT to produce and consume the foods of your choice. How huge is this???? Last I checked, I was born and raised in the USA, the land of the FREE? This decision will be used in many more to come, I’m sure. Here’s another issue that I’m sure will follow. In the last several years there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). These foods are almost (I just use almost because I haven’t personally researched every single one.) always associated with increased incidence of chronic disease. This is very important. This decision by Judge Fielder has enormous potential. Already our foods are filled with GMO’s. If you buy anything in a box, there’s probably GMO’s. If you buy non-0rganic fruits, veggies, or meat, GMO’s. They’re everywhere. The government is already subsidizing these things and helping more people to grow them and use them in foods.

Why do I believe this is such an issue? Here’s why. I would never advocate eating at Mcdonald’s or any other major fast food chain for the simple fact that I don’t believe that their food will ever improve your health. I actually believe it does exactly the opposite. However, if the government has rulings in which they decide what we eat or don’t eat, what we grow or don’t grow, you lose the ability to choose health (and sickness for that matter, too). Still, it begins with raw milk. If they believe they have the power to tell you or me that we have no right to raw milk, what’s next? How long is it before they say you can’t buy organic produce? Or you can’t buy grass-fed beef? Or any other number of things? Who knows? We need to start standing up for our rights soon, before there’s nothing left to stand up for.

Yours in Health,

Dr. James Ashley, DC

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Transitional times in our lives can be very fun. Yet at the same time, they can be a little scary. Just this week school started and I have a 2nd grader and a kindergartener. As a parent it brings a lot of joy to see the excitement on my kids faces as they begin this new chapter in their lives. It also makes me sad to see  how unbelievably fast my kids have grown up. It seems like only yesterday I was holding them in my arms for the first time. It really shows me how much time flies.

This is also going to be another period of transition for my family. I have decided to begin the process of opening my own practice and I will gradually be phasing out of the practice here at ACN. Just like my kids, I am unbelievably excited about the new possibilities that come with a new chapter in life, but I also feel sad in that I have enjoyed my time here and working with such an awesome staff and also working with so many wonderful patients. My plan is to do a gradual phase out just as Dr. Ghazi has done so that I can be there for my patients at both practices. My practice will be located in Pflugerville  and will be called Peak Performance Chiropractic & Wellness Center. I look forward to continuing on with my journey in chiropractic and hope to have wonderful experiences in the future!

Yours in Health,

Dr. James Ashley, DC

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The Most Important Supplement Ever

If I was to ask you what would be the most important supplement you could ever take would be, what would you say? I’m sure some of you would say Vitamin C or Vitamin D or maybe even a good multi-vitamin. Well, I want to let you know about a product that is very well researched and can do more for you than any of these. The product is called Protandim. In my opinion, it may be one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of our time. Now I know this sounds too good to be true, but the best part is that Protandim has the research to back it up!

Any time you are looking at any product, the key thing to look at is what research is out there to support any claims made. Protandim is unique in my opinion, in that the research supporting the product actually has it’s name in it. This is unheard of in the supplement industry! It is common to see research done on individual items such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, etc. Protandim has been researched and published in peer-reviewed journals since 2005. You can find that research here.

The bigger question I’m sure is what does the research actually say? Protandim has been shown to decrease the effects of oxidative stress on all individuals that take the product. So what is oxidative stress? Oxygen is necessary for life, I’m sure you would agree. When oxygen breaks down however, by-products can be created that cause cellular damage. These by-products are often known as free radicals. The research has shown that Protandim has the ability to decrease these free radicals substantially by increasing the body’s natural production of 3 important enzymes: super oxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione. These are the key players in reducing the effect of free radicals and oxidative stress.

Let’s break this down so that it’s a little easier to understand. When we evaluate the effect of individual vitamins on the elimination of these free radicals. For instance, with vitamin C, there is a 1:1 ratio on the effect of eliminating these free radicals then that molecule is done. With super oxide dismutase, the ratio is up to 1,000,000 free radicals to 1 molecule of SOD/sec and that can be repeated over and over! Look at it this way. If your body is a house that’s on fire, taking a vitamin to put out the fire is like throwing a glass of water on it. If you were taking Protandim, it’s like dumping a lake on the fire. Which would you rather have?

This is so important because oxidative stress has been proven to be associated with so many issues. Things like heart disease, cancer, inflammation, depression, and many many more. If you could slow this process down or do something to put out the fire, why wouldn’t you? This is a product that I personally think everyone should take everyday for the rest of their lives!

If you want more information, check out the Protandim website. If you’re interested in trying the product yourself, you can pick some up at the office or order online here.

As always, I wish you all the best in your health and wellness journey!

Dr. James Ashley, DC

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Our Kids are Suffering

I have often said that in this day and age it takes a lot to surprise me. Despite this fact, I just read an article that absolutely floored me. The article was published in The Telegraph newspaper and the title read, “Obese Child Stroke Victim Aged Just Six.” Here we are in 2011, with access to more information about health than at any other time in our history, and we have children dying because they’re grossly obese and suffering from severe chronic illnesses like strokes, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and I could carry on this list for pages. Why are we allowing this to happen? More than that, what is going through the minds of the parents? If you read the article, you will find parents feeding their young children bottles with milk and mashed up chips, sodas, mashed up fast food, and I’m sure there’s probably a lot more than this. How sad is it that we as parents don’t have the discipline or self control to teach our kids the value of proper nutrition and exercising? Let’s take a closer look at obesity.

Obesity is a severe problem here in the United States. Since 1990, there has been a massive increase in obesity. If you want to see for your self, take a look at this slideshow from the CDC here. Now many will choose to make the argument that obesity is a genetic disease and that these kids (or grown-ups for that matter) are just suffering due to bad genes. I have heard that since 1990, obesity has increased almost 600%. Now I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate or not, regardless, it’s very evident that obesity is an ever growing problem. If you look at the CDC statistics, you will see a dramatic increase in obesity rates. My question is where was the huge genetic shift that occurred that caused that increase? Oh wait, there wasn’t one! It’s ridiculous to assume that we’re getting fatter due to bad luck, bad germs or bad genes. We are our own problem. Our kids are getting fat because our parents aren’t making them do what they need to. In the words of my friend Dr. James Chestnut, “You go and take your dog for a walk while you leave your fat kid on the couch.” I believe we are entering a pivotal time in healthcare because the decisions we are making today will absolutely affect tomorrow.

So what can you do to prevent childhood obesity? First you have to teach your kids what it truly means to be healthy and that sitting on the couch and eating a diet consisting of solely junk food will make them fat. Chips, sodas, Little Debbie snack cakes, etc. aren’t real food. They should not be a staple in their diets! I sometimes hear parents saying that they can’t make their kids eat good food or get them to stop eating the bad food. I think that is a poor excuse personally. If your kids were playing in the street and a car was coming would you idly sit there and say “Oh well, I can’t get them out of the street so I guess they’re going to get hurt.” No way!!! You would fight with everything you had to save them. You should do the same for their health everyday! As well, we have to get our kids up and get them moving! Movement is life! It’s time for us as parents to do our jobs and actually teach our kids about healthy lifestyle choices so that they don’t end up like many of us or our parents! Our kids are suffering because in many cases we aren’t parenting them. It’s time for a change. Enough ranting. Have a blessed day!

Yours in Health,

Dr. James Ashley, DC

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How Did We Get Here?

As a healthcare practitioner, I am constantly running across research for just about every condition known to man.  My view on health is different from your medical doctor.  I don’t believe that our sickness is necessarily caused by bad germs, bad genes, or bad luck, but rather bad choices in most cases.  I don’t see the value in constantly trying to treat symptoms as a way to increase health because minimizing symptoms has NEVER increased health!  That is a fundamental difference in wellness vs. allopathy.  You need to understand that.  Still, in their world, research is always done looking at how well a particular treatment addresses particular symptoms.  I want to examine one such study.

Recently, at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 58th Annual Meeting exercise was used as a treatment for GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).  You can read the abstract above if you desire.  To summarize, the researchers took 30 female patients with GAD and wanted to see how good of a treatment exercise was for that particular condition.  My question is, how did we get here?  When did exercise become a “treatment” for anything?  Exercise isn’t a treatment.  Exercise is a genetic requirement for health.  This is a fundamental difference in wellness vs. allopathy.  Do you know anyone with anxiety or depression?  How likely are they to exercise?  It’s not going to happen.  What do you think the results were?  A 60% decrease in GAD symptoms for those that did resistance training and a 40% decrease in GAD for those that did aerobic training.  Plain and simple, exercise increases health!

Exercise is absolutely necessary for health.  The benefits of exercise go far beyond the endorphin release that causes eurphoria.  The major component of exercise that helps is movement.  Have you ever heard the phrase movement is life?  The reason is that movement actually drives your brain.  In fact, it will directly stimulate your frontal lobes which help to keep you from having depression and axiety in the first place.  As well, your frontal lobes are major control centers for lots of functions in your body.  Have you ever noticed people that exercise are happier?  or suffer less chronic disease? or have a healthy body image?  This is because your frontal lobes direct all these functions!  What’s great is that chiropractic affects them, too!  We have the ability to increase those same control systems just by adjusting any joint in your body!

Ultimately, exercise, just like nutrition, should never be a treatment.  It should be a way of life.  I hope we soon realize how we are going about health all wrong.  We (and that includes YOU!) have to start making changes ourselves to move towards health and away from sickness.  Now that the blog is done, feel free to get up and do some push-ups, some squats or go for a run!

Yours in Health,

Dr. James Ashley, DC

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Path to Greatness

I recently read a book called Heart of a Champion: Inspiring True Stories of Challenge and Triumph by an olympic pole-vaulter from the 1950’s named Bob Richards. As far as sports books go, it was probably one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. He really breaks down the mental mindset it takes to be a winner. This book is loaded with gems. I would consider it a must read for any athlete.

Being in healthcare now, what struck me the most was a quote I would like to share with you. “We should realize that health is the predication upon which great things in life are built. A nation that is not strong physically, or a person who is not strong physically, cannot accomplish great things. I will go so far as to say this – and it may hurt some folks – but I believe that there is a relationship between physical discipline and the discipline of the mind and spirit and emotions. The person who is not physically fit is indicating a basic pattern of weakness in certain areas, and I think that when a nation becomes weak, something bad has happened to the fiber of the people.” – Bob Richards

Now I may make some people mad here, but I have to say that part of the reason we are struggling as a nation is because we have lost our fiber.  Take a look around.  Everywhere you go, people are looking larger and larger.  Our country pays more for medical bills than any other country in the world and still we are getting sicker and sicker.  Clearly doing the same thing over and over again isn’t working.  More and more, it seems that I am finding an attitude of apathy regarding health as well.  People just appear to do what they want because they have the mindset that they’re going to get sick anyway so why should I change?

The reality of things is that it’s far from that.  Why do champions win? It’s because they have control.  They realize that what they put in their bodies affects athletic performance.  They realize that you can’t reach a goal on luck, that there’s no such thing as a “natural born athlete.”  Take Olympic Champion Usain Bolt for instance.  That guy has shattered every record out there in his events from the time he was a junior athlete to now being a pro.  Was he just born with it? Or has he put it hours upon hours of training time to reach the goal?  In the same way, our goals of being healthy don’t just happen.  How many people try a diet and quit after a week? a day? an hour? How about exercise?  Some of you may have gone and tried to exercise, made it one day, and then the next day quit because you were too sore, it was too hard, etc.  What if Thomas Edison took one try at making a light bulb and quit?  Or what if our founding fathers would have decided that trying to live free was just too much work?  Where would we be?

I don’t write this to chastise anyone in particular.  If we desire to be great people, the first thing we have to take control of is our health.  That means we have to eat well, we must exercise, and begin to believe that we are truly great people.  As he says in his book, if all you can do is make one mistake less per day, then you will be moving toward greatness.

Yours in Health,

Dr. James Ashley, DC

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It’s in your Genes

Or at least that’s what we’ve been told.  You have been sold the idea that you are sick because your parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, whatever the case may be, have all been sick.  We have this belief that we are slave to our genes and that the reason we continue down the same path as our parents/other relatives is that we were born that way.  In the last few days, I have been studying a video series by Dr. Bruce Lipton, Ph. D., a cellular biologist and author of the book The Biology of Belief.  In this series, Dr. Lipton examines the idea that genes are our destiny and shed’s light on what science actually says. In what follows, I will be summarizing Dr. Lipton’s findings and throwing in my own two cents here and there.

From the time of the ancient Greeks, there has always been a battle between people regarding what controls the body.  There are those that say there is some outside force and there are those that say that the real control comes from inside the body.  The idea of genes as destiny as we know today, began with a popular publication by Charles Darwin called The Origin of The Species.  Darwin’s book, written in 1859 mentions that our traits are controlled by “hereditary factors.”  His belief was that whatever was expressed by an individual was passed down from their parents.  Now Darwin didn’t know about genes necessarily at that time, but he did recognize that something was being passed from the parent to the offspring and whatever that was gave characteristics to the offspring.  So for approximately the next 100 years, science was on a mission to find the material that determined what was being expressed.

In 1953, almost 100 years after Darwin, the work of Watson and Crick led them to find that DNA, or your genes, formed the blueprint of your body.  During those 100 years, the idea of heredity became so ingrained in our society that became truth to all who were researching it.  The belief was that DNA led to RNA which led to Protein.  The idea is that your DNA ultimately leads to the production of protein and that all of your cells, and every function of your body (ie, respiration, digestion, etc.) is controlled by these proteins.  This resulted in a belief system called “The Primacy of DNA.”  This meant that you, and all of your functions were derived from DNA, therefore, you are destined to whatever genes you have received from your parents and their parents and their parents, etc. This belief system is still taught from elementary school all the way to medical school today.  This belief system basically means that you are a victim to your DNA.  You didn’t pick your genes, and you can’t trade them out either.

This belief system has been in place for over 150 years now and has led us to the point where we are today.  This is the belief system that our ENTIRE healthcare system has been founded on.  This is important because if this is truth, and if it is the belief system we choose to follow, then it will influence how we do everything.  It influences how we look at research, how we educate our society from children to doctors, and how we choose to treat those with issues.

So is this actually the case? We’ll go further into this in part 2 of this blog later.

Yours in Health,
Dr. James Ashley, DC

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