Hope Unfiltered: Just the Basics
By Dr. Joey Kramer
Hope Unfiltered: Just the BasicsJul 15, 2021
A time to Hope
One of the greatest theological virtues is that of Hope. The month of October was full of chaos in a way that almost caused people to be paralyzed in fear, further driving division and destruction into the world. However, I can find a small thread being woven through everyone right now and that is the desire of Hope. It has been said that Hope is the anticipation of that which is yet to happen. For most of us, we are Hoping for a time in our life where peace is realized on all fronts. Today's episode takes a different direction helping direct our spirit in the direction of focusing on Hope as it relates to our soul.
Fight to Climb
In 1934, BJ Palmer stated: "the only thing permanent is change...progress is evolution....growth is a flight of stairs." When I think about the pursuit of health, the immediate image that comes to mind is bland food pyramids from the FDA, cheesy commercials on TV, and the latest drug to help us curb our gluttony as westerners. Quick fixes and lies is the best description I can give. However, since 1934, and probably even earlier, the observation by Palmer is the most accurate reflection of what it takes to achieve health. Today, I unfold what it means to fight to climb the stairs to health.
When you pursue anything worthwhile, especially regarding health, there are two statements that can almost be considered a principle of the task. First: it is going to take a long time. Second: expect setbacks to happen. However, there are a vast majority of people who have been conditioned to believe otherwise by mainstream media. The people who we are "supposed to trust because they are an expert" preach that health is achievable with little to no effort: just take this pill, this shot, or get this minimally invasive procedure and everything will be fine. However, if you truly look at the data, we are more unhealthy now than we have ever been in the history of recorded civilization. I believe this is a result of these simple lies wrapped up in a majority of truth. So, in order to break this down, it is better to be honest from the get go and not create a false sense of hope. Anything worthwhile is going to take a ton of time. It takes time to get fat sick and nearly dead just. It will take just as long, if not longer to get in shape, healthy and thriving in live. And guess what...along that journey, set backs are going to happen more often than not. It isn't a cake walk. In fact it will be the most challenging thing you ever do. However - if you prepare yourself now, knowing that setbacks will happen, you won't be shocked when they do and you will be more like to commit to the actual process of creating the level of health you desire to create.
Over the last few weeks, I have developed a slight curiosity with J.R.R. Tolkien - the author. Many of you will recognize the name from his writing of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." A podcast I listen to on a rather frequent basis featured a professor who spoke for 3 hours about his character as a man and how that provided for him the opportunity to craft the world of The Lord of The Rings. You see, Tolkien was a man of virtue, and one virtue shone through specifically in his life: that of Fortitude.
Now, if you have never heard of fortitude or a virtue that is okay. I have found that when working with words and definitions, it is best to go directly to the source of their origination.
According to the Cambridge dictionary: virtue is a good moral quality in a person
According to the Catechism: Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. “The Lord is my strength and my song.” “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In short, fortitude is the ability to choose what is right even when everything inside of us and outside of us is telling us to run away in fear. It is the ability to stand firm in pursuing good in the face of danger and potential suffering. In our pursuit of personal self excellences, fortitude is a non-negotiable.
While western society seemingly collapses in the moral and social pursuit of what is good, it is up to us to be the change.
Over time, the idea of personal self excellence has cultivated in me the understanding of what it means to pursue the basics. The basics are the virtues of life. Fortitude, Prudence, Justice and Temperance. These are the basics that have been eradicated from our modern pursuit of cultural relativism and agnosticism.
Instead, I have learned that when we choose to continually develop these virtues in our everyday life, we begin to see people who are of good cheer who have overcome the world. We see people of Hope who are committed to the process of developing self excellence in every area of their life.
Or as brave Samwise Gamgee states: 'But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten.' Instead of being forgotten, make your life a tale that matters, pursue the virtues daily and you will be amazed by the tale that is told when you arrive.
Planting and Watering
For the majority of history, humanity has communicated using stories. Stories that have been passed down between generations. Stories of our own lives and personal history. Stories of challenges we faced and stories of challenges we lost. What is most important about the story format, in my opinion, is a two fold answer. First, they give us the opportunity to imagine ourselves (something we rarely do today because the dumb phone does it all for us) in the position of the character and how we would respond to the given circumstances. Second, they allow us for introspection about our own journey and where we have been and more importantly where we are going. What is most interesting to me, in the year 2023, is the story we are told regarding health. I believe that this story is convoluted mostly because truth is suppressed or avoided, theory is idolized, fear is capitalized upon, and the victim is you. Health care companies are making record profits off prescription drugs and state of emergency therapeutics that are all tied to political agendas. Health has become: a diagnosis, a symptom, a label, an identity, a political tool...the list goes on and on. However, if you really look at health, health is actually an expression of an interior state manifested in an external body. It is a complete state of well being in mind, body and spirit. It cannot be reduced down to the story of a symptom that we are presented with by mainstream media and legacy medicine. Hence, the story of farming...you cannot gather a harvest if you refuse to do all the work before hand. Unfortunately we have put the cart before the horse in western medicine causing a majority of people to surrender their trust for a solution that rarely works. Instead, I propose to you the allegory of farming as a great way to plant the seed you seek to harvest - especially as it relates to the level of health you desire.
Last week a poll was dropped by an MD that I follow that asked the following question: When will America pass the 50% obesity rate? Excuse me? You mean to tell me that approximately almost 150 million people, yes...million, are obese in America. I was blown away - I had to go "fact check" this and sure enough, we are approaching the 50% obesity rate rather quickly. Why? In my opinion, an all out war on indoctrination and social conditioning has taken place over the last 40 years to create an environment in which we are all fat sick and nearly dead and reliant upon the medical industrial complex to solve all of our issues. If you have a disease or a diagnosis we have a pill, potion or a surgery to solve all the problems! Remember ozempec? The miracle obesity drug? That suddenly is pulled from the market from the remarkable amount of people getting paralyzed stomachs from it...yeah. The truth is, as a people we have become too comfortable, almost to the point of being a zombie. In today's episode I break down the basics of how we win back our health with the cold hard truth about what it takes to win the war against the conditioning of the medical industrial complex.
It takes Courage
Humanity is a story of suffering compounded with a story of courage. The first story is the massive odds we have faced and suffered throughout the centuries of our existence. The second is how courageous we were to embrace the suffering and plow forward regardless of the odds against us. However, I have recently become shocked by the narrative that is conditioning and indoctrinating the greater percentage of westerners to believe that we are not meant to suffer or face any challenges, especially with our health. I don’t know if it is the Hollywood dramatization or the effective social engineering campaign by the pharmaceutical companies and big medicine but over the course of my time in health care, I have encountered more people with a false sense of hope that a cure still exists that will eliminate suffering in the form of a pill or a surgery or an injection. Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to heal and to break free from the social indoctrination that we have gone through, it takes courage and suffering. It will require both of these to pursue the level of health you desire. In order to suffer for a cause, you must have courage. In my world, suffering = growth. Growth in physical performance. Growth in mental capacity. Growth in patience and commitment. Growth in honest feedback. Growth in the areas we had exploring because they cause us to feel exposed. IN fact, if you are not feeling the suffering in these areas, are you really pursuing anything worthwhile? My challenge to you today is to embrace the suffering and the courage required to pursue self excellence. Suffering is the default. Courage is the standard operating mindset. And most importantly, hope is not lost because you know that to achieve your dreams, you have to embrace these two principles. Embrace suffering. Have Courage. Pursue self excellence and win the life you desire.
It's okay to doubt
It is quite natural for the human experience to be filled with doubt. From the moment we are born, we are continually exploring our environment and learning from it. This experience is a testing of boundaries that can be filled with multiple opportunities to encounter doubt. As we grow and become adults, we seem to believe that all of a sudden everyone has our best interest in mind, they are truthful, and boundaries are no longer tested because they are professionals. Nothing can be further from the truth. It is said two of the most anxiety driven professions surround health and money. For those of you who have been sold (conditioned) to the dream of western medicine, I guarantee that you have had plenty of opportunities for doubt to be instilled in your journey. Since the machine of business surrounding the health field in western medicine has been invented, we have been conditioned to believe that health is simply the absence of disease are infirmaries. If this is your definition of health you might as well build your house on sand in a flood zone and pray for rain. As you know, health is a complete state of well being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmaries. And when we are conditioned to believe the latter, doubt begins to be planted into our lives and leads us down one of two paths. Tune in today to figure out why I believe to doubt is probably the greatest experience ever, especially when it comes to your health.
Seventy One Percent
Last week I was struck by a post on social media that a friend shared with me. It was a simple statement. 5/7 = 71%.
When you show up 5 out of 7 days, don't expect A level results, you didn't earn them.
Damn. How many of us does this resonate with in more than one way.
Too often I catch myself in the same conversation and goals list on Monday.
However, come Friday night, these goals are somehow thrown out with the weekend and next thing I know, I fall into the 5 of 7 category of people.
And yet, I continually wonder why I am not hitting my A level goals.
Well, some simple mathematics (which aren't my strong suite) solved that problem for me.
71% is a number I will no longer accept in my life.
You see, back when 75 Hard was introduced by Andy Frisella, the idea was straight forward.
Win every single day for 75 days straight.
If you did 74/75 you had to start over.
So, why not implement the same concept into our own life.
If we truly want to achieve A level results in our health and well being then stop living a 5/7 lifestyle.
Start embracing the 7/7 lifestyle.
Maybe the occasional 6.5/7 when your kids want a Sunday Ice Cream date.
But you get the point.
Stop questioning why you aren't getting 7/7 results when you are living a 5/7 life.
Sweat the Small Stuff
In the late 1990's a self help book called "Don't sweat the small stuff" was all the rage. In 2023, my challenge to you is to actually sweat the small stuff. Last week in my private practice I had multiple conversations with patients surrounding the concepts of health and how to achieve it. For many of them, they have been indoctrinated into the health and fitness concept that sustained long term high heart rate activity is the only way to effectively burn calories. However, if you were to survey the current health and fitness industry surrounding this, nothing could be further from the truth. A group consensus will actually agree that sustained small habits over time will actually be more beneficial than the sudden introduction of "cardio" for your health. Today, I challenge you to actually sweat the small stuff, invest in the daily habits and execute on them consistently. You will find that over time, this concept is sustainable for the long term as opposed to the next trendy yo-yo choice that leaves you exactly back where you started. Sweat the small stuff.
The Most Difficult Path
The most difficult path you will ever carve in your life is the path of personal self excellence. This path challenges you to carve a new path in your life in all areas and facets. You will be challenged by who you believe to be your closest friends and advocates. Your family will question your choices. The news media will tell you otherwise. Your medical advocates will call you crazy. However, you will soon discover that the objections of your closest people are a direct reflection of their own insecurities. The minute we chose to pursue personal self excellence it means that things are going to change. When things change, friction is created and friction exposes insecurities. You will want to quit. You will question your own choices. You will ultimately be presented with two paths. The one of status quo that has created the life you live today - now, if you are happy with that and quite frankly not interested in pursuing self excellence, then disregard this entire message. Keep living your life. However, the alternative path, the path of self discipline, habitual consistency and personal excellence, while difficult, will ultimately create for you a level of life you have only dreamed of. At the end of the day, you are where you are today with your health, your relationships, your finances, your friends, your fitness because of the choices you made yesterday. If you are disappointed, disgruntled, disgusted with any of those areas, than it might be time to re-evaluate your own life and make a choice to pursue the path of personal excellence.
The Weight Loss Pandemic
I dont know about you but I have had enough of the number of trendy diets that are continually being shoved down our throats on social media. However, I do know a few things. The true pandemic we are facing in the United States is a pandemic of obesity. This has caused a pandemic of metabolic disease that we are treating with medical intervention with little to no success. Obesity numbers continue to sky rocket across all populations, metabolic diseases such as diabetes continues to grow at unprecedented levels and the latest fad of beach body by Dan doesn't seem to be working? Why? On today's episode I take a shot at what I believe and what I have researched as to be the only way to eliminate this problem from society. Guess what, it isn't Ozempic and its litany of side effects that include cancer and kidney failure. It is a "multifactored" approach that is designed to create structured discipline in how you approach your health. Obesity is a side effect of your lifestyle choices. Health is also a side effect of your lifestyle choices. The cold hard unfiltered truth is this: the reason you are where you are today is because of the choices you made yesterday, the week before, the months before that and the years before that. You don't become obese overnight just like you don't become healthy over night. Take what I have to offer today with a grain of salt and go do the research, check out nutrient and sunlight timing. Look into red meat consumption that isn't biased from the powers that be. Understand that you are a science experiment of One of One and that a one size fits all approach is not going to work for everyone. Are there some constants...absolutely. But more importantly, there is discipline or the lack there of. Ultimately, what you become is a direct reflection of your ability to consistently commit to a process for years. The choice is yours. Be a number in the true pandemic or buck the system and pursue personal excellence.
Heat Shock Proteins and Heat Therapy
A recent social media fad has been the Plunge. You may have seen people hopping into a bath tub or a whiskey barrel filled with ice cold water...let's be honest that doesn't sound fun at all. Regardless, as I was watching this phenomenon take place I started to wonder if there was any data related to the benefits on the opposite side of the spectrum - the sauna. Thankfully, there are benefits to both, however with my nature the idea of a cold plunge just sounds flat out miserable. Thus, today's episode explores the basics of the science behind the sauna and protocols one can follow to maximize their general health and prevention of neurodegenerative disease through implementing a sauna routine into their wellness regimen.
The Slow Process
One of the biggest struggles we face in our western culture is consistency in the basics. What the world attempts to sell us through social media and other authoritative outlets is the idea and concept that whatever we desire is achievable in a fast paced environment. You can become a millionaire over night. You can get abs in 6 minutes. You can shed 30lbs regardless of what you eat with this simple pill. I think you get the idea. Each one of these is a lie. They are nothing but false advertising to a susceptible market seeking the easy path. Instead, I want to offer you the alternative. Becoming and sustaining success in your life is a slow process, a consistent process, a habitual process. Inside of the process are a series of choices that you make that are either microdeposits into mediocrity or microdeposits into success. Either way, over time, you will build the life your actions reflect. There is no such thing as an overnight success or an overnight failure. Said another way - you don't suddenly go from being a success to being a failure overnight. Here lies the problem: your habits are what caused you to have the life you are currently living...If that is the life you have always dreamed of, then congratulations because your habits are reflected in your achievement. However...for most people, the victim mentality and blame game take over because their pride is interfering with their ability to recognize and adjust their habits to build the life that you want. One thing I will agree with - in today's day and age - you have more access to free content on strategies of the basics for building the life you desire - so ignorance is not acceptable. Today, I challenge you to embrace the slow process. To dedicate your life to building exactly what you want by copying the habits of successful people and adapting them to your unique goals. Pursue excellence or pursue mediocrity - just don't blame someone for your sudden "overnight failure or success" because those of us who have been there will see right through your story and recognize that you are nothing but a reflection of your habits. And lets be real: that's either a good thing or a bad thing. What habits will you choose to pursue today?
One of the most basic tenants of health: your sleep is sacred. Every single process in the human body, especially processes that are focused on improving and optimizing your success in health and prevention of disease hinges on your ability to maximize quality sleep. It is probably the single most overlooked factor when the rubber meets the road regarding your health and longevity. On today's episode I dive into the basics of what sleep deprivation can do to you (hint: it definitely increases your waist line) and what quality sleep can do for you (hint: it can help prevent Alzheimer's). Ultimately, when working on the basics surrounding health, the first place we look is not the most obvious. Instead of chasing the symptom, lets get back to the root cause and start with solving the things we can control, the first of which is our sleep. Master you sleep hygiene and I guarantee you every single investment you make in your health will compound to create the success you desire.
Let me try it out
I am pretty sure that you have been in the place where you have either A: presented an option to someone or B: been presented with an option by someone where you either were told "I want to try it out" or you answered with "can I just try it out". Regardless, in some circumstances, the act of exploration is definitely necessary for self improvement in the basics of life and health. However, I will also challenge you that a consistent approach of let me try it out instead of committing to a process for a long time and make small changes is the exact reason why most of us fail to achieve the desired quality of health we want. Options are exactly why people never go all in, especially when it exposes weakness and requires long term commitment. As a culture, the western society is quick paced and focused on the next greatest health hack that can solve all of our problems. Thus, the try it out culture. While this can be beneficial, it is also incredibly detrimental by the shear number of options that we have available. When you give yourself options, you are more likely to take an easy day every day, especially for your health. This only creates more days of struggle and disease down the road. Instead...change your culture to embrace the basics. You trade a day of struggle today for a day of prosperity down the road. It is up to you to eliminate the options and to courageously battle every single day by committing to a process that will deliver consistent results over time.
The Challenge Culture
If you have been anywhere near social media in the last 6 years, a trend that might have caught your attention is the idea of a challenge. I know it caught mine at a time in my life when I was in desperate need of a change. In 2019, a concept was released by Andy Frisella called 75 Hard. While many people viewed this as being a challenge for physical fitness, it was anything but that. This was a challenge in mastering the basics. It was designed to ensure that you could actually set a goal in which you performed a set number of tasks every single day for 75 days straight. Fast forward into 2023, I have since had adequate time to reflect on this challenge and its direct correlation to our own lives, especially as it pertains to our health. Too often, we are distracted in our habits. Or to put it another way, we don't even think about the habits we have created that are generating the lack of quality of life that we currently have. In fact, most of the time, a majority of people don't even put the effort into evaluating their habits in order to get their house in order so that they can pursue the life they desire. They would rather be a cog in the machine that social media has generated. I believe this is rooted in the dull, dry, boring and basic nature of a habit. You see, building a life of significant value in mind, body and spirit is deeply rooted in habitual routines that are dull, dry and boring. This is because positive motion forward, or momentum, requires habitual consistency performed over time, not about an emotional state. So, take some time today to evaluate your basics. Maybe you don't have them. Maybe you do and you have created a toxic routine that is curbing your ability to chase down the live you envisioned. Regardless, the basics must be mastered in order to create the life you desire, and it all starts with your habits.
Where you sow your seed matters
In 1907 a book was written by Fr Robert Benson titled Lord of the World. In it, the author contrasts the world of globalism with a renewed and purified church world. When highlighting the world of globalism he illustrates how the powers that be issue promises of peace and prosperity by using powerful machines and a well crated message to seduce the heart and mind of man. However, when living in this world, you find nothing but division, anxiety, fear, uncertainty and instability because the messaging and language pattern that was used, while compelling, doesn't match the experience. However in the city of God, you find that life looks simpler, people are less anxious and more childlike - they are full of life. While the messaging may not be compelling when compared to the globalism ideologues, the actually experience of the city of God is truly the one of peace and prosperity. This is because in the city of God, the citizens have mastered the basics of spiritual health and organization. We as people are called to know love and serve God. If this is your primary focus, and you cultivate the seeds of this relationship that way, the roots will grow into a bountiful harvest and flourish into a community that thrives in peace. However, in the false idol environment of globalism that places everything but God as the primary relationship to be cultivated, the seeds will sow chaos and division, much like we see in our world today. In order to master the basics of spiritual health, re-orient your focus on God first, then cultivate that relationship. Everything else will take care of itself.
The Michelin Experience
Have you ever heard of a Michelin Restaurant? What about a 3 star Michelin Restaurant? In my life time there are only two 3 star Michelin Restaurants I have heard of and the story of how is featured in this show. However, the more important story is in the details of how the Chef achieved this designation. I'll give you a hint, it wasn't done overnight. The one common point these two have in common is a complete mastery of the basics compounded over a lifetime of what the modern world would label as a failure. However, each and every single failure provided a lesson to grow. A lesson to push the needle further. An opportunity to get better. These two master chefs didn't just role over and quit because of a failure, they sat inside of it and matured from it. Almost as if placing a blended metal into a furnace and burning away the impurities. That is what complete mastery takes, the basics. If these two can do this with a restaurant experience, what is keeping you from achieving your own 3 star Michelin designation in your health...that is question that only you can answer!
Hope Unfiltered: Just the Basic Stuff
Have you ever had a moment where you are sitting in a space that is designed for contemplation? If you haven't then you are missing out. One of my favorite places to do this is in the time before celebrating Sunday Mass. Typically the space is quiet and focused on what is about to take place. It is a good time to sit in quiet and to work on slowing down your own thoughts and reactions to align with the peace of the space. However, this last Sunday I was utterly distracted by a young lady sitting in front of me scrolling on a social media platform. If I had to guess, in the 5 minute window I was distracted she probably clicked through close to 200 or 300 reels and then it dawned on me. The Chaos Machine was winning. It was slowly invading every single space of our life and interrupting our neurophysiological dopamine cascade to the point that even in sacred spaces, we are unable to attach. On today's episode, I dive into my own hard reset and the side effects social media has had on my life over the last two weeks. Hopefully, today's episode will help you wake up to just the basics regarding your own relationship with social media and how you might need to have a hard reset in your own life.
And the Word was made Flesh
Merry Christmas 2022. What a great year we have been blessed with. As we enter the Christmas season, I have a special gift for all my listeners. I hope that today's episode blesses you abundantly and you may take time over the next two weeks to reflect on just how great 2022 was.
Once you go to a Chiropractor...you always go to a chiropractor...or something like that. There is something odd about this statement in the western world. It is almost as if they are spinning this off as a bad thing. Meaning, you never really "get better." Now, if you were indoctrinated into the western mindset of "if I have a symptom, I have a pill" I would completely agree with you. However, it is my goal to disrupt this philosophy and this paradigm. Lets try this statement another way...once you take an anti-depressant, you always take an anti-depressant. Or...once you take a blood pressure medication, you always take a blood pressure medication. Truthfully, I think there is a bigger undercurrent here that needs to be addressed. That current: how we view health. The idea of one symptom one pill is archaic. It is broken. It is a lie. The body is not a system of silos in which an organ acts interdependent of the body. Actually, the exact opposite is true. The human body is a system. That system is a connections of parts that work together for the betterment of the whole. The problem we run into with western theory of medicine fails to address this very simple principle. You see, the body is broken down into cycles. Cycles of healing, regeneration, repair. Cycles of sleep. Cycles of wakefulness. Cycles of digestion. Cycles of rest. I like to refer to these cycles as seasons, and throughout the seasons of life, your health will go through many different cycles. The problem we encounter is when we take a cycle of life that is particularly hard (financial crisis, new born baby, relationship stress, death of a loved one, etc) and decided to numb it or medicate it away because the world tells us there's a pill to take it all away. I dare say that to medicate this cycle is a trap into keeping you from ever actually successfully navigating this season. In today's episode, I challenge your indoctrination with a different approach. One in which we look at the seasonality of health, instead of focusing on the mountain top experience that western pharma sells.
A rule that all of us have heard is to keep it simple stupid. In today's meditation, I highlight how spiritual simplicity can yield fruit that will bring peace to all areas of your life.
Principle Number 3
There is a difference between living in the mountain top experience and experiencing the seasonality of life. While the western world will sell you the mountain top experience. The more prudent world will share with you the raw reality that seasons of life are to be expected. Many of us will attempt to silence the moments of suffering and loneliness in order to supplement a constant state of unattainable mountain top experiences. In today's episode, I dive into the truth behind living in the seasons of life and how if you can truly embrace the suffering and process the experience, you will come out with far stronger wisdom than you would if you were to numb yourself to the experience. Ultimately, the choice to endure is up to you. Will you choose to live on the mountain and embrace the lie of the western world? Or will you choose to let yourself fall from the mountain and go through the experience of having to fight to climb back to the top?
Meditation: Test of Hope
For the last three years I have started this podcast with the definition of health - being a complete state of wellbeing. Yet, I have failed on one front that I have been hesitant to address, that of spiritual health. Today, I take a dive at the first episode that will begin this format called meditations. In it, I hope to read through various meditations that have helped me in my life spiritually, especially in times of battle. I find that most people who encounter Hope are deeply wounded on multiple levels and that a majority of them need spiritual wisdom and guidance. I hope this format provides a foundation for you to begin to regain hope.
Science 101: How Having a Concussion Can Damage Your Digestion
It always amazes me how siloed we are in the treatment of the human body in America. Our focus is always on treating a symptom without every looking at the root cause. Often times you will hear a story of how for the last x-amount of years I have been trying to find a doctor who understands what is going on. I have gone to multiple conventional doctors and all say the same thing and treat me the same way yet for some reason I still do not improve. Then they go down the rabbit hole of finding non-traditional doctors who are able to finally shed some light on the root cause as opposed to treating the symptom. This is becoming increasingly common for those who have sustained a mTBI or more commonly known a concussion. Tune in today to learn how a simple fall can have implications far beyond your brain.
They Don't Make Statues of Critics
It is incredibly easy these days for people who aren't taking chances, sharing their passion or exposing themselves through their words or actions to sit back and criticize those who are. Outside of the "health pandemic" we encountered a new pandemic of fact checkers and keyboard cowboys at the ready to crucify anyone who attempted to speak hope into the world during a narrative that provoked fear. These critics are the same throughout the ages of time and will never change, in fact, I believe it is their ignorance and self-hate that has led them to tear down statues of people who actually stood for something. In today's world of social media, my challenge to you is to learn to not care what somebody else thinks. Who cares how many likes, comments, shares, upvotes or clicks you get on YOUR story. If you are seeking those very things, then I can challenge you and say your goals really aren't your goals - they are nothing more than the pursuit of approval from an audience in which 50% of them aren't going to be on board with you regardless of what you say. In seeking to please everyone, you will ultimately please no one and as a result, you will likely become one of the critics that you seek to prove wrong. So, instead, how do you choose to pursue your vision? What steps can you take to not care what somebody else thinks? Ultimately, the critics will be forgotten and those who chose to stand for something will forever leave a legacy.
The problem with the finite approach to health
The rules of a finite game have a beginning, a middle and an end. As opposed to the infinite game in which there are perpetual cycles of play. When western medicine chooses to approach your health in the finite realm, it leads us yearning for more and asking more questions of why. Too often we treat our health as a 7 day z pack or a injection or a "minor" surgical procedure (not sure any surgery is minor...we just sugar coat it to make ourselves feel better about it). Unfortunately, our health cannot be reduced to this finite mindset. This is exactly why chronic disease is running rampant through the Western approach and leading us to a state where we loose trust in the system, we refuse to follow recommendations and we end up sabotaging both doctors and patients. However...there is a better way to play the game. What if I told you that in the Infinite game, when we approach health, you have choices to pursue health on your terms. Tune in this week to see the recommendations I have for pursing this method as opposed to failing in the finite game.
Man to Machine
The western approach to medicine has lead us down a path in which we either:
A. treat the body as a machine - aka spit out the bone.
B. medicate the body to a point it is "comfortably numb."
C. Some combination of both of the above.
However, in the last 50 years we have lost an element of the human experience of pain and suffering.
We have chose to use the western approach of medicine in which we treat our body like a machine and when it stops working, we medicate to the point that we virtually feel nothing.
In fact, this is causing one of the greater pandemics of this day and age.
A pandemic in which we believe we can avoid death itself by treating our bodies this way.
In this weeks podcast, I dive into why the comfortably numb approach in conjunction with treating the body as a machine leads to one of the greatest detriments of human history: a loss of what it means to be human.
Discipline: a path to freedom
One of my favorite equations from Navy Seal Jocko is Discipline = Freedom. A second favorite quote from him is "all your excuses are lies." In a day and age where the idea of relativism is the chief cultural belief, I am determined to instill in the people I meet a disciplined life. The question becomes, what does discipline look like for you. For some, they are disciplined in habits that wreak havoc on their spirit, life, family, business...For others, they are disciplined in the virtues that create freedom. This is why it is my belief that discipline can either be a path to freedom or a path to slavery. Ultimately, the choices you make surrounding discipline in life will determine which path your life becomes.
We all have the same goal
One thing that I have noticed recently over the last 5 years has been an uptick in the number of people craving success. The social media generation has opened pandoras box in technology where we can virtually create anything and show it to the world, even if it isn't true. Even more damaging has been the keyboard cowboy's coming out and attacking people who have spent 10, 15 and even 20 years working on a goal and seeking to share what is possible when you are consistent. This delusional state has ultimately created an environment where it is incredibly difficult to discern what is true and what is not. I can tell you one thing, we all have the same goal. We have the same desires. However, what is not the same is our journey to arrive there. In today's episode I deconstruct the world that sells us this idea that a secret formula exists to copy to create success and give you a foundation of strategies for you to develop your own formula for success to ultimately help you achieve the goals you have in your life.
Science 101: The Vagus Nerve
On June 9th, 2022, The Epoch Times released a headline stating: The Vagus Nerve: A New Frontier of Brain-Body medicine. In this episode I will dive into the highlights of this article on what the Vagus nerve is and its responsibilities for maintaining the human body in a state of existence. This is a fascinating field of study that, while believed to be relatively ground breaking or on the frontier of medicine, has been something that we have known about for hundreds if not thousands of years in the "alternative" health fields. Strap in for a wild ride as you begin to build a foundation for better understanding your body and tapping into your true potential for health.
Science 101: Sciatica and the Sciatica Nerve
Sciatica is a condition that plagues a majority Americans at least once in their life time. It could be a small flare up or it could be a chronic issue. Regardless, there are may arguments and discussions surrounding what can actually heal sciatica. In this episode I dive into the anatomy of the sciatic nerve as well as the solutions presented by the author. I will also take you through my own journey and struggles I had with sciatica and the stretches that I found to be massively successful and kept me pain free for over a decade now. If Sciatica is something that plagues you, this episode is definitely for you.
Clarifying the conflicts
In this episode Dr. Kramer debunks some of the more common myths surrounding Chiropractic...more specifically Upper Cervical Chiropractic. This fringe based application of Chiropractic has led to some of the most brilliant and beautiful miracles over the last 100 years of application and so few people know about it and even fewer understand it. Hopefully today's episode will shed some light on the true goal of Upper Cervical and how we assist the body in healing from above down inside out.
I don't care, go on and tear me apart!
We all have coaches in our life. Some of our coaches are amazing, others not so great. One thing is common though about all of the coaches that we have in our life, they leave an impact on who we are and who we become. Some, may claim that they have never had a coach - which is fine - interchange the word coach with advisor, mentor, guide - you get the point. Someone of influence in our life that was placed there to help us grow. However, today, the question is - what happens when the coach doesn't help us grow? What happens when the coach wounds you so profoundly that you believe one of the greatest lies ever told - that you will never be great...this is my new normal...I'll just learn to live with it...I'll never be healthy again...This is how God created me - broken. Nothing could be further from the truth. You were destined for greatness. You were created to change the world. You are awesome.
Can you believe that approximately 67 days ago, most of us were making resolutions on how we were going to be better in 2022?
The habits we would break.
The habits we would make.
The lifestyle we would create.
So, my question for you today is...how are you doing?
Have you stayed committed to your habits for the last 67 days or have you slipped?
Have you stayed committed to your goals for the last 67 days of have they changed?
Now is the perfect time to dive into reflecting on if you are moving closer to or further from your resolution.
Now is the time to assess your own pursuit of health and if you need to make some changes.
Remember...90 to 120 days of consistent reinforcement creates hard wired neurological pathways that are as strong as the old habits.
67 days in is the perfect time to ask yourself...
Am I programming my neurology to pursue health?
Am I programming my neurology to lose health?
The choice is up to you
Merry Christmas 2021
While every agency in the world is attempting to cancel this great feast, I have a message of Hope and three gifts to share with you today. I hope you will find the time to listen to these short 10 minutes as it highlights, for me, the true focus of Christmas amidst the chaos of this world. Merry Christmas!
You Lack Health because You lack discipline
Two years ago I started a journey focused on creating discipline in my life. You see, for the last 20 years, the one virtue I have actually lacked in my life, outside of staying committed to my workouts and my wife, was actually discipline. Discipline in how I consumed media. Discipline in how I prayed. Discipline in how I consumed food. Discipline in how I consumed alcohol. You get the point...I was virtually lacking discipline in all areas of my life and something needed to change. Thankfully, I had two mentors who helped direct me in this pathway to not only develop it as a character trait but also reveal to me that a majority of the problems my patients are facing in their life is related to discipline and the lack there of. Today, I challenge you with a very simple and time tested path to hone discipline in your life. As we all know, when you can create discipline, it is only a matter of time before your body creates health.
Have you made up a story?
I mean a real story. Like the one's that you see on Disney. The main character is yourself and you somehow are on this journey to find your own happy ending? What's funny to think about, every single one of us is living in our own story. One we have made up. One we have believed. One we have followed...sometimes for years before a moment comes along that disrupts it. On today's episode, I dive into what makes up our story's surrounding our health journey - whether it be a physical health, mental health, spiritual health...you get the point. And more importantly, I walk you through the truth about your own story and how you can change it.
The Chiropractic Anomaly...what is it that I actually do?
One of my favorite questions to ask every single person who seeks a consult at Hope Upper Cervical Center is this "do you know what a chiropractor does?" The answers that I receive are simply brilliant. Some of them come from a well seasoned "chiropractic patient" and others come from a medical back ground in which they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn if they wanted to with their answer. However, the beauty in both of these answers is the opportunity that presents itself after they answer...most people are actually curious as to what it is I do. In today's episode I am to break this down into 5 incredibly simple points about what it is that I do. First...I respect divine creation. Second...I assess neurophysiological balance. Third...I evaluate upper cervical spine structural integrity. Fourth...I restore balance. Fifth...I leave you alone. It is as simple as that.
The lessons I learned from cancelling social media
It has been 6 weeks since I last recorded a podcast. It has also been 6 weeks since I last logged on to any social media platform. Today, I share my thoughts that have been ruminating for the last 6 weeks about my journey of detoxing social media and cultivating real human relationships. I hope these 7 points provide value for you in your life.
Measure Twice, Cut once
Growing up, did you ever attempt to build something with wood? If so - there was a principle that was used called "measure twice, cut once." You see, this principle was designed to help the young builder not waste his materials. Also, it was a lesson in the idea of permanent change. Little did I know that this principle would continue to follow me in my life, especially as we moved into the last two years. You see, when it comes to your health - you can measure everything. However...for some reason, the idea of measure twice and cut once has been thrown out with the bath water due to the emotional super charging and divisive strategies implemented by our media outlets. Never have I seen a more draconian application of health protocols than we have been subjected to in the last two years. Follow the science is a joke. We have arrived at the point to where we don't even measure anything. We simply cut. And if you ask if you measured before cutting...the person in question throws a temper tantrum like a 6 year old. As we move forward in our world, my challenge to you is to challenge your health providers to measure twice before they provide a permanent procedure that you may or may not know the long term impacts of.
Lots of people want everything...and do nothing about it. This is often a result of a spiritual misalignment, a lack of purpose if you will. What I typically observe is that when people pursue something they want, they are willing to take action and achieve it...however when they achieve it, they are empty. This is often times a result of a lack of purpose behind their desire. As a result, they will enter the rat race of life again and go back to chase something new...to want everything...attempting to fill the void of emptiness with items of this world. When we, as eternal beings, choose to chase all the world has to offer, we are filled with a void. This is when when people want everything, they often do nothing about it. The question then, is, if the world cannot sustain us, how do we fill the void?
What you Consume, you become
Have you ever taken a step back from the dopamine filled environment we are exposed to daily? Have you truly done a technology detox and removed yourself from the hyper-triggered scroll based environment we live in? It is currently projected that the prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms during COVID-19 have doubled, compared with pre-pandemic estimates according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The question I ask is this an actual problem of dealing with depression and anxiety OR is this a problem of consuming too much dopamine in the form of media and social media?
Above Down Inside Out
One of the most common statements surrounding health and disease I hear is related to feelings. I don't feel sick so I must be healthy. OR. I feel sick so I must be diseased. While there is flaw in this logic, the more important thing I want to focus on is the concept of a feeling. Feelings are a sign for us. The inconvenient piece of a feeling though is that they cause us to slow down. They interrupt our day. They force us to explore areas of our life that we would rather sweep under the rug. The biggest issue I see in western civilization with feelings is that, too often, we don't dedicate the time to work through these feelings, especially when it comes to our health. Instead, we seek the quick fix. We seek the one thing that the world sells - the cure - and if you are a westerner - you have been trained to want it immediately. But healing and health, much like every other process in life, don't operate that way. Tune in to today's episode to learn what Dr. J has to say about this process and how we can make small changes right now that will help us sift through these emotions and commit to a process of creating health from above down inside out.
Here's why you need to direct your focus.
I read a quote today in my Power List book by Andy Frisella that goes like this. "No matter where you are, there's definitely something you are great at...You're just not putting value on it." This quote resonated heavily with me as I started to reflect on my pillars of health. I like to say that I value my spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and relationship health. However - do my actions in each one of these pillars reflect that I value them? Have I actually taken the time to reflect on what I am great at? Have I actually taken the time to see if I am placing value in this area? Or...Have I simply allowed my values to be dictated by attempting to live the western dream? The idea that I am not working enough...The idea that I am not making enough money...The idea that I am not marketing enough...All these concepts we have to fight aggressively against in order to actively pursue that which we are great at. If we tune in to someone else's dreams then we will start to live their values...not ours. And what they value - we may not be great at. That is the beauty in self-reflection. A time to make sure that I am in alignment with what I am great at and I am actively pursuing it. If you struggle with this in your life - tune in to today's episode to find out the two steps you can take right now to overcome this distraction and dial in to your success.
Have you forgotten to dream?
When was the last time you explored your dreams? Do you even have them any more? One of the biggest realizations I have had in the last two years is that man people have surrendered their dreams. They have given up on pursuing the very thing that gave them purpose in this life. I call this the shrink or swell principle. In the face of adversity, does your life story cause you to shrink? OR... Does your life story cause you to swell? For most of us, we shrink because we are uncomfortable. We are scared. We fear judgement, loss of stability, loss of security, and a litany of other things. However - God did not create you to shrink. God created you to dream big and to chase down those dreams with relentless pursuit. Dream Big.
Courage is contagious.
In a day and age where more people are cow-towing to the masses, we need to stand up. We need to have courage. Our tribe of Hope is designed to help you speak this truth. To speak this courage. To stand up for what is right. In the last two years, I have found that when courageous people stand up, it causes more people to stand up with them. The only way we win the battle that is going on in our world right now is for more of you to take the bull by the horns and to stand up courageously for your freedom. Period.
Motivation is a buzz word.
Probably the single biggest excuse people throw around for not achieving their goals is the statement: I'm not motivated. There couldn't be anything further from the truth. In today's society, we have given in to this load of crap and just accepted it. We have created an entire industry around it. We have pump up jams. We have support groups. We have coaches. The truth is, the only way you are going to chase down your goals is to eliminate this statement from your vocabulary. In order to succeed in life, you have to be brutally honest with where you are on a day to day basis. On this episode, Dr. Kramer discusses a tool he discovered several years ago to help him eliminate this false story of motivation and start living the story of commitment.
Are your stories holding you back?
For centuries, humans have communicated dreams, visions, emotions using the literary tool of a story or a narrative. These stories grab our heart strings when the hero approaches danger. They cause us to feel hate with the enemy. They help us to experience love. Yet, how often do we pause and review the story of our life. Too often, I see that we have a story that is holding us back from our true potential. There is a story that we have decided to live and follow in all actions of our life. Most of the time, this story is one in which you play the role of the victim. A story that follows the script of fear, doubt and shrinking from growth when we are put in foreign situations or situations that make us uncomfortable. In today's episode, Dr. Kramer unravels the steps you can take to identify your own story and help you re-write your life narrative from to take on the role of creator in all areas of your life.