Get Healthy The Natural Way

Dr. Tom Potisk, one of America’s top natural health practitioners, provides information and tips to help you make wiser healthcare decisions, save money and time, and become healthier. This book frees you from depending on conventional medical care alone. Dr. Potisk’s extensive training and experience, combined with his easy-to-implement instructions in this book are revolutionizing healthcare worldwide.

Reclaim The Joy Of Practice - An Advanced Guide For Advancing Doctors.

Doctors face more responsibilities than ever before. The demands of licensing boards, insurance companies, patients and even new technologies easily draws doctors away from their role as loving, caring healers. This book leads doctors on a journey of joy, capturing all the benefits that can and should come with being a doctor. Your patients will appreciate the improved you.

Firewood – Lessons About Life

Posted by admin September - 27 - 2010 - Monday Comments Off

It’s firewood time! No it’s not just  fall or late summer, or even back to school time. It’s firewood time, and there are some life lessons here.

Firewood time is when I, and perhaps anyone else who is brave enough to admit it, scrambles to put up a big pile of firewood to be used for winter warming. This should have been done months ago! LOL.

From left to right Andy, myself and Mike

But every year I get it done just barely in time to let it dry out and season enough to burn well. And then I say “I’ll never wait till the last minute again!” Ha!

I guess that’s the first lesson one can glean from firewood or at least the way I wait till the last minute to get mine ready – procrastination is a part of life. Most of us do our best work when under pressure. I suspect we should cherish pressure. LOL.

That seasoning part is a lesson also. You see, firewood does not burn well unless it’s totally dry. If you cut up a live tree, the wood is full of sap (moisture) and that can take weeks if not months to dry out properly. So we call it seasoned when it’s become dry enough to burn. Hmmmm, I suspect this is a lesson in patience. I wonder what else I should have patience with? Plenty!

And then there is the cutting of the firewood with the chain saw. It helps to sharpen the saw blade first. Every year I start cutting and wonder why these dang logs are so hard to cut! After struggling for hours I finally come to realize that I forgot to sharpen the blade. Duhhh!!! So I then go to the garage, sharpen the blade, and then voila! Sharpening the blade makes all the difference. I guess proper preparation is another lesson here. And better yet, do the preparation first!! LOL.

So then, after the logs are cut, then they need to be split. The splitting is totally necessary because they won’t fit in the wood stove whole, and they dry out faster. Splitting holds another life lesson – don’t go against the grain! Yes, every piece of wood has a grain pattern. You can see the grain quite clearly. Try to split against the grain and you’ve got a battle on your hands. But split along the grain and you succeed easily. Success. Aha! Perhaps we should all strive to look for the grain, the easier way to do something, before we take a whack at anything! It hurts when I take a whack at a log going against the grain. I wonder what pains we could avoid in our lives if we first take the time to look things over before we ……

Work with the grain not against it.

It would normally take me about 2-3 weeks of working a few hours a day to obtain a large enough pile of firewood for my heating needs. But then God blessed me with some special helpers called kids.  My two boys are now old enough to be a tremendous help to me. I cut, Andy splits, and Mike stacks. Now we get the job done in about 1 week. Another lesson – teamwork!

But the best lesson of all will come on a screaming cold winter evening, when the sky is clear and  stars are bright, and the wind is howling from the north.  I’ll realize that all the hard work of cutting, splitting and stacking was worthwhile as I feel the warmth of the fire on my toes.

Warm Toes = Gratefulness

It’s a lesson of gratefulness.

What are you grateful about?

I suspect my dog is grateful too!

By the way, have you seen my other blog sites?

For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com.

Specifically for doctors: http://www.reclaimthejoy.com

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Back to School Time: 4 Health Tips for Kids

Posted by admin August - 22 - 2010 - Sunday Comments Off

Back to school already! Where did summer go?

And you were just getting used to staying up late and sleeping in! It’s not fair right? LOL. That’s what I used to say and what I still find myself saying about many other things, even now at age 49.

But with age comes wisdom, and I wrote this article for all kids and young adults who want and need to be healthy. And yes, even adults would be wise to pay attention to the items I’m about to share. LOL. I’m still learning myself, and believe that we are all students for life.

I'm a student of the Bible.

Okay students, listen up! First of all, know that placing some effort and attention on your health and wellbeing is quite worthwhile. You and sometimes I may think that life isn’t fair but in truth, it really is. You really do get what you pay for, and even the Bible says that you essentially reap what you sow, meaning that you get what you deserve. Thus, taking better care of yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically will pay off in good ways.

For example, would you like to have more energy, and clearer thinking? Or how about clearer skin? How about better athletic performance? Want to have more muscle and less fat? These are all attainable with the proper action and effort, read on!

Secondly, start your mornings with a healthy breakfast consisting of a protein source like eggs and some fresh fruit. Skip the sugary cereals, processed juices, soft drinks, or bread items. These poor quality food choices may seem to provide an energy boost, but really result in an energy drain for the rest of the day. No time for eggs in the morning? The solution is simple; just boil some eggs the day before, then peel and eat in the morning.  Eat healthier breakfasts and you’ll soon notice that you won’t feel so tired in the afternoon, and you will be more calm throughout the day. Your body will have a better composition of less fat and more muscle.

Keep up the good eating habits by having a big salad every day for lunch or dinner, avoid fried foods, and slow down – take the time to chew thoroughly and really enjoy the unique taste of every food. Yes, even veggies! LOL.

There are many other tips on eating, exercise, and even posture in my new book Whole Health Healing – The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. You can order the book by clicking HERE.

Posture is important for health/wellness

Thirdly, know that your brain is a lot like a computer- garbage in equals garbage out. Have you experienced the frustration of a slow internet connection or a malfunctioning hard drive? Your brain will behave the same way if it’s mistreated. It’s hard to deny that our brains and minds are among the most unique and valuable gifts from God that we have, so don’t take them for granted. Protect them! This means avoiding any brain/mood altering recreational drugs, also caffeine, alcohol  and even tobacco products.

Set a personal goal that you’ll grow old being able to say that you never used cocaine, marijuana, or any other dangerous and illegal products. You’ll be glad you did!

And remember that your brain also feeds on content. This means you should be very selective about what you are reading, watching, and listening to. Feed your mind with a lot of violent content and you’re likely to be violent. Feed it with negative, depressing content and you’re likely to be negative and depressed. Instead, search out and feed your mind with uplifting, educational , ethical content that will help move your life forward in a positive productive way. There is a big difference between being aware of what’s out there and participating in it.

My family and I explored replicas of the Nina and Pinta (Columbus's boats) this summer.

My last item of advice for you is this: take the high road! My father once said to me “Have fun, but don’t disgrace your family.” This means that anything you would not want your family to know you are doing, should not be done. That’s a great way to filter out any misbehavior you may be tempted with like sexual immorality, stealing, cheating, drug use, and even how you talk. Keep your life clean! If there are times when you’re not sure what to do, seek advice from someone you know you can trust like a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, or pastor.

All these tips I share come down to the fact that our bodies are really temples; temples that hold our Holy Spirits. This is a biblical concept that can be read in 1st Corinthians 6:19.20. It’s disrespectful to God when we don’t honor God with our bodies. Our health and wellness is really a gift. Take optimum care of your body, mind and spirit. It’s worth the effort.

What changes can you make for this new school year?

By the way, have you seen myother popular blog/web sites?

For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com.

Specifically for doctors: http://www.reclaimthejoy.com

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Diets and Holistic Health

Posted by admin July - 19 - 2010 - Monday Comments Off

Diets and holistic health don’t mix together. Pun intended. LOL

The Healing Trail Mix

Not when diets are defined in the traditional sense of following a specific eating plan to lose weight.

Sure, following any of the hundreds of plans that have been promoted in the last few decades may result in some weight loss, but the benefits typically don’t last. Even a diet of eating just cookies works short term. If you’re going to waste your time, you may as well do it by eating cookies! LOL.

The average American keeps getting heavier, especially children, and the new miracle diets keep coming, and the average American keeps getting heavier, especially children, and …….

I suspect you get my point.

But wait, I have this diet that works and I offer a guarantee and……. Gotcha!

Sorry, there are no simple, miracle solutions/plans. There never was any and there never will be. Boohooo!

I am happy to report that what does work for weight management, always has and always will work, is this: careful food selections, self control, occasional splurging (yahoo!), acceptance of how God made you,  and eating slower, smaller more numerous meals.

Why don’t you see this type eating advice advertised  on TV or in magazines anywhere? Because nobody make any money when you do it. Surprise!

In fact, many people will make less money when you follow a healthy holistic eating lifestyle, namely doctors because you will likely be ill less often.

Please become aware that the media and it’s advertisers are becoming increasingly talented at getting and keeping our attention, particularly when it comes to our physical appearances. They place pictures of beautiful people with gleaming muscles (they are oiled), rippling six packs (they are airbrushed or do dozens of sit-ups immediately before the picture is taken),  or worse yet the people are taking steroid type drugs to enhance their physiques.  These “models” are not representative of we typical humans. You and I need to be wise to this. Even though we enjoy looking.

Also, be wary of some of the food products, their claims, and what’s in them.

The top 10 deceiving “healthy” foods that lead to weight gain and other health problems:

1) margarine, because it lacks the  essential oils necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system.

2) artificial sweeteners, because they contribute to inflammation

3) soy, because it can mimics the hormone estrogen

4) most granola bars, because they contain excess sugar

5) most dehydrated fruits, because they have added sugar

6) most juices, because they lack pulp and contain excess added sugars

7) whole grain products, because many people have hidden gluten allergies

8) commercially grown apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, and imported grapes because they are the top 5 most chemically treated produce and contain toxins.

9) all orange juice, because it is  well known to increase inflammation

10) commercially raised chicken because it’s likely raised indoors, given antibiotics and probably hormones for faster growth

So scrap the diet plans and get the mind set that weight management involves lifelong “good” eating habits like this:

Weight Loss and Eating Tips

♦ Eat smaller quantities and more often

♦ Eat fresher foods

♦ Eat organic grown varieties

♦ Eat slower

♦ Don’t drink more than a few sips while eating

♦ Start a garden

♦ Eat more variety

♦ Add more fresh herbs and spices

-an excerpt from my new book Whole Health Healing – The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. You can buy the book by clicking here.

Simplistic isn’t it? Better yet it’s neither difficult or expensive. Now you know how I came to be labeled The “Down-to-Earth” Doctor.

The trick, if there is such a thing about weight management, is to change your thinking first. Click on the link to read my article: Weight Loss Solution: Change Your Brain.

http://www.wholehealthhealing.com/?p=162

Now I’m confident you and your size will be okay! Next time, I’ll write about another vital component of weight management – physical activity. So tune in again.

What can you change to better manage your weight?

By the way, have you seen my other blog/web sites?

For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com

Specifically for doctors: http://www.reclaimthejoy.com

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Healthy Family Vacations

Posted by admin July - 7 - 2010 - Wednesday 1 COMMENT

Healthy family vacations can be possible.

And the kids won’t complain any more so than they do on a standard family vacation. LOL.

Dr Tom Potisk and his family on the White River State Trail

Yes, yes they will still ask “Are we there yet?”, and “Can I watch TV there?”, and “When are we going home?” Get used to it; they’re kids!

But the goal of a healthy, holistic vacation is maintaining some control over nutrition, learning or experiencing something new, and having some fun physical activity every day. And don’t forget, some ice cream is okay! LOL.

The standard family vacations tend to be toxic, boring, inactive, lazy, and unhealthy overeating disasters. Those can bring out the monster in a kid.

Sure, I understand that Mom and Dad need and deserve a break from the grind of their regular routine. God help them! But a bit of pre-planning, and laying down of specific demands can make the whole experience much healthier. Likely, everybody will come back in as good if not better shape than before the break.

Don't forget that kids love fishing!

For example, I’d recommend a trip to the library shortly before the vacation, and demand that each kid pick out a few worthwhile books for the car or plane, and for the dreaded days of poor weather. And make rules that limit electronic gaming time, perhaps only in the car, or no more than one-hour daily and only after physical activity; better yet, leave the electronics at home!

Avoid or minimize media exposure. You’ll find you didn’t miss much except more bad news! LOL.

Bring along a healthy snack bag containing some fresh fruit like bananas, apples, nuts, trail mix, etc.

Lay down the law before the trip, explaining that although you all may likely partake in some lax eating habits, something green needs to be consumed with lunch and dinner. No, it can’t be just green M&Ms or green pop! LOL.

Try hard to maintain the simple eating rule I advocate – having a big salad every day, perhaps making it one of your meals by adding some quality protein. I write more about this in my new book Whole Health Healing-The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. You can buy it by clicking here.

As for activities, go ahead and sleep later, nap in a lounge chair, lay on the beach, float in the pool, and thoroughly let go of any mental and physical tension you’ve all been harboring; but then get up and explore. Make a little adventure everyday by looking for unique characteristics in your area – a hike, a bike ride, a canoe ride, visit something historical or artistic, anything that stimulates your right brain function. This right brain stimulation is known to be vitally important for thorough relaxation.

I’m known as The “Down-to-Earth” Doctor because of my personal holistic lifestyle and practical, easy-going teaching abilities, and I just love adventures like exploring trails and rally cool, unique areas. I recently took my family on a bike trail near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (45 minutes southwest of Milwaukee). The trail is called The White River State Trail. The beautiful trail, on an old railroad line, runs eleven miles between Spring Valley Road (near Burlington) and Elkhorn along the Racine and Walworth county lines. It passes through the darling, historic villages of Springfield and Lyons. Be sure and stop at the original train depot, now The Pedal and Cup Coffee Shop in Springfield; good food, drink, and people there!

Ask your hosts, hotel desk clerk, or local visitor center about highlights to see in your area. Do an internet search for local bike trails, canoe trails, historical relics, and geographical wonders. On behalf of your kid’s sanity, limit the museums to one per trip! LOL.

My family and I recently visited The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Hayward, Wisconsin – neat place!

My son Andy at The Freshwater Fishing Hall of fame

So the goal is to not only come back rested, but to come back resisted, mentally stimulated, energized, stronger, educated, enthused, at peace, and in awe of God’s creation.

Your last words should be “That was the best trip since….” and “I haven’t felt better in…”

How will your next vacation be better than ever?

By the way, have you seen my other blog sites?

For the general public: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com.

Specifically for doctors: http://www.reclaimthejoy.com.

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Kids and exercise equals good health.

Posted by admin May - 24 - 2010 - Monday Comments Off

Kids and exercise equals natural health and wellness.


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Kids benefit from swimming

Kids need a lot of exercise and it needs to be fun. Look around my yard and you’ll see a trampoline, skate boards, basketballs, baseballs, tennis rackets, roller blades, bicycles, frisbees, and scooters. I trip over all this stuff on a regular basis. LOL.

I purposely resist buying my kids the motorized stuff because I want them to have exercise more than a thrill ride. They whine about it all the time like “But Daaaad, the neighbor has a dirt bike!” I’m a real meany!

But I urge all you parents to resist also. There are so many neat motorized toys for kids to ride on these days it’s amazing. And I’m not even concerned about kids having accidents with those – it’s quite rare. What I am concerned about is the growing problem of obesity in children. Much of that obesity is due to inactivity in children. They need more physical activity!

Television, video games, and computers are another blessing from God, but like all blessings, abuse of them leads to problems.

In my new book Whole Health Healing, I have a chapter called Raising Healthier Children. In that chapter I explain how I control my kids electronic gaming by requiring that all home work be completed, household chores be completed, and a series of exercises be completed before they get some computer or gaming time. I suspect some adults need this same control. LOL.

Having a variety of physical activities for them is crucial because the most common reason anyone quits exercise is boredom. We are blessed with a nice pond to swim in and I notice that swimming is a wonderful choice for warm summer days. Sometimes it’s hard to get the kids out of the water (and me too!) LOL.

In the right sidebar of this website, you will find an opt-in to receive a free report with more details about getting control of your child’s electronic gaming. If you’ve allowed it to get out of control you’ve got a real challenge to regain control of it. But regain control you must! This is serious stuff. The physical inactivity can lead not only to obesity but also poor posture, blood sugar imbalance, and even weak bones and joints.

I remember my parents and grandparents asking “What’s going to become of the world with all these misfit kids?”

Now I’m asking “What’s going to become of the world with all these unfit kids?”

So fill your yard with all kinds of fun, physical activity. And start using it yourself too! The activity will do you good and the time with your kids will be priceless!

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Kids need adventures

Posted by admin April - 15 - 2010 - Thursday Comments Off

Kids need adventures and so do I.

Today I was interviewed for another blog site and I was asked what kind of kid friendly vacations do I recommend? “Adventure vacations”, I replied.

My 2 boys on the deck of the reconstructed Nina ship

I’ve traveled to most parts of the US including Alaska, been to over 20 countries, and consider myself a vacation expert, in fact, I even teach that to other doctors thru my lectures and book called Reclaim the Joy of Practice – An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors. I teach that because I find most doctors need more rest.

In my travels, I soon learned that laying around on a cruise ship or in some hotel or on a beach is great but gets old fast. I found adventure vacations to be more rewarding. Also the whining factor from my kids, you know “Daaaaad. There’s nothing to do!” is much less or sometimes  non-existent when we are on an adventure type vacation. And I whine less also! LOL.

So, in response to the bloggers questions, I started taking inventory of all these adventures. There are dozens.

People refer to me as the “down to earth doctor” for several reasons, like my gardening, my practical teaching style, and my overall holistic lifestyle. These adventures are still another reason.

For example, I recently hiked in the San Bernadino Mountains of California to a remote natural hot spring. You can read the full story here – Wellness Prescription: have More Fun.

Last spring, I hiked, biked and canoed from Vienna, Austria to Prague, Czechoslovakia.

We love hiking at Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin – lots of great trails there, and great rock climbing for all ages.

Parents love that adventures tire out kids!

About 6 years ago, I rented a motor home in Rome, Italy and spent three weeks circling the country to cool places like Pisa, Pompeii, and Venice. I was amazed that the Italians allow climbing on many of the ruins.

3 years ago, we loaded up 2 canoes with our camping gear and spent a few days inside the Sylvania Tract wilderness area in the Michigan UP.

I could go on and on. My point is that if you just want to lie around and rest, stay home and do it on your couch.

I say "let them climb!" Don't worry the cannonballs were welded together!

Ask any kid, including mine, and you’ll find out they prefer adventures over vacations, like some place they can climb, explore, and run free. And they prefer camping over hotels with hot dogs roasted on a stick over a fire. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

I guess in that way, I’m still a kid too.

How about you?

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Stress management: how do you define success?

Posted by admin April - 6 - 2010 - Tuesday Comments Off

Recently my wife and I had a conversation with a lady. She did most of the talking. The topic was children and college.  God help us!

It was a beautiful spring day, so I wonder now and regret why I didn’t intervene and change the subject or suggest we play a game like cards, dice or even Russian roulette; anything would have been less painful. LOL.

What was painful about it was that the topic, children and college, is and always will be dominated by the parent with the bigger vision for their child, the bigger, more materialistic worldly vision that is. I’m happy to report that my wife and I don’t qualify for that position.  We still think kids should be content to fulfill their goals, not ours. That brings my wife and I contentment, a vital component of health and wellness. Unfortunately, many other parents believe it’s their duty to not only intervene, and not only to control, but to actually make the goals for their children. That worldly way leads to tremendous stress for parents and children.

So this visitor, who I will keep anonymous, spent the afternoon bragging about her children’s potential and how she will guide them in their activities, all designed to qualify them for select colleges.(Her 4 kids were all under 14).

I did try to put in my two cents, explaining that I know many very content people who wouldn’t qualify for what is commonly recognized as success, that being owners of oversized houses, expensive cars, trophy spouses, designer children (i.e. children with the best of everything like expensive orthodontia, manicures, various therapies, and even unnecessary after school extracurricular activities). But the worldly lady kept coming back with “Oh, I checked it out and there are thousands of parents preparing their children for elite schools, there’s a lot of completion out there”.

Now settle down, I’m not criticizing success, especially when it’s acquired ethically, through good old fashioned innovation, creativity and hard work. What I’m saying is that many people, these days more than ever, get all the materialism that accompanies success confused with happiness and contentment.

That’s the worldly way, and working myself in the field of healthcare for over 25 years, I know all too well the trouble that accompanies the overly driven quest for money, and then more money. In fact I wrote a book on the subject called Reclaim the Joy of Practice – An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors. The jist of the book is that joy, happiness, and contentment does not come from seeking and making money, or even going to the best schools. You would be amazed how messed up and miserable many people are who you would classify as successful, including doctors.

This worldly way of pursuing success by rigging one’s life or the life of one’s children, produces a very stressful existence because of the very superficial appearance of success and the dead end road it leads to. Yes, the stress in this lady’s family was quite apparent.

So my wife and I have a strategy, we will certainly insist our kids do their homework and fulfill all their school requirements, we will do our best to introduce them to a wide range of experiences and professions, we will encourage higher education, and then we will listen to their choices and be supportive of them. If that strategy leads my kids to a kind of greatness the world recognizes we will celebrate. If it leads my kids to anything else, we will also celebrate their individual greatness – both outcomes are success that really counts because the kids themselves chose and did it, not us parents.

How do you define success? Do you think your definition might be the source of your stress?

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Healthy food fight at the movies

Posted by admin March - 24 - 2010 - Wednesday Comments Off

Yesterday I took my 2 boys, Mike, 10, and Andy, 14, to the local movie theatre, here in the Milwaukee area to see the new movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. My kids have been reading the book series of the same name for the past 2 years or so.

Going to the movie theatre has always been a dread for me because of the food selections there. On past movie outings, I just bit the bullet and allowed my kids to have the popcorn with unhealthy oils and candy loaded with artificial flavorings and colors. Of course, I applied the art of negotiation and compromise I advocate in my book Whole Health Healing – The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. If you’re not familiar with it, the compromise I advocate is insisting upon some extra healthy food item the day of the splurge to help negate or nullify the not-so-healthy item. For example, I’d make the kids have an extra vegetable portion with their next meal. Awful am I not?

In the art of any negotiation, the other party is usually expected to make a counter offer. Thank goodness, kids don’t figure that part out .

And I’d always insist on just one poison – yeah, poison. I’d give them the option of either  one soft drink, or one candy item, or popcorn. They usually choose the candy or popcorn. I’m glad because I do believe the soft drink is the worst of the choices. Every theatre I’ve been in has either a water fountain, bottled water or both. So don’t fall for the “but I’ll be thirsty” whine! But why can’t theaters offer healthy food items?

But on this outing, I decided to step up and shake the world a bit. I decided I’m going to take a small bag of healthy snacks from home, into the theatre, and let the kids eat that stuff during the movie.

Before you call the movie food police on me, you should know that I did ask first at the ticket window.

I had 2 bananas, and a container of raisins in a white plastic grocery bag and walked into the theatre with my kids. I felt nervous, and thought “this must be how Martin Luther King felt when he marched across the bridge in Selma, Mississippi! I’m starting a revolution! The difference was that I had my two kids for protection.

As I walked up to the ticket window, I noticed the young female attendant started to tighten up and squint her eyes, kind of like the security guards at the airport do if you look at all suspicious.

I said “My kids need to eat healthy so I’m bringing in some healthy snacks.” At first, there was an uncomfortable pause as we stared each other down, just like the gunfighters in the old westerns. Then she said “Let me ask the manager”.

Within moments a man appeared with pistols drawn (just kidding J). He asked what he can do for me. Again I said “My kids need to eat healthy so I’m bringing in some healthy snacks”. And again, the uncomfortable pause, as he looked downward and frowned as if somebody just took away his puppy. Before he could answer, I said cheerfully “ It’s just some bananas and raisins!”. Again, the pause and the frown, this time accompanied by a slow drawn out sigh.  Finally, in one of the most unenthusiastic, reluctant tones he said “Okay”.

The revolution has begun!

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It took 60 Minutes to become a Chiropractor

Posted by admin March - 15 - 2010 - Monday Comments Off

My transformation stared in 1980.

It was a brisk fall evening, and I was sitting at my kitchen table studying Organic Chemistry.  I was in my second year of College, attending the University of WI- Milwaukee, following a pre-med program.  In the next room, the TV was playing and here is what I heard that changed my life “Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Are you having problems with your health? Are you frustrated after seeing medical doctor upon medical doctor, perhaps having spent thousands, and still not gotten an answer to your health problems? Well, let me introduce you to the new doctor on the block, one that uses no drugs, no surgery, is less costly, and has many satisfied and loyal customers. These doctors use nothing but their own two hands – these are Chiropractors, and their following is rapidly growing. This is Morley Shafer, and I’ll tell you more on this episode of 60 Minutes when we come back.”

And then a drug commercial came on! (Just kidding about that part.)

But that caught my attention enough to walk away from the Organic Chemistry book (happily) and sit down in front of the TV. I had never seen nor heard the word chiropractor before that.

The 60 Minutes show went on with interviews of Chiropractors and their patients extolling the benefits of the hands- only treatment, and explaining the principles behind chiropractic. The concept, that the body is essentially self healing unless some type of interference blocks it, made a lot of sense. They called the concept “vitalistic” and it seemed to make more sense than the traditional “mechanistic” (mostly cover symptoms with drugs) concept that I was being taught in pre-med.

In vitalistic thinking, the belief is that there is a God given inborn intelligence that controls, coordinates, and enlivens the human body. This holistic healthcare approach is to detect and then reduce or remove the interference that blocks or impedes the vital force.

Heck, at that age (22) I thought it was  only cute girls that in-livened me!

This fresh, new, and logical approach to health really caused a stir inside me, so the next day after the organic chemistry exam, off I went to the college library to look up chiropractic. It took me awhile to find the correct spelling. Ha-ha.

Unfortunately, all I found were 4 books, and they were all critical of the profession and science of chiropractic, just like the medical doctors that were interviewed at the end of the 60 Minutes segment on chiropractic.

Being blessed with a wonderful gift of discernment, I kept searching and found some amazing facts like: chiropractors were licensed in all 50 states, their training totaled more classroom hours than the standard medical training, their malpractice insurance rates reflected the lower risk than medical care for the same condition, and most importantly patients generally loved their chiropractors.

Upon expressing my new interest to my pre-med colleagues I was laughed at and shunned.  Upon expressing my new interest to my grandmother, I was encouraged, and introduced to a friend of hers, who had been a chiropractor for 30 years, Dr. Henry Zastrow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Thank God for family!

The rest is a long love story, with chiropractic, holistic health and a natural lifestyle.

Dr. Tom treated many children with holistic methods like chiropractic

I can’t wait to share the rest with you!

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Winter sports – great for our wellness, important for health

Posted by admin March - 9 - 2010 - Tuesday Comments Off

Wellness in winter? Perhaps you thought it was a time for hibernating.

      My son and I just returned from a long weekend of cross country skiing and ice fishing. The temperature was between 15-25 degrees each day and it was wonderful.

 Wonderful, some will ask? Absolutely. Don’t equate cold with bad. Cold is a range of temperature not an emotion or mood. Winter can and should be a fun filled season like any other. The key to enjoying it is to adapt and modify for the conditions. And don’t forget that you can use winter as a good excuse to enjoy some indulgences like hot chocolate. (Yes, this “down-to-earth” doctor  says it’s ok to have hot chocolate in moderation.)

     So, we spent a lot of time each day outdoors (but not just because of the hot chocolate).

   On Thursday, we first arrived to find a very “cool” accommodation. The heat was off when it should have been on. So, I got the furnace working and built a big fire in the woodstove.  Knowing it would take a few hours to warm the place up significantly, we decided to go to the local library where I could catch up on some reading and my son could get a jump on some homework. We also picked up a pizza and some salad for supper – a good nutrition compromise.

   I always insist on some type of greens with foods like pizza. I hope you do too!  That’s the holistic lifestyle in me. So often I observe people and families having pizza and nothing else, except perhaps soft drinks. This concept of making wiser food choices is one of several healthier concepts I explain in my book: Whole Health Healing –The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. In the chapter called Enjoying Eating, I explain how making just a few wiser choices go a long way in both weight management and general health. This practical way of healthier eating that I support, is one of several reasons that people label me “the down-to-earth” doctor.

   The next day, we headed off to a local lake I’ve been wanting to fish for a long time. We drilled a hole in the ice and found it to be nearly three feet thick! Great arm exercise. Soon, we caught a few bluegills and perch, but unfortunately, nothing worth keeping.

    But the sun was shining, the pureness of the sparkling white snow, and the excitement made for a wonderful outing.  Some might think or say “Burrrrr!”, but I strongly believe that type of labeling is one of many traps that contribute to obesity and overall poor health. You can escape the trap by taking the attitude that each day is a gift, especially each day’s outdoor activities, and enjoying them in any way you can even if it means bundling up.

   On Saturday, we donned our cross country skis and headed out on the lake. The wind was brisk to say the least, but it didn’t take long to feel some heat when we started moving along. I’ve been cross country skiing for nearly 35 years and never tire of it. I still have the same skis! In Chiropractic College, I remember one of the professors explaining how the cross-crawl pattern of limb movement in this type activity causes improved brain activity and stimulation. Now that’s my kind of a high! Don’t miss out on it.

      There’s a chapter in my book called Exercises That Really Work – And Those to Avoid, here I demonstrate and propose that if it isn’t fun, it won’t get done.  I watched thousands of my patients in the 25 years I practiced chiropractic that struggled with purchasing exercise equipment, joining health clubs, and the self discipline of doing calisthenics. The conclusion I arrived at is this – that kind of approach to exercise fails miserably most of the time. The solution is to participate in fun, outdoor activities regularly, your entire life, and have a variety to choose from for different seasons.

   Strive to do so each and every day, settling for no less than 3 times weekly, even if it means bundling up in the winter.  That’s another step to having a holistic lifestyle. Even better, enjoy it with somebody you love.

   And don’t forget the hot chocolate!

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My Inner Voice Speaks Health

Posted by admin March - 3 - 2010 - Wednesday Comments Off

Here’s my story – I think this will help you.

A few years ago I stared waking up at 2-3 AM. I had long been a good steady and sound sleeper, usually in bed by 9 PM and up by 6AM. This early awakening was quite consistent after it started. At first I thought I had some health problem because I was trained to recognize that as a potential sign. But everything checked out Ok.

There’s a lot of junk on TV at 2-3 AM!

So after a few weeks of this, I started paying closer attention. A pastor told me not to fight it, that the next time it happened just sit quietly, and say a prayer asking essentially “I’m here and willing, what’s up God?”  I was shocked to find that there were amazing words in my head, words about health, healing and wellness. At first, when I became aware of this, I thought I must be going nuts because I had heard that crazy people claim to hear voices. But the words were not really voices. They were just words and they were there. Kind of like when you have a musical tune in your head, but your ears are not hearing it – your brain is.

Maybe you’re starting to think I’m nuts! LOL.

I told my dilemma to a few people I knew I could trust. One of them  gasped and said, “Oh my, you are supposed to be a writer!”

She went on to tell me that most successful writers get their material that way – they wake up with it.

“Can’t be” I responded, “because I failed at writing in school, had lousy grades in grammar, had never written anything significant, already had a successful career as a doctor, and best excuse of all – I don’t even know how to type!”

I’m an expert at denial, so off I went during my usual doctoring thing, still waking up with incredible health information on or in my mind that could help millions. Until………

On a beautiful February afternoon my daughter and dog and I decided to take a snowmobile ride (Yes, my dog like to ride on a snowmobile). We drove out to our frozen pond where we’ve driven our snowmobile many times. As we slowed down and made a turn, I felt the back of the snowmobile drop. I gunned the engine to get out of there, but it was too late. Within 2-3 seconds the three of us were up to our necks, floating in icy, and 12 foot deep water.

Our pond in summer

I immediately grabbed my daughters coat with one hand, and with my other hand hung onto the ice shelf. I boosted her out with all my might. She crawled away screaming as I screamed also, telling her to “Go tell mom to call 911!”.

Next, I boosted my dog Lou out who was whimpering. Then I attempted to get out of the death trap by getting my elbows up on the ice shelf, digging my finger nails in with all my might. As I managed to just get my chest on the ice, it broke again and down I went, this time up to my eyeballs! So I tried again on another side of the ice shelf, and by the grace of God and with the boost of angels I slowly wiggled my way up and out. As I crawled across that ice with bleeding finger nails, I knew my world was going to change.

It was the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had. I had an unpleasant tightness in my chest for weeks after that, and I still feel that tension whenever I describe the ordeal, even now as I write this and wipe the tears from my eyes. But it has changed my life forever.

The very next morning, still shaking, I sat down at the typewriter and started to peck out, with my two fingered typing style, the words in and on my mind. They poured out like water over Niagara Falls, within a short time I’d written several manuscripts. The first one is now officially published and already a hit – Whole Health Healing: The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. You can order it securely from this web site.

I feel strongly that the near drowning experience was a wake-up call, it was God giving me a second chance for me to put my knowledge, experience, and inspired words to use to empower people to make wiser healthcare decisions. To my complete surprise, I am now a full time advocate of holistic health. I sold my practice. Every week I do several radio interviews, speaking engagements, and article submissions. I love every moment of it, even when it gets frustrating. My first book is fast growing in demand, and I’m polishing up several more to follow.

There you have it. I feel good about what I’m doing. I’ve learned to pay attention to directions from what I believe is my Holy Spirit guiding me.

Are you paying attention to the things that happen to you, considering that they may be directions from a higher power? If you’re not, you’ll lead a very stressful existence. I hope it does not take a terrifying dunk in icy water for you to take action!

By the way, have you seen my other popular blogs: http://www.wholehealthhealing.com, and specifically for doctors – http://www.reclaimthejoy.com.

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Kids and Chickens : natural similarities

Posted by admin March - 3 - 2010 - Wednesday 2 COMMENTS

Kids and chickens? What does this combination have to do with health and wellness?

Sure, I understand the value of human life, particularly your own offspring and especially when they behave. LOL. But the behaviors I observe between kids and chickens have some remarkable similarities.

Take my chickens this morning; for example, when I walked in to the coop with a plate of their favorite delicacy – food scraps like bread crusts, fat from yesterdays pork roast, and stale cereal, they came running as if they haven’t eaten in weeks.  Reminds me of my kids but replace the food scraps with French fries!

And the other day when I was out shoveling snow near the coop, I heard “bawk, baaawk, baaaaawk!” So, I ran in there thinking one of the chickens was dying. Lo and behold, one of the hens just laid an egg! She wanted the whole world to know about it. My kids squawk enthusiastically too; like when my son Mikey came home with no homework, and when my daughter Emily finally cleaned her room after a month of my nagging.

And I notice the chickens don’t share or take turns, just like my kids. Lay some food scraps down in the coop and you better stand back, you can count on a food fight.  Just like I’ve learned to never hand one of my kids a bag of potato chips. That never works unless you want to induce a Cain and Able situation. No, what must be done is to get three equal size bowls and very carefully measure out equal portions with precision. And I mean precision because they’ll be checking.

And just when you were hoping to sleep in after a previous hard day, the kids arise before you and raise a ruckus with loud cartoons, banging cereal bowls, and bickering about who gets the last orange. Yeah, the rooster does that too –“cock-a-doodle-do”, not once but more like 25 times as the sun starts its accent on the horizon.

The roosters name is Garth IV.  Yep, forth generation. We got the first Garth and his harem from 2 lovely ladies who lived together. They graciously donated them to our new farm life, but I felt bad because I noticed Garth was the only rooster they had. “Don’t worry about it.” they chuckled, “We’ve got no use for boys around here!”

Garth IV and some of his harem
Garth IV and some of his harem

Garth IV and some of his harem

So, I love our chickens just like I love my kids. We’ve got 6 hens besides Garth IV. They are fairly easy to care for. They basically need only water, food, and someone brave enough to shovel out the coop twice yearly (the manure goes right in the garden). And they reward us with these neat stories and best of all; those hens provide us 2-3 eggs each day.

Those chickens are a real blessing, just like the kids.

What blessings do you have in your life?

By the way, have you seen my 2 other web/blog sites?

For the general public – http://www.wholehealthhealing.com.

Specifically for doctors - http://www.reclaimthejoy.com.

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Healthy families and gardens: both are worthwhile

Posted by admin March - 3 - 2010 - Wednesday 2 COMMENTS

Healthy families and gardens? What do they have in common?

I’m a gardener. It comes natural to me, and I’ve gotten better at it through the years from experience.

I tell others that they should garden also. They all seem to have excuses.

Dr. Tom’s garden

“What’s so hard about having a tomato in a pot on your porch?” I ask. Yes, even that is gardening. Take it a step farther and hoe up a 3 X 5 foot patch of soil and sprinkle a $1.49 packet of lettuce seeds.

“But the weeds!” they exclaim.

Ah yes, the weeds. It’s hard for me to cover for the weed problem. Weeds are what stop people from gardening on larger scales than any other excuse.

“To bad we can’t learn to eat weeds” I once heard my father say.

Well, I do know that you can eat young dandelion weeds. I tried them once or twice; they are tolerable but a little bitter.

But don’t pick them where dogs are roaming! LOL.

God’s got some purpose for weeds, I guess. Just like he’s got some purpose for mosquitoes.  Some reasons we may never know.

Life is a lot like gardening isn’t it? Life is full of a lot of weeds. There are certain things we want, certain accomplishments we strive for, but then the weeds come.

For example, my wife and I wanted kids, we got them, but then the weeds showed up. Weeds like the diapers, and the homework problem, and the sibling rivalry problem, and well, lets face it there are a lot of unpleasantries that come with the joy and blessing of having kids.

But we keep battling the weeds and don’t give up.

People should do the same with kids as with our gardens – don’t give up. The benefits eventually make it all worthwhile. And we get a little smarter about dealing with the weeds each season.

In my garden for example, at first I started just pulling them. The next season I hoed them when they started to sprout. The next season I put mulch between the vegetables to keep the weeds from sprouting. The season after that, I covered the whole garden with landscape fabric and cut small holes just big enough to sneak the vegetables in.

With my kids, I got a bit smarter each year also. One of my kids is reluctant to finish his homework. So, first we restricted his playtime to 1 hour after school. Then we learned to take away his computer games until all homework is complete. Finally, we learned that the homework has to start the moment he gets home.

Andy, Mike, and Emily

Another example is the candy addiction my kids developed. The candy seemed to be dropping from the sky. If it wasn’t coming from Valentines Day, then it was Easter, then it was the 4th of July parade candy, then it was Grandma, then it was the birthday parties, and on and on. Now, I’m one who believes it’s ok to have candy in moderation, but it’s excessive in our culture. So at first I started saying no, then I had to ration it out, then I hid it in the house, and now I have it hidden in the garage.

I hope my kids don’t read this. LOL.

So the weeds never really end, we just get smarter dealing with them.

How are you dealing with your weeds?

By the way, have you seen my 2 other web/blog sites?

For the general public – http://www.wholehealthhealing.com.

Specifically for doctors – http://www.reclaimthejoy.com.

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