Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘pain’

Why Didn’t I Try This Sooner? – Testimonial

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gray Testimonial LogoMan, I love what I do! Check this out:

Dear Dr. Gray,

     My dad had never been to a chiropractor before. After retiring from decades as a heavy equipment operator, his back pain was getting so bad that he moved in with my husband and I. After seeing the relief my husband (who had previously refused to go to a chiropractor) was getting, we were able to talk him in to coming to meet you. After beginning treatment with you, he began to have relief for the first time in years. He swore from that point on that he would not miss an appointment with you. He knew he was getting relief from the pain he had suffered with for so long, and he knew where that relief was coming from. So you see, I’m so grateful to have had a doctor that could help out… They both really loved you, Dr. Gray.

Thanks again, – name withheld for privacy

How can you not be excited to go to work when you get things like this? I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to help so many people. I absolutely love getting testimonials like this.

You want to hear the best part? I received the above unsolicited testimonial a few years after the men she was referencing had passed. There are so many times we go through the motions of our daily lives without fanfare. Without accolades. Without thanks. Without reward. Often, we place too much focus on how our actions are benefiting ourselves… when our true focus should be on how our actions are benefiting others. There is no better reward than finding out years later how you were a positive influence on someone else without even knowing.

Influence can go both ways… positive or negative. Treat every moment, every day, every interaction as if it were the most important thing you can do. You never know who you’re influencing, and you darn sure don’t want to miss an opportunity to make the right impression!

Dr. Gray


Posted in General Back Pain, General Chiropractic, Testimonials | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Wonderful Testimonial

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gray Testimonial LogoSince our last post regarding testimonials, we have received a very humbling number of compliments and stories. Thank you to all who have submitted your testimonials so far, and we look forward to hearing from those of you who are still working on yours.

Our next testimonial comes from a lovely woman regarding her late husband. I was blessed to have been able to work with Hank for several years before his passing. I always felt as though I learned as much from him as he did from me. Listen to these kind words submitted by his widow:

Dear Dr. Gray,

I don’t know what I would have done without your help! You have a special love and compassion for people that are hurting and in pain. My dear husband, Hank, suffered dearly with rheumatoid arthritis and had to retire from GM at age 49. He fell a lot and couldn’t do much walking. After years of pain, increasing debility, and every pain killer medication they could throw at him, we started going to Gray Chiropractic and he would get so much relief from his pain that he couldn’t wait for his next appointment. Your treatments were really helping relieve so much pain and suffering. I just can’t thank you enough. You are a great doctor, and I love and appreciate you so very much.

Name withheld for privacy

Now, if that doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will. Thank you so much for these kind words! I just feel so thankful to have been able to help in whatever way I could.

If you, or someone else you know, suffer with Rheumatoid Arthritis, rheumatism, osteoarthritis, etc., I urge you to make chiropractic care an integral part of your treatment regimen. By their very nature, these conditions are neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) complaints… and there are no better NMS specialists than chiropractors. In addition to traditional chiropractic care, these cases should include recommendations on exercise, diet, physical therapy and concurrent pharmaceutical intervention when necessary.

Don’t fall for the turf battles between professions. On one side, you’ve got chiropractors telling you that medical doctors are killing people with medications. On the other side, you’ve got medical doctors telling you that chiropractors are unsafe. Both sides are being disingenuous, and are just trying to get a bigger piece of the healthcare dollar. Make sure you choose doctors who are open to working with other professions. It is most often a combination of treatment methods that achieves optimum results.

Post a comment, shoot us an email, give us a call, or just stop in if we can assist you or answer any questions. Our staff of physicians and therapists are here to help and we look forward to earning another testimonial like the kind words above.

Dr. Gray

Posted in Other Pain Conditions, Testimonials | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Acupuncture for Pain & Other Symptoms

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We are often asked, “What can acupuncture treat?” Fortunately, the answer is thousands of conditions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for everybody. At the end of the day, acupuncture is just another treatment method for addressing a multitude of conditions. As with any other treatment option, it is not a cure-all. Therefore, a more appropriate question would be, “What conditions does acupuncture have a good success rate in treating?” Again, the fortunate answer is TONS of them!

Here’s what a recent study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry concluded with regards to the use of acupuncture for the treatment of pain in patients with multiple sclerosis:

This study demonstrates clear benefit from acupuncture as a treatment for pain in MS patients. … the sustained benefit of acupuncture as a treatment for pain was further confirmed by the fact that most patients managed to reduce their analgesia requirements, with some able to stop taking painkillers completely. There was some subjective improvement in mood, mobility and energy levels, and more than half felt their sleep pattern improved.

Source:  J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;84(11):e2. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2013-306573.177.

Now that’s a pretty good conclusion! Here’s another recent statement… this time from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):

Medical guidelines for back pain recommend the use of conservative treatments. A JAMA article published in April 2013 encourages patients with back pain to first try conservative treatments–exercises, physical therapy, chiropractic or acupuncture—and resort to surgery only when less invasive options fail.

However, a study published earlier this year in JAMA Internal Medicine confirms that many physicians don’t follow guidelines and instead refer back pain patients to surgery or write prescriptions for powerful pain killers.

Most of you that know me or follow this blog know that I am not an anti-med chiropractor. In fact, I think the chiropractic profession is limiting itself and derelict by refusing to fight for prescription rights. If it’s for nothing more than to offer an alternative mentality regarding pharmaceuticals, that would be worth it. The right to prescribe also affords a doctor the right to advise. The ability to advise a patient to discontinue a medication is just as important to their health as advising when medications are appropriate. But, I digress…

As noted above, too often physicians (not just MD’s, ALL physicians) don’t follow the appropriate guidelines. They continue to do what they’ve done in the past and what their pharmaceutical/medical device/practice management rep tells them. Most often, the physician is so busy that alternative options don’t pop into his/her head. As a patient, it is entirely appropriate for you to ask about alternative methods when you are discussing treatment options. Tell your doctor that you’ve seen references in JAMA recommending acupuncture, or chiropractic, or physical therapy, etc. Tell them that you’d prefer to try less invasive treatment options before resorting to powerful pharmaceuticals or surgical procedures. Your doctor will not be offended by this, and will likely appreciate that you are taking an active role in your health care.

– Dr. Gray

Posted in Acupuncture, General Health | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Great Testimonial! – Knee Pain – Thanks!

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gray Testimonial LogoWe often get testimonials in office and from emails. I’m going to start posting a few so you can see some of the results we are getting for a wide variety of conditions. If you wish to submit your own testimony of your results at Gray Chiropractic, please send them from our contact page (Click Here).

Here’s a testimonial that we just received the other day:

I would like to thank Dr. Gray and staff for offering me an alternative solution for my knee pain other than “no activities for who knows how many weeks”. I’m an active woman who didn’t want to settle with any down time due to my knee pain. Dr. Gray used the infra-sound machine on the problem area, and I must say after a few visits, no more knee pain! Also, kudos to your friendly staff. I’m a believer. Dee

Thank you so much for those kind words, Dee! We are so happy that we’ve been able to help!

While not all cases respond as quickly as Dee’s, we’ve got a wide selection of treatment options that we can choose from in order to address your specific condition. In the past month, we’ve had the pleasure of treating a whole host of knee complaints, such as: degenerative arthritis, chondromalacia patella, Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease, sprained medial meniscus, sprained lateral collateral ligament, and more. On some cases, we’ve used infrasound. Some have responded to traditional chiropractic care. Some have done well with acupuncture. For others we’ve used ultrasound, rehabilitative exercises, etc. Often, the best results involve a combination of treatment options.

We would love the opportunity to work with you, too. If you’ve got knee pain, or other health conditions that we can help you with, please feel free to contact us.

– Dr. Gray

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Other Pain Conditions, Testimonials | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can Chiropractors Help Stuff That Aren’t In the Back?… or, What Is “Chiropractic?”

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, September 16, 2013

Got a great call this morning that got me to thinking… Backstory: A friend of mine, whose wife has been a patient for a couple years, called and told me, “Ya know… my knee has been killing me for a long time and I never really thought that you might be able to do something about it.” Following this call, I have two conclusions.

First, I am grateful that he finally asked. The mere fact that he called meant that he had either been told by someone else that he should ask me, or he finally had a epiphany that he should ask if I could help.

Second, I am concerned that after 118 years, the general public still thinks that chiropractors are just back doctors. Seriously, this gentleman has been a good friend of mine for more than five years. And yet, facing a long-standing and significant condition that was extra-spinal, he hadn’t thought to ask me about it until now.

So, let’s get down to it. “Chiropractic” in it’s derivative form means “done by the hand.” It doesn’t mean done on the back, or done on the neck. Historically, Chiropractic has become known as a method of healing that values and encourages the natural healing ability of the body, and the optimization of the body’s ability to do so. Throughout the past century, our profession has proven time and again that we are capable of treating and improving the health of millions of patients with a myriad of conditions. Plantar Fascitis? Check. Achilles’ Tendinitis? Check. Chondromalacia Patella? Check. Sprained Meniscus? Check. Osgood-Schlatter’s? Check. Hip bursitis? Check. Herniated disk? Check. Menstrual Cramps? Check. Constipation? Check. Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Check. Kidney Stones? Check. Gall Bladder congestion? Check. Difficulty breathing? Check. High Blood Pressure? Check. High Cholesterol? Check. Overweight? Check. Thyroid Dysfunction? Check. Common Cold? Check. Rotator Cuff Tear? Check. Tennis Elbow? Check. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Check. Trigger Finger? Check. Torticollis? Check. Cluster Migraine? Check. Tension Headache? Check. …. Shall I go on?

Have all of these conditions been helped and treated by a chiropractic adjustment? Yes and no. If you subscribe to the “straight chiropractor’s” definition of chiropractic, then chiropractors are nothing more than technicians who pop joints. If you subscribe to the “mixer chiropractor’s” definition of chiropractic, then you define the adjustment as the only crucial element to the treatment plan that is assisted by complimenting, external, therapeutic procedures.

However, a realistic definition that complements the true and original derivative “done by the hand,” does not have to explicitly imply that the single most important factor of our care is a physical adjustment. I suggest that a more accurate correlation refers to our ability to take “a hands-on approach.” It is my opinion that, as with all doctors, it is not our actual “hands” or the service we provide that is our most important asset. Our most important asset, and what makes us worthy of being doctors, is our intellect. It is our ability to examine our patients, have a thorough consultation regarding current symptoms and history, and ultimately arrive at a working diagnosis.

Arriving at a working diagnosis allows us to then use our intellect, education, and experience to suggest an appropriate treatment plan. With our knowledge of how the body works, we know the power and outcomes secondary to the chiropractic adjustment, therefore we often incorporate that in our treatment plan. However, we also recommend proper diet, exercise, diagnostic imaging, blood tests, appropriate supplementation, physiotherapy, and rehabilitative therapy. We apply supportive tape or bracing to damaged joints and muscles. We use kinesiotape to improve circulation and minimize further injury. AND, we refer to our health care counterparts when necessary for concurrent and/or more appropriate care.

There is a significant, country-wide push right now for an expanded role for chiropractors in the health care market. For those who wish to go through the additional training and certification, some wish to have the ability to incorporate more traditional Western treatments, such as pharmaceutical intervention. I, for one, don’t have a problem with that. By our very nature and philosophy, the natural and innate power of the human body to heal itself will still be respected. The chiropractic adjustment will still remain a critical therapeutic measure that we can provide to our patients. However, we must not ignore the benefits that can be achieved through the provision of non-traditional methods of treatment. The world is not flat, and sometimes antibiotics are necessary. The Earth is not the center of the Universe, and sometimes muscle relaxants assist in the healing process.

So, in conclusion, chiropractors are not “back doctors.” We are not “neck doctors.” If an individual chiropractor wants to limit his practice to a specialty practice dealing only with backs, or necks, or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or headaches, or whatever… more power to ya! However, it is unfortunate that some would seek to pigeon-hole the entire profession to their own desires. It is time to expand our practice models, and provide for our patients regardless of historical traditions. It is time to join the 21st century and encourage the freedom to grow and offer more to our patients. It is time to inform the public that we can treat knees, ankles, ear infections, stomach problems, shoulder injuries, chronic pain conditions, and more. It is time to be the first doctor that comes to mind when ANY health condition presents itself.

– Dr. Gray

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Other Pain Conditions, Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Can Stress or Emotions Cause Pain?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, January 23, 2012

I received a great question from a patient recently: She had read somewhere that stress and emotions were the cause of back pain, and wondered if I agreed or if it was true. Here is the majority of my answer.

While not the only cause of pain, the relationship between mental/emotional complaints or stress and how they lead to various physical conditions has long been known. The technical term for it is “psychosomatic,” or “psychogenic,” and refers to physical complaints being caused by mental/emotional problems. As our world has gotten busier and busier, and we have gotten away from stress-reducing activities in our daily life, these psychosomatic conditions have become much more widespread. Unfortunately, addressing psychosomatic conditions is difficult for several reasons.

First, psychosomatic complaints can be varied in their expression. Some people experience headaches when stressed, while others will develop back pain. Still others will suffer from indigestion… or high blood pressure… or neuropathy… or constipation… panic attacks… etc. Because of this highly variable presentation, it is difficult to determine exactly when our conditions are psychogenic in nature or when there is a true underlying disease process. In addition, there are no real tests that can be performed or evaluated to definitively diagnose psychosomatic conditions. Therefore, we are often in a position where we must run a multitude of tests and evaluations to rule out more serious complications or underlying disease processes. When these tests, inevitably, show no evidence of other causes, by exclusion the only plausible remaining diagnosis is “psychosomatic.” However, the very process of so many tests, the costs associated with these tests, and the continual disappointment of another test without an answer… only adds to the stress that is ultimately the underlying cause!

Second, when we have confirmed that stress is either the primary underlying cause or just a complicating factor, it is extremely difficult to get patients to comply with our recommendations on how to reduce that stress. Regardless of whether a physician is involved or not, a person who recognizes that stress is the culprit will often be unwilling (or unable) to take the necessary steps to correct their situation. How many of us can change occupations at will? Which of us can rapidly make money problems disappear? Who among us chooses when to deal with a dying parent? Which of us set our own work hours? And on and on… However, there are a great many things that we can do, but are often unwilling. For example: How many of us turn the television off and read a book in the evening? How many of us go to bed early with some soft, soothing music? How many of us choose nutritious snacks instead of sugary, carbohydrate-rich junk? Who do you know that closes their eyes and rests for fifteen minutes at lunch instead of checking in on Facebook? How many of us go for a walk in the evening instead of watching American Idol? Stress is largely a direct effect of the choices we make, our response to the consequences of those choices, and our willingness or ability to change those choices.

Third, our traditional Western medical system is not designed to properly address or correct psychosomatic conditions. If you look at the above complaints we noted above, think about how those conditions are primarily treated. Headache? Take Excedrin. Back pain? Take Alleve. Indigestion? Take Prevacid. High blood pressure? Take Toprol. Neuropathy? Take Gabapentin. Constipation? Take Maalox. Panic attacks? Take Prozac. Are you seeing the pattern here? And don’t blame this entirely on doctors or the pharmaceutical companies… Nearly every one of the conditions I’ve listed are lifestyle-related. In other words, choices the patient has made have led to the conditions with which they are suffering. By extension, patients demand and choose a treatment alternative that allows them to go on making the same ill-fated choices. Unfortunately, our Western medical system is largely geared towards symptom control… not dysfunction correction.

So, can mental or emotional stress cause pain? Absolutely. It can cause a great many things other than just pain, so it is important to make stress-reduction a regular part of your daily life.

Posted in Fibromyalgia, General Back Pain, General Health, Other Pain Conditions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

How Many Chiropractic Adjustments Do You Need?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How many visits does it take to have a well-adjusted spine? It depends on your definition of well-adjusted. For many patients who experience complete pain relief after their first adjustment, the answer might be one. But if you understand you can have a problem even without pain, you’ll see that it takes a lifetime of minor tune-up visits to be at your best. These minor tune-ups also prevent many of the problems that can show up in your 40s and 50s.

It‘s important to look at the big picture to understand what is going to take place during your lifetime. This can help you see how chiropractic can work to preserve many of your body’s functions and prevent degeneration of your spine.

Childhood and the Teen Years: In your first two decades of life, you will have indirect and direct stresses. Indirect stress is poor posture and direct stresses are sprains and strains from sports activities or other childhood traumas. These stresses, if left untreated, can lead to degeneration and other problems – such as arthritis – down the road.

Your 20s and 30s: This period of time is when your chiropractor can start to see the early stages of degeneration and arthritis that actually had its beginning in your childhood and teens. You may begin to experience diminished flexibility and joint aches and pains. Athletic performance typically begins to decline. The early signs of joint degeneration begin to appear on X-ray. These are all signs of long-standing physical decline, yet you still don’t have pain most of the time.

Your 40s and 50s: This is the time frame during which we start to see the effects of arthritis. Generally this is when your activities start to become limited because of reduced muscle flexibility and joint pain. Chronic pain is commonplace and destruction of cartilage in the knees and hips often results in joint replacement surgery.

How to Prevent or Slow the Damage: Using a combination of proper diet, exercise, regular chiropractic adjustments and custom orthotics if necessary, you can have an active role in preventing damage (or slowing down the wear-and-tear process). Your chiropractor or nutritionist can suggest what you should be eating, but it’s up to you to actually follow this plan and choose a healthy lifestyle. The five keys known to contribute to longevity are:

  1. Don’t smoke.
  2. Eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Drink alcohol in moderation.
  5. Get regular exercise.

Getting exercise on a regular basis goes hand-in-hand with proper nutrition in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are some easy tips to get you started:

  1. Start slow, gradually increasing the intensity of your workout.
  2. Always warm-up and cool down when working out.
  3. Drink plenty of water (8 ounces before you work out, 8 ounces while you work out and another 8 ounces after).
  4. Listen to your body – stop exercising if you experience pain or dizziness.
  5. Wear proper-fitting, supportive athletic shoes.

Being evaluated by your chiropractor even when you are pain-free can have a very valuable payoff in the later years. Healthy joints, muscle flexibility and a healthy nervous system will allow you to continue to exercise and be active, which we all know contributes to overall health. The key to a well-adjusted spine is starting early and continuing to keep your body in balance. This is a lifetime’s approach to overall wellness and health.

– Dr. James C. Gray

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, January 5, 2010

There are very few people that if given a choice would decide to have painful surgery or take lots of medication to reduce pain from an injury or disease. For a long time that was the only option open to most of us. With the invention and acceptance of chiropractic medicine, all of that changed. One of the greatest benefits of chiropractic care is its holistic approach to treating the whole body. Most people tend to think of chiropractic medicine as only neck and back adjustments, when it is actually a whole lot more. Chiropractors are trained in many of the sciences and they can do offer help in the areas of neurology, orthopedics, and pediatrics and geriatric care. That means they are ready and able to help patients of any age and fitness level. Here is a quick look at some of the other benefits of chiropractic care.

  1. Reduces muscle spasms
  2. Increased flexibility
  3. More effective training for athletics
  4. Reduces the appearance of adhesions
  5. Controls soreness and pain due to injury or disease
  6. Increased circulation
  7. Injury prevention

That’s just a short list of the benefits that can be achieved through chiropractic care. These highly trained professionals have helped countless people enjoy a renewed state of physical health. Their special training also includes nutrition, physical therapy techniques, and stretching exercises. Your chiropractor may or may not be a massage therapist himself or herself, but many chiropractors include this service in their practices because of the proven benefits of therapeutic massage. It helps to stimulate oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscles and promote relaxation for safe healing.

Another treatment method chiropractors sometimes choose to include in their practices is acupuncture. As previously noted, chiropractic care is intended to treat the whole body. When one system of the body is struggling with injury or illness, the whole body is affected. Unlike most doctors that only treat one illness or symptom, chiropractic care strives to heal the injury or illness, as well as the adverse side effects to the rest of the body.

If you have never explored the benefits of chiropractic care for yourself, the time has never been better. This industry is booming as more and more people make the decision to treat their health gently and effectively. While chiropractic care can’t cure every disease or injury, it’s certainly worth looking into before undergoing painful surgery with its long term health effects. You will be amazed at how much better you feel and your increased range of motion, and renewed energy. These benefits of chiropractic care are why patients regularly refer their friends and family to us for treatment.

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Now Offering Massage Therapy!

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, November 5, 2009

Karen IngramGray Chiropractic would like to welcome Karen Ingram to the team. Karen is a licensed massage therapist and will be a welcome addition to our staff. Whatever your pleasure, be it a nice relaxing Swedish massage to a strong deep-tissue massage, she’s been trained and practicing her craft for several years. If you’ve never had a hot stone massage, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Call our office today to schedule a time with Karen, and we’ll do our best to provide a comfortable, healing environment. You won’t be disappointed! You can reach us at (816) 795-1121. See you soon!

Posted in General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What’s Your Motivation For Exercise?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, September 14, 2009

As chiropractors, our main philosophy is based on finding the cause of problems, rather than focusing on symptoms. Over the last several weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak with several professional athletes about many different subjects. One subject during our conversations was in reference to the type of exercise they do during the off-season to stay physically fit. One expressed that he liked to play tennis. He said he would rather play tennis for two hours than ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes. At this point, I started to think about what motivates a person to want to stay physically fit. In the case of a professional athlete, it might be the possibility of making millions of dollars for as long as they are able. That might be one reason. But what about the average person? What is the average person’s motivation to exercise?

The root cause of many of America’s health problems may go beyond poor diet and obesity. These may be mere symptoms of the underlying cause of the problem – motivation, or the lack of it. The more I thought about this, the more it made sense. Everyday we are bombarded with the latest stats on nutrition, or pounded with the ultimate miracle diet that will solve all of our problems. We all know eating poorly or being stagnant translates into poor health, so we have the knowledge. Unfortunately, knowledge has not translated into willpower. Over 50% of people who start an exercise program quit within less than a year, and over 90% who start some type of diet fail and gain all the weight back.

This problem is not complicated. Most people associate exercise as something dreadful. However, look at what the professional athlete said, “I would rather spend 2 hours playing tennis than 30 minutes riding a stationary bike.” So the key is to find an alternative you like, and stick to it. If you want to succeed, stop forcing yourself to participate in exercises you don’t enjoy doing. Most people don’t get driven away from exercise due to the physical abuse the body takes, it is the mental abuse they suffer in thinking they have to do things they dread. This new way of thinking about exercise is very similar to the psychological theory known as self-determination theory (SDT). The premise behind SDT says that the more self-determined we are, or the more we are doing what we want to do, the happier and more successful we tend to be. Most people go through life believing that everything is done for external rewards, or out of fear of punishment. That external-reward thought process that is known as behaviorism. The thought that we might have an internal motivation that is natural to us was laughed at. The common population has forgotten that we may do things for the mere fact that we enjoy doing them.

If I ask my kids why they run as fast as they can, or why they climb and swing from the monkey bars, they don’t answer that it’s to keep their body fat down or have huge biceps. They do these things because it is a game, and it is very fun for them. As we get older, many of these intrinsic motivators leave us due to the realities of the “real world”: the need to earn a living, demands of relationships and family, and constant need to be entertained by the computer and TV. As a result, we become lazy… at least until external demands become so great that we have to do something or we will get sick and die. At that point, we get the gym membership and a new pair of Nike Air’s. But that is the real problem though, we are at that point of letting external causes be the determining factor of why we should exercise. This type of thinking starts a vicious cycle, and ultimately sets us up for failure. Remember the less intrinsic your motivation is, the more likely you are to dread or fail at doing something. That something might be exercise, work, school, or dieting. However, the more intrinsic your motivation is, the more apt you are to want to keep doing it.

My suggestion is to take out a sheet of paper. At the top, write “How Motivated AM I”? This can be for anything from your job to business to personal goals, but in this case, let’s make it exercise. Write down what it is that motivates you to exercise. If you realize that you don’t have a reason, chances are you won’t stick with any program. If you write down because other people think I look good, eventually the chances for burn out are much higher because you can’t go through life trying to please everybody. If you write down that you enjoy it, then you are heading in the right direction. Another topic you may want to consider writing down is what motivation type you are. The more you rely on extrinsic factors rather than intrinsic factors the less likelihood for success. The more you are doing things that you like to do, the happier and more enjoyment you will have.

Open your mind to new ways of exercise that are fun. I have recently started playing dodgeball and kickball with my kids, and swinging from the monkey bars that come off our deck. Sometimes we play for hours. Everybody can find something that motivates them, you just have to want to do it.

Article by: Dr. Josh Sonsiadek

Posted in General Health, Stretches & Exercises | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: