Dr. Rhett

Overdraft (part 2)

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Each new alien substance the body’s cells have to adjust (adapt) to requires energy, the cumulative effect of which is labeled stress. The cell, the body, the man, can’t indefinitely maintain adaptation under stress. 1

Have you ever seen something last forever? Have you witnessed an ageless anything? No, you haven’t and neither have I. Because matter has limitations.

YOU TOO HAVE LIMITATIONS! And so do every other person in your social circle. We are made of material things and matter has limitations, governed by biological laws, the boundaries that keep them “inside the lines” of normal function.

I have a habit that I’ve always thought advantageous: I’ve always imagined my life in other people’s shoes. That actually is advice I recommend everyone try. Think about what a day looks like to carry the responsibilities of a friend or colleague.

We all have biological limitations that can only handle so much stress.

Eventually that stress turns into abuse, and that abuse wears you down until you’re curled up in your mother’s lap saying, “I NEED CHOCOLATE!”

We all have limitations. Matter has limitations. Biology, physics, and chemistry all have boundaries.

But what are those limitations?

According to exercise physiologists, did you know you have a “bank account” with enough “cash reserves” to run a 1,000 mile race?

No that doesn’t mean you could go run a 1,000 mile race right this moment. But adding up all your energy stores would approximately add up to that amount. Sure that’s a generalization which forgets variation among individuals, but you get the picture. You have a huge bank account worth of energy storage.

Like I said in part 1 of this series, your nervous system is constantly negotiating energy demands. Part of its job is to get you up that flight of stairs you climb every day or effectively managing the constant onslaught of student life, or handling the duties of 24/7 motherhood. Your nervous system says, “Can I last another day with the resources I have?

This brings me to my next point:

  • Stress, either mental, physical, or chemical, will create higher energy demands

Higher energy demands mean you’ll have less in the bank to spend.

Wondering why you’re tired all the time? Wondering why you never feel like exercising? Wondering why you aren’t motivated beyond sippin on southern-style sweet tea?

I’d bet you’re spending more than your saving and experiencing what I call a “metabolic overdraft”.

Notice I didn’t say you couldn’t handle stress. It all depends on how much stress there is. In fact stress is a normal part of life and is present in all ecosystems, all cultures, all environments. For example, gravity is a natural, normal, beneficial stress to our bodies. Take gravity out of the equation and what do you get? An astronaut!

Astronauts are known to have to spend significant time on rehab protocols to restore normal health measurements like cardiovascular demands and osteoporosis therapies, both of which have links to effects of living outside of gravity’s biologic demands. The “stress” of gravity, in this case, is beneficial, necessary even. Stress that is “good” is termed “eustress.”

Ever heard of the Anthropic Principle? The Anthropic Principle states that the parameters of this world were specifically tailored to foster not only human life but all life. The natural physical, biological laws operating on a daily basis to keep us alive can be clearly seen and measured.

Our health as living beings depends on them.

To summarize:

  • Energy in and energy out dynamics are a real thing, constantly negotiated and renegotiated by your nervous system with a priority of energy conservation. Conserve energy = propagate life functions
  • Stress is a good thing until it becomes a bad thing. All disease processes can be traced back to excess stress in mental, physical, or chemical categories.

Call to Action

What am I asking you to do? I’m asking you to consider the stress (physical, mental, chemical) in your life (or your kid’s lives) and reduce them or make attempts to synthesize them with a healthy life! High-Carb, highly refined, processed foods do not make sense from a metabolic standpoint. They will overdraft your energy “bank account” and next thing you know your 100lbs over weight, balding and taking the silver sneakers class at the YMCA instead of applying for America Ninja Warrior like you really wanted to. The dynamite combination of a high fat, fatigue-resistant aerobic lifestyle* while excluding trans-fatty foods** and GMOs mixed with a sincere attempt to reduce the other stress in your life will give you the best chance to bring you back to “balance” or “homeostasis and prevent “metabolic overdraft” and eventual disease. With fats you could out-live disease! That’s the metabolic dilemma your nervous system is negotiating every day. “Can I make it through today?” My encouragement is to put more “funds” in the bank. Have a cash reserve even! The only way this can be done is to EAT HEALTHY FATS and lots of them! As Phil Maffetone likes to say, there are no minimum requirements for carbohydrates like there are for fats and proteins! In other words, you don’t need them like you do fats and protein. You crave them because that’s all you feed yourself!

Stress is a killer when it becomes too much. Think about ways to reduce stress in all three categories of physically, mentally, and chemically (nutritionally). Do it for yourself. Do it for your kids. Do it for your grandkids. Change the dietary and genetic future of your family tree.

And remember, you are an amazing, high functioning, well-thought out living creature whose complexities are more numerous and greater than any other life-form on the planet. You are God’s signature biological masterpiece!

*Endurance exercise before “Chronic Cardio”. Eating organic grass-fed butter, grass-fed milk/cheeses, grass fed meats, raw nut butters, avocados, coconut oils, etc

** Think plant based oils; if a food product has plant based oils like sunflower, safflower, peanut, soybean, cottonseed, palm, canola, etc…..and doesn’t say “organic” or “expeller pressed”, I avoid it completely. If a food product says “Roasted [nut]” I also avoid it. Tip for nuts: look for “Raw” or “Dry-Roasted”. After all, friends don’t let friends eat trans-fat

1.Zamm, Alfred V., and Robert Gannon. Introduction. Why Your House May Endanger Your Health. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980. 15. Print.


Dr. RhettOverdraft (part 2)
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Overdraft (part 1)

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One of the worst feelings in this world is the one of second-guessing your bank accounts bottom line.

I’m sure many of you have lived this nightmare. It makes your hairs stand on end and immediately pulls you out of reality. In my family, I’m considered a bit of a tight-wad with my hard earned dollars.  As my mom likes to say, “He could squeeze a lemon with those puckered cheeks”, whatever that means.

Your energy systems (aka metabolic systems) operate much like your bank account. Your constant activity could be thought of as “deposits” and “withdrawals” you make as a result of “energy in-energy out” dynamics.

You’re always operating in two categories throughout the day: anabolic and catabolic.

These two words refer to your “metabolic” or energy producing cycles that keep you moving on a daily basis. Anabolic refers to the “build and repair” processes you need to replace the energy reserves you’ve “catabolized” running up a steep hill or even the mental energy it takes to concentrate while taking a test. Catabolic refers to the process of tearing down, “burning” or “spending” those energy reserves. You are always in one of these two energy state, building up or tearing down, energy production or energy utilization, anabolic or catabolic, depositing or withdrawing.

In reality, it’s just a percentage game of how much of each is going on. It’s probably most accurate to think of it as a teeter-totter, with one side representing how much you’re “spending” and the other side representing how much you’re “saving”.

My purpose here is not to drown you with physiologic processes you don’t care about but rather to paint a picture in a simplified manner so that you catch my vision for your health. Remember, ideas have consequences. Your belief systems about your health will inevitably affect your own health and the health of your family/friends.

Every workday I’m faced with a challenge in private practice. The story unfolds like this:

“Doc, what is the purpose of your treatment protocols?”

That patient just gave me the challenge to break down a complicated message and the license to repeat the Ace Ventura, three minute-one breath monologue. That monologue usually resembles at least the bullet points I’m putting in this write up. The first one to grasp is:

  • Your nervous system is consciously concerned with negotiating energy demands at all times of the day.

As a physician, my job is to “balance the scales” and ultimately help you “save” or “deposit more energy than you “spend” or “withdraw”. Or maybe more accurately, I’m your hypothetical parent grabbing your ear and telling you to “spend your money wisely sunny-boy!”

To this end, my brain thinks of a “balance” or scale that’s teetering, trying to find the balance between the needs at any given minute of the day and the resources you have to meet those needs.

Basically, to reiterate, you’re always making “deposits” or “withdrawals” into your energy-bank-account.

Eating a well balanced meal is a deposit. Running to the end of the street and back is a withdraw.  Resting and recovering is a deposit. Throwing up as a result of feeling winded after running to the end of the street…….like i said, you’re always doing a bit of both.

Like a scale that’s negotiating the weight you put on it, it’s always going to be a percentage game with your nervous system. One side goes up, the other side goes down, alternating at all times of the day as you perceive and deal with life’s stress.

If you think about it, stress is a biological law of nature really. Like gravity, the “everything that goes up must come down” experience is very much similar to the laws of energy demands. Regarding energy cycles, you must put back what you take out of the bank. And too many withdrawals will result in injury, sickness, or worse.

The story doesn’t end here though because the currency is not the same across the board. Using fats for energy and using sugar for energy looks completely different.

I like to think of it as investing money.

If i went to the store and invested in a candy bar, the money i spent would be equal in value to the amount of candy bar i could walk out with,.correct? In other words, today that dollar is worth the value of that candy bar. Investing is a different story.

A dollar invested in the stock market today could be worth thousands of dollars given 30-40 years of growth.

In the same way, eating healthy fats today is a time-honored, energy saving, health-producing way to “save” over the long haul. Eating sugars today is like spending your money on groceries, you just lost your dollar so there’s no opportunity to invest in the stock market. You end up becoming a slave to pleasure-seeking “sugar fixes” (literally addicted to it) and retirement will come sooner than you think.

You can invest and secure a future of “energy reserves” as metabolic “cash reserves” and all you have to do is eat healthy fats over sugars. Again, this is a percentage game and playing by these rules is most likely to bring you a trophy.

Dr. RhettOverdraft (part 1)
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Chiropractic Simplified (part 2)

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The name of the game, to quote a phrase, is to get people better. The body can heal itself in a sure, sensible, practical, reasonable, and observable manner. This is how the healer within can be approached from without. Man possesses an unerring potential for recovery through the innate intelligence or physiological homeostasis of the human structure.”- George Goodheart DC.1

Sugar coat it anyway you like, but the main goal of any health care system, including chiropractic, should be to restore normal function within every patient.

Normal body functions, normal biological activity within people create an individual dependence on their own internal pharmacies for healing rather than “product dependent” human beings.

You are dependent on something.

Ideas have consequences. Your philosophy of health will determine your choice to be dependent on your internal healing abilities, your internal pharmacy or the “product” world. Both options have consequences. There is a best option.

My attempt at broadening your perspective continues, hopefully giving you a new respect for chiropractic and its goal orientation. Really it is my attempt to teach you about how incredible you are and how activity and movement are the great healers, your power within. Chiropractic simply exonerates that theme, makes use of that message.

It isn’t that I’m so pro- chiropractic. My loyalties are to anything that is going to restore cellular homeostasis since that is where disease actually begins.

Chiropractic aims to restore normal mechanoreception and proper movement.

But I guess that begs the question: “why does it need to be restored? When did I lose it?”

You might not have lost it! You might have it just fine, and be fully expressing your God-given capacities to maintain normal function. But if symptoms are present, you’re internal pharmacy is negotiating energy demands.

Like I’ve alluded to in previous articles…..the answer, in general terms, is stress.

Stress has the potential to rob you of appropriate movement, appropriate mechanoreception. It doesn’t mean that stress will create problems. Stress can even be a good thing. Think of gravity for example and all its benefits. Your body was meant to be under the biological laws of nature, for example. Each of them represents different types of natural stress. And they’re necessary. The trans-fat in the potato chips you eat every day, though, is not the stress you were meant to endure.

Again, restore normal and expected mechanoreception to restore proper, energy efficient movement. Restore movement to protect Brain function. Protect brain function to maintain normal cellular activity and “live long time”.

If A=B and B=C, then A=C

A= Chiropractic

B= Proper, efficient movement

C= normal and expected brain function

When trying to decide which healthcare approach to take, a general rule of thumb is to go with what’s most CONSERVATIVE. Conservative will obviously be relative to individual circumstances, but I promise you, in every circumstance there is a good, better, and best option. If you don’t know which option to choose in the vast sea of health care options, ask around. Get a referral from a friend. But for goodness sakes, please go conservative. And no, NSAIDS (acetaminophen, etc) are not a conservative option.

Restoring normal and expected sensory information should always be a part of your journey to feeling better.

My responsibility is not JUST to make sure your joints move correctly (as chiropractors do), because you are more than just bones. My responsibility in not JUST to make sure your muscles behave the way your skeleton and brain need them to (as the therapist in me is trained to do). My responsibility is not JUST to make sure “big daddy Vagus Nerve” is receiving and projecting proper information to the organs of your gastrointestinal system (like the somato-visceral orientated physician in me is prepared to do). Take any part of you and ultimately my job as a physician is to make you function as efficiently as humanly possible, in the place life has you, with the circumstances life has you. That would include anything that’s going to restore normal balance/homeostasis in the human body. Yes that can be done without drugs and surgery. Enter……holistic doctor.

Yes, prescription meds (though over-utilized and habit producing, even dignity depleting) have the potential to “buy you some time” by providing raw material you might need to keep you alive, but if you were truly healthy, truly in balance, you wouldn’t need them. Though I understand there are exceptions, no person should be required to take them long term. If you need drugs to keep you functioning normal on a daily basis, you’re not living in physiological balance and therefore not living to your fullest potential of health. Remember, health is man’s natural heritage.


1.) David Walther. Applied Kinesiology Synopsis 2nd edition. Systems DC.1988-2000. Pg xii


Dr. RhettChiropractic Simplified (part 2)
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Chiropractic Simplified (part 1)

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Chiropractors are always trying to put bones back in place. They shouldn’t be trying to put them back in place. They should be putting them back in function.” – Frank Illi 1973 National University Homecoming Speech

This will help simplify chiropractic and pose a case for its usefulness in your personal healthcare. What I’ve learned is that most people are genuinely interested in chiropractic and natural medicine to compliment their primary doctor visits. They just don’t know where to get a good answer for what chiros do.

“It’s not like WebMD where I can get a straight answer,” I remember hearing from a friend. “If only there was a simple write up that helped put it in perspective!” 

Chiropractic literally means “practice by hand”. If you’ve ever been to the chiropractor’s office you’d probably expect a few things: to be “crunched”, “popped”, or “cracked” and to be poked and prodded a bit. After all, prodding is an art and a science.

Chiropractors have made use of the science of movement and movement’s inherent ability to “right the wayward ship” of physiological aberration. To restore your functional capacities and help you move most efficiently is the end goal of chiropractic. Remember how important moving is right?

“Perhaps the most important thing we have learned is the intimate relationship between mobility and intelligence.” (1)

As I like to say, people are not one piece but MANY pieces. There are a lot of things that you are. Just think about the 40,000 genes alone in your DNA to help put that into perspective.

Though you might not think so, my loyalties ultimately do not lie with chiropractic but rather with conservative treatment of each patient.

I want patient’s to achieve a balanced system. I merely see myself as a respectful facilitator of the patient’s inherent ability to heal themselves and use chiropractic with other therapies to accomplish the end result of physiological balance.

Energy efficient, properly communicating movement is your greatest biomechanical asset, not my chiropractic services. Chiropractic is a means to an end, a more balanced person being that end.

Restore physiological Balance = Restore health

Simply put, restoring “balance” is the end goal of chiropractic, and that’s the reason it has any value at all.

It can “right the wayward ship”. This should be the end goal of every health care approach. In other words, to restore YOUR inherent ability to function independently of capitalized markets, including drug markets, vitamins, supplementation products, orthotics, etc etc SHOULD BE the foundational goal of every physician. 

Just as Frank Illi said in his address to National Chiropractic College at their 1973 Homecoming event, chiropractic is NOT about pops and cracks. Chiropractic is about restoring function.

And the value of function can mean the difference between you living to be 120 years old and you dying prematurely at age 65. It will mean the difference between a healthy brain and nervous system, functionally independent, long healthy life or a sick nervous system, functionally dependent, painful, drug dependent, physician dependent, shortened life.

Simply put, proper movement will protect brain function. Normal brain function ensures quality of life. Conservative approaches, including chiropractic, can restore and maintain proper movement


  1. Doman, Glenn. How  To Teach Your Baby  To Be Physically Superb. The  Better  Baby Press. pg 28. 1988
Dr. RhettChiropractic Simplified (part 1)
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With respect, please refuse to abdicate your health or your child’s health to the drug markets, to less than competent physicians, or insurance plans!

Take control of your child’s health.

You might pay for health insurance, but it’s a bad idea to give them all the power over your health care decisions.

How do you take control?Utilize the healing power of nature.

Support yourself properly with proper nutrition (non-GMO, no trans-fat, whole foods, grass-fed, wild caught, good fats over carbs) and proper movement  opportunities.

Give your child’s self-healing abilities, self-managing, self-regulating capacities more credit, more dignity. 

Ideas have consequences. Believing in or buying into ideas will influence your decisions, good and bad.

How many bad decisions can you or your kid get away with?Your body will tell you. Let “symptoms be your guide.”

Symptoms are the body’s way of communicating with consciousness. That’s you as the parent before your child can make proper health decisions.

Your kid doesn’t know what “healthy” looks like. Please teach them. With kids, more is caught than taught. Teach them through your own lifestyle choices. They will ultimately be imitating the lifestyle choices you make.

The health of your kid should not be a reflection of choices made out of convenience. Time to get back to “first principles”: healing starts from within.

This would be my response to a parent in regards to their initial observation of suspected acute infection.

Our healing comes from within us and God has equipped us with the ability to heal from the inside out. You know this.  There is risk in every decision. Life brings with it risk. Life is not always easy. And choosing the convenience of a pill (which isn’t “guaranteed” to do a better job than his own immune system) because you don’t want to deal with a crying individual for example is not parenting.

Those moments are opportunities!

See them and use them. Teach your kid about their internal healing abilities. Drugs might carry a “scientifically proven” label, that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your health. That doesn’t mean that’s the only option for healing. That just might be the only message you have heard. Don’t take the easy way out.

Why not give your son’s inherent natural healing ability the dignity to see if it can handle the mess without help. His immune system will be better for it.

Ideas have consequences. And your actions for your family will be the direct result of those ideas. But if you never heard the other side of the story, you’ll never know what you’re missing. Don’t jump on the Non-gravy train of over-the-counter meds to solve your child’s homeostatic-imbalance problem. If you do, you will effectively do three things in the process:

1.) Contaminate the patient’s internal milieu (insides)

2.) Make you and your child dependent on drugs to feel “normal”

3.) Make my job as a physician harder when trying to put you back together

Give your child’s self-healing abilities the dignity it deserves!

Dr. RhettDignity
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