The Real Reasons for the Opioid Epidemic

Senior male doctor opioidsAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015. From 1999 to 2015, the number of opioid overdoses quadrupled. In New Jersey, the number of opioid overdose deaths increased by 16.4 percent from 2014 to 2015. The vast majority of these cases resulted from the abuse of legally prescribed drugs, not illegal heroin.

To truly understand why we have an opioid epidemic here in New Jersey and across the country, we need to look at the history behind it. When you look at the history, these frightening statistics start to make sense. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

5 Changes that Will Improve the State of Health Care in Our Country

US Healthcare reform v Health Insurance ReformIn an earlier post, I discussed why the conversation about health care reform needs to change. We need to talk less about health insurance and more about making people healthier. We need to prioritize proactive disease prevention rather than reactive disease treatment if we’re ever going to reverse the chronic illness epidemic in our country and get costs under control.

1) Create a New Layer of Health Care

I discussed this in my last post about health care reform. In addition to the emergency and traumatic care layer and the fragmented layer of specialists, we need a layer that focuses on preventing and reversing chronic illness.

Board certified functional medicine practitioners would help people get to the root cause of their problems, provide the education required to make better health decisions, and develop individualized plans to restore and maintain health and wellness. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

To Truly Reform Health Care, We Need to Change the Conversation

the high cost of chronic illness It happened again in Washington.

After spending seven years pointing fingers and the past few weeks trying to craft legislation that would appease various political factions, our elected officials failed in their attempt at “health care reform.” That’s in quotes because the American Health Care Act, much like the Affordable Care Act, had little to do with reforming health care. It had everything to do with reforming health insurance.

Think about who was involved in this process – politicians, health insurance executives, big pharma, and plenty of lobbyists.

Where were the doctors and researchers? Did anyone bother to mention the chronic illness epidemic that’s responsible for seven in 10 deaths each year and 86 percent of our nation’s health care costs? Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Startling New Data About Alzheimer’s, and a Familiar Silver Lining

New Data About Alzheimer’sPBS recently debuted a documentary titled “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts.” The documentary includes some sobering statistics and realities about Alzheimer’s disease, which has become one of the most serious public health issues affecting our country.

For people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers and families, it’s not just an illness. It’s a crisis. Consider the numbers as laid out in an article from Mercola.com:

  • The number of people affected by Alzheimer’s is expected to triple by 2050.
  • Every 33 seconds, someone in our country will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The costs to care for those with Alzheimer’s are forecast to exceed $1.1 trillion by 2050.
  • Though 5.2 million of 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s are age 65 and older, 200,000 people have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

What Is Functional Neurology?

Functional Neurology

I’ve written and spoken extensively about functional medicine, which I believe is critical to fixing our broken healthcare system. Functional medicine is personalized care that focuses on preventing disease and attacking the root cause of health issues rather than reactively treating symptoms.

The goal is to maintain or restore balance among the body’s various systems. This balance helps us function at an optimal level so we can live as many quality, disease-free years as possible.

One area of functional medicine that is finally starting to get the attention it deserves is functional neurology, which is focused on making sure the brain functions at an optimal level. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Did You Know Every Chronic Illness Has a “Pre” Stage?

Chronic Illness warning signsAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every three adults – 86 million total – have prediabetes, also known as insulin resistance or Metabolic Syndrome. Of those 86 million, nine out of 10 don’t know they have prediabetes. 15-30 percent will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

Type 2 diabetes isn’t the only form of chronic illness with a “pre” stage. It just happens to have a quantifiable diagnosis that’s known to lead to the more serious condition.

Precancerous cells can lead to cancer. Osteopenia refers to bone density that’s lower than normal but not quite low enough to be called osteoporosis. Being overweight can be the “pre” condition of obesity.

But just because a “pre” condition doesn’t have a formal name, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Blood pressure can be elevated without being classified as high blood pressure. Inflammation could be a precursor to osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, neuro-degenerative disorders and many more disorders. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

The Most Important Molecule in the Human Body that You’ve Never Heard Of

glutathioneRegular readers of my blog know I have enormous respect for Dr. Mark Hyman, one of the world’s foremost advocates of functional medicine and chairman of the Institute of Functional Medicine. I’d like to summarize an article written by Dr. Hyman and share important information about what he calls “the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease.”

This molecule is called glutathione, which is produced naturally by the human liver. What makes glutathione special is sulfur. Sulfur is sticky, and free radicals and toxins stick to glutathione for that reason. Glutathione then carries them to bile and stool before they leave the body.

That’s why glutathione is the most important part of the detoxification system. It cools off free radicals and recycles other antioxidants. Research suggests that, by supporting immune function and controlling inflammation, high glutathione levels can reduce muscle damage, speed recovery time, improve strength and endurance, and switch metabolism to develop muscles instead of fat. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Integrated Medicine: Separating Buzz from Substance

Integrative Medicine About 15 years ago, “integrated” became a big buzzword. Companies in different industries started using “integrated” in their sales presentations, marketing campaigns, and business models. Some companies started using “integrated” in the name of the business.

You have integrated marketing, which is designed to make sure different marketing tactics are part of a single cohesive strategy and support the same objective and message.

You have integrated technology, which is designed to simplify the management of technology and make sure all departments within an organization have access to a single version of accurate, up-to-date data.

You even have integrated pest management, which is designed to coordinate methods for controlling pest populations and reduce the usage of pesticides and other chemicals.

I don’t claim to be an expert in any of these industries. But in the world of healthcare, I can tell you that the phrase “integrated medicine” is used far too casually – and often in a deceptive way. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Angry Fat and the Truth about Obesity

angry fatIn a previous post, I discussed how mad cow disease is a prime example of how altered structure changes the information of that structure, which in turn impacts the way the body functions.

More specifically, when man alters the state of food, it alters the structural information within that food, which affects our health and causes disease. These facts are painfully obvious when you take a closer look at the obesity epidemic in our country.

Central obesity, or excessive fat around the midsection, poses the greatest risk of chronic illness associated with fat accumulation. The dangerous fat stored in the belly area is called angry fat.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Lessons Learned from Mad Cow Disease

Cow, Isolated Over Summer MeadowIn a recent post, I explained how alterations to the human body’s molecular structure negatively impact how we function. These structural alterations can be caused by different events in an individual’s lifestyle, diet and environment. The resulting altered function is a key component of the disease process, causing everything from back pain to chronic disease.

There’s one prime example in our recent history of a structural abnormality causing a physiological disease. Remember mad cow disease?

Cows were designed to consume a plant-based diet. However, in the late 1980s, the cost of food for cattle went so high that cattle farmers began to use alternative food sources – namely, the remains of dead and diseased animals – to feed cows. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Improve the Way You Function by Aligning Your Body’s Structure

Aligning Your Body’s StructureIn 1951, a study was conducted by the National Academy of Sciences about the structure of the human body and the relationship between protein and body function. The study involved Dr. Linus Pauling.

If that name sounds familiar, Dr. Pauling was the subject of a blog post I wrote last year about a true genius. Dr. Pauling is a hero of mine and the father of molecular medicine.

Dr. Pauling stated that that underneath human physiological structure is the molecular level, and we can better understand body function if we understand body structure at the molecular level.

In other words, if we get the structure right, the function will follow.

Most of us think of the physiological structure – bones, muscles, connective tissue and organs – as permanent. In reality, these systems are replaced on a regular basis.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

What It Means to Be a Healthcare Consumer

What is a Healthcare ConsumerWhen my wife, Stacy, was pregnant with our first daughter, Hannah, in 1999, I remember researching and evaluating OB/GYNs. Obviously, choosing the right person or practice to take care of my wife during her pregnancy was a major decision for us.

We asked a lot of questions. We wanted to know what the approach and thought process would be. We wanted to know what role we would have in making decisions about our child’s health.

There’s nothing wrong with evaluating healthcare providers in this manner.

When you go shopping for food at the grocery store, you’re a consumer. When you go shopping for a car at an auto dealership, you’re a consumer.

When you choose healthcare professionals, it’s even more important to be a consumer.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Why Detoxification Begins with Sugar

Why Detoxification Starts with Sugar

Photo credit – Fed Up a film by Stephanie Soechtig

In last week’s post, I discussed the need to change our behavior in order to maintain the human body’s natural design and avoid chronic illness. This process begins with making the decision to change, and then establishing realistic expectations, understanding what influences our decisions, deflecting those things in our lives that are unimportant or unhealthy, and establishing a written plan.

Perhaps the most positive change we can make in order to avoid chronic illness is reducing bad sugars in our diets.

According to The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman, 12 percent of Americans were overweight in 1990. 35 percent of adults and one in five children are obese today.

This year, for the first time in history, more people will die from the effects of obesity than starvation.

There is also a growing body of evidence that points to the excessive intake of refined sugars having a role in the development of chronic illnesses like type II diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

What to Look For in a Pain Doctor

How to Select a Doctor to treat your painMy wife and I are having our basement painted. With five kids, the basement is an important place in our home.

Without a second thought, we called the painter who we’ve used for years. He told my wife that he would send an estimate.

She said, “Why? It doesn’t matter. We’re hiring you.”

Isn’t it great when you get to a place where you unconditionally trust someone? We don’t have to worry about our painter taking advantage of us. We have no doubt that he’ll give us a fair price, show up on time and do a wonderful job.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Why Massage Is So Much More than Pampering

massage at Natural Healthcare Center in Long Branch, NJPeople love to pamper themselves with a day at the spa that includes an hour-long massage. Maybe you’ve been on vacation and had a massage overlooking the beach or on the deck of a cruise ship.

Yes, massage definitely provides a sense of relaxation. But therapeutic massage, the type of massage we offer with every treatment at Natural Healthcare Center, has scientifically proven benefits that go far beyond enjoying a relaxing hour of “me time.”

First, we have to understand what’s happening from a physiological perspective during a therapeutic massage. As the soft tissue in our bodies – the muscles, skin, tendons and ligaments – are rubbed, pressed and manipulated, blood circulation and lymphatic flow are stimulated. The stress relief you experience is caused by a replenishing of oxygen and nutrients in the cells.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

The Truth about Low Testosterone, Sex Drive and Weight Gain in Men

The Truth about Low Testosterone, Sex Drive and Weight Gain in MenYou can’t turn on the television or go online without seeing someone suggesting that men with low testosterone should take an herbal replacement, underarm replacement or bioidentical replacement – as if this will magically restore sex drive and help with weight loss.

Unfortunately, treating low testosterone isn’t as simple as the old “pill for every ill” approach to medicine. That approach is on its way out. More on that later.

Before you decide to start testosterone replacement therapy, you need to understand what testosterone is, how the presence of testosterone changes in our bodies during our lifetime, and what impacts our hormonal levels.

Testosterone is a hormone that stimulates the growth and development of the male sex organs and the maintenance of sexual characteristics. Testosterone is produced mostly in the testes, but also in the ovaries. Yes, women have testosterone just like men have estrogen.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Hypothyroidism, Part 3: The Role of Clinical Nutrition

Hyperthyroidism photo of Thyroid GlandThis is the third in a series of monthly posts about hypothyroidism. Please feel free to email your thyroid-related questions to jproodian@naturalhc.com or post them in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I’ll be happy to answer them.

At Natural Healthcare Center, we take a comprehensive approach to the treatment of any condition as opposed to focusing on a single treatment option. In Part 2 of our series of posts covering hypothyroidism, we examined why acupuncture is one of many tools in our treatment arsenal.

Nutrition and diet also play an important role in diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism. We are very fortunate that Dr. Oscar Coetzee, PhD, a top-notch clinical nutritionist, is part of the Natural Healthcare Center family, and I’m grateful for Dr. Coetzee’s contributions to this post.

A significant amount of clinical data collected during the past six months or so suggests that various inflammatory foods can have an adverse effect on the thyroid. Research is ongoing, but we’ve seen positive changes when gluten is eliminated for three to six months from the diet of people who are dealing with hypothyroidism.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Functional Medicine: A New Approach to Healthcare

Functional Medicine What is It?

In last week’s blog post, I discussed the new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists titled “The $11 Trillion Dollar Reward: How Simple Dietary Changes Can Save Lives and Money, and How We Get There.” The study revealed that if Americans ate one more serving of fruit or vegetables each day more than 30,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease could be prevented, and more than $5 billion in annual medical costs could be saved.

The report also predicts that healthcare costs from the treatment cardiovascular disease – most of which are preventable – will soar to $818 billion by 2030. I’ll give you a second to climb back onto your chair.

Obviously, a change in our country’s healthcare culture is not only necessary, but urgent. With that in mind, I wanted to explain what I feel is the future of healthcare – functional medicine, an approach to healthcare focused on disease prevention rather than treating symptoms after someone is already sick.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Research Confirms the Obvious: Healthy Food Saves Lives and Money

Natural Healthcare Center Long Branch “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

It’s a cute little saying that was first printed in the 1866 issue of the publication Notes and Queries. The original saying actually said, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

Thanks to a recent study, this rhyming proverb is now backed up by current scientific research.

According to a 2013 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) – The $11 Trillion Dollar Reward: How Simple Dietary Changes Can Save Lives and Money, and How We Get There – if Americans ate one more serving of fruit or vegetables each day – one half cup – more than 30,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease could be prevented, and more than $5 billion in annual medical costs could be saved.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Hypothyroidism, Part 1: An Overview, Causes and Symptoms

This is the first in a series of monthly posts about hypothyroidism. Please feel free to email your thyroid-related questions to jproodian@naturalhc.com or post them in the comments section at the bottom of this post and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Before we discuss hypothyroidism, it’s important to understand what the thyroid is and what it does. The thyroid is a large endocrine gland that looks like a butterfly and rests on the vocal chords, just below the Adam’s apple.

Hypothyroidism photo of Thyroid Gland

The thyroid produces two main hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Simply put, these hormones control how your body uses energy.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.