May 2021 Newsletter

Let’s talk about chronic pain, cracking your knuckles, avoiding opioid addiction, how social media can make us sick, and the healthiest fruits


When there is an emotional disturbance and/or trauma to anyone, there is first the stress of the impact and the resultant injury to one or more body parts.  The consequence of the trauma leads to vasoconstriction of blood vessels and muscle spasms, causing a change in the muscles.  These changes can include: a change in biomechanics, shortened muscles, myofascial syndromes and trigger points.  In the spine this can lead to a facet strain, causing pain and more spasms, ultimately creating muscle pathology and a shortening or fibrosis of the connective tissue.  If not resolved, this whole cycle will repeat itself.

Receiving deep-tissue bodywork/myofascial releasing helps reverse this “cycle” and restore you to the normal function you had prior to the trauma.  When you create the right environment for healing, your body naturally wants to return to equilibrium or homeostasis, which is where you usually are when not thinking about your health.  Only when you incur a trauma or break the laws of biomechanics will you start noticing that you hurt and it’s not going away; this is when you start to do something to get rid of the pain.  However, often the pain is the last to appear and the first to go, but the real cause of the problem has been building up for some time.  Reversing the “cycle of dysfunction” is usually the most effective way of feeling better, naturally, with bodywork and chiropractic adjusting.


Here’s what happens when you crack your knuckles

How to avoid opioid addiction and still handle your chronic pain:


I AM REVEALING ONE OF MY SOURCES FOR ARTICLES (this is too good not to share with you all)

Self-Absorption on Social Media is Making Us Sick
(To read this on TheGrowthEq.comclick here.) 

In one of his more popular essays, on “The Depressed Person,” David Foster Wallace wrote that they are “far too self-involved” to form nourishing and meaningful relationships. The piece goes on to argue, and quite convincingly, that perhaps the worst part of depression is the ego becoming both obsessed with itself and turning on itself. Anyone who has ever experienced depression knows this to be true. You literally can’t escape yourself. It is a constant barrage of thoughts about how feel and how should feel and how others may think of me and how I’ll never be better and how much pain am in. It’s terrible.

A 2018 study out of the University of Arizona published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that self-referential language, or what the researchers called I-talk,” was associated with depression.  Whether depression causes self-referential thinking or self-referential thinking causes depression is unclear. But once an individual is depressed or heading in that direction, researchers have found that increased self-referential thinking never helps; tends to build on itself; and usually makes matters worse.

“We’ve all gone through negative life events when we’re feeling down or we’re feeling anxious, and when you think back to being in those places, when you’re just so focused on yourself, you may say things like ‘Why can’t I get better?'” says Allison Tackman, the lead researcher on the 2018 Arizona study mentioned above. “You’re so focused on yourself that not only in your head are you using these first-person singular pronouns but when you’re talking to other people or writing, it spills into your language—the self-focus that negative affectivity brings about.”

The other author on the Arizona study, Matthias Mehl, says, “Stress can make you be caught in the metaphorical ‘I’ of the storm.” Perhaps the most common space this appears is on social media.

There are two predominant ways we share content on social media: The first is what I’ll call idea-focused; or sharing articles, insights, stories, and images that can then be discussed, debated, or agreed upon by other people. The second is what I’ll call me-focused; or sharing content that is all about me. What ate or what feel or what think or this picture of me. These two ways of using social media apply to not just sharing content but also viewing it. You are either focusing on ideas or focusing on how your life compares to others—the irony being that 99 percent of the me-focused content on social media is performative to begin with. (I have no problem saying that Instagram and Facebook are the worst platforms for this. Their design explicitly encourages posting pictures and updates about oneself.)

It is fair to hypothesize that the “me-focused” approach to using social media is not so great for your emotional health. In my own observations, it seems the more someone is posting about themselves, the less happy they are in real-life. Not all the time, but certainly a significant majority of the time.

I also suspect this is why social media use may be particularly dangerous to kids. Most kids are not sharing ideas, theories, or diagrams. They are sharing stuff about themselves, and then evaluating their self-worth based on the “likes” or “comments” their stuff receives. Whoever thinks this is a good idea has a lot of work to do to convince me of their position. (This is why when Facebook announced they are planning to build a version of Instagram for children under 13 I wanted to vomit.)

To be clear, I do not think social media is inherently evil or bad (at least not yet). I use Twitter almost every day. I, do, however, think that using social media in a predominantly me-focused way is dangerous, whether you are age 68, 38, or 8. It encourages self-referential thinking spirals that are associated with negative emotional states.

Personally, when I catch myself using social media in a me-focused way it is a great cue to step back, take a deep breath, and ask myself why I feel the need to do this (it’s usually some sort of insecurity or longing). Then, I nudge myself away from social media and toward actual intimate human connection or doing meaningful work.

— Brad



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You may sign up for this month’s stretching class by sending me the $24 for the classes via VenMo -@Benjamin-Griffes-1; via PayPal – or Benjamin Griffes; by check, sent to Dr. Griffes, 18399 Ventura Blvd., Suite 241, Tarzana, CA 91356

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