Dr. Adam Baumgardner

Mental Health and Physical Stress

English: Upper Yosemite fall with reflection

The mind and body are not separate. They reflect each other! (Photo credit Mbz1)

Integrated Practices for physical and mental health

Many are surprised when they find out that Dr. Barbara Baumgardner and I work together on many cases of Stress, Depression, Anger and Mental Health.  They often will say a ‘Psychologist and a Chiropractor working together… how does that work?’  It isn’t really that confusing when you understand that mental health can also be a reflection of physical health.


One excellent example of this is that of hormones. Low thyroid hormone can lead to depression.  Lower sex hormones can lead to a loss of libidoHaving high levels of the hormone cortisol during a stressful time can lead to lower production of neurochemicals like serotonin, leading to loss of self control, or Dopamine, making you feel less satisfied or loose interest in things that you used to find joy in.


Pain is a big motivator for people.  It can also modify their behavior.  Next time you see someone stub their toe try to have a calm, rational conversation with them!  Sometimes people have dealt with pain or physical stressors like a blood sugar issue for so long they don’t even recognize the need for help.  They don’t know why they are angry or unhappy with their lives.  They just are!

Psychosomatic Stress



Classic example: Japanese woman experiencing real stomach pain due to stress (Photo: tototo)

Many don’t know that we hold stress in our bodies.  Psychologists have recognized for many years now that mental health issues can manifest in a very physical way.  This is not imagined, but a real physical outcome.  This can manifest as high blood pressure, digestive distress, or even muscular complaints.  These are not things that can be imagined up, but are a real sign the the brain is in charge and if it is stressed it will show in the rest of the body!

What I can do

Because of the number of patient referrals from Dr. Barbara I have felt the responsibility to go and learn how I can help support the body in its effort to deal with these types of issues.  I approach these cases with a combination of care that might include:

Through aiding the body with the pain, psychosomatic issues, and hormone balances in this way we take much of the physical stress off of the patient.  They are then able to focus on their mental health and see much greater progress.  


It is always a pleasure to work with patients who want to become, not only mentally healthy, but also physically healthy so that the work they do is much longer lasting and effective.  It is certainly easier on their pocketbook in the long run!

My Favorite Healthy Smoothie!


With the right ingrediants a smoothie can be healthy and taste good!

Rushed for time?  Looking for a quick breakfast that won’t leave you hungry or tired later?  Feeling like the summer heat is getting to you?  Here is my favorite healthy Smoothie!


Before I give you the ingredients I should say that this is a very forgiving recipe and if you are rushed for time there really isn’t a need for exact measure… in fact I never measure!  You will figure out quickly if you make this a few times that you like more peanut butter or maybe less yogurt… play with it until you like it!  If you like it post it on the facebook page 😉


Also on a side note.  The cold foods we eat do impact our bodies in a certain way.  If we are overly hot they can have a wonderful cooling effect.  It does take extra work for the stomach however and effects the actions of the cells in the stomach that digest our foods.  Also from an acupuncture standpoint the stomach’s function is very important to the pancreas.  For this reason if you have acid reflux or blood sugar issues cold foods might not be for you.  Also as the all the nutrients in this smoothy are easy to digest it is ok for the food to be cold.  I wouldn’t, however, drink a Smoothie and then try to eat a steak right away!

Quick and Cool!

Healthy Smoothie Recipe:

2-3 cups of ice

1 medium size banana (organic of course)

2-3 table spoons of plain organic whole yogurt

2 table spoons of organic unsweetened peanut butter

1 scoop Micellar Casein protein powder (not whey if you don’t want to be hungry after)  You can buy this hereI don’t add any sweetners or flavorings.  I just get the protein and make my own stuff.  Tastes better this way!

2 scoops powdered KAL brand stevia (to avoid the stevia aftertaste)

1 table spoon organic flaxseed oil

Empty one capsule of Natural Factors brand Ultimate Probiotic 12/12 formula


Blend it all up and enjoy!!!

Macro Ingredient Ratios Balanced!


Having a balanced ratio of carbs/fats/proteins is good for keeping blood sugar from droping and stressing your adrenals! (Four-rocks-balance by Daliel Leite)

As an added bonus it is balanced in ratios of carbs/fat/protein and has 7 grams of fiber to boot!!!  If you want a Healthy Smoothie that doesn’t leave you hungry afterward this is a must!


Grams of Carbs            =37g

Grams of Protein          =37g

Grams of Fat                 =37g

Grams of Fiber              =7g

Vegetarians without Nutritional Deficiencies


A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

Vegetarian can be a colorful lifestyle. Make sure it is a healthy one too! (pic-Wikipedia)

I have no real issues with Vegetarians.  It is a lifestyle choice and when someone tells me they are a vegetarian I never try to talk them out of it.  I have noticed trends with many vegetarians in terms of what they eat and there are several health issues that can pop up.  This post is focused on preventing those problems from showing up. 

After all many who choose this lifestyle want to be healthy. It would be a real shame to make mistakes that lead to anything other than healthy vegetarians!

Vegetarians and B12

B12 is the main problem found with strict vegetarian/vegan diets.  This is really only found in enough quantity in meats.  It is also vital for brain and nerve function.  Damage from not having enough in your diet can be irreversible!  Therefore an alternative source should be taken by all vegetarians.  There is much literature out there on the web making statements that you can get enough from vegetables and not to worry.  Please don’t be pulled in by this.  There is no good research for these statements and blood tests prove otherwise.  As supplements go the best I have found is methylcoboalamin.  This is B12 with a methyl group attached that your brain can then use to transport neurochemicals around… double the good stuff!

 Vegetarians, skin, Calcium and Omega 3

English: Shelled almonds (Prunus dulcis) Itali...

Almonds are a great source of protien and calcium (Photo from Wikipedia)

Calcium often becomes deficient if enough vegetables aren’t consumed and even if they are other parts of a vegetarian diet can get in the way of good calcium absorption.  A supplement is helpful.  You will need both a good Calcium (not Calcium Carbonate as this takes a lot of acid to digest) and enough essential fatty acids in your diet.  Also Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for brain function and hormone production.  If fish is ok then fish are especially high in Omega 3 or

Mohandas K. Gandhi

You can be a vegetarian like Gandhi without the leathery skin 🙂 (pic-Wikipedia)

you can supplement with cod liver oil or other Omega 3 supplement.  Often the bad looking skin seen on vegetarians is usually a combination of low omega 3 fats, and thyroid problems.  A good source of the precursors to Omega 3 is Flaxseed Oil.  You will want about 2 Tbl for an adult, 1 for a child.

 Soy Question and Vit D thought

Soy foods are often consumed in larger quantities by vegetarians.  This can slow down the thyroid and clog up the liver.  Supplementation of iodine or consuming large quantities of iodine rich foods is suggested as is taking in lots of green leafy vegetables to help with liver detoxification.  Selenium is also needed for good thyroid function and may not be found in large enough quantities if the right foods are not consumed.  This is found in Brazil nuts.  You don’t have to go crazy there.  A handful a day is fine.


Sun exposure isn't all bad. Turns out without enough you're in trouble!

Vitamin D can be produced by exposure to the skin or supplementation will be needed.  this is especially vital for those who don’t get any from other sources in their diet.



Good Sources from food for Vegetarians

Vitamin B12 – supplements

Calcium – Nuts, seeds, tofu

Iodine – Kelp, asparagus, green leafy vegetables (very limited), iodized salt

Omega-3 fatty acids – flax seeds and oil, hemp, walnuts, green leafy vegetables,

Vitamin D – 30 minutes to an hour in the sun without sunscreen or supplementation

Selenium – Brazil Nuts


The other major concern for vegetarians is getting enough protein.  This is where most lack as it is just easier to eat carbs.  Remember that you will have problems with both strength and eventually heart problems if you don’t consume enough proteins.  A lot of initial signs of protein depravation only come on in extreme cases so you need to pay attention to this area even if you feel ok. 

English: A chocolate-flavored multi-protein nu...

Whatever shake you pick, make sure it is the right sweetner too! (Pic - Sandstein)

Look for a protein shake that is sweetened with Stevia or dextrose, not sucralose, fructose, Splenda or aspartame.  Hemp is an excellent source of protein though it can be harder to find.  Make a smoothy or two every day from your shake to make sure that you are getting plenty of protein.  60-80 grams is a good average, but you may need more or less depending on your size and level of exercise.  Between a couple of shakes and the nuts and seeds in your diet you should be able to get enough protein in every day to protect muscle mass and energy. 

Aromatherapy 101


Tea Tree Oil


Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils and other aromatic substances to treat and prevent disease, manage and reduce pain, alter mood, improve cognitive function and memory, and support overall health and well-being.  Aromatherapy is generally delivered using three modes of application: aerial diffusion, direct inhalation, and topical application.  The specific treatment or desired intent determines which of the three modes is used within an individual session.  Many aromatherapy practitioners offer a holistic approach to the treatment of illness and chronic conditions that includes promoting relaxation and internal harmony and restoring balance. 


People have believed that aromatic compounds have healing properties since ancient times.  Aromatherapy recipes can be found in the Bible and have been uncovered in the ancient tombs of the Pharaohs.  Infused oils were included in medical texts as far back as the first century and the use of essential oils as tools for healing can be found in the historical record of China, India, the Middle East, and ancient Rome.  Advances in distillation opened new doors for the creation of essential oils and allowed for significant advancement in the art and science of aromatherapy.

Despite this long history, the practice remains an alternative option for treatment in much of the western world.  Critics doubt the effectiveness of these treatments without acknowledging the rich history of plant compounds that have contributed to medical treatments and the role plants play in most of the modern medicines used today. 

How it Can Help

Aromatherapy works with the body to activate critical systems for healing like the limbic and immune systems.  When paired with complimentary techniques, aromatherapy treatments assist the body in finding natural healing paths and support the natural healing process.  Some treatments rely on the part of the brain that responds to smell to trigger these healing responses.  Other treatments use the pharmacological properties of the essential oils to produce the desired result through direct application to the skin. 

Most Popular Oils

Peppermint oil, made from the plant menthe piperita, is used to treat both headaches and muscle aches and can be helpful in treating some problems with digestion.

Ylang Ylang oil, made from cananga odorata, promotes relaxation, eases tension, and can be used to aid with depression.

Lavender Oil, made from the plants lavandula angustifolia and lavandula vera, is also used to promote relaxation and ease depression in its inhaled form.  Helpful for restoring hormonal balance in women, it can also be used to treat skin injuries including burns and wounds.

Eucalyptus oil, from eucalyptus globulus or eucalyptus radiate, is beneficial in the treatment of respiratory problems like coughing and asthma and can alleviate tense muscles.

Lemon oil, made from citrus limon, is used as a disinfectant in a variety of circumstances ranging from wound care to household cleaning.

Rosemary oil, from the plant rosmarinus officinalis, is used to stimulate the mind and body.  It is also helpful for engaging the immune system and the digestive system.

Tea Tree oil, from the melaleuca alternifolia, is known for its ability to boost the immune system and for its natural anti-fungal abilities.

How I use them

I have found that this is an especially helpful tool with children in cases where I don’t want to have them take herbs as they are to powerful.  Applying them to the skin allows the oil to be absorbed as the body needs.  Two companies that I see as very good at making pure oils are YoungLiving and BeYoung oils.  Both companies are actually founded by a set of brothers and they go to great lengths to make sure the oil is so pure you can even ingest it!  Ask me about it and I’ll be happy to tell you who I use to get the oils from.  Then you can get them yourself!!!  One of the best things about oils is anybody can learn how to use them and get them from a good source all by themselves.  You can be the one to help your family!

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Dealing with Sugar Cravings: How to Use Sweeteners the Right Way!

Everyone is upset with sugar.They talk about how bad it is for you and how people are addicted to it and on and on and on. Most

It's so pretty... just one bite couldn't hurt... By zigazou76

people then turn a deaf ear because they are GOING to eat their dessert, They have sugar cravings to satisfy… because, I mean, who wants life without desert right? 🙂


What if I told you that you can have your desert and it would taste good and it would be healthy? You can you know… you just have to be smart about how you do it.


I think such a conversation would go like this:


‘What?’ You say. Are you crazy? I only turn half a deaf ear… I know sugar causes diabetes, hypertension, and weight that doesn’t come off.’


And I say ‘yup and it doesn’t stimulate hormones like Leptin and Grehlin the right way so your metabolism doesn’t kick in like it should and you stay hungry, and it effect brain chemistry so endorphins get produced and kill your will power, and because it messes with Calcium levels in the blood your teeth rot too.’


‘You’re not really making your case here’ you say!


What is ‘Sugar?’

Let’s step back for a second and define our terms though. Sugar can

A representation of the structure of sucrose a...

Table Sugar or Sucrose is half Fructose. Image via Physchim62

indicate the white stuff most people think of as sugar. That is actually cane sugar.  You might also hear it called table sugar or sucrose. Other types of sugar are found in milk, fruits, veggies, honey, etc. These are all described as carbohydrates. Individual types of carbohydrates such as sucrose in cane sugar or lactose in milk are identified by their parts. For example cane sugar is half glucose and half fructose… the same fructose you find in your apple! Some people also break things into simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple being smaller and more quickly absorbed by the body… and therefore harder on blood sugar control.


Now I’m going to give you a few keys for using sweeteners the smart way.


Some Keys to Follow

If you are the type of person that has really bad sugar cravings there is still hope! There is an excellent book called Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons. I would get it and read it. She doesn’t know everything, but it is an easy read and gives you some really good information. Three things I would note when you read her book:

1. When she says sugar you should translate that into ‘all fructose not in whole fruit’

2. For really bad cravings consider coming to see me about getting some Gymnema

3. The ‘bland’ period she describes doesn’t have to be so long. Come ask me.


Healthy Breakfasts should also taste good! image By Annie Mole

Never eat carbohydrates by themselves. Carbs, as they are called, are a short term food. If you don’t also eat some protein and healthy fats at the same time your energy will plummet and you will have to eat sooner… and you will wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. A piece of white bread toast in the morning… not so great. A piece of Ezekiel 4:9 toast with some Omega 3 rich Karrygold butter and an Omega 3 scrambled egg on the side… Heaven and Healthy!


Stay away from concentrated sources of fructose. This doesn’t mean fruit, but it does mean fruit juices, sucrose, etc. Fructose isn’t metabolized in the body the way that other sugars are. It affects brain chemistry, metabolism, and the liver differently. Buffered by fiber in fruit this is ok, but take the fiber away and you start to have issues! For more on this watch this Amazing Video of a Cornell Grad MD lecturing on the effects of Fructose.


Choose Dextrose and Stevia as your main substitute in sweet foods. Dextrose is glucose and glucose (the sugar in your blood that your body likes to use) and is much better utilized in the body. You will get full quicker, your metabolism will be stimulated, and your liver will be happy! Dextrose is not as sweet as sugar. About 70% as sweet so some will add 1 ¼ cup dextrose when a recipe calls for 1 cup sugar. Stevia is very sweet, but has no carbohydrates in it so it is diabetic friendly. Use sparingly and get KAL brand to avoid the aftertaste most people don’t like in other brands.



Simple sugars should be eaten soon after exercise Image By alantankenghoe

Eat simple sugars soon after exercise. The body is primed for simple sugars after exercise. Insulin receptors are upregulated, the metabolism is up, and the muscle needs to be replenished. You should still avoid the fructose containing sugars, but even those with blood sugar issues can usually handle the simple sugars like dextrose, lactose, and others pretty well right after a good workout.


You Control Sugar, Sugar Cravings DON’T Control You!

Now, like I said, you can have your desert. Maybe it is cookies made with dextrose instead of sucrose and it is right after your workout and with some homemade trail-mix… but you get to have the cookies and not worry about paying for it later!  Enjoying the Holidays without sugar cravings and with a sense of wellbeing is so much better!


Try it Out!


Ezekiel 4:9 Cereal is a sprouted cereal that is a great alternative Image By Joelk75

Want a healthy sugar alternative to the sugar glazed breakfast cereal? Try Ezekiel 4:9 cereal with raisins, and banana cut up in it with unsweetened almond milk or raw milk poured over it. Want it sweeter because you just got back from your jog? Add a little dextrose powder!

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