5 Ways To Physically and Intellectually Engage With What is On Your Dinner Table.

What's For Dinner

Think About What You Eat and Be Involved In The Process

Most people say don’t ever discuss politics or religion as they can lead to heated debates at the dinner table.  I say don’t discuss food because it is just as volatile a subject as politics and religion.  One of the number one questions patients ask me when they are being healthier is “Doctor what should I be eating for the best diet??”  That is a loaded question that needs a full book to answer.   Obviously, you need to test your body for different food sensitivities to find out what foods aregood or bad for you. We use food sensitivity testing in our office to help answer some of those questions for the patients we treat.  We do pre and post testing to see how patients respond to the recommendations we make and most often those treated in our clinic gain a better report card on their follow-up testing.  This tells me we are making positive impacts on a patient’s health.  The testing offers a scientific approach to a healthier you, but what if there was no science???  What would you do if you didn’t have a test to tell you what foods are good for you…??

Eating food and obtaining food is something we take for granted in the United States.  Most of us spend almost no time at all thinking about from where the foods we eat come.  This can create disconnect from a variety of topics related to the foods we eat.  I feel this disconnect is one reason our society is fatter and sicker than it ever has been in all of history!!

The point of my article today is not to make you feel bad about food but to hopefully inspire you to start creating more of a philosophy on the foods you choose to eat and be excited about what you are putting into your body.  The healthy attitude you choose about food is one of those golden tickets that helps you live that longer, stronger, and healthier life. [Click to Tweet]

This is the first year that I have dedicated a large amount of effort to deer hunting.  I have read the forums, watched you tube videos, and spent time and money towards the hunt of white-tailed deer.  I would still consider myself and amateur deer hunter but I learned valuable life lessons and now consider the foods that I put into my body every day.  I am yet to actually harvest a deer but I feel the experience at this point has made me a healthier person.  Let me explain…  Everything about the process brings me satisfaction, besides my wife yelling at me to get home because I’ve been gone too  long!  Seriously though, the thrill of hunting is in the hunt.  From the early season scouting and being out in nature has a therapeutic effect that can only be had if you are out in nature doing it.  I get regular physical exercise when hiking to my tree stand located on public land which also brings elements of health.  The American Heart Association recommends at least 45 minutes of regular exercise/3x/ per week to lower your chance of a cardiovascular event.(1)

Before the times of going to your local Giant Eagle and picking up your food for the day, you had to either grow, hunt, or collect your own foods.  The activities surrounding collecting and preparing food brought hidden benefits that one cannot get by going to their local market.  We should all take part in actively collecting our foods one way or another to see what goes into the process and hopefully be a healthier you.

Below is a list of common things you could do at home or in your area to stimulate the process.

  1. Hunting or Fishing
  2. Grow a herb garden
  3. Go Berry Picking
  4. Start an Aquaponics Garden
  5. Make your own Maple Syrup

So next time you go to the grocery store, at least think about how easy it is for you to get food without much effort.  If you want greater self-reliability and better health, do something to create your own food. [Click to Tweet]

Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
January 24, 2016


Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

  1. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.VpPsqvkrJ8w

5 Ways to Make Your Commute More Productive and Even Fun!

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Drive Your Way to A Great Day!

Is the worst part of your day driving to and from work?  Do you feel like it is a big waste of time?  Do you have road rage or are you anxious by the time you get to work or home?  Whether you drive to work or take public transportation, the commute time is fun and even enjoyable with these tips.
I feel that I’ve spent a good part of my life in my car driving to and from work and to and from appointments.   I used to truly hate it but I’ve figured out a way to make it fun and productive.  In fact, there are times, when I get home and sit in my car for a few extra minutes in the garage “finishing” up my commute activity.
Here are my suggestions:
    1.   Audiobooks.    They are not just for old people or students.  In this day and age, every author makes an audio version of his or her book.  Everything is available from best-selling fiction, to self-help, to biographies to educational titles.  And, you can get a lot of it for free from your local library in CD or electronic format.  In my case, I use Audible.  It is Amazon’s audio book division.   Simply download the Audible app to your cell phone, tablet or computer, register with Audible, pick your book and voilà!  It will appear in your audio library in the Audible app for downloading to your device when you are ready.  Audible allows you to buy a book or you can subscribe.  The subscription option allows you to buy 1, 2, or 3 credits per month to use to purchase a book. Each credit is 1 book. The credits are less expensive than the price of the book so you save some money by subscribing. You can cancel at any time.  If you are not sure what to order, just go to Audible’s store on your device or at Audible.com or go to Amazon and search for a book.  Your Amazon and Audible accounts link so that whatever you buy will be available in your digital library on both sites.Audio books allow me to “read” the books that I don’t have the time to read while I’m commuting. Besides making the commute actually enjoyable, it saves me time!  How many activities do that? Simply connect your phone to the bluetooth in your car and your book will play right through your car speakers and will even pause if you get a phone call. Remember, do not wear headphones when you are driving!
    2. Catching up with Friends and Family.   I don’t know about you, but I often feel that I’m out sync with some of my friends and family.  They are busy and so am I.  Calling them during both of our commutes is a way to reconnect and save time!  Create a weekly “phone date” with your siblings or children during your mutual commutes.  [Click to Tweet]  Again, if you do this through bluetooth, both hands will be on the wheel!
    3. Making To-Do or Shopping Lists.   I have a never-ending “to do” list.  I use an app called Evernote (but there are lots of others) that allow me to simply add things to my to-do or shopping lists by speaking the command.  This way, by the time I get to the store, my list is in my Evernote app on my phone and I’m ready to shop.  Or, my to-do list is current so that I don’t need to sit down and do it when I get home.
    4. Think.   Part of my daily routine is to think through my day and consider events that did not go as well as I would have liked and those that went perfectly.  I do this so that I can think about how I personally handled each of these events and develop a plan to either change the way I acted or decided that in all future similar events that I would act the same.  The car is the perfect time to do that.  I actually talk to myself out loud to affirm my intentions.  When i get home, then any negativity is gone and I am with my family without the burden of those events hanging over my head.
    5. Jam Out to The Perfect Playlist.  We all listen to music in our cars but we are subject to the playlists of either terrestrial radio or satellite unless we create some personalized playlists.  Apple Music and Amazon Prime both allow you to download lots of music for a small monthly subscription fee.  You can then play it through your car speakers from your smart phone or tablet.  My favorite thing to do is think about a band or musician I used to listen to in high school or college, download greatest hits or album from that artist and sing all the way home!  This is guarantee to bring back lots of memories.
I bet you can’t wait to get in your car now!  I would love to hear any tips or suggestions you have for the daily commute!
Caroline Boardman
January 19, 2016
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.

You Can Have a Stress-Free Holiday!

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The staff at Real Wellness Doc will be taking a much deserved blog-writing holiday until January 6, 2016.  I thought I’d give you a couple of links to a few of our previous articles though to help you have the best holiday season ever!  Have a joyful holiday season. See you next year!

One Tool Can Help You Enjoy Every Holiday Moment!

Slow Down – Happiness is Trying to Find You.

13 Ways to Make Meditation Part of Your Morning Routine

Are Your Neurotransmitters Ready for the Holidays?

Are You Thinking Above the Line?

Take a Walk on The Healthy Side.

A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

Walk Your  Way to Happier, Healthier You!

15 Smart Strategies to Reduce the Negativity in Your Life

Are You A Victim of Stress? Stop and Be a Hero Instead!

9 Tools To Kick Your Anxiety to the Curb

Can You Really Sleep Like a Baby?

Improve Your Attitude and Improve Your Health

Stop Breathing and Start Singing

Caroline Boardman
December 21, 2015


Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.

Is Your November Getting a Little “Hairy?”

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Movember: It’s All  About Men’s Health!

As fall ramps up and the winter approaches, the smell of pumpkin pie often invades the air, spiced cider can be found at fall fairs, and thick frothy mustaches and beards begin to appear more than ever.  Just as the trees are shedding their full appearance with the leaves falling, men’s faces around the world are just the opposite and becoming thick with facial hair.  The month of November has now been adopted as a men’s health awareness month, and growing a beard or mustache is one way you can show your support.

So just what is Movember?   Seven Nightly News aired a story in 1999, including a group of young men in Adelaide, Australia who coined the term “Movember” and the idea of growing mustaches through the month of November for charity. [Click to Tweet] (1) Leave it to the Australians to come up with such an idea.  The story goes that a few buddies were sitting around at the pub and somehow triggered the idea to have a mustache-growing contest to help raise awareness for men’s health.  It started with just 30 participants the first year and raised $0, and since then has grown as an international phenomenon raising millions of dollar annually to support a variety of men’s health research and charities.  “No Shave November”  or  “Noshember” has been another popular spin-off that holds the underlying cause for greater awareness of men’s health.  There have been many foundations that have sprouted from the original movement, so if you decide to take part and give to the cause, make sure that you research to who you are donating and what the money goes towards.

Men’s health is a blanket statement that embodies more than just prostate health.   The official Movember movement supports four key men’s health topics: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity. (2)  It is absolutely amazing to see the depth of involvement the Movember movement has created on an international scale.  From University support all the way down to individualized awareness, the movement’s goal is simply to create healthier men.

As a healthcare professional and a male, the topic has a special place in my heart.  Although it is not often, nothing makes me more excited than the like-minded patients who come in for consultation on preventive treatment.  Like any good doctor, I take a good case history and then make a best recommendation on a patient specific care plan.  Movember empowers the movement for men to take more initiative in understanding what they can do to promote a healthier lifestyle with less potential complications.  Nothing is a guarantee in healthcare, but it can give one piece of mind when working towards a health goal.

One of the most important tests a male can have done is a Lipoprotein analysis.  This test gives men an idea whether they are at a higher risk for a cardiovascular disease. [Click to Tweet] Heart Disease was the number one cause of death in the CDC’s 2013 mortality statistics in the United States.(3)  The lipoprotein analysis far surpasses the lipid panel which is often run by primary care providers as “routine” blood markers.  According to the research, lipoprotein analysis is much more reliable in predicting whether or not you are at risk for cardiovascular disease.  So next time you healthcare provider wants to check your cholesterol, ask them if they have heard of a lipoprotein analysis.  If they have not, then I would consider finding a doctor, who is more current with their method of helping treat you,

Another panel that is critical for men’s preventative health is a steroid hormone panel.  Our clinic utilizes testing from Diagnostechs Laboratory to check for free fraction hormones.  It is important to check more than just testosterone in men.  The panel our clinic often runs gives a complete breakdown of the hormones that are available at the cellular level to see if your hormonal chemistry is in balance.   If you have any question in you mind that your hormones are out of balance don’t hesitate to contact me for more advice.

So as you are out and about during the fall season and you see a thick and frothy mustache or beard, let it be a reminder to observe men’s health.  If you are still unsure where to get started to be a healthier you, stop in to you local functional medicine doctor and ask them how to take the next step.

In the meantime, show your support.  Put away the razor and let it grow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
November 25, 2015


Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movember
  2. https://us.movember.com/about/foundation
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm


Are Your Neurotransmitters Ready For The Holidays?


5 Tips for Maintaining Proper Brain Chemistry During The Holidays
The holiday season is approaching.  Have you given any consideration on how the holiday season affects your neurotransmitters?  I’m guessing probably not.  Read below and be armed and ready!
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, most of us have experienced that sleepy feeling after eating too much turkey.  Did you know that turkey is rich in tryptophan, a neurotransmitter precursor to melatonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you sleep!!  Melatonin is derived from Serotonin, a well-recognized neurotransmitter responsible for a great part of our mood.  Serotonin and Dopamine are probably the two most recognized neurotransmitters across the board.  Little did you know but the things you do over this holiday season can have major impact on your neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body.  They relay signals between nerve cells, called “neurons.”  The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest.  They can also affect mood, sleep, concentration, weight, and can cause adverse symptoms when they are out of balance. Neurotransmitter levels can be depleted many ways.  As a matter of fact, 86% of Americans have suboptimal neurotransmitter levels. [Click to Tweet] Stress, poor diet, neurotoxins, genetic predisposition, drugs (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine usage can cause these levels to be out of optimal range. (1)
But, there are positive lifestyle activities that can promote a healthy balance of neurotransmitters.  Just as easy as our neurotransmitters may come out of balance, the trend towards balancing them can be achieved by the following five recommendations.
  1. Regular exercise:  Exercise can have an effect on the channels that produce serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine and possibly others. (2)
  2. Healthy Diet:  Too many sweets over the holiday season disrupt the ideal fluctuations in brain chemistry and may deregulate our brain chemistry.  Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables and take it easy on the sweet stuff.
  3. Manage your Stress:  Stress raises free radicals, insulin, and blood pressure which all damage neurons. (3)  If we damage our neurons, then we damage our neurotransmitters.
  4. Just Breathe:  Sounds simple but breathing can have a major impact on our nervous system and its expression.  The vagus nerve is the nerve that comes from the brain and controls the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your relaxation response.  (4) The more relaxed you are, then better response of neurotransmitters.
  5. Relax:  It’s so easy to get caught up in the holiday madness that we forget to relax.  Relaxation gives the brain time to rest, which in turn allows it to make the proper neurotransmitters. [Click to Tweet]  So when you don’t feel like fighting the holiday madness, kick back and forget about it!!
Neurotransmitters is an exciting or very boring topic depending on the audience.  Regardless of your interest, it is important to keep up a healthy relationship with them.  I tend to focus more on the eliminating the things that I know cause harm and focus on the things that I know cause balance in my neurotransmitter levels.  So when the holidays roll back around this year, keep in mind the above mentioned five factoids to create balance in your  own brain chemistry.
What is your biggest challenge at the holidays and how do you handle it?
Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
October 28, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.


  1. http://www.neurogistics.com/TheScience/WhatareNeurotransmi09CE.asp
  1. http://www.livestrong.com/article/96493-exercise-brain-neurotransmitters/
  1. http://robbwolf.com/2012/04/26/diet-stress-biochemistry/
  1. https://sites.google.com/site/stanleyguansite/health/health-tips/breathe-deeply-to-activate-vagus-nerve

Image Courtesy of:  http://allthingsfulfilling.com/tag/technology/






A Must Read For Every Ohioan Now! What Does September 7, 2015 Mean To You?


12 Steps to Being The Biggest Fan Ever!  

There is a critical health issue that has not yet been addressed in our twice weekly blog articles.  This article will address that topic, a very serious issue that every Ohioan must consider –  The Ohio State Buckeyes football season!  As the first game of the 2015 season is tomorrow, please read now!
I have been told that I might be the biggest Ohio State football fan ever – by my boyfriend, my friends, family and more than my fair share of strangers in sports bars, at airports (as I travel to watch games) and at games themselves.  I do not claim that I am the biggest Ohio State football fan ever. I know many people who could also claim that title, including my daughter and sister, but I do know a bit about being a good fan.  As we all know, being a Ohio sports fan is a very tough job.  Except for Cleveland Cavaliers in the last season, the only teams that have given us any glory in Ohio in the last decade or so, have come from Columbus, Ohio and The Ohio State University via their basketball and football programs.   Here are a few tips on how you might join the ranks of the “biggest Ohio State football fan ever.
  1. Know the game and the players! True fans of any sport understand the game and its rules.   They know the players and their strengths and weaknesses.  Armed with this knowledge, you will understand when a player has an outstanding game and how that performance affected the team.  You will understand and appreciate good coaching and play calling.  You will not just scream at the TV when every penalty is called because you will know if its justified or not.  O.k., that’s not entirely true.  I admit to yelling at the officials when any penalty is against my Ohio State Buckeyes.  I do, however (usually) have the grace to admit, after seeing the replay, that I might be wrong.  It is also very satisfying , especially as a woman, to drop the name of the play just ran, or information about a particular player and his stats within the hearing of that obnoxious man next to you at the sports bar who thinks you look “cute” in your Ohio State colors and doubts that you know anything about football.
  2. Know the game schedule and schedule your life around games.
  3. Wear the right colors on the right day. Most sports fans know that the Ohio State Buckeye colors are scarlet (not red) and gray).  But the superfan knows what colors to wear on what day.  Typically, the players wear scarlet jerseys and silver pants at home and white jerseys and silver pants on the road, but that has evolved over the years to include stripes and other Ohio State symbols.   This means that the fan must do her research.  The legitimate superfan has many Ohio State apps on her phone and follows a few fan blogs.  She will be bombarded with news about the upcoming game – including what color to wear.   You MUST adhere to the proper colors.
  4. Develop some traditions and never deviate from them. For example, I wear the same Ohio State socks, underwear, and jewelry throughout the season.  It may change from season to season, but whatever you wear on the first game is worn for every game thereafter.  It is not wise to scrap your tradition if the game is not going well because the true fan never waivers in her assumption that, in the end, the Buckeyes will prevail.  [Click to Tweet]  Keep the faith!  Another tradition that has become very important to me in the last decade is watching the games with particular people, who are equally die-hard fans.   My daughter and sister who, until this year, both lived in Atlanta had me coming to visit regularly so we could watch the game together at our favorite place with a bunch of other ravenous Ohio State fans.
  5. Be gracious. If you are a real fan of any particular team, especially one that is a threat, you will encounter lots of people who will do their best to rile you up.  And, it can get ugly.  True Ohio State fans do not lower themselves to that level.  They either let the game speak for them or calmly give a statistic  or two and then wish the obnoxious brute and his team good luck with a smile.
  6. Give every ounce of your energy to the game against TSUN (also known as “that school up north”). If you are a Ohio State fan, you know what I mean and know exactly what you need to do.
  7. Never leave a hanging O!  H!      Always respond with  I!  O!  followed by a “Go Bucks” when possible.
  8. Know the words to every Ohio State song from Carmen Ohio to Hang on Sloopy and sing them loudly when possible.
  9. Name one of your male children or your dog, Brutus (or at least the middle name). Brutus
  10. Be able to spell O H I O with your body without falling over or knocking anyone out. OHIO image
  11. Wait with excited anticipation to watch the “i” being dotted in script Ohio.  Script Ohio
  12. Lastly, a great Ohio State fan is the team’s biggest marketer. They talk about the next or last game to the point of irritating people.  They share every Ohio State post on social media. [Click to Tweet]  Click here for the Buckeye Facebook,  Twitter, and Buckeye Nation pages. They count down the days to the start of the season or a big game and let everyone count with them on their Facebook page and they plan!   They gather the troops (other fans), pick the place to watch, research and pick what to wear, watch every pre-game press-conference and be aware of who is starting, the injuries and the replacements.  They also know the other team’s starters, injuries, and strengths and weaknesses.  And, they wear Ohio State clothing or accessories when they can get away with it!  Click here for the best place to buy Ohio State Buckeye gear in addition to The Ohio State University website store.  See what I mean about a fan being the best marketer?  🙂
I hope to see you at the next game or around town proudly sporting your Buckeye gear and singing Carmen Ohio.  Go Bucks!
O!     H!
Caroline Boardman
September 6, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Every Day, Health-Minded People Skip the Health Insurance Obstacle Course to Reach Their Goal.

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Why People Are Choosing to Self-Pay for Their Healthcare.

More and more often, people are choosing to pay cash for their health care instead of just depending on insurance.  There was a stigma attached to self-pay patients, but no more.  Why is paying cash for healthcare becoming a common place choice? Should you be thinking about self-pay yourself?
Recently, I experienced a rushing noise in my left ear.  My left ear bothers me often but this noise was something different.  I went to my ear doctor who recommended I have a MRI and an MRA to rule out any blockages in my arteries, an aneurism, brain issue, among other potential problems (serious and simple).  Needless to say, with such serious conditions being possible, I was nervous.  The doctor advised me that he wanted to schedule the tests right away and that his office would call me once the insurance company approved payment and the procedure was scheduled.  A week later, I called the doctor’s office and heard that the insurance company needed to actually speak to the doctor because the paperwork he submitted was not enough.  Another few days later, I received a letter from my insurance company stating that they would pay for only 1 of the 2 procedures because both were not “medically necessary.”  Interestingly, although they had a medical opinion that both were not needed, they did not have an opinion on which one was needed.  My doctor ordered the MRA and scheduled it.  When I called the hospital to pre-register, they advised me that my cost for the procedure was $985.00!  The procedure cost $1,050.  In other words, I waited almost 2 weeks to get a test for a possible life-threatening condition for $65 in benefits!   So, I shopped around for a better price and found it.  Happily, I am fine.  I am still working on getting the MRI scheduled, the cost of which will be completely out-of-pocket.  I refuse to put my health at risk based on an insurance company’s opinion instead of my doctor’s.  In this article, I would like to discuss why some patients are choosing to pay cash for some of their healthcare treatment and why many of the best doctors are becoming cash-only practices.
Who Is Diagnosing and Treating You?  Are you Getting the Best that Healthcare Has to Offer?
Your medical records are signed by your doctor but in many cases, your care is not really being decided by them.  Doctors are handcuffed to recommended treatment protocols dictated by the insurance company.  Doctors may want to treat you in a different way but they know what the insurance company will pay and what they will not.  They also know that if they order what the insurance company deems not “medically necessary,” the insurance company is not happy with them, potentially causing harm to the financial well-being of their practice.   In an article from 2014 in the New York Times,, Lee Spangler, Vice President of medical economics with the medical association in Texas noted that, “[a] physician has very little ability to negotiate all policies and procedures that come with insurance contracts.” [1]
Recently, the Toledo Blade interviewed over 100 doctors in dozens of states about their experience with insurers.  The investigation “found some people with health insurance were harmed because insurers interfered. Whether prescriptions, medical tests, or surgery, dozens of doctors told The Blade that insurers overruled their decisions and patients suffered.”[2]  The investigation brought to light an insurance company ranking system known as “tiering.”   Insurance companies rank doctors based on their clinical treatment decisions.  “[T]he groupings are of dire concern to many doctors who contend insurers’ rankings deceptively cause patients to question their physicians’ performance and create wrong incentives for physicians to cut down on prescribing expensive drugs and tests.”[3]
Interestingly, it is often the newer and more advanced treatment protocols for which insurers refuse to pay.  If you’re going to provide coverage for a procedure, shouldn’t the insurer be required to cover the most up to date version?   “We want to live in a society that encourages advancements in medical technology and care. We don’t want anything in the system that’s going to hamstring improvements, or deny patients from receiving the optimal amount of care.”[4]
Because of the control being asserted by insurers, many doctors “find freedom by shunning insurers”  and managing their practices “without accepting insurance plans, removing the constraints and hassles that come with having insurers preapprove tests, procedures, and medication.”[5]  When they don’t have to worry about insurance company rules, doctors are then free to treat their patients with the latest and greatest medical science has to offer giving them job satisfaction and patients a piece of mind knowing that their chosen doctor dictated their healthcare. [Click To Tweet]
There will be some bumps along the road as insurance companies pay for less (especially cutting-edge testing and treatment protocols) and more and more doctors choose to treat their patients as they see fit, and not as insurance companies dictate.  This may lead patients to wonder, as it did me, is health insurance really worth it?   As noted by Sean Parnell, a health policy economist, consultant, author and blogger who has written the ultimate guide to being a self-pay patient in an interview with Mary Pat, a physician advocate, “[o]ne of the things that I expect to happen, and in fact have heard some stories about already, is that people will become upset once they realize they are paying hundreds of dollars each month for insurance but the first time they go to the emergency room or a specialist to treat an illness or injury, they still have to pay for most or all of their health care. This will probably lead to a lot of people reconsidering whether they should even have insurance, if it isn’t going to pay for any of their healthcare.”[6]
In our office, we see people who have suffered with health issues for years.  Their doctors (or their insurance companies) could not get to the bottom of it.  They come to us because they want an educated doctor with passion to get to the bottom of his or her patient’s health issues, no matter what it takes.  Our doctors make treatment recommendations based on their education and experience, the latest in medical science and the patient’s needs and goals, even if their insurance company might not to pay for some of it.  [Click to Tweet] In the end, this is what they want.  Look where the insurance-company controlled medical treatment they have had has gotten them so far!  They want something different and it is.  Yes, they still have medical insurance and it provides some coverage, but they have decided that they do not want their health to depend on someone’s decision who did not even know them and who made decisions about their health care based on mathematical formulas.  They refuse to short-change themselves with mediocre health care.   With payment plans available in most doctors’ offices, they don’t have to.  Neither do you!Untitled design (3)
Have you ever felt like you did not get the best medical treatment because of your insurance coverage?
Caroline Boardman
August 26, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule a complimentary consultation, click here.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/11/us/doctors-shun-insurance-offering-care-for-cash.html?_r=0
[2] http://www.toledoblade.com/NotWhatTheDoctorOrdered
[3] Id.
[4] http://www.mikelavere.com/healthcare-2/insurance-companies-dictating-quality-care/
[5] Id at fn 2.
[6] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140618020321-15345987-trending-a-place-for-the-self-pay-patient

10 Ways to Know if You Are Watching Too Much TV

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6 Tips to Kick Your TV/Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Habit

TV programming is not the same as it was.  That is not to say that it is better or worse.  There is just a lot more of it!  You can watch it live, record it on your DVR, stream it, or watch almost any show from services like Hulu and Amazon or network-special programming from HBO and Netflix.  How do you know if you are watching too much?
Watching TV these days is like eating Thanksgiving dinner. There is so much to choose from that even if you watch just 1 show on each network, you are spending a lot of time in front of some sort of screen.  I would love to say that this has never been a problem for me but that would be just silly.  Who doesn’t like The Good Wife, or House of Cards, or Breaking Bad, or Orange is the New Black?  I also watch true crime shows, like Dateline or 20/20 and, of course, every Ohio State Buckeye football game.  You might be thinking – wait – I watch a lot more than that!  Is she saying that this list is too much?  No, I’m not saying that.  What I am saying is that each person’s needs to balance their TV viewing habit with their lifestyle and their health!

So, how do you know how much is too much for you?

  1. Are you regularly missing family activities or events?
  2. Are you choosing one of your programs over sleep?
  3. Do you always choose to watch TV over that great book that “everyone” has told you to read?
  4. Are you choosing TV over spending time with a friend in need?
  5. Are you choosing TV over exercise most of the time?
  6. Are you choosing to watch TV while your to-do list at home gets longer and longer?
  7. Do you consider watching TV as quality time with your kids?
  8. Are you watching TV and not keeping your mind active/learning something new?
  9. Is watching TV usually the only activity you are doing in bed with your spouse?
  10. Are you watching TV and not spending time outdoors?
So, how did you do?   Did you answer yes to more than 2 of these questions?  If so, you might want to consider some of these ideas to balance your life, health and relationships with your TV-viewing habits:
In the last few years, I have greatly reduced the amount of time I watch TV using some of these strategies.  It has improved my life in general, my health and my relationships.  It was hard in the beginning like any new habit but now, I can’t imagine where I found the time to watch so much TV.    All of that being said, I will tell you that almost NOTHING, none of the items listed above, would keep me from watching my Ohio State Buckeyes come football season.
So, has TV ever “controlled” your life?  What did you do about it?
Caroline Boardman
July 22, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/too-much-tv-can-raise-the-risk-of-alzheimers-new-study-suggests/2015/07/20/7dcdc4cc-2eea-11e5-97ae-30a30cca95d7_story.html
[2] http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/03/06/spending-time-outdoors.aspx
[3] http://www.onlymyhealth.com/how-important-physical-intimacy-in-relationship-1307596226

11 Things Your Doctor and His or Her Staff Must Do To Keep You Healthy

Untitled design (31) Quick Guide to What Your Doctor and His or Her Staff Should Be Doing To Help You Achieve Your Health Goals

A visit to most doctor’s offices is not a pleasant experience.  You either don’t feel well or believe something is wrong.  While there is no way to stop how you might feel before you come into the doctor’s office, it is completely within the doctor’s control to make your visit as pleasant and fulfilling (yes, I said fulfilling) as it can possibly be.
We have all been to one or many doctors in our lives.   I know I have.  Click here to read my article about what brought me to Functional Endocrinology of Ohio.  While some of my doctors’ office experiences and treatments were not awful (not really a rousing endorsement), it took a lot of time, effort and frustration for me to find the right doctor and doctor’s office.  What I discovered is that both (the doctor and his office staff) are important to your health.  The right doctor and staff can make almost as much difference as the right diagnosis and treatment.   Here is what you should expect from your doctor and his staff.   I have listed these items in chronological order (from your first exposure to the office through your lifelong experience with the office).
  1. A great website or social media presence. In this day and age, we all go to the internet to find information about everything.  A good medical office needs to bring the information to where their patients will see it. [Click to Tweet] They are able to answer almost any (non-medical) question a potential patient may have on their website.  The information should preferably be in video form as well as written for those people who learn best by video.  The website is easy to navigate and should give the contact information for the office on almost every page.  The website should include doctor biographies, directions and patient testimonials.  Beware of reviews you read on-line.  The best and most accurate reviews are from real patients.  Look for the testimonials on the company’s website.
  2. A great telephone staff. The staff that answer the phone will be your first live exposure to the practice. The staff is friendly, empathetic, professional, patient, and knowledgeable and be able to answer almost every question.  You should not hold for longer than a couple of minutes.  The staff member may have been already assisting another patient in the office when you called.  When they return to the call, the staff member will listen to you and not be distracted or doing other things.
  3. Scheduling and re-scheduling should be easy. You can call the office, have your questions answered, give the relevant information (name, address, etc.) and schedule an appointment at a time convenient to you within 5 minutes.  We all know that the schedules of good doctors are often booked far in advance.  That cannot be helped.  However, an option should be offered to you to be put on a waiting list if there is a cancellation.  You should be given all the information you need to prepare for your appointment during this phone call so that you do not need to call back.  This information should include directions, parking instructions, instructions about any paperwork that needs to be completed, what to expect during your visit, and other office-specific information.
  4. Informative confirmation calls. You should always receive a confirmation call before your visit per whatever policy the office has set.  Some office calls 2 days in advance, some 1 day, and some even on the weekends.  The person who confirms your appointment should be able to answer all (non-doctor) related questions and reschedule your appointment if needed.
  5. A prompt, friendly and informative greeting. You should be greeted immediately upon arrival into the office by the front desk staff.  They should look you in the eye, smile and if it is not your first visit, greet you by name.  The staff should instruct you where to sign in, where sit, and let you know about how long the wait will be, and instruct you on what the first part of your visit will entail. For example, if staff will take your vitals before you see the doctor, the front desk staff should tell you this.  If there is paperwork to complete, the staff should give you the proper instructions and be ready to answer any questions.  One thing to remember about paperwork is that the doctor has instructed the staff about how he or she wants the paperwork completed.  So, if the staff seems overly critical about paperwork completion, don’t judge them too harshly.  Sometimes patients do not realize how important thoroughly completed paperwork is to their overall healthcare treatment.
  6. Qualified nursing staff. You should be completely comfortable with any services provided by the staff.  The staff should tell you of what they are doing each step of the way and you should feel comfortable that they know what they are doing.  If you don’t, it is important that you tell your doctor.
  7. A doctor who greets you and really listens. Just like the description of a good staff above, your doctor should greet you by name and a handshake (in most cases) while looking you in the eye.  The doctor should sit down, look you in the eye, and after giving a sentence or two about why he thinks you are there (the reason you gave to the front desk when you scheduled), he should ask you to tell him what is going on.   Then, he should listen to you! [Click to Tweet]  He should take notes as necessary but be listening.  He is not distracted or in too much of a hurry and you should always feel that he is really hearing you.
  8. A doctor who is prepared. Your doctor should be prepared in advance of your visit.  We have all been to doctors who, despite having seen you before, open the chart for the first time as they are walking into the room and then clearly do not know who you are, or why you are there to see them.  This should not happen.  It should be clear to you that your doctor has reviewed your chart before your visit and is ready to ask the right questions to get you on the road to good health.  The doctor’s explanation is clear and easily understood and the doctor should answer every question you have until you understand.
  9. A clearly explained treatment plan. Your treatment plan should be very clearly explained and outlined in writing, including all costs.  You should know what to expect at each step of the way and the doctor and staff should be ready to answer any questions you might have about the treatment plan at any point.   If your treatment plan changes for any reason, this should also be communicated to you timely.
  10. Open line of communication. You should feel comfortable enough with your doctor and his staff to discuss any issues you may have about your health or your treatment. This includes any customer service issues you might have with the office itself.   A good practice will always want to improve and should be open to any feedback you give them and thank you for it!  [Click to Tweet] The office should also be ready to resolve any problem you might have promptly.
  11. Follow up. Finally, a good medical provider is your lifelong health partner.  This means they will be ready to help you through any health issue you might have.   You should expect follow-up calls, follow-up visits, and follow-up communications with the office at regular intervals.
So, how does your doctor and his/her staff measure up?  I would love to hear about some really great experiences that you have had visiting your doctor.  Were there things that they did or did not do that you really appreciated?
Caroline Boardman
July 1, 2015
To make an appointment, click here.
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

Don’t Worry Be Happy – 9 Tools To Help You Kick Your Anxiety to the Curb!

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9 Ways To Keep Anxiety From

Dominating Your Life

Anxiety comes in many forms. Some people get nervous about social events or large crowds of people. Others get overly excited. Some people with anxiety suffer from constant worrying and negative or pessimistic thinking. A lot of people with anxiety feel like their brain is stuck on repeat – the same thought replayed in their head over and over, again and again.  You may say something to these people once but in their mind, you’ve said it more than a hundred times!
I have suffered with anxiety most of my life. I remember suffering with it as a teenager and all throughout my young adulthood. In a way, I am glad that I have gone through this struggle because it helps me relate to my neurofeedback patients. Anxiety is one of those things, kind of like sinus problems, if you do not have it you don’t really understand what it is like to suffer with it. Having this first-hand experience allows me to put myself in my patient shoes and help them through their progression. Aside from encouraging others’ happiness, I work hard at encouraging myself. One of the best exercises I have ever done through the years was creating and updating my “Makes Me Happy List.”  [Click to Tweet] This may sound a little childish but it works! One day I sat down and wrote out a long list of things, people, events, activities, etc. that make me feel happy. Some of the items on my list are simple like eating sushi, painting, listening to music, or having a girl’s night. Some of them are a little harder to do like playing in the snow, especially if it’s not winter. However, since I have over 100 items to choose from I can always find one or two things that I can do right away. I recommend doing this activity when you are in a positive mood and to write down as many things that you can.  You can also add new stuff as time goes by. To all of you reading this blog who suffer from anxiety, or those who love someone who suffers with it, remember it is controllable.   We can control our own lives. I also would like to give you a virtual hug and urge you to keep making positive steps in the right direction.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that everyone with anxiety suffers from anxiety attacks. That is false.  Not all people with anxiety actually suffer from anxiety or “panic” attacks. Panic attacks are a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.  When a panic attack occurs, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.[1]  It is important to understand the difference between the two. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population while Panic Disorder affects 6 million, or 2.7% of the U.S. population. Unfortunately women are twice as often affected by anxiety or panic disorders as men.[2]
Since this topic is relevant to my life, I wanted to take some time to tell you a few of my tricks and tips I have learned over the years to help control or reduce my anxious moments.

9 Ways To Reduce Anxiety.

1) Sleep. Get a good night sleep! Sleep is so important for our health. On average, you should get a solid seven to nine hours of sleep. Lack of sleep throws your body off rhythm and contributes to overall anxiety and stress.
2) Breath. “Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” says psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD.[3]  Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a powerful anxiety-reducing technique because it activates the body’s relaxation response. It helps the body go from the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system to the relaxed response of the parasympathetic nervous system.[4]  She suggested this practice: “Try slowly inhaling to a count of 4, filling your belly first and then your chest, gently holding your breath to a count of 4, and slowly exhaling to a count of 4 and repeat several times.” If you are having an anxiety attack the best way to control your breathing is to use a paper bag (never plastic!) to slow down and regulate your breathing pattern.
Please read the great blog Dr. David Starkey D.C. wrote titled “The Top 10 Reasons to Breathe Yourself to Better Health” for more information on how breathing can help your body.[5]
3) Laugh. We are all familiar with the old saying that laughter is the best medicine. This has been scientifically proven. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter has a lot of positive short-term and long-term effects. Some of the short-term effects are that it increases oxygen that stimulates your organs and increases the endorphins released to your brain. It also raises your heart rate and blood pressure while reducing your body’s stress response. Laughter also helps relax muscles by stimulating blood circulation. Some of the long-term effects include helping your immune system. It does this by reducing the negative chemicals that your body releases from stress and increasing neuropeptides that help fight serious illnesses. Laughter can also act as a natural painkiller. Overall, allowing yourself to laugh is going to reduce stress and anxiety.[6]
Untitled design (26) 4) Find a positive outlet. For me one of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to either exercise or listen to some music. All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals and by giving your body a chance to practice dealing with stress. Please read these great blogs about yoga or about walking.   Also, research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. This could include classical music, nature sounds, beach sounds, or rain simulators.
5) Meditate or use guided imagery. A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. “Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress,” says psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, PhD, a Chicago health and wellness coach. 2. Please read “Meditation Can Actually Create More Time in Your Day”.  If meditating isn’t appealing to you, guided imagery is also effective. You can download or buy hundreds of different guided imagery tracks. They will walk you through relaxing your entire body one part at a time while focusing your mind of pleasant visualizations. Guided imagery can last from 10- 60 minutes.
6) Talk to someone. One of the easiest ways to stop the repeat button or broken track in your head is to say what you are thinking about out loud.  [Click to Tweet] Find someone who you trust and use them as a sounding board. Let it out! Even if the thought seems way too far-fetched or ridiculous once you say it out loud it will help you process that thought. This also gives you the opportunity to decide whether your thoughts are rational or irrational. Let go of the irrational thought! Focus on the positive or rational thoughts.
7) Journal. If you do not have someone or are not yet comfortable talking to someone when you are anxious, then start a journal. Journals are a safe place to pour out your thought, feeling, and emotions. I always recommend keeping the notes in your journal positive since we are trying to ease your anxiety. Or, at the very least, wrap up your entry with a positive note.
8) Focus on now. Always remember to take things one day at a time. Yes, life does happen all at once but if you sit down and prioritize your day, week, month, and year it will help relieve the stress and anxiety of taking care of everything all at once. Focus most of your energy on the events or tasks that matter the most,  [Click to Tweet] like taking care of your family, your career, finishing school, volunteering, traveling, or maybe a hobby. Whatever matters the most to you should take the highest priority and therefore receive the most focus and energy from you. This is not possible if you are constantly focusing on worrying and stress.
9) Keep Busy. One of the best ways to reduce anxiety is to distract you or keep yourself busy. As I mentioned earlier, I have a “Makes me happy list” and I recommend this for anyone with anxiety. When anxiety or depression consumes you, it is hard to remember what exactly makes you happy. This list acts like a cheat sheet – just pick out a few things off your list to distract yourself. If you are at work and you feel anxious take on more tasks or projects, or help a co-worker. When you help someone else out or do something that makes someone else happy, it is a natural response to feel satisfied and happy yourself.  Smiles are contagious!  [Click to Tweet]
Anxiety is embarrassing, annoying, and inconvenient, but it doesn’t have to consume your life. Every day is a new chance to live a better, more positive life. I hope some of these tips prove helpful, please share any positive experiences you have or have had!
What are some things you practice to control or reduce your anxiety?
Missty Klinger
June 28, 2015
To schedule a free neurofeedback consultation, click here.
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

[1] . Mayo Clinic. (2015). Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
[2] Adaa. (2015). Facts & Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
[3] Moninger, J. (2015). 10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot
[4] Tartakovsky, M. (2013). 9 Ways to Reduce Anxiety Right Here, Right Now. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/9-ways-to-reduce-anxiety-right-here-right-now/
[5] 3. Starkey, D. (2015). The Top 10 Reasons to Breathe Yourself to Better Health. Retrieved from https://realwellnessdoc.com/2015/05/06/stop-breathing-and-start-singing/
[6] Mayo Clinic at fn. 1