The Power that Made the Body, Heals the Body – Episode #012 Interview with Dr. Chuck Berg, D.C.
In this show, I speak with Dr. Chuck Berg, Chiropractor and author of the book “Is Your Lifestyle Killing You- How to Chase Dreams Without Sacrificing Your Health and Your Sanity.”. For the last 35 years, Dr. Berg has shared his passion and expertise educating thousands of people on the vital importance of “congruent living”, that is the vital importance of walking your talk and taking personal responsibility when it comes to your health. He shares his “Triune of Truth”, his model for true self care. Get ready for a thoughtful conversation on our body’s self healing powers, the importance of being a “seeker” and helpful tips for quieting our busy minds so we can hear our body’s wisdom.
To learn more about Dr. Berg: www.rivervalechiropractic.com
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Welcome to the soul science nutrition podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie.
Christine Okezie (22s):
And welcome to soul science nutrition. This is Christine Okezie. Thank you so much for tuning in today. And before we jump into today’s episode, I just want to take a moment to express my gratitude for all the folks who have taken the time to leave some lovely ratings and reviews. It really means so much to me. And I just want to let you know, I really appreciate you for doing that. And I’m also just take a moment to remind you that just so you don’t miss any upcoming episodes. I do release them every week, every Thursday morning. So please hit that subscribe button just so you don’t miss out if you haven’t already.
Christine Okezie (55s):
And again, thanks so much for all your support. Okay. So it’s on stage show. I have a amazing guest, a good friend and colleague that I met several years ago, who shares my passion for holistic health and educating people on the innate intelligence of the body to self regulate and self heal. I’ll be speaking today with dr. Chuck Berg. He’s the owner of river chiropractic. Chuck has been a practicing chiropractor, holistic health counselor, and healthy lifestyle educator for almost four decades.
Christine Okezie (1m 28s):
Chuck’s work is amazing and so impactful. He has helped thousands of patients with his mission to help people step into the best version of themselves through what he calls congruent living. I love this concept. We’ll talk today about congruent living. That is the vital importance of walking your talk and taking personal responsibility when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Chuck is a prolific writer and speaker, and I’m so excited because today you are in for an uplifting conversation that will definitely energize your commitment to creating a healthier, happier you.
Christine Okezie (2m 8s):
Okay, so hello, Chuck, welcome to soul science nutrition. Thanks so much for being here today.
Chuck Berg (2m 14s):
Christine, thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor.
Christine Okezie (2m 19s):
So yeah, we’ve known each other a few years now and I know one of the great things that we share is our passion for educating people on the innate intelligence of the body, the body’s ability to self heal and self regulate. And with this knowing comes the ability to put people back in the feeling of being in the driver’s seat of their health. So can you tell us a little bit about that philosophy and how you practice that every day in your work?
Chuck Berg (2m 50s):
I know because I was reared and raised in the philosophy of a chiropractor. Yeah. The challenge, Chris, as you know, the both of us know is most people do not awaken to this fact, nor were they given this fact and as a result. So here’s our homework. And in fact, you know, here’s what our calling is, is to try to help people understand. And honestly, I don’t think it’s very difficult at all. So Chris, if I can say what I like to introduce with, to my patients, or just talking in general, I ask people to give consideration to the most, to me, most powerful thing in the world, just to say, how does this happen?
Chuck Berg (3m 32s):
A tiny sperm cell hooks up with a tiny egg of which neither we can see with our own eyes, my topic, and yet inherent within there is all the intelligence to put together a living and breathing human beings. You baby, you, me, our parents, everyone. Same phenomenon. Please explain it to me. And people look at me in awe because it is in fact with all of science today to Chris has spent so much time in reading.
Chuck Berg (4m 3s):
Even the most scientific people, the gentleman, the Russian gentleman, I forget his name who developed the MRI. He followed the in Excel and ultimately at the end of it, he says, I’m a scientist, but there’s only one word that I can come up with to explain this phenomenon. And he called the divinity, not religious. Now we’re not talking about religion. We’re talking about something as the expression goes bigger than us, more awesome than us and also letting go of the need to understand,
Christine Okezie (4m 38s):
Oh yes, I couldn’t agree more. It’s the UN there’s something unseen. There’s something a lot more subtle going on when it comes to, you know, move in and groove in, in these bodies. And that’s, that’s exactly what that expression awesome has sort of taken on for me when things, it, it is truly awesome in, in the true sense when we think about what it takes, you know, to, to, for these bodies, to, to work all day long on our behalf. But before we jump in, cause we, this is just so juicy for me, I love this.
Christine Okezie (5m 8s):
What, what puts you on the path to becoming a chiropractor? I love the story. I think it’s important for our listeners to know, you know, how you came to this.
Chuck Berg (5m 19s):
So it’s so fascinating because we’ve been having this conversation about callings. You know, how people, what are you called for? And most of us go, Oh, come on. You know, the irony is that when I went to chiropractic college, one of the things that the professor said at the beginning is that for most of you, you didn’t choose this profession. This profession shows you. Whoa. So that happened to me because my whole background always Chris loved the human body, meaning I was a collegiate athlete. I was a swimmer. My background was in exercise physiology and I was received a graduate assistantship for a PhD in exercise to the university of Maryland.
Chuck Berg (5m 57s):
And I fascinated by it because it was all about how do we create peak performance? You know what this one body has and another one doesn’t. But without getting into the depth of it, my interest was about studying the human body. And I was in my last year as a senior in college, I took a job to make some extra money in a very high end gym health facility in Scarsdale. And it was there. I met a chiropractor and I didn’t know what the word meant, Chris.
Chuck Berg (6m 28s):
I did not know what chiropractic was. So we got into conversation and it was this man’s joy, enthusiasm, excitement, and just this overall energy that brought me to say, Whoa, then he asked me all important question. What are you going to do once you get your degree? And I had a pause and of course I didn’t have answers, but I cannot explain it that in a matter of 48 hours, I had a, an application, you know, for the New York chiropractic college.
Chuck Berg (7m 0s):
And a couple of months later, I received an invite and I gave up my whole graduate assistantship for this. Cause it just felt inherently, correct? Yeah. Amazing. So I was called to this. I honestly believe that 43 years, I’m deep into it. And I awakened every day with the joy and the blessing of knowing that I can go on and do something in service for someone with my basic and strong belief that the body is a self healing, self regulating machine.
Chuck Berg (7m 31s):
And our job is not to interfere. So the philosophy that was introduced to me at chiropractic college was so profound and it touched me deeply. I wasn’t in it for money. I didn’t know if you earn a lot of money, not a lot of money that wasn’t it. And I came from parents who I’m very grateful, did not talk to me about how much you can earn. They wanted me to do something that I would enjoy. And, you know, in the rear view mirror, 43 years later here I am thoroughly enjoying, you know, each day.
Chuck Berg (8m 4s):
And so that I’m extraordinarily grateful.
Christine Okezie (8m 6s):
Mm yeah. No, thank you. It truly, it’s so touching because it’s, it’s such a blessing to be able to find your calling and connect to that passion. Because I find that, you know, having done that as well and meeting other entrepreneurs who have been on that beautiful path is all you want to do is help people awaken up, wake up to their passion, right. Find alignment in their life and, and be, be in service to that. And so you T you talk a lot about congruent living, which I love, you know, walking your talk and Chuck, I have to say, I’ve known you for a while now.
Christine Okezie (8m 43s):
You know, I know I’m not the first person to observe that, but you really do. You walk your talk and these days in, I mean, not to be too pessimistic, but in the business of wellness, right. In, in all professions, just a little bit of a shadow side to this piece, but where there’s no integrity. Tell me a little bit about what you mean by congruent living when you talk.
Chuck Berg (9m 3s):
Yeah. So congruent living as it pretty much defined, you know, a walk, your talk, what you’re asking of other people and what you’re recommending to patients is not just a good idea for them, but this is what I have found that has worked well in my life. What’s serving me. So in autism to be inauthentic is just not to have integrity, right? To, to have integrity is to be one with yourself where were for lack of better terms, bullshitting somebody or ultimately bullshitting yourself.
Chuck Berg (9m 36s):
And that never feels good. So what I’ve learned is that what people say no matter who they are, Christine, it matters little what they say. So, you know, the expression, do it, act it live it. And it sells wonderful. When my very closest friend on my 50th birthday sent me a card. And then it says, Chuck, I’ve known you since you’re 17 years old. And what he said to me, quote, unquote, Chuck, you, you are the most congruent human being I’ve ever met. So, you know, that’s really sweet, but that really touched me because I don’t even see it.
Chuck Berg (10m 9s):
And he would also tell me, you’re so freaking naive, you know, about saying, but my point is, is that you study and I’ve always been taught. Christine, we’ve talked about this. You know, you come around. I don’t know if we live more than one lifetime, I’m just going to assume I’m gonna live one lifetime. And what I want is I want it to be a beautiful experience. Now I’m going to say that with the understanding that not every day is beautiful. You know, we have problems in our lives and I’ve had many, but what happens is, as we’ve studied and learned through the books and the wisdom that what’s important is not happens, but how we interpret our perception.
Chuck Berg (10m 51s):
I know you’ve written about this and I thank you for that. So getting back to congruency, I came up with this, what I call my Triune of truth, align the spine, eat from the vine and calm the mind. It came to me at five o’clock in the morning, about five years ago. And it was like a hot, it was one of those aha moments where it’s like is literally the umbrella of what health care is or should be, or at least how I’m going to live it. Okay. So align the spine.
Chuck Berg (11m 21s):
I’m a chiropractor, but it goes beyond, it’s not just about making correction of the spine. It’s about understanding that this amazing body of ours is put together in such an intriguing way. So we become a seeker. And as I study and I studied even in embryology, the first thing that ever forms was the primitive Nodo cord, which is the spine. Why? Because the brain needs to connect to every other part so that it can send and receive signals.
Chuck Berg (11m 52s):
So I have books on yoga and it’s called awakening the spine. There’s no mention of the word chiropractic, cause we don’t own the spine. We just happened to work on it and other parts. So if people can understand the importance of physical motion to the human body, who’s going to deny that we all agree. Secondly, the Institute of integrative nutrition, talk to us a lot about the amazing things that happen when we put in good foods to our bodies and the amazing things that happen when we try to nourish our body with either horrific foods or horrific thoughts.
Chuck Berg (12m 27s):
And we can get into that in a moment. But the idea that we have a choice in terms of what we put into the body and remember what my original philosophy core says, the body is an amazing self healing, self regulating machine, but our job is not to interfere but interfere. We do. And we do it Chris, by being sedentary. And that’s why the expression today is, you know, sitting is the new smoking. It’s the reason why we should have choices in terms of what we choose to put into our foods, into our bodies.
Chuck Berg (13m 1s):
You know, the phytonutrients, the, the important ingredients that on a cellular level, this is all the body needs just provide to it, what it needs. But do most of us do that? No. I mean, you know, from your clientele and just look around, right? And, and ultimately calm the mind and in our conversations and in so many of the books that I have read, and in my 43 years, with over 10,000 patients, I realized so early in my career as a healthcare provider, most issues stem from how we think, what I call the most important space is the space between your ears.
Chuck Berg (13m 43s):
Now, all of that sounds wonderful. How do we handle all of this for every body align the spine, eat from the vine and calm, the mind encompasses the physical, the nutritional, the biochemical, and ultimately the thought process. It is my opinion, and I can’t give you a number, but I’m gonna throw out, you know, like a 90 to 95% of our health related problems, have some derivation in how we think and how we process what we see feel and all of the five senses.
Chuck Berg (14m 16s):
And it’s a distortion. It’s not reality. It’s our perception that have been molded by previous experiences now lives and our job, the job of any healthcare provider is to try to help enlighten and help people see through the illusions of how they live their lives. Amen.
Christine Okezie (14m 35s):
Yeah, no, I couldn’t agree more. It, it really is, you know, the core philosophy that I practice and that we, you know, explore on this show is this mind, body, soul connection. And what I love about chiropractic or any modality that understands the importance of the nervous system in the body to create health and sustain. It really gets that right. I, and I just finished getting my certification in Kundalini yoga, and it is all about, you know, the importance of creating a healthy, nervous system and glandular system working with our sympathetic nervous system response and, and all of that from a neuro biochemical perspective.
Chuck Berg (15m 24s):
Yeah, no, I was just going to comment that, you know, here we are Chris on what is today, July 1st in the midst of our view, this, this pandemic thing. And we talk about the, the body’s immune system and how, how imperative, how we think and how we process will have it’s most important. In fact, then when I went to school, had to have a separate book on immunology, then I had a separate course on psychology. Then we have a separate course, you know what I’m saying? And now when you pick up the books, the tech books and in functional medicine, all of a sudden everything is about the neuro endocrine biochemical system.
Chuck Berg (16m 4s):
You know, so it’s all under one and we have to stop separating. Yeah. We have to stop separating and talking about, and that to me is what’s holistic. You know, healthcare is all about more people could understand it. Yeah,
Christine Okezie (16m 19s):
Absolutely. Yeah, no, I love the way that you talk about it is the space between our ears. It is the, you know, the thoughts that underlie the behaviors or, or the, the struggle with self care, doing what we know we should do and all of it. Cause that’s, that’s where we want to get into the nitty gritty people need tools. I always say to, to work with this, and I know, you know, one of the things that you promote and inspire people to do is to something called taking an honest inventory.
Christine Okezie (16m 49s):
Yes. Yeah. How do you do that? How have you been doing that for the last several decades
Chuck Berg (16m 55s):
Personally? Yeah. So taking the personal inventory is to me the primary, most important thing that we can do. And what I mean by that is what I’ve come to realize is that all of us, Chris and yourself, myself, we don’t necessarily see ourselves as we are. You know, in my book, what I had written as your lifestyle, killing you, the idea is, is that we spend so much time in, in this frenetic world. So busy being busy, that we, we tend to spend our lives looking outside of us and not inside of us.
Chuck Berg (17m 33s):
And of course, what does that mean? Only through self reflection. Can we begin to hear the whispers of our own intuition? Most of us don’t trust ourselves. And so I’ll call up you and say, Chris, what do you think know here’s my predicament? What do you think? Well, you know, what do you mean? What do I say, this is your world. What is your heart telling you? What is your intuition saying to you? And most of us, we, we are so busy and we’re so noisy, even in our head that we can hear at the subtle, most important, intuitive feedback that our body and our wisdom gives to us.
Chuck Berg (18m 11s):
So all of this was introduced to me when I began studying, you know, just the world of self-help psychology. I thought it was fascinating. And as a result, so every day to answer your question, I will awaken every day. And there’s a chapter that I wrote, which was important to me. It’s like, okay. So if I’m given 24 hours, that’s what a day is 86,400 seconds. How can I maximize that day? Well, the first thing I want to do is take care of the of truth, which is do something physical, you know, put in something nutritional.
Chuck Berg (18m 46s):
And most importantly, work on the space between my year. So my gig is a waking up at five in the morning and reading and the reading is something that’s inspiring, not news, not anything else. It’s getting me closer in contact with my own truth, asking questions. How am I showing up, Chuck, are you what you’re telling your patients and your people are you living your life that way? And it’s very important to me to have that integrity cause otherwise, you know, it’s just, you feel lousy about yourself and that’s why self-talk, which is really important.
Chuck Berg (19m 25s):
If it’s taking the honest introspection is being able to stop at any given moment, Christine and ask yourself, Hmm, contemplate my contemplations. What do I think about most of the time? This is the self-talk that each of us, because we’re human, that’s thinking mind continues consistently and persistently, but what neuroscience teaches us, what there is, is just a series of very narrow, the bandwidth of what we contemplate and think about, which is usually by the way, our struggles, our challenges, and the things that are preventing us from moving forward and being joyous.
Chuck Berg (20m 5s):
They need to be confronted and to even ask the why behind this, it takes time Chris, and it takes perseverance and it takes a discipline, but we can spend our entire life knowing more about a handful of friends that we ever know about ourselves. And I think that that’s sad. So that’s the invitation is to really take an honest inventory of how I’m living my life. How am I spending it? Where am I showing up? How am I, how am I showing up?
Chuck Berg (20m 36s):
And these are just generic questions that when we allow ourselves and give ourselves the space, we begin to know ourselves better. And we begin to realize that are wasting time doing things that never moving us towards the goals and the aspirations and the happiness. Not that that’s what life is, but having more of it. And I, that is my calling is to try to support people in helping them and guiding them.
Chuck Berg (21m 7s):
Calling that we have is also something that I believe unfolds over time. So if anyone’s listening to this and they say, well, you know, damn, I wish I had my new, my calling is it’s find you more than you finding it, right. Nothing alone is it. And that’s why my evolution as a chiropractor, I came out of school and I was a hands on backbone to belly chiropractor, adjust the Atlas, adjust the mid thoracic, adjust the lumbar spine. Okay. Ma’am, let’s see on Wednesday, come back when hurts, whatever the protocol was.
Chuck Berg (21m 39s):
All of a sudden I realized after being a seeker and I believe it’s so important that each of us becomes a seeker. We know what we come to realize is we think we know so much and half of the three quarters or 90% of what we think we know isn’t even true in its own self. It’s an illusion. That’s what I’ve learned. A lot of things we thought with facts or not. So this whole expression, and as an invitation to those who are listening, the one thing I don’t want people to do is get very frustrated by staying well.
Chuck Berg (22m 10s):
I don’t know exactly what I’m not really sure. Thank you. That that’s your journey and that’s all of our journeys, but important to spend time with people like what we’re doing right now, Chris, I have choices of being with different people for different reasons, but you know, what lights me up with the joy that I get is speaking from interesting people who have spent a lifetime reading, researching learning, or just experiencing and sharing those things with the goal of taking whoever you’re with and bringing them one step up the tone scale.
Chuck Berg (22m 46s):
Yeah. And what would happen is if we all did that each and every day, regardless of the work that you do. Cause I don’t believe you have to be a healthcare provider in order for that to happen. That’s the challenge to this listeners please. Very important.
Christine Okezie (23m 1s):
Yeah. And, and in very, you know, I, as you reflect on kind of the state of the world right now in the last several months, I think we’ve all been on collective pause in so much, you know, in our own ways, there’s been just a lot of opportunity, more so than ever to slow down to, to notice, to take care of yourself now more than ever self care is really not a luxury. You know, it really is a necessity to think about your health and to be much more conscious in your everyday behaviors around, you know, your health and wellbeing.
Christine Okezie (23m 37s):
So it is very interesting. It all, all it all starts with stepping out of the chaos and the routine the habitual, right?
Chuck Berg (23m 45s):
The thing Christine is for each of us to ask ourselves the all important question is my, my routine, something that is life affirming, or is it life depleting? And part of the honesty game or part of the self reflection is to learn to ask that question and then be honest and say, Oh my God, you know, my rituals are having, you know, four beers every night and I’m not condemning anybody who’s choosing that. Or binge watching shows for 14 hours and sitting in a, in a couch, I’m not the choice is yours, but to your point that this collective pause and your right pause means the ability to slow down or completely stopped.
Chuck Berg (24m 34s):
And the beautiful metaphor for those listening is to envision, we’ve all passed by a beautiful Lake in nature. And if you get there super early in the morning, it is usually completely quiet and there’s very little wind. So when the movement in the water is nil, that’s when we get those magnificent reflections. So in stillness is reflection. And I think silver lining for a lot of people in the environment that we’re in right now is that it’s giving them that opportunity for reflection.
Chuck Berg (25m 9s):
So whether they knew personal inventory, it’s manifesting for them. And we always have to ask that, you know, relative to the universe, it is always working for us, not against us. And that’s an important embrace because most of the time, you know what this FM world, and we’re always, we listened to our language about how we language things. And then we want to know why we feel the way we feel. So part of self reflection and part of contemplating your contemplations, which simply means really thinking about what I think about and verbalize whether it’s written or whether it’s just ruminating is a real eyeopener in terms of how people help them see the world.
Chuck Berg (25m 59s):
And I, it’s a big invitation, and I hope that people can do that, carve out the time to spend in self reflection. And if you really want to go all the way, here’s my recommendation. And Chris to have our listeners be so bold as to find someone in their life, really close friend, where they can actually sit down with them and say, Chris, let me ask you a question and I want you to be over, be honest with me, please share with me, how do I show up?
Chuck Berg (26m 33s):
And what that simply means is, you know, Christine can come back and say, Chuck, you know, man, you are amazingly congruent. Chuck, not for nothing, but you are always in a state of anger. I mean, that’s what, I’m, that’s my vibe that I get from you. Yeah,
Christine Okezie (26m 50s):
Yeah, yeah, no, that’s, that’s really important to, to look for reflection everywhere. Right? And, and it can begin certainly with our own moments of contemplation, as you talk about paying attention to the radio station, our head paying attention, I think you, it’s really nice that you talk about pay attention to how you speak, right? The language that comes out, your reactions and how information such a, such a, a wonderful place to be in observation.
Christine Okezie (27m 20s):
You know, if we can kind of be in that observer mode, it, it also takes the judgment out of it. I find because, you know, in my world, you know, specifically when it comes to food related and weight related challenges, there’s a lot of shame and there’s a lot of, you know, self-inflicted, you know, blame and you know, and what I think you and I want to be clear is we’re not talking about, Oh, they’re, you know, blaming ourselves or calling ourselves and making us feel wrong, but really coming from this, just very curious, gentle observation.
Christine Okezie (27m 54s):
And as you said, just noticing where you need to be more in alignment, just noticing where some adjustments or where you know, pivots need to be made based on, you know, my definition of integrity is always been when you, when, what you do, what you say, what you think all line up, right. And that’s a really high bar. If you’re living in chaos, if you’re living, like you said, with the autopilot kind of reactionary, you know, ways of being, so it is really challenging these days, but I think you’re right.
Christine Okezie (28m 27s):
I think there’s a grand invitation more than ever. It’s a kind of really, you know, take that inventory and in a, in a meaningful way these days, let me ask you a question, tell me about a patient. Cause you, you you’ve been in service to so many amazing people. Tell me about a patient maybe that touched your heart, you know, changed your practice or, or this is why I do what I do.
Chuck Berg (28m 53s):
Alright, well, one gentlemen who I worked with early on, probably in the very early eighties, he was an alcoholic and addicted to drugs. And at the time, you know, what can I do as a doctor of chiropractic was to treat him with his spine, but he was vulnerable. And he allowed me into his space of where these problems lie. And I was very much into trying to understand the game of self esteem, because I realized I had people in my family too, who had problems with that when he shared all of this, I, at the time I was making my own cassettes.
Chuck Berg (29m 31s):
You remember that you had a cassette deck? Yeah. And I would, I would put them in my own little handheld machine and I would talk about self esteem and I giving this gentleman my tapes. And then I would do my little, you know, my call and my little song and dances. I would give seminars around showing the correlation between stress and the manifestation of illness and how our thoughts provoke and change the hormonal things. And of course, you know, we’re learning so much about this with neuroscience today.
Chuck Berg (30m 2s):
So this is not voodoo. This is like real, real. He was so touched by this. And ultimately, you know, he got off all meds, he got off everything. He no longer drank. And he told me that I saved him and saved his life. So that was, that was profound. You know, to know that, Oh my God, this little guy from the Bronx, New York, it had this impact on somebody. And to this day, you know, and I have a binder in my office.
Chuck Berg (30m 33s):
My mom gave to me before she passed, she unfortunately was stricken pancreatic cancer. And she loved the stories that I would share over the course of my career of the blessings that have taken place. She got me a, a binder. And today, Chris, it is about four and a half inches thick with hundreds of letters, comments, anything that wasn’t acknowledgement, because what I have learned is that each and every one of us, so desires to be recognized, appreciated, and approved.
Chuck Berg (31m 6s):
And so many patients will come and say, you know, every time I leave your freaking office, I don’t know what to do. I feel better about who I am. Okay. That is my, that is a testimony. So that is my calling. I cannot, I will not say that. That is my intention. Like, Oh my God, Christine’s coming in. Let me make sure I say something incredibly positive and supportive. But what happens is the conversation just goes in the direction of helping that patient to feel better, to make recommendations, never telling people what they have to do.
Chuck Berg (31m 41s):
But you know, if you’re interested, I can support you in this particular region. I do right this morning, I wrote a letter that came out, I’m looking at it’s called what impacts healing. And part of this is a worthwhile two minute conversation because what I, I sit back and as I contemplate my contemplations, why did somebody respond so well here? Why did somebody not respond to your, but went to the acupuncturist and felt better? Why, if I send somebody to Christine and she was able to modify their eating habits and help them love themselves better and make better choices.
Chuck Berg (32m 18s):
So the essence of this is that the same body, but I believe that our beliefs become the paramount factor into people, healing as well. If somebody doesn’t embrace the idea that working on their spine is helpful and supportive, I can sense that I would rather them not come because belief in not only the work, the product that you do, but also in the, who you are as a human being makes a huge difference. But what I really knew is that how we feel about ourselves is the, the most significant thing in the world.
Chuck Berg (32m 54s):
The self-esteem, that’s an observation that I have.
Christine Okezie (32m 59s):
Couldn’t agree more because I think it really comes down to that. I guess the term is self efficacy, right? The belief in our ability to actually get a positive outcome in our lives. And again, you know, we can even talk about the placebo effect or the no cebo effect, which speaks to the power. That, again, going back to how we started this conversation, the power of the unseen, the subtle energy, that’s running, something that we can’t, you know, diagram and, and measure with precision. But nonetheless really is a force to reckon with.
Christine Okezie (33m 31s):
So check, I’d like to go back a little bit in your story. And so all of these wonderful life, philosophies and teachings, and I’d be interested to have you share the particular personal challenges or hurdles in your life that shaped you and put you on this path to being a seeker, to really embodying and practicing this holistic view of our health and our healing.
Chuck Berg (33m 58s):
His son was born. He was born with a hemiparesis. He had a stroke in utero. And that really impacted me in a huge way because I realized that first of all, Oh my God, this isn’t what I was prepared for. And, you know, it was so painful to have to deal with. But of course, this is what we learned that the greatest pains of our life become the greatest opportunity. So I would never have known that until someone brings that light to me, right. To appreciate that.
Chuck Berg (34m 28s):
So if we stop in, in many of our lives, when you come to realize that the biggest challenges, the biggest complexities that you have were the things that actually broke you open to see and explore in different ways. So I call it wisdom in advance of crisis. Chris. So having been exposed to, you know, much of the readings and the self care self help, self, self, psychology, whatever you want to call it. I was intrigued by that because I wanted to find why, what makes people, what makes people unhappy when we’re born with this gift of happiness watch children.
Chuck Berg (35m 4s):
So it is something that’s learned behavior, and I’m not there to talk about what happened in people’s lives early in their lives. But my point is that I realized that the power of treating the mind in the sense of creating an environment that is empowering and loving and nurturing and supportive what could happen. So my little boy was born and, you know, we ha we found out within a matter of a few weeks, realized that he had that a cortical fist, you know, with a thumb is inside. The other fingers is typical of what you see with stroke patients, then go into the top child’s neurologist in Manhattan.
Chuck Berg (35m 41s):
Then he says, yes, your kid has a stroke. You know, which wasn’t probably the best way of saying it, but I made a commitment at that moment. This was my first born child, my only child, I am going to commit the next 20 years of my life. This is the highest priority. And what I really recognized is that two things I did all of my chiropractic care and physical things to support him. And when a child is that young, we’ve now learned what’s called neuroplasticity, the ability of the body to adapt much different than when you try to do that to a 60 year old post-stroke.
Chuck Berg (36m 19s):
So it was fascinating. And of course, over time to watch what he was capable of doing without the other part, was that at a year and a half, all of a sudden he suffered a severe seizure. And to the point where we had to bring him to the hospital and they had to give him medication to quiet, the nervous system. And I sat there all night thinking, Oh my God, when he wakes up, is he going to know who we are? What kind of damage could have been told? Because he always hear about this. Oh my God, what’s going to be. And over the course of the next four years, he had one seizure each year.
Chuck Berg (36m 53s):
And the doctors were adamant about putting him on medication. And I could not justify putting him on medication when he had one seizure a year and I did the math on it, you know, and it came out to be a very small percentage of time.
3 (37m 6s):
Okay. So I finally connected
Chuck Berg (37m 8s):
Sent it after the fourth one, Chris, and then after the fourth seizure, I said, okay, you guys win. So they gave him something called taker tall, which is a medication for it. And he unfortunately was somebody who responded very poorly, so poorly that he developed a plastic anemia, which is a condition that will kill you because that shuts down the body’s bone marrow to produce red blood cell. After that, I was so annoyed with myself, not with the doctors, they were following their procedures and protocols, but we started off the conversation about listening to your intuition.
Chuck Berg (37m 43s):
And what I didn’t do is I, I folded in my expression. I folded to the pressures and I finally said, okay. So I started searching and I found a chiropractor in Manhattan that does only cranial adjusting procedures. I felt that that made most sense because he literally had a spot on his brain from the stroke. So we went there 16, 19 times, whatever into Manhattan, big trip and the whole bit. And he was four and a half years old. At that time, he’s had those four major seizures.
Chuck Berg (38m 15s):
And after that, he had never had a seizure again, no medication, no anything. So I can’t even say to you that that was the chiropractor’s job. I have no idea other than being an enormous scratch.
3 (38m 28s):
Chuck Berg (38m 30s):
That being said, so we continue. But the important thing is my heart was speaking me and to saying, here’s a child body really doesn’t work as well as it should. He had all these seizure activities. They told me he probably have a learning disability because it hit him in the Broca area, the language center of the brain. And as he went through school, he was a little bit once a regular school, but he was always a slower learner and everything else had difficult time with learning comprehension. And then at age 13 in the middle of the summer, I would get a phone call.
Chuck Berg (39m 2s):
Something’s not right with your kid. And to make a long story short, I ran down to Philadelphia. That’s where he was only to find out he was drinking with juvenile diabetes. So in the point of 13 years, there’s been an enormous amount of, it’s like, you know, you sit down and you say, okay, dear God, why, you know, you play the why game. And of course that matters not, and there’s no explanation for anything. But to your point, I say, wisdom in advance of crisis. What I’ve learned is that when events happen, events are, they just are, like you said, it just is right.
Chuck Berg (39m 39s):
It just is. It’s the story that we connect to the issues that we have that will either be the wind under our wings or the weight on our tail. I said to myself, what if I could take this child at six months old and share this wisdom with him? How do you do that, Chuck? How do you do that? Is I would sit next to his crib every night and put him to sleep. And that sat there, just me and him.
Chuck Berg (40m 10s):
And I would just talk, all right. You know, I touch his hair and move his hair away from this far head and let him know how loved he was and how there’s no such thing as the word can’t. And we would have these kinds of very simple, quiet conversations. And why did I do this? Why did I do this, Chris? Because I read in a book by a psychologist who was working with the Olympic people. And what he basically said is that what we see in our mind’s eyes, what we manifest, you know, that was kind of like the rap that he was saying.
Chuck Berg (40m 42s):
And he said, the subconscious mind never goes to sleep. So while he was laying in his crib doing this little snoring, his dad was sharing quiet, no motivation, no up and down, no jumping, soft, quiet words of love, of support and nurturing. And you know, fast-forward, Jason’s 38 years old and an amazing young man in many respects, he didn’t do anything that was like, you know, my God monumental, but he’s one of the happiest and most joyful people that I know.
Chuck Berg (41m 19s):
And that alone, you know, he, to me, he is, you know, people will say, Oh, but you know, you’re amazing with no, he’s amazing. I talk it, he lives it.
Christine Okezie (41m 29s):
Yeah. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for sharing that. That’s so you can pull from that as direct evidence is that when we have those hurdles and challenges and pain in our, you know, painful moments in our life, but it’s like a turning point, how do we want to navigate? You know, we have a choice. There’s always a choice, you know, as to how to respond and
Chuck Berg (41m 54s):
Right. But most people don’t even know that that choice exists because of what our surroundings have been. You know, if we come from doomy gloom, and that’s always what we hear, and we hear the language of our parents, the language of our caregivers, the language of, of society, it becomes, you know, you have to really be strong in your belief and willingness. And one last thing, I think I should comment if people are listening to this, Croesus that with Jason, the other thing is, turn your, turn, your obstacle into your opportunity.
Chuck Berg (42m 25s):
So with his diabetes, I thought that it would be an amazing thing because he was managing it very well. I put a gym in the house because I knew that that was something that’s going to be helpful. And he developed this amazing body, which is okay, that’s just the physical part, but we leveraged it. And I say, we, because it was some of my ideas. And my idea was how do, how does this kid feel awesome about himself? How teaching teach it at 15, he became a personal trainer and he failed the academic part of it twice taking the tests, but he had persistence, persistence and willingness and determination alone are omnipotent.
Chuck Berg (43m 3s):
And if you can understand that, so I failed, screw it, let me do it again, bring it on. And he did. And he passed and everything else. So he started his home based gym. And within a matter of a month, he had 10 juvenile diabetic clients that he’s now training parents would come to me and say, Chuck, the best thing that’s ever happened to my child is having your child in their life. Oh my God. How does that feel as a parent? Right? You want to hear things like that? Believable,
Christine Okezie (43m 32s):
Such a gift. Yeah. I guess
Chuck Berg (43m 34s):
Kept taking this opportunities to do these things. And then I contacted muscle and fitness magazine and I said, Hey, I think you guys would have a really interesting story. You know, listening to what my son has been doing and helping other people. And in 1991, January of 1991 muscle and fitness did a three page article on Jason taking, taking this young boy, taking diabetes is juvenile diabetes, turning it, obstacle into an opportunity. Now he started having people from all over the world, literally with emails, calling him, contacting him.
Chuck Berg (44m 6s):
He was like, he was like a stud, he was the one that everybody wanted. So here it is. Despite having the issues that he’s having, I would hope he’s feeling pretty good about himself. And I would say he was and is, and that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. And I’m sure that he, you know, has his moments of frustration and wishing he could do more things and not having a little bit of an issue with his right hand and unable to do work at times where he a second person, but it’s acceptance of what is, and willingness to work with what we have and recognize that my God, Jason, I told him, you have a disease that is manageable.
Chuck Berg (44m 45s):
Other people have a disease that they can’t do anything about and they just watch themselves deteriorate. But guess what? The onus is on you. So I turned over all responsibility of his diabetes to him. I did not learn all about what had to be done. It was him and he did it. And I took away that that’s what helicopter parenting, you know, your responsibility, his whole game is about personal responsibility. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (45m 11s):
Yeah. And, and I actually share that, you know, with our listeners early, and as I introduced you is, you know, this notion or this very important philosophy of Congress living, but also with that comes personal responsibility, right? Personal responsibility, no one else cares more about your body than you. I’ve always said that. Right? So there, there, if you, if you sign up for that radio station and sign up for all that goes with that lens to move through your life, how different does that be when it comes to treating your body right.
Christine Okezie (45m 45s):
Seeking out the resources that are actually going to help you, but you have to be engaged. And that’s, that’s another really great thing. I know you and I share this a lot. I’m trying to work with this kind of tendency for us to hand our bodies over like a car, if you will, you know, fix me, you know, because so much of it is, as we’ve talked about now is within our range. You know, it starts in our belief system.
Christine Okezie (46m 15s):
It starts in our attitude towards what’s possible in our life, a consciousness that comes to how the body really does work, that it actually it’s a normal state of, of function is health. And it, you know, I always say that the body wants to be healthy. And, and right there, I know with, you know, the, the modalities that you work with, if the body wants to be healthy, then what we’re always looking to do is to find out where those, the stuckness, you know, and how do we kind of just, you know, to in parlance you use the word adjustment, but it really is very inappropriate word.
Christine Okezie (46m 50s):
Where do we make the adjustment?
Chuck Berg (46m 52s):
Right, right. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (46m 54s):
Yeah. All all related, as you said. And that’s why I love, I think chiropractic is such a beautiful, comprehensive modality, particularly in the way that you have become so versed in it, because it understands that it is more than just the body and the, but it’s also more than just our thoughts. And in fact, you really can’t separate these things anymore. Right. As you started to say,
Chuck Berg (47m 22s):
Yeah, that’s why the umbrella, you know, when you were looking at it, you really, if people can just take what we’re having conversation and just say, Hey, how am I doing with regards to my physical motion? And, you know, figure out, we don’t have to tell you. And some people are so freaked out over about, but I’m not sure what exercise, move dance in the dance in the rain. You’re a boss, a worthwhile thing. You know, I talk a lot and you’ve attended even some of my seminars where we talk about the blue zones around the world where people live on average to a hundred, 105.
Chuck Berg (47m 58s):
And they live quite well. I mean, ordinarily healthy. Yeah. The irony is that these are the places where they don’t have fancy doctors. They don’t have hospitals. So, you know, I always say boys from the Bronx says, Hey man, what’s up with that? What’s up with that. So the reality is, is maybe too much interference by us in terms of the traditional Western medicine and things of this nature. Just give people the opportunity. So when national GEA, a geo, you know, national geographic sends their scientists, they study them, what do they come back with in a very simple steps.
Chuck Berg (48m 32s):
These people get up at seven in the morning. They go to bed at seven, at night to 12 hours. They’re in motion, whether they’re 95, the 95 year olds are doing what the 20 year olds. And this becomes their, this is their routine. Secondly, they eat only things that grow. Wow. Well, all of a sudden, now we’re getting what Chris is trying to explain to people, eat foods that grow, not things that aren’t, that altered, modified putrefying whatever. And that is what gives you a cells that’s all day neat.
Chuck Berg (49m 3s):
Thirdly, these people and this I think is a very valuable point too. As I, soon to turn 68 years of age, as we grow older in those cultures, you are revered as a senior people will come to you at all ages and say, Chuck, please share with me, teach me, guide me in our country. You know, post 60, man, you’re ready. You’re putting enough on a shelf, like a, like a loaf of bread that’s been put away.
Chuck Berg (49m 33s):
And they tell us that loneliness and being a value is really, really important. So when you think about it, those are the three basic things that we’re talking about within an umbrella. So without making this complicated, the irony, the duality is that it’s so freaking easy, but it requires a discipline. And it requires breaking the habit of being myself, you know, like a Joe Dispenza’s book, because w our, our, our neurology, you don’t realize that through repetition of not only movement, but thought we’ve laid down brain tattoos.
Chuck Berg (50m 17s):
And these brain tattoos are so powerful that unless we can actually confront them and see them and see past the illusion of we have chosen to believe we are going to stay stuck in our stuff. Yeah,
Christine Okezie (50m 34s):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So I know you’re a big reader like I am, and you’ve been, you’ve been at this a while, learning from a lot of wonderful thought leaders and in, you know, personal growth, if you will, what are your favorite resources that you share with your patient?
Chuck Berg (50m 50s):
There are so many, like you said, and I think what I really have to do is get a sense of my patients. Carolyn Myss defying gravity. I found to be a very helpful book, because that was the other thing about trying to get us away from understanding things and reasoning, because so much of what goes into our lives is beyond the five senses. Awesome. And in a world where, you know, we need to know that’s why people are always so freaked out.
Chuck Berg (51m 21s):
That’s why they’re in fear. They want to have answers. And when I investigated my own awareness, what I’ve commented that the more I learn as the old expression goes, the more I realize what I don’t know. So I turn over like to the body, when I, I do the best I can. I look at the next Ray, guess what? It gives us some information. If there’s nothing broken, whatever, it’s a, it’s a bunch of bones, but there’s a whole lot more of it’s going on. And finally, finally, which goes back to this whole arena of awareness, is this a field of energy?
Chuck Berg (51m 56s):
And that’s what some people can call the divine, having nothing to do with religion, but going beyond understanding, nor when I wake up, I’ve been around on this planet to 68 years, how come I haven’t had any, you know, issues of health related problems, whatever it may be. Somebody else does what’s happening with the countless billions of cells that are acting, reacting and interacting in a fantastic concert of highly intelligent activity of which no doctor or group of doctors knows more than a fragment of the complex.
Chuck Berg (52m 32s):
The mystery of life is still a mystery. Well, that’s a quote that I had taken 40 years ago from Boyd’s pathology, from a medical book that they give in medical school. And guess what? Even then this man was the first, you know, real medical doctor who I ever heard use that language. You have no freaking idea. We have some idea, but the body’s too complicated to really understand. So every day that you and I wake up, you have no idea what your gallbladder is doing. You have no idea what you’re doing. You don’t know how your screening, you don’t know how you’re absorbing.
Chuck Berg (53m 5s):
I mean, serious, right? This is what I need about an energy. And this is where people say, well, that’s what, that’s what, you know, you’re like voodoo, no, this is what is, this is real life. It goes so beyond brace that.
Christine Okezie (53m 22s):
Right. So I would, yeah. And that’s why think, you know, people ask me, how did I get into, you know, working with energy and, and pursuing, you know, that element of, of transformation and healing and the longer you understand there’s something going on in this mind, body inter inter connection that’s going on. And you want to find ways to understand it, deeper leverage and accelerate that interaction. You get into energy. You know, Albert Einstein, everything is energy.
Christine Okezie (53m 52s):
And, and so our thoughts, our energy, the food we eat is energy. The emotions are certainly energetic, you know? And it’s, I think what you and I, you know, are very passionate about is this, this paradox, right. Is it’s simple, as we said, right, it’s simple, but it’s also beautifully complex. But at the end of the day, I know you love to say, it’s not enough to know. Right. Cause you, and I, we can say, read this and study that and understand that we actually have to do, we actually have to take action.
Christine Okezie (54m 25s):
Right. So what’s, you know, what do you find yourself saying to a patient who comes in and says, you know, I just feel really stuck. You know, I’m, you know, I feel like I’ve blown it. You know, my body’s really not doing well. I just don’t know where to start. You know, what’s what do you find yourself saying just to light that spark. And so it doesn’t feel so daunting because it can feel really overwhelming sometimes.
Chuck Berg (54m 52s):
I’m sure it can. And I like to always come from the space of, you know, I explain to people, what’s my, why, you know what, you know, the expression without a why. There’s no question, right? If we don’t get in order to get compliance, we have to understand why to take your whole life is too big, but let’s just work with 24 hours because that’s something that we can control. So master your day and master your life. So I would invite people to really try to break down what their morning looks like a morning routine, a shake in the morning that has all of the nutrients.
Chuck Berg (55m 28s):
That’s one step that you can do. Why? Because it is so nutrient dense that if I did need anything else, the rest of the day, I’m not suggesting that, but they’re getting pretty much every phytonutrient on the planet as a result of what we’ve chose to put in there. I talk about getting up that extra hour earlier, commit to it. It’s not out of the illusion of going to be exhausted and they’re going to be exhausted by not freaking moving. That’s why getting back to even reading some concepts about Buddhism for me, has been very informational and has really opened my eyes to a different way of looking at, as we started with the business of the world, rather than judging it, complaining it, speaking about it, putting judgment on other people.
Chuck Berg (56m 15s):
I just be, I try to be like, you know, when I look out in nature and I see the plants and Nope, none of these things are struggling. They’re just the winds blow. They move left, they move, right. They just accept the business without being stepped on. They will do what they need to do. And I love to tell people that my goal is no longer about things and stuff, but I want to be that spiritual warrior. I want to be a person who can live with all that’s happening in my life and still be my undercurrent of default emotion is joyfulness and present that and give that away to people.
Chuck Berg (56m 54s):
And with that again, the life tends to reward us with a response, very similar to what we are giving is what we get in receiving. And I have found that to be extremely supportive in my lifetime.
Christine Okezie (57m 9s):
That’s wonderful. I was just going to ask you, you know, if there was a quote that you would like to close with, and maybe you’ve already sprinkled in so many, but is there anything maybe that comes to mind as you end on that note?
Chuck Berg (57m 22s):
It’s your future be? They’re healthy.
Christine Okezie (57m 26s):
Yeah. Yeah, no. I love that. Thank you so much, Chuck. This has been lovely. And of course, if folks want to find out more about you and where you work and how to access more, when your wonderful wisdom, where should they?
Chuck Berg (57m 43s):
Yeah. I have a website, Rivervale chiropractic.com. If anyone is interested on Amazon, I wrote a book called is your lifestyle killing you? How to chase dreams without sacrificing your health and your sanity. This is my joy, trying to support, nurture others. And I just want to say, thank you to you for giving me this opportunity. I appreciate your greatness.
Christine Okezie (58m 8s):
It’s been wonderful. I appreciate you as well. All right. Thank you so much. Check, take care.
Chuck Berg (58m 13s):
You do the same, Chris. Bye. Bye. Now.