Exercise Programs

The practice of exercise, both cardiovascular and muscle strengthening, is, coupled with regular chiropractic care, an immensely important aid to managing lower back pain. Exercise promotes maintaining properly toned muscles, better circulation, and healthy digestion. There is strong evidence supporting that exercise is nearly as effective as all other non-surgical treatments in the relief and treatment of lower back pain.

5 Ways Social Media Has Increased Anxiety & Depression for Kids Today

There has recently been a lot of coverage about how social media is negatively affecting today’s youth. Late last year, the cover of Time magazine was titled, “Anxiety, Depression and the American Adolescent”. Clearly, the advancement of technology is something that impacts us all. Time’s article highlights how modern technology, virtual reality and over-stimulation are some of the more meaningful reasons why anxiety and depression have become so prevalent among teens.
If you’re worried that your teen is addicted to social media and uses it define themselves, this article is for you.

Below you’ll find 5 ways social media is affecting kids and what you can do about it.

  1. Working HARD to maintain an online identity
    The article highlighted a teenager with 17 Facebook accounts. Can you imagine the time and effort it takes to use that many accounts simultaneously? Let alone, remembering all of the details of your new online personality. What people see online is what others want them to see.People who are dedicated to crafting a new personality online are able to create a “made-up” version of themselves; keeping up this façade is draining and can ultimately cause feelings of “being a fraud” and lead to self-loathing and deep personal insecurity.

    When your teens see these “perfect lives” and “beautiful people” it can cause them to feel anxious and depressed because their lives don’t measure up.Feeling less-than is a common theme amongst teens throughout the modern era and it continues to get worse! If we truly want to evolve as a society we need to learn to be vulnerable. When your children are allowed to share their insecurities and fears without judgment or anger they can develop into their best selves.
  2. Stuck in a world of likes and dislikes
    Anyone who uses social media knows that it can be very addicting. Part of the addiction is related to how many likes (which is really attention) one gets on a certain picture or topic. Our ego is validated by this function which causes us to feel good and get caught in the addiction cycle or trap of wanting more and more validation.

    It also works the other way. If we don’t receive the likes we were expecting or receive unkind comments it can lead us to feel anxious or worry. The more that pattern continues and the more your teen reaches out to get kids to like him online and receives a contrary message, the greater the likelihood depression will follow.When your teen relies on outside opinions for his or her identity, there’s a greater risk for problems ahead. To find happiness, your teen must get past this dependency and find real-life sources to fill up his or her life. Real connection and feeling that you belong can help to loosen the hold of this addiction.
  3. Self-Soothing Habits
    Does your teen have a hard time regulating their emotions? In layman’s terms that means can your teen respond to their feelings in ways that are socially responsible, at times delaying gratification until it’s appropriate? And certainly that doesn’t mean 100% of the time, but more often than not is a good benchmark. Kids that have trouble regulating their emotions often get angry easily and lash out. They have outbursts in inappropriate moments and require attention when you think they should be able to “handle it on their own”.

    In today’s world self-soothing, the act of calming oneself, is being replaced by the phone or iPad screen. For kids with social media challenges, anything they feel any type of discomfort or dis-ease they look to their social media friends for, something that momentarily changes their mood and makes them feel something other than whatever is bothering them.

    This path of avoiding the real feelings and distracting from our mood is the same path that other addictions take and as a habit need to be avoided. To put it simply, it’s a slippery slope that can lead to other more challenging addictions as your teen ages.

    Bottom line: If you want your teen to grow out of this kind of avoidant behavior, he or she needs to learn how to sit with their discomfort and work on real solutions to the issues they face.
  4. Bullying
    In my opinion, online bullying among teens is an epidemic. For many teens social media has become an avenue of choice for bullying. It is less confrontational while being more damaging. One type of bullying that’s particularly harmful to young girls in school is slut shaming. This is the act of labeling a girl as a sexually out of control woman and then punishing her socially for possessing this identity.

    Today, these accusations can be shared with an entire school with a simple mouse click. This type of abuse has caused young girls to change schools, destroyed self-esteem and in some cases commit suicide. We need to nurture and be kind to our daughters. By teaching them self-respect, how to set boundaries and be assertive we can help them learn to protect and help themselves.
  5. Life is presented in sound bites, still frames, and one-liners
    I compare this to when we first start a relationship with someone. Media such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter make it easy to share the prettiest, funniest, and best version of ourselves. It is an unrealistic image. It is the mask we want the world to see. When an adolescent is unable to live up to the images they see on this internet, it can trigger self-loathing and self-harm.

    Social media can lead to heightened insecurities, especially if your child believes they are being scrutinized and need edited versions of their photos in order to look good. Adolescence is traditionally a time of insecurity and finding oneself. The pressure that some teens put on themselves to be and act a certain way can be very damaging and last for the rest of their lives.

The good news is there are things we can do to minimize the negative impact social media has on our kid’s lives.

One suggestion I often work on with my clients is the creation of a phone box. Have your child place their phones in the box when they get home and you do the same. There is no greater gift than connecting as a family and being present with one another.

Another suggestion is to practice mindful breathing to connect more directly to your body. The practice of mindful breathing allows you to become more clearly aware of your thoughts and what you are feeling. You will hear the negative thoughts playing over and over again and then you can begin to confront the truth of those thoughts.

Mindfulness makes you the ruler of your thoughts and emotions and you can learn to conduct the music playing in your head. I often tell my clients that your mind is like an instrument, it is either playing you or you are playing it. So start practicing!

Just remember that the bottom like is that if you teach your kids to love themselves and help them build their self-esteem you will increase their happiness this will lessen the negative effects of social media.

If you are struggling with your teens dependency on social media or worried that the hook it has on your child is too great, I can help. Contact me for a consultation at 561-260-3617 or email me directly at healing@brentberman.com .

Transformative Recovery

Don’t lose hope! You CAN beat your addiction.

Addiction treatment today has a one size fits all mentality. Insurance companies will only reimburse those institutions that follow the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous. If you’ve known anyone who has gone to a substance abuse treatment facility, you’ve probably heard the gripe that they’re forced to partake in the 12-step model of recovery.

This means joining AA or NA, which, for some, just isn’t a good fit. In many cases, they’re told this is the only way to truly recover. But this narrow approach has failed many — forcing an addict to do anything is a recipe for disaster. 

Instead, educate the individual and let them make an informed decision. As someone who’s worked in inpatient and outpatient drug treatment settings, I believe there are other ways to recover from addiction.  I developed a program called Transformative Recovery based on these 11 tenants:

1. The Desire To Change

No matter what program or situation you put yourself in, if you don’t want to change, you won’t. I’ve seen many clients — in both residential and outpatient settings — who were going through the motions. Addicts are good at manipulating people, so they continue to act this way in treatment.

I tell my clients, “When you feel you’re getting one over on someone, the person you’re really fooling and hurting is yourself.” 

Ask yourself, Do I want to change? (This question requires soul searching.) If not, maybe you aren’t ready. You won’t get better unless you want to.

2. The Willingness To Do The Work

Recovering from any addiction takes a lot of work. I’ve had many clients tell me that the statistics are against them. Depending on which study you quote, anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of addicts actually recover.

I would use this analogy in order to get my clients to stop worrying about the recovery odds and to start looking inward. If we have 100 people at the treatment center, 50 percent probably don’t want to change. Out of the remaining 50 percent, probably 25 percent or less are willing to do the work. These are the individuals that will recover. 

How hard am I willing to work? What does it mean to do the work? I’ve outlined what the work looks like in the rest of this article. 

3. A Regimented Daily Schedule

Individuals who succeed in recovery have a daily routine they follow rigorously. They know what their day will look like from the time they wake up until their head hits the pillow at night. These individuals implement activities that are going to keep them sober. 

4. A Sober Support System

One of the most beneficial things about 12-step programs is that they provide support. If you’re going to recover without these programs, you’ll need to find positive sober support systems. You’ll also need activities that involve other like-minded individuals. Spiritual activities or activities where using substances is not encouraged are a great start. Hiking, scuba diving, yoga and gaming are all possibilities. If you’re open and honest with your new friends, they should respect your decision to stay substance-free.

5. The Resolution Of Past Trauma

Many people who become dependent on drugs and alcohol have trauma in their past. Drugs and alcohol are a maladaptive coping skill that numb the pain. Without reprocessing these traumas and putting them in a better place, it’s difficult to recover.

Individuals tend to have hardwired beliefs about themselves, which are often related to trauma. It’s important for individuals to challenge these beliefs and create new ones that serve them. Pursuing individual or group therapy with a trauma specialist is paramount.

6. The Identification Of Emotions That Promote Maladaptive Coping

Once the drugs and alcohol are away from the individual, the emotions that drove them to use drugs will resurface. It’s common that anger, sadness, discontentment and fear (along with a plethora of other emotions), are the source that drives the using.

Work with a therapist to understand and control these emotions. A well-trained therapist will give you concrete exercises that, over time, can teach you to regulate thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness is your friend.

7. Spirituality

Oftentimes, people who have an unhealthy relationship with substances have lost their spirituality. They feel that the universe is working against them, and this attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s helpful to connect with the universe and feel its support for you in order to really heal. Spirituality means different things to different people — the important thing is feeling connected to the source.

8. Persistence After Failure

One of the problems I have with 12-step program is the counting of days. If you relapse, you must start over from the beginning, even if you’ve been sober for years. Many substance abuse clients have long standing issues with shame and guilt.

They feel too ashamed to get back up, so they continue on a downward spiral. Many people feel comfortable in this space. I use the analogy of getting a flat tire. When you get a flat tire, do you pop the other three? Or do you put on a spare and get back on the road? People with a history of trauma or abuse have a harder time getting back up.

Certain people need nurturing, while others need tough love. One size does not fit all.

9. An Awareness Of The “Victim Martyr Paradigm”

Notice if you tend to complain, shame or blame others for your problems. On the flip side, notice if you try to carry the world on your shoulders. We can only control our thoughts and feelings, so why not take our power back? Take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions. Move forward.

10. Daily Affirmations And Self-Improvement

It’s important to learn and grow as you continue on your path of recovery. Daily affirmations help to introduce positive self-talk into the mind. Reading self-help literature, practicing meditation, diaphragmatic breathing or whatever you choose will help you to stay focused and have fewer plateaus. Live by the mantra, “I only need to be better than the person I was yesterday.”

11. Holistic Healthcare

Become aware of the mind, body and spirit connection. Be aware when things are out of synch, and learn to ask for help if you feel unbalanced. Have you started eating emotionally? Do you feel disconnected?

That means it’s probably time for a tune up. Therapists, friends, nutritionists and spiritual advisors are helpful for getting back on track.

The point of this article is not to bash the 12-step model of recovery. I’ve known many people who have used the 12-steps and have had fantastic results. This article is to let people know there are other ways. You CAN recover! But if you’re looking for an easier way, this is not it. Anything that’s going to transform you and has value takes hard work.  

Brent Berman is a holistic psychotherapist in Jupiter, Florida. He has extensive experience in the field of addiction and believes in changing the world one smile at a time.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

What is EMDR?

EMDR consists of the following processes:

  • Evidence-based psychotherapy for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) treatment of other psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, and somatic symptoms.
  • EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration.
  • Targets past experience, current triggers, and future potential challenges.
  • Results in the alleviation of presenting symptoms
  • A decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory,
  • Improved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbance
  • Resolution of present and future anticipated triggers.

TIR (Traumatic Incident Reduction)

What is TIR? (Traumatic Incident Reduction)

  • Rapid method of effectively reducing trauma
  • It involves re-experiencing past traumas in a completely safe environment, free of distractions, judgments, or interpretations.
  • When something happens that is physically or emotionally painful, one has the option of either confronting it fully and feeling the pain, or trying in some way to block one’s awareness of it.
  • Unexamined, unresolved past events tie up our energy and intention.
  • Traumatic Incident Reduction provides a safe space and the means to fully examine that which had been blocked.
  • A past incident loses its ability to hurt us at the point where we have looked it through and through.
  • In the process, we release our resistance and the painful emotion and negative thought patterns contained in that past trauma.


Sometimes we feel life keeps handing us lemons and we want to give up.  This can be an opportunity to change our perspective and grow.  There is an exercise I like to use and have shared with many client’s. When I feel like something is a problem or a mistake it is important to reframe it and turn a negative into a positive.  The exercise is called, “Look for the Lesson and the Gift” and can be found in Marci Shimoff’s book, Happy for No Reason Try it and see what it can do for you.  Soon, it will become second nature and automatically done in your mind.

Look for the Lesson and the Gift 

  1. Sit quietly by yourself close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Recall a specific situation that has caused you to feel wronged or to blame others.  Picture the person or people involved, the setting, and what was said or done.
  3. Imagine taking several steps back and observing the situation from a distance, as though you were watching a movie on a screen.
  4. What part of what happened can you take responsibility for?  Did you ignore signs that should have clued you in that there was a problem?  Did you act in a way that might have provoked the situation?  Did your thoughts or actions escalate the situation?
  5. What’s your lesson to learn from what happened? Do you need more patience or better boundaries? Do you need to listen more, say less?
  6. Ask yourself: If this is happening for a higher purpose, what would that be? Can you find the gift?
  7. Write down the most important thing you can do differently as a result of finding the lesson or the gift.

How to start your day off right and change your life

In my practice I focus on solutions. One of the best things we can do to improve our well being is to have a routine focused on positivity and progress. Today I will give you 5 things you can do in the morning to be happier and thrive.

  1. Morning meditation – Every morning I like to meditate to start my day off and clear the cobwebs. This could be walking, sitting, standing, breathing.  There are so many different ways to meditate.  You don’t need to be sitting crosslegged in the lotus position.  I like to listen to music while walking my dog before the sun rises.  I enjoy watching the animals and day come to life while pondering life and the day ahead.  I am able to get centered and that is how I want to start my day.
  2. Do something for yourself. – Whether it is to make a special kind of coffee, instagram, make love to your partner do something that makes you feel good.  I have 2 reading rituals I do most mornings, both take less than five minutes.  One is a daily reflection from a book of positive quotes, the other is a deck of cards by Eckhart Tolle.  This deck helps me keep the concepts of The New Earth relevant in my life on a day by day basis.  It makes me feel good and sets a clear intention.
  3. Eat a nutritious breakfast filled with nutrients. – I used to eat whatever I wanted and have a cup of strong cold brew which I made from whole beans.  It definitely got me going but I would crash if I didn’t keep drinking it.  Recently I switched to juicing vegetables and fruits in the morning. My mind is clearer and I don’t have that afternoon crash where I am running for another cup.  Yogurt, eggs or healthy cereal could also be a good start to your day.
  4. Affirmations – For as long as I can remember I had a negative tape playing in my head, basically telling me I wasn’t good enough.  After reading Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life,  I started reading affirmations every morning or during the day when I was getting down on myself. It was amazing how my internal script changed.  I was a non-believer and naysayer at first.  I thought affirmations were corny and hokey but guess what? They work!
  5. Learning to focus on my breathing – I had never paid much attention to my breathing until I started to work at an agency that mandated 45 minutes of breathing every Friday.  I realized that I was a shallow breather and would become even more so when excited or fearful.  I learned to breathe from my diaphragm.  I can say that breathing is a tool that I us daily and helps me regulate my thoughts and emotions.  It is one of the most valuable tools you can give yourself to help with anxiety and panic.

Learning to start your day with a positive routine gives you the power to take on even the most trying times.  If we miss a day it doesn’t mean we need to miss a week. Giving up on your goal because of a set back is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat. Change that tire and get back on the road.

To read some of my other articles go to http://www.yourtango.com/experts/brentberman 

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine began as a folk medicine but has evolved into a complex medical system. Herbs are a time tested remedy used to create balance in the body. Herbs are used to to treat the source of illness rather than just targeting specific ailments. Chinese medicine is the longest continuing medical practice in history with a complete listing of medicinal substances used and their therapeutic qualities unparalleled by similar practices in other cultures.

Herbal medicine treats a full range of human illness. Chinese herbs are combined in a way to enhance each other’s beneficial properties. This also allows for a variety of problems to be addressed with a single supplement instead of receiving multiple prescriptions. Hundreds of classic formulas have been published by famous doctors. Formulas are selected that will best fit the patient and, if needed, can also be modified to suite the patient’s individual needs.

Holistic Health

Holistic health is an alternative form of medicine that aims at healing the whole body as opposed to a specific pain or illness. This includes both physiological and physical health.

Since the focus of chiropractic is to realign the spine to allow for optimal function the nervous the system, chiropractic in its basic form can be viewed as a type of holistic treatment.

When the spine is realigned, the nervous system can function better because the flow of information from the brain to the rest of the body can perform optimally. This increases the body’s ability to health itself naturally.


ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) affects between 3% and 7% of American children, making it the most commonly reported childhood behavioral disorder. Poor attention span, impulse behaviors, and hyperactivity are the main traits at characterizing this disorder.

While it is not entirely clear what causes ADHD, it has been observed that a combination of an overactive nervous system and a decrease in the brain’s ability to filter out extraneous sights, sounds, emotions, and thoughts are contributing factors.

With chiropractic care, spinal subluxations that irritate the nervous system can be removed. Patients can also be tested for allergies that stress the nervous system. Suggestions for dietary changes can also be made as well as suggestions in household changes that will limit exposure to toxic chemicals.

The most common medical treatment for ADHD is the prescription of Methylphenidate, more commonly known as Ritalin. The long term affects of this drug are unknown. It is a Class II controlled and addictive substance.