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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 10

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I interact with hundreds of patients each week (under normal circumstances though less during the crisis obviously) and get asked a lot of questions.  On Fridays I like to share some of the answers I give and hope it has value for you. 

A piece of advice I’d recommend?  This applies during the pandemic and beyond.  My advice is to not forget to play offense when it comes to your health.  Right now, most of what people are focusing on are defensive measures – not contacting with other people, not touching your face, wearing masks and gloves, etc.  While those are fine, they do not do anything to strengthen your own immunity.  Ideally you want to do things to proactively strengthen your own defenses – eating healthy food, exercising, drinking enough water, getting sunlight (even just in your own driveway), taking in nutrients (vitamin C, D, multivitamin, etc.), limiting the amount of chemicals you ingest (including medications) and managing your stress levels as best as possible.  Any sport requires both offense and defense, don’t forget to focus on both for your own health.

Something I have been enjoying?  I have been practicing chiropractic for 14 years and though I’ve always loved it, I can honestly say that the past month has been the strangest and yet most rewarding time of my career for many reasons.  I’m nowhere near as busy as usual but the work has taken on different meaning.  Weeks ago, it was a daily concern of whether I’d even be allowed to be open.  Then when it looked as if we’d be forced to close, myself and other chiropractors of our state were in contact with our legislators who saw our value and made sure we’d be able to keep practicing and do our part.  All that makes me feel very fortunate to even be able to be here and do what I do.  What has made it the most special however have been my patients.  Many of my colleagues made the decision to close very quickly but my feeling was that when it’s your job to help people, then you need to be there to do that.  On a daily basis, the people I’m helping are so thankful that I’m open that I know I’ve made the right decision.  The gratitude I’m feeling for being able to still help my patients combined with the gratitude they have for me being here has made an odd time surprisingly special.

A recent interaction?  I had an interaction with a family member over the phone recently where I simply expressed that I would continue to stay calm no matter what and I was yelled at for “not taking things seriously.”  This is also a trend I’ve seen on social media where people that don’t panic or promote doom and gloom are shamed for not taking it seriously.  I would like to use an example of something that happened to me to display the flaw in this logic:

When I was 19 years old, I was with my college track team at a restaurant after a meet.  There were some words exchanged between a teammate and some other guys in the restaurant.  Before I knew it, my teammate followed them out of the restaurant and our track team followed as well.  Immediately 3 of the men pulled out guns.  My entire track team ran except for my good friend (who was injured and unable to run) and myself.  Both he and I remained calm, did nothing foolish and then walked away.  I can assure you we took the situation seriously, but we behaved calmly and survived.  My point is that in a crisis, panic is a liability.  Staying calm helps you make better decisions that are ultimately far more beneficial to you and those around you.  To me, this is how you take something “seriously.”    

Another recent interaction?  My wife and I have a 17-year-old nanny that watches our toddler for us a few days per week.  She came to our house earlier this week and explained that she’s been getting a lot of negativity and fear about our current situation from those close to her.  She then made a remark that I found interesting.  She said “I’m not freaking out because I know you’re not worried.  If you were than I would definitely be.”  While I was flattered by the comment what stood out to me is how we may tend to forget that we have people that look up to us observing how we behave, especially in times of crisis.  Even if we have our own concerns, maintaining our cool and portraying a calm demeanor is always important. 

Some quotes I love?  “Either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.” – Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.  Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.  Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

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Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 10

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