Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot
On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
An analogy I think works. Your immune system is a lot like your musculoskeletal system. How do you strengthen your muscles and bones? You expose them to a stress by challenging them in some fashion – exercising, lifting weights, etc. These demands cause your body to think that these stresses will continue, and it adapts by increasing bone density and muscle strength. Conversely, if you do no workouts and are not physically active, the body has no reason to get stronger and so it weakens.
The immune system operates in a similar fashion. When it is exposed to germs/bacteria/viruses it is forced to get stronger to better protect you going forward. If your body is not exposed to these then it will get weaker. This also means that when you are eventually exposed to anything (even mild), your body will have a diminished ability to fight it off. So, should you head into a lab and get exposed to everything and anything? Of course not, just as you wouldn’t load a bar with 400 pounds on day 1 of your fitness routine. The key is repetitive stimuli causing a progressive but steady strengthening of the body so it can protect you better.
A mistake I often see as a chiropractor. A lot of the conditions I see in practice are easy to fix if we can get started soon after they begin. However, patients often wait so long to come in that something relatively simple is made more complex by the condition being worsened and/or overcompensation of other areas occurring. As a simple example, if we can get to neck or back pain soon after the onset, it can often be fixed within a few days but if not, it may take weeks. Motor vehicle accident cases that I’m able to begin treatment on soon after the crash will often need weeks less of care to fully heal than if they wait weeks or months to seek treatment.
In general, if something has gone on for more than a few days (week at the latest) then it’s not simply a muscular issue and likely has a structural and/or neurological component so seeking treatment is a good idea. I try to impress upon my patients that it’s always better to be a little bit early seeking care than it is to be a little late.
A good lesson recently. My older sons and I have been watching a football docuseries recently. One of the main characters being followed in the show is a high energy, passionate man that is great to the kids he coaches and is a leader within his community. In a particular episode, because he is a mayor of his town, they dug in a little to his politics which happen to be the opposite of mine and my family. As one of our favorite people on the show, my sons asked me if this changed how I felt about him, and the answer was no.
What I explained to them was that I had no desire to only interact or see people with beliefs identical to mine. I also told them that given the choice, I will always take someone that is invested in people to the degree this gentleman is over someone that merely sides with some of my beliefs. When you’re legitimately good to the people around you I think that speaks far more about you than anything else.
Something I loved this week. There’s a podcast I listen to called “The Order of Man” that centers around helping men be better fathers, providers, protectors, leaders, etc. Recently, the host got on a topic and gave the advice of “know your lines.” He did not mean this in terms of memorizing material. Rather, it means what are your lines in the sand? Where do you draw your lines? What won’t you compromise on? At what point is it time for you to stand up?
This appealed to me because it follows along with something I preach to my children constantly – that every person must have a code. Our code dictates our behavior because it outlines what we can or cannot allow. Anything that crosses the “line” or goes against the code cannot be permitted without a fight or standing. I like to believe I have a strong code that I’ve developed over the years and it doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, family, stranger, or the government, I will not and cannot break it. Give some thought to this so you can “know your lines.”
Some quotes I love.
“You needn’t fear the darkness if you have the light inside.”
“For those that I love, I would do great and terrible things.”
“The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.” – E.E. Cummings
“Leadership is a journey that never ends. There is no finish line in the race to become a good leader.” – Jason Redman
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