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.
A concept I believe in. One of my best friends from Boston and I used to go to a lot of restaurants and large family events together. Something he would often tell me, was the person preparing the food either preparing it either did or did not put love into the food. For example, we’d go to his grandmother’s house, and he’d tell me “You’re going to love this, she puts a lot a lot of love in her food.” Other times we’d be going or have left a place and he’d say, “there’s no love in that food.”
What he meant by this, the best food comes from the best effort. When you care, you do all you can to make something great. When you don’t, you cut corners and say, “well that’s good enough.” This premise applies not only to food but to anything and everything you can imagine. When I adjust a patient, I make sure to clearly focus on the outcome both the patient and I desire while giving the best adjustment and care possible. This is how I put love into what I do. Whatever you’re doing, if it is something you want to turn out great, put love into it!
An excellent life lesson I’ve learned through my races. Competing in the long, grueling events that I do; it can often get lonely and painful. One of the things I have trained myself to do when things are going south is to smile and look around at the scenery. As simple as this is, it gets me out of my own head and reminds me that there is more going on than just my footsteps and mileage.
I use this same premise in my personal life. For example, if something has stressed me out or I have a lot on my mind, I focus on being present with my family. I try to make them laugh, enjoy watching how they interact with one another, etc. Just like in the races, this takes me out of my own head and reminds me of the bigger picture.
An example of something I often teach my patients. Last Thursday, I went for a run in the morning and felt great doing so. A few hours later, I could barely put any pressure onto the inside portion of my foot. I tried working on the muscles and did a session of cryotherapy which helped but it hurt to walk. Based on where the pain was and how it came about, I thought there might be a structural issue causing it. I had my 15-year-old son (who is strong) pull my big toe in a few different directions and eventually it went back into place. Instantly, I felt 100% better and could put full pressure on the foot without pain.
Patients often come to me with severe pain expecting something severe to be going on with their body. It feels horrible so they assume the worst. However, many times it is a simple thing causing the symptoms and it can be resolved quickly with the right care. In terms of the spine, a misalignment may dramatically irritate a nerve and cause severe pain but can be easy to correct with an adjustment. In my case, my big toe was jammed causing my foot muscles to contract and over-compensate to the point I could barely stand on it. Putting the toe back allowed everything to function normally again and I went from barely walking to 100% improvement instantly. The take home point is that the severity of what you’re feeling does not always indicate the complexity of the actual problem.
Something I heard that resonated with me. I came across a random video clip on either Instagram or YouTube last week about self-talk. The person in the video said that for years he would talk to himself in a very negative way. He’d call himself stupid, weak, dumb, whatever. Then one day, he had the thought if he talked to his friends in that fashion, he’d have no friends. From that point forward, he started talking to himself as he would his friends.
I thought this was a valuable lesson. If we can’t learn to talk positively to ourselves, how can we expect that from those around us? For much of my life, I talked to myself far worse than anyone else did. If your best friend struggled in something you wouldn’t tell them “You failed because you always fail and you’re a loser,” you’d be constructive and help them through it. Take that same principle and apply it to your own self-talk and you will surprised how much better things start to go.
Some quotes I love.
“You can beat 50 percent of your competition by consistently showing up and working hard. You can beat the next 40 percent by doing things with urgency and detail. The last 10 percent…is simply a dogfight.”
“The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the Axe, for the Axe was clever and convinced the Trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.” – Turkish proverb
“Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel
“Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” – Robert E. Howard
“You are always one decision away from a totally different life.”
“The one who plants trees knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.” – Rabindranath
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