This is part 3 of a three-part series.
5) You need to become your own best doctor.
It is impossible for every doctor to be an expert at every aspect of human health. We all have our Specialties, that’s understandable.
So when it comes down to personal choices for Health Care use your doctors for opinions and ideas in their specialty to help get you down the road but just like anything in life you are responsible for your outcomes. In my family, we often talk about blame versus responsibility. Your body is 100% your responsibility.
How you treat it, what you feed it, how you use it. No doctor or therapist can change that for you. Even my clinic, if you came in here for an injury and I worked on you for 30 minutes twice a week… You are awake with your body 16 hours a day. If you are undoing and detrimental to the stuff I am trying to do it is a long-term loss. I say, “The answer is not the fix. It’s just an answer. The fix comes when you actually do it.”
If you had an accident and blow out your ACL that is unfortunate. The good news is there are thousands of fantastic doctors that can re-build your ACL.
But, what if you are a runner that has a mobility issue? If you don’t move your ankles well and you don’t “move” correctly. Hence, extra pressure comes onto your ACL which eventually ruptures. Just like the injury, the doctors can repair this. But if nothing is done to fix the mobility and you continue to run after surgery with poor and incorrect movement, the issue will only return. The tear has been fixed but not the problem. It is your responsibility to fix the mobility and movement. Guys like me and other specialists in the sports world can probably help you uncover these “running faults.”
But the reality is that the client is going to do whatever the client wants to do. If they can’t take a step back to fix the movement fault, the issue is going to come back. The therapist, doctors, surgeons, coaches will most likely get blamed for an improper rehab but the truth is typically the responsibility from the athlete was never utilized. “It’s not the answer that fixes the issue, it’s the doing it.”
it’s easy to think and visualize this with sports injuries, but what about bad foods, bad lifestyle, bad environment with illness, cancer, gut issues etc. It’s just a next-level thing that you should probably care about. Hopefully, by discussing how doctors are Specialists and how doctors are reactive to problems that you already have, it gets you to think a little bit differently about your health. It’s your responsibility that makes the biggest difference. You caring.
I still eat foods that I know aren’t good for me. Some foods, some alcohol- I enjoy. But, as my own kids are growing and developing and are interested in success in sports, I realize that it’s my responsibility to give them, buy and educate them about what they are using to build up or wreak havoc on their own bodies. Additionally, as I continue to get older and think more seriously about my long-term health and living healthy way past 100 years old, I eat and drink a lot less crap than I used to. I think it’s a combination of me just caring more but also the realization that prevention is more important than treatment. I also have HUGE ideas about never getting old. These foods make a tremendous impact.
Analogy – Your friend’s advice on how she raises her kids, as the idea that you should do the exact same thing.
Do I really need to get into this? How about we just leave it here.
“Thanks friend, you’re a great mom, with great kids. I appreciate the advice and I seriously did learn something. I like that angle. My situation is just a bit different but I’ll take the advice you, my mom, Dr. Oz, Facebook, and Parenting magazine gave me and make my own best decision as I’m the one that see’s how it all plays out in real-time.
6) Stretching is outdated for tight muscles
7) So is mashing and smashing the crap out of your body.
Just because there are hundreds of cool options for therapy doesn’t mean using them all MORE and MORE OFTEN is the answer.
Voodoo bands, tools, cups, massage, new stretch techniques, yoga, muscle “releases”, deep Blue, Oils, Hypervibration guns all work. For certain issues. Every day new ideas and new tools appear and I love and try them all. But they don’t all work,every time. Exactly the opposite.
I’ll often state in my lectures, Stretching is soooo 1990’s. Running had a huge surge in the 90’s and type A people all over the world adopted, “more pain/more gain” which kind of became a theme. Then, around 2010 a new technique, with new tools took over. Crossfit also had a big surge in that time and a whole new set of type A athletes looking for “even MORE pain/MORE gain” had a new plaything.
Now, more than a decade that type of work isn’t working any better.
Analogy: using a screwdriver when you need a hammer. Yes, you can use a screwdriver to pound on a nail, it’ll work…sort of. There are simply better tools for that though. Even one, specifically designed for nail pounding.
Out of everything in my practice, two decades of experimentation, constant change, and updates, nothing has had a bigger impact on my success stories than just plain knowing what to do and WHEN to do it.
The idea that more is better. Use everything in the tool box. Deal with it. It’s wrong. It’s poor-decision making and poor choices. The tools aren’t the thing.
Diagnosis has become the new king again. Diagnosis, not as a named condition, “I state this pain is….sciatica!” (ugh who cares?!) but much more along the lines of, “which version of sciatica do you have?” because there are 20 different versions, all of which could be categorized as sciatica, and they each have 20 different treatments. (it’s not simply “piriformis syndrome, tight muscles or pinched nerves” anymore. That’s lazy doctoring. YOU deserve better!.)
But, you need to do this as a home treatment as well. You are with YOU way more than you are with ME. The gist of this point is that, my clients are doing the wrong treatments to themselves. They continue to stretch muscles that should be contracted. They beat on their IT bands and glutes until they can’t move the next day, only to think, “I must need more beatings!”, and they keep running through an injury where a “movement issue” needs to be corrected.
These are all long-term losers for you.
Using the right modality at the correct time is a game-changer. As in,
8) There is a BEST order in “recovery.”
I have recently spent about 40 hours trying to put on one piece of paper or poster my version of the “Road to Recovery.” How you need to deal with inflammation and threat BEFORE doing rehab. How movement has to come PRIOR to strength and recovery. Why strength and cardio has to be developed BEFORE speed. These kind of things.
Basically, stated, the majority of the time I see injuries lasting more than a week or two is directly because the client is doing something WRONG to irritate the issue. Not that the issue is more severe.
The self-care is wrong.
Analogy: Dressing yourself in the morning routine.
True, You can put your socks and shoes on first. Well before you put on your underwear. But, it probably feels a little weird AND it just doesn’t work as well. Same with your hat before your shirt. It’s not in perfect order. There may be a few possibilities. It probably isn’t a big deal if the left or right sock goes on first, but socks before shoes certainly helps. It should feel equally foolish doing things in the wrong order in healthcare/fitness/recovery as well.
“Everytime I run, for the last 7 months, my foot hurts so bad I can’t move the next day.”
uh….How about we fix the foot first, before you just go “tough it out” again and start over at day one every day like you’re in the movie “Groundhog,” forced to repeat the same day over again until you get it right. You may make a mistake on a rough morning while getting dressed. One mistake is a learning tool. But in healthcare, I see patients and clients repeat the nonsense, over and over again.
9) The future is here.
Companies like Everlywell and Viome that can test your blood, saliva etc to see what foods are aging you and keeping you inflamed. Functional medicine that tests your guts to see if they are even digesting correctly in the first place. Top-level doctors diagnosing correctly and experimenting with BETTER treatments. Injections looking to not just stop pain but heal bodies. Books and authors with the science behind things we suggested. Like food as medicine, exercise for recovery.
It’s not perfect, but it’s coming…and fast. It’s your job to run an experiment on yourself. Especially when your plan isn’t working or is too slow. Your responsibility to simply “give a damn” about your body and mind.
Analogy. Just 30 short years ago, Cars were basically computerless and nobody carried cell phones.
Now, my truck drives by itself and I have every song, book, written piece of history, video game, as well as a flashlight, phonebook and movie player on a small phone, in my pocket, the size of a deck of cards. With one swipe I can see how my high school best friend’s son played in basketball yesterday. Future. It’s already here. If you’re like your grandpa and slow to change or suspicious of the new, you’re already left behind. It’s going to be slow and uncomfortable to embrace and learn the change, but you ARE going to. Regardless if you want to or not.
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