Investing in Your Body Like LeBron James (As a Dentist)
“I don’t get tired. I don’t feel tired. I get my sleep. I get my rest. I have a lot of energy. I don’t get tired.” — LeBron James
Roughly once per week, I pay a professional to help me maintain my body’s physical health. Sometimes we work on flexibility and stiffness. Sometimes we work on a painful muscle, back ache, sore wrists, or kink in my neck. I call it preventative maintenance. Though I’m young, in the past I’ve suffered from severe chronic back pain that at times felt almost debilitating. There were days I would sit in my car and hope that some of my back pain would dissipate before I went in to start a day of work. I ended up in physical therapy which worked wonders for me….but I don’t want to ever have to go back.
As we often tell our patients, by the time ‘something hurts’ it’s often ‘too late’ or rather you’ve got a much bigger problem than if you had done some preventative maintenance to take care of your body.
NBA Legend LeBron James famously invests between $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 to take care of his body each year beyond what the team provides to him.
I thought to myself, “If LeBron can invest a couple million dollars each year….I can invest SOMETHING.”
So I spend money to take care of my body. Shoutout to Reach Bodywork in Ann Arbor.
Sure, we dentists are not NBA players – but much LIKE NBA players, we depend on our bodies for our income. Over 70% of dentists report chronic back pain and dentists are classified as high risk for neck and back pain due to:
1) The awkward positions we often assume for visualization
2) A largely sedentary job where we sit for multiple hours per day
3) Those times when you have to put your knee on the patient’s chest in order to pull out their tooth (kidding, not kidding).
Maybe even more alarming than the neck and back pain, is the massive incidence of carpal tunnel-like nerve damage found in dentists compared to the average population. Resulting in loss of grip and sensations of numbness in the hands. The average incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in the general population floats between 1% to 2%. Some studies show that nearly 18% of dentists demonstrate some level of damage to the median nerve in the hands/wrist.
The truth of the matter is, if you are in chronic pain as a dentist – you won’t be able to perform your best work in terms of quality or volume. This affects both patient care quality and your financial bottom line.
Professional athletes invest in personal trainers, chefs, massage therapists, cryotherapy, hyperbaric chambers, physiotherapists and beyond to invest in their bodies.
Lebron has been able to play basketball at a peak level nearing age 40. Whereas most NBA players are already out of the league far before that age due to their bodies not holding up. His prime physical years seem to be endless and his aversion to injury for the first two decades of his basketball career almost seemed mythical. This longevity and vitality is something that happened with great intention and planning on LeBron’s part. And this longevity has resulted in an ever increasing legacy, more records broken, and more championships on his resume.
So what will you do to INVEST in your body? Your body is the engine that makes your dental practice go.I don’t think anyone reading this will invest a million dollars in their body per year.
But what could you invest? And what dividends would it return to you?
Kaizen – Let’s all get a little bit better, every day.
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