Of the many pervasive myths around concussions, the one that says post-concussion syndrome is incurable is the most insidious as it deprives patients of the hope for recovery that they deserve. Freshly out of chiropractic school, Dr. Alex Lee focuses on healing concussions naturally through chiropractic care. An athlete himself, Dr. Alex is no stranger to athletic injuries. His experience in having a concussion himself led him to his passion for chiropractic care. Listen as he talks with Dr. Kevin Pecca about his background, experience, and advocacy.
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Healing Concussions With Dr. Alex Lee
We have a very special guest, Dr. Alex Lee. He is a chiropractor out of Hayward, California. He was a former D1 baseball player, who was crippled by low back pain. They got so bad where he almost had to give the sport up. Thankfully, chiropractic was able to give Alex his life back and so much so that he decided to become a chiropractor. He also had an amazing experience in the clinic as a clinical doctor at Life West with concussions. A Rugby player came in the clinic one day with post-concussion syndrome and luckily, Dr. Alex was there to give him a specific upper cervical chiropractic adjustment. A few days later, the Rugby player came back and his concussion syndrome were gone and it changes the course of what Dr. Alex wanted to do within chiropractic. He’s very passionate about healing concussions and now we have a great episode. Without further ado, please welcome Dr. Alex Lee.
We have an amazing guest, Dr. Alex Lee out of Hayward, California. Dr. Alex is fresh off from graduation. He is excited to get into practice and start healing people. It’s an honor to have him on the show. Dr. Alex, how are you doing?
I’m doing well. How’s everything in Jersey?
Jersey is opening up again. There are people eating at the restaurants. It was an absolute craziness in the last couple of months but it looks like things are returning to normal, which is good. What about California? How’s it out there?
It’s county-by-county, to be honest. I went camping with my girlfriend and a few friends from school. It was Memorial Day weekend and we drove an hour-and-a-half East at the gas station. Nobody’s wearing masks like everybody inside was normal. We were like, “What is this?” We come back to the Bay and everybody is still wearing masks. It’s mandatory. Governor Newsome has made it mandatory. All of California has to wear masks if they go anywhere inside, which was already those at the lockdowns in our county. To treat rural small towns in California the same as you would treat San Francisco or LA is ridiculous.
In the height of the quarantine, how was it getting around San Francisco? Was it an amazing? Was there a lot less traffic everywhere or no?
It was like playing Mario Kart on the turnpike or whatever it was. You were zipping through it.
Everyone was like, “I love California but I can’t take the traffic.” If you eliminate that, it’s the best place on the planet.
It’s not bad but I’d like some of my freedoms back to be able to go out and be able to go anywhere, but restaurants are all opened up. Everything’s good. The practice is great. We’re back at 100%. We’re full hours and we’re cruising. People are grateful that we’re there. That part is good.
Dr. Alex, before we jump into a little bit about where you’re from, why don’t you tell the people what time it is over by you right now?
It is 5:43 AM.
You wake up every weekday morning around 4:30?
4:30 is if I have something to do at 5:30 that I can’t be late for. I had problems with the aero press making my coffee, which was a non-negotiable for the morning. That sent me back a little bit there too. I’m up at 5:00. I’ve got this app called Alarmy. It gets a little bit louder every couple of seconds. If I don’t turn it off in time, my girlfriend’s like, “Get up.” It sucks starting the day almost panicked a little bit because if I don’t get this now, I’m screwed. It makes you do like a series of math problems. I get going, I’ll read, I’ll do a little bit in the backyard here and get a workout in. I don’t have that hanging over my head for the rest of the day.
How long have you been waking up that early for?
I started the practice months ago. I found that we’re back at normal hours, you don’t get anything else done in the day unless you get it done early on. I’ve had streaks of getting up consistently early and getting things done. If you can get over the wanting to fall asleep at 8:00 part at night, then it’s nice but you’ve got to get into a rhythm. The toughest thing is when you’re sleeping on the weekends too. Getting up at 5:00 is easy as long as you’re not sleeping until 9:00 on a weekend to catch up for it.
Do you feel yourself crashing at all during the day or you’re getting up, doing your thing and once you’re done, you’re good?
Yes. We have three full days and two half-days in the office. The half-day saved me in finding to take a nap or something, but I feel good. When you take on a big responsibility and you’re stoked to go to work every day, then you show up. I went back to school at 27, the majority of my classmates went there right out of undergrad at 22 or 23, and didn’t have a firm the reason why they were there but wanted to find along the way, whereas I went to school with a clear picture in my head. I wake up every day now and I’m like, “I went through 3.5 years of a difficult program to wake up and do this every single day.” I get goose bumps thinking of that. I’m doing what I exactly want to be. I know many other people that aren’t fortunate enough to have gone through all the steps and the necessary work to say that every day. I was one of those people who forgone school. It’s cool to feel that way this early into practice being in hourly-rate associates.
Dr. Alex, let’s jump into that a little bit. Where are you from originally?
I grew up just outside of Boston. My grandfather was born in Hingham.
I got some good friends in Hingham, Massachusetts. What were you into growing up? Were you in sports?
I played almost everything. My screen name was Alee in baseball. That’s still a couple of my emails. Baseball was honestly everything in my life through college. I wanted to be a big leaguer just like everybody else, but we were fifteen minutes from Fenway, so we watch a game there a lot. I was the batboy for Boston College when I was in kindergarten and first grade. I remember going to Spring Training down with the Sox and meeting some of them because BC would always play them in a Spring Training Game and get stomped. I was there picking up the bats, which is cool. I played through high school. I’ve got offers to handful of D1 schools and ended up going to Wofford College in South Carolina.
I played for four years down there. Go Terriers. People know them now from the NCAA tournament for basketball. They were fourteen seed for five years in a row. They made it through the last NCAA tournament they had because they didn’t even have it this 2020. The last March Madness, they made it to the second round for the first time, which was cool. I coached for three years after school. I ran two baseball facilities. One was in Atlanta and one was in Austin. While I was living in Atlanta, I got under care with an intern at Lake View. I was living in Atlanta and I was running this facility. I couldn’t swing a bat and then walk normally for a few days. I’ve had a bad back injury in my senior year. I didn’t know what it was and gave up on trying to figure it out.
You pushed through it or stopped playing?
I had a freshman in the locker next to me tying my shoes before a couple of games. It was rough. Once I started school here, I found out that I have a Spondy. As I was sitting in a chair during a lecture in school, I’d get up and then it would take me five minutes to go from a flex position to upright with all my weight on the ground. I knew something was wrong but it was my senior year and I was like, “I’ve got to make it to May and finish up.” Looking back as brutal as that was and as debilitating as it was, it was the best thing that ever happened because it led me to find chiropractic and seek out through experience what worked. I got healed all the way.
Was this when you were running your baseball facilities that you found a chiropractor to help you out?
It was when I was in Atlanta and his name is Dr. Tommy John. If you’re a baseball fan at all, his dad was the pitcher who got Tommy John Surgery. They didn’t call it Tommy John Surgery when he got it because he was the first person. He pitched thirteen years in the Big Leagues and then got the surgery. He missed that year and then started one year and one day after getting the surgery and pitched another thirteen years in the Big Leagues without missing a start. That’s remarkable. Everything that his doctors were telling him then, which is what every doctor should tell everybody now is to listen to his body because there was no recovery protocol for that. There wasn’t anything set in stone and it was, “You might come back from this. You might never throw again, but you’re not going to throw again if you don’t get this.”
He got the surgery and he made a recovery but it was all based off of his innate desire to get back out there, getting into and listening to what his body was saying. Without getting surgery, I had a similar experience. I felt more connected to myself and able to go out and feel good every single day. I started to say, “I’m going to start training hard and see if I can get everything in my low back and get everything in my body strong again.” I got to a point where I was like, “If I had been this good of an athlete when I was in college, I’d be in a much different place right now.” I was 25 years old running a baseball facility not playing a sport.
What did that rehab process look like?
I’d get adjusted and then I’d go train hard right after. This is a Long-term Athletic Development Pyramid. If we go to the pyramid, the bottom part should be your foundation, so all the movements that make up every other movement on top of it. It would be bending over, twisting, squatting, balance on one leg, push, pull, hanging, all of that makes up the bottom part. Everything a little bit above that is a combination of the foundational movements like landing when you jump, being able to cut or change direction like a push, different things like that in a game. The very top part is a skill, actual performance of what you’re doing. What I realized was happening with the athletic sports industry, the youth sports industry was that rather than having a shape like this, we were getting an upside-down inverted pyramid.
We had all these specialists spend all this time up here with ten-year-old kids working on this high-level stuff that they don’t have the foundation at the bottom. I realized that I was guilty of it and the entire $15 billion youth sports industry is guilty of putting profit of sport over making sure that this bottom part, which is the only job a kid has up until they’re ten years old, which should be to move and explore all that, that I wasn’t falling at myself as an adult. I went back to exhaustingly training the basics. One leg balance, hanging, cross crawl patterning, the simplest stuff to the fundamentals because when all the fundamentals are better, everything up top naturally gets better because it has a bigger foundation upon which to work.
Working on those fundamentals at the bottom of the pyramid will greatly enhanced the top of the pyramid because the skills are already there.
It will. I felt like if this was the pyramid before getting chiropractic care, all of a sudden the pyramid base was getting wider. Fast forward, long story long, I got an offer to go play ball in Europe when I was 25. I played a season over there and then that winter, I ended up getting an offer to go play in Australia. I got an offer to go back to Europe again the next summer and then back to Australia to a different town the next winter. I ended up playing four seasons in a row over two years without an injury, with no thought in my mind of anything wrong that could happened going out there and performance at the highest level I had ever been able to perform at, plus having fun and having the perspective of being a little bit older and being able to go travel the world too.
What did you want to get out of that? Were there hopes of keeping the big dream alive or was it a completely be a kid again, have fun with the game and take it as far as you can?
It was a six-month vacation that turned into a 24-month vacation. I knew I wanted to be a chiropractor before going over for that first season. It was the two selves within me. One of me wanted to start at Life West that Fall in 2014. One of me was like, “I’m going to be 50 and wake up one day and be like, ‘Why the hell didn’t I go to Europe that one time?’” All my expenses paid, getting paid to play ball over there even if I was in Vienna, Austria. That winter, I went to Canberra, Australia which is the capital. Fun fact, I thought it was Sydney. I went over there, then I was in a smaller town in the Czech Republic the next summer, which was awesome. I did a podcast with them with a couple of my old teammates who I hadn’t seen for five years. Everybody is doing Zoom calls right now. That was nice. I was in Adelaide, South Australia the six months after that to live back with my parents and work back in Boston and then started school that fall.
I love hearing stories about that because many people think it’s too late, and you’re probably the same age as me. You’re still very young, still getting started. I’m 30 years old and in my mind, I feel like I’m just getting started here. There are people that don’t like the profession that they’re in. They’re 25, 30 or 35 years old and they’re like, “I’m going to stick with this because it’s too late for me. I can never do that.” I think I had a 50-year-old in my graduating class and he was revved up. He was ready to go. I was like, “You’re awesome.” That’s exactly what you want to see out of life.
We’ve had a lot of people in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, maybe 10th careers that are better at school that went through the program and sometimes they get confused for professors, which is funny but we have a few professors that I’m older than at school but it’s amazing. You want to show up every day with that beginner mindset being in awe of certain things and constantly learning as you were saying that you feel like you’re getting going. I feel that too. The biggest challenge right now is balancing that with also realizing that I know a lot more than I think I know and blending the beginner as observing everything and being like, “This is awesome.” Putting the big boy pants on a couple of minutes later and being like, “I got to come back and show up.”
Who do you want to see in practice now that you’ve graduated? Do you want to focus on athletes or do you want to focus on everybody? What do you want to get out of practice now?
I know that you had a concussion and that’s what led you to chiropractic. I had a patient at the end of Life West and I message you about that. This is why we got connected. He was a Rugby player at the school and he had his third concussion six days after. I was in the clinic at that time and I had another patient cancel on me. I’m in there and I’m like, “Damn it. Not now.” He was a regular patient. We had to cancel a visit and the clinic was at school where you’re sitting there and it was like purgatory. I’m in there and this patient cancels. I had a friend from school from the fraternity who came in with this Rugby player and he’s like, “He needs an intern right now. He got a concussion the other day and his intern can’t do anything for him.” I was like, “Let me text somebody and I’ll find somebody that is willing to take him.” I’m like, “This is what I want to do. Why would I find somebody else? I was a senior intern who’s about to be out of there, so why would I take another student on? That’s such a soft mentality. I had to catch myself right there.”
I made it happen and pulled some strings. We got him X-rays the same day but I was doing a knee-chest upper cervical on everybody through school. We got him on a Friday. We did all the tests and it was so humbling seeing somebody that quickly after a concussion and some of the normal tests that you would do that you have to put people through the eyes closed stuff and the balance like Romberg’s and all that. He was like, “I’m going to puke if my eyes are closed.” I’m like, “We’re doing all the eye stuff.” He’s like, “No, headache.” I’m like, “I’ve got to show up.” I couldn’t do anything until Monday because that was the next time everything opened and I caught him the end of the day, Friday. I got him on Monday and I adjusted him. He called me up that night and he was like, “I want to go lift right now.” I was like, “I know you’re from Jersey and that’s your nature but don’t do that right now.” That was the second adjustment. I had taken care of everybody else and that part is awesome. This was the first person that was 100% everything that I want to be doing.
I’ve heard people talk about the three P’s, Pain, Prevention and Performance for what people will go see a chiropractor for. You don’t want to be a pain doc like somebody who’s there because they’re the last ditch. Being able to speak the same language as athletes, understand that and be able to grow the profession through a concussion, a lot of people have had awesome experiences of the patient. I’m sure you did too. That was what led them to being chiropractors. My girlfriend is a chiro kid. Her dad has been practicing for 25 years. She knew what she wanted to do when she was four, adjusting Elmo on a drop table, dolls and stuff. I’m like, “That’s awesome.”
There’s the other part where people don’t know what it is that we do. To recover from something like a concussion, it’s something that would be the fork in your life where the rest of your life you’re living with managing stuff and putting Band-Aids on a sinking ship. That is what I want to change the game with. I’ll send you over the poster that I made. It’s what we’re using in our office along with the Sway app. You’d be into it. It uses the motion sensor in your phone to measure reaction time and balance tests. You do a balance test and measure reaction time because those are two of the big things that are going to be thrown off when you have a concussion because the brain is going to be at a different speed mismatched from the body.
It’s going to throw off balance especially with the eyes closed. The eye is sending impulses to the brain and then reacting is going to be slowed down as well. It gets a baseline test for everybody. It would be an impact test, SCAT5 or any of those concussion protocols but it says, “This is what your score is at. If you do have head trauma, retest. You test down here, you have to be able to test back at this level before you’re cleared to go back out and play.” What’s cool is we can run anybody at our office through that and have a valid objective baseline score in fifteen minutes. If we go out and do that with an entire football team before a season, you can have every single person pull out their smartphone, download the app and we give them a code.
You can do that same test, that would take fifteen minutes in your office. Now it takes still fifteen minutes, but with 50 guys and every single person is doing it. They understand what you’re doing and they understand if something does happen like, “This is the guy we go to,” or “Why don’t we go to this guy in the first place because he’s a good person? What he’s doing is going to not only improve my performance but it could be something that the whole family benefits from.” The big thing I want to change is how concussions are handled because I hear stories of people like you that have obviously come full circle from being hopeless not being able to continue sport or live a normal life and then completely change and be somebody that can influence people as you can.
We need more people working with concussions. If you’ve got a concussion and then after that, everything is very scary to you because you google how to cure post-concussion syndrome or how to get better from post-concussion syndrome, and the first ten things right away are scary. It’s like, “There is no cure. You’re going to have to live with this for the rest of your life.” That’s enough to crush somebody’s mental state to begin with. We’re trained to go to the neurologists and the Western medicine route. Most likely, there’s nothing that’s going to show up on your MRI, CAT scan, blood work.
Unfortunately, I was told by a number of doctors, I was either going to have to live with it for the rest of my life, which is devastating when you’re 21 years old and you’re starting out in life, and all your hopes and dreams get shut down, or some people even think that you’re making it up because it’s not a physical injury. It’s like you’re in a mental prison and nobody can see your injury. You look healthy but you’re dying on the inside. One of the reasons why I started this show was to spread the awareness that post-concussion syndrome, you can 100% get your life back. You need to find the right practitioner, upper cervical or somebody like yourself and you will get your life back. There are many people searching for a cure for this. It’s unbelievable but it’s sad.
That’s the worst part. Going back to what you were saying that everybody plays Google doctor. If something happens and they’re trying to figure out, “How do I recover from this?” For our Senior Spinal Disorders Class, it was the only paper we had to write in the time of chiropractic college. There would be a lot of ugly papers coming out of that. We had a lecture before the new co-president, Jeff Shelton. He was the one teacher in the class. He’s awesome. He flew down from Calgary five times in the quarter. He flew in Tuesday night, taught the lecture Wednesday morning from 7:30 to lunchtime, and then flew out at 2:00 in the afternoon on the same day.
He’s insane in his lectures. Even if you knew all the anatomy and everything, you’d still leave and be like, “I missed a solid hour of that.” For that class, an assignment the week before our presentation that was on our online thing was all about concussion. It was an awesome information stuff that I hadn’t heard before. We had to write a term paper. I wrote it on that and kept going from what I was listening to the week before. The same thing happened. I went on Google and I typed in, “How to heal from a concussion.” I clicked all ten results on that page. I did control-F to try to find anything that said chiropractic. I wrote “chirop” because I knew it was going to cut off chiropractor and nothing on the first ten pages.
I put in another search like, “How to heal naturally from a concussion.” Nothing. All it was talking about was go to a doctor, do some stretches, rest, Advil. For the mental health stuff like depression and all that was to medicate. I’m like, “This is the standard of care? You’ve got to be kidding me.” You go to the hospital or anything like that. In ER, they’re looking for gross pathology or a fracture. They’re not looking for a millimeter misalignment. They have no idea what a Blair Protractor View to see an overlap or an underlap that’s a quarter of a millimeter that can change everything in a person’s life. It’s amazing. What’s stopping the momentum on that is the mission right now and being able to turn it the other way.
You touched on something interesting too. The overlap, underlap, the X-rays and a lot of the Western medical doctors, which I don’t blame them for, they say, “Whatever you do, don’t go to a chiropractor.” Their understanding is the real rotary break twist, crack your neck and all that, which I get, I don’t want that done to me. I’m a huge fan of all chiropractic. I know some people have gotten better from rotary breaks, but if you’re trying to fix a specific concussion brain injury, you need to be as precise and exact as possible. They don’t know about the upper cervical. That’s what I was being told, “Whatever you do, don’t see a chiropractor.” I stayed away for three years. I got to the point where I was like, “Fuck this. I’m going. What else do I have to lose?” That’s what set me on the journey of going to chiropractic school. There were over 200 chiropractic techniques. There’s one that’s going to work for everybody. If you have some type of neurological disorder, you want to look into upper cervical chiropractic for sure.
We have a few patients in our office too that if it is complex, they’ll go to Noah Kaplan, who’s a Blair doc. He’s around here and then there’s also Dr. Tom or Steve Forest.
I don’t know where Steve’s at.
They’re both out here.
Dr. Tom Forest is the godfather of the Blair Technique.
It’s like a restaurant. Some people like Italian food or Mexican. You’ve got to figure out what technique jives with you and also the chiropractor that jives with you. You’ve got to call on the big guns for some of the stuff like a 21-year-old who’s had a concussion who’s been told that there’s nothing else that you can do for him. I’ve had ideas that will take this offline and continue the dialogue, but there needs to be something to get this to more people what we’re doing and people will travel for too.
They’ll travel all the way around the world. There will be somebody that will watch a YouTube video and they’re in Singapore. They’re like, “What do I do?” I’m like, “You need to get to an upper cervical chiropractor.” “How do I do that? There’s nobody in my country. All the borders are closed.” Everyone is like, “Teach me how to do it to myself.” I was like, “I can’t adjust my Atlas by myself. I can’t do it.” A year in practice, the woman I worked for retired and moved down to Florida. I was by myself and I was like, “I was getting headaches and everything, so I adjust my Atlas.” It’s not a good move. I was dizzy for 3 or 4 days. I’m like, “I’m never doing that again.”
How do you even do that? We don’t want to give anybody ideas. There’s an urban legend at Life West that somebody said an activator and he was like, “This is bullshit. This thing doesn’t work.” He clicked it and he had permanent Bell’s palsy after, one side of his face immediately drooped. He learned that activators do something.
I’ve heard stories with the SOT blocks where somebody thought it didn’t work. I wasn’t there but there was a SOT seminar and there was a guy heckling the professor. He’s like, “Those things don’t work.” He’s like, “Come on up. I’m going to block you the wrong way. You tell me if it works or not.” The kid couldn’t walk after that. He was in so much pain. They do something and they do work.
Chiropractic is totally safe. Everything about it is super safe.
It goes back to what you were talking about before. You’ve got to find somebody like a doctor that believes that can get you better and you feel comfortable with. I’ll send somebody to a doctor and that has a bunch of neurological disorders and they’ll be right away like, “He couldn’t help me but he’s going to try.” That’s not the first thing you want to be telling your patient. That’s not a good move.
So much of being able to heal is being able to overcome that concept in your head that you can’t heal. You need somebody that is confident in what they’re doing and that you feel their confidence. There’s such a big difference between the mechanic, somebody who’s giving the address in versus somebody who’s giving the adjustment with something extra and expecting miracles. Everything in their office is whether it’s on a subconscious level putting that positive intention in your life.
There are about 150 Blair docs, upper cervical doctors in the country. We’re all doing the same adjustment. Some get the results, some don’t. I realized that the doctors that are getting the results have the passion and the belief that they can get their patient better. They get the most phenomenal results because their adjustment is so much better than the other person. I don’t think so. It’s the clear intention. I remember before my first adjustment, Dr. Drew Hall was like, “Wait on the table, we’re going to save your life now.” I was like, “Shit. Okay.” Right away, that puts something in your head and you’re like, “This might work.” It goes a long way.
This popped into my head but I’ve taken up golf because it’s the only thing that you can still do right now athletically. It’s the only thing that’s open. I have to break the concept in my head that I have a baseball swing. You were a hockey guy. It’s the same plane at least swinging down through it but the baseball golf swing is everybody slices the hell out of it. You can hit it 300 yards, but it goes straight at you. I’ve had to break that in my head and consciously allow myself to know that I have the athleticism in my body, it’s there and that I can do it. It’s breaking that idea that, “I’m never going to be good at golf.” If somebody comes in and they say, “I’m always going to have migraines,” this is how it is. There’s extra work that’s got to be done on your side. You’re be able to say, “I see this all the time.” We see it like, “You’ll be fine. You’re going to heal. You’re going to get well.” Imagine if Drew Hall hadn’t said that to you when you’re on the table, if he was like, “Hopefully this works.”
That’s another thing too. I didn’t heal overnight. I had to constantly be reminded four months in the care, “I’m at a plateau right now. Is this ever going to get better?” Drew went through the same exact thing as me. He’s like, “You’re good. You’ve got to give it some time, your body didn’t get this overnight. It’s going to take some months.” He was brutally honest with me. I was like, “How long did it take you to make a full recovery?” He’s like, “To be honest with you, about 1.5 years where I was 100% symptom-free.” I remember looking at him like, “I don’t have that much time.” I was symptomatic for 1.5 years and then somebody turned the light bulb switch on and I was better. Every couple of weeks, it would get better and better but it’s a healing process. It can be uncomfortable. You do need that little reinforcement like, “This is going to be okay. You’ve got to hang in there.”
It’s like the dimmer switch. It’s not just like, “Bam, on.” The other part of that is I heard about this retracing, how it’s processed. You can’t expect to walk 10 miles into the woods and get out in one. Sometimes you’re going to go backwards through some of it. It’s not like, “My car is here. I’m here.”
I had a trigeminal neuralgia patient. I adjusted her. I rested her in the back for ten minutes. She comes back and she looks devastated. I’m like, “What’s going on?” She’s like, “I don’t feel any different.” I’m like, “It’s been ten minutes. Your body has been like this for 30 years. Go home, give it a couple of hours, see how you feel the next day.” She was so let down and I was like, “It’s going to be all right. You’re giving me ten minutes here.” I get where she’s coming from. She’s been in the most amount of pain she’s ever been in for three years, but you’ve got to give the healing process some time there.
We were in India in January 2020 for a service trip. We need another whole episode for that one but you would have loved it. It was a 24-hour flight to get there. We spent four days before and then three days after seeing India. I was like, “I’ll maybe never go back there.” It was a three-day service trip but there were people that got on the table that was comical. You’d adjust them and then right away they’d be like, “I feel much better.” There’s that part of the healing process that can take place where the person’s faith and what’s about to happen is so great. They trust so much in what’s about to happen. It’s the first person that hasn’t gone down the medical route with them to say, “You need this or this. This is going to help you manage it.” I don’t know what the person in the other room was prepping them with the health doc. They came to me and they were like, “My knee hurts.” I’m like, “I’m going to do this. That helps balance your legs and your knees are going to feel good.” He’d be like, “My knees feel great.” I’m like, “You haven’t even gotten up.”
They’re incredibly grateful too.
I had a 60-year-old lady who had fallen out of a coconut tree ten years before. She would pick coconut. She’s badass. She fell out and landed right on her head. She’s had on this whole side of her head, numbness in the hand, partially going deaf, all this weird neuro stuff. You have a line out the door. We saw 15,000 people in three days and it’s like, “I’ve got two minutes to make a call here.” You could give a little ticket to someone to say, “Cut the line tomorrow. I’m going to check you again. Come back in three hours.” That was one where I need to test her. I saw her again the next day. That’s the part of a service trip that you’re like, “I don’t know where they are now.” There’s no way to follow up. I have no idea what her name was. She’s an amazing lady but I saw her the next day and she’s like, “I’m feeling perfect for the first time in years.” I’m like, “I am a student and I’m going to be so much better in 6 months, in 10 years.”
You feel like you don’t know what you’re doing but there’s that little monkey brain in your head, “I do have to go, I’m going to leave you on a thought that ties in with that.” This is a book I’ve been reading, The Inner Game Of Tennis. I’m not a tennis player at all. If we’re talking top of the pyramid, the actual performance part that I was talking about earlier, the subtitle is The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance. It talks about the inner game that we’re playing with ourselves and then there’s the outer game that you’re playing. You put on the hockey skates, you’re playing in the outer game against the other team but in your head, you’re playing the inner game with yourself. Within yourself, we have self one and self two. Self one is our conscious brain that will talk to us, give us instructions, can even be critical and be like, “Damn it, Kevin, you hit another ball on the trees. Keep the clubface closer,” or whatever it is. Self two is the unconscious part of our brain. The part that can go out there, flow and learns through the natural process of healing. You put an image in self two’s head and then it can recreate that image.
The biggest thing I took away from this book that I’m about to finish, so I should wait until I finish the next chapter. It says performance is potential minus interference. That is important on our end that believing that you can turn off, you can stop interfering with your process, get out of your way, let it flow out of your hands and trust that you’ve got it. Not be thinking like, “What’s my line? What am I doing?” Go off and be like, “You got it.” The other part with potential, with what we’re doing, every single person has 100% potential within their own body to live the best version of their life mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We have to help remove that interference and facilitate that. It’s cool to read that in a book about the mental side of tennis. You can tie everything back.
Dr. Alex, where can people find you on social media or online if they want to take a look at some of the stuff you’re doing?
It’s @AlexanderTheChiro on Instagram. It’s like Alexander The Great but a little bit different. I might have to change that soon because I might be able to shorten up some of the characters but for now, that’s good. I feel like you should lead with your best. You don’t want to send somebody your LinkedIn or some other class, so I’ve been active on there. My girlfriend and two of her sisters were in town. It reminds me that I’m not that active on Instagram compared to them. We had an awesome time and it was cool to not have to take pictures and know that we were camping in Big Sur and we’re up above the clouds every morning and after sunset. We had some awesome pictures. It’s cool to have other people do the dirty work for them. I’ve got other things that I’m working on, which is why waking up at 5:00 in the morning is essential. You can knock a half-hour of that off every day and be able to get some momentum before you get to work.
Thank you so much for coming on. I would love to have you back on anytime. I’ll talk to you soon.
I appreciate you.
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