Harbir Singh I Ep #19 | Adapting The Athlete’s Injury Recovery Mindset



today our guest is harvey singh who is an osteopathic doctor who specializes in sports medicine and he is based in london in the uk um thank you so much for joining us today

on dr of the podcast harvey we’re so excited to have you thank you sasha and thank you it’s a it’s a huge honor for me to be on your show all right so um we’re just going to go straight into it because uh with you we um we want to speak about sports medicine which is your specialty so according to i’m just going to read up a quote that um was given by the british journal of sport medicine why it says that pain is a common problem among elite athletes and it’s frequently associated with sport injury where both pain and injury interferes with performance of athletes so when they talk about pain management when they talk about pain are they referring to exclusively physical pain or are we is that other underlying type of pain we’re talking about there i think that quote is referring to physical pain and i think in in practice in clinics the type of presentations you’ll see will be of physical pain but i think the the cause isn’t always physical and that’s an important thing to address because you won’t you won’t fix the person’s problem if you’re just focusing on the tissue that hurts and that’s there’s often a process of being able to build that rapport with the athlete to get them to the place where you can have that conversation and look out okay what other aspects of your lifestyle could be impacting or making you more vulnerable or led to have led to this injury but that makes sense so there’s an interesting book i was reading by oprah actually she wrote a book recently with a a um neuroscientist and um it’s called um what happened to you as opposed to what’s wrong with you what the emphasis of the book was that trauma the body keeps score and all these things that we think may not be relevant have an impact on the body and they have actual physical presentations of these of these traumas and of these um these these scars that we we hold on to so if you have an athlete who presents with lower back pain in acute pain you have the whole kind of two to four week period where they stretch they apply heat they might um have relative rest and they feel a bit better but usually if someone’s coming to you they’re not the acute presentation they are going on to the chronic presentation where it’s limiting them it’s impacting them so then you’ve got to look at other factors like um the biopsychosocial model which is do with the biology the tissue the body then looking at what’s happening in the person’s mind stress that they’re going through what impact that’s having on their recovery and there’s lots of evidence behind how stress impacts um recovery and immunity and then the implications of pain by the definition of the international association of the study of of pain is that it’s it’s subjective it’s whatever the person says it is so if i cut my if i if i cut my finger and if um you cut your finger our experience may be very different because you may be a pianist and so it’s very important to you there’s a lot of you know mock unless there’s a big area for your fingers because you use them very often but for me because i might be doing something which doesn’t really require me to use my hands as much it may not have as much significance so the experience of pain will be very different i will be in not much pain whereas you may be in a lot of pain and so other factors play a part so my culture my mum might say you know man up and just get on with it and that type of thing so it may not be okay for me to express yes for you and your family it may be okay to show emotions and so all of these things impact on someone’s experience of pain how long the pain lasts you know whether it goes on to becoming chronic and limiting them the whole psychology of performance and whether that person will be able to go back to this sport and be able to compete at a high level there’s there’s a lot of things around athletes um and a lot of rumination around okay well what does this mean how what does this mean for my future you know it’s quite it’s quite an interesting area right and it’s so it’s very psychological like a big chunk of it is actually very psychological and i guess the physical ailments sounds like it comes after like this part is kind of dealt with or addressed right yeah so in terms of descartes the theory was you you step on a nail the nail sends nerve impulse to the spinal cord up to the spinal cord to the brain and then you experience pain but we know it’s not like that we have athletes who will fracture a leg um while they’re running and we’ll continue running on it um we have nfl players who will break bones and and continue playing and they they swear that they didn’t experience any pain so there’s a lot of things that happen in between the the stimulus and the experience that the person has and all of that stuff is very important and then that is the whole there’s a whole network that that impacts on someone’s experience and so psychology is psychology is a huge aspect and there’s lots of lots more research and lots more literature and lots more videos coming out on um mind over medicine mind over matter and the effects of mind medicine and and how um spontaneous remissions and you know there’s there’s no sibo effect where somebody thinks something bad is going to happen it’ll happen even though they’re having a sugar pill and it’s in that substance so and placebo has a negative um association yeah with the word but actually it’s just it’s the body respon responding and if you can use that power if you can use that energy in a positive thing and that’s all through psychology so it is mostly psychology although when an athlete walks through the door or a patient walks through the door you don’t want to give the implication that this is your fault or this is in your head um yeah still trying to be very real for them yeah you might like risk dismissing their experience which make it even more painful for them yeah yeah so if if you had back pain and you came to my clinic and i said oh you need to be mindfulness you might think i’ve you know i’m disregarding your experience and your pain you might think well my back’s hurting what does that have to do with ridiculous i’m going to go see somebody else this doesn’t make any sense so this is a huge um bridge to be built before anyone can get to that stage of addressing other factors apart from the tissue so and my wife did a phd on um different types of psychological interventions so cbt psychotherapy third wave therapies like mindfulness that type of stuff and she found that it wasn’t the intervention that made a difference to in terms of positive outcomes it was the rapport between the therapist and the patient yeah that makes a lot of sense actually i’m trying to you know imagine your experience when you were at the olympic games and how you know when you were to deal with some athletes like the amount of pressure you have um and having to recover an injury at that point must be quite uh quite tricky to deal with for for an athlete yes i think for the athlete is life and death for them really if the olympics is the emotions are so high um the amount of people that i saw just lying on the floor crying um i met this egyptian lady who had spent eight years training for that one event which lasted a minute or two and that was a dream chatted um and so it’s it’s it’s a very intense environment it’s a beautiful environment because you have so many nature nations coming together um for this sport that they’re playing and it’s very beautiful in that context everyone is is very amicable and uh and there’s this energy which is which is um very uplifting in in that kind of sport but in terms of the athlete’s experience it’s their whole life has come down to this this one or two that moment yeah but no wonder why people would even turn into you know to medication um to kind of overcome that stress or that you know the psychological stress or pain um what was your experience with with more like doping the doping side yeah so emotional distress can cause physical pain just as much as a physical injury can and and in terms of analgesia um lots of athletes will self-medicate um because they and it can become a negative spiral so um you know if you’re if you’re taking something for the pain it can become habitual and and you need it to recover or you need it to continue to train and it can become a crux um doping is is a is a very sensitive subject in terms of the olympics and in terms of international sport there’s a documentary on netflix called icarus which looks at the the the russian doping scandal and and and what they found in the documentary was it came down it was state-sponsored so it came down from in terms of in terms of the whole doping system and how it was orchestrated um the most tested athlete in history was lance armstrong and he never tested positive he was on the court because his teammate um told the international doping agency how he did it yeah so it is um it is unfortunately something that is part of sport and and and will always continue to be a part of sport there unfortunately it’s it’s um it’s not possible to have a 100 clean sport i think the agencies are doing everything they can within their power but when you look at different nations like like jamaica who may test once a year because they don’t have the infrastructure to be able to randomly test athletes out of competition time um it leaves the opportunity for um it leaves the opportunity for for cheating to take place because um there is that expectation not just on an athlete’s level they want to perform well their whole life is a bit up to this level this point but also from a nation standpoint there’s a lot of national pride so um some of these things unfortunately are are expected of athletes and it’s it’s a really it’s a really difficult area to be honest also there’s there’s it’s there’s justin gatlin he he beat usain bolt at the world championships and he had previously um tested positive for um a drug which is used in adhd and it’s it’s a neurostimulant so it could impact performance so it was on the banned substance list but he was on a prescription to take it so so there’s once you get that label of being a cheat as well it can be the end of your career as well so it must be a hugely stressful experience for an athlete where even in the uk we have a tier system for for judo for example so depending on how well you perform you will be paid a salary to train full-time um depending on your performance so it there’s there’s a huge incentive to be able to to perform well and and um it’s a it’s a huge burden to be honest for for athletes i i’ve met lots of athletes who when i asked them if they missed a sport they say they they hated it because um they did it to the degree where you know swimmers where they they’re adolescents and they’re waking up five o’clock every morning to spend two hours in the swimming pool and then go back to swimming after school and you know they hate the smell of chlorine and the haters because they have such negative associations from it from from from the the rigors of training and the intensity and and so it’s a huge subject in terms of um spacing out training and gradually building somebody up keeping the passion of the sport alive within them not pushing them too much as parents as well or coaches yeah um keeping them injury free which is which is near enough impossible as well so so all of that stuff plays a part unfortunately i know some athletes who also um have committed suicide because at the end of their careers it was the whole identity was tied up in this sport so if they’re no longer this footballer or if they’re no longer this this high jumper then who are they and um and so with the fame and the notoriety when that goes it can leave a big a big hole in that person’s life yeah if you have an athlete or a client or patient that comes with this type of like complexity be it psychological and physical why do you even start um because i think that you know unpacking this and how do like what are some of the the first things you do to create that rapport and understanding like yeah those steps you need to take yeah so there’s a really good book called influence by dr robert kaudi and a lot of people in the financial market tend to use that book because you can now you can impact a person where you can change the way a person thinks by a certain certain psychological tools one of them is authority there is a certain um there is a certain uh esteem that comes with authority so when you work in a certain field whether it’s whether it’s like judo for example if you’re known as as the best um osteopath the best therapist within that field there’s a certain amount of steam that comes with it and and and recommendation so people people come to you um respecting your opinion and that really helps you get on the right foot it’s very difficult if you’re trying to build a relationship from scratch and and an athlete is always like well does this person really know what they’re talking about how do i know this person is better than this other person anymore right so you really need to build that um authority beforehand um the other thing is that rapiosity is another principle talked about in that in that book so there’s lots of ways to build reparocity which is you know i do something for you you want to return the favor and do that for me so one of the easiest ways is just to listen to people to really allow them to feel hurt because there’s very few opportunities in in life where people feel like they’re truly hurt um and so if someone feels like you really listen to them then they are much more likely to listen to you and adhere to your advice yeah so the the biggest thing in in terms of starting off with anybody whether it’s an elite athlete or a or a high performance individual whether they’re a lawyer a banker anybody who’s um has an intense profession is is building rapport yeah so yeah i think that’s like very relatable right if anyone who wants to get anything done uh with when they don’t have all the resources they know that you know building that rapport with someone or getting help from someone who they have rapport with is much it’s much easier to get the job done right there’s this really nice quote um people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care so you have to you have to show them you care about them before you can show them what you know it doesn’t really make difference if you’re smart it’s it’s that bedside manner it’s that ability to make that person know like and trust you before you can really make a difference yeah and so you were saying like um with the like medication is one one way that you know um athletes you i guess uh the two one of the tools that athletes use for pain management right um are there like other types of tools that athletes use to to manage their pain um considering the amount of stress and like pressure that they’re going through and what they need to perform and this you know the sponsorship deals basically the weight that they’re carrying with them right yes so athletes in general from my experience they’re quite um naturopathic they’re quite um averse to to allopathic medicine unless they really need it so they they want to do all the natural things they can do to give them that slight edge um so that includes things like saunas and and if they have the money they’ll invest in buying one so they can do that on a daily basis and that really helps manage injuries help with recovery lots of increases in human growth hormone things like that naturally um cold ice baths are now really popular wim hof um yes popularizers so um people have ice baths and and personally i found they help with recovery as well reduce inflammation in the body and inflammation is a big obstacle because it’s very difficult to train consistently if you’re if you’re very sore so that’s a key to it as well cbd oil has become very popular and i’ve had mixed results i’ve had athletes who have sworn by in terms of reduction anxiety and improvements in sleep and i’ve had other people it’s had no impact on so that’s a thing that’s in vogue at the moment um massage has been probably used for over a thousand years with athletes particularly in in freestyle wrestling in india there’s a big like it’s part when i worked at the olympics not just in not just indian athletes but it was you had a huge amount of area so you have every competing nation on the maps at the same time and depending on which weight class is competing that person would be warming up so if you had 60 kg the 60 the team would help the 60 kg guy warm up he’d have his headphones on he’d be trying to get himself in the right mental space but in between warm-ups they would either nap or they would the other teammate would give them a massage or a physio or a therapist would give them a massage so massage is very much a part of um of sports yeah and uh and rightly so in terms of the mind body benefits um exercises it sounds it sounds um counterintuitive but exercise for a sport is very specific and it can be it can work certain muscle groups overly and certain other muscle groups can get neglected and for example you could be a tennis player and have very strong shoulders in the forearms but you could have a rotator cuff problem which isn’t being addressed because you’re continuing to play tennis so most athletes that i know of anyway will have physio on a regular basis to manage the injuries that accumulate um and i was speaking to an athlete the other day and he he said if you wake up and you’re not in pain you’re either not training hard enough or you’re dead so that’s the kind of money wow that these people have they they expect to wake up in pain it’s just identifying what is a good type of pain what is a bad type of pain and what kind of pain can you work through and what kind of pain do you need to get addressed yeah i think you hit the nail on the head on that because i think saying that and i’m not kvating with uh you know good pain bad pain and what you need to get help with right that would be setting the wrong message to people because you know a lot of people train so hard and then um injure themselves and then they’re completely out for the next couple of months and these are like you know lay men but not uh elite athletes so i can only imagine the significance of like the rest element and the the taking care of your mind and body like being i guess very aware um because it must be it must be tough to balance off rest time uh training time uh exercise or med you know meditation and and physical therapy massage etc in such a short amount of time because usually they just need to be able to perform very quickly um so how do you approach the concept of rest when you when you when you have an athlete come to come to you yeah so with any kind of high performer whether they are an athlete or or banker they they want better results they want or they want to be able to maintain the levels of of productivity that they have been doing so they they’re usually quite amenable to your advice whether that be whatever you recommend um i had some examples here so lebron james sleeps 12 hours every day roger federer says if he doesn’t sleep 12 hours he ends up getting hurt um usain bolt said he needs 10 to 11 hours of rest or recovery in order for the training to work for the training to be absorbed and andy murray sleeps again 12 hours a day so um okay so 12 there’s a looks like a number yeah i mean 12 is these are just some extreme examples that i found um elite performers but within within my culture so within within the seat culture it is very much like you know you have to work hard you have to wake up early and um you know laziness is kind of um is not a admirable quality and i think i think we’ve gone a bit too far with that and we’ve got to the point where actually we’re not getting we’re getting more screen time than we are asleep that that’s that’s a fact in terms of the research so our brains and bodies can’t function um we’re going to pick up psychological disorders and physical disorders as a result of not getting enough sleep now if you have a banker and a private investor comes to see me so he’s making massive deals every day and and so his performance is very important to him so if i emphasize the fact that sleep will potentially give him another five years of earning life or an athlete like roger federer you know if he accredits asleep to giving him that extra longevity and high performance in his career then people are usually a bit more serious about about fitting it in um and so yeah i i myself struggle with sleep but i think that this is this is actually a pandemic i think insomnia sleep issues um screen time all of these things are pandemic and they’re affecting um the world in a negative way in terms of from a psychological emotional spiritual and also a physical perspective as well so um i think i think we need to go back to to um more balance really in order to prevent injuries regardless of whether it’s an athlete or just the everyday person how’s like how do you include meditation in or like introduce the topic of meditation to an athlete who potentially because of his background would not necessarily be very prone to it or like not even know what what it is or how to start yeah so thankfully there’s people like lebron james who meditate while they’re actually you know waiting on the sidelines to go and play um there’s another great book called the mind from athlete by george um mumford and he talks about how people like people that he worked with like jordan um michael jordan could felt like the game slowed down and in the last two seconds they were able to make the game-winning shot because they were able to relax their body and when your body and mind is relaxed you’re able to perform better you’re able to see more even from a cognitive perspective when you’re stressed you have cognitive tunneling so you don’t see actually what’s happening around you so you so stress management is very important it used to be sold as stress management so when you work with athletes you would say oh i think this stress management technique would really help now because it become popularized with people like lebron james um people want to think well if it’s working for him and he’s a legend the best ever then you know maybe it will help me so so that helps um and i think with any kind of having any kind of positive behavioral change and the key is to start small so start with 30 seconds there’s another another great book called tiny habits written by a behavioral scientist uh called bj i can’t remember sending but he he talks about how one of the problems with behavior change is that our expectation is is too great we set our goals so high and we fail or we do it for a few days and then we fail and then we we give up on that behavior yeah so if you start at 30 seconds of meditation do that for a year you’re still better off than doing nothing or doing it for a few days and stopping so starting small is often key with my regular patients i say to them there’s some breathing exercises that will really help there’s lots of evidence to show that they will help to modulate pain and it will help you get better it’ll help your immunity your recovery will be faster and that usually makes them more amenable to to trying out meditation um i i like talking to harvard because so far we are already at four book quotes i saw his uh lately i think uh his wife was like i need to get rid of some of those uh books like how many books he’s referring in just one conversation uh so we can see that this is the real deal yeah well please put in a good word for me in my book collection but we’ll do we’ll do yeah everyone has a hobby and i think for me um i think from me reading i think there’s people who spent their entire lives studying a topic and if someone’s put 30 years of work studying like george mumford has spent 30 years of work studying mindfulness in sports why not pick their brains and learn from these people i think yeah probably yeah you’re right absolutely um yeah i guess my moving on from what you were saying like you know so mindfulness and rest is a critical element i guess for elite athletes and i guess i mean also for the layman right um or everyday people um so in terms of like uh managing the pain on top of like rest meditation physical therapy um what type of like holistic um practices do elite athletes kind of practice and incorporate in their pain management or do they even like look at um you know alternative methods of managing the pain yes that’s a good question and and just to go back to the the importance of sleep because i really want to underline this i i say to the people that i work with you’re better off sleeping than you are taking steroids so with steroids we know that there’s a 20 increase in in strength and i believe and and from my studies that you will get greater than that benefit from in terms of neuromuscular firing in terms of learning movement patterns and reflexes from actually getting adequate sleep so so unfortunately you know it’s a social media age a lot of us are spending a lot of time at night scrolling looking at screens and i feel like if if we can just start to have some boundaries around that type of stuff and we can get better sleep and i feel like human performance is gonna it’s gonna go you know it’s gonna skyrocket in terms of productivity and performance and and so rather than if if someone’s taking you know human growth hormone is probably four in the uk 400 pounds a month right which is which is a significant amount of money i feel like you would get better um results from just sorting out your sleeve and if you don’t saw how you sleep then all of these things are not going to be beneficial for you in the long term anyway it’s going to be a very temporary temporary boost but i think that i think that um managing your sleep or getting your sleep right it’s much more difficult in terms of discipline that’s why i was snickering this now because when you’re saying like you know you’re spending time scrolling at night and now that like guni and i are both like you know in this entrepreneurial journey it’s really challenging to like find that cut off um and so i like she always tells me because i’m in malaysia so then the time difference i’m ahead of her and she’s like i think it’s bedtime for you but like it’s so hard to like switch up and i finish speaking to her it takes like an hour to two hours to wind down on top of that so if i finish later then it’s like 12 a.m 2 a.m i’m going to bed but then i have to wake up again at like six or seven to like stop it it’s a bit much right like it can accumulate over time um and it’s and when you start it’s not accumulating you get into this rhythm of not knowing how to like restart and get into the better habits right but i think what you said earlier about starting small and just kind of slow increments might be the the right way so the highest rate of heart attacks on any day in the year is is daylight saving times when the hour when the clock goes back one hour so one hour is less sleep causes there’s there’s a causation relationship between that and heart attack so it has a massive impact and i have a family history of heart attacks and heart disease and i struggle with sleep but one of the and and um more important than ours is consistency of timing in terms of my studies of the research that i’ve looked at so you want to be going to sleep at relatively at the same time and waking up at reddit at the same time it’s very difficult for people like shift workers like fire firemen and women and um airport staff when they’re working earlies and then late and the biological clock is all over the places it’s very detrimental to health actually and it’s it’s a greater risk of um heart disease and cancer than smoking is in terms of the world organization this um shift workers is a great risk um so so so yeah sleep sleep is really important one of the things that i found works for me recently is i will actually physically um in terms of behavioral change again there’s ways that you can make behavior change possible once one is to make the habit so small that it becomes this very little mental friction to getting it done the second is to change your environment so if i i’m working on actually physically changing my environment i will take my phone my laptops all my devices and i’ll i will lock them in the car which is a distance away from my house right so if i decide oh well i’ll do something this this is please don’t say this on air because this is the moment where somebody’s kind of like you know i’m going to find harborous car okay we don’t know where you live okay he lives in new zealand guys we made a mistake he doesn’t live in london it’s new zealand yeah we have pretty good security it’s okay it’s not always in the car it’s at different locations i like that um but that that physical barrier thinking okay i need to go all the way there to then access my phone to check my messages or check my emails it actually forces me to go through that discomfort of lying in bed and not necessarily being able to sleep straight away and it helps me it’s helping me reset my sleep routine so that’s that’s one tip that i have you can either change the environment or make your habits so small that it becomes very easy to do and that over a consistent basis you can build on um but back to your original question in terms of other interventions here so most most athletes will will try anything that has other people have said has benefited them or somebody they trust they have said will benefit them so the coach recommends reflexology cupping there’s michael phelps made cupping famous at the rio olympics so you know that he he um he swears by um acupuncture there’s lots of nfl players um anthony joshua the professional um boxer right boxer he he uses an extra acupuncture so all of these treatment modalities have benefits and are worthwhile and are worth pursuing chinese medicine whatever you can whatever you can do that works for you um you should definitely go through a process of exploring um and making your own judgments i sometimes have people come to see me i used to work at great ormond street and next waterfront on the street we have the royal hospital of um homeopathic medicine which is i think it was set up by the world family and and they have one or two acupuncture clinics in there but mostly it’s gps who now practice homeopathy and um i was i was shouting one of the consultant acupuncturists who’s um he’s a gp in the army and he was talking about homeopathy and he said he’s seen people who have got better from homeopathy who had been through the whole medical gambit they had had mri scans neurologists they had seen everything and nothing worked for them and he said you know we we are reluctant to try complementary therapies in in the western allopathic medical model when these expensive invasive procedures haven’t worked for somebody and we still won’t try homeopathy he said it doesn’t make any sense when something that costs a minuscule amount compared to these these other interventions that people have tried and failed so i i really feel it’s important to to explore different treatment options and when you find something that works for you just to don’t worry about what other people say to to make that part of your lifestyle i think that ties back into kind of why why even as dot if we wanna provide different types of of practitioners because sometimes one modality will speak more to you than the other and that could be just linked by you know maybe its heritage uh maybe i one would like you know connect better with ayurveda because it it’s part of their you know that cultural heritage or sometimes completely the opposite is just that it it speaks to this speak to them so i i really like the message of just explore and see what works for you yeah sometimes like i i do acupuncture and we we i use an approach for western acupuncture which is what the kind of medical doctors in the uk have have deemed uh acceptable um so they don’t use the the same systems of meridians they they use trig points and other other established research-based um points from chinese medicine but there’s some people that it won’t work on there’s some people where you can put a needle in them and they will they will have a miraculous recovery of a problem that they’ve had i had a thai boxer who had kicked somebody’s shin and um their toe had was in pain for six months so they may potentially have had a hairline fracture but six months later the bone has healed they still haven’t made any progress i put one needle in him and his pain was gone and you didn’t you don’t have a reoccurrence so you have some people’s nervous systems who are very receptive to um to certain types of treatments but the only way you’ll know that is by by exploring and you might have some people who have chiropractic treatment for example and it feels like it does nothing for them but another person it may have a massive benefit so it’s it’s incredible how different people’s um their aura their their nervous system their biology how it responds differently to different types of treatments and also um if complementary therapies didn’t work or they didn’t have value they wouldn’t have withstood the test of time um anyone who’s you know has experience of the industries will know the potency that these these therapies have yeah 100 um and i guess like in the in this sense right so i guess you’ve been talking about uh you know the different ways we use uh athletes use medication and physical therapy rest to kind of heal themselves and navigate their pain and aches right um and for the for the day-to-day person like me and gooney um i’m not sure if you’re the day-to-day person because i know you’re like pretty athletic based on like what we’ve seen on your instagram page um but you know uh how how can we apply these sort of practices in our day-to-day or you know to improve our quality of life when we when we experience these pains and eggs yes i think with the first person when you work with anyone is that you don’t want to dictate what person might be doing um you know i i wouldn’t want the whole whole system of when you go to see a doctor would say oh you smoke you need to stop smoking it’s killing me right and they realize that doesn’t work because people don’t stop smoking because you tell them it’s going to kill them um you have to use you have to use another system so it’s first thing would be finding out what that person wants so sasha if i say to you you know sleep would really help you um starting out your sleep routine and actually you get a lot of joy and fulfillment out of your work and actually working late into the night and you wake up feeling refreshed and it’s actually probably maybe it’s kind of all of that positivity and um fulfillment you’re getting from it is contracting the negative aspects of not having that extra hour or two of sleep so it’s just meeting the person that where they’re at so um yeah you have to go back to building that relationship first and then then you can have that conversation of okay somebody may disclose that you know what the biggest issue i have right now is that i’m having trouble with my spouse and because i’m having trouble with my spouse i’m not sleeping at night and i’m drinking too much and i don’t want to i don’t want to compete anymore i don’t want to go to work anymore or i can’t focus at work so then there’s no point you telling them you should go sleep at this time yeah yeah because their marriage is probably the thing that needs to be addressed and then you can look at ways to try and um help with that or help support the person through it or be just a listening a listening ear um or there’s obviously couples counseling or individual counseling lots of lots of different types of even even acupuncture lots of different types of um complementary therapies that can help with that but it’s really trying to be open enough to allow that person to have that stage to tell you what they need help with and then you can and then you can help them so so yeah i mean yeah relationships are a big thing so it may be that if we have some relationships in our lives that are potentially like the biggest cause of stress then that’s the thing that we need to address then for some people it’s um addictions is a big thing right now so whether it’s alcoholism um in the uk at least i know there’s a big problem with like cocaine marijuana um those types of those types of addictions so again it’s it’s looking at well the addiction is probably trying to anesthetize some type of trauma or some type of pain or some type of emptiness that that person is feeling so it’s trying to kind of figure out what the underlying problem is and then just support the person holding hands through that journey um as opposed to telling them you need to you need to do you need to download the headspace app the worst type of advice no i don’t think it’s the worst but it’s just that it could be it it all depends on if you’re in the right space to respond to that advice right and i guess it goes back to if i were to kind of uh tie your question and and and harvest uh answer it’s more like be be an athlete or be layman or the common uh you know we all have we’re all unique we all have different circumstances different environments different triggers different relationships situations etc that will impact the way you perform and i guess that performance and and what performance mean to you is very specific and this is where you know i i feel that complementary and alternative um therapists or practitioners are actually there to hear and and that’s i think that’s why we’re advocating for this as well is because they are trained to hear this they are trying to to to be able to guide you to unfold this um and and actually all the answers are within you usually that this is all what practitioners are telling me is like yeah well they they actually know it but you know it’s just by poking with asking the right questions right yeah yeah yeah i think i think confirmary therapists have a great opportunity for for that because they are they are with the person for probably far longer than the gender practitioner is going to be with them yeah so they can have that conversation and that person right yeah yeah because like a gp is worth 10 minutes on the phone or five minutes 10 minutes if you’re if you’re lucky and it’s five minutes on the phone and they can’t like they can’t see your face they can’t see your kind of your body language and it could be even video and that’s enough to tell sometimes but um yeah i think that the gp there’s a lot of rapport that is missing currently so there are some anchors that it can be beneficial in having and and those are probably beneficial for everyone so like um sleep is going to be one of them so just trying to have some kind of system or protocol around sleep right meditation is going to be another one some people don’t benefit some people can’t get into meditation so maybe journaling might help them uh maybe just going for a walk without technology some kind of some kind of thing to help them connect with what’s going on on the inside um or yoga something mind body based yeah um i think is really another really important anchor um i think diet is really important so hydration levels like making sure you’re having some kind of protocols around water intake and also fruit and veg intake i think are important as well because i think part of managing life is managing your energy so it’s a great that’s a great quote i love that we’re always looking for quotes because like you know but yeah we love it the bites of wisdom that’s how people can take you know start the thinking process of things right sorry not to cut you off and then i think another anchor is probably a really important anchor in terms of the literature as well as relationships so there’s another book called the village effect and they looked at people with cancer and heart disease there’s actually a a village in in near new york called rosetta stone rosetta i think it was called reverse stone and um it was all italian immigrants and what they found was they weren’t getting any heart disease they weren’t getting any cancer this book the book talks about explains in detail but when they when they tracked the families um over time they started having an infiltration of western diseases and and when they looked at what was different they found that the the cultural practices of this town in italy what was starting to fragment so people weren’t living in big households with grandparents and grandchildren and everyone together they weren’t getting together on sunday for church as a whole community there wasn’t that you know go and check on your neighbors see how they’re doing and that type of thing so there’s there’s a lot of research in that book but they look at breast cancer survival rates and they massively increase by just having a meaningful connection with somebody so me personally i try and have some kind of con i try and work on this i’m not great at it but some kind of contact with the kids where i can smile at them and they can smile at me every day because i feel like nurturing those relationships in your life is going to be really important to your outcomes in terms of how fulfilled how happy how healthy you feel and and there’s there’s numerous studies on longevity and the impact of relationships and yeah and it’s on this so i think that’s another answer it really ties back to like our pillars because we follow the pillars of like who where health is really like physical social mental and spiritual health and so this element that you’re talking about is social right and also the fact that i think my my understanding from my own readings and experience in life i feel like human connection is probably like the most fundamental human need uh above everything else and then everything else you do kind of ties back into having to need that connection right so it says says a lot um about having a community to back you and to support you right and i think if we have those anchors those four or five anchors then if we’re having problems with us with a with a work in our workspace or with a colleague or or those types of things we’re going to have these anchors to weather us in the storm and these things can be consistent in our life where lots of things will be transitory relationships people will come and go um but if we can just have these four five four or five things it can really help kind of keep us grounded in life and not get watched away in chronic pain or psychological disorders that type of stuff but but yeah great great stuff thank you so much harvey yeah so i think like guinea what was your biggest takeaway well i i think it’s his whole uh pillars right so from sleep meditation diet and and the sense of community or relationships uh definitely something that again it’s a very holistic process uh isn’t it um so yeah thank you so much for for this uh wisdom for today yeah and all the quotes and books for business um in excellence what happened to you uh mindful athlete uh and the last one was the tiny habits and then the village effect there you go but you know what okay we i can we can table that for later but i guess to close off we want to do like a quick rapid fire round of questions with you out there um so i’ll take the first one um so do you want to tell us you know what is the worst health advice you’ve ever received in your life the worst health advice i’ve ever received is that i i should eat meat so when i became vegetarian about 16 years ago and someone told me i need to eat meat for my health and i think there’s nothing again i don’t have any problem with any kind of dietary preference anybody has i just don’t think the same advice fits everybody so some people may do very well off a particular type of diet which may not suit another person without knowing that individual it’s very difficult to or having a conversation with them knowing that anything about them is very difficult to say everybody should do this so i think that was the worst piece of advice that i can remember yeah okay um i would have comments on this but uh we were not going because that’s rather fun today and the second one is uh if that was one habit we should all adapt what would it be i think the one habit is uh cutting down our use of technology i think it’s become so ubiquitous that we we now you know can’t even go to the toilet without having a phone and i’m talking about myself guilty as charged yeah but um i think it’s i think it’s having a negative impact in and um you know i i think if we can just reduce our consumption of technology and have some boundaries and protocols around it i think it would impact the quality of our lives yeah agreed um and for the final one which is a very light one if you were to put a song or a soundtrack to your life what would it be i like the rocky soundtrack i think it’s because i i heard that growing up as a child i used to love that movie but also because we knew my family came from punjab they were immigrants and um i was talking to my son about how you know people from india um before independence didn’t necessarily have the they didn’t have the same opportunities as the british did um in india and i said you know now in the uk if you work hard you can become anything you can do anything you can and i feel like um that soundtrack resonates with me because i’ve had an opportunity to get a good education i have a beautiful family i have a great job um i have everything that i could possibly want so you know i feel like that soundtrack really motivates me to think of the underdog and how anything is possible yeah and how and how reflective of our episode today as well so uh thank you yeah thank you humber for making the time and yeah we’re so glad to have you on our show i appreciate everything you guys are doing i follow your content also just the quality of the content you put out the production value just your you know the aesthetics and the optics of everything you do is is brilliant um so you know i know it’s just going to grow from from success to success or well done thank you it’s so sweet it means a lot yeah it means a lot it really does.

Harbir Singh I Ep #19 | Adapting The Athlete’s Injury Recovery Mindset

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