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Recouping After the Holidays with Dr. Matthew Phinney

Special Guests

Dr. Matthew Phinney

Dr. Matthew Phinney was raised in Markham, ON and graduated from Bishop’s University in Quebec Canada in 2004 and then from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport Iowa in 2010. He is currently a member of the International Chiropractors Association and the Michigan Chiropractic Association. Dr. Phinney developed an interest in chiropractic while he was training and playing rugby with the Canadian National team. In 2006 while on a rugby tour to New Zealand, he injured two discs in his neck during a match. The limited ability of conventional medicine to understand and treat his injury left a strong impression on him. It wasn’t until he returned to his home in Victoria, BC that a chiropractor was able to help him, it was then Dr. Phinney decided to pursue chiropractic as a profession.

Pet grooming is an athletic job, and the holidays are the grooming Superbowl! Join Joe Zuccarello and Dr. Matthew Phinney for tips on avoiding fatigue, stress, and injury throughout the season.

  • Who qualifies as an occupational athlete?
  • What can I do to get a good night’s sleep?
  • Should I use my phone during breaks?
  • How crucial are hydration, pacing, and nature to my grooming business?
  • What does my evening have to do with my morning?

Tune in to find out.

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    Announcer: Welcome to Hey Joe, a podcast answering questions asked by our listeners, created by pet professionals for pet professionals and now your host, Hey Joe’s very own Joe Zucarello.

    Joe Zucarello: What’s up everyone? Joe Zucarello here and welcome to Hey Joe, a podcast brought to you by Paragon School of Pet Grooming. Check out our site at paragonpetschool.com for lots of really cool information on a variety of programs, products and to connect to educational resources such as webinars, podcasts, current events, special news, certifications and lots of other helpful information to help you grow yourself, your team, and of course your business. Let’s get started with this week’s episode.

    Hello. Hey Joe listener audience out there. I am thrilled to bring you our guests this week. This is… He is a return or what we call a repeat guest to the Hey Joe podcast. You might have listened to his episode back in August of 2019. If you have not, I definitely encourage you to do so. The guest of the hour, so to speak, is Dr. Matt Phinney. Dr. Matt Phinney is a professional who focuses on physical preparedness and treating your body and your mind properly so that you can be at the top of your game. So without any further ado, thank you again for joining us. Dr Phinney. You want to tell the listener audience a little bit more about yourself and what you do?

    Matt Phinney: Yeah, yeah. Thanks for having me on again, Joe. Hey everyone. My name is Dr. Matt Phinney, a local doc practicing out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, but part of a national provider network of doctors. We’re known as The Wellness Champions. It’s for 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We’re volunteers and essentially our goal, our mission purpose is bringing health and wellness solutions to local businesses. And so that’s really what we focus on, what we specialize in. We like getting the information out there so the people can use it and make good decisions.

    Joe Zucarello: One because you’re part of this national organization, you have, much like you did back in August in your August episode on the Hey Joe podcast, you are going to talk at the end of this particular episode again about an offer that you and your colleagues in The Wellness Champions will make available to all of our audience members that can help them gain access to even more of not only your knowledge but also your colleagues’ knowledge in that organization. So if you’re listening to this podcast, definitely stick around to the end and Dr. Phinney’s going to talk to us a little bit about how you can take full advantage of their expertise.

    So let’s jump right into this week’s topic and if you’re listening to this podcast, at the time of the airing of this podcast, we are just about ready to knock on the door of holiday season 2019 and just out ahead of Thanksgiving and just after Thanksgiving as we enter into the December holidays and such. And then as we enter into a new year. So it’s perfect that we have Dr. Phinney on here because one of the things that Dr. Phinney, this concept that he brought forward back in our August 2019 episode was this concept of occupational athletes. Dr. Matt, would you talk to the audience again and just kind of let us know, what do you mean when you say occupational athletes? What’s that concept mean to you?

    Matt Phinney: Who has a daily sort of job or career is similar to that of say an athletic event. So really our goal is to take the same behaviors and rhythms and rituals that we would use with say pro athletes and apply those to our core crafts, to our occupational average career span, occupational athlete. We’re looking at 30 to 50. So really we need to maintain those occupational athletes, that level of performance for a longer period of time, a sustained period of time. So those daily rhythms and rituals just become super, super, super important.

    Joe Zucarello: So as you start talking about this occupational athletes concept, I know that you focus a lot on daily awareness to the physicality. And one of the things that I’m so happy that you join us is because you’ve actually visited the Paragon School of Pet Grooming and you’ve done some presentations for our team and you’re also one of the training experts on learn2groomdogs.com so you kind of get us right? You gotten to know our industry, you’ve gotten to know our professionals that exist in our industry. And that’s why I think it’s so appropriate to have you on and speaking now to even a larger audience, which is the Hey Joe listener audience. So one of the things you always told me is that age and body ability kind of sneaks up on us and no matter what your age, these things should be important to you. Is that correct?

    Matt Phinney: Yeah, without a doubt. I totally agree. And I mean a lot of times I think we were talking about this stuff earlier is our subjective appraisal of how we’re doing. How we feel isn’t always a reliable indicator of subjectively how we’re performing, if that makes sense. The analogy I would give is if you’ve ever gone out to say have a glass of wine with a friend and they have two or three glasses and they hop up and grab the keys and they say, I’m feeling great, I’m ready to go and you’re looking at them saying, hey, you know what? You’re really…I know you feel great, but you really shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel. Similar is true when we talk about… A lot of times we can feel okay, we can be functional, but our performance really isn’t as good as say it necessarily feels if that makes sense.

    Joe Zucarello: Yeah, it makes total sense. Absolutely. And I’ll tell you the older that I get, I wish that I would’ve done some things differently back when I was younger to kind of not only pay attention to those things, but to just know that those things could be happening. And to all of you younger pet professionals out there, this is kind of a leap of faith for you and probably we’re not the only ones that have ever told you this and Dr. Phinney’s, I’m sure not the first one to ever say, hey listen, you really need to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. But I can tell you, and I can attest that that absolutely happens. And it happens sometimes earlier than what you think. You don’t have to be 60 70 years old to really start to feel it.

    So jumping into the kind of the meat and potatoes of this particular podcast airing again. We’re getting ready to go into the holidays and we’re starting to prepare to be on our A game, right? Probably some of the busiest and most concentrated days of our year and kind of staying camped out in that concept of occupational athletes. Essentially, we’re sort of kind of preparing for the Superbowl for our industry, right? So it’s this event that we know is coming that hopefully we’ve done some planning for.

    But essentially, there’s three different pieces. So maybe we can break this down. The first half of the game is preparing for the game, right? And preparing to be busier than normal. The middle part is halftime and what are you doing to kind of forge through? And the third part is, which is very important, is how to recover after the game, right? So if you could look at it and you say you’ve got two halves and then you’ve got kind of post-game, right? So let’s talk about that first half of the grooming or pet professional Superbowl, which is preparing for on your game time, which is that busier than normal time. Dr. Matt, when you know our industry, what would you recommend that our pet professionals out there do to prepare?

    Matt Phinney: Yeah, good question. One of the big ones is I guess just knowing your calendar and knowing that ahead of time this season is coming and really the best answer of, hey, what should we do to prepare for it? Well, it really should have started three to six months ago. And that being said, getting our mind right, getting our body right, getting everything physically prepared so that you can handle this season where your work rate and sort of the stats or numbers you gave me before, could be increasing from say an average of eight dogs a day to somewhere between 10 and 12 so a 20 to 40% increase in demand.

    One of the big, big things, I mean as far as getting ready, I would say hydration is key. A lot of times we don’t drink enough water, so having a clean source of filtered water. Meal planning, I mean doing our weekly planning and getting our meals ready Sunday, say, prior to our big week I think is critical. Also, the other thing is just an increase in business this time of year, not only from a work standpoint but socially. I know as groomers, people like to hang out with you guys because you guys are fun and you’re going to be pulled in a lot of different directions and sometimes it’s just knowing that it’s okay to say no. You don’t have to go to every single holiday party and if you don’t want to go, don’t go. Kind of picking and choosing what you’re going to do and when you’re there really enjoying yourself. A lot of times you’re trying to do everything socially, everything from a work standpoint. And we end up running ourselves into the ground,

    Joe Zucarello: Right. And sometimes we do that on the front end because people will schedule holiday parties earlier and earlier. I mean look, Black Friday shopping starts in October now. I went to the local hardware store and the holiday decorations were out. I think it was even before Halloween. So the holiday season gets longer and longer and longer. So while the prep time should have started three to six months ago, what’s great about that is that it’s going to come around again and other busy times of your year are going to come around again. So these same principles apply even outside of the holiday season.

    Matt Phinney: Yeah, and I mean this is one thing that you’ve commented on. Having scheduled breaks where you can take a couple minutes to yourself is just super, super important. I mean, even five, five minute walks a day just to kind of get out and even get in the sunlight, if there is a sun in your area, we hope that there is. It can be super, super powerful and rejuvenating for the, the mind, body and soul, stimulating that parasympathetic, that rest, that digest, that recovery portion of the nervous system.

    Joe Zucarello: So let’s talk about that for a minute. So preparing your mind and your body for busy time is one thing. And there’s a lot of things operationally that people prepare for, right? So they’re making sure that they’re calling to remind the customers to come in and their appointment times and staffing and equipment maintenance. A lot of things that we’ve covered on other Hey Joe podcasts.

    But now let’s say we’re in the thick of things, right? So we’re in, now. We’re forging through the busy time we are in deep. We’re in the week prior to Thanksgiving. We are in the two weeks and the week of prior in the week of Christmas. So now we’re forging through. One of the things you just hit on was that five minute purposeful break. And I’ve been in this industry for over three decades and I have watched people not eat. I’ve watched people eat the wrong food, guilty as charged, I’ve done it myself. And I’ve seen people, they get into work early and they stay late and it’s physical and mental all day long. And before you know it, you either have eaten the wrong foods or no food and you’ve not taken any breaks and come up for air. So talk about that purposeful five minute break. Is that something, is it every hour you recommend and what should they do?

    Matt Phinney: Yeah, I would recommend a five to eight, five to eight minute walks outside every single day. The rules of it, no hands in pockets so that sort of cross ()crawl pattern is going to stimulate the healing portion of the body. No sunglasses you want to get, if there is sun out, you want to get those UVA, UVB light, you want to get that into the photonic receptors of the eye. It’s just super powerful for regulating cortisol and melatonin, which is really the sleep wake cycle in the body, the circadian rhythms. And then the third one is no headphones, no cell phones.

    So really, I almost call it like a nature bath. If you’ve got a park, if you’ve got some type of forest, if you’ve got something where you can get out in nature, I mean there’s water, there’s so much healing property to just being in nature and even for as little as five minutes if you’re in the thick of it, scheduling and making that time is going to increase your performance, so when you do go back in there and you are taking care of the animals that you do and the dogs and the cats and everything that you’re grooming, it just becomes so much more efficient and effective. Just giving yourself even that five minutes and the research is clear. I mean, it’s unequivocal. You look at it, people that do this stuff, they just get more done. They’re more productive.

    Joe Zucarello: Well, so-

    Matt Phinney: …dragging it on.

    Joe Zucarello: So you hit on a couple of things there. It’s not going and sitting in your car for five minutes and trying to get a power nap. It’s not hopping on the call on a call. It’s not checking Facebook. It’s not… The sunglasses thing, boy, that one new. I’ve not heard that one. I think that that’s real important to know of how that sunlight to your eyes… And again, what we do in our craft is visual. So we need that healthy visual power if you would. But if you work in a strip mall or you work at a place that you don’t have a lot of nature, I’ve seen people create that out back of the facility with some potted plants or some potted flowers or a bench or something where you can even just your own little mini respite if you would, to get that natural, one with nature type of feel just for a few minutes. If you do have to call home, if you do have to use the phone, probably want to try to keep that to a minimum so that you can properly recover.

    And one thing that you said that really struck me was that, listen, obviously it’s important to take care of yourself as a pet professional, but you are being paid and relied upon to be on your best with the pets that you’re charged with taking care of. So if not only you owe it to yourself but you also owe it to them. So let’s say you’re in the thick of things and you take those five minute breaks and like you said, maybe bring a sack lunch or something, those snacks that you can… Veggies and fruit throughout the day. Let’s talk about the after the day or after even the holiday period or that rush period. You call it recovery time. So let’s talk about now when business either goes back to normal or sometimes it actually even gets slower than normal for a period of time, kind of post-rush time. What can pet professionals do to help themselves afterward?

    Matt Phinney: Yeah, one of the big ones when we talk about recovery and also when we look at performance enhancement, one of the big ones that I think is one of the most neglected is making time available to sleep. That’s one of the big, big things we see, especially during those rush periods, is you’ve got social events outside of the office, you’re in the office working exorbitant hours. Scheduling and making time available for sleep. There’s just a ton of research and we see it on morning routine. Well, the number one reason morning routine would become sabotaged is a poor night’s sleep.

    And so a lot of times we will set an alarm to wake up in the morning. One of the things I talk about is an evening routine and actually setting an alarm in the evening, which is a signal to you, hey, this is when I start my evening routine. Just preparing my body to shut down. And this can be done even in the thick of it. But really, I mean even more importantly should be done after that sort of Superbowl season, that second half, if you will. Okay. Developing a solid evening routine and as part of that prep work, what should we do to prepare? Well that should have been done three to six months ago, is developing a solid evening routine so that you are getting enough sleep. Growth hormone, natural killer cells, T-helper cells, which are responsible for immune system growth, … repair, cortisol, which is stress hormone. I mean all of these processes, these healing process, they happen at night when you’re in these deep stages of restorative sleep.

    Joe Zucarello: So obviously, so post is sort of like take a break, kind of recover, but then also be looking ahead because it’s going to happen again. Right? So that’s the time when after a small break and some recovery time, it’s now you’re back into planning and maybe with what you’re talking about just running some quick numbers. What does this mean to you? Well, if an athlete, right, if you’re going back to your occupational athletes concept is if an athlete to be better than others or better than what they did before, right? They are trying to squeeze out an extra hundredth of a second if they’re a sprinter. They’re trying to squeeze out one more pass, one more touchdown, one more basket, one more goal. Right?

    Well, in our business it’s how can we take advantage of the demand, which is typically a lot more than what we can even take care of. And how do we do that better? And if you can, through what Dr. Phinney is talking about, if the pet professional out there, if you can… Let’s say you’re a professional groomer. Many times if you’re grooming, let’s say eight dogs a day on average, maybe with proper planning and attention to mental and physical health, maybe you can do nine with the same or less amount of energy as you did eight because you trained for that, you’ve been training for that. And just one more dog per year is an extra $13,000 in revenue at the end of the year. Obviously ticket prices vary and such, but just rule of thumb, it could be an extra $10,000 to $13,000 worth of revenue in a year that you’re able to do and you might not feel any more tired or spent than you did when you did eight dogs a day

    Matt Phinney: For sure. And the other side of that, Joe is a great point. Maybe you only want to do eight dogs a day, but you want to do it in one less hour. So instead of getting home at say 6:00 or 6:30 every night or 7:30 or 8:30, you want to get home in time to have dinner with your kids, family.

    Joe Zucarello: Right, so it’s what are you looking for? What are you looking for for the reward of your effort? So you’re right. If it’s time, if it’s money, maybe it’s both, or maybe it’s, listen, I want to be able to do 12 dogs a day and feel like I only did 10 or or whatever. Or like you said, open up some more free time for yourself. And maybe heck, maybe it’s a balance between the two. And I would probably think that that’s the most perfect balance because people around us are also healthy recovery. Correct?

    Matt Phinney: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. And I think that’s one of the big things we see, especially in this country. I mean when we look at athletes, we look at how people train. I mean, a lot of times we think if we didn’t go to exhaustion, we didn’t totally kill themselves, then we didn’t do it right. But you look at training philosophies that people will do in other countries. We want to be at a 10 out of 10 every day … completely exhausted, we killed ourselves and we want to do that 365 days a year. It’s not possible.

    So other countries, you look at countries like Russia, countries like Sweden. Our philosophy is they would rather train and prepare at say a level of a six or seven out of 10 and then when it comes Superbowl time, when it comes big season time, that’s when they really start to ramp up their training. And so a lot of times when we look at and we see media coverage for different events, we see those last kind of two weeks, three weeks before the big event. And we see these guys going all out all the time. They weren’t doing that the other 10 or 11 months of the year. They were out playing, they were having fun, they were training, obviously getting stuff done and then really sort of ramped up. So you can’t have a season all the time, you can’t have your big busy season all day long, every single day, every day of the year. And we don’t, but a lot of times we train and we think that and then when it does come time for the season, we can peak too earlier or we get burnt out.

    Joe Zucarello: Right? Or we injure ourself.

    Matt Phinney: Or we get injured. Yeah.

    Joe Zucarello: Right, right. So let’s remind everybody the Hey Joe listener audience out there, this is Dr. Matt Phinney, who’s our guest, our repeat guest and I’m sure he’s going to be on a for several other repeat episodes. I’m sure we’ve got lots of content that we’ll still bring to you in the future. But you can… There’s a couple of different places that you can learn more from Dr. Phinney and one of them is to go to the Paragon Pet School… So go to paragonpetschool.com and you can download or you can actually subscribe to the Hey Joe podcast and listen to the August 2019 episode and also obviously to this episode, which you’re listening to now.

    You can also catch us on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, TuneIn and some of your favorite podcast platforms. But there’s another really great place that you can learn more from Dr. Phinney and that’s on our other website, which is learn2groomdogs.com that’s learned and the number two learn2groomdogs.com and Dr. Phinney is one of our training experts there. So if you’ve not explored a membership at learn2groomdogs.com I highly recommend you do so because Dr. Phinney is one of almost 40 training experts that we have that are not only bringing grooming instruction but also just overall really great information to you to be a better performer in this profession.

    So Dr. Phinney, you had told us about an organization that you are part of, which is called Wellness Champions and you would like to tell the Hey Joe listener audience of how they can get more information from not only maybe yourself but also from your colleagues in this organization.

    Matt Phinney: Yeah, thanks Joe. So, as I mentioned previous where I’m a volunteer for a national nonprofit organization, we’re known as The Wellness Champions and really we’re a volunteer organization. What we do is donate time, services, content to local businesses, groups, organizations, and really our main purpose goal is bringing health and wellness solutions to local businesses, groups and organizations. So we have doctors all over the country, all over the world, actually, if you check out our site wellnesschampions.org. If you’re ever interested in having somebody come in and speak to your team about performance, about energy, about recovery, we really have doctors that workplace ergonomics talk on a variety of different topics, different levels, and it’s 100% free. It’s complimentary. We do it for exposure and giving people great content and great information so that they can make great decisions when it comes to their health and their life. We always bring lunch, we always bring the content, so we just set up a day, date and time and if you’re interested in having someone come in, they would sort of correlate that.

    Joe Zucarello: So this is a huge offer, audience. I can’t tell you how powerful that offer is, might be one of the strongest offers on any of our podcasts because not only will they come in for free, but they’re going to bring lunch. And my guess is they’re not going to be bringing a junky lunch. Because if they’re The Wellness Champions, I’m sure it’s going to be a lunch that they’re going to be proud to put in front of you and that you’re going to love to indulge in. So not only is that free, but they bring lunch and we’re going to go one step further and if you go to paragonpetschool.com Dr. Phinney has given us the ability to provide a free PDF download to you. So a resource that will help you in your profession as well. Dr. Phinney, I just love having you on here. I know that our audience members love having you on and I hope that you would agree to come on again in the future.

    Matt Phinney: Yeah. Love to be back.

    Joe Zucarello: All right, great. So all of you Hey Joe listener audience members out there again, paragonpetschool.com or go and watch Dr. Phinney. You can see what he looks like. You can hear him speak to an audience. You can go to learn2groomdogs.com and get a taste of what he has to present. So thank you Dr. Phinney. We wish you the best and thanks again for coming on the podcast.

    Matt Phinney: Thank you. Thanks for having me. And I hope everyone has a great season.

    Joe Zucarello: All right, take care.

    About Joe

    Joe Zuccarello is VP of the Paragon School of Pet Grooming, leaders in grooming education on campus and online. He possesses more than three decades of experience in the pet grooming, product development and pet business consulting disciplines.
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