Learn To Listen to Your Body
A poet and king once sang, “Our bodies are beautifully and wonderfully made, oh God”. One of the wonderful things that our bodies can do is heal itself. We do need intervention from time to time, but our bodies, when treated well, have the ability to heal itself. Often, all it takes is to listen to what our body is telling us, then responding to its needs, not what we think it needs.
Like lab rats, Americans have been conditioned over the years to quickly seek the help and advice from the family doctor whenever something goes wrong with our bodies. We’ll give it a few days, but when our pain or ailment begins to interfere with our routine or work load, we pick up the phone and make an appointment. If it’s a minor problem we’re experiencing, like a headache, the normal first course of action is to reach for a bottle of painkiller in our “pain arsenal” we call a medicine cabinet, to mask the pain so we can function. Did you catch that? We MASK the pain so we can continue to do the things that probably caused us the pain in the first place. Why do we continue to do this week after week, year after year?
Taking time to listen to what our body is telling us would prevent a lot of illnesses from getting worse. When you experience a headache, your body is providing you with a warning sign that says you’ve done something (carrying around stress), or haven’t done something (properly hydrating) that you should have. That warning sign usually presents itself as pain or inflammation.
Taking painkillers should only be used after you’ve done some self-evaluating. In other words, they should only be used as a temporary solution until you take time to evaluate what you’ve done and eaten for the past few days. Why a few days? Because your body might not show the symptoms of an allergic reaction to an ingested or topical chemical, compound or food until later. Remember, your body is doing everything it can to fight off a problem, and depending upon the health of your immune system, it could take days. This is why it’s so difficult to identify allergies to substances–it can take days for symptoms to expose themselves.
Okay, so you’ve noticed that those painkillers bought you some time so you could get through your day. The next step though, is to know what might have caused your pain in the first place. Now it’s time to stop what you’re doing and sit down with a pen and paper and figure out what you’ve eaten that might be new to your diet or what you’ve changed in your environment–soaps, lotions, fabric softeners, household cleaners, new carpets, curtains, bedding and even plants. If you don’t take time to evaluate how you feel and what you’ve been doing to cause you to feel that way, then you’ll probably fall into your old habit of grabbing yet another painkiller to mask the pain for yet another four to eight hours. Over the years your body is going to scream for help and it will be too late.
Every ingestion of a tablet or a capsule puts your liver and your colon in danger. Chemical manufacturers add various residues that are components of the process, and those chemicals get in and camp out in the liver. Overtime they can break down the lining of the colon and produce other more serious problems. Learn to listen to the messages that your body tells you is so important.
Your body is uniquely designed to give you pretty clear warning signs. Some common warning signs that can be easily observed…and even measured with certainty are below. This is only a partial list:
- often feeling sleepy or exhausted
- often feeling sluggish or drained
- unexplained increase in weight or weight loss
- body temperature changes
- unexplained mood swings
- change in blood pressure
- change in pulse rate
When you notice these warning signs, the body is telling you that something is not working well. But how do you usually deal with these problems? Do you reach for that energy drink, rest “when possible”, relax for a few minutes, drinking alcohol and taking antacids? If so, you are only providing temporary relief to your problems…if any. When the feeling of sluggishness for example persists, no amount of energy drinks can restore the body. And intentional restoration should be your focus, not temporary relief.
If you truly want to cure an illness or disease, then you have to identify where the problem originated from so you don’t continue to repeat situations that make it worse. This does take time and effort and I’m not going to tell you that it’s fun, because it’s not. But if you don’t want to invest the time, then allow someone else to ask you the right questions and to peel back the layers. This is what a Health Coach does! We take the time to get to the root of the problem so you and your doctor has more thorough information to work with.
When I work with my clients, I provide them with tools so they can easily back track their days. They learn to make healthier food choices and become more aware of what may be potentially dangerous in their work and home environments. We look at the whole person and determine if lifestyle choices may need some tweaking.
Happiness begins with awareness! How do you know if you need a health coach? Contact me to find out! If you live locally in Roanoke, Virginia, let’s meet.