Monday, June 10, 2019

Having a Healthy Relationship with Your Body

Think about when you first wake up in the morning.  What are your first thoughts as you roll out of bed?  Do they have anything to do with how your body feels?  I tend to get a yes to that question only if that person is in pain or is afraid something is wrong with them.  If we are feeling fine we tend to ignore the body and go on with our day. We can’t be bothered by it. In our office we try to change that awareness.  We teach people to be aware of the food they eat, to make healthy choices and also be aware of the chemicals and heavy metal they are using in their daily life.  This change in awareness is about taking their health into their own hands and making those daily choices to create health in the body.  It takes a dedication, a determination and also self love to confront the body and take care of it. It takes courage to really look at ourselves, our body and do something healthy for it. That’s why a lot of people don’t come to the office unless their body is screaming at them. The body screams in the form of a symptom.  It is only with a headache, stomach ache, anxiety, weeks of insomnia, constipation etc. that people make an appointment.  That is, the majority of the people.  That is how we are trained. To actually go to the doctor’s when you are healthy doesn’t cross people’s mind.  Many doctors are trained in disease. They don’t know what to do if you are healthy.  If you don’t have a symptom they don’t have any advice for you.  Yet, as consumers we should have a new goal.  Our goal should be to keep the health we have.  Preventative healthcare is the best healthcare.

When we bring people’s awareness to their lifestyle and want to help them make changes that would improve their health part of that goal is to help them build their intuition with their bodies.  Listening to their body and what the body is trying to tell them is a new skill set for most people.  When listening to the body I don’t want to deepen the mind-body connection.  Instead, I want to get my patients out of their mind and into the body.  In the body is where your true power lies.  Meditation has it correct.  The goal in meditation is to quiet the mind and we do that by concentrating on the breath.  This concentration on breath gets us into the body and it is there that we find our center.  The center that is beyond the mind and beyond the body.  The center is where we are at peace no matter what is happening around us.  The center is our soft voice that is forever loving.  The center is our Spirit, our Higher Self, our love.  Call it what you would like.  Every religion has a different name for it.  It is our center, beyond anything in this physical world.     

The book by Eckart Tolle, The Power of Now talks about how the body loves your attention. It even states that the more consciousness you bring into the body, the stronger the immune system becomes. I find this to be true but let me specify our body loves our positive attention.  It loves to be loved,  not judged so watch your thoughts.  You think loving thoughts towards your body and you believe the body has the power to heal itself and it will.  If you think negative thoughts and put them in your body dis-ease can occur.  The book, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die is great at explaining that concept.  

A clear example of getting into the body to help it heal is how exercise makes us mentally feel better.  I often tell patients to exercise for better stress management.  I used to think that exercise helped get the stress off the body by changing the biochemistry of the brain but now I realize that exercise reduces stress by getting people to stop thinking and instead putting their attention into the body.  This change in attention from whatever is going on in the mind to the body allows feedback from the body to the brain so that exercise encourages the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. Exercise also produces endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemical in the brain.  In this way exercise is nature’s antidepressant and is really good for helping people with all sorts of things like ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood sugar imbalances, hormone imbalances etc.  You name it and exercise can help because it gets you to pay attention to the body and the body responds by changing the brain chemistry.  

The way to a healthier, happier life is by embracing the body, loving the body.  Start having a positive relationship with your body by checking in with it and listening to it.  If it is hungry, feed it healthy food.  If it is full, step away from eating.  If it is tired, go to bed at a decent hour.  If you know your body doesn’t do well with coffee, skip that afternoon cup.  There are so many choices we make a day to either help or hinder our body.  Be compassionate with yourself  and your body and know your only goal is to make better choices than yesterday and that we are here to help.  

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