I have always been an advocate of preventative medicine. Why do we wait until we get ill before we begin looking after ourselves? At that point there’s already a problem, but can it be that we could have prevented it in the first place?
The World Health Organisation states that an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity increases the rise of non-communicable diseases (e.g. diabetes, heart disease and cancer).
This calls for some serious reflection about our lives and the responsibility we all have to make choices that contribute to ensuring our bodies remain healthy. We can so easily ‘coast’ in comfort when we are feeling well. We tend to take it for granted we will stay well but when ill-health or disease happens, we have an opportunity to observe how complacent we have become about our health and wellbeing.
There’s no point nagging anyone to not smoke or drink alcohol, eat less or look after his/herself more – we have to want to make these changes. We can all feel it in our bodies if we choose to be responsible for our good health and wellbeing. No one is perfect, but we all get our body’s messages – the choice is whether to listen to them or not. How many of us ignore the signs and continue living with disrespect for the body.
We make choices every day without realizing it, but it is possible to look in detail at the choices we are making in our everyday lives and to discover the consequences of these decisions.
There is a way to tune into raising our awareness of what we can feel in our body. It could be quite simply to start with a gentle ten minute walk each day where we can begin to observe how we move, how we walk, or talk. When we walk in gentleness, tenderness and appreciation of our bodies, we can begin to feel how that can determine the quality of the energy in which we live our lives and the choices we then make.
We really can start to feel into what the body wants by listening to the messages it sends us.
Do we consider that any amount of alcohol has a harming effect on the body? Anyone who has drunk large amounts knows how the body feels the morning after – maybe we have a headache, feel sluggish and lethargic – not a feeling of wellbeing at all! The liver has to overwork and it takes hours or days to sort out the poison we’ve put in the body.
We know how we feel when we go to bed too late; we get overtired and are then weary the next day because the spleen hasn’t had enough time to regenerate our energy. We can choose to fall asleep on the settee, or stimulate ourselves with caffeine and sugar to push through… or we can simply choose to go to bed earlier instead! We know how nurturing this feels – what a treat it feels like in the body to honour that feeling and have an early night.
The body is all knowing and whatever our beliefs or thoughts are, every new day is an opportunity to understand and learn more about how the choices we make can affect our health and wellbeing. It is interesting to look at what we might be choosing that causes us to feel tired or exhausted, or why we’ve overeaten and feel bloated. Have we stopped to consider that our digestive system has to cope with all our various food choices? Is it possible for us to make better choices by feeling what to eat rather than eating on autopilot or eating for the sake of it?
Why have we learnt to behave in this way? We have developed habits of behaviour and made choices for many reasons, but it seems we don’t want to look beneath the surface and are burying emotions because we don’t want to feel the discomfort of them. But when we allow ourselves to feel the discomfort, we have an opportunity to let them go – these emotions are not us.
Changing very simple behaviour patterns so we look after ourselves more on a daily basis, to feel what to eat and to support ourselves in a loving rhythm, is the way forward if we want to experience true health, wellbeing and vitality. When we look at these issues lovingly, without criticism of ourselves, we can move on. We can choose to stay the same for our whole lives or we can make different choices to evolve.
I have made all of these loveless choices in the past and know them all too well in my body. To maintain better health and wellbeing I have chosen to make some simple changes and have felt an immense difference in my body and how I feel as a result of these changes.
I chose to cut out gluten from my diet and no longer feel bloated and have much more energy. I felt a difference when I chose to cut out dairy, realizing how I was using this for comfort and to bury emotions I didn’t want to feel. By avoiding these emotions I wasn’t giving myself a chance to heal these hurts. I no longer drink alcohol or caffeine as these dull my senses and stimulate me rather than support me. Now I prefer to drink peppermint infusions and feel to go to bed when I’m tired.
These foods and substances simply serve to cause discomfort in our bodies; I found that consuming them merely distracted and numbed me, as well as avoiding looking at other areas of my life that needed attention. This supports my body and despite working a long day, and being over retirement age, I regularly feel full of life and vibrant the next morning.
I am finding that taking care of my body nurtures and supports me to live in good health on a daily basis. I feel so much more energy and vigor in my body and no longer feel the highs or lows of the erratic choices I used to make. I can feel my immune system has been boosted and I have a greater resistance to coughs and colds. Whilst it is a continual journey of unfoldment, and listening to what my body is telling me, I am committed to living in such a way that I will continue to look after myself to maintain my good health and well-being. It’s not to say I’ll never get ill, but I can feel the difference that these new choices are making to my life.
When we listen to our bodies, we can make different choices before we suffer from an illness or a disease. It is truly possible to prevent ill health and live our lives healthily with great joy and vitality. Preventative medicine works!
By Gill Randall, A beautiful Woman, Physiotherapist Grad Dip Phys, Banbury UK