With the popularity of Dr. Google and Dr. Wikipedia today, most of my patients come into the office having an idea of what their diagnosis is likely to be. Dr. Google and Dr. Wikipedia, even Dr. Mayo Clinic and Dr. WebMD, provide us with important information about what might be going on with our bodies. I think these resources are nice to have to give us an overview of different health conditions, different laboratory tests and even different treatments. But do you know who the greatest resource of information about your health condition is?
Every human being has an internal guidance system that tells them when things are going well and when things are not. Many times we forget this important aspect of self. We look outside ourselves for the answers instead of inside. We ignore early indicators that something is wrong.
Our bodies have indicators that we often pass off as being normal. I hear the phrase “normal aches and pains” all the time in my office. It’s so difficult to bite my tongue when I hear that phrase – many times I don’t. Pain IS NOT normal. It is our body telling us that something needs to happen differently. Sometimes the thing that needs to happen isn’t the top of our priority list such as exercise, stretching, de-stressing, eating well, sleeping, taking prescribed medications and supplements, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, talking about our feelings, etc. But…in most situations, there is something that we can do to stop the pain cycle. Think of your body like you would your car for a moment. When the gas light turns on, if you ignore it what happens? What about that service needed light? Tire pressure light? Check engine light? How long will you ignore these indicators?
Your body’s indicator lights might not flash or beep constantly at you but they are there if you are paying attention.
How is your energy? How often do you feel rested? Do you have pain? Are you comfortable when you sleep/sit/stand/exercise? Do you have “normal” headaches? (Another phrase I just love to hear.) Are you retaining water, gaining weight, losing weight… This list could really go on and on.
I’m not suggesting we all become hypochondriacs and believe every body indicator is a sign of a disease in progress. However, I do believe that if we pay attention and take care of the small indicators, we can prevent many diseases from occurring or progressing.
My challenge for you this week is this…Check in with your body. Figure out what questions you need to ask yourself – what are the indicator lights you are ignoring? What are you willing to do to help your health and prevent future disease?