I have worked in healthcare for 30 plus years now. As a result, I have an appreciation for what goes into the studies and pursuits of trying to manage our health. There are so many brilliant people involved and watching them work is fascinating. Forget the pharmacy companies, labs and other that are profiting on it all for just a second and just consider those people who are giving it all to try and help. I would never discount what they are doing but I also think a lot of times we get so deeply into things we forget the answer may be more simple. Plus there are simply too many politics and money involved in it all.
We each have our own wisdom about health. Maybe we are true believers that science holds all the answers for us and sometimes in history it has done amazing things proving that to us. Perhaps though the different perspective of consideration is if we have really missed the mark entirely. Certainly we want diseases cured and illnesses managed but are we going to the extreme where we are preventing our own body from telling us what it needs? Are we tuning off our own wisdom in what is right because some latest drug promises a cure to a problem we can fix on our own?
There are some things I simply cannot fix, like things that don’t work around the house. At times I have to call a repair person because the icemaker in the fridge isn’t producing ice or the washing machine keeps coming unbalanced. I do what I know to do in keeping things running well but sometimes you need some help and someone who specializes in the problems you’re having. The same goes for our health. Sometimes we and more often than we think we can take care of ourselves. There are times though we may need a doctor and some medicine. It is when we forget however to start with seeing if we can fix it that we stop listening to our own body and mind for what we really need.
At the core of most of our illnesses and diseases even is our lifestyle. Yes there are other factors too like family history but the greatest influencer of our health is our own lifestyle. The one we live today. The one we ignore because we’re too busy with work demands or child needs. The one we think we will get to when we have more than a minute and are not so tired. The one we face when there is a big problem and we’re sitting in a paper gown fearing bad news as a result. It is our very own habits, routines and considerations of our own body that impact our health the most.
I’m not sure when our world got so busy. Technology was supposed to make things easier to manage but it seems we’re more busy than every before just trying to do more than ever. As a result, I know I have eaten more lunches at my desk while on the phone in a meeting or skipped workouts because I’m just beat after the workday. It is necessary right? We can just make up for it this weekend or take a pill and we’ll be fine. The truth is the more I ignored my own needs and just kept taking antacids to deal with the stomach that wouldn’t stop hurting the more I became entrenched in this cycle of forgetting I had needs too.
For years I have worked hard putting in more hours than I care to count. Business trips with long meetings and days, crashing in a hotel room with Chinese food and my laptop to prepare for the next day. Waking up with heartburn so bad I vomited. Developing intolerances to gluten and foods that fired up my stomach to the point I couldn’t barely eat a meal with my family without vomiting. I took the prescriptions and kept on doing what I needed to work and balance my life. My stomach however was relentless in telling me I was missing the message.
The truth was I was setting myself up for some serious digestive problems for the rest of my life if I didn’t stop and listen to my own body. There is a point in science and medicine where there is nothing else doctors can do. They do their best to manage the disease or illness but then even what they know runs out. I didn’t want to get to that point. I didn’t want to live like I was with feeling like I couldn’t eat anything without it feeling like it was stuck in my throat or burning my insides at night. I had to take control of this before it controlled me.
Our health is best managed preventatively and proactively by us. We have a great deal of wisdom within our very cells of how to fix what is really going on to cause the discomforts, pain and even illnesses. I knew I could do a much better job taking care of myself if I actually slowed down to do something about it. It wasn’t that medicine and doctors were bad but this was my own fault and I had what I needed to take care of it before it went any farther.
Our natural wisdom for health means learning to listen to our body and taking action to meet those needs. It includes feeding our body foods it can process that actually promote health and giving it the right amount of movement for strength and endurance. It is also about learning to really rest in body, mind and soul. Basic things we all know and deep down don’t do well most of the time. We have turned off this natural wisdom and instead just take a pill or think we’ll get to it later. Before we know it the later is now and we’re in trouble.
Tuning back into our own natural wisdom means putting ourselves as a priority in our own life. It means loving our body and making it the best it can be without the excuses of later. It is appreciating the scientist and doctors and what they can do and what they cannot do while taking responsibility for our own health. To hold wisdom is to have responsibility to use it and we each have this within us now. No vaccine, pill, treatment or other replaces that core responsibility to apply the wisdom we already know we need to be doing.
For me this included improving my diet to include more real food and rebuilding my digestive system. It meant nutritional supplements that fueled my body and gave it the right support to repair and rebuild lovingly. It also included scaling back on stress and making it a point to get a workout in a couple times a week. Most importantly it meant listening to my own body for its needs in my day and not ignoring them. My body is wise as beautiful I should listen to it more often.
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