Listening to your body

Do you sleep well and wake up in the morning pain-free and raring to go?  Does the food you eat give you energy and vitality?  Do you generally cope with the day-to-day stresses of life?  If the answer to any of these is ‘yes’, you’re doing something right and you’re body is responding well.  Keep it up!  But if you battle with sleep, wake up with aches and pains, experience digestive issues and lethargy after meals, your body is trying to tell you something. It’s important to listen.  

As a kinesiologist, I look at the body differently.  If you come and see me, you’ll know that I don’t often focus on the area of pain.  New clients often wonder why I start by looking at a completely different area of the body.  This is because I have an understanding of what the body is trying to say, and I know how to find the source of the problem.  But we can all take steps to understand our body better and know when it’s crying out for help.

You are what you eat
If you suffer from bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea, your body might be trying to tell you that it doesn’t like something you’re eating.  Digestive issues can also lead to neck pain (often linked to dairy), lower back pain or sore knees.

When I test for food sensitivity in the clinic, I can identify three ways in which your body responds: biogenic foods give you energy, biostatic foods are neutral and those in the biocidic category drain your energy as your body struggles to digest them.  If you feel tired and lethargic after a meal, or your heavy legs can barely get you up the stairs, the chances are you’ve eaten something biocidic.  The most obvious offenders are processed foods (particularly flour/wheat-based products) and anything with added sugar.

Unless I’ve suggested eliminating certain foods, try to follow the 80/20 rule (eating well 80% of the time and allowing 20% to let go).  My mother recently visited from South Africa and she brought the wonderful weather with her. We enjoyed catching up with family in the UK and relaxing together.  She is partial to the British tradition of tea and cake and of course, I joined her and felt the effects afterwards!  But I know which foods suit me, and during a typical working day I make healthy choices that give me energy.  The occasional treat is worth it.  Try to recognise how food makes you feel after eating; is it giving you energy or draining the life out of you?

Stressed out
Stress has a lot to answer for. Many of us simply accept that it’s just part of modern life, but our bodies were not designed to run in a continuous state of high alert.  Do you long for a good night’s sleep, rely on caffeine for energy and crave sugar during the day?  Aside from the obvious signs, stress can cause a long list of symptoms including regular headaches, sore knees, lower back pain and neck pain (also caused by bad posture and sitting in front of a screen all day).

It’s important to recognise when stress is taking control, slow down and spend less time racing around in the red zone. Carry on this way and you will eventually burn out.  Allow yourself a daily visit to the green zone.  This could involve a relaxing Epsom bath, a walk in the fresh air or some time to read a book.  Choose something that fits in with your routine and allows you to momentarily switch off.

Numerous studies have shown the effects of poor sleep on our health, and this is often linked to stress.  You should be getting around 7-9 hours per night. Try to break the vicious cycle; avoid caffeine after lunch, and set a bedtime routine that involves switching off screens an hour before sleep to help calm your busy mind.  You can give this supplement a try too.

Emotional stress also has a big impact on our health.  I often ask what was going on in a client’s life when a particular illness occurred. If you’ve had an illness, cast your mind back to what was going on at the time.  Were you affected by something emotionally, or just too busy with life?  My all time favourite supplement to ease a stressful lifestyle is Nutri-Calm.

Look after your liver
Excessive alcohol and environmental toxins can put a strain on the liver.  Regular headaches or skin problems could be signs that your body just can’t cope.  A multi-liver support supplement will help, or maybe it’s time to pop a post-holiday detox in your diary.  I recommend the 10-day healthy starter pack.

If anything here sounds familiar, it’s time to start listening to your body and taking action.  It may involve some lifestyle changes, but it’ll be worth it. If you’re concerned, or need some guidance, book an appointment to come and see me.   I can target the areas that need help through kinesiology, and use specific massage techniques to release those areas of tension caused by stress.