What is your body trying to tell you?
Do you ever take the time to just sit and listen to your body? Our bodies are incredibly smart but in our current “go-go” paced lifestyles, we often miss subtle (and not so subtle) cues that our bodies are trying to give us. Here are a few things to listen for:
Pain is an unpleasant sensation. It’s something that we quickly want to get rid of. It does serve a purpose, however. Pain alerts us that something is wrong and help to deter us from doing more damage. Pain is part of your body’s healthy defense mechanism.
What Happens When We Feel Pain?
Our bodies are made up of different types of nerves that are needed for different functions. One of those nerves is called a nociceptor. This special nerve is able to detect tissue damage and send a signal to our brain which then determines what to do with that information. For example, we have all accidentally touched a hot stove or a hot pan. Have you ever noticed that your hand has reflexively moved away from the surface before you feel the pain? The signals in our body travel that quickly.
When we feel pain, what should we do? To start, listen to our body! Avoid the aggravating activity. Using ice or heat may help. Visit your chiropractor or registered massage therapist for help with musculoskeletal injuries.
Thirsty vs. Hunger
Are you eating when you should be drinking? The cues our bodies give us can be more subtle than you would think. Making it even more complicated, the symptoms of being hungry or thirsty are quite similar; headaches, fatigue, lightheadedness, difficulty concentrating. Add in that we tend to be a relatively scheduled society; we eat 3 times a day at breakfast, lunch, and supper sometimes before even feeling hungry. It is possible that we are becoming disconnected from our bodies detecting hunger and thirst. If you have a day packed full of meetings, errands or family commitments, you may eat when you have time because you know you won’t have time for several hours otherwise. On the flip side, we are often guilty of eating just out of sheer boredom.
What Can You Do?
Keep hydrated through the day. Have water on your desk and easily accessible at all times. A properly hydrated body is less likely to mistake thirst for hunger.
Are you generally feeling a little run down? A little more irritable? You may just be tired. While everyone needs a different amount of sleep, the average for an adult is seven to nine hours. Unfortunately, you can’t pull an all-nighter to meet a deadline or finish a paper and then “catch up on sleep” on the weekend. If you are experiencing sleepiness during the day when you should be alert, you probably didn’t get as much rest as you needed.
What Can You Do?
Getting into a consistent routine around bedtime is key. This could mean winding down and turning off all electronics a little earlier. Maybe having a cup of chamomile tea is part of your routine. Visit your chiropractor and registered massage therapist to take care of that nagging backache, neck ache, or headache that disrupts your sleep. Going to bed at the same time each evening and getting up the same time each morning will help to regulate your sleep and leave you feeling rested and refreshed. Exercising regularly can help promote good sleep. Exercise can also help reduce stress levels which can affect your sleep. The key is, listen to your body. If you’re tired, rest!
Your body is incredibly intelligent. If we took a little more time to listen, we would all be better off!
Is your body telling something isn’t right? Give us a call at 613-860-8600 and let one of our doctors or massage therapist get to the bottom of what it’s trying to tell you.