By Luna Moon

Our body is a messenger. Through an array of physical cues; it tells us when it’s thirsty, hungry, tired, has to urinate, etc. These are important clues that tell us what actions to take (or not to take). Our body also communicates through symptoms when something is awry. Unfortunately, many of us have been taught to ignore symptoms or to try to quickly eliminate them without getting to the root cause of the issue.  

Since there are no drugs, herbs, or supplements that will overcome consistently poor diet choices and lifestyle habits, it is more productive to attend to your body’s needs versus trying to correct established imbalances. You will save time, money, and energy listening to your body and identifying things that need attention before they become serious health problems.

You are the best authority on your body. You have a perspective that is uniquely yours—the “inside scoop”. Becoming healthier involves combining your intellect, intuition, and experimentation to find what works for you. What is best for my body may not be right for yours. I can share what has and hasn’t worked for me and perhaps save you some research and unnecessary pitfalls. It is you, however, who must determine the best strategies for yourself. Doctors may know more about the human body than you do, but you know the most about your actual lived experience. Consult with your “inner doctor”—there is wisdom within you!

In the spirit of good detective work, approach your symptoms with interest and respect. Follow clues back to where a condition first appeared. For instance, get to the bottom of those headaches or why your shoulders are tight after you sit at the computer or why you wake up with a stiff neck. If you didn’t go to bed with a stiff neck then perhaps it’s from your pillow or the position in which you are sleeping. Consider modifying how you use a pillow, or train yourself to sleep in positions that are more comfortable for your neck. Solutions are often obvious when you stop and tune in to what your body is telling you.

There is also much to be learned by looking beyond the physical into the deeper metaphors that exist within our bodies’ symptomology. Louise Hay’s classic book, Heal Your Body, lists possible mental causes that can create certain physical symptoms. It suggests positive affirmations to start reprogramming those unproductive thought patterns in order to eliminate the undesirable physical results. Positive affirmations are a simple and free way to start using your thoughts and words in more intentional ways instead of filling your head with worst case scenarios or saying unkind things about yourself. Time-proven wisdom from Louise Hay is to refrain from saying things about yourself that you would never say to a friend (“you’re fat, ugly, lazy, etc.”). Be a good friend to your body!

Our body is naturally efficient, but it can only work with what it is given. For very basic physical survival; we need water, oxygen, nutrition, movement, and rest. Our body tells us when something is out of balance in these areas. Are you listening to its messages? If you are not giving enough of these basic resources to your body, who will? This is about improving how you do your part to “co-operate” your body. 

Because the body is so efficient, little improvements on your part can provide immediate and cumulative benefits. It is simple to begin making improvements for your body. Sticky notes around the house, car and office are great ways to remind yourself to develop better habits. Words like “hydrate”, “breathe”, “smile”, “chew”, “stretch” or “slow down” can help you start to drink more water, eliminate pauses between inhales and exhales, uplift your attitude, chew your food better, give your body more rest, etc.  

In which of these areas could you make improvements? Pick one with which you feel willing to work and simply do a little better job today than you did yesterday and build on it. Your body will efficiently put your efforts to good use. You will start to feel better and have more energy. Results are encouraging and motivating. Let your own simple actions inspire you into an ever-improving state of wellness. Sometimes baby steps are better than drastic changes. A gentler approach may avoid major detox symptoms and could be more sustainable in the long run. Huge departures from our routine may be so disruptive that we won’t keep at it. Sometimes, however, drastic measures are necessary in extreme circumstances.

It may be helpful to develop a support network. Get others you live and work with involved. Identify someone you know who also wants to improve aspects of his or her health, and together start creating a healthier lifestyle. Start now, stay positive, celebrate your progress and begin to reap the benefits of introducing better wellness habits into your life. You are worth it!