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It is natural for most of us that when we feel unwell, we want to be well. Sometimes, though, we have forgotten what it is to feel well because we have felt unwell for so long that we have just found ways of pushing through to get on with life without needing to stop, because if we stopped then that would be terribly inconvenient for ‘the world’, our partners, our family, our friends and our workplaces, right?

When we feel unwell, the first thing we usually want to do is take something that makes us feel better – like a tablet, a pill or a potion, and sometimes have an operation or procedure to take the nastiness away. And when that doesn’t work, sometimes we either feel forced or voluntarily remove from our lives and our bodies, things that we normally make the body ‘put up with’ eg alcohol, coffee, sugary foods, desserts, etc, which, although they are very tasty, we know deep down are not healthy for us.

It’s interesting to note that the first thing we often want to do is put something else into the body to stop feeling unwell, without removing the things that are harming the body.

I wonder why this is? ... it does not make wise or loving sense to put something else into our bodies to “make it well” again, as opposed to simply removing the thing that is making us unwell in the first place! If the car has a rattle, no amount of premium fuel will make it run better – that rattle needs to be sorted out.

If we consider it, it doesn’t really make sense to put things in the body that we know make it unwell, and then want to put something else into the body on top of that to make us feel better about the first thing that we are putting in the body that we didn’t ever really need to put in the body in the first place! Anyway, I digress ...

It is great to do things to look after our symptoms, but do these things truly make us feel well? Or do they just lessen the strain on the body so it doesn’t feel so distressed ... ?

If we are lessening the strain on the body by relieving symptoms, that is a really great thing, but if we are not removing the strain on the body, we are not truly healing, and thus it is not possible to feel truly well: we will only feel a bit ‘better’ than we did when the strain on the body was enormous.

To feel truly well and return to truly good health, we need to go deep and look at the underlying causes of our illness. To do that we need – and this is a word that can frighten many people but is not really such a big deal! – to take responsibility for ourselves.

In that, we need to be willing to notice everything that is going on in our bodies, and to learn from what we notice and be willing to make different choices in the process. If we keep repeating the same pattern of behaviours, there is no way that our health is going to change! It’s simple mathematics: 1 + 1 = 2, no matter how many times you repeat the equation!

Our bodies are our greatest teachers. If there is disharmony or discomfort in the body, whether it be mental, physical or emotional, then that is a sign that something is ill at ease – ie, something is not well in us. The interesting thing is, we don’t always need a doctor or a practitioner to tell us what is going on. If we pay attention to our bodies, and ‘listen’ to our bodies, the underlying cause of that discomfort will be revealed.

When we see that, if we are willing, we can start to make new and different choices and change our behaviours to stop the ill from occurring again. That can involve anything from changing diet, food, exercise, dealing with emotional reactions, to seeing doctors, other practitioners, taking medication, having surgery where needed etc. Whatever the body needs, this is all part of our living medicine.

Returning to good health starts with listening to our bodies, paying attention and making changes to behaviours based on what our bodies are telling us. It involves taking care of symptoms, but also going deeper to see what is really going on underneath all of those symptoms.

The next question is ... how do I listen to my body?

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The human body cannot lie

We can lie to ourselves but our body always tells the truth.

Filed under

Well-beingLifestyleHealthHealth ConditionsHuman bodyIll health

  • Thumb small dean whitling

    Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.