For the past 10 days we have been listing our Top Ten Health Tips for Everyone. And today, we reveal our #1 HEALTH TIP! Incredibly simple, yet so often forgotten...
Health Tip #1. Listen to your body.
Our #1 Health Tip for EVERYone… listen to your body! Listening to your body is essential to maintaining balance and good health. Our fast pace of life, coupled with the constant stimulation of being wired to everything through televisions, computers, and smart phones creates an overload on the nervous system. In all the busy-ness and noise, we lose connection with the most fundamental “signals” of life - the valuable information that comes to us through our body’s sensations and emotions. We need to learn to pay attention to what is happening in our bodies.
How often do you ignore basic needs? Do you rest when you are tired? Do you get as much sleep as you need? Do you eat when you are hungry, and stop eating when you’ve had enough? Do you drink when you are thirsty? Do you even notice when you are thirsty? Our bodies tell us what they need to be balanced. Our only job is to listen. As we increase the awareness of our body’s signals, we get a lot of valuable information about how to keep it in balance.
The more we can perceive about what is going on in our bodies and emotions, the better. If you start to notice more subtle messages from your body, you can become aware of an imbalance before it manifests in a disease. You can notice when you begin to get tired and take a meditation break or a catnap. You can feel discomfort in your body before it screams in pain from a repetitive motion injury. You can notice things early and nip problems in the bud.
Listening to your body and increasing awareness of your body’s feelings and signals is a critical step in improving your health. Once you are aware of what your body is telling you, you can follow through with an activity, exercise, or treatment (eg, acupuncture!) to bring it in balance. It can be difficult to form this habit of listening to your body’s cues, but in the long run, making the effort to be more self-aware can greatly help in maintaining optimal health.
Martha Graham, the founder of modern dance, once said “Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it.” We often think of this in relation to acupuncture – movement doesn’t lie, and your body is movement. It is the flow of blood in your veins, the flow of qi and energy through your meridians, the beat of your heart, the patterns of your thoughts. Your body does not lie. It has an innate wisdom, and it knows how to be healthy.
You need only to trust and to listen.