Life is Short. Live it Well.

By Sarah Petty L. Ac., Dipl. Ac. on May 16th, 2012

We live in a time where people learn at an early age that if you do not feel well, you go to the doctor and the doc fixes you. Then we grow up either having very little practice of listening to our bodies, or listening but leaving it to someone else to figure out what our needs are.

Have any of you heard the phrase, “Your body is wise; your symptoms are your teachers?” Think about it. One of the things science has shown us is how efficient and intelligent our bodies are. Western medical experts know of the mechanisms in which the body heals itself. When they body struggles to do so, however, they blame chemistry, physiology and pathogeons. This is true in some cases, but this highlights a rather narrow view. Lifestyle, bad habits, poor nutrition, loss of hope, solitude and much more create challenges for our body to find harmony. Now, what if your body’s annoying symptoms are not things to fix, but messages to listen to? And, what if you could start to take back your power over your own health by using these signals to prevent illness?

There is a price to pay when we do not listen to our bodies. The former president of Tai Sophia, Bob Duggin, loved to tell a story that illustrates the importance of respecting and listening to the body’s signals:

Bob knew of an acupuncturist who treated an older male patient -we’ll call him George-who was seeking relief from knee pain. George was in his seventies now, and had always been active in life. His knee pain was unacceptable. It was a limitation he would not adjust to, so he asked his acupuncturist to fix his knee. The acupuncturist fixes his knee, and the poor man falls dead of a heart attack within a week.

George’s knee was telling him to slow his pace for his own health-to readjust to the pace of a man in his seventies. When he refused to listen to his body, his body went into crisis and gave out.

You are far greater than the sum of your parts. And your body deserves respect, care and attention. What is it saying to you? We can all agree that knowledge is power. Well, I say, knowledge of your body is power over your own health and well being. With that, however, comes discipline, responsibility and change. To live in the illusion that there is a magic pill that will cure you, and you will feel free and happy is to set yourself up for disappointment and disaster. To believe that you are entitled to good health, without having to make good choices is childish. Unfortunately, it has been the direction of many in this country. Be part of the wellness revolution. Tap into the wisdom of our ancestor’s ancestor’s ancestors and KNOW your body. Know what foods make it happy, and what foods do not. Know what activities bring that lightness of being, and what habits drag you down. Know when you are ignoring symptoms, and know the consequences. Live in a world where you are actively making choices and not sitting on the sidelines as your body breaks down. Most importantly, know that our bodies are impermanent vessels for our souls. Most likely if we cultivate inner peace and happiness, our bodies won’t squawk nearly as much. Life is short. Live it well.

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