Listen to your body

by Inga Allen

Over the last few years I have become more and more aware of how our body starts to show us when we are not listening.

I have seen in many patients that their symptoms often arise after they have pushed themselves too far and not allowed themselves to rest when necessary. We all know these days that stress and tiredness have such a massive impact on our general health.

Our lives are busier than ever. Ruled by a very fast pace, immense pressure to achieve and screens everywhere, we seem to never really switch off. So many problems that people seem to come and see me for have started during times of great stress and demand.

We seem to often ignore the first warning signs that our body sends us. A mild cold or some back pain could be first signals that we should take it easy for a bit. But so often that is not the case. We choose to rather take a painkiller and keep going. This approach might work for a little while but pushing our body and mind for too long will eventually lead to more severe problems.

A teacher of Osteopathy once said that illness is necessary to reduce the activity of the nervous system and engage with our parasympathetic nervous system (the part of our nervous system that is active during resting activities). It forces us to rest and helps to normalise our often heightened nervous system.

So perhaps next time you think you can’t possibly stop and you would rather push through your symptoms, listen to your body and have a rest.

We only get given this one body so we should look after it.