by Michael Reynolds (1994)
"Hi! How are you?" So many of us hear something like this practically every day. Most of us answer simply by saying "Fine." But how are you... really?! Are you paying attention to your health, or do you mainly notice it when your condition is undesirable? When we get sick, we have no choice but to pay full attention to our body's needs. But why wait until we are sick to do something about our health? It costs more money and time to correct an illness than it does to maintain good health.
We all know how to handle the body's basic needs. We know how it feels when it is time to eliminate waste, or when it is time to eat. The body has many more signals to tell us about its needs. Sometimes they are very subtle and we may only notice them if we take the time to stop what we are doing and "listen" for a while. Occasionally, the urge to eat is not just a need for any kind of food. Perhaps, the body may be in need of a particular ingredient. For example, many people mistake hunger for a desire for water. Maybe the body is craving salt---for maintaining electro-chemical balances---and we interpret this as a desire for potato chips, which also contain a LOT of fat.
The body sends signals throughout itself which are used to pass information about the status of organs and various functions. This is also used to keep the brain informed about the body's overall condition. If we learn to listen and understand the messages, we may be able to maintain good overall health by supplying the body with what it really needs. Normally, if we can take care of these needs soon enough, the body will be able to maintain good health. However, we may not be listening to the subtle messages, and so the body talks a little louder. We may start getting tired, weak, or sluggish. If we still do not listen, the body will make sure we have no choice but to pay attention by lying sick in bed. Finally, the body may be getting what it needs, but now it is going to take a while to return to good health. Time is very valuable to most people these days and now it is being consumed by seeing to the body's needs. Then there is the money: A trip to the doctor and possibly lost wages from missed work. It does not need to be this way!
How much value do you put on good health? Is it worth the effort to maintain it? Do you know what the body needs when it is asking for help? This is the only body you have; there are no trade-ins. Good health should be sought by everyone and, once it has been achieved, we must do all we can to maintain it. We cannot afford to neglect the body's needs. It is the only true vehicle we have in which to travel while we live here on Earth. So please, start listening to your body. It can make your life much more enjoyable!