Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Upper Cervical Care And The Power Of Listening
Most of us would rather talk than listen. People write best-selling books on how to become a good listener. It is an art. Many women say that a man who is a good listener is more attractive than a man with good looks. When it comes to listening to our body, we all could take a lesson or two. Perhaps part of the problem is that it is a one-way conversation. If you are ever caught talking to your body, well, they just might take you away.
So how do you listen to your body? First, we should understand that your body does not talk to you in a small voice you hear in your head. It really is quite simple. Our body speaks to us with sensations that we can perceive. For example, our body tells us when our stomach is empty, we call it hunger pangs. When we have responded to that message we have a feeling of satisfaction. Unfortunately, most people continue to eat for various reasons long after the call has been answered. Then we feel stuffed, bloated and/or uncomfortable. All of us have experienced both situations. Which is better for your health and well being having a stuffed feeling or one of “comfortably full”? You see the problem is not that our body does not speak to us, the problem is that we are usually not listening. Somehow we seem to think that any sensation is bad. Hunger pangs are not pleasant but they go away even if you do not eat. Remember all they are indicating is that the stomach is empty. That does not mean that we have to fill it let alone overfill it!
If listening is an art, then it can be cultivated. Conversely, the less we listen, the less we are able to do it. We all know people who just love to talk and whenever you speak with them, you get the impression that when they are not talking, it’s not because they are listening they are just collecting their thoughts for when they are going to speak again. With regard to the human body we have lost the art of listening to it. That is because we ignore its messages, like telling us we are tired and need to sleep. Or we misinterpret the messages, like feeling we need to constantly fill our stomach, or, and here is the most common, taking drugs that cut off the messages rather than respond to what our body is telling us. Getting rid of pain messages rather than addressing the cause is the most common example of this practice. There are many professional athletes who have cut their careers short because they played with injuries ignoring or medicating the pain when they should have been sitting out the game.
We live in a society in which people do not listen to their bodies, they ignore its messages or cut them off with medications. So how do we turn that around? Well, first we need to listen to our bodies when they are obviously speaking to us. Eat when we are hungry, not just because it is time to eat. Eat only enough to satisfy our hunger, stop when our body tells us we are full. Sleep when we are tired. Drink when thirsty, exercise until your body says stop. If we listen to the body in minor ways, we will learn to listen in other ways, learning not only when to eat but what to eat. (Even now we are told by the body in no uncertain terms what foods do not agree with us.)
Lastly, we need to make sure our nerve system is free of any interference due to head/neck misalignment so that the messages can get through. Upper cervical care can provide a helpful role by periodically checking you to find and correct this interference so you can listen to your body.