Sunday, January 3, 2016

Listening to your body

This month’s Costco Connection has an interesting article by Laurie Gardner titled Listening to your body’s deeper messages. The article focuses on general health issues, but it is relevant for those of us living with Kennedy’s Disease also. I have condensed the article and added my own thoughts to it focusing more on SBMA or other progressive neuromuscular disorders.

The message is, "The next time you feel as if your body is letting you down, stop and listen to any deeper messages it might be trying to give you."

“The next time you feel as if your body is letting you down, stop and listen to any deeper messages it might be trying to give you. To hear your body (which is about hearing your own gut instinct and inner wisdom) go to a quiet place with no distractions and get into a position where you can feel relaxed. 
Ask the following questions, and see what answers naturally arise. You might be surprised by how much information your body will tell you when you are open to listening.
  1.  Is this just a physical issue, or something deeper going on?
  2. Is this temporary or permanent, and how can I get through it?
  3. What does my body need today?”

Question 1 is important for us because not everything that happens to us is related to Kennedy’s Disease or our neuromuscular condition. If you are feeling something new (different from normal), try to isolate the sensation. Just because we have this rare medical condition doesn’t mean we can’t have some other more common medical condition. Loss of energy could be a thyroid issue, for example. Short-term muscle weakness could be a dietary issue. Shortness of breath can be several things. I think you get the idea. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

Question 2 is something that we all deal with. Intermittent weakness or fatigue is common, especially if we overdo. There have been days when I can hardly exercise ‘safely’. When this happens, I tell myself, “This too will pass.” Other times, I come to the realization that this is part of the progression process and I need to adjust my routines to accommodate the latest loss of mobility or use of some part of my body.

Question 3 will get you through those moments of “OMG”, this can’t be happening to me. “Each day, your body will feel different and have different needs based upon your level of energy.” By asking what my body needs today, it is easier to come up with a viable short-term solution.  If you overdid, it might be time to take a break and rest. I remember when I abused my muscles one day and paid the price the next. 

“The key point is that introspection is an important part of finding the best way to health. Your instincts can help you determine if you need rest, a lifestyle adjustment or professional help.”

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