How body wise are you?
Most women are plagued by the same five complaints, but tuning into your body - or becoming 'body wise' - is the key to preventing them from becoming serious long-term threats to your health. Charlotte Haigh reveals how…
Let’s talk body wise…
You’re smart, work hard and consider yourself pretty successful. You probably think that you’re emotionally intelligent, too. But when it comes to your health, you may not have thought about the concept of ‘body intelligence’ or becoming ‘body wise’. In a groundbreaking new book,Bodywise,Dr Rachel Carlton Abrams outlines this new approach, which is influenced by the preference for ‘preventative’ medicine over ‘cure’.
‘The sheer pace of modern women’s lives means we’re cut off from listening to our bodies,’ she says. As a result, over 75 per cent of us are plagued by the same constellation of debilitating conditions, which are warning signs of underlying issues which left unchecked can develop into serious or life-threatening health problems. And yet we attempt to carry on living with them.
‘Research shows these symptoms are all caused by chronic body depletion, because we’re worn down by toxic relationships or jobs, not getting enough sleep, not eating the right food, and being inactive,’ says Dr Abrams. ‘In Western medicine, doctors favour “cures” over “prevention”, which they don’t really talk about. But in Chinese medicine vital life energy is key – it is what’s known as “chi”. When it’s depleted by these lifestyle factors, the basic energy of all your systems is drained. Your aim should be to stop reaching for short-term fixes. Instead, start tuning into your body’s signals.’
‘Science is increasingly showing how much the subconscious brain directs our lives,’ says Dr Abrams. ‘If you suffer from shoulder or stomach pain Monday to Friday, which is better at weekends, your lifestyle is trying to tell you something.’ Here’s how to become body wise before you get ill.
#1. Body wise warning sign: low libido
Your sex drive has dropped, you rarely initiate sex or feel sexual desire. You take little pleasure from sex or masturbation.
If you ignore it:You’re at risk of developing hormonal dysfunction.
If you do one thing:Slow down, says Dr Abrams. ‘You can’t expect your sex drive to simply be there if you are frantic all day and then drop into bed.’ Find ways to rebalance your energy, as good sex relies on it freely flowing around your body. ‘A lot of women associate sex with emotional trauma and the Eastern view is that it can be held in the body, making physical contact unenjoyable or even painful. This doesn’t have to mean rape or assault. If you’ve had sex you regret or an difficult pelvic examination, you may store the memories. Try to pinpoint unresolved issues and practise breathing deeply into your belly when you feel anxious about sex. Acupuncture also gets your chi flowing smoothly, which boosts your vitality and in turn your libido.’ Flaxseed oil can balance your hormones and improve lubrication. Try Holland & Barrett Flaxseed Oil Capsules, £7.65 for 60 capsules.
Video: Body Wise Health Introduction
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