Physical Therapy Blog

Listen To Your Body!

I am always amazed at how much the body has to say about what it needs when you just ask it and listen.  Sound too simple?  Try it!

There are many ways to listen.  First find a quiet space.  Start breathing and take notice of each breath in order to quiet your mind and tune in to yourself.  As an example of what to do next, imagine you are suffering from abdominal pain.  Ask a question, like ‘From where is my abdominal pain originating?”  Do you hear an answer come to your head, but you almost dismiss it, not trusting your ”gut” instinct?  Or do you feel your body sidebend or tilt, like your body is being directed towards the problem.  Try putting your hand on your head; is there a subtle, almost magnetic force pulling you in some direction?

Very often pain you feel in a specific part of the body is actually being referred to that spot by the real problem area.  A sore back may be being caused by tight hamstrings, digestive issues, a rotated uterus in women, weak abdominals, tight neck muscles that force your head constantly forward and place excessive loads on your lower back, to name a few.  When patients come in with lower back pain, one of the first things I do is put one hand on their abdomen and another on their back and see if one side is pushing me away or pulling me in, almost like a magnetic force.  Listening to your body can reveal where pain is really coming from, thus telling you what needs attention and what body relationships need correcting.

Be patient when you try this and don’t get frustrated if you don’t receive an immediate answer that you can perceive.  I often obtain the most info from my patients when I am the most calm and grounded and I have no intention other than to listen.

Listen without expectation or judgment.  What messages does your body give throughout the day,- perhaps in response to what someone said or something you did or why you often get that gut feeling telling you something isn’t right.  Did it respond with nausea to something you ate?  Recognize and respect all of the messages the body gives, and over time, you’ll probably be able to tune in more keenly and develop a healthy relationship with your body.