© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
Recently, I was privileged to attend seminars by Dr. Kenneth Muhich of Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Muhich is an expert on natural, yet medically proven, solutions for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I was fascinated by the range of symptoms his fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue patients have. While following a general protocol, each patient must observe how her/his body responds to different stimuli and how s/he can best work with the condition. Each patient’s body is essentially teaching the patient what its rules are. The more closely the patient follows her/his body’s rules, the greater the recovery and the greater the chances of complete recovery. Many of Dr. Muhich’s patients have attained complete recovery. I have met some of them, and they are not kidding about their debilitating experience and their recoveries.
This conversation made me think about the differences in body requirements among the many hundreds of patients and clients I have worked with. Each person’s body has preferences about stimuli, diet, sleep, level and type of activities, weather, and people and places it could be exposed to. These are only a few of the factors for which your body may have rules. It pays to ask yourself, “what rules is my body trying to teach me?”
Perhaps easiest to consider among your body’s rules are its preferences about foods. Does your body love protein and feel weak on a high carbohydrate diet? Is your mind most clear when you eat dark green leafy salads, while you lack concentration after eating sugary foods? Is your abdomen flatter when you eat yogurt with live cultures every few days? Do your hands swell after you drink alcohol? Then follow these clues to feel great.
What about sleep? Does your body get the best sleep in a cool room or a warm room, with heavy covers or light, on a firm or soft mattress, with your feet under or outside the covers? Do you get deeper sleep with total silence, with background noise like the hum of traffic, or with white noise like “surf” from a sound generator? Does sleep work best for you between 10 pm and 6 am, or are you a natural night owl, lively until 4 or 5 am, then sleeping until noon? Do you feel refreshed after naps, or does napping make you tired? How can you better arrange your lifestyle to fit with your sleep metabolism? Several of my clients wake up for 3 hours in the middle of the night, do some paperwork, then go back to sleep for two hours; this has always been their pattern, and they make the most of it.
Some people I know are living life with one lung. Their bodies’ rules include minimizing aerobic exercise. But many people need at least 90 minutes of high activity every day, or they feel stressed. Studies show postmenopausal women need an hour of active exercise a day for efficient metabolism and to basically “feel good”. Many people thrive on quiet exercise such as yoga, while others love the extroversion, music and group stimulation of classes like Zumba. With what activities and levels have you found your body feels great?
Some people are easily overstimulated and do best in quiet environments. Others feel best in busy environments, perhaps with phones ringing, music playing, and lots of conversation. When you go to a party, do you lose energy (introvert) or gain energy (extrovert) over a two-hour period? Your nervous system is trying to teach you how much quiet it needs.
Many aspects of natural environment may affect your body. A hot or cold climate, dry or moist air, presence of negative or positive ions, relative brightness of the skies, and frequently shifting weather fronts all affect the brain and nervous system. What elements does your body prefer?
Often, people are aware they are affected by places and people, in ways that are hard to define. We may enter a building and have a strong feeling of wanting to stay or go. Around a new person, we may have a strong feeling we can’t explain, either of being very drawn to the person or of wanting to get away. We need to honor these sensations.
So what rules is your body trying to teach you? In this New Year, as you set your resolutions, why not resolve to honor more of your body’s rules, to cut stress, feel great, be sick less often, and enjoy your relationships more? After all, it’s your life. Only you can live it.
● Kebba Buckley Button is a corporate stress management trainer and the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You, and the 2012 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core. She is also an ordained minister.
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