Pain is your body talking. Here's how to speak its language

Your body talks...

...you just have to know how to listen... No, I'm not talking about your last failed relationship. Your body is smarter than you, it will tell you when it's happy or unhappy, and you best be listening. Tell your stupid ranch tooth to shut up

First, I want to address exercising. When you are exercising, there is body talk, and there is brain talk. More often than not, your brain gets in the way of a good workout. When you are 9 reps deep in to a 12 set, or 15 seconds from a minute interval sprint, there is a moment where you question whether you can reach your target. I don't care whether you are wet behind the ears or a power-lifter of 25 years, "can I do 1 more rep?" encroaches your mind on every set. This is when your brain pipes up first and says, "better not, we could hurt ourselves, there's no shame in 9 reps." But guess what? Your brain can and will lie to you. It does it all day, every day. Your brain is responsible for the cant's and dont's in your life, and more often than not, it gets in the way of success. Your body can, and it will, as long as you bring focus and real effort to the last reps of each set. So re-iterate, the "can I's" come from your brain and stem from fatigue. I hope I have been clear in establishing that this voice is of no use to you and should be ignored. What you need to listen to is pain signals. Pain signals are different from discomfort signals and are easily recognizable. For instance, that burning feeling you get in your muscles is discomfort, whereas that stinging sensation in your knee is pain. And in fact, the goal of working out is to achieve discomfort and to keep pushing through it. Enduring discomfort will make you stronger (physically and mentally), but working through pain can cripple you. However, the answer is not to avoid anything potentially painful and to park your rear-end on the couch with a cool beverage. Try modifying the depth, execution, or the exercise itself so that you can exercise without pain. Remember, the human body is built to move and thrives on adversity; use it or lose it.

Silence is golden

Eating: this is where my ass gets so chapped, both wth people's complaints, and with niche-market products. If you can't get through the day without products like Gaviscon, Beano, Tums, Rolaids, Pepsid AC, etc, you need to give your head a shake. The reason your body gets bloated, heart-burn, nausea, etc, is because it doesn't want you to ingest that crap! When was the last time anyone got heart-burn from cucumbers, brown rice, and baked salmon?!? Nevruary, that's when. Instead of silencing the symptoms of your pissed-off body, try listening to it instead. Further, every body is different; some people can get bloated from healthy food like apples, beans, yoghurt, etc. Listen to your body in this capacity as well. If these healthy foods bloat you, it is probably because there is something in them that does not agree with your chemistry. If everyone made it their goal to eat only foods that did not make them burp, fart, bloat, burn or drowsy, the developed world would not be facing the health epidemic in which it currently finds itself. Home body

You may like to party HARD, but you will pay for your transgressions. I won't go too in depth on this one. I think most of us can say that we have felt the icy, steel toed boot of tough love in our ribs from a night (or 10) of partying. Just know that your body keeps a tab. Scarring on your liver, clouding of your lungs, clogging of your veins and intestines, etc, all result from the nights out that you don't remember. I'm not saying don't party, in fact, you will be relived to know that your body is a beast when it comes to repair and recovery, but you should know that if you don't treat it like a temple in between keg-stands, the effects can be cumulative. Around the 30 year mark of my life, I have now been introduced to the magical 2-day hangover, which makes me carefully weigh the value of a night out getting loose with the necessity to be a grown up the next day and get stuff done.

The point is, your body talks to you and it doesn't lie. The sooner you are hearing it, and truly listening, the sooner you are happier and healthier. Like anything else in this world, you get out what you put in.

#wellness #health #painmanagement

Brendan Rolfe
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