By Missy Hughes, Director, The Spa at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
I have recently learned that pain is the loudest voice that the body uses to initiate change. There are several memos that it sends before getting in the intervention stage. A quiet knock on the door of stiffness, a whisper of indigestion or a stern look of reproach of stress as the daily pressure begins to overcome reason. These all are indicators that something is amiss but so often I ignore these signals, because I am tough, busy and will feel better tomorrow. As body aches have become a constant companion (just like that pesky horsefly on a gorgeous hike), I have realized that there are a couple of other friends whose company I’d much prefer:
1. A tall drink of water (no, not Matthew McConaughey) – Before you do anything else, drink one glass of water immediately as you get out of bed. It’s a great way to help you wake up and start the metabolic process. Dehydration is a major cause of joint pain, body aches and digestion challenges.
2. Vision – Get your mind right and set your intention for the day. Imagine your day exactly as you would like to see it, and then go about the process of making it unfold. This gives you a series of choices that allow you to create a fabulous scenario.
3. A nighttime story – Listen to what your body has been through in the day by stretching before bed. Take five minutes to move through any areas of stiffness or body aches. Elongating your muscles and then resting them for several hours (hopefully eight) keeps them in a stretched state and can act like a reset button for your nervous system.
These amazing shells that we call our bodies have a lot to say if we listen to them. Our bodies can be our best friends or our worst enemies. The connection grows and changes constantly as we interact through our daily lives and choices. As in any relationship, it is much more productive when it is a two way street. What is one thing your body is telling you today? What are you doing to give back?