WHAT ARE YOUR BODY’S ACHES AND PAINS TELLING YOU?
We’ve all had a niggling headache, a tummy cramp, maybe even an aching muscle or joint… but have you given much thought as to what these aches and pains might be trying to tell you? And how often do you really listen?
With the pace of modern life, it is incredibly easy to become disconnected from our body’s inner wisdom and intuition. Our bodies are talking to us all of the time and really, it’s just a matter of taking a few moments each day to tune in and listen.
For example, regular eye twitches and muscle cramps are something I see in clinic on a daily basis. This is generally our body communicating with us that its magnesium levels are sub-optimal. Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in the body second to calcium, which is predominantly locked up in our skeleton. It is essential for energy production within each cell and for maintaining a healthy nervous system. It also helps to relax the nerve-to-muscle junction and relax spasms. Our requirement for magnesium increases when we are under stress, working long hours or sleeping poorly. In addition, many people – due to high caffeine loads and sugar intakes, poor glucose handling or increased sweating (think hot yoga) – have significantly increased losses of magnesium via their urine and experience regular bothersome twitches and cramps. And because Australian soil is notoriously low in some minerals such as magnesium, selenium, iodine and zinc, intakes of these minerals and trace minerals can be difficult to obtain from diet alone. There is increasing evidence that mineral and vitamin deficiencies play a key role in the development of many subclinical and diagnosed health problems.
Another very common symptoms include tummy aches and digestive pains. While wide and varied, these presentations must be investigated properly with testing and thorough case taking from your primary health care provider. Stool tests to exclude parasitic infection, food intolerance testing and management of any gut microbiota imbalance are great places to start, and even getting back to basics and simply chewing food well and eating in a calm environment can do the trick. Common lifestyle hazards such as hurry, worry and curry must also be avoided for a calm and happy tummy. Happy tummy = happy you!
More generally, chronic period pain, regular headaches, and worsening joint pain can all indicate that the body is in an inflammatory state. These pains and niggles can be the body crying out for less sugar, grains, and stress, and more alkalizing greens, more oily seafood, and more rest. Seeking advice on some dietary tweaks, including tips on anti-inflammatory spices such as cinnamon and turmeric (amongst other things) can be impactful and help you to feel more in the driver’s-seat of your own health.
In private practice, I see all too often the consequences of ignoring our body’s cues – people feeling like they’ve lost their mojo, and recent diagnoses of early or even chronic disease states. Taking the time each day to tap into our own body’s inner wisdom to gain a basic understanding of what your body may need for that particular day is vital for fostering a sense of harmony and connection, and providing it with what it truly needs. Creating opportunities for stillness to really listen such as a morning meditation practice, a svasana after a yoga class or switching off and disconnecting from everything else except your own body for 10 minutes during your lunch break are all brilliant investments in your health. Once you master your body’s own unique language, your body will thank you, forever.