Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Body and Soul Maintenance: Intro

Doctors. Dentists. Dermatologists oh my! Our bodies are complicated!  When can you treat your own body and when should you look to an outside source/expert for help?  What things can you do on a daily basis to keep your body running at 110% without the threat of a complete breakdown (or even mini-breakdowns)?
I have always been hyper in-tune to my body.  The slightest bump or itch or tummy ache sends me into a diagnostic frenzy. When I was growing up, I thought that every abnormality or body function needed to be monitored and treated by a doctor.  And every time I felt sick I hoped there was a pill or shot that would instantly make me feel better.  As I have gotten older and have gotten to know my body better, I am realizing that while serious chronic or odd illnesses and pain should warrant a professional and sometime medicines, there are many preventative methods and natural treatments out there for us to take advantage of. NOTE:  I am not recommending you avoid the doctor in any way shape or form. Everyone's body is different and you need to do what makes you feel safe and healthy.  In fact here are some of the doctor visits I absolutely think you should keep on the yearly calender. 
For one, you may be an expert flosser and brush 5 times a day but when it boils down to it, a one/two time a year professional cleaning is a necessity for your health and longevity.  Think about it, the nourishment process starts here and this part of our body needs to be in tip-top shape in order to ensure a properly functioning immune system among other vital systemic functions. A dentist has the ability to see areas of concern that no matter how wide you open your mouth in the mirror you would not be able to see. 
Second, when it comes to dermatology appointments, in my opinion,  it depends on how familiar you are with the map of your body.  If your are regularly exposed to the sun (as we are in sunny FLA) and do not wear protective covering of some sort or if you know you just don't have the patience to do regular FULL body checks (taking advantage of a partner to help to look at the areas you cant get a good view of) then by all means keep that regular appointment.  If you are familiar with your own body and any abnormal patch of skin you see sets off an alarm to go ahead and get it checked out, then you could skip the regular visit have the dermatologists number at the ready when needed.
The gynecologist.  Yes, all women dread this yearly date we have with the pap smear but if there is one thing that women can do as a preventative and sometimes fearfully diagnostic...THIS IS IT!  Cervical cancer is the 5th most common cancer in women worldwide with approximately 471,000 new cases diagnosed each year.  There are about 6 million new cases of HPV in the United States each year. A simple 5 minute test can lead to early detection of both of these diseases.  Not to mention a yearly visit to the GYN includes a thorough breast exam which women SHOULD be doing monthly (shamfully, I forget most of the time) until they enter in the mammogram stage of life.  Plus, we as women have an obligation to our children to give them the best possible start to life that we can.  The health of the reproduction system is key to doing this.
Men-I am at a loss here?  What systems and body parts should be monitored and/or tested on a regular basis? I would venture to say the prostate would be one.  I will have to research this some more. 
There are other professional tests that are a wise decision as our body ages and we become more susceptible to disease and debilitation such as colonoscopies and heart testing. But the point of this series of posts is not to recommend or deter you from going to the docs but more to inform you on how to AVOID the type of ailments that send us running to the doc in the first place.  How is this possible?  I would say for me it starts with optimal body and soul balance.  Everything from nutrition to stress management to knowing your family history and what symptoms may send up the red flag. My goal is to cover many topics related to the maintenance of our complicated machines including the motherboard: our brains.  Also, I would love to talk about the many other types of health and healing that are being practiced and widely available now.  Because we, as humans have the right and ability to control how our body's function just as much as we do over how our cars or computers run.  And let's face it, it takes constant maintainence to do most things that give us joy and value in life.   I think a little bit of body and soul maintenance on a regular basis yields major results in achieving a happy, healthy, meaningful life!

1 comment:

  1. We women are often, sadly, the worst at taking care of ourselves, not because we don't know that we should, or even how, but because we're usually so busy taking care of those we love. It's so important to remind us how to prioritize ourselves, so that we can also better support and sustain those around us, so thank you, my friend. Love this.