Listen to Your Body

 In Blog, Functional Medicine

Do you listen to your body?

Ted, was put in the hospital last month because of sudden severe abdominal pain and nausea. He had acute pancreatitis, an inflammation of the organ that releases digestive enzymes into the system. The new medication for his chronic skin rash turned out to be the cause. The long list of potential side effects did not include pancreatitis so it came as a surprise to all. Ted’s doctor was experimenting with him, hoping that he would find something to help clear the itchy rash he’d been experiencing for almost two years.

We have all read stories, heard friends talk about or even personally had negative experiences with various medications. Depending on whom we know, we might hear of at least one person every day who took something and had a negative response to it. It isn’t just medication; every treatment including surgery, herbs, vitamins and massage will have a different effect on each person. I have patients who can’t take B vitamins.

All medicine is experimental

In almost every case of taking a medicine or herb or supplement, there is a certain amount of known information available that can guide us in dispensing that item. We usually know the positive effects that we desire to achieve, some of the possible side effects, and how long it will take to be effective. What we don’t know and will never know is how your body will react to that medication in relation to how everyone else does. Your chemistry is unique and how you respond to something depends on other things you take, your physical sensitivity and even your emotional makeup. If you have been with your doctor for some length of time she might be able to gauge how you will respond to medication based on past history and close listening to your experiences. Even this is still not completely predictable.

I have found that no matter what I think is going on, each person responds differently to the treatment I suggest. If a test result indicates a deficiency it does not necessarily mean my chosen medication will work. I encourage my clients to listen closely to their bodies and learn how they respond to things. That enables us to work as a team for the most effective healing.

The key to your health is really listening to what your body is telling you.

We have all experienced times when we respond to things that are happening. Perhaps we feel bad when someone is rude to us, or scared when a car almost crashes into us – we knoe what those things feel like in our bodies. But everything we put into our bodies also causes a response. What we eat, what supplements we take, medications, all have an effect on us. If you see an ad for something and it draws your attention – is it something your body wants? Or when your doctor gives you a prescriptions but you just can’t get yourself to put it in your mouth, is that something your body doesn’t want?

Claire had severe menopausal symptoms. Various hormones were tried and each one, including the natural hormones, and antidepressants caused a negative reaction. By working closely with her to help balance her body we were able to find an effective combination of acupuncture, acupressure, low-dose estrogen and an antidepressant, Zyprexa.

In medicine more than most things, we would like to guarantee a result when we suggest a course of action but this is not always possible. All medicine is experimental to the degree that your chemistry is unique. If you keep this in mind when you opt for a treatment, you will be able to use the information you glean to your advantage and optimize your healing strategies. Don’t lose patience on your journey to finding the solutions that work for you. I always recommend that you listen to your own body as you decide what will work for your health.


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