My sister recently had to have her thyroid surgically removed. She finally went to the doctor when there were so many growths around her thyroid that she was having difficulties breathing and swallowing. She said to me, “I just didn’t realize how severe it had gotten until I could hardly swallow soup and breathing was hard.” Learning to be this unaware of the body takes practice.

I am not picking on my sister. I have seen similar situations many times over the years I have practiced as a physical therapist. Many of us have learned to tune out our bodies to the point the damage is too severe before we act. Tuning into and supporting our bodies is a large part of being healthy. Hearing the quite whispers before they turn into the loud screams of pain is an essential skill. When we hear the gentle messages from our bodies to eat well, move well, and sleep well our bodies will be there to support our activities. As with any relationship, it takes an investment of time, effort, and consistency to build. As you listen carefully you will begin to hear your body saying “what have you done for me lately.”

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