Listening to your body
During these uncertain times, it's easy to neglect our bodies needs. Building a sense of connection between our bodies and our mind is a the starting point for self care. Being able to recognise the early warning signs of stress, injury or illness will make managing them easier.
Interoception is the lesser known sense in which the body relays information on certain states. Relatable examples include tiredness, hunger or thirst. These states are fairly easy to recognise and have become almost autonomous in our responses. However, there are more subtle cues that many of us might be missing during these periods of self isolation. These could include stress, burnout, early warning signs of illness and joint aches. The most effective way of trying to heed these early warning signs is by starting each day with a body scan.
Do this once a day for two weeks. Make note of how you feel each time.
1| Either lying on your back or sitting comfortably upright in a chair, close your eyes and try to relax
2| Bring you attention to your body, let go of any thoughts you have. Start to listen to the natural rhythm of your breath.
3| Take a few deep breaths, inhaling through the nose slowly for a count of four and exhaling slowly for a count of four. Take notice of the rise and fall of the diaphragm.
4| Turn you attention to your feet. Are your toes clenched? Are your carrying tension in the ankles or calves?
5| Next travel up the legs- Bringing you awareness to your sitting bones- make note of pressure.
6| Now moving through the spine from the base up to the neck, with every exhalation let go of any tension here.
7| Notice your hands- Are they clenched? Allow them to be soft & see if you can individually feel each finger.
8| Bring your attention to your head- tuck the chin to elongate the spine. Soften your jaw and relax the facial muscles.
9| Finally open your eyes.
Using body scans, yoga or meditation are perfect ways to improve your self awareness. Listening to these micro-signals will be challenging at first but will give you the motivation to take action. This could be: a break from the home office, to spend 10 minutes stretching or to making healthier food choices.
Here at Physio Form we are encouraging all of patients to maintain their health over this period of uncertainty. We'll be sending out weekly blogs to support your well-being. In addition, If anyone is struggling with injury or pain, please note, we are running Telehealth services for new & existing customers. You can book online and we will perform a video assessment and treatment plan with you. We can show you some great self manual techniques, self relaxation techniques, and the magic comes from the importance of the exercise treatment plan we can provide you.