Quick fixes for health are very appealing, especially when they help you achieve the swift change you are seeking. A burst of energy, sharpened focus, pain relief or a peaceful sleep… I get it! With so much going in our lives, the quick and easy option is attractive: another cup of coffee, a chocolate bar, or even a pill! It’s kind of hard to resist, right?
I call this the band aid approach. Simply ‘patching’ up something that needs fixing doesn’t work, at least not for the long-term! Having more coffee or sugar because you’re fatigued may give you a short-term energy boost, but I prefer to address why you’re low on energy in the first place.
When a symptom is chronic, it needs to be addressed, not patched up in the hope that it will disappear for good. When you don’t connect the dots with a root cause resolution, you’ll need more and more quick fixes to get the same effect –hello, addictive cycle! Furthermore, over time, those habits are likely to transform a single symptom into a chronic condition.
Our body’s natural inclination is to be healthy and balanced. Our job is listen to its messages when something is out of whack—and respond accordingly. We must pay attention to the little things, too. When we are in-tune with our body and mind, we can take the actions needed to support health. If, however, we ignore warning signs, the price we pay can be high.
Several years ago, I had a client who couldn’t understand why her exercise regimen wasn’t working. She had started off great, dropping half of the pounds in her weight-loss goal…and then she hit a plateau. In her mind, more exercise meant more weight loss and energy, so she increased her workouts and runs to an intense 6-7 times a week. She was consistently exhausted and still unable to break through to her goal.
Understandably, she was frustrated. We talked about over training and its counterproductive effects—too much exercise elevates the cortisol that encourages fat storage and it interferes with blood sugar metabolism. The body also needs recovery days to refuel the tank. We spent time connecting the dots and, not surprisingly, discovered her endocrine system was out of balance. Her adrenals were showing signs of fatigue and it was time to make more than just dietary and exercise regimen changes. It took a commitment to ALL areas of her life to get back on track: work-life balance, stress management, shifts in exercise, sleep and relationship patterns. She had been oblivious to the negative impact of the quick fixes (caffeine, sugar, ‘healthy’ protein bars, sleeping aids) she’d been using. Time, commitment, and support became her best friends, allowing her to make the lifestyle changes that turned things around. The result? Her weight dropped off, she had tons of energy, glowing skin, and to her surprise, her monthly cycle became more regulated! Wow!
The body is like a symphony. Every instrument must play be tune and in sync, otherwise the entire orchestra will be thrown off and the music unpleasant to the ear. The body requires a delicate balance between organs, systems, glands, hormones and neurotransmitters. If our internal orchestra is out of tune, a whole host of unpleasant symptoms can surface. When the imbalance continues over a period time, weaknesses and functional breakdowns set in, paving the way for cell and tissue damage and, ultimately, illness or dis-ease. Your job is to nip things in the bud well before that by listening very carefully to all the ways in which your body is talking to you, asking for support and change because it’s out of balance.
Are you ignoring symptoms?
Is your body crying out for help?
Take a few minutes to consider the out-of-balance symptoms you may be experiencing on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
- Headaches, migraines
- Cold hands/feet
- Week, brittle nails
- Joint aches and pains
- Fatigue and low energy
- Bloating and digestive issues
- Sugar cravings
- Inability to lose weight
- Sleep disturbances – hard to fall or stay asleep, insomnia
- Skin breakouts, dry or flakey skin, red or blotchy skin, eczema
- Mood instability
- Acid reflux
- Chronic colds, flu, infections, viruses
- Low/high cholesterol, low/high blood pressure
- Irregular menstrual cycle
And, unfortunately, the list goes on…
Our bodies talk to us…they do so by communicating in symptoms. It’s important to listen and hear what’s being communicated. Every system and organ is designed to work in synergy, so when imbalance in one area is ignored, other areas of the body will be affected. Using quick fixes or band aid approaches only leads to inflammation and acidosis, paving the way for illnesses such as thyroidism, diabetes, IBS, etc. to set in.
Only by taking time to assess your symptoms and addressing the root cause can you ultimately be on the path to being healthy by design.
Now, that’s worth it!
Note: this article in intended for informational purposes and not intended to diagnose or treat. When in doubt about symptoms you may be experiencing, always seek the advice of your healthcare professional.