Prevention & Recovery

6 ways to tell if you're sick

Author: Canadian Living

Prevention & Recovery

6 ways to tell if you're sick

Did you ever consider that a stiff neck might be your body's way of telling you that someone or something in your life is a "pain in the neck"? Or that the dream you had about drowning might be your lungs calling out for attention?
Our bodies possess medical wisdom, yet many of us don't how to consult our inner doctor. As an MD who is also a specialist in intuitive medicine, I have learned that our body's wisdom is rarely wrong. The key is to learn how to listen to it.
Here are six tips from Second Sight on how to do that.
1. Obey "health hunches." Perhaps you find you have the urge to pant, or to wear a cap during the day, or to drink carrot juice. These may be your body's signals that something is up. Listen to these subtle urges and hints, and obey them as long as they are not harmful. Doing so is like finding a treasure hunt clue; obeying the hunch will lead you to the next clue. 

2. Ask the symptom what it needs. If you have a splitting headache, for example, or a sudden onset of fatigue, or an odd skin rash, get in a quiet space and ask it what it needs. The answer may surprise you. Pay attention to the first idea that pops into your head, without censorship. Maybe an image of your boss comes up. Or a long snake that reminds you of your intestines. Just listen, and then spend time thinking about the word or symbol and what it wants to tell you.

3. Ask your dreams to provide the answer. Our dreams often tell us, usually in symbolic code, what's happening in our body. For example, you've been ignoring your arm pain, blaming it on the gym. But in your dream, someone has left valentines all over your house. When you awaken, the first thing that comes into your mind is "heart."

4. Pay attention to seeming coincidences. Sometimes life itself will present moments of clarity in the form of coincidences. These can be powerful teaching moments. For example, you have a pain behind your temple and then turn on the TV to a health report about strokes. Don't let such precious opportunities for self-examination pass you by. Make a mental or physical note about the synchronous event, and then revisit it later to find out if your body is trying to warn you of danger.

5. Listen to warning signs - and act on them
. Your body is designed to alert you to danger. Are you listening? When your body sends you a chest pain, for instance, take notice, then take action. Have it checked out before it becomes a heart attack. Your intuition to act can save your life!

6. Check in with your body
. Just as we go to the doctor once a year for a complete physical, you can do the same thing with yourself. Lying or sitting comfortably, close your eyes and focus on your body, starting with your toes, ankles, calves, knees, etc. Don't forget your skin and internal organs. See if any significant images or ideas pop up as you do this.

Judith Orloff MD [] is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA. She has published several NYT best-sellers, and is author of the new book Second Sight (Random House, 2010). Her recent TV special, "Emotional Freedom Now!” aired on PBS stations nationally.

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Prevention & Recovery

6 ways to tell if you're sick