How To Use Aches And Pains To Get Smarter In Your Body Care

I remember what it felt like to have a body full of aches, pains, and injuries. It was exhausting and frustrating to live in my body. Frankly, I felt downright crappy most of the time. Worse than how I felt though, was not knowing what I could do to change it.

I finally hit my limit and decided that – come hell or high water –  I was going to figure out how to stop feeling broken. What I learned through twenty years of figuring it out is what I put into my book that will be out early in 2022! While we wait anxiously for release day for the book, I’m going to be sharing some bits and pieces of those lessons that are in the book with you here.

See Your Body Through A New Lens

The first thing to do if you want to stop feeling broken (whatever ‘broken’ feels like for you) is to start seeing your aches, pains, and issues through a new lens. Here are some of the common lenses people have when viewing their body’s aches and pains. See if any of them resonate:

  • Feeling like it’s “too late” to do anything about your aches and injuries because you’ve had them for so long now
  • Feeling like you’re just “getting older” so doing less and feeling worse is just the way it goes
  • Giving up because bodies are just “too complicated” for you to figure out
  • Seeing pain as something to ignore and/or push through

If you see your body through any of these lenses, it’s understandable. The world around you routinely reinforces those lenses despite the fact that they are not accurate or useful.

see your body through a new lens
Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash

Here’s the lens I use and which I strong recommend you do as well because it’s actually accurate and useful:

Your body is always responding to the signals it receives. 

That achy back? It’s a response to something. Your joint pain? Also a response to something. The injury you sustained? Yes, that too is a response.

Everything your body does is a response to some signal that your body received. Once you start to grasp that, you then realize you can work backwards to figure out what signals those unpleasant responses might be in response to. And better yet, you can figure out what signals you could send to change how your body feels.

calluses on the hands are a response the body makes

Here are a few examples of signals and responses:

  • A callus forming on your hand is the response to repeated exposure to just enough friction on the skin to cause more skin to grow in that area
  • Your muscles getting stronger as you do resistance training consistently to build your Six Pillars of your Unbreakable body
  • Your shoulder wrenching up on you after one too many moments when the forces being placed on your shoulder tissues were more than those tissues could tolerate

Your Body Is Always Informing You

Whether you choose to listen to the aches, pains, and other sensations in your body is up to you. But for as valuable as that information is… it’d be a shame to ignore something so useful. However if you do choose to ignore, at least for a time, I get it. That was me too, for a time.

Here’s the thing though: a muscle strain or joint pain can tell you so much. Being easily winded, chronically tired, or too weak to do something you’d like to do can guide you. To what?

To whatever is beyond strained, pained, winded, tired, and weak. What questions you might want to ask. Who you might want to get involved so that you can get some answers. What you might want to change about what you do.

When you start seeing everything in your body as a response to a signal, you’re able to sit yourself in the driver’s seat of taking action. And even if you don’t change everything that you dislike as much as you would like it to change, you’ll get far more out of the process than you’d ever have gotten had you not tried.

I’m going to be talking much more about signals, responses, and how to interpret them and put them to use in my book, Becoming Unbreakable: How To Build A Body You Love To Live In.

If you’d like to get my future updates about the book, please join my newsletter list here. It’s a weekly Digest that always includes one simple thing you can do to take care of your health, fitness, and well-being. People really enjoy it and I think you will, too.


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