Are You Exploring Into Your Body’s Responses? (Here’s Why You Should)
In last week’s post, I shared how you can use the responses your body makes to become a better caretaker of your body. Whether the response you’re experiencing is or isn’t what you want, you can start identifying the action to take.
Today I want to address a super important part of learning how to use body responses to help you feel great in your body. It’s so important that without it, you’re really going to struggle with changing anything about your body…
A Child’s Favorite Question
What is a child’s favorite question? If you’ve ever been around a child who is anywhere from age 3 on up, you already know the answer.
“Why?” Why is the sky blue? Why do cars have wheels? Why do I have to to sleep?
Children are naturally inquisitive, and if you spend any time at all with them, you’ll quickly realize how many things there are to inquire about in the world!
You were probably this way as a child, too. Hell, you’re probably still this way about certain topics now as an adult!
My invitation to you is to carry that sense of inquisitiveness further into your body care. When you sense some joint pain that wasn’t there before, ask why. When you feel achy and run down, ask why. When your wrist hurts every time you move it a certain way, ask why.
But don’t stop there because “why” won’t get you anywhere if you don’t then follow it up with something that moves you toward a possible answer to the question…
“What’s That All About?”
That something is a willingness to go exploring. Here’s the definition of the word ‘explore’. As you read it, notice how inviting the concept is. And isn’t that nice since most of us – myself included – have had times in life when we don’t feel very inviting towards our body or invited by our body to feel how we want to feel.
Breaking Down Bigger Issues Into Basic Elements
As an example of exploring into body aches and pains, I had a client who had taken up running recently and the only part of her body that was feeling not-great from this endeavor was her ankles. They were becoming a limiter what with how sore and pinch-y they felt. We started working together to try and solve this issue.
My client could have easily thought that running just isn’t for her. Or that it’s not worth it to go running if it meant the rest of her day was negatively impacted by her sore and pinch-y ankles.
Instead, we took the primary issue of how her ankles were feeling and explored some of the basic elements that might be contributing to her ankles feeling the way they did. There are many potential basic elements that can contribute to ankle stiffness in a runner, but three of the most common are:
- An increase in running mileage that was too much, too quick
- Inappropriate footwear for the person and their gait
- Lack of adequate mobility and/or strength in the lower leg, ankle, feet, and toes
Her mileage and shoes were without issue so I suggested we tackle was the fact that she wasn’t doing any mobility or strength work for her lower legs, ankles, or feet.
Running requires a lot of effort from your body generally, and your feet and ankles particularly. If the joints, soft tissues, and muscles of your feet and ankles aren’t strong and mobile enough to handle regular runs, then your body may start letting you know through stiffness, aches, or pains.
Feet and ankles are so important to train that I created a program focused entirely on that. You can get the Unbreakable Feet program here.
My client got started on foot and ankle strength and mobility exercises, some of which she did daily and others which she did three times weekly. The exploration we did to figure out her stiff ankles was carried over by her as she did the exercises… “Oh wow I didn’t know toes should be able to move that way. Mine don’t!” She focused consistently on building her ability to move her toes, feet, and ankles in all the ways I showed her through the exercises.
Now, had she done this and not noticed any changes to her stiff ankles, we’d have simply continued on exploring what the next option for action might be. Thankfully though, my client reported back that her ankles were starting to feel better, and in practically no time at all, they weren’t an issue for her anymore.
I hope you’ll use this story to inspire your own exploration into the body aches, pains, and challenges that you want to improve. Start with why, explore possible answers, try some things, see what happens to how your body feels and moves, become an excellent caretaker of your body in the process.
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