Do you fully understand its needs?

Are you compassionate about its natural changes?

Do you hold a valued sense of appreciation towards it?

These days, it can be easy to go through life not wholly grasping what our body does, needs, and is trying to tell us – especially for women. Busy schedules, daily responsibilities, and even a lack of knowledge and/or interest can leave us naive to:

– what is normal versus healthy

– natural, biological evolutions of the body throughout a lifetime

– appreciating its functionality and needs

– signs for support and/or change

Not only can we live day to day mentally detached from our body, but the efforts we go through to adapt to unusual symptoms in order to keep going can be exponential.

And that’s not good.

The body is constantly giving feedback. Regularity of energy, mood, digestion, sleep, and menstrual cycles are all signs of health and when something is off – it’s a cue that the body needs attention.

This is where the concept of body literacy is key.

What is body literacy?

Body literacy refers to the ability to understand and connect to the biology and functionality of the body for deeper gratitude and mindful discernment.

What does that mean? Simply…knowing what your body does for you everyday, why that is, and when it needs a shift.

Why does it matter?

If you’ve ever thought bowel movements every other day was just fine but now hormones are off, have been pushing your stress level to the max thinking you could do it all only to find yourself run down, moody, and sick, or considered the lack of a monthly period to be a reprieve but now other issues are popping up, you may understand why listening to signs early on and acting upon them are so important.

Humans have the ability to check-in with the body, noting cues that may signal a change needs to happen. We just need to do it!

How can body literacy be implemented?

With these small steps, you can learn to understand, appreciate, support, and love your body.

1. What’s Your Baseline?

Having awareness of what is currently “normal” for you is the first step in listening to your body.

NOTE: this may be different than what is healthy!

Pay attention to:

– hormones (regularity of ovulation and menstrual cycle)

– sleep (falling asleep and staying asleep)

– digestion (regularity of bowel movements)

– mood (consistency of overall disposition)

– weight (management and stability)

Again, start by taking stock in what is typical for you at this moment.

2. Understand Normal Vs. Healthy.

Now that you’re mindful of what your current “normal” is, the question becomes – is it healthy?

For example, waking up at 1:00am for an hour before falling back asleep each night may be something you’ve dealt with for years, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay.

Bowel movements every few days could be thought of as your “usual,” but in reality it could lead to harmful effects and disease.

You may not think twice about not having a regular menstrual cycle and welcome the break, however, fertility is a vital sign of health.

Some issues are natural, biological changes that organically take place as the body ages. However, meeting with a medical professional that specializes in holistic health care, such as myself, can allow you to properly analyze your current baseline and conclude if it’s optimal or not.

3. Appreciate the Body…Even Though It’s Not Perfect.

Those pounds put on during winter? Biologically, that’s what the body has needed to do in the past and has found it by eating calorie-dense seasonal produce.

The wrinkles that look back at you in the mirror? It’s a natural process of the body aging and a mark that you have had the opportunity to live long enough to develop them.

Approaching menopause and feel less worthy in a new stage in life? Historically, this has been a time in which women move from child-bearing to ensuring survival of future generations with meaningful work for humanity.

As much as we may want to ignore it or find ways to move around it, the reality is that the body is amazingly complex system that communicates what it needs – and if we listen closely, we can hear its whispers.

How literate are you with your body?

Do you feel in-tune or somewhat removed?

Are you grateful for or critical of it?

If you live in the Boulder or Denver metro area and feel that it’s time to get in-touch with what your body may be telling you (remember, the earlier you address unusual symptoms the better!) and/or to develop a more positive relationship with it, please call me at (720) 340-0193 or contact me here for naturopathic medicine support.

Let’s get you reading your body like a book.