Communicate With Yourself:
The Language of Symptoms
Doctors in America are very good at diagnosing symptoms of a disease, and then making those symptoms disappear. Conventional doctors have been taught that symptoms need to be suppressed or eliminated. If you suffer from pain, they will prescribe pain relievers. If you have high blood pressure, they will prescribe medicine to lower your blood pressure. Whatever your symptom, doctors and researchers will try to find a synthetic chemical or treatment to suppress the symptom.
Detecting and then suppressing symptoms is the core of conventional Western Medicine. And within modern medicine, the term “symptom” has acquired a negative connotation. People almost always associate a symptom with something bad. However, this idea hides an essential point that symptoms are the language our body uses to communicate messages about our health and well-being. Symptoms should not be feared, but embraced and understood. For they contain crucial information on what is happening inside our bodies where our eyes can’t see, where our ears can’t hear, where our nose can’t smell, where our mouth can’t taste and where our fingers can’t touch. The language of symptoms contain warnings that must not be ignored.
By suppressing symptoms, you are ignoring or forgetting about the root problem that is causing the symptom to exist in the first place. This can have disastrous consequences for your long-term health. By not feeling symptoms, you may continue activity or behavior that may aggravate or make your condition worse. Also, you may delay necessary treatment to treat the root cause. Many people often confuse the symptoms with the problem itself, and mistakenly think that by treating the symptoms, they are fixing the problem. However, in most situations, removing symptoms does nothing to treat the underlying problem. Symptoms are merely the result of the problem.
Touch and Feel Your Messages
Pain and other feelings of discomfort are important indicators of proper further action. It can direct you to rest and avoid further injury. It will also know when you are healed by simply disappearing. Pain constantly regulates your activities. It tells you when you are in danger of getting injured, and also alerts you when one has already occurred. It can also be an indicator to the severity of an injury or other problem, although pain threshold is very subjective. Pain killers and other drugs dull and sometimes erase pain and discomfort. They can be a temporary solution until you proceed with the permanent solution to address the cause of the pain or discomfort. But in the process, our bodies’ messages get distorted and lost in translation.
Using Your Eyes to Listen to Yourself
Your skin and nails can also tell much about the health of your internal seas. The condition of your skin may indicate a similar problem internally. Visible irritations, acne, sores, rashes etc are important warnings regarding the condition of your body. They can direct you to clean up your diet, change your nutrient intake, and make lifestyle changes. Your fingernails can tell a lot about your health also. Oddly shaped, brittle or discolored fingernails tell you about nutritional deficiencies in minerals and vitamins. Your tongue can tell a wealth about your health, too. A tongue that is discolored, has a layer of mucous, has deep ridges on the sides or other non-healthy characteristics directly indicates problems with organs like your liver, kidneys, heart, lungs or digestive tract.
Smelling and Hearing Trouble Before It Comes Around the Corner
Furthermore, your body sends messages via what it comes out of it. Whether its bad breath, bad gas, body odor, irregular fluid or waste excretions, your body is constantly sounding alerts about your health condition. We instinctively know when something smells foul. And that something is out of balance. Similarly, we recognize that certain sounds that come from are bodies are indicators of imbalances within. A grumbling stomach can indicate a hungry stomach or an upset one. Combined with how our stomach feels, we came determine what we should do about it. Suppressing the symptom is not enough. We need to fix what’s causing the symptom and use that information to try to prevent it in the future. Our bodies are constantly sending us progress reports about the effects of our recent diet and lifestyle choices. We need to understand and properly interpret the information our bodies are providing and use it to make smart decisions.
For instance, dehydration can cause many symptoms that are commonly misdiagnosed as other diseases. Chronic dehydration can appear to be asthma, hypertension, hunger, kidney disorders, heart problems and constipation. Drinking more water on a regular basis (and avoiding drinking large amounts (5 or more cups a day) of caffeinated beverages to lower your chances of dehydration) can solve these underlying problems, and you may actually see many of those symptoms vanish within a few days, weeks or months.
Cravings Warn You About Nutrient Deficiencies
Also, certain cravings tell you a lot about your nutritional state and what your body needs in the short-term. These are subconscious messengers that direct you to eat something your body needs. Most people, however, misinterpret those cravings and end up eating something bad for their health instead of what the body actually craves. An example of this is salt craving. Many of us have add an urge for a salty snack. Your body is actually craving real, mineral rich salt, but you end up consuming refined salt that contains none of the nutrients your body was craving. Thus, after a little time passes, you realize that you have not gotten your fix, and you crave something more. This can generate a harmful cycle of misinterpretation and excessive consumption of unnecessary food. Try adding some real sea salt to some nuts and see if it satisfies you more than those potato chips or pretzels that don’t have nutrients.
The same can be said for sweets. Perhaps your body is craving a natural source of sugar in fruits that contain a bunch of other nutrients besides the sugar content. But you end up eating refined sugar products like commercial baked goods or candy. And you are surprised when your sweet tooth is not satisfied. If you get chocolate cravings, go get some real chocolate, not the processed kind, and get nutrients on top of the sweetness.
Separating Symptoms from the Root Cause
Always remember to listen to your body. But for the average person, self diagnosing is not recommended so go speak to a doctor or a health practitioner for a proper diagnosis of symptoms. If you do go see a regular mainstream doctor, you will probably receive a quite useful diagnosis of specific symptoms. Western doctors are quite good at determining what’s wrong with you on a symptomatic level even if they have no idea about underlying causes. And you could aid the process greatly if you could give your doctor an accurate picture of your symptoms and how your body has been reacting. So if you receive a diagnosis from a western doctor, you can often take that diagnosis home and do something useful with it, even if you do not fill the prescription or like the options presented to you by the doctor. Never be tricked into taking a medication that only masks the symptom. Use the symptom as a clue to finding the root causes because the symptom is just the tip of the iceberg.
We need to address and learn from the symptoms instead of fearing and suppressing them. We should embrace our bodies’ responses to stimuli and understand them for what they are. For the term “symptoms” is just a substitution for a response or a reaction. Properly interpreting and understanding the language of symptoms is the key to communicating with your body and making smart decisions to address the underlying root cause of the symptoms through more natural, less invasive means. Your reward will be a stronger, more stable foundation to build your health upon, with more time to enjoy the wealth of health.