In a single day the body is asked to perform all the physiological functions that keep it alive, manage the stresses coming from its external environment, and navigate the emotional ups and downs of human life. Each one of these things is challenging for the body. All three are often taxing. The body is built to manage stress under the assumption and condition that the stress it is subject to is temporary and there will be a time during the day when the stress will end and the body will be able to rest and recover.
The body is a magnificently intelligent vessel that we have the honor of living in. It will manage whatever we put it through for days, months, years, even decades. I’ve now been working with human bodies long enough to see that the body will always put 100% of the energy and effort it has available into sustaining life and subjective life style at any given moment. It will do this until it just can’t anymore, until the resources are so low that it has to stop.
The average age of my clients at which I’ve noticed the body begins to struggle on a daily basis seems to be around 50-68 years. This is based entirely on my personal experience working as a therapist in America and may not apply anywhere else. What I do know is that any object, environment, or living thing subject to continual stress over a long period of time will at one point reach a limit and break or stop working all together. That said, even when the body begins to really have trouble functioning, it still works far better, given what it has been subjected to and the condition it is currently in, than we give it credit for.
Most of the time when we focus on our body we focus on what’s not working. Often this is because we feel pain or discomfort and we don’t like that. We then proceed to be annoyed and focus only on the “broken” parts of ourselves. From my personal experience, we are never as broken as we think we are. The broken, hurting parts are often nothing in comparison to the healthy, functioning parts in the body.
This is an invitation to change your relationship with your body. For every aching joint, notice a joint that doesn’t ache. For every tight muscle, notice a muscle that is not tight. For every pain felt in the gut, notice the lack of pain in the chest or vice versa. The simple fact that your heart is still beating consistently without you having to worry about it means you’re a lot healthier than you think you are. Honor your body by focusing on the health. It’s the health that’s keeping you alive, not the illness.