What is the difference between me and a car?

How can we encourage a deeper appreciation of the awesomeness of the body that we travel around in?

We often disassociate ourselves from our physical body. I guess it is more noticeable when we are in pain or injured that we will often start to view our body, or body part, as something that is not 'working' properly, 'failing' or is separate to our sense of self. We decide what our body should be achieving in order for us to feel that it is functioning correctly and then when we do not reach this target we feel that our physicality is failing us.

It is easy (and I have been guilty of this too), to view our body as a car, a vehicle. I find this somewhat unhelpful, as it influences the relationship we have with the body or body part.

Consider how you view your car. Perhaps you feel it is a reflection of your identity? Perhaps you have a car that reflects your economic status? Perhaps it is merely functional? It fits all the kids in, it gets you from A to B? You might do some maintenance when it is broken. You may be able to get a part and fix it or get someone else to fix it. It depreciates over time. It is separate to you. You can sell it and upgrade. If it breaks down you can leave it on the side of the road and get it later.

If we apply these feelings to the body we sell it short.

Our body is not a machine or a vehicle. If something goes awry it does not sit there inert waiting for a fix. It immediately responds. It uses an intricate network of nerve endings to alert your brain and spinal cord that something is amiss. These nerve endings, (unlike any computer system), can be affected by context, emotion, stress, hormone levels, illness, fatigue- the list goes on.

It uses your incredible and complex circulatory blood system, (powered by your phenomenal heart), to pump inflammatory cells to the site. These cells clean up anything that seems unusual and then set to work regenerating or patching any bits that may need it. Now, I'm not saying this is a perfect system! Sometimes it can go on longer than necessary and sometimes it can't keep up. Sometimes the repair is different to what was there previously.

But, this movement forwards is always there. The body is always interacting internally amongst it's cells and networks and externally- all your millions of nerve endings feeding sensory information about your environment into the system so it can continually adapt and respond.

Often healing and progression are related more to our ability to balance all these interactions, and our desires, at a level that the system can keep up with.

Sometimes my body does not do what I want it to. And that can really piss me off! But at these moments I try to think about how hard my physiology is working to try to accommodate all my needs and dreams and goals.

It is incredible.

It is alive.

Book an appointment if you need help to get moving.

Inspirations at the moment are:

Todd Hargrove- http://www.bettermovement.org/blog/

Lorimer Moseley- http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDx-Adelaide-Lorimer-Moseley-W

Adam Meakins- https://thesportsphysio.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/we-are-not-cars/

#injury #physiotherapy #physiology