There is no doubt the human body slows down with age; but that does NOT mean we have to accept chronic pain, reduced fitness or poor health in general as the ‘ageing norm’. We need to age ‘smart’ by making an investment in time and thought and making the right choices to get the best out of our bodies. We will live longer than the previous generation, so who wants to last longer unless fit and healthy? Your health professionals around you can help manage your pain -- you can treat chronic pain and ailments – just like the ‘young ones’. Don’t you deserve the best too?
We spend a lot of money and time on our cars, servicing, cleaning, upgrading; we spend hours and dollars on the garden; we even spend thousands on our pets; if only we spent as much time on ourselves.
Our body’s systems collectively absorb, process and function a little slower and less efficiently as we age, but with a little more effort we can get the most out of our bodies by ensuring the following :
A balanced diet with protein, vegetables, vitamins and minerals, fibre and all those things we have been told by doctors for years
Exercise to build muscle, increase lung and heart function, optimise the blood flow through the body and maintain a healthy brain
Drink water – yes, there is no way around it – we need to drink a few glasses of clear water every day that doesn’t have tea, coffee or cordial in it!
Socialise: the importance of being out and about and with others cannot be underestimated for mental well-being
Create or maintain a healthy sleep pattern: so important for the body to recover and function and process all the operations of the body’s organs.
Take a look at the table below. I found it in a blog by David Butler, Adelaidean Physio-extraordinaire! (www.noigroup.com). He describes the effect of positive thoughts and talk (SIMS – Safety in Me) versus negative talk or thoughts (DIMS – Danger in Me). The research shows we can change how our body ‘feels’ by the way we ‘think’. Pain is all in the mind! It really is! The pain we feel is the brain’s response to something going on in the body. Two people can have the same problem but respond quite differently. Children will respond differently to adults. Men will…well men will just respond! It is also influenced by culture, experience, gender, and importantly, memory. Our brain ‘remembers’ pain. It will assume the problem is going to feel the same as the last time even if the injury is not as bad. It sounds simple doesn‘t it? Well, it actually is. Sort of! It demonstrates the importance of positive self-talk and changing our thoughts.
Can you hear yourself in some of the statements in the table below? Maybe you could add a DIM that you hear in your own mind chatter and then find the SIM to replace it with instead. It may be simple but it is NOT easy and takes training but our Physiotherapists can help you in the process of getting started. Good luck!