One needn’t research for long in order to build a significant list of parallels that exist between a human being and the endless array of mechanical devices which serve us on a day-to-day basis. Cell phones, laptops, motor vehicles, lawn mowers, blenders…the list is virtually infinite. Most interesting is the difference in the mindset we have when caring for the inanimate machine versus its living, breathing, walking, talking human counterpart.
A newly married couple will stop at nothing to ensure proper maintenance of their brand new pickup as soon as the check engine light shows up on the dashboard. Fear of wear and tear to the vehicle’s motor causes an almost immediate response in order to avoid further complications in the future. Everyone loves being stranded on some random highway after dark, right?! On the other end of the spectrum, how easy and almost natural it is for that same couple to ignore warning signs from their own bodies.
What gives? Why do most men find it easier and more enjoyable to take better care of their truck than they do themselves? The answer is obvious: They got their body for free. When you invest $48,000 on a Chevy Silverado, the responsibility and accountability to maintain that investment come to the forefront of your mind. You will stop at nothing to ensure that the vehicle stays in the most pristine shape possible, for as long as possible. When the truck wears out, you can always buy a new one. This is not so with the human body – your vehicle FOR LIFE. Your physiology is designed in such a way that if we experience any type of stressor—something that shifts us into a state of distress (think sunburn)—our body will stop at nothing to correct the problem fully…and look how we treat it in return. Check engine lights flashing, alignment issues, fluid levels are low, and all the moving parts become rusted out prematurely.
In the fast pace and modern world we live in, it becomes all too easy to “tough it out” and to “give it time.” I encourage you to challenge what is common and replace it with what is right. Symptoms are not some dreaded or unwelcome inconvenience, they are your body’s way of trying to get you to take action now (not later). When we choose a method which simply targets the symptom rather than the problem, we put the body into a state of silent breakdown. Now we have a fire and all we did was smash the smoke alarm. If you are experiencing daily headaches, do you really believe it is due to a deficiency of Excedrin in your blood? Or is it an underlying problem which needs to be addressed? As you navigate through 2017, remember: if you ignore your health, soon it will go away. Make it a priority to listen to, take instruction from, and maintain your human machine, the most complex creation the world has ever seen.