If Your Body Was A Car
How lucky we are to drive such reliable vehicles in this modern age. With scarcely a thought as to how they perform, we thrash them up hill and down dale, while loaded up with bags of shopping, cement, dogs, fishing tackle and golf clubs. There’s even room, some days, to pack in Granny on the roof – if the boot is full. And the car never misses a beat, stopping and starting in every weather, with barely a complaint. Until one day, the not so humble car, does complain. While we, meanwhile, start moaning – but are stranded, motionless. Perhaps, just perhaps, we never serviced the ‘thing’ since we’re asking? – the slow urgency of maintenance being drowned out by other busyness. Our bodies are like that too, finally showing us the red flag – while even Green Flag roadside assistance won’t save us.
Tuning Up Our Organs
That’s where we take a deep dive into denialism as maintenance just isn’t much fun, day to day. Its’ cumulative effect just creeps up slowly, it never screams, it just whispers, until… one day. Perhaps our bodies, being more complex and sensitive, do after all need a bit more thought than our cars. With 22 organs we’re more than pistons, fuel injection, brakes and software. Our heart beats around 35 million times each year, our blood is filtered 300 times – yet we give all of it barely a thought until our body finally: creaks, grinds or breaks.
More Than Skin Deep
What’s on show, those external things, they do matter – but often not as much as the internals. Our human bodywork does get more than its’ fair share of preening and polishing: ‘I may suffer a heart attack soon but my hair must look good in the coffin’. Quite. The hidden plumbing and gears, well, who cares? Then one day, a guy or a gal, in a gown and face mask is standing over you – with a monkey wrench, a trolley jack and an oxygen bottle in their hand. They’re clearly not on hand to do some welding – or the surgical equivalent. ‘Oh how I wish he’d taken more care’ your widow will soon be thinking. But, before it comes to that (hopefully) there are things we can do to tilt the table of chance more than slightly, in our direction. Starting with the basics, like putting in the right food as fuel into our high performance human motor.
In The Brown Stuff
For years we were told that the eco fuel of choice was diesel and it was great. Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown was at it – ignore the old diesel smokers we were told, the tax incentives being fair reward to overcome our logical intuition, lest we kick up a stink. But with Dieselgate, suddenly our fuel did matter, we could no longer ignore what we were putting into our tanks – (German translation needed at the front). So fuel does matter, while bodily it seems we’ve been putting not so sweet diesel, into our human petrol tank for decades – while wondering why our bodies are coughing and spluttering. For generations our cars ran on regular fuels: natural, less processed, with few, if any, additives. Now things are quite different.
Alzheimer’s – Not So Much E Type as Three Type
We’re running our bodies on fuels that they were not designed for, and how it shows – not only at the exhaust pipe. It’s for good reason that Alzheimer’s disease is called Type III Diabetes. Sugar fuelled diets do that to brains given time, gumming up and inflaming their software, over decades. That’s when we hit the wall, the air bag of life goes off and we wake up with two black eyes and an aching chest where the seat belt cut in. Perhaps prevention really is cheaper, better, and less painful – than cure. Food for thought, now there is a thought. So just how can we stop this slooooow car crash? – how could we avoid being ‘bodily up on bricks’ and on the hard shoulder of life. Perhaps, by passing round the Haynes Human Health Manual at a very young age, that’s how. Instilling into low mileage minds that driving a car in any direction in all weathers is fine at the beginning – but having a decent map to the US State of Wellness, is a better, long term, plan.
Tyred and Emotional
But what if we’re too fixated on where the rubber meets the road, those physical interfaces, where friction is vital, but is oh, so, energy sapping. What too if the subtle energies that conduct the bodily orchestra, mattered just as much and our mechanical gears of bones, joints and tissue. The bodily ‘invisible’ currently, manifesting as symptoms, over time. Our body, being energy or matter, really won’t be saved by just a panel beater with a club hammer. What if the strain gauge of life is set too high and only reacts when the forces are past lift off – when just one more soothing cappuccino really won’t cut it. Nor will the double brandy before bedtime. In short, mindfulness, yoga and Pilates really do have their place, as does a calm and meditative mind. Evidence supports those who meditate or have acupuncture pre-surgery suffer dramatically less blood loss during their operation, resulting in reduced body trauma.
Just as there’s many a fine tune played on an old fiddle, there is many a high mileage human from whom we can learn. Often we just need to rev them up, oil them well – and really listen to the music of their long playing record.