2007-07-20 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

By Dr. Nancy Gahles

DR. NANCY GAHLES DR. NANCY GAHLES It takes courage to live your life with intention and purpose. It takes self-reflection to begin to understand who you are, what your needs are, what your dreams are. It takes awareness to look at the underpinnings of your life and watch the drama unfold as each day opens and closes. It takes patience to allow the process to be. It takes understanding to unravel the plot. It takes forgiveness to let the characters develop. It takes compassion to live through the twists and turns that life offers.

As we rush through our days seemingly blissfully

unaware, we are often reminded that something is askew in our lives when our trusty bodies send us signs through symptoms including pain, discomfort, irritability or overt disease.

Functional syndromes like colds, allergies, repeated infections, lethargy, mood swings and sleep disturbances can be signs of an immune system that is exhausted. We can call these immune deficiency or we can call these burn-outs.

In my practice, I see a majority of cases where the person "just can't seem to shake it." Asymptom never quite gets better or goes away and then comes back in one form or another. The person just never feels well enough. Or good enough. Many of us simply are in constant overdrive. One would think that during the summer months you would see less of this, as relaxing becomes a paramount effort. That is the point, effort. We are constantly "on," especially in the summer when the longer hours of daylight and the freedom of vacation gives us ample time to do more of the things we didn't have time for. We eat more, drink more, go more places, do more things.

The typical patient at this time of year presents with chronic cough, summer cold, muscle and joint aches, sleep disturbances and general fatigue.

While I do treat each patient individually with respect to their issues, one theme prevails. SLOW DOWN. The enjoyment of life is in the savoring of each moment as it unfolds. The way in which we experience each moment builds a repertoire of sensations that feed our entire being. These sensations are stored as memories that we can access when decisions need to be made or action needs to be taken. When we have experienced the moments rightly we have a solid base of experiential data to draw upon. This builds self-confidence and trust in our abilities. This gives us successful responses to everyday situations. This data bank of experiences gives us feedback when a health issue arises. We can better determine the "who, what, when, where and why's" of a symptom or illness. We can define patterns. We can become partners in our healing process along with our doctor. We can become co-creators of our health.

It takes courage to live in the present moment. Sometimes it may mean that you have to say "No." You do not have to do it all or do everything that someone asks you to. Be discerning. Do only that which serves you and your family well. It may, and necessarily must, include service to others, but all in right proportion. When you feel that you are having trouble saying "no," use this line that a dear family friend taught me…. "Why don't we let someone else have the opportunity to serve?"

Enjoy this moment for it will never come again. Create the next moment with intention and purpose and you will surely have health and harmony.

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