Keeping Yourself Healthy

What if I gave the teenage version of you a brand new car? The only condition of this gift being that you had to keep this car for life? Most people who chose to accept this car would cherish it. Beyond the annual MOT any issue would be addressed before they became terminal or you’d lose your transport. *

Well if you think about it, the car is a pretty good analogy for the human body. Neglect it and there’s a good chance it’ll malfunction. Some people are born a Mercedes, others Fiats. Whatever body you’ve inherited, hewn from steel or a bit wonky, its your responsibility to maintain it as best you can. Yet most owners give less attention to their own bodies than their cars. Think about it – a service and MOT per year. What part of the body compares…

Teeth are probably the most well attended to part of our bodies. Bi-annual check-ups. Poking around in your mouth dentists discover if you’ve got a problem looming on the horizon. You know it too – the sinking feeling of an impending filling as the dentist struggles to extract their probe from a gooey tooth. Eyes are probably next on the list although its generally only every 2 years for these, which seems a long interval to me for such an important sensory organ, essentially just an extension of the brain. I’m ambivalent about a wonky smile but pretty keen on being able to see well.

Anyway, if your car and even your teeth get treated so well, why not the rest of your body? The gooey tooth is the equivalent of the tight muscle. It can sit there completely undetected, just waiting for a trigger which can then cause immeasurable pain at some point in the future. The trigger could be a poor night sleep, tying a shoelace, a stressful week at work. By putting pressure on these muscles therapists can detect where problems my occur in the future. This is particularly important for recurring problems, such as back pain or headaches, as quite often when the pain goes the problem hasn’t necessarily disappeared, the pain has just entered a latent phase, waiting for a future trigger.

* This is an idea I appropriated from billionaire octogenarian investor, Warren Buffet, who compared the human body to a car, which should be cared for for life. Despite his staggering wealth he tends to buy quite ordinary cars and drive them for a decade or more before changing them, embodying his own advice.