I am writing this post on the morning of Monday the 18th of November, 2019.
Last week Sunday was a perfectly normal day. I saw a number of patients in the Maccabi health fund clinic in the morning and then worked in my private clinic in the afternoon and evening. All told I work with around 15-20 patients on a normal Sunday.
In case anyone needs the reminder, last week around four o’clock Tuesday morning southern and central Israel began experiencing red alerts and rocket attacks. We had three days of intense uncertainty regarding work, schools, whether shops would be open, was it safe to plan birthday parties and weddings, and how long the situation would last (hours, days, months?), on top of the fear and anxiety caused by the actual attacks.
Yesterday in my clinic and at the health fund I asked all of my Sunday patients how they felt, if there were any changes in their symptoms, and how they had coped with the events of the past week. Almost all of them said that they had had no problems with the “situation”. That they hadn’t been under direct attack, that they had lived through far worse, that they didn’t worry because they know the odds of something bad happening to them are so small.
Only one patient told me that the situation had had an effect on her, a new patient who was seeking treatment because of anxiety. No one else had noticed any change.
But 80% said they were in more pain than last Sunday.
80% of my patients, almost all of the people who come to see me on Sundays because of pain related problems, felt significantly worse this week.
This is not a normal number. There are ups and downs in each individuals process, and there are times when I know to predict that a number of people will be doing worse (the first rain, the beginning of flu season, the first week of school), but even then I haven’t seen number like this.
What bothers me isn’t that so many people are feeling worse after the events of the past week. That seems like a perfectly reasonable response. What worries me is that so many people are so disconnected from their bodies that they only check in and see how they are feeling once a week, when they are in the clinic and I ask them specifically.
Most of us in the industrialized world live in a state of semi-disconnect from our bodies. And this means that we often don’t notice the subtle messages our bodies send us, and only listen and take action when they start to shout.
So please, when you read this, take one minute to check in with your body. How is your breathing? How do your hands and feet feel? How about your head, eyes, neck, and back? Are you in any pain or discomfort?
If you feel like your learned something new, try and check back in every day for a week. In the morning when you wake up, or at night before you fall asleep are good times to remember to check in with your body, but whatever works for you is fine.
Hi! I’m Havva Mahler, a practitioner of Chinese medicine: acupuncture, Chinese herbs, reflexology, tuina, sotai and a bunch of other words you’ve probably never heard of
I also spend a lot of time thinking and learning about human behavior, because so much of our health is dependent on our actions.
You can find more thoughts on health, wellness and personal growth on my blog, and you can also sign up here to get future blog posts delivered by
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