Health first, work later

It’s my first year out in Osteopathic practice, and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of health. Not just physical, but mental and emotional health too. When people come to see me, it’s usually because they are in pain. Pain is an interesting concept in itself, we perceive pain, and although there can be underlying tissues responsible for pain, a lot of pain can be amplified by the state of our bodies. We live in a society always in a hurry, always looking for the quickest solution; rapid weight loss, the latest crunch machine, six-week online qualifications, even tinder. We have the focus all wrong, we’ve put the focus on our careers and materialistic possessions, and forgotten how to eat well, how to enjoy exercise and even how to socialise.

My biggest pet hate is people saying “I just live with it”. Well no, you shouldn’t have to accept your pain is a part of your life, you should correct it, and seeing someone about it is the first step. Being willing to take control of your health is empowering, because no longer will you be governed by pain, you will find the balance between work and health, and you can have the freedom to live well. Being able to have a team of support around you to help find the balance in your life is integral to living well and happy.

My second biggest pet hate is people saying “I don’t have time”. Now that can be be the case with a busy family life or even a demanding career, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I often meet people who are so consumed by their work life that they become their career. For example, meeting someone for the first time and having them introduce them selves as “Bob the accountant”, or “Jenny the engineer”. Your job is not who you are, it’s what you can do to contribute to our society and make it a better place. A naturopath once told me, “I’m no good to anybody if I’m not healthy”, and he’s spot on, if you don’t look after your physical, mental and emotional health, you won’t have the capacity to give back at your best.

Now I’m no martyr, I’ve definitely done my fair share of “hi I’m Ashton the student” or “I’m Ashton the Osteopath”, but thats ok, I’m still learning how to distance who I am at work from who I am as a person. As a person I want to be happy, healthy and surrounded by good people. To do this I find my own balance, I ride my bike to the beach, I draw kindergarten looking pictures on a white board, I pretend to be a Masterchef in the kitchen. It does take time, but it’s my time. Taking time for yourself to do things you love to do should be high on your to-do list, and looking after your overall health should be your number one priority.

Think often. Live Well.

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