Listen to your body
We’ve all experienced that occasional feeling that ‘something’ in our body is off. And it can be hard to figure out what’s causing some types of issues, like headaches, bloating, fatigue, irritability, nervousness, rashes, pain, or weight changes.
If unexplained symptoms are occurring more frequently, maybe even becoming an unwelcome part of everyday life, then it’s time to take note. We’re here to tell you that these symptoms are not a mystery to fear and to remind you they are all signs that it’s time to take some action.
Perhaps you’ve already done some research and are considering working with an MD, ND, holistic nutritionist or other alternative health care practitioner. Maybe you have even gone as far as booking an initial consultation. What can you do in the meantime? Start to listen to your body.
LO DR FICARA - What?
LO DR FICARA is an acronym used by practitioners to identify the important descriptions of each of your individual concerns but it can be a practical tool for you as well, helping you to mentally and physically connect with your symptoms. A brief overview follows and a full description can be found here.
L - Location
O - Onset
D - Duration
R - Radiation
F - Frequency
I - Intensity
C - Character
A - Associated Symptoms or Manifestations
R - Relieving Factors
A - Aggravating Factors
Not only can this knowledge be empowering for you personally, but it can also help you deliver clear and practical information to your practitioner which, hopefully, will lead to a quicker identification of your primary issues and the development of an appropriate protocol to help resolve them.
Now that you know how to identify your symptoms, you’ll want to start tracking them. At the same time, you can track your food and mood. This will help identify if any of your symptoms may be related to a food intolerance or sensitivity.
They are also beneficial for tracking how you feel and how certain events might trigger changes in your emotions. This may give you a better understanding of your inner processes so you can work on learning how to better handle your emotions and support your mental health.
An old school pen and paper diary is a great place to start, but there are also apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet. To get you started, here are a few of the more popular ones. Check them out and see which one works best for you:
It’s important to remember; we are not seeking perfection here. Rather, we want to encourage you to be proactive regarding your symptoms, to check in with yourself, mentally as well as physically, and to be gentle and compassionate with yourself.
By increasing your understanding of what’s going on in your body, you can take ownership of this information and experience and, perhaps, offer yourself a little more compassion in the process.
After all, knowledge is (em)power(ing)...