Feature Image Credit. www.exercise.sportsxfitness.com

About six weeks ago my mother went into the hospital with “flu” while I was visiting her. After two ER visits, two Xrays, three GI scans, and a brain and chest cat scan, we got the worst news possible. Cancer – The bad kind. (The really bad kind.)

I immediately changed my residence to my mother’s house in Kelowna, and I have been here ever since. Any of you who have intimately dealt with cancer know the unprecedented stress it can bring on you body and soul. There are moments when you can’t breathe, when you don’t think you can take one more step. The weight is unbearable at times, and there is a deep need for “outlets” along the way. Laughter, tears, yelling, and many other common reactions serve to dissipate the never ending tension. But, sometimes your inner voice is telling you to do something unfamiliar. It is so important, during those times, to listen closely to how your mind and body need to process. If we listen closely, we will get the clearest message possible for the moment at hand. My voice, within days of the diagnosis, was loud and clear. It kept chanting one word over and over. 


Stress: Your Body Will Tell You How To Deal. Do You Listen?


Something you need to know. As a chiropractor, I have always encouraged patients to select another form of exercise other than running. Running is tremendously hard on the joints, and because most of us have a weak core and old mispatterned mechanics, running is an injury waiting to happen. So when my brain said “RUN,” I said, “I’m sorry, did you say walk fast, hike, or climb stairs?” 

Nope, “RUN.”

There is another thing you need to know. I am arthritic. Arthritic people are best keeping to lower impact adventure. I also have the floppiest ankles known to man. (Thank you high school volleyball). As a result of these various handicaps, I have not even run the span of a parking lot to my car, let alone miles on a treadmill. But there I was standing on the treadmill preparing to listen to my body’s wisdom. 

In the last six weeks, I have worked up very slowly, stretched well before and after and practiced exceptional form (Thank you gym mirror). I also stopped if my body said enough. I am now running full out for 45 minutes sessions. It feels tremendous.

But more than the swinging of arms or pumping of legs, it is the stress dripping off me like tiny beads of sweat that impact me the most. At this time, during this stress, it is this particular activity that allows me to go back in that room fully present and stand beside a mother who is on her “Walk Home.” 


During times of acute stress, listen. Listen to what your body asks for. It might be drawing when you have never picked up a pencil. It might be hula, reading mysteries or some random thing that makes you say “what???” Just listen, and obey.   Your inner voice will give you the answers to navigate through events you might otherwise deem impossible to handle.

When faced with stress, exercise and movement are one of the absolute most base methods dissipate the tension. In studies, exercise has such strong effects on cognitive response to stress it is considered better than anti-depressants. What other things help you deal with stress? Is there anything you have perhaps forgotten about? An activity from when you were a kid perhaps?  This week I want you to get back in touch with one thing that is a stress crusher for you. 






STRESS: Your Body Will Tell You How To Deal. Will You listen?