Being a woman is undoubtedly a marvellous adventure. Women lead extraordinary lives but maintaining themselves mentally, emotionally and physically usually take a backseat for many. The increasing stress in today’s world further challenges the health of women. With countless responsibilities on hand, not caring for one’s physical and mental health can take a toll on you. The health of a woman is greatly influenced by her surroundings. In order to lead a healthy and happy life, it is essential for her to understand the needs of her mind and body while adapting to the environment she lives in. Today’s approach of merely taking a tablet to rid of the pain barely touches base with the deep well that is women’s health.
Self-Healing – Truth or Myth?
Many people believe in self-healing through spirituality, meditation, positive thinking, or means they read or heard about. Some solely depend on the process of self-healing and avoid going to a physician altogether. As the awareness about self-healing grows, more and more women are opting for it. But does it really work? It is a known fact that our body has the ability to heal itself. This is also a scientifically proven fact that our body has self-repair mechanisms that fight against cancer cells, infectious agents and other diseases while repairing broken proteins and even fighting against the ageing process. One would think that since our body can heal itself, popping in a pill, like we have always been doing, would be enough, as our body will do the rest. That’s not true! The self-healing mechanism of the human body can function fully when the nervous system is in the relaxation response. Our autonomic nervous system has two primary operating systems:
- Sympathetic nervous system – creates stress response, known as ‘fight or flight.’
- Parasympathetic nervous system – creates relaxation response, known as ‘rest and digest.’
This means stress plays a vital role in our health. From loneliness to work pressure to being chased by a tiger – our nervous system detects imminent danger signals. Our nervous system is always on ‘fight or flight mode. It’s hardly ever in relaxation response which delays or eliminates the chances of fully recovering. Many people, especially women, experience sudden back or neck pain, or gastrointestinal problems when under extreme stress. This shows that only medicine can’t cure you. Healing from within is essential. All of this teaches us that self-healing methods and conventional medicine go hand and hand. While self- healing like meditating, yoga, or any form of therapy is essential to keep stress at bay, consulting a physician is also important to determine if there is anything seriously wrong. Women go through many physical changes through their lives and keeping a check on ourselves is necessary so that we can nip any problem in the bud.
You should take time out every day to indulge in stress relieving activities to enhance your mental and emotional health while also getting regular health checks from a physician to keep a tab on your physical health and to prevent serious health issues. Regular health checks are important to spot early signs of disease like cancer, diabetes, heart and more. The more we understand our body and are up to date about our health, the better we would be able to take care of ourselves.
Following are the health checks women usually do in their 20s, 30s and after 40:
- Complete Physical Check – at least once every three years — they check for thyroid function, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, kidney function and cancer.
- Pap test – for you who is sexually active, this is required annually to spot for signs of cervical cancer.
- STD tests – annually after becoming sexually active and it is wise to check once every six months if you had been tested positive before.
- Pap test – if you get normal results for three consecutive checks, you need to get this test after every two years.
- HPV test – if your results are normal, you need to be tested with Pap test every two years.
- Blood Sugar test – get tested once every two years.
- Complete Physical – start getting a physical annually.
- Blood Sugar test – start getting your blood sugar checked annually.
- Cholesterol test – get tested annually, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure if you smoke or have heart diseases in your family history.
- Mammogram – the risk of cancer increases with age, especially after 50. It is essential to get a mammogram after every two years.
- Colonoscopy – get the procedure when you turn 50. After that, get a screening every ten years.
Women tackle many responsibilities, but one of the most essential and most neglected responsibilities is taking care of their mind and body. While self-healing is an integral part of a healthy mind and body to enhance your relaxation response, regular health checks are also equally, if not more, important to keep a check and balance on your physical health. Women are indeed superheroes in disguise, but even superheroes need to take care of themselves.