Seniors: Are You Aware of Your Body Language?

Jun 28th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

With every movement and inflection, we telegraph how we feel, how our body is doing, what our stature and facial expressions are communicating every day. Body language is something we  offer unawares.  We don’t see what others experience when they encounter us.  If we are stooped, our body is  very likely responding to some discomfort or pain.  If we are grimacing with our facial expressions, we are sub-consciously communicating that something is going on with our body.  Noticeable to others, unknown to ourselves, every movement has a meaning and telegraphs how we feel.  

If we shuffle across the room, finding it difficult to pick up our feet, we are letting others know that walking brings with it more than we can give.  If we tread slowly going up or down steps, our knees, perhaps ankles and lower back are accommodating our body to share how difficult it is to transport our weight.  Getting into or out of a chair or sofa may be a challenge requiring assistance.  Standing in a shower, where we are most often alone, our body may communicate, to us, if to no one else, that we are afraid of falling. Difficulty with driving is strongly evidenced in our ability to turn our heads far enough to see what may be encroaching on us from behind.  Exiting an automobile can be particularly challenging, depending upon the design of the car.

How does one detect these signals so that they are signs we take into account in our daily routines?  Being aware of the changes in our body’s ability to move well and smoothly will help create the routines that may improve mobility. While there are other issues which are communicated by way of our body, let’s focus here on those that are primarily related to body movement.

Admitting that your body has undergone some structural adjustments is the first suggestion at knowing something needs to be addressed.  Many persons will go to Physical Therapists to determine what exercises may be most useful in correcting some of the stiffness and lack of response from your body as you seek to have normal movement each day.  This will likely require daily exercises, a discipline affecting your daily routine, so that you can begin to work out the muscular and structural limitations of your limbs, spine, joints and, even your mind.  If your mind refuses to cooperate, it won’t do much good to try to force the body into doing things it refuses to do. 

Chiropractors are typically good sources for helping to adjust many of the locked up joints in your body.  One must use prudence and care in selecting a competent chiropractor.  I have been lucky over the years in the choice of those I have seen.  Beware of those who claim curative powers for everything from a hang nail to the loss of hair.  When they focus on what they do best, that is adjustments, they are in their mettle.  When they make claims for non-related issues, then one must determine how competent they really are. 

Body language can scream at you, as if you are talking to yourself.  If pain and discomfort are so pronounced that your body speaks to you through its misery, then you need to listen to yourself and to take measures that will enable your managing the pain.  Medications may work, at least temporarily.  But your real goal should be elimination of the pain at best or at least management of the pain at least.  Listen to yourself.  If, when you rise in the morning, there are whispers of agony, decide which exercises and practical movements you can call upon to allow your body more fluid movement.  If the pain does not subside, it may be necessary to call your chiropractor or physical therapist for an appointment. 

Work out the kinks everyday.  Don’t get in the habit of permitting yourself to be lazy, just because the pains have subsided temporarily.  Your communication with yourself and others will be  more pleasant, the more you are aware of your body’s seeking to help you hear what it is saying.



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