by Julie O’Connell-Seamer
On a recent damp winter’s afternoon I was out walking, and noticed that my calf muscle was cramping, despite the fact I was mobile. This happens to me occasionally in bed, not usually while I’m active. Instantly I felt a pang of guilt, realising that my body’s reserves of the mineral magnesium were low. Magnesium deficiency is ongoing for me, and unless I stay on top of it, muscle cramps, the odd eye twitch and even a clicking jaw will ensue.
Like the thinking behind the old wive’s tale of drinking a glass of milk before bed, when the minerals magnesium and calcium enter the body, they impact functioning of our muscular system, among other key actions, for our homeostasis.
Milk has a measure of both calcium and magnesium in it, one helping our muscles contract around our bones, for movement, the other helping the muscles relax, so they are not eternally tensile. If we think of the brain as a muscle and many other major organs that can play part in the success of our sleep, or sense of alertness, that old story starts to show its virtues. Milk was intended to support a slowing down of the brain and body for slumber.
While a glass of milk won’t cut it for me, therapeutic doses of magnesium is what my body screams for, particularly if I have increased my caffeine intake. Coffee and tea inhibit mineral uptake; that’s why you’re best off taking such supplements a few hours apart, and no caffeine intake with meals. If I don’t listen to my body and magnesium reserves drop even further, my nervous system is affected, and I notice this by the sense of not being able to ‘switch off’. Managing this balance is a dance that I take with myself, adjusting things as my stress-load changes, I forget to stretch or are more active than usual.
Are you working with your body, and not against it?
Do you heed the caution signs when they arise, like a headache that persists, sore throat or other aching body part?
Funnily enough, as I was walking with my cramped leg, and pondering my nutritional needs I noticed this sign that had come loose. It made me laugh because the soil obviously didn’t read the message from the sign it was holding! Things had become so slippery that even the warning sign had lost its foothold.
Do you push beyond the caution signs of your own health?
Are you starting to notice the physiological impact that your lifestyle or habits have on your body?
The below chart thanks to BioMedica Nutraceuticals offers some correlations between your stress resistance system and the impacts of stress on our well-being. Chronic stress can translate to chronic disease, particularly if we fail to manage our body’ ability to cope, to respond normally, and to buffer our systems when the stress load is persisting. Arming ourselves with intentional, strategic and wholistic support can avoid advanced ageing, and all the related dis-ease that manifests if we otherwise continue to ignore the warning signs, increasing the risks and danger.
Health is wealth. Is your body raising the red flag lately? If yes, proceed with caution!
And consider investing in the support of a health practitioner who can assess your case, ensuring no stone is left unturned. Otherwise the ‘signs’ might end up breaking down too, and ill health could progress beyond a state of possible full repair.