It is a great blessing if your body can transport you through life without too many recurring breakdowns. Being unaware of the body’s warning signs is part of a more general loss of many primal and gut instincts. When things do go wrong, there is a tendency to curse your body, treating it as something separate from yourself — an entity that has failed in its service to you. What people often fail to realize is that this reaction is the result of an ever-increasing disconnection with the body, and that the physical breakdown is the conclusion to a long series of unheeded warnings, which the body has been trying to communicate. These communications can be as simple as an awareness that you have not felt quite right for a while, that you have been unusually terse with loved ones or simply the feeling that you can’t cope any more. They can also take a more physical form, like a headache or indigestion — symptoms often suppressed with a pill, when you should be addressing the cause and questioning the reason for them. Sometimes, as with so many children nowadays, ill health becomes a way of life. Allergies, digestive disorders, and overuse of antibiotics are all too common. Listening to your body, observing and asking how and why you react to situations the way you do, can tell you an awful lot about yourself. With physical symptoms, what is often required is a process of seeing the external signs and tracing them back to the inside. Initially, there may be just a jumble of clues and tidbits of information, great and small. Every sensory ability has to be thrown into feeling more and gathering information. Approach the problem like a great detective novel; it will invariably contain many false trails that must be patiently tracked by applying all available wisdom. Drawing conclusions too quickly is as dangerous as overcomplexity and tunnel vision. Simplicity and common sense should be your primary focus. A practitioner can often make sense of all the pieces for you and design a helpful route back to health. In many cases of ill health, a disease progresses for some years before severe symptoms set in. The further advanced a disease is, the harder it is to fi nd the source or to locate the actual moment, or moments, when the initial disharmony spawned the illness. So seeing and being aware of yourself is a habit you can begin at any age and is a lesson that it is never too early or too late to learn. In many ways it is a very natural process. Some may fi nd comfort in knowing that their ill health is their destiny.