I always ask my yoga students to tune into what is happening in their own bodies before beginning to practice. Quite simply, you cannot make any change without acknowledging the starting point for that change. You can’t institute positive change, without knowing what it is you are seeking to change. You cannot heal your body without notice what needs healing.
And so, last week I noticed that a little sore on my nose was bleeding. At that moment, I finally acknowledged that three little red sores on my nose had been around for quite sometime–perhaps 5-9 months–long enough that they had just become a new fixture on the landscape of my face and I allowed them to just blend into the brownish age spots on my cheeks and the wrinkles around my eyes. We add new topography to our face as we age, no? But the bleeding for no reason; that got my attention.
I visited my dermatologist this week (I’ve had lots of suspicious moles removed over the past five years so I have a dermatologist already in my cue of yearly visits). The three sores were actually pre-cancerous. The dermatologist burnt them off. I look like an insect now, walking around with three nicely spaced round burn spots on my nose. I am not sure when they will heal over. Until then, I think most people must assume that I fell off my bike, or something.
My dermatologist told me that if you have any sores that persist longer than two months, without healing, get them checked out! I always assumed skin cancer just came from moles. Not so, it turns out.
I am now more than ever aware of the fact that we need to tune into our own bodies. You can’t rely on the healthcare system, whether it is Obamacare or an HMO or your very trusted family doctor of thirty years. Heathcare starts with each person. You need to notice what you eat, notice how you move, notice how your breasts feel from month to month, notice sores that don’t heal, notice insistent back pain that has no known origin. You’ve got to feel to deal to heal.