A constant conversation: tuning into and harmonizing the needs and priorities of the body and mind.
Individuals rely upon many types of information to manage an illness, including information provided by their own bodies. This study investigated how people tune into and manage the flow of information from their bodies to manage their health.
We developed a platform for participants to share and collaboratively reflect on how they engaged in this dialogic process, in which participants contributed to a discussion on topics relating to body listening and body awareness. Though the study was open to anyone interested in or wanting to contribute to knowledge on "body listening," the social media recruitment focused on chronic conditions requiring self-care and having overlapping symptomatology, with chronic pain as the primary characteristic. A qualitative analysis method based on grounded theory was used to analyse the data.
Six main themes emerged: learning the language, recognizing and heeding limits, experiencing emotional fatigue and despair, regulating the channel, moving from conflict to communication, and settling into an uneasy acceptance.
The monitoring and filtering of information from one's body, and the appeasement of conflicting demands and voices, is difficult work. Knowledge of this process can be used in patient education and in the development of tools to support body listening.
Chen, AT; Kaplan, SJ; Carriere, R
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