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Sci Tech    H4'ed 1/8/10

Listen To My Body? I Don't Think So

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It all began with podcasts.

I'm not crazy about many technical innovations of the last 20 years. The passion many share to impart every waking thought on TWITTER or FACEBOOK defies my understanding. Even less comprehensible are those who follow these dispatches with the obsessiveness of meth addicts.

Today's lunch order from Arby's or your deep insight into last night's Gossip Girls are subjects best discussed in person or by phone with the very select few who share your love of the inconsequential. Please don't proclaim them to the e-world at large like they're proverbs from Ecclesiastes. The web has more important uses - like the self-promotion of blogs.

But podcasts are another story. My iPod is bursting with more spoken-word programming than I could listen to in a century. And iTunes generates new batches every week like some electronic sorcerer's apprentice. Since most podcasts are free, I am constantly adding new and increasingly arcane series into the mix. I'm not sure how I came upon The Chopra Center offerings, but the titles of their episodes intrigued me: "Finding Balance In Your Life. . . ," "Intention Setting," and the source for today's rant, "Move Beyond Your Emotional Pain. "

The session begins with a drawn-out Om-like tone followed by a deep, soothing voice that makes Hal the computer from2001sound like Jackie Mason.

"The body is our subconscious mind containing all of our memories. . . Tune into your body. See if there's an area that is calling for your attention. Bring your awareness to this place. Now, in your mind, ask your body what it is trying to tell you. "1

Whoa. My body is going to tell me how to overcome my emotional pain?It's never helped me with the capital of Tajikistan or the definition of "recondite," but apparently it's got the goods on my hang-ups.

Despite my skepticism, I figured I could use some help with a mental quirk or two, and talking to myself was bound to be cheaper than going to a shrink. My attempts at intra-corporealcommunication ran into problems from the start.

What is the proper protocol for addressing the parts of one's body?It seems to me that having shared the same space for almost sixty years, we should be on a first-name basis.

"I say, my dear hamstring, what seems to be the problem?"

However, since I've never actually conversed with them before, more formality might be proper. Maybe I should use the third person.

"Would the esteemed ascending colon be so kind as to inform me of its grievances?"

This seems courteous enough, but what happens if the respective organ, muscle, or joint doesn't understand English?If my innards speak French, Italian, or Yiddish, I might muddle along, but anything else is dicey. Given Dr. Chopra's fluency in these matters, perhaps my body speaks Hindi. There's also the possibility that it uses its own languages in which case Rosetta Stonebetter come up with programs for Bowelish and Scapulese.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that language isn't a barrier. Why should I believe that my various parts want to help me?Given my disregard for their well-being over the years, I think it's likely they have more complaints about my behavior than concern for my psychological health. Am I truly prepared to be called on the carpet by my guts?

How about this from my upper GI tract:

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Jeff Brawer is a writer and television editor in the Boston area who has worked in broadcast, medical, and industrial TV for over 25 years. He has been dealing with weight issues for over 50 years and ranting about them for an eternity.
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