Anatomy & Physiology: It’s not just for med students

Growing up, I learned shockingly little about how my body worked, I mean REALLY worked. My first human anatomy and physiology class was in college. I took this class twice so I could turn my C minus into an A to fulfill my nursing requirement. It was indeed (in addition to a less-than-exciting sophomore summer) a first step to some real understanding. I was already 20 years old. I later realized after graduating and taking the nursing exam 3 times(!) that much of that info just didn’t stick. Ya think? 

I later learned why – at massage therapy school. I not only needed the repetition, but I needed to learn it by touching, seeing and experiencing. We built our muscles out of clay, attached them to skeletons and gave and received massages every day for a year. After my 3rd A & P class, things began to stick. I was a kinesthetic learner – who knew?! Humans are complicated and each of us have different ways of learning and processing new information – all the more reason I wish I’d started learning about my body earlier.  

This has brought me to thinking: how can we feel invested in loving our bodies (what the world needs!) without knowing how they work – how they keep us alive? By the time we become pre-teens, the demand for self-care is drilled into us – then later comes the shame for failing to practice it. But has the supply of our education and understanding matched this demand? Maybe if we truly understood how our liver and kidneys are working for us, what causes shifts in our blood pressure, or from where and why our hormones are being released, we might act differently (maybe) – or at least appreciate differently. If we don’t receive basic (age-appropriate) education of our body’s intelligence along the way, then self-care influences become less primal (inward) and more cultural (outward). We’ve all seen how that works out. 

Through providing young people the education and hands-on tools to experience how their bodies work, they become empowered to make individualized self-care choices based on understanding – as opposed to cultural pressures that ultimately generate shame. If we don’t, future generations of adults will end up so removed from their own bodies that they aren’t equipped for positive role-modeling. Saltwater Mountain Co. believes in breaking this cycle. 

Cold water therapy is one tool that taps into our primal, washing away whatever has clouded our inward vision. Incorporate teaching about the nervous and cardiovascular systems, combined with yoga and breath, and the result is a priceless package of kinesthetic learning with undeniably strong real-world benefits. 

This is empowerment. And it’s an honor to be touching on it, seeing into it and experiencing all of it.