Health Lessons from the Plumber

water leakOne of people’s worst nightmares is opening your mail and noticing an extremely high water bill when you know that your water usage has not increased.  This happened to me recently and although it was a very expensive ordeal, it verified what I know as a health professional.  After investigation, it came to light that there was a water leak under my dryer in the foundation of my home near my water heater.  Several options were given to me and the biggest factors were:

1) Inconvenience
2) Cost
3) Outcome
4) Time & Commitment.

I kept thinking about all the clients I have had in my career that also come to me with various health issues.  I realized this was very similar to what people go through.  Just like my house, most people have several health factors that have contributed to the current state of their structure and will affect the possible outcome of the long or short term solution.  My house has several things against it:  It is old.  It is built on a slab.  It was likely built by a company who constructed the home several decades ago with little attention given to materials standing the test of time.  I had already replaced a lot of things in my home even though I take very good care of it.  Still, I was totally unaware that the thin, copper pipe that someone installed under my home was deteriorating.

To compare this to a person, some have not been given the structure of a professional athlete, some have not taken the best care of themselves, some have had injuries and surgeries, and some have neglected their health for many years and are deeply invested in their current state.  Either way, whether we are expecting our property or our body to stay intact, maintenance is KEY.

So I found myself in a real quandary.  I certainly did not expect to have to spend this money nor did I want to make arrangements to find the right people to help me, take off work, and go through the inconvenience of having my house torn up.  However, I had a structural issue that was complicated.  I was told that most people take the easiest path.  Not surprisingly, they fix the leak as inexpensively as possible and as quickly as possible, hoping that they won’t have another down the road.  Life continues as normal….

Boy that was tempting.  Then I thought about those who go run to get their cortisone injection, get someone to massage what hurts, get another “adjustment” to take care of the pain, stop moving entirely, take a pill, or switch to another sport so that the injury is not a concern.  I thought about all the people who are gung-ho in January, lose some weight, and then stop in March when the basketball season starts kicking in.  I am a holistic health professional and I approach to healthcare as a life-long approach to taking care of the body with no short-cuts.  I believe in mindfulness as a tool to pay attention to the needs of the body.  I knew that this was not an option.  I had to find the problem and think of a long-term solution.  I was unaware of the pressure my pipes were experiencing and they needed help!

The plumber, my mom, the contractor, and I all agreed.  It was time to do an overhaul or more leaks would happen down the road at a greater inconvenience, higher cost, unknown outcome, and force me to fully commit to fixing it no matter what.  The pipes needed to be re-directed somewhere else with a material that would better weather the years of water flow.  It took a long time, but we moved the pipes up into the ceiling and ran them from the water main to the water heater.  It made the most sense even though it took time and cost me money.

Wow.   I am so grateful to the clients who have been with me for 10 or more years.  They get it and I am so honored to be taking care of their health and their structure for years to come.  They understand that taking care of themselves is a commitment to dealing with change and listening to the body.  It is showing up every day.

Thanks for the lesson Mr. Plumber!!!!

By: Lauren Eirk, MS, MATRx, E-RYT 500
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