Too often, we rely on doctors to tell us what's happening in our bodies. But the best health care is prevention. We need to take responsibility for knowing our own bodies and their needs, and use that information to change bad habits and become better patients. The goal is not self-diagnosis, but rather, self-knowledge.
The act of recording physical discomfort, marks and health events teaches us to pay closer attention to our bodies. And the resulting records are valuable tools for helping us visualize, externalize and validate problems that can often be hard to describe—both to ourselves and to our doctors.