This phenomenologic study explored how healthy and chronically ill adults understand their body experience. Nine healthy adults and nine chronically ill adults (asthma or multiple sclerosis) were interviewed and asked to keep a 6-week diary. Using Colaizzi's method of data analysis, significant statements from all three groups were collated and analyzed for formulated meanings. The resultant body paradigm is defined as the person's explanatory model of who she or he is physically and is the result of past body experiences, shared body experiences of others while growing up, perceived circadian rhythms and personal gnosis. Perception of energy patterns was central to all three groups, and chronically ill informants described adapting to a new body paradigm.