We’ve all heard that word: inflammation. So what exactly does it mean?
Our bodies are governed by our immune system. This is what keeps us healthy. When our immune system is compromised, the effects are felt through out. Inflammation is a type of immune system response; it’s the healing mechanism that signals to the rest of the body, “Hey, something is wrong and we’re trying to fix it.”
Acute inflammation is a sudden onset of symptoms that occur from incidences such as intense physical exercise (we’ve all felt those sore muscles before!) or even sinusitis. The body responds with pain, swelling, redness, or even that uncomfortable burning or hot sensation. Chronic inflammation occurs when the body is responding to longer-term physical stresses, such as arthritis, asthma, or even ulcers. When chronic inflammation is not managed properly, it can lead to a further imbalanced immune system and destroyed tissues.
With prolonged periods of inflammation, one’s sleep habits are disturbed: it can be difficult to get the restorative rest you need when your body is in pain or in its healing process. Lack of sleep or a lack of a quality night’s sleep in turn adds to the difficulty the body has in healing itself. This is why managing inflammation is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
There are many ways to manage cases of inflammation. First of all, a healthy diet is the key to having a healthy body—including healthy bodily responses. I often recommend to people that they ensure plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and enzymes, such as bromelain, are present in their daily diets. Proper nutrients assist the body with its cellular repair and help fight many cases of inflammation. There are lists of anti-inflammatory foods that we all should keep handy!
Improving the circulatory system also helps fight inflammation. One of the best things I’ve discovered in my experience is massage: so many of my clients experience great relief from inflammatory pain through different massage techniques. When the muscles are stimulated, the blood flow to the rest of the body improves. The relaxation effects gained from a good massage also have a dramatic effect on the immune system—or the body’s “center.” Remember, our health starts here.
I’ve also recommended yoga as an effective natural practice for people wanting to managed their inflammation. Yoga is beneficial for a large group of people, and can be practiced at any level. By bringing mind, body, and spirit together, the overall health and wellbeing of a person is improved tenfold.
Because of my diverse background, I am able to develop for my clients a program specific to their needs. The body of an injured athlete requires a different care plan than that of a person living with acute arthritis. What I do is work with each individual in assessing lifestyles and needs, then develop the healing process that has the most benefit for that person. If you have any questions about inflammation and are wondering how to manage it, please give me a call and we can discuss your next move.