Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Inflammation Ideas

Over the past few months, many students have talked me about inflammation in the body.   First, inflammation is a natural response that the body uses to protect itself.  When inflammation becomes chronic - that's when it becomes a bit more complicated.  From my perspective as a movement person, I often wonder why does the body need protection in this area?   Following this query, we begin to explore new movement pathways that help alleviate the chronic condition.

It just takes time - and a whole lot of patience.

As I indicated in a post in 2011, inflammation is a current hot topic in the research world.  So, we'll be hearing more and more about it in the mainstream news.  As you hear more about this topic, remember that inflammation is a natural reaction to injury or infection.  Any organ or tissue in the body, internal or external, can become inflamed.

As I have worked with inflammation in my own body, I have explored many things over the years.  I have listed below what I have found to be extremely beneficial for my body.  I do not do them all at once.  I alternate or may do a few in combination.  This is my top 12 in random order!  I have more!  This is a good start to a long list.

1.  2 tablespoons of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water

2.  Epsom Salt bath 

3.  Castor Oil - applied topically (rubbed on the skin) & as a pack across the liver.  Here's a video explaining how to prepare and apply the pack.  Please do not use Castor Oil during menstruation.

4.  Turmeric capsules (a cooking spice)

5.  Fresh Pineapple (can also explore Bromelain capsules which is the enzyme in FRESH pineapple)

6.  Boswellia Serrata capsules

7.  Milk Thistle capsules or drops

8.  Dry Brush (light stroke following the lymphatic system back to the center of the body)

9.  Ice & Heat alternating - as a heat source, I use a hot water bottle (most like our watery insides) instead of a heating pad. A now retired Chiropractor told me that there was once a study of chronic low back pain and the use of heating pads. And those individuals that regularly used heating pads as the source of heat had a significantly lower recovery rate.  He told me that the "why?" remains unanswered in the research.

10.  Elevation

11.  Acupuncture - especially Moxa (which I have a love/hate with!)

12.  Ultra Sound

Please know that you can support a healthy inflammation response with diet.  I recently read these words written by teacher, Lorna Sophocleous.

• Processed foods: We live in an industrialized society where many foods are mass produced and highly processed, which means they lack the nutrients that the foods had in their natural form. The nutrients to sustain good health, and avoid inflammation that will ultimately lead to premature aging and disease are missing. Simply put, “If it’s made in a plant, don’t eat it, if it is a plant, eat it!”

Processed foods are toxic; this is compounded by the growth hormones given to animals and the pesticides sprayed on our fruits and vegetables. No wonder we are inflamed!

• Sugar: Sugar is also toxic, especially in large doses. It creates a gooey, sticky mess inside the body and clogs up hormone receptors. Over time, excess sugar in the body links up with proteins, causing tissue to harden. This can lead to arthritis and even contribute to premature wrinkling.  Sugar can make you look and feel old.  It gives you brain fog; your pancreas releases insulin to stabilize your sugar. The adrenals are overtaxed, which can cause insulin resistance or better known as Metabolic Syndrome, leading to Diabetes II.

• Certain oils: Olive oil does not have a high smoke point and is unstable under high heat, which causes inflammation. You also lose its health benefits. When cooking, it is best to use coconut oil, ghee, peanut oil, and toasted sesame oil. Be mindful that a majority of prepared foods, including restaurant food, uses canola, soy, corn, safflower, and vegetable oil, which are all highly processed oils and toxic. Fried foods in these oils create inflammation.

• Avoid sugar. Eat things that have natural sugar in moderation. Sweeten things naturally with honey, molasses, Stevia, and date or coconut sugar.

• Avoid fried foods, refined carbohydrates and foods cooked in high temperatures.

• Use olive oil, hemp seed oil, sesame oil on salads and things without cooking them.

• Eat avocados, nuts and seeds for healthy fats.

• Omega 3’s are a must! Supplement from a high quality brand and eat wild salmon, sardines, which will also give you Vitamin D. Vitamin D should also be supplemented.

• If you smoke, quit now! It’s highly inflammatory.

• Eat organic fruits and vegetables.

• Maintain a healthy digestive system by incorporating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kimchi.

• Drink plenty of filtered water.

• Get plenty of exercise."

Please continue to research inflammation on your own.  Talk with your health care providers and make wise decisions for you.  You will know "in your gut" what's right for you.  Listen to yourself and trust.