Inflammation: Stop, Drop, and Roll?

Many in the health field liken inflammation to a raging fire in the body. If only the old adage of “Stop, Drop, and Roll” applied to putting out the internal fire in your body, then inflammation would be easy to conquer and I wouldn’t be writing this article. But, unfortunately, the solution is a little more complicated than that.

How Does Inflammation Look or Feel in my Body?
It creates and contributes to:

It can also cause a break down of other systems in the body, such as in the digestive and cardiovascular systems. Depending upon where the inflammation is located and how wide spread it is, determines how much it affects your life.

Why is Inflammation Created?
It can be a response to:

Inflammation in the tissues adversely affects circulation to and from the area. This means that more metabolic garbage will pile up and fewer fresh nutrients will be delivered to the area to feed the tissues properly. This actually creates more inflammation and pain in the area and a delay in the healing process. The body is sometimes a little too overprotective. Over time, chronic inflammation can affect other areas of the body, creating increased pain in a greater proportion of the body. And more symptoms may develop that may seem unrelated.

So, now that we have a general idea about what inflammation is and where it comes from, what do we do about it?

Well, I’m so glad that you asked.

There are many avenues to consider and some people may need to incorporate several solutions at the same time.

Inflammation Solutions

1. Massage is, of course, a great starting point, especially if you have had a trauma to an area and are under emotional and mental stress. Massage increases blood and lymphatic circulation, washing away some of the aggravating chemicals and bringing healing nutrients to the area. Massage therapy is calming to the nervous system, allowing the person to remember what it feels like to be in a relaxed state again, which helps to turn off the stress hormones and ensuing inflammation.

At Touchworks London, we have many different specific manual therapy tools that we use to augment the effects that Swedish massage provides. An area that has been inflamed for quite some time may need a little more support in shifting the inflammation out of the area. The tissues then need to be “informed” that it is now safe to release their protective muscle spasm and tension. These tissues include: lymph nodes, arteries, veins, nerves, brain and spinal cord, skin, organs, muscles, joints, cartilage, and fascia. Through the use of Esogetic Colorpuncture techniques and integrative manual therapy, we can address these more specific structures to bring them back to balance and health.

2. Stretching and Rolling on a foam roller or ball can also be helpful for removing some of the waste materials, especially what may be stuck in the space between the muscle and the layer over the muscle (the fascia). When there is a gluing down of the fascia onto the muscle from inflammation, you will find it harder to move the area; you will discover those painful “knots” or trigger points in the muscle; and you will feel like the area is on fire, or tired, or always needing to be stretched or “popped”. There are specific ways to stretch and roll to receive the most benefit for the ungluing of the tissues. Ask us for more details.

3. Food. Many dismiss the role that diet has on inflammation. Of course, it would be awesome to be able to eat whatever we like, whenever we like, but we may be paying the consequences for that freedom. Many people are dehydrated and so their body struggles to take out the “trash”. As the trash builds up, inflammation follows, and then so does the pain and tightening up of the area. There is debate as to how much water is appropriate for each person. But 8 glasses per day is probably a good baseline to start with. And this means water, not tea or soup or juice.  Let’s give your liver fewer chemicals to process and give it exactly what it needs to do its job of clearing waste materials. And that is water. And get rid of the sugar – the most inflammatory thing we eat.

4. Supplements and Herbs. There are also supplements and healthy foods that are anti-inflammatory but we will address that in another article. Should you be interested in learning more about this and / or having food and supplement testing done, an appointment can be made to discuss it further. Suffice it to say that if your diet is creating inflammation in your gut, there will be a more widespread effect throughout the body down the road. Let’s stop the cascade now.

We have touched on some general ideas today that should serve as food for thought on how to view your pain and what may be helpful in reducing and hopefully eliminating it. As always, we are here to help you. Contact us for how we can best meet your needs. 519-679-4994

Linda Pearce  RMT  BA  BSc

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