Discovering how to reduce inflammation can often make a huge difference in people's lives.
This is because inflammation in our body can cause:
Acne, Eczema, Rosacea
Food allergies and intolerances
Digestive problems: IBS, colitis, Crohn's disease, Candida
Chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia, General lack of energy
Brain fog, Lack of concentration, Depression
Attention deficit disorder, Poor learning and assimilation
Sinus problems, Chest infections, Asthma
Dental issues, Gum disease
Joint pain, Back pain, Muscle aches, Lupus, Arthritis
Weight gain, Obesity
And much more...
Given the list above (which is by no means complete), it stands to reason that by controlling the inflammatory response in the body and reducing inflammation, we can improve the quality of our life significantly. Think about a day where your mind is clear, you have tons of energy, your stomach feels light, your skin is glowing, you are articulate and confident, free of pain, and you feel like you can conquer the world. That's not utopia. It could be your reality once you are armed with understanding and of course motivation to achieve a happier version of yourself.
To control inflammation, we need to understand what's causing it in the first place. Whereas the factors contributing to inflammation seem complex, the main things to consider are two: digestive health and mental health.
Inflammation can be caused by:
Poor digestion, assimilation and elimination
Mental and emotional stress
The brain-gut connection
Importantly, the main causes of inflammation (digestive and mental) are actually related. Our brain registers thoughts. Every time a thought is registered, the brain makes a chemical (a neuro-peptide) that's released into the blood. The small intestine does exactly the same thing - it generates the same neuro-peptides, except in quantities 10 times greater compared to the brain. The neuro-peptides, once in the blood, function as a drug. When we entertain happy thoughts (of gratitude, love, connectedness), we release happy chemicals (endorphins) from the brain and from the gut. These happy chemicals make us feel happy and also turn on a number of healthy genes. Conversely, when we have unhappy thoughts, the brain and the gut make harmful chemicals which can turn on cancer genes and trigger inflammation, among other things.
What can you do to reduce inflammation?
Firstly, manage your stress levels:
Use meditation and prayer. Don't forget to bless your food and water.
Laugh more, watch more comedies, don't take yourself or life too seriously.
Don't inundate yourself with too much violence and "doom & gloom" circulated by the media.
Live with integrity (telling lies or not fulfilling your promises is actually very stressful, whether you consciously realize it or not).
Write a gratitude list daily.
Volunteer your time, expertise, money or any other resource you may have for the good of others. Contribution is one of the highest forms of fulfillment and puts the body-mind in a healing state.
Consider BodyTalk or other form of therapy to assist you in bringing the stress down.
Secondly, but equally importantly, clean up your act and clean up your gut.
You are what you think AND what you eat. The physical and the mental go together, so you will have to address both. Here are some things to help the digestive system and, subsequently, turn off inflammation:
Stay hydrated (this by the way also helps you discharge stuck emotions). Drink a glass of water 30 min before a meal - this can help the stomach digest your food better (and you will also be digesting your thoughts better, since the stomach meridian houses the conscious mind).
Use spices to help digestion and bring down inflammation levels: turmeric (my favorite!), black pepper, long pepper, cumin, fennel, coriander, sea salt, Himalayan salt, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom are all great when used in moderation.
Think about adding some Ayurvedic supplements: Trikatu (helps stomach digestion); Neem (helps clean and restore the small intestine, purifies blood and clears acne); Triphala (helps elimination from the large intestine, great for the eyes as well); Boswellia (heals the lining of the small intestine and is great for reducing overall inflammation).
Incorporate foods that help restore the digestive functions: Lemon, coconut oil, ghee, chia seeds, linseeds, green vegetables, spirulina, beetroot, kumara, probiotic (non-sweetened) yogurts and kefir, oily fish.
Eat fruit separately from other foods. Fruits, when combined with other food, ferment quickly in the stomach and lead to gas, bloating, indigestion, candida and inflammation.
Some vitamins and minerals are crucial for digestive as well as for mental health: Vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, zinc. A good probiotic supplement along with essential fatty acids can help too.
Avoid: coffee, alcohol, sugar, processed food, food additives, refined carbs, dangerous fats. All of these foods are pro-inflammatory.
Consider obtaining a personalized nutritional advice from a qualified practitioner.
Unclogging your gut will help de-fog your brain, which in turn will help restore your gut. Overall, by balancing the mind-gut processes, you will be able to bring the inflammation in your body down, thus healing and/or preventing a lot of the conditions listed at the beginning of this article. If you have specific questions, feel free to discuss them with me, either in your BodyTalk session or via email