Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response to injury or invasion by what the body perceives as dangerous pathogens that can cause disease. While inflammation can be crucial to the body’s natural healing processes, prolonged or unnecessary inflammation can also wreak havoc on the body, leading to many maladies, such as chronic pain, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, auto-immune diseases, certain cancers, and many more.
Chronic, low-grade inflammation is thought to be an underlying cause of many medical conditions today. From heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, many common disorders are linked by abnormal inflammation. Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard educated world-renowned expert in integrative medicine says, “The current growing body of evidence suggests that it’s chronic, low-level, imperceptible inflammation throughout the body that eventually creates the foundation for these age-related diseases.”
How we treat inflammation
Acupuncture has long been a safe and effective therapy for treating inflammatory conditions, including pain problems and many chronic diseases, like IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, and many more. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation in the body by affecting the body’s cytokines, which are proteins secreted by the immune system that
influence the way cells interact. Certain cytokines promote an inflammatory response, and acupuncture has been shown to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Acupuncture also helps stimulate the release of natural pain killers of the body, or endorphins, to further reduce pain levels. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, inflammation and pain occur when blood and qi, or life energy, gets obstructed and the body is unable to heal. Acupuncture and electro-acupuncture can help to free up the flow of blood and energy, thus allowing the body to heal while reducing pain and inflammation.
Infrared saunas can help relieve inflammation, stiffness and soreness by increasing blood circulation and allowing the deep, penetrating infrared heat to relax muscles and carry off metabolic waste products, while delivering oxygen-rich blood to the muscles for a faster recovery. Infrared helps warm the muscles for greater flexibility and range of motion, while relieving muscle tension and pain. Studies have also shown that time spent in an infrared sauna can bring relief from different forms of arthritis. Radiant heat has been effective in the treatment of sprains, neuralgia, bursitis, muscle spasms, joint stiffness and many other musculoskeletal ailments. Much of the normal stiffness, aches and pains that come with aging can be lessened with regular sauna usage.
Cold Laser Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue and is thought to help accelerate the healing process. It can be used on patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions in order to help eliminate pain, inflammation, reduce spasms and increase functionality.
Massage Therapy, has been proved to be largely beneficial when it comes to chronic inflammation. It treats the inflammation by allowing the blood flow to increase which consequently eliminates the fluid waste from the tissues. Massage brings back the normal functioning and reduces the swelling. Joints like knees and elbows are mainly involved in the mobility and they are prone to inflammation. This inflammation causes pain and swelling leading to immobility.