Inflammation is our most significant health problem that is mishandled in our society.
What is inflammation? It is the response in the body to injury and irritation (emergency response and repair crew) that shows up as pain (sore joints, headache stiffness), swelling (blisters, bloating, overweight), redness (rashes, pimples, dry skin), emotionally worked up (anger, resentment, depression) etc. Inflammatory response also occurs when foods are consumed that do not work well in the body (wheat, dairy and sugar). Allergies are a major inflammatory response this time of year.
There is lots of press about cancer, diabetes, heart issues, etc. However, at the foundation of these issues is inflammation out of control; “the Ugly”. Our bodies have an amazing system of handling problems that arise through the journey we call life.
The current practice of handling injury or illness is to override the normal channels with in the body and shut down inflammation without handling the underlying problem that caused it. This is much like having the smoke alarm going off in your house. Instead of searching out and handling the cause of the smoke, the noisy smoke alarm has its battery removed so it stops making that obnoxious noise. This idea sounds silly and it is.
There is more press about inflammation coming out now that is raising awareness of the issue. Looking at inflammation as a natural process of handling injury in the body, it is a necessary function. However, when called upon to respond frequently and massively, inflammation can become an out-of-control, overwhelmed process; “the Bad”. Normally, if we get injured or ill, the body sends out the internal fire department (the immune system) to assess and stop the damage, once done, the clean-up and repair crew arrives to help heal the area so it can return to normal function.
Like any system in our body or in nature, there is a limit to resilience and capacity to respond. If the rescue and repair system is continuously responding without rest and repair for itself, then capacity to respond decreases. Imagine calling 911 continuously. It wouldn’t take long, the emergency resources would be depleted and normal response would not take place. This is what can happen in a body that is experiencing disease and debility.
The question is what causes this and how can it be reversed. Here is where nutrition comes into view; not just physical nutrition. Mental, emotional and spiritual nutrition also play a significant part. An early mentor said it this way, “The body does not get sick and tired, it simply gets hungry”. The rise of debilitating illness (diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.) along with obesity and overweight began to rise significantly as our society entered the Industrial Age. More and more people headed for the cities and factory jobs. The agrarian society diminished with fewer people growing their own food. This caused the demand for more food product for the masses (i.e. Food Inc, Omnivores Dilemma). Our society also demanded more of the body in the form of long hours, less sleep and more production. Much good has come from our higher productivity, however, balance has been lost.
The combination of more mass-produced food that is modified for high quantity and questionable quality to fuel a society that requires the opposite is a formula for disaster. Hence the alarming rates of obesity and diabetes that will see us reach 75% of our society being obese by 2020 at the current rate. Massive action on each of our parts is required to stem the rise of inflammatory diseases. The action is simple albeit not easy.
By returning to the fundamentals of creating and maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit, we can begin to reduce the effects of the off balance experience of the last century or so “the Good”. Here are seven things you can do today that will help restore the normal processes that lead to “Sustainable Vibrant Health”:
- Change your food choices to ones that are anti-inflammatory (foods that do not trigger the 911 response in your system), dark green vegetables, colorful non-starchy vegetables, modest protein (wild caught salmon & tuna, eggs from naturally pasture fed chickens, lean meat), healthy fats (olive oil, ghee, coconut oil), a few grains (buckwheat, teff, amaranth, organic oats) and a small amount of whole local fruit (apples, berries). Eat small amounts frequently and slowly to consciously and physically assimilate your food.
- Hydrate with clean filtered spring or artesian water. Avoid commercially bottled water as this leads to inflammation on a much larger level in our environment..
- Work a modest amount of hours with periodic breaks to refresh and recharge the creative mind.
- Exercise daily using a varied of pace, type and intensity for 30-40 minutes.
- Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet environment free from any electronic interference for 7-9 hours.
- Rest and relax daily with activities that cause you to laugh, smile and reconnect with self and others in non-stressful ways.
- Support your amazing body with a Designed Clinical Nutrition plan of supplementation that enhances your capacity to live fully. Desensitization to foods and environment can also improve your experience.
My personal mission is to help as many people in my community restore their experience to “Sustainable Vibrant Health” naturally; no drugs or artificial products, just whole food as nature intended. Join me in my quest to sustain life on the planet in service to mankind.
Samuel C Zeiler MS CC