Inflammation – Friend or Foe?

We’ve all heard the word inflammation a lot lately. Do you know there are two types: Acute and Chronic? Do you know they should be dealt with very differently because one is helpful and the other leads to disease?

An example of acute inflammation is the pain, redness, heat, and swelling of a sprained ankle. The body knows that the fastest healing happens if the circulation to an area is sped up, and it does that with warmth. The pain, redness, and swelling occur when fluids are rushed to the injured area because those fluids deliver the building blocks of healing so that the localized area can receive the raw materials for cellular repair.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle: poor quality nutrition and/or lots of processed food, lack of exercise or movement, poor sleep, too much poorly handled stress, and other toxins absorbed into the body. It is what sets up the environment for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type II diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and many other chronic diseases.

Acute inflammation needs to be hastened along instead of squashed by ice or ibuprofen, while chronic inflammation needs to be addressed by rectifying the underlying reason(s) for it.

Here are links to why we don’t use ice in most acute inflammation cases:

Chinese medicine has topical and internal tinctures, liniments, and plasters that reduce or fully eliminate swelling, even swelling that was locked in place by use of ice. Healing takes half the time when we don’t use ice but instead seek the treatment of a qualified acupuncture physician trained in sports injuries. I tell patients that if there is a bone poking out of their body, go straight to the emergency room, but to call me from there so that I can “work the process” as soon as that bone issue has been addressed. In all other cases, call me first, within minutes, for initial instructions to hold you over until you can be seen in my office.

For chronic inflammation, we combine acupuncture treatments with nutritional and lifestyle coaching to reduce the effects of stress on the cells, get you sleeping well, reduce further toxin intake, and find a movement plan that you enjoy. It isn’t a one-treatment solution — it’s a logical approach that will add quality years to your life if you don’t want to just live longer but truly enjoy those years.