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Chronic inflammation is something you want to avoid long-term. At the 2021 Global Yoga Therapy Conference, I learned how a regular yoga & meditation practice can reduce chronic inflammation, that underlies so many modern day conditions from irritable bowel syndrome to eczema to heart disease.
The Science Behind Inflammation
Inflammation is actually an essential defense mechanism - its a protective process to ensure an infection or injury can be dealt with. It typically lasts a short while and is referred to as acute inflammation, where the body then returns to a state of balance. The immune system sends out signaling molecules to the site of issue and this signaling initiates an inflammatory response to promote the removal of the issue and healing.
Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation can cause more harm than good. A prolonged inflammatory response is often due to factors relating to our diet and lifestyle.
Chronic Inflammation underlies many modern day diseases
In our modern world, chronic inflammation is most commonly caused by our intake of sugar, alcohol and preservatives, our exposure to toxins in food and the environment and infections and sedentary behaviours.
These factors put pressure on the body's systems. They cause imbalances and increase the damage and injury within the body’s tissue.
Weeks, months and even years of damaging activities cause inflammation to continue. It's purpose is to repair the damage in your body, but this level of inflammation may be too much and certain body systems may become dysfunctional as a result. We may not see the consequences of this low level of persistent inflammation for some time, until a body system can no longer perform its optimal function because of it. That’s when disease sets in and the symptoms start to show.
Sometimes the symptoms can be mild and affect a non-essential body system. Other times it affects a critical organ, with severe and dangerous accompanying symptoms.
This type of chronic inflammation can cause heart disease or autoimmune disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, hormone imbalances, even forms of arthritis where inflammation begins to destroy otherwise healthy tissues in the body system.
In summary inflammation is a necessary and essential defence and repair process of the body in the short term, but can result in chronic disease if left unchecked.
The good news
Managing inflammation can help you achieve optimal health. The good news is there are plenty of diet and lifestyle changes along with therapies, including yoga therapy, that can be implemented at any age to reduce the impact of inflammation in your life.
Reach out if you would like to know more about the benefits of yoga and meditation to help reduce conditions related to chronic inflammation. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Daniella Goldberg has a love of yoga and a passion for mindful meditation. Through her Hatha-Flow classes, she gently guides her students to grow strong, be flexible, focused and mindful, on and off the mat.