How to Reduce and Prevent Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection, injury or disharmony. The Inflammation triggers the body’s immune system to start a healing process. Normally this leads to homeostasis, a back to normal body, but sometimes, our own immune system does not switch off, this is when we have over reactions like an allergy or an asthma attack.
Usually, inflammation can cause redness, aching, swelling, perhaps a sensation of heat. Some people experience inflammation only after injury, and others sadly endure this every day. We now understand that long term inflammation in the body can also cause illness. Sometimes the trigger cell mechanisms usually used in defence to something “harmful” occasionally over react and don't switch off ( Chen, Linlin et al. “Inflammatory Responses and Inflammation-Associated Diseases in Organs.” Oncotarget 9.6 (2018): 7204–7218.PMC). Illness such as arthritis, asthma, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel syndrome, MS, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, herpes and many more are chronic disharmonies or inflammatory illnesses.
Inflammation in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers a different approach to treating inflammation. This ancient healing system views the body in a very different way from modern medicine. Because it developed thousands of years ago, doctors made their diagnoses based on observations of nature and its interactions with the human body. Diseases were often classified as being either hot or cold. Wind, dampness and dryness were also seen as possible causes of disease.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are two energy measurements: Yin and Yang; which is present in everything. Yin represents cold, water, dark, suppress, down, etc; Yang represents hot, fire, light, stimulate, up, etc. Both energies need to be balanced and controlled in order to keep everything in order. In our body, our systems need fire/heat to keep our body temperature normal and operate every part of the body well. However, if the fire is too strong, that will cause fever or infection or inflammation. In Chinese, fire is 火, inflammation is 炎. As you can see, 炎 has two 火, means too much fire or excess heat.
Excess heat can be caused by stress, too heavy of a diet, and eating the wrong kinds of foods, and extreme environmental heat.
How to reduce and prevent inflammation?
Manage stress- Ongoing or long term stress could obstruct normal circulation which accumulate toxin(excess heat). [Read more: Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress]
Eat regularly, slowly and peacefully- Our body needs a regular recharge of energy so you should not skip meals. Allow the body to digest and absorb the energy from food. [Read more: Rice- the origin of Qi energy]
Avoid “fiery” food- baked, fried and heavily processed food retain the heat energy that was used in their preparation, and that creates more heat inside you.
Reduce refined sugar and dairy products- these sustain tends to create "dampness” that could trap more “heat toxin” inside the body.
Eat lightly cooked green vegetables- the leaves of plants help to absorb heat and create shades in nature. TCM believes that the body is a miniature of nature, so by eating all types of food helps the body to receive all types of energy. [Read more: Cook your food - digestive system explained in Traditional Chinese medicine]
TCM treatment for chronic inflammation
For someone who is diagnosed with chronic conditions like arthritis, asthma, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel syndrome, etc, a more systemic approach is needed. Self-diagnosis with treatment unmonitored could bring risks or even harm. Also, some treatment options are difficult to perform on your own or some materials are not very readily available, in this case, looking for a professional is a better, safer and more effective option.