Understanding the role inflammation plays in your body is crucial whether you’re floating to help manage your stress, pain, or health.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a chemical response to trauma or infection. It is a very complicated phenomenon, and we are really only scratching the surface of how it works and how to control it. The basic idea is that your body has various sensors that can trigger a cascade of antibodies, hormones, and cytokines, which are chemical messengers that directly impact cells, as well as complement factors which can destroy germs or damaged cells. What most people need to know is that if you have inflammation that means there is something wrong with your body. It is not something that should be ignored and suppressed with drugs. You must find and treat the cause. It may be infectious, traumatic, autoimmune, or degenerative, and sometimes it is a little of all of the above.
How does Inflammation affect mental performance?
- A growing body of evidence shows depression is caused by an inflammatory reaction in the brain, which has been overshadowed by the neurotransmitter imbalance theory of depression.
- Inflammatory cytokines activate inflammation in the brain.
- Symptoms of inflammation in the brain: lack of mental clarity, brain fog, anxiety, depression, memory loss, brain fog, and slow mental processing.
Recommendations to lower inflammation
- First, find and treat the cause.
- Never suppress inflammation until you know what you are dealing with. For example, many people are in the habit of suppressing fevers with drugs like Tylenol or Motrin, but evidence shows this actually is quite counterproductive. Athletes are also prone to icing injuries frequently, which suppresses inflammation, but can slow down healing time.
- Sometimes we can find we are becoming too easily inflamed in general. This may be due to generally poor health and poor dietary habits. In this weak state, minor illness and injury can create too much inflammation and may even trigger an autoimmune condition. In these cases, I would recommend seeking out a qualified health professional, and staying away from WebMD.
How do you measure Inflammation in the brain and body?
How does Floating help us?
- Floating may have a positive impact on inflammation by reducing the mechanical strain on your body, allowing for an opportunity to heal and recover quickly.
- Epsom salt promotes circulation, healing, and detox.
- Helps calm the body down by triggering the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Musculoskeletal injuries rehab well when floating is included with physical therapy.
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How to optimize inflammation?
To optimize inflammation you should eat a healthy whole foods diet, low in sugar, grains, and alcohol, and rich in healthy fats like salmon and nuts, clean protein, and abundant fruits and veggies. Additionally, Drink 8-10 cups of clean water per day and exercise daily. The only supplements I recommend for daily use for optimizing inflammation would be a good quality fish oil supplement, because clean fish is hard to find, and a vitamin D supplement, because in the PNW we never get enough sun to generate adequate amounts. For targeted inflammation reduction, I am a big fan of Curcumin, the extract from the turmeric plant. It is safe to take daily and has a lot of other amazing benefits.
- Eat a healthy whole foods diet, low in sugar, grains, and alcohol, and rich in healthy fats like salmon and nuts, clean protein, and abundant fruits and veggies.
- Drink 8 – 10 cups of clean water
- Exercise Daily
- Supplements: good quality fish oil, vitamin d, curcumin
Sage Wheeler, ND
Sage Wheeler is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and owner of SageMed in Bellevue, WA. https://www.sagemed.co