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  • Writer's pictureAmy G

Inflammation is not the enemy

Inflammation has been a buzz word for years. It's primarily associated with dis-ease and being the cause of all chronic conditions. But what if we're looking at this all wrong? What if the presence of inflammation is not causing chronic dis-ease at all, but rather it's the body's response to healing it?

Think about what happens when you sprain an ankle. What do you see and feel? Redness, swelling, pain, heat. This is inflammation. We would expect to see this after a sprain as our body sends resources to the area to heal the injury. It's natural and accepted. Why do we think it's not natural with any other health issue? How did we come to see the healing process as the root of dis-ease? It was back in the 1980's where the study of cardiovascular disease showed inflammation as a correlating factor. Since then, research has focused on the damaging effects of inflammation on the body present in multiple dis-ease processes including diabetes, autoimmunity, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases etc. The verdict? Inflammation is the root of disease. Or is it?

Let's play with this idea for a moment. We're not doing a study here we're looking at this from a different perspective and asking questions. Inflammation is definitely present in the above labeled dis-eases no question. So how are we so sure it is the cause of the dis-ease itself and not present because of it? If we go with the idea that inflammation is the cause of dis-ease that would say our body is malfunctioning and trying to hurt us on purpose or that it's out of control. That would mean the healing of your sprained ankle having inflammation present was your body malfunctioning and trying to hurt you. See the problem? Now, the argument would be that the ankle issue is acute and not chronic so it's not the same. I disagree. If you were constantly spraining your ankle, the inflammation would become chronic. When you have constant inputs to the body whether through food (or frankenfood), lack of movement, environmental toxins including chemicals and non-native emf's (wifi, artificial lighting, bluetooth etc), stress, trauma, stuck emotions, bodies stuck in fight, flight, freeze or fawn (and soooooo many more) that all create constant stress on the body it will respond with constant inflammation.

The other argument will be that inflammation in excess damages tissue and leaves a big ole mess that needs clean-up which results in more inflammation creating a loop of chronic inflammation. This would be true. And yet, inflammation is still not the root. It's part of the resolution process for a body stuck in a life full of inputs that require the body to respond this way. It's part of the healing process which has become chronic due to the life being lived. It is necessary and required. Now, if you use something to "reduce inflammation" you often get a positive outcome in the health of the body. However, did we create health, or did we shut off the fire alarm with the building continuing to burn?

Let's take a couple scenarios here. Scenario 1: A change in diet from Standard American Diet (SAD...seriously) to whole, real food (grows in the ground, walks on earth, swims in sea). This is a massive change in input that will see a reduction in inflammation. The inflammation was reduced because it was no longer needed to constantly heal the body from foods that it was responding to as toxic. I'll say that again...the inflammation was no longer needed. Scenario 2: Taking an ibuprofen for chronic headaches. This is a change in input that will see a reduction in inflammation not because the need for it is gone, but because we have blocked the response. What does this mean? The input is still in the life of the person and the output of the headache will return including a requirement for inflammation. The cycle remains because the inflammation is still needed to heal the underlying reason creating the chronic headaches.

"The intervention that Ridker and Libby devised, blocking a single inflammatory pathway with a drug, helped only a fraction of patients with cardiovascular disease. That is probably because a system as important to sustaining life as immune response has evolved redundancies: block one pathway and another will take over." (source below)

Life finds a way...

Changing how we view inflammation removes the tunnel vision of inflammation as the root of all dis-ease to us actually looking at inflammation as a vital part of restoration and asking the question why is the body constantly using inflammation. What is it working on healing? What is in the way of it completing this process? When we ask new questions it opens up a gold mine of information only found outside the tunnel and in the wide open spaces of a person's life. From here we can create health rather than the never-ending search to halt dis-ease.

Fire fighters are at all fires. Are they to blame for the fires or required to put them out?


Raw and Red-Hot...Could inflammation be the cause of myriad chronic conditions?

Jonathon Shaw May-June 2019

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