How can we reduce inflammation?  When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign substances.

Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This natural and protective response creates inflammation and swelling that can push on your nerves

Our bodies are powerful, and if given the proper support they usually know how to heal themselves and also know how to reduce inflammation.

Our immune systems sends in white blood cells and antibodies to correct any imbalance.

So, how to reduce inflammation – there are a number of safe and natural ways to eliminate aches and pains while your body continues to do its vital work!

Epsom Salt Bath Soak

An epsom bath relaxes your muscles, calms inflammation and helps you sleep more readily,  giving your body more time to recover.  You could add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oils – maybe lavender, chamomile, and clove.

Anti-inflammatory Foods

Addressing acute or chronic pain with an anti-inflammatory diet is your number one defence, and can be the best medicine.

Think about including the following in your eating plan:

  • Leafy greens

  • Salmon

  • Snacks like berries and nuts

  • Olive oil instead of butter

  • Onions, garlic and ginger

Anti-Inflammatory foods

How else can we reduce inflammation? Cut back or eliminate these foods:

  • Red meats

  • Anything with trans fats such as margarine

  • Corn oil

  • Deep fried foods

  • Most processed foods

Relax and rest more.

Your body repairs while you sleep, if you’re getting less that 7 to 8 hours sleep, your immune system will suffer, which means it’s less able to reduce inflammation.

Stress goes hand in hand with a lack of sleep and demands in our daily life. When we are stressed out all the time, we also produce more of the hormone cortisol – inflammation’s best friend.  So, I recommend:

  • More sleep

  • Yin yoga

  • Mindful meditation

  • Long walks and being in nature

  • Less technology

  • A much needed vacation

A guide for mindful meditation:

  • The goal of this practice is to quieten your mind and focus on the sensations in your body

  • Start by laying flat on the ground or sitting comfortable upright on a chair.

  • To start, take a few deep breaths and begin to focus on your body, noticing where there is tension.

  • Start by noticing your face and head. Is there aching anywhere? Any throbbing?

  • Sometimes simply acknowledging a feeling that we’re experiencing, can dissolve it.

  • Then move on to your neck. And ask, what is here? Any tension, or discomfort?  Then continue to your shoulders and arms. To your torso. To your legs. And finally to your feet and toes

  • This practice can be done before bed, and first thing in the morning. Starting and ending your day with bodily awareness helps you stay in tune with yourself throughout the day.

Do some deep breathing to help you relax

  • Deep breathing can help your body relax, which may ease pain. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as they receive a quiet message to relax.

  • Find a quiet location, a comfortable body position, and imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, filling your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon.  Try counting up to 6 on the in breath, and counting to 6 on the out breath.

You can control — and even reverse — inflammation through a healthy, anti-inflammatory lifestyle!