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Stretch away those aches and pains by resolving inflammation
If you’ve got aches and pains……………. you’ve got INFLAMMATION !
A common “fix” for this inflammation, is to reach for anti-inflammatory drugs, collectively referred to as NSAIDs. The way these work, is they target one of the enzymes, that is churning out the inflammatory mediators.
No inflammatory mediators, means less pain.
The damage is still there
But, if truth be told the problem is still there. Some kind of tissue damage, sparked the immune response. You just can’t feel it now.
The approach works.
You go about your business. The aches and pains are subdued.
But you’ve subjugated your immune system and this has unintended consequences.
Inflammation is a good thing
I know it doesn’t always feel like it in the moment, but the mobilization of the body’s defence system, ensures damage is dealt with. Taking care of the problem is complex, but for the most part, it boils down to phagocytosing i.e. eating, the offending agent. Now the offending agent could be microbial in nature or it could be bits and pieces of you, that have become damaged due to trauma or injury.
Dealing with the offending agent is part 1 in the inflammatory process and it depends on pro-inflammatory chemicals, there lots of them, among them prostaglandins and leukotrienes.
But, there is a part 2.
Repairing the damage
Part 2 is repairing the damage. This depends on a whole different set of chemicals, which are referred to as anti-inflammatory mediators, they include lipoxins, protectins and resolvins.
These guys “resolve” the inflammation.
They call off the troops and encourage those that are in the thick of things, shooting their ROS tazzers, to pack away the tazzers, to roll up their sleeps and clean up the debris.
And there is a lot of rubble and bodies – after all it’s a war zone.
Back to normal
Eventually it’s OVER, the inflammation has been resolved (hopefully). It didn’t just happen, it was an active process, the official name for this process is catabasis.
If you have aches and pains, you want CATABASIS to happen.
Now for the “rub”, swallowing that anti-inflammatory medicine, interferes with catabasis. The reason, you need the pro-inflammatory mediators to signal the catabasis.
Stopping the pain, not the inflammation
This is one of the reasons, swallowing anti-inflammatory meds is “habit” forming.
You’re inadvertently interfering with the “healing” process.
But I am in pain – what do you want me to do ?
Help me resolve inflammation
Up until now, I would have given you a sly smile and encouraged you to “live” with the pain i.e. only reach for the meds, when you’re in agony and suggest dietary modifications, that increase your ability to make, lipoxins, protectins and resolvins.
But, there is another option.
This is what a team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School discovered.
Rats with aches and pains
The team gave rats a pain in the side, literally, by injecting them with an irritating chemical (carageenen) and monitored what happened. Since rats can’t verbalize their aches and pains, the team kept tabs on the situation by studying the goings on, inside the lesion they had created.
- the lesion size and
- monitored the chemical profile, looking at levels of pro-inflammatory (leukotrienes) and anti-inflammatory (D2 resolvin) mediators
Following regular STRECTHING…..
Rats doing yoga
It turns out, if you hang a rat at just the right angle above it’s cage, it adopts a stretching pose.
It’s looks a bit odd, but it doesn’t seem to be distressing to the animal, and with a little practise the little guys can hold this pose for 10 minutes or so.
It’s just like yoga !
In this particular study, the rats held their yoga pose for 10 minutes, once a day for two weeks. At the same time, control rats, were taken out of their cage and handled by their human minder for 10 minutes, every day.
So what happened ?
There was a whole lot less inflammation and significantly more catabasis, when the rats did “yoga”.
The team confirmed that it was the STRETCHING, that was helping to resolve the inflammation.
So if you’re on the INFLAMMED side (and who isn’t) – inflammation underpins most modern maladies…
Do a little S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G
Odds are, it is something your dog and cat does, on a regular basis. In fact, most animals have a good long stretch, any time they have been sitting or lying in one position.
Stretching should be intuitive, but as with many things, it’s not something WE all do. But, if you know to do it, you can work it into your lifestyle or take it up a notch, by enrolling in a Yoga or Tai Chi class, so that you formalize your stretching habit.
It’s simple to do and a 100 % natural way to resolve inflammation.
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