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Fighting Inflammation Holistically

As I was diving into ancient knowledge of Ayurveda, I started to realize that these unrealistic lifestyle expectations that we put ourselves into have become something acceptable, undermining the fact that our bodies cannot adapt to the abnormal. Chronic imbalance has become a common situation affecting every cell and its roots caused by daily stress which we try to ignore and patch our worries with chocolate, alcohol, or anything that can take our minds away from the pain that is slowly growing inside of us. Hidden pain, suppressed anger, low self worth, or hormonal imbalance equals chronic inflammation. Not only that, inflammation has been appearing on my face as acne, my joints and muscles were constantly sore letting me feel lethargic which ultimately affected all aspects of my life. Bless my husband who kindly included giving me hand and foot acupressure massages to his daily routine. I knew I had to take actions and expand my research on healing myself holistically since western medicine wasn’t helping me to identify the root of my problems.

We all can face different types of inflammation, in my case it was appearing as acne, hives, joint and muscle cramps, and so-called atopic dermatitis. I had multiple dermatologists trying to identify if I was allergic to anything but after so many labs and tests it turned out I wasn’t. Not one specialist was able to help me find answers to my questions and that’s when I started to explore Eastern Medicine. I have met a wonderful Ayurveda Practitioner from Russia whose patient assessment questions just blew my mind. At that time, I couldn’t understand why he was asking some psychological questions of my nature, observing my responses, reactions, looking at my tongue, and taking my pulse without counting my heart rate. At the end of our session he said that we won’t be just healing my physical body but he’ll introduce me to my mental body where we’ll be finding keys to my issues. Granted I did hear about Mind Body connection but its concept still sounded bazar and unfamiliar at that point in my life.

We need to understand that inflammation isn’t always bad. It’s a normal body’s reaction to heal an injury or fight infection as long as it’s a short run. It should be alarming if it becomes a long-lasting habit in your body. In that case, it becomes chronic which is seen in many conditions and diseases.
In Ayurveda, inflammation is connected with a fire element. Even the word “inflammation” traces back to the Latin for “set afire.” In some conditions like hives and arthritis you feel heat, pain, redness, and swelling. But in other cases like Crohn’s disease it’s not so obvious and you would have to look for it in tests. The first step on treating through Ayurveda would be to cool the fire with anti-inflammatory foods and herbs. The most famous herb in this case nowadays is turmeric since it cools inflammation by tightening and strengthening tissues, reducing swelling and congestion. Curcumin is a compound that’s found within turmeric root and is widely used for treatment of inflammation in Eastern Medicine. Herbs like chamomile not only can be great as a tea you can also make a soothing wash for poison ivy and other skin rashes. In those short-term cases of inflammation such as skin rashes, many rashes respond to increased intakes of zinc and vitamins A and C, nutrients that repair and build skin tissue, says Elson Haas, M.D., director of the preventative Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, CA and author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition. He recommends 5,000 international units of vitamin A a day, along with 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C and up to 30 milligrams of zinc. He says to continue these levels of supplementation until the rash clears up.

My Ayurvedic Practitioner has also recommended me boswellia herb which is known for reducing inflammation in the body. It has been used as an anti-arthritic, antiproliferative, and analgesic agent for the treatment. I also learned that indigestion, a build up of toxins in the body, can be a root problem of inflammation in the body. Therefore, treating and working on improving digestion is another essential step in Ayurveda. You can probably imagine that compromised digestion is not a rare case in the modern world. In fact, according to Ayurveda, most imbalances in the body begin with boggy, sluggish, or otherwise inefficient digestion. Ayurvedic herbs like tricatu and guggul are great for detoxification, increased digestive fire, are a natural source of antioxidants, and they purify the blood and support the immune system. I personally was amazed with YouVeda’s supplement product for joint pain. It had all the right herbs to maintain the immune health, help support inflammatory responses and aid in digestion. I didn’t have to buy all my favorite herbs that worked for me separately, YouVeda’s packet had all the right herb blended together with minerals and fish oil which in combination does wonders to your body.

Taking herbs, taking steps on improving my digestion and detoxifying my body definitely played a role in decreasing inflammation, however, my other essential step on healing my body was paying attention to my emotions and my reactions to them. As my doctor explained, as far as skin inflammation goes, it’s sign of a lack of emotional self-control. In this way, your subconscious mind brings out those feelings and emotions that you suppress in yourself (he said it pollutes my soul). For example: irritation, resentment, pity, anger. If you are allergic, it means that you do not tolerate someone or something in your life, you do not accept it. It could be a person, some sphere of life or some situation. Products or substances that provoke an allergic reaction are not the cause of the allergy. The reason is inside, not outside. He told me about his patient, a man with constant hives, they found out the subconscious causes of the disease. He had irritability, anger and resentment. The disease began three days ago, after he had a conflict with his boss at work. He could not contain his negative emotions.

The Ayurvedic doctor explained to him that the cause of the conflict at work was hidden in himself. Instead of blaming the authorities, he had to sort himself out and change his attitude towards his work (which he didn’t like, by the way), towards himself and his boss. Just the day after he realized the causes of the conflict, the skin was completely cleansed. This man did not gloss over the disease or suppress it with pills. He took it as a signal. Thus, the disease for this man was the impetus for self-development.
Scientists have discovered an interesting fact: allergic reactions under hypnosis or under anesthesia are absent. That is, it’s the consciousness that plays the primary role here. This disease clearly indicates your intolerance to anything in this world. If you are allergic it means that you hide and suppress aggression in yourself. All these feelings are looking for a way out. To cure you need to turn inward, honestly and boldly look at what you are avoiding. Reconsider your attitude. No need to make the world sterile. Do not be afraid of life. Take all its manifestations. Remember the golden rule: “Any force in this world can be used for good.”

With my case he was absolutely right, after looking inward and changing my attitude to things that irritated me my skin irritations, as magically as it sounds, have disappeared. I have finally learned my mind- body connection lesson and I encourage you as well to look inward. Pay closer attention to how you feel 5 times a day: when you wake up, before your meals, and before you go to bed. You notice the whisper before it becomes an alarm. Remember that imbalances accumulate diseases. Take gentle steps to strengthen your body, calm your mind with meditations, relieve your tensions from the body and mind. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


Author – Nazira Creager (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)

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