Inflammation is a body’s response to danger. The danger can be physical, like an infection, or an injury, or an environmental stress – like smoke, or from poor diet or alcohol or an allergy or side effects to drugs/medicine. We have to be like detectives and keep an open mind when we are searching for clues.
Inflammation commonly occurs with stress. When we talk about stress, we talk about the physical and environment and social and mental. Stress (something affecting you body) can lead to changes in your urine and/or blood – that can even show up as infection. Any stress can cause inflammation.
Inflammation happens when your body sees a threat. Danger. When the body sees danger, the alarm system goes off, and this causes pain. The pain can be from a physical, environmental, or emotional stressor.
Stressors can be chronic pain, infections, extreme cold, extreme heat, dehydration, poor diet, smoking, alcohol, too little exercise, too much exercise, too happy, too upset, too much work, too little work, too much responsibility or only thinking about yourself. You get the idea.
It’s too easy to blame emotions. These upsets affect the limbic system and contribute to chronic diseases and mental illness.
At the bottom of this page are several short yoga programs.
Trust yourself. Below are strategies that work for some people. We are all different. Use what works for you and notice if it doesn’t. Discuss all strategies with your healthcare provider first.
Pain and stress can overwhelm you. When your body is alarmed, the flight fright freeze response can be activated. This can happen without you even realizing you are stressed. Below is a video – shows the SNS – which causes BP, heart rate, and hormone changes, including changes that raise your cortisone levels and changes to the hormones in your gut. Over a long period of time, these changes cause pain and disease.
The techniques below can calm your body and lower inflammation and stress.
Past traumas can be open wounds. They settle in the brain in places we call trigger nodes. A smell, or something you hear or see, can wake up these nodes and without you realizing, put you right back to the time of hurt, as if it were happening in the present. Using techniques to keep you in the moment can eventually push the memories into the past or make their impact weaker.
These exercises may look weird, but give them a go. They won’t work immediately. Try and see what works for you. You could also try singing, humming, drumming, dancing.
Breathing correctly is probably the single most important skill you can learn in your life. Proper breath balances sympathetic nervous system – ventral vagal breath. Step 2.
If you feel very uneasy or upset – you could try using eye movements to calm down. Sit in a chair, preferably in the middle of the room ,in the front or back. As quickly as possible, look from one corner of the room to the other. Look to the upper corners if comfortable – where the ceiling is. Don’t move your head, just your eyes.
Do this for a minute or two, then do the grounding technique below. Repeat eye movements and then do the grounding technique. Breathe using abdominal muscles.
If you find yourself thinking of something over and over again, or worrying about something, Do this technique.
Try the 5 point Grounding Technique. It works better if you say the objects out loud.
5 – look around and if possible say out loud 5 things you can see
4 – listen for 4 things you can hear – say out loud again if you can
3 – three things you can touch
2 – things you can smell
1 – one thing you taste
Another effective way to relieve stress is by standing and marching with arms vigorously
You can lift your legs – even while sitting – and tap each knee or leg with the opposite hand.
The Daily program has a number of calming tools like Step 2 Breathing. Stress affects sleep. Here are some Sleep Suggestions.
The Daily Program also has a lovely exercise called a body scan which I think is great to do once a day until you are tuned into your body.
One suggested program for increasing the connections between the left and the right side of the brain. It can help increase energy and decrease fatigue.
Start every morning and end every evening with this Qi Gong exercise. Or start with one of the yoga programs below. Choose what suits you.
Try these techniques that can help you regulate your emotions. This may seem like a waste of time, but they stimulate each side of the brain and calm the Limbic System.
Here is one method to calm your body which then sends signals to calm your mind.
At least once a day – do this 5 minute body scan:
When we are hurting, it is especially hard to reach out to other people. We are at heart social animals. If we’ve had difficult times growing up, we can suffer from trust issues. Learning to trust yourself and your body comes first. Once you feel you can trust yourself, then you will be able to trust yourself around other people. You will feel safer if your body and mind feels stronger.
Find the people that you feel safe with first. Seek family members and friends you trust. There are many resources with health care providers or mental health workers that can help. Seek spiritual guidance that most suits your needs. I have found great solace with writing groups. There are yoga groups, Zoom meetings, and social media accounts. Start slowly. I find helping others helps me.
When you are feeling tired, or overwhelmed, try this:
This exercise below can be done sitting – be sure that when you bend your knees and straight, that you can see your toes, so the knee mustn’t be bent too much. Adjust the exercise for sitting until you are comfortable standing. Do sit if you are inclined to get dizzy or if you are on the older side. Below is an explanation and below this video one that demonstrates the technique.
Counselling can be very helpful. I have found EMDR therapy extremely helpful for me: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy.
The body can help calm the mind. Watch the video below. Lovely stress release techniques. The first part looks as if there is a problem, just wait a bit for the magic.
QiGong can manage anxiety and stress very well.
You can substitute the Qi Gong exercise with this Yoga exercise.
Here are some yoga practices you could try making part of your routine. Adjust the exercises if you find some postures too challenging. Standing and breathing and noticing your body will help heal. Below are easier programs and then further down are more advanced classes.
Note the knee bend demonstrated here is too deep. Move your feet forward so the knee bend is more than 90degrees or you will hurt your knees. Good Luck.
For more advanced yoga practitioners, below are some short programs you could try making part of your routine.