Inflammation is a topic that gets a lot of play in books and media. It’s now becoming a mainstream concept that chronic inflammation is a common precursor for many diseases, including autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
But, inflammation isn’t bad. It’s actually a natural, and very important, stage in the healing process. It’s your body’s way of beginning the healing process by isolating and bringing resources to an area of your body that needs attention. It is a reflection of an intelligent attempt to begin restoring balance and wholeness to tissue that has been damaged.
It only becomes an issue when it becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation is like a continuous alarm going off in your body’s fire department. Sending out signals to mobilize resources, and depleting them in the process.
Imagine if the fire department never got to rest. If there were constant alarms, and they were going from one fire to the other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Can you imagine how exhausted the firemen and women would be? Not only that, but the cost of the resources to continually respond to the emergencies would skyrocket, depleting the city’s finances.
This is what happens when your body is chronically inflamed. The immune, adrenal, nervous, and other systems that support your healing response become depleted and overtaxed. The result? These systems have to begin compensating. And, when they are compensating, they aren’t operating at full strength or function.
The systems begin to break down, and confusion sets in. And… disease begins to take hold.
Science is still trying to understand why chronic inflammation accelerates the aging process. The ancient Chinese sages put it simply… The continual calling forth of the deep healing resources of your body depletes these resources faster than they can be restored. The result is fatigue, poor memory, metabolic impairment, brain fog, digestive upset, and other bothersome symptoms.
But, what’s really happening under the surface of these seemingly innocuous symptoms is this — your body never completes its healing process.
And this leads to faster rates of deterioration of tissue, as your body continually struggles to keep up with the demand, but is unable to do so.
So, what makes inflammation chronic?
Many things… But the two things that affect people most in our culture are processed food and lack of rest. Processed foods are, in and of themselves, stressful for the body to deal with. So, they take resources away from healing. Lack of rest is rampant in our world today, with our electronics and brightly lit nights, and the hectic work and family obligations that keep us constantly on the go.