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Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – Perspectives – REAL Health

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Inflammation

By Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT

Inflammation ….. Latin “inflammo”, meaning “to set on fire, to torch, kindle”….

If you’re living with inflammation, these words have great meaning. Ancient Greeks describe it as the “internal fire”. Imagine walking over burning coals. Now imagine that feeling all over your body. According a MedicalNewsToday.com article, “Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection; the aim being to remove harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens – and begin the healing process”

We can recognize inflammation after a cut or injury because the area becomes reddened, hot and often painful yet inflammation isn’t just a response to something physical that has happened. It can be a response to autoimmune diseases, muscular related pain, germs like bacteria, and chemicals or radiation. Inflammation is our body’s response to something that it perceives as harmful or irritating to it. Whether it’s from a small scratch to injury, an allergic reaction from bug bites to food allergies, or due to your genetic make-up, your body is always at work trying to heal itself.

We just don’t always see inflammation or know it is happening because the systems of our body can be inflamed for years before it becomes apparent where it affects your daily living activities or clinically significant to be diagnosed. The small subtle signs that we often disregard as the natural process can become very harmful if neglected. Long term inflammation, whether we see it or feel it, can cause damage to our body, limiting the ability of our natural defenses causing further damage and speeding up the process of aging on the inside and through your physical appearance.

The immune system is always at work, it is a network of cells, tissues and organs beginning with the skin. It is your gate from the outside world to inside your body. Some components of your immune system inside your body are the Lymphatic System, Spleen, and Thymus along with a variety of blood cells and antibodies designed to identify and destroy harmful material.

Acute inflammation occurs over seconds, minutes, hours after an injury, and chronic inflammation occurs over longer times, may have a slow onset and be subtle. Chronic inflammation can also be systemic which is caused by the body’s attack on itself due to auto immunity For some people the inflammatory response can be never be fully turned off or it is inappropriately triggered to attack healthy cells.

The most common treatment for inflammation and swelling is the acronym RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Seems simple enough to follow and many times works well in a healthy individual after an injury. Complication sets in when the proper management techniques for YOU are not utilized. Over use of ice, not elevating or if you are dealing with chronic inflammation, improper management can make matters worse.

Pharmaceuticals are also often prescribed to manage inflammation yet this may only mask the problem by reducing the pain. Not getting to the underlying cause allows for the vicious cycle of inflammation to continue with the risk of severe potential side effects. People tend to rely on medication for the quick fix and fail to attend to the necessary self-care techniques. There is no magic cure, pill or other intervention that can be the ONE thing that will make it all go away.

My mom would have found it! She tried everything yet nothing worked because she didn’t give things a chance to work before she was on to the next quick fix. She also did not attend to her diet, allowing herself her “treats” for being good. It has to be a combination of techniques and tools that fit your needs, consistent practice and your belief that it will work.

You have to take action before inflammation turns into a fire that rages out of control. It is daily attention to yourself, continuous learning and treating your body with respect by understanding how its processes work. Listen to what your body needs. Become knowledgeable about your current heath situation and your genetics, your family history.

Diet is of significant importance because approximately seventy to eighty percent of your immune tissue is located within your digestive system. Changing your diet will change the kind of bacteria that you have; which will support the strengthening of your immune system. Speak to your doctor, ask questions yet also know that not every doctor is knowledgeable in the inflammation process as it is a specialty. There are also some doctors that rely solely on conventional western medicine and may not recommend or even approve of complementary medicine.

Always look for second opinions and go with your gut…literally!

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Kimberly BurnsKimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT, is an Occupational Therapist with over 14 years’ experience working with clients ranging from infants to the elderly. She has always had passion for wellness and what she could do at home for herself to manage pain and delay disease processes. Her recent certification in Lymphedema Therapy has provided her further incentive to focus her business around preventing disease and halting its progression. Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – (215) 499.0444 – KimBurns@SensoryIntuition.comwww.SensoryIntuition.com.

Copyright © 2015 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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