Updated: Jun 7, 2020

We are all familiar with inflammation. You twist your ankle and it becomes red, hot and swollen. Or you have a virus and run a fever. That’s your body’s immune system at work. It is your defense against injurious forces and is a normal, healthy healing response.


However, when inflammation persists after the event has passed, it can become problematic and turn into chronic, invisible inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is when the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues. This type of inflammation is rarely visible, unlike when you sprain your ankle and you see the red, swollen area. With chronic inflammation, you feel rather than see the effect. Inflammation can affect the brain, skin, organs and muscles - literally every part of us. It can lead to a general feeling of malaise.


Some signs of invisible inflammation include:

  • Pain that moves from one area to another

  • Irritability

  • Joint pain and stiffness

  • Insomnia

  • Fatigue

  • Inability to lose/gain weight

  • Bloating and excessive gas

  • Cramping

  • Brain fog/memory loss

Inflammation does not show up on a CAT scan or other medical tests. You may visit your doctor because you know something is not right and be told nothing is wrong, that your tests are all negative. This can be VERY frustrating and you may start to think it’s all in your head. There is help, and no, it is not all in your head. What you are feeling is, in fact, very real.


Oxidative Stress

Microbial invasions, trauma (physical or emotional), injury, diet and stress can all “turn on” the inflammatory response. Stress, be it physical or emotional, creates an oxidation of our cells. Think of an apple. When you cut an apple open and leave it on the counter, it turns brown and begins to rot. This is an example of oxidative stress, a mutation of cells. This can be the start of disease. All diseases start with inflammation. For example, heart disease, chronic pain, insomnia, arthritis, autoimmune issues, etc all have an inflammatory start.

Emotional, physical or mental stress can cause inflammation. Stress increases the production of cortisol (a stress hormone) and the body reacts as if it is under attack. Mutations occur to fight the invader. If left unchecked, injuries and disease follow.


Cellular Inflammation

Cellular inflammation can stay in the body for years. It spreads through our central nervous system and affects our daily life. It can take up to 10-20 years before muscles start to break down and we feel symptoms. Lifestyle and diet can play a role in conditions brought about by chronic inflammation. Things such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, other autoimmune issue are all a result of chronic, invisible inflammation.


So, now that we know a little about chronic inflammation, what can we do?

There are many facets under our control. Often it is not a matter of one particular thing, but a combination of things. The more steps we take in the positive column, the better we feel. This can include our diet and managing our stressors. Stress is a part of life and we will never be stress free. It’s all about how we deal and manage our stress.


Throughout the entire month of June we will looking at healing pain and inflammation from a holistic perspective and introduce some of the evidence-based ways to manage it outside of Western medicine.


This article was written by Christine Camara, LMT, Holistic Health Practitioner. Join me with Christine, Dr. Dana Gulati, DAOM, Lisa Medley, MA, CMT and other experts in their field for the Pain and Inflammation Facebook Live Series, or sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the recap in your inbox.


Watch the replay of our first session below!


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There’s a reason people meditate. Actually, there seem to be endless reasons why people meditate. Quieting the mind and finding your center actually helps you bring that higher vibrational energy down to physical form.


You have to CONNECT to your truth in order to LIVE your truth. When you connect to your intuition, you empower yourself to take the actions you need to on your path of healing and thriving.


Research has shown that long-time and experienced meditators have a strong connection to their intuition and this is enhanced immediately following time in meditation. As we explore this month’s theme of Living with Purpose, let's look at how you connect to this inner guidance.


If you’re anything like me, you might struggle to get out of your own way at times by over-thinking or taking too much on and leaving little time for yourself. Here are some quick and simple tools you can use to turn inward:


1. Mindfulness meditation is a simple tool that can help you to relax by calming your nervous system and open up to the insights of that moment without judgment. If you're new to meditation, begin by practicing daily for 1-2 minutes at a time.


2. Use affirmations to enhance your intuition. Try repeating these out loud or silently to yourself:


I open myself to accept my intuition and wisdom.

I trust and follow my inner guidance.

I use intelligence and intuition to see clearly.


3. Open your heart space energy. Look around you to re-discover the things within your immediate environment that please you. Acknowledge these things and awaken your appreciation for the life you live.

4. Ask yourself the question. If there is something in particular you are seeking clarity on and want guidance with, check in with yourself. It may take practice to learn to trust the answer you get and it may not always be the answer you want, but follow through and see where it leads you.


5. Reiki energy therapy. Tapping into spiritually guided life force energy with Reiki is a great way to develop intuition, connect to your source of truth, and empower you to take action. You can learn Reiki and practice on your self, take a class, or in a private session (yes, virtual is an option).


Most important -- be patient with yourself! Developing your intuition and connecting to your Divine Self is a beautiful experience, and is not something else you need to stress over.


Drop your insights and comments below. Love and light, friends!

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In my last post I introduced the topic of #SpiritualWellness as a part of this month’s theme, Living with Purpose. During unusual times like these you might be searching for answers to how you can pivot your old life to fit this new world. You don’t have to go through a whole spiritual awakening to connect to this energy, so here I want to give you some simple tools to deepen your connection. The truth is, we’re all guided by some force. We all have different names for it, but there is a source of all light and life, and a piece of that is in YOU. This is where you get your true motivation for living and the source of your inner truth. Even this goes by different names: Divine Self, Higher Self, or Authentic Self. Not to go too deep here, but essentially your body is a vehicle for your Higher Self. When we pay attention to that inner voice, we are guided in the direction of our highest good. Here are some steps to follow to deepen your connection to your Higher Self:

  • Sit quietly in a calm place and set your intention to connect to your Higher Self. Be open to receive its energy, love and inspiration. Your intention and receptivity to connect with your Higher Self is all that is needed to make this connection and to receive guidance, energy and inspiration.

  • Let go of thoughts that are floating in your head to bring your mind to a state of inner stillness. Distance yourself from the rest of the physical world and go within. You may choose to also set an intention to release any thoughts or beliefs that may be an obstacle to feeling the connection and receiving its gifts.

  • Ask for guidance, insight, or answers as you enter into the silence. You can do this out loud or silently to yourself as you enter into silence. Notice what new thoughts you have after these moments of silence. Doing this brings more power, love, wisdom, guidance and abundance.

  • Be receptive. Contact with your Higher Self may come through as a sense of energy, peace, inner knowing, an answer, a deeper breath or other ways not listed here. Even if you sense absolutely nothing, have faith that with this practice, some insight, extra energy, or inspiration has been imparted to you that will unfold at the perfect time.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing this meditation. It is actually very effective to have frequent ten or twenty-second meditation periods during the day. Even pausing briefly during a busy day to get quiet and ask for energy or guidance is a wonderful way to deepen contact with your #HigherSelf. Having little reminders around you to go inward greatly support this practice! This is why I love crystals, especially in jewelry form because they are always with you. This is a tool I am very passionate about, so they are now available in our online shop. This upcoming Friday, we are hosting a High Vibration Bracelet Workshop for you to choose the crystals that resonate with you, be guided through the process of making it, and then will teach you how to use it as a meditation tool. And they’re pretty, too :).


What other ways do you "connect"? Comment below!

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