Tissues hold issues. Now we’re not talking about Kleenex here, we’re talking about the tissue in our bodies: muscle, epithelial (skin), nervous and and connective.
When we are stressed or experiencing trauma, our bodies enter fight-flight-freeze mode and excrete hormones that aid in shutting down our normal immune responses and increasing our body’s mechanisms most essential to survival.
Author and therapist Babette Rothschild writes in her book The Body Remembers: Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment, “a psychophysical experience, even when the traumatic event causes no direct bodily harm will impact the body.” Even more, “the body cannot tell difference between emotional and physical danger.”
The bodies fight-flight-freeze mode is meant to be a temporary state. However, constant stress and build up of these hormones may then cause tissue inflammation. The body is pretty impressive and can usually flush out acute inflammation on its own. In fact, inflammation is a needed immune response – responsible for healing wounds. However, chronic stress can create a chronic inflammatory response, which is dangerous and leads to the breakdown of tissues and the immune system.
Many researches are starting to find evidence to suggest that chronic tissue inflammation and decreased mental health are directly related. Several physical health conditions are already linked to inflammation: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Cardiovascular Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers. Parsley Health, a national primary care company, identified five common signs of chronic inflammation:
- Body pain, especially in the joints
- Skin rashes, such as eczema or psoriasis
- Excessive mucus production (ie, always needing to clear your throat or blow your nose)
- Low energy, despite sufficient sleep
- Poor digestion, including bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and loose stool
(Five signs taken directly from their site. ParsleyHealth.com)
At Your Best Self, we consider the whole person when designing treatment. This means, we thoroughly explore physical health in conjunction to mental health, and
often collaborate and refer to professionals in other fields.
Below are a few strategies to reduce inflammation:
- First and foremost, *reduce stress.* Try Yoga, journaling, nature walks, meditation, or therapy. There are countless ways to manage stress levels.
- Foam roll, massage muscles or get a professional massage
- Speak to a doctor about diets that aid in flushing out inflammation, as well as those high in foods shown to prevent inflammation
- Frequent movement. They say now, “sitting is the new smoking.”
- Hydrate yourself