Pain and Inflammation – Biohacking a Healthy Inflammatory Response
The majority of patients that come to see me are dealing with some sort of back pain or dysfunction of the body. The one thing common to all these conditions is inflammation. Inflammation always has 5 components, although they may not always be visible to the naked eye. These are swelling, heat, altered function, redness, and pain.
Because our modern lifestyle and environment contain many stressors that were not present a few generations ago, most humans I see have an abnormal or unhealthy inflammatory response, usually producing too much inflammation for a given injury or stimulus. This could be an autoimmune disease in a severe example, or things like pain and failing to heal from a whiplash injury completely and perfectly.
Inflammation can be measured several ways but the most common blood test is C-Reactive Protein. Even levels on the high end of what is considered ‘normal’ by most medical experts can be indicator that your inflammatory levels are too high. One of the first things we suggest with patients regardless of what condition they walk in with is to look at lifestyle changes that encourage a healthy inflammation process.
Notice I did not say we wanted to “lower inflammation,” but rather choose lifestyle modifications (also called biohacking) to encourage a healthy inflammatory response. It is easy to take a drug to lower the inflammatory response, but to do so has consequences including early death and should be avoided at all costs. Yes you heard that right even that supposedly safe over the counter NSAID can kill you. They damage kidneys, liver, and digestive organs and interfere with healthy healing. The top 7 lifestyle changes (biohacking) I recommend are:
1) High Quality DHA products and foods (omega IIIs). This is easiest obtained from wild caught seafood and supplements where oils from these animals is carefully concentrated (fish oil). We carry a great tasting liquid from Nutragen and capsules from Orthomolecular.
2) Turmeric. We carry a product called Turmero from Apex Energetics that tastes great, and is formulated for maximum bio-avaiability.
3) Ice and Cryotherapy. Ice locally over hurting joints and ice baths or recently more available cryotherapy create large amounts of glutathione throughout the body. They are something to work up to.
4) Grounding – Antioxidants get all the attention in talk about health and diet. The body generally doesn’t need as many antioxidants if grounding regularly (because they recharge) and while you can accomplish this through extreme supplementation and dietary changes, a free and easy way to recharge the antioxidants already in your body over and over again is through grounding. The process of putting your bare feet (and hands and any other part of your body) on the ground. It must be a conductive surface so indoors doesn’t count. Best places are the beach, dirt/sand, grass (especially damp or wet).
5) Avoid refined sugar like its poison. Because it is, only it kills you slowly, much like cigarettes. Its also highly addictive, much like… you get the picture. Food companies know that it tastes good and gets you to buy more of their food, so learn to read a label and identify sugar in all its deceptive forms. Sugar can take a 4/10 pain and make it feel like 7/10 for days at a time.
6) Get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Lose the shades and the sunscreen. Powerful things happen when sunlight hit your skin and eyes, and that means full spectrum sunlight. Yes it can burn you, but the amount of sun you can tolerate is actually a great way to measure health. Build up to longer and longer amounts. Even more effective when combined with “grounding” from above. Sets your internal clock, helps you sleep longer and more regularly, boosts vitamin D3 levels for free. The opposite of sunlight is bluelight from computer screens and LEDS and non-native electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs), avoid these and remove from your life wherever possible and get blue-blocking glasses for when you can’t.
7) Move right, chiropractic will help get you there and keep you there, Yoga is great, functional movement like Egoscue exercises and Foundation Training encourage this. At different times in your life you may find different things beneficial, but if you have joint pain that isn’t going away, you’re not moving right and your inflammation levels are going to be too high.
There are many other things one can do to encourage a healthy inflammatory response, get out of pain, and live healthier, but these are going to the be the easiest and most effective. Watch out for more articles where we will tackle some of the above in greater detail as well as other biohacking that encourage a healthy inflammatory response, in effect lowering inflammation.
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