By Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.
Do you wake stiff in the morning and loosen up after moving around for a while? Or do you stiffen up as the day progresses? Either way it is an indication of inflammation in your body and can be uncomfortable. However, inflammation is a two-edged sword. We only hear about the bad half, but inflammation is good too.
When you are injured or have an infection, your body sends out the emergency response team to control, clean up and repair the insult. It is designed to protect the weakened area from further insult such as infection. It is also designed to localize injurious factors such as dirt and try to get rid of it. During the healing process, lots of activities are occurring and can make it uncomfortable. Some of the symptoms include pain, itching, swelling, redness and heat around the area. This is good. If normal tissue architecture cannot be regenerated successfully, scars occur. In an organ, failure to replicate the healthy framework can eventually lead to chronic inflammation, then disease. If progressed long enough, it may eventually lead to an auto-immune response.
If the body’s normal defense mechanism (inflammation) is overwhelmed, or less capable of performing properly, instead of being a normal acute response, it becomes chronic. In chronic inflammation, it now becomes destructive – the antithesis of its normal response.