Inflammation, which is often regarded as a negative thing, is actually part of your immune system’s response to injury or illness. However, when inflammation continues for too long, when it is chronic and uncontrolled, it certainly causes damage. The number of people who have inflammatory conditions, such as allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and many others, is steadily rising.
At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, our team of experts is experienced in treating patients who have various inflammatory conditions. Adam Learner,, L.Ac. is an expert in functional medicine, and this holistic approach to treatment is particularly effective when it comes to inflammatory conditions. In this post, we explore some of the aspects of functional medicine and how they can help control chronic inflammation.
A whole-body approach for a systemic problem
Chronic inflammation doesn’t affect one part of your body. Rather, it’s a systemic problem and affects your whole body. For example, if you have a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation can cause damage to your joints, but it can also cause fatigue. Indeed, one of the problems in treating chronic inflammation through conventional medicine is that specialists focus on one body system or area instead of your whole body as one unit.
Reducing inflammation around one joint might alleviate some of your pain, but it may leave other symptoms unaddressed. By reducing inflammation throughout your entire body, you may find that everything else improves.
A few of the steps involved in reducing inflammation
There are some things that we focus on as functional medicine practitioners that are slower approaches to treatment than something like an immunosuppressant, but that we’ve found to be more effective for many patients.
One of the most important things to address is your nutrition. Some foods encourage inflammation, while others have been shown to reduce it. Anti-inflammatory foods are generally whole, fresh foods that most people know are healthy.
However, there may be certain foods that increase inflammation in some people. Perhaps you have an intolerance to a food that is otherwise considered healthy. Identifying the nutritional approach that is most appropriate for you is an important step in reducing inflammation, and is also a core component of functional health.
Chronic inflammation causes stressful symptoms and the stress increases the inflammation, leading to a vicious cycle — as if life in general weren’t already stressful enough! Learning techniques for reducing stress can begin to reduce the stress/inflammation cycle.
It’s easy to say “lower your stress levels,” but it’s far more difficult to actually lower your stress levels. You have obligations in your life, you’re busy, and you can’t control the traffic or other outside events that cause stress.
We can help you identify specific actions and techniques that work within the context of your life to lower stress. You may not have considered acupuncture or massage, meditation, or additional sleeping time as stress-reduction techniques, but they can be helpful for many people.
Regular exercise is important for everyone, but it’s even more important for people with chronic inflammation. The problem, of course, is that chronic inflammation makes exercise painful, difficult, and often unappealing. We can help you find ways to move that are accessible and help you build an exercise routine that fits your life and health.
Avoiding the cookie-cutter approach
When you come to Family Acupuncture and Wellness, we don’t begin with any assumptions about you or your condition. We work with you as an individual, and look for solutions and treatments that fit you.
We don’t begin with what worked for someone else with a similar condition. We begin with you.
You can expect us to do bloodwork, a thorough physical exam, and to take a complete medical history, as well as discuss your current symptoms and treatments.
If you’re ready to find out how functional medicine can be the right treatment approach for your inflammatory condition, schedule an appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness. New patients can request an appointment online, or you’re welcome to call us at 603-556-8908.