At Hudson Healing Arts, our blog is a place where we hope to address the topics that are on your hearts and minds, as well as those that affect your health. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on a hot topic we’ve been hearing a lot about lately — inflammation.
There’s no one better to help us understand inflammation than Joe DelGiodice, a long-time member of the HHA family (since 1999!). As a board-certified acupuncturist, Chinese and Western herbalist, and naturopath, Joe is uniquely qualified to explain how healthy lifestyle practices can help reduce chronic inflammation and improve your overall wellbeing.
What Is Inflammation?
First things first: All inflammation actually starts in the body for a good reason. According to Joe, this natural chemical process is vital to defending our bodies from harmful agents. For example, the redness and swelling you experience after an injury is the “good kind” of inflammation — that’s your white blood cells rushing in for protection.
However, it becomes problematic when the process goes unchecked and doesn’t turn off the way it should. It can also become a concern when the re-injury or assault process doesn't stop (i.e. stress that keeps spiraling, or eating the same inflammatory foods repeatedly).
“This traps us in a repetitive cycle where the inflammatory process becomes an emergency process, rather than one that supports everyday living,” Joe says. “Chronic inflammation can manifest as a wide range of issues, from diabetes to arthritis to heart disease.”
Typically, this “bad kind” of inflammation stems from something happening in excess somewhere in the body. The usual suspects? Insufficient sleep or hydration, unhealthy eating, ineffective stress management, or a sedentary lifestyle. Joe points out that the last one doesn’t necessarily equate to laziness — it often means working so hard that you don’t have the opportunity to be active.
Thankfully, it’s possible to manage and reverse inflammation through practices that support your wellbeing, and it’s something Joe sees happen all the time.
“While some chronic inflammation can be genetic, healthy eating, exercise, quality sleep, and taking care of yourself all truly matter,” Joe says. “They help halt the toxicity of your inflammatory response and return to your natural state of being with regular body chemistry.”
One major thing you can do is find an effective way to manage stress. While there’s always a level of inflammation that exists in the body, stress plays a big role in triggering and exacerbating the inflammatory process. Scheduling regular holistic healing sessions (whether that’s acupuncture, Reiki, bodywork, or energy balancing) is a great way to be proactive about taming stress, rather than waiting to crash and burn first.
Wondering what else you can do to help with inflammation? Here are some of Joe’s top tips:
Come Visit Us At HHA
At Hudson Healing Arts, we offer a number of services - both in-person and remote - to encourage relaxation and a greater sense of balance, which helps to alleviate chronic inflammation. Check out our full list of healing modalities here: hudsonhealingarts.com/our-services.html.
As always, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section — or feel free to connect with us on Facebook. Wishing you a wonderful, happy, and healthy end of summer!
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.