Inflammation is part of the body's defense mechanism, allowing the immune system to recognize and remove harmful and foreign stimuli and begin the healing process. It can be a healthy part of active recovery after working out. However, chronic inflammation can be the facilitator of significant health issues if left untreated. The World Health Organization reports that the prevalence of diseases associated with chronic inflammation is anticipated to increase during the next 30 years in the United States.
Vishal Patel, M.D., co-president and chief medical officer at Sensei, along with his team of experts known as the Wellness Science team, detailed the causes of inflammation and what clients can do to reduce the symptoms of chronic inflammation.
Excessive inflammation can be caused by a variety of factors, including unmanaged health conditions, smoking, gum disease and sunburn.
Anything that continually irritates the immune system will elevate inflammation if not treated, like stress, anxiety, heart disease, high blood sugar, and more, according to the experts at Sensei. While the symptoms of sunburn are temporary, the skin damage is often permanent and can have long-term health effects, including premature aging and skin cancer.
Dr. Patel suggests that eating habits and maintaining a healthy weight are central to avoiding and reducing inflammation. He recommends eating whole foods on a regular and consistent schedule. These whole foods should include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds and nuts.
Excessive alcohol intake, fried or charred foods and irregular snacking are all significant drivers of inflammation. Late-night eating can disrupt sleep, one of the foundational tools to help the body manage inflammation.
When experiencing low amounts of muscular pain and inflammation after exercising, movements that promote blood circulation to the area can be beneficial, such as active recovery exercises that differ from your normal exercise routine, as well as gentle yoga. The application of focused pressure on an inflamed area, through foam rolling or self-myofascial release, can be helpful to increase circulation and improve the range of motion. Massage aids inflammation by temporarily alleviating or breaking up knots in the muscle that contribute to tightness.
Sensei offers treatments to reduce inflammation, including the Reflexology Massage and the Thermal Body Mapping & Massage, which uses Sensei-developed thermographic technology to create a visual map of the body, revealing asymmetries, muscle tightness and possible areas of pain.