Chronic Inflammation and Yoga

This is a very comprehensive article on chronic inflammation in the body and yoga as an anti-inflammatory practice.

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A bit of Saturday afternoon reading for you :) This is a very comprehensive article on chronic inflammation in the body and yoga as an anti-inflammatory practice.

The take-home messages? That inflammation is part of the body’s immune/defense response, the body’s attempt at self-protection. The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, heat, redness and fluid accumulation (swelling). Inflammation may also be associated with symptoms including: fever, chills, fatigue/loss of energy, muscle aches, headaches and loss of appetite.

Chronic inflammation is characterised by a defense response that is aberrant, out of control and is not completely turned off or extinguished. Just like a slow-burning fire that does not ebb, in chronic inflammation the defense/pro-inflammatory molecules continue to be present in the body even when they are not needed.

Enter yoga. Yoga has been found to:

-Bring down the levels of stress hormones that promote inflammation

-Lower the levels of a number of pro-inflammatory molecules in the body and brings down inflammation that is beneficial in conditions like arthritis

-Reduce a subset of pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines thereby relieving severe pain seen in diseases like fibromyalgia

-Inhibit inflammation that in turn weakens and even kills cancerous cells in people with cancer.

There is much more detail, including what causes inflammation and what other treatments are commonly offered, in the article. Happy weekend reading everyone!

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS