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What is Inflammation?

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Inflammation refers to your body's process of fighting against things that harm it, like infections, injuries, and toxins, in an attempt to heal it

Are there different types of inflammation?

  1. Systemic inflammation: occurs when the immune system is constantly defending the body. Stress, infection, or chronic diseases can put the body in a pro-Inflammatory state.

  2. Chronic inflammation: is also referred to as slow, long-term inflammation lasting for prolonged periods of several months to years. Generally, the extent and effects of chronic inflammation vary with the cause of the injury and the ability of the body to repair and overcome the damage.

  3. Acute inflammation: The response to sudden body damage, such as cutting your finger. To heal the cut, your body sends inflammatory cells to the injury. These cells start the healing process. Chronic inflammation: Your body continues sending inflammatory cells even when there is no outside danger.

What are the four symptoms of inflammation?

  1. Redness,

  2. Pain,

  3. Swelling

  4. Heat

As a massage therapist, I can always tell when someone injured themselves whether it's a new or old injury just by the heat that radiates off of any particular location of the body.

When a client states on their medical form that they have back and neck pain, the first question I ask is do you have any herniated disk or disk bulges? If the answer is no then I'm in search of trigger points. If yes then it tells me it's chronic and they will always have some inflammation in those areas. 98% of the time I am able to lift the inflammation in an acute stage. However, in a chronic state, I have found I can reduce their pain by 75%.

Can dietary supplements help with inflammation? Dietary supplements have been shown to help provide a healthy balance of inflammatory chemicals in your body. However, before you start any vitamin regimen, always check with your PCP. These are just a few that I found helpful for me as I have chronic issues with my back from an injury sustained by a 24-wheeler accident. I am able to keep my pain to a two level.

Vitamin A

It boosts your immune system and guards against infectious diseases. Taking 10,000 international units (IU) for 1-2 weeks may help you heal after an exercise-related injury. Vitamin A is easy to find, too. It runs high in liver, fish oils, milk, eggs, and leafy greens.


Got pineapple juice? Then you have this enzyme that packs anti-inflammatory powers and supports your immune system. It’s sometimes used to treat tendinitis and minor muscle injuries like sprains. Some studies have shown bromelain may ease inflammation after dental, nasal, and foot surgery. Doctors usually suggest taking capsules or tablets. That’s because drinking juice won’t supply enough.


It’s worth the breath mints. Garlic slows down two inflammatory enzymes and clears the way for blood to get to your muscles. Add 2-4 fresh garlic cloves to your meals to fight swelling and pack flavor. You can rub garlic oil directly into swollen joints and muscles, too.




This minty essential oil is famous for its cooling and analgesic effects. If you experience acute inflammation due to an injury or overworked muscle, Peppermint essential oil can help ease the effects of inflammation.

Ginger root

Ginger essential oil significantly reduced joint inflammation. Another study with humans also showed that patients with osteoarthritis experienced less knee pain when they used Ginger essential oil.


This earthy, herbal oil is definitely a must-have for easing the effects of inflammation. Thyme essential oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties, but it works specifically by reducing the amount of the COX-2 enzyme in your body. When certain conditions arise, such as when you receive an injury, the COX-2 enzyme produces a group of lipids called prostaglandins. These prostaglandins appear where there is tissue damage and promote inflammation, fever, and pain as part of the normal healing process. By reducing the amount of COX-2, Thyme essential oil can help ease the painful effects of inflammation.


offers some incredible anti-inflammatory benefits with its essential oil. Over the years, many studies have shown that Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, exhibits powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, Turmeric can help reduce oxidative stress as well as the inflammation associated with it and other conditions


acts as an immunostimulant to help boost the body’s natural immune response. This can help your body go through the inflammation and healing process faster, thus reducing recovery time and pain. In addition, the Arthritis Foundation states that the acids within Frankincense essential oil have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, and it can specifically help prevent cartilage damage for those who have rheumatoid arthritis.

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