Through the Fire
“Inflammation as a bodily function is not necessarily a bad thing. When the body is injured or ill, the lymphatic (immune) system springs into action, bringing the immune system’s army of white blood cells to the area of concern via increased blood flow.
With the increased attention to the area, there might also be swelling, redness, heat, and pain or discomfort. You’ve probably seen this immune response in action, as a cut or scrape becomes hot and puffy around the wound while the extra blood runs. Inflammation, in a healthy body, is the normal and effective response that facilitates healing.” Dr. Josh Axe
As with lots of other things in life, we need a balance related to inflammation. It’s a needed function AND it can easily get out of hand. Chronic Inflammation is now seen as a major contributor to many diseases – auto immune disorders, allergies, atherosclerosis, asthma, and cancer. It also contributes to many digestive problems.
There are foods which contribute to the inflammatory reaction – sugars, alcohol, gluten amongst others. There are foods which reduce inflammation – leafy greens, celery, beets, pineapple. See a whole list in the article by Dr. Axe linked above. Check out this article for more about signs of chronic inflammation.
Eating Psychology invites us to look deeper than the fiery symptoms of pain ,redness, and swelling. It invites us to look deeper than changing our diet at the same time as recognizing those things are vitally important. Is there something asking to be seen ? What is the body trying to alert us to ? What does our soul need ?
I do have chronic inflammation which I have recently re activated due to excitement/stress of my book being published, stress/excitement of lots of traveling, much of it on airplanes leading to swollen ankles, lots of physical activity, being more ” casual” about food choices! So, swollen ankles and feet, and achey joints have been the main indicators. I have gotten curious about what else might be involved and what else I can do to understand the inflammation. Our body symptoms and emotions are there as a doorway into our inner world. What is going on in there ??
On the physical plane, inflammation can be a kind of protection. Fluid comes to the injured area bringing white blood cells and other elements of the immune response for encasing the area, doing clean up, etc. Possibly this can be going on on the psychological level as well. What needs protecting ? What needs healing ? In my case, it is worth looking at my pace of the last few months. I have done a lot of traveling. While not working at a “job” right now, my life has been full of things related to my book release. I have had lots of excitement and new experiences. It has been hard to keep up with myself! I’m feeling ( inner) pressure to keep up a faster pace, to become more extroverted ( it’s time to go out and sell my book, talk about my message…), I need more stamina/strength, etc. etc. etc. Perhaps ( probably) that inflammation is asking me to slow down. OK, some days it was way beyond asking, more like crying, more like screaming. It’s hard to keep moving when your feet are swollen and your knees hurt.
There’s something in there too about it not being ok to be excited. This one makes me sad and some angry at those people back in my life who were always shutting down my excitement. Writing and publishing a book is a really big deal!! Yes!! get excited!! Be proud!! Brag myself up. Through the Fire, cooking our way into a new relationship with food is available here !! Can I be happy and all those things without making myself sick ? Express my passion ! Bring some fire and some heat into my life without mega inflammation ?? I think yes, now that I have some understanding about it.
I’m working on the dietary cleaning up. Of course, some days are better than others. I think it helps to add in the psychological element here as well. What needs cleaning up ?? I am constantly aware of my old ways of using food as punishment, so deeply entrenched and so hard to change. How can I look at this in a newer way ? Instead of continuing to punish myself for my need to punish myself. !! Oy. Let’s let go of how the inflammation “mess” got there, let’s send in those cleaners. Let’s spiff and polish everything up. Make it shiny and pretty. Clean the house. Buy some beautiful flowers. Get a new tablecloth and some new clothes. Put some new artwork on the walls. Have a party.
I have one more trip in my travel frenzy this coming week. The internal cleansers are at work already – saw my nutrition buddy and got some new herbal blends and supplements. I’m back on a regular acupuncture and massage regime. I bought myself some new clothes – went for cool ocean-y colors, let’s not wear so much red and pink, let’s cool it down. After this trip, I have a crew coming in for a massive deep house cleaning, will be hiring some organizing help. I’ve got some beauty care sorts of appointments planned – pedicure, facial. I’ve been putting time in the dirt, planting and weeding. And I have been spending quality time lying on the couch petting my cat.
Rest. Relaxation. Self Care.
Writing. Promoting. Planning.
Inner and outer work.