Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Does your own mind cause inflammation

For whatever reason I have been more interested in writing blog posts than short stories and a novel. I guess it is good that I remain inspired to write for entertainment despite being totally derailed from those other pursuits.

Lately, I have been taking an approach to my blogging where I simply write from the heart, memory and how I am perceiving things without source citations or the like.

In this particularly non-scientific article I want to write about inflammation and what I like to call perceived inflammation.

The mind is incredibly powerful and you can affect your own physiology simply by the thoughts that you have in your head. So for me I am experimenting with the thought of how perception affects how you feel.

Obviously, we all know (or should know) that the way you think affects the way you feel. It is why people under extreme stress hold water due to increased cortisol and sometimes have digestive issues. Our physiology is extremely complicated made up of bone, muscle, fascia, nerves and other moving parts but also chemicals, genes (24,000 to be exact), a bunch of stuff I am only starting to understand which makes up the epigenome, bacteria, protozoa, viruses, fungi and a whole host of other complicated factors that I don't understand.

So in some way drugs, medications, food, supplements and your mind can contribute to how these things work and react. Conversely however all those things can contribute to how your mind works. It is an interesting and unique interconnectedness that I think about quite a bit.

So in the paleosphere there is this talk of inflammation and how food affects it. Inflammation is the supposed cause of most or all diseases. The word inflammation is tricky thing to understand but for me I perceive it as injured swollen tissues that causes me pain. This perception is from my years of playing sports as well as exercise.

This definition is probably a tad simplistic and I would hazard to guess not applicable to all parts of the body but it works for me.

So we are supposedly all inflamed from our modern lifestyle and our diets and this is probably true. O.K. so we are all inflamed yet the physical detriments and effects in some regard and completely based on my own opinion are affected by our mindset.

"Biology of Belief" by Bruce Lipton was a landmine book for me and whether Bruce Lipton is completely full of shit or not it brings to mind how powerful the mind can be on how we feel. I've noticed in myself that the more stressed I am and even sometimes the more conscientious of my food choices the worst I sometimes feel.

My stomach cramps up and my digestion just goes to hell. The more dedicated to complete gluten abstinence in all situations the worst things are. When I let myself lighten up a tad (adhering to an 80/20 rule) I don't feel nearly as ill.

Also, I am not saying food allergies aren't a thing or even severe in some individuals. I probably can't really be sure what my own are without using heart rate variability. However, I've noticed that when I perceive to have a food allergy towards something or think about eliminating something and accidentally have it magically I now have an allergy too it.

What I mean by this is that if I think potatoes are a huge problem for me, onions, garlic and etc. then I start to feel joint pain and all the symptoms of nightshade foods and FODMAPS. I rotate these foods to be on the safe side but when I am losing my mind and stressing about these things it is when it becomes the worst.

This is all what I would call perceived inflammation. There may be some low-level inflammation going on from picking the wrong foods but the affects are way more detrimental when I'm thinking about it.

When I loosen up have a beer, eat some ice cream and decide to be a wild man by having a piece of baguette bread I don't always feel like absolute shit. Yes, if I ate these things ad nausea eventually I probably would feel awful. Yet by not stressing about these things all the time I generally feel better and miraculously my joints don't hurt and the acne I imagine poking threw my epidermis never appear.

Health isn't only about the food you eat and the exercise you do but also about the mind and your mental health. The mind aspect is something I neglect sometimes but is so important and probably in my own eyes and situation the most important. I look healthy but when my internal computer processors my heart and mind aren't running the operating system the correct way everything turns to shit.

This is why meditation is so important to me. Meditation when I practice constantly has helped to reverse some of the perceived inflammation that I've created for myself. Not only that it helps to deal with some of the very real inflammation that I deal with.

Another element of mental health and something I am just sort of now becoming more aware off is magnesium and vitamin D supplementation. These two things are quite possibly the two most important weapons in my arsenal currently to improve my mood. They are two of the most critical nutrients for a variety of processes in the body and most of us are deficient.

However, the two are incredibly important they hold a special place in my heart for how they make me feel mentally. Calm, enlightened and energetic are all ways I describe what I feel. When you feel calm everything else around you just sort of doesn't seem so bad.

Play, socializing and having hobbies is important as well. As adults I feel like we loose site of these things and for me the play aspect as well as having hobbies fall by the wayside when I get really involved with work. I am a man of a million failed hobbies and for me play can be in the form of dance, going to concerts and engaging in athletics but with a busy work schedule I loose site of the things that put me into that flow state of being and give me a boost of happiness.

All these things I find with my perceived inflammation and to help maintain my very real inflammation of nagging injuries and etc.

The more I do and the less I worry the less anything has an affect. So the question is what is it that you do that causes you stress (for me it is food) that is also contributing to you creating health problems real or perceived for yourself?

Think about that question put it in a notebook and look at it from time to time to remind yourself to breath and to not let that thing bother you. When you look at that question you should then go about doing the very thing you prevent yourself from doing that causes you stress.

For me this could be binge drinking with friends, eating a piece of bread or simply engaging in a behavior that is socially unacceptable or possibly borderline legal.


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