Pain and Skin Therapies & Integrative Health Strategies
There are factors that can greatly assist the body to repair, remodel and heal. They are extremely important in assisting these functions to be at their upmost capacity.
- PH: pH stands for Potential Hydrogen, which is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body. A pH level measures how acid or alkaline something is.
- A pH of 0 is totally acidic, while a pH of 14 is completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral. Those levels vary throughout your body. Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or below, so it can break down food. And your urine changes, depending on what you eat - that's how your body keeps the level in your blood steady.
Alkaline foods will support healthy healing and recovery.
Adequate pH is essential for the optimal performance of all these body systems:
1. Digestive System
2. Circulatory System
3. Immune System
4. Respiratory System
5. Skeletal System
6. Integumentary System ( skin )
7. Nervous System
8. Excretory System
9. Muscular System
10. Reproductive System
- Inflammation:The term inflammation rarely elicits a truly accurate image in the mind of someone unless they are experiencing it. Then it begins to make sense because of the pain and dysfunction associated with inflammation.
The presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual. It can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant. How long it has been smoldering really determines the degree of severity of a disease and often the prognosis - assuming the inflammation can be controlled. One could also argue that without inflammation most disease would not even exist.
The ability to be inflamed is absolutely necessary for normal repair processes to occur. It is when the regulation of inflammation is not tempered or controlled that we begin to have a problem with inflammation.
It has been shown that many of the inflammatory diseases we suffer from are gut mediated but not presenting as gut issues. Dr. Maios Hadjivassiliou of the United Kingdom, a world authority on gluten sensitivity, has reported in The Lancet, that "gluten sensitivity can be primarily and at times, exclusively a neurological disease." This means that people show gluten sensitivity by having problems with brain function despite having no gastrointestinal problems whatsoever.
Since inflammation is commonly mediated by the gut it is a logical starting point in the evaluation process of any patient. There are seven common areas that should be considered when looking at causative factors for gastrointestinal dysfunction that create the environment for chronic inflammation. They are listed below along with key triggers within the category of evaluation:
- Diet: Alcohol, Gluten, Casein, Processed Foods, Sugar, Fast Food
- Medications: Corticosteroids, Antibiotics, Antacids, Xenobiotics
- Infections: Such as H-Pylori, Yeast or Bacterial Overgrowth, Viral or Parasite Infection
- Stress: Increased Cortisol, Increased Catecholamines
- Hormonal: Thyroid, Progesterone, Estradiol, Testosterone
- Neurological: Brain Trauma, Stroke, Neuro-degeneration
- Metabolic: Glycosylated End Products (inflammatory end products of sugar metabolism) Intestinal inflammation, Autoimmune
- Stress: When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury.
This reaction is known as "fight-or-flight,” or the stress response. During stress response, your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises. You’ve gotten ready to act. It is how you protect yourself.
The Physical Effects of Psychological Stress
Exercise is touted as an effective stress management tool—and there is no doubt that it is an important one. However, there might be a catch—stress can have such a profound physiological effect on the body that it may interfere with the body’s ability to recover and repair itself. In other words, chronic mental stress may actually lead to physical overload.
Researchers conducted a study that included subjects with high stress levels and low stress levels. They evaluated two kinds of stress: perceived stress and life event stress. Perceived stress is a subjective measure of how a person experiences stress—how it feels, so to speak. Life event stress, on the other hand, is more objective. It has nothing to do with how stress feels, just what it involves. Life event stress might include things like divorce, moving, or a demanding job.
After the participants completed a strenuous strength workout, the researchers measured their subjective and objective recovery each day for four consecutive days. Measurements included muscular function (isometric muscular force) and somatic sensations such as perceived energy, fatigue and soreness.
The results indicated that stress impaired recovery, even after adjusting for fitness, workload, and training experience. Both perceived stress and life event stress impaired muscular force and perceived energy. In addition, life event stress was also associated with more fatigue and soreness. On the flip side, recovery was improved and faster in participants with low stress.
Strike a Balance
So, what does this research mean for you? It means you should pay attention to your stress levels and adjust accordingly. When the body is in a weakened state—as is often the case with stress—even “good” physical stress like exercise can lead to physical overload.
Don’t skip exercise, but do add extra recovery time. If you’re tired, stressed, and feeling extra sore after exercise, give yourself an extra day or two off between workouts to allow your body to fully recover and avoid injury.
Reference: Stults-Kolehmainen MA, Bartholomew JB, Sinha R. Chronic Psychological Stress Impairs Recovery of Muscular Function and Somatic Sensations over a 96-Hour Period. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Published early online December 13, 2013.
Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another.