Pop quiz: when you experience inflammation you are supposed to apply ice, right? It might surprise you to learn that the correct answer is: not necessarily. Many of us experience inflammation daily from old injuries, arthritis or simple wear-and-tear. It’s this everyday inflammation we want to talk about today rather than acute inflammation that might occur due to a recent injury. So you might be asking, if the age old rule to ice inflammation doesn’t always apply, what are the new rules?
Let’s break it down. According to eastern medical traditions, there are two types of inflammation: hot and cold. Each has its own set of symptoms and treatments.
This is the type of inflammation that we commonly think of when we think of inflammation. The primary indicators for hot inflammation are swelling, redness and a pulsating feeling in the affected area. Think hot flowing lava.
To address hot inflammation we have to cool it off. Here’s the run down:
Chronic inflammation often takes this form as it settles itself into your body. Symptoms of cold inflammation include creakiness, stiffness and a pale color to the affected area. Imagine this type of inflammation a frozen river and you’ll see why cold inflammation requires remedies that increase circulation and lubrication.
Trust your own senses. Feel the area with your hands. Do you feel heat or coolness? Take a look. Is the area red or pale? Listen to your body and follow its advice. Who knows your body better than you do?
If you think that your knee is more accurate for predicting the weather than your local meteorologist, you just might be right. Some studies suggest that changes in the barometric pressure could increase pressure in a painful joint. Don’t quit your day job for a career as a weather person but do listen to your body when bad weather is in the forecast.