Why do you hurt? Two reasons: trauma and inflammation. Trauma is obvious. It occurs when you stub your toe, or worse, break your leg.
Here’s inflammation: Your cells are little motors. They generate power and waste. The production of waste creates heat. This heat is called inflammation. You make lots of it when you are hurt or sick, but your body also makes some of it all the time. Inflammation is what ages you. The healthier you are and the cleaner you eat the less you make. The younger you are the easier it is to eliminate it. The more of it you have, the more you hurt.
Yet pain from trauma and pain from inflammation are not exclusive. In most cases, inflammation will cause the most symptoms at sites of old trauma. The knee you hurt when you were younger is the one that inflammation settles in when you’re older.
Two causes of pain, apart from obvious trauma, are too much sugar in your blood and environmental toxins.
You know how bread gets dark in a hot oven? When your blood sugar levels get too high, it ‘burns’ also. The process is called glycation; sugars attach to proteins and cells get damaged. This speeds up the normal wear and tear of your body. In extreme cases, this is why diabetics lose feeling and circulation in their hands and feet.
Here’s the clincher: sugar does the same thing even when you’re not diabetic, its just slower. These gummed up cells create damage and inflammation.
How do environmental toxins cause pain? Think of cells as little people. They need to eat and poop. Toxins give your cells more to eliminate, leaving them unable to eliminate all of their own wastes. This backlog of wastes creates inflammatory chemicals.
If either of these processes go on for too long, they cause changes in your structure; this is arthritis. Short of structural change in the joints, this causes pain in your muscles and connective tissues. When it’s bad enough, we call it fibromyalgia. If it is milder, we call it aches and pains from getting old.
OK, how can you reverse this? Fasting. Both poor blood sugar control and the buildup of internal and external wastes can be dramatically reversed by resting the digestive system. All the energy that you won’t have to put into digesting food will be put to good use in digesting your backlog of wastes.
Before you think about two weeks chanting in a cave, its easier than that. You can get some of these benefits every day. Just make a 12-hour gap each day without food. This alone can dramatically lower inflammation and reverse chronic pain. Want a bigger dose? Try a week long cleanse. One simple way is to just eat produce for a week. Seriously, that’s all there is to it. Any kind, any amount, but only fresh or lightly steamed produce.
If you’d like some assistance and company, visit www.MyIntegrativeHealth.com for our first annual pre and post holiday cleanse!