Chronic inflammations can be considered one of the most dangerous enemies of our health. In silence, it works inside our body and create the conditions for several illnesses and also depression. Refined foods, fried foods and sugars act on our body by increasing chronic inflammation, also stress can increase chronic inflammation. In the previous posts we have seen the guide lines created by important universities such as Harvard or Rush University Medical Center of Chicago about healthy diet habits to counteract inflammation, we have also seen the advice regarding a moderate physical activity but, for an anti inflammatory lifestyle there are also meditation exercises, yoga and tai chi. And do you know why? Because they act by fighting stress and, thanks to this effect, also inflammation. And it is because of this beneficial action that science has become interested in these disciplines able to combine body and mind and improve and protect the health of both. For example, a study carried out on a group of about 50 adults occupied in risky and stressing work activities has shown the effect of a 3 month-yoga practice, at the end of this period a decrease of the inflammatory markers such as C reactive protein, and thus inflammation, has been observed (Uddhav Shete et al, J Educ Health Promot, 2017). Another study has observed that the yoga practice is able to reduce two pro inflammatory substances, Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-?) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6), involved in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer, arthritis and depression.
Moreover, a regular yoga activity is also able to protect from an increase of the inflammatory factors caused by stress or by a too intense physical activity (Vijayaraghava et al, J Clin Diagn Res, 2015). But there isn’t just yoga, other disciplines studied by science are, for example, tai chi or Mindfulness meditation, that has the purpose to focus the attention on the here and now without judging but with a full awareness of the moment, or also Qigong. Indeed, according to a review published on Frontiers in Immunology in 2017 where 18 studies over 11 years have been analyzed, these disciplines result not just beneficial to calm, unblock the breath and bring harmony to body and mind, but are also able to act on the genes with mechanisms that are opposite to that induced by stress. In particular, on the basis of the study, these disciplines are able to inhibit the activity of a substance called NF-kB, involved in pro inflammatory mechanism, for this reason the resulting effect is anti inflammatory (Buric et al, Front Immunol, 2017). And what to do if you really dislike these activities? Don’t worry, in general every activity or hobby that is able to bring calm and serenity is good, also playing an instrument, singing or playing games, yes, also playing games, trying to have a look to all the things with the surprise typical of kids, after all, inside each of us there is a little child, according to the great Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli.