LIFE COMES, LIFE GOES
I believe that understanding the central importance of inflammation to our well-being and our experience of illness makes it easier to find a path through the jungle of diagnoses, diagnostic theories and expert opinions, overlaid with all the accompanying white noise of the media. For thousands of years, people of all cultures have observed and described the phenomenon of inflammation because they have always sensed its significance. Even if they did not have the scientific aids we have today, they still possessed the sharp eye of the keen observer – something that has almost become completely lost to us in modern medicine.
Imagine your body as a tree. The metabolic processes that produce and mobilise energy occur in the roots. That energy has to be distributed and this happens via the trunk. Let us assume for a moment that the trunk represents our stress system – in itself a close-knit band of immune system, nervous system and hormones – which absorbs and distributes the energy. The boughs and branches – inflammation – emerge from that trunk, i.e. from that stress system. Depending on the individual tree, the tree species, environmental conditions, seasons or the age of the tree, the boughs and branches will change colour, bark structure and become covered in moss or bacteria, all of which are signs of the health of the tree. This is exactly how inflammation works within our bodies. Whether it causes wellness or illness depends, as in the tree, on our individual characteristics and our environment.
The tree of well-being
Inflammation is regulated and controlled. The tree is in good health and thrives.
The tree of th acute inflammation
The tree is on fire, the stress system is highly active. The inflammation is acute and self-limiting.
The tree of the chronic inflammation
The inflammation smolders and over time it strikes down on the organs and the organ systems. Control and regulation overstrain the stress system.