stress, inflammation & resource allocation.
our simplified explanation of holistic health - improving your mind-body's resource management to allocate more energy towards repairitive and growth processes and less towards damaging processes like chronic stress and inflammation.
your mind-body is continuously managing resources and energy to power autonomic processes like digestion, detoxification, immune system, inflammation, heart rate and blood pressure (to name a few) and cognitive processes like attention, language, learning, memory, perception and thought. the chronic activation of stress and inflammation are spreading your mental and physical resources thin. if you've managed multiple important and intensive tasks at once, you know how unsustainable your focus and energy is in that state. this is how we should view our internal systems. if sympathetic processes are chronically elevated, there will be less energy and attention on growth and repair. chronic stress and inflammation erode the fundamentals of health.
by design, stress changes the mind-body from a proactive to a reactive state. proactive (parasympathetic) processes like digestion, detoxification, cellular and tissue repair, learning, neurogenesis, etc. are given less resources in order to prioritize reactive (sympathetic) state. this is fight or flight and it's only designed to run for a short period of time in response to a perceived threat. when stress is chronic, your mind-body doesn't retun to a proactive state of resource allocation. more energy is used to fuel fight or flight than immune system, building new brain cells, repairing tissues, absorbing and processing nutrition, learning, etc.
inflammation has a similar story. as an immune response, inflammation is beneficial in the short term and destructive when allowed to go chronic. social, environmental and lifestyle factors can perpetuate chronic inflammation that can lead to several diseases that collectively represent the leading causes of disability and mortality worldwide. this includes cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, fatty liver disease, autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. long term inflammation can lead to damage in all tissues and organs and can also impair normal immune function, leading to increased susceptibility to infections and tumors. similar to stress, inflammation is energy intensive and diverts resources from parasympathetic processes. this energy draw causes fatigue, problems with focus, pain and other symptoms of depression.
chronic stress leads to inflammation and chronic inflammation causes stress. if something isn’t done to bring these levels down, stress and inflammation will continue to fuel each other, pushing the mind-body deeper into a state of dysfunction. chronic stress and inflammation is like driving 50 miles / hour in first gear. this is unnecessarily energy intensive and the wear on your mind-body is aggressive. this is not a sustainable way to live, resulting in a wide (and growing) list of chronic disease and performance problems.
in our current way of living, we see chronic stress and inflammation as the largest and most destructive obstiacls to improved health and performance (mental and physical). loweing stress and inflammation should be a top priority of all holistic health protocols to lay a strong foundation to build from. the more balance and resilience built in these two systems, the better you manage resources to optimize health wellness and performance.