Stress causes inflammation in the body; dance can cool it down! 

Inflammation in the body is triggered by stress, poor diet and obesity and physical and psychological stress are major triggers of heart disease, depression, chronic pain and neurodegenerative diseases. Dance can help cool the heat and does wonders for your wellbeing and preventing horrible illnesses that can impact negatively on your life. Dance and other exercise forms release anti- inflammatory chemicals, reducing heat in the body caused by stresses of everyday life.
Previously there has been little evidence to help us understand what makes the well ordered immune system become dysfunctional. However there is now much more recent research into inflammation causes, how the mind and body connect and cause stress and measures to prevent additional, unwanted heat in the body. 
Inflammation is the body’s first line of defence. If this is damaged by infection or injury, inflammation occurs bringing with it redness, heat, swelling and pain. If you have ever had an injury, these effects will be familiar to you. The area you injure will become hot, painful and stiff to move but in time, it will heal itself. However modern life offers additional life stresses, poor diet, obesity, pollution concerns and this in turn can create inflammation all over the body. It alerts the body to be on the defensive all of the time, creating anxiety and prepares you for a threat that will never happen. The body releases cytokines, which increase blood flow and scream to the rest of the immune system to put up a fight. As a result; heat arises as a side effect.
On- going inflammation may not make us feel ill initially but it can create problems longer term such as heart disease, diabetes and neurological disorders. Stress releases a hormone, noradrenaline, which releases in anticipation of a life/death situation and it can have the same effect as an infection or injury. As a result, we are actually carrying around a long term inflammation that never quite diminishes and stress is very much linked to the onset of disease. Studies show that people with higher levels of stress and stress related brain activity had higher levels of c- reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation and had a higher risk of heart disease. 
Chronic inflammation may also increase a risk of depression and researchers are studying if inflammation is behind the causes of some depression and mental health issues. This may explain why some anti depressant drugs do not always work. Studies suggest that inflammation may not be caused by the signals being too high but rather being a problem with turning the inflammation off. 
Some solutions to avoid or reduce inflammation in the body:

  1. Eat oily fish as it lowers heart disease. Eat omega 3s as the body uses them to create resolving and switch off inflammation. 
  2. Reduce fat and high sugar diet – fate stores inflammatory cykotines.
  3. Consume fewer processed foods and eat plenty of vegetables/ fruit and whole grains. 
  4. Exercise – activity releases anti inflammatory chemicals and directs the liver to metabolise fat. Stretching affected areas that feel stiff and sore twice a day stimulates the release of Resolvins within the muscle and you can then regain more movement and the body will heal more quickly. Exercise is completely anti-inflammatory, even at the highest levels of athleticism, unless the exercise causes injury.

Therefore Dance is such a great activity to help alleviate stress and forget your worries for an hour or so. Find a dance class near you, or see below on my website for my classes in Bath and Frome and my personal training programme Raise the Barre. These 1:1 sessions are created around you and your needs to get fit, reduce stress and feel clearer about what you want in life.
Try out my personal training programme, RAISE THE BARRE
Try out my ballet barre videos: YouTube:

Twitter: @hannilydance

Instagram: Hannily_Bendell_Dance 


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