I like etymology- the study of words. I have much appreciated learning Greek and Latin root words at an early age and having them help me break down the related meanings in words- and make up a few of my own.
Inflammation is the restoration work site of the white blood cells as they try to bring back integrity and order to a damaged organ system. Sometimes this means they concentrate on picking up clutter, and sometimes they are trying to build new structure. Other times they are trying to fight off the invasion of a non-approved biological or cellular entity.
The first thing I think of when I see the word in-flam-ation is the word flame. Have you ever seen a small flame grow from a smoky ember to a flickering source of heat? Really flame is just a chain reaction of fuel being melted into gas, and ignited, heating the source of the gas again. That heat and smoke have to move somewhere- so hopefully you've got a good ventilation process for that. This is why things get swollen. Not only are there more workers in that area than normal, but they are hoping to move around each other. So making the extra space is necessary.
You'll see the aforementioned redness on people's skin if they are scratching, have a rash, or recently hit something that would bring excess blood and debris to the area. It swells up, the structure expands and it feels hot to the touch and 'angry' or sensitive. If you see a twisted ankle- there's more puffy swollen area pumped full of inflammatory cells to come in and assess the situation and do their best to restore those powerful ligaments.
You'll see the code-reference for inflammation in other words: the suffix -itis. Arthritis, pancreatitis, gingivitis, etc. Ortho is the word for bone, so ortho+itis is arthritis. Pancreas+itis= ... you get the idea. So whether you're building new tissue, cleaning up old junk, or fighting an epic cellular battle, you see the flames of work and war.
A lot of people live with low grade inflammation all the time. Often times when people are going through a cleansing cycle- whether due to diet and exercise or simply their circadian rhythm (talking about monthly cycles of cleansing males and females alike do) you may think "hmm, something seems more 'well' about you. You look more 'crisp' around the edges." This is where the body has inflammation in balance and has successfully turned off the signals and putting things through the right channels as to not get so worked up about them. Usually this happens when people are losing weight, or their body is getting ready to.
I beg to say it's sometimes hard to determine when it's helpful inflammation or just a "mandatory response" like when you're very tired but still pretending to be extremely interested in a kids' book they want to show you. Like due process- sometimes inflammation isn't perfectly helpful. This is because sometimes we don't have the resources to complete a job that we start when we come to it. The job sits in a quasi working state where when it's asked to perform a duty it can, but it re-damages the tissues by the work. More building materials are ordered, and the job stays open longer than its season. This is why good nutrition- or 'building materials' are necessary for good health and a happy body.
Don't worry- I won't leave the story there. I'm just saying that sometimes this is the state of our body's projects when they don't have the right resources or the right help at hand. For instance Omega 3's and A.L.A. are counter inflammatory. They pull the cord for the yard whistle and tell the crew to go home or take a lunch break. They say "you painted this wall 6 times already- take a break, then move on!"
Unfortunately, (on the surface) seemingly only for the sake of keeping the crew back on their toes- Omega 6 is in a plethora of unhealthy oils often used for frying foods, cracks the whip and says "Why are you being so lazy? Back to work! When I grew up we had to cook our own lunch, and eat it going uphill both ways, backwards, in the snow in less than 10 minutes!" And so on.
Other things I use to bring down inflammation is a curcumin (tumeric extract) supplement that is in a liposomal form (for best absorption) and on occasion- DMSO. DMSO is similar to Iibuprofen in the fact that it is an NSAID- a Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug. The advantage to DMSO is that it can be used topically, concentrated on the issue, instead of having the digestive system govern where the inflammation relief should go. These things have other uses too- but we'll leave it alone for now and focus on the topic at hand.
Again the reasons for inflammation are injury and tissue stress, immune system response, sitting toxins, and repair of these things.
It's the last part that I want to focus on now. When I work on people and scrape or rub the tissue to break up toxic deposits of old blood, pump muscles that haven't had enough new materials to get fresh supplies, or even just break up old scar tissue- i'm causing inflammation to come in so things can be healed. This is why, for some, things seem to get worse before they get better again.
This next part I have no way to prove- so let it be a postulation- that perhaps when people feel good immediately after and for the next few days after being worked on, that they are experiencing better flow in the bodies due to muscles pumping the blood more effectively. The inflammation is gone so the restoration and good feeling then tapers off over time as things normalize. Whereas other people who feel worse initially after treatment are experiencing a toxic flood that had been previously stagnant in their tissues, releasing an inflammation causing cloud, and they feel increasingly better as time goes on as those things are processed out.
This brings me to my last point. You can have an effect here. Whether you are trying to help this through diet and exercise, drinking ample fluids, or going the extra mile and using helpful herbs, you may be able to upgrade your healing process and add just a few more overlooked yet very effective and inexpensive things to your restoration journey. Taking baths and (seperately) using activated charcoal internally or externally to pull out the toxic waste is one of my most suggested additions. I use a special mineral bath- much different than epsom salts (more on that later.) If your skin is your largest organ, then it can be the largest help in getting rid of stuff you don't want to stick around.
I hope this was helpful!
Happy Health Hunting! (or gathering!)