September 05, 2023

Why Inflammation Happens – and How to Put a Stop to It

Inflammation, Longevity

When keeping tabs on your health and wellness, there’s a lot to keep track of. For instance, things like making sure you’re getting your fill of fruits and vegetables, squeezing in enough self-care to combat stress, and logging enough steps every day are just a few of the items likely running through your mind. Skimping on one (or more) of these and the result can be an inflammatory response in your body.  

In fact, inflammation is often connected to most health issues, particularly if you have a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease. Other symptoms of inflammation can range from headaches, swelling, skin rash, joint pain and more.


You may know that inflammation is bad, but understanding exactly what’s happening in the body when inflammation occurs can help to reduce and avoid triggers that may cause inflammation in the first place. Read on for a look at the physiological process of inflammation and what you can do to prevent it.  

Inflammation is your body’s internal alarm system 

It’s easiest to think about inflammation from an external viewpoint. For example, when you get a cut, your body sends white blood cells to the wound site to help it heal and prevent germs or bacteria from infecting the area. This is an inflammatory response1, and in this case, an acute and beneficial one.  

The problem is when inflammation isn’t short-lived and instead, a constant. When the inflammatory response stays too long in the body, invading otherwise healthy tissue, it can lead to chronic diseases2 like heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and even mental health illnesses like anxiety and depression.  

Where does inflammation come from? 

Inflammation can certainly come from a cut or other injury that has gotten infected as well as genetics, but it also stems from your environment3. The following can all contribute to inflammation in the body: 

  • Pollution and/or exposure to toxins 
  • Certain food additives 
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle 
  • Smoking, drugs and alcohol 
  • Stress  
  • Obesity 
  • Autoimmune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis 
The connection between stress and inflammation 

One of the more difficult things to control when it comes to your environment and lifestyle is stress. Here’s what happens when the body lives in a constant state of stress, according to research from Carnegie Mellon University. The researchers discovered that chronic stress leads to cortisol being unable to do its part to regulate the body’s inflammatory response4. Over time, this inflammation then increases the risk to develop mental health conditions5, such as depression, due to neurophysiological changes. 

Yet scrutinizing every aspect of your lifestyle and surrounding environment can be stress-inducing itself. You don’t need to do a complete overhaul of your life, but these 7 simple anti-inflammation steps can be a solid starting point in reducing inflammation in the body and the health concerns that come with it.   

How to use infrared sauna therapy to combat inflammation 

In addition to habits like daily exercise, a healthy diet, and reducing toxin exposure, an infrared sauna can have anti-inflammatory effects on the body.  

Research has found that infrared heat prevents inflammation of the blood vessels by inducing a gene known as heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1)6. This gene sets off an anti-inflammatory effect within the body, helping to regulate inflammation. This process remains steady with regular exposure to infrared heat. When blood vessels are healthy, they maintain optimal function – which includes delivering oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissues throughout the body and being able to successfully remove tissue waste from the blood.  


The result of this process is good circulation – a key component to combatting acute inflammation in the form of muscle and joint pain or soreness. By sitting in a Sunlighten sauna for 30 to 45 minutes a few times a week, you’ll increase circulation and blood flow in order to deliver more red and white blood cells to your muscles. This can soothe exercise-induced aches and pains and help your body recover faster.  

Using an infrared sauna, like a Sunlighten, will help your body properly regulate its inflammatory response. Browse Sunlighten’s infrared sauna products to see which one is the right fit for your home and life. 

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WRITTEN BY: Colleen Travers

Colleen Travers is a health and wellness freelance writer focusing on all things that make you feel healthy and happy from the inside out.  She's been an editor for sites such as and Her work has appeared online in outlets like Reader's Digest, SHAPE, HuffPost Life, Peloton, Fitbit, MindBodyGreen, and more.