DeFlaming in perspective

The Deflaming Guides are available here and on most pages.

DeFlaming is about reducing a "pro-inflammatory state" that has developed overtime within the body. I wrote perhaps the first paper that viewed poor nutrition as a lifestyle that could generate chronic inflammation and referred to this as the diet-induced pro-inflammatory state

We now know that every meal will either promote or inhibit inflammation. If we are not taught to eat properly then we start to "flame up" dietarily when we are young and this continues as we age. Eventually, the combination of a pro-inflammatory diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, and stress will generate a magnified "pro-inflammatory state," which acts as the fertilizer needed to grow a chronic disease such as heart disease, or something less life-threatening like chronic fatigue and pain that leads to a life of misery.

To prevent the expression of disease, we all have to address imbalances with our nutrition, breathing, exercise, sleep, and stress. For some the outcome can be life-altering. A colleague and I recently published a case history showing that sleep apnea, a chronic inflammatory state, can be reversed by "deflaming." Click here to read about the Sleep apnea, deflaming case, 2011. This patient did not go on an "anti-sleep apnea" diet; instead he deflamed as outlined in the DeFlaming Guidelines. 

DeFlaming is about pursuing healthy lifestyle changes instead of pursuing disease. DeFlaming is a lifestyle; it is not a quick fix or a short term crisis care intervention. Not surprisingly, the health benefits created by DeFlaming only last as long as one continues to DeFlame. DeFlaming should not be confused with the medical management of an acute inflammatory disease expression.


DeFlaming focus at provides detailed information about three key DeFlaming topics, those being:

Exercise, sleep, and stress will be dealt with only briefly. This is not to minimize their importance; in fact, for some one of these three can be biggest pro-inflammatory challenge.


Everyone should participate in regular exercise, and that means at least 5 days per week. The level of intensity is dependent on your level of fitness. Increase the intensity and/or duration as your fitness level improves. Remember though that it is best to err on the side of less intensity and duration - overtraining or excessive training can add to the chronic inflammatory state.

With the above in mind, you simply need to learn what your limits are and you need to learn how to push yourself enough to get a training effect. And this is widely different among individuals. For some a brisk walk will do it and for others it can be a great deal more intense....

One of our chiropractic students at the Florida Campus of the National University of Health Sciences has taken his exercise routines to an inspiring level. His name is Ryan Gawron and if you click on his name, what you will see is simply awesome. Of course, Ryan is a young guy, so older folks can make excuses...well, older people can also stay in surprisingly good shape. I met an 87 year old a few years ago who told me that your face should age a bit, but the body should not change that much. I have recently come across a few nice examples of extremely fit older people - the first is a 60 year old man a, the second is another 60 year old man,and the third is a 73 year old woman


A lack of sleep is known to be a generator inflammation.

"Sleep complaints and associated daytime fatigue are thought to affect 30% to 40% of the general US population, with 10% meeting criteria for chronic syndromal insomnia. This is in the “normal” population – the prevalence is even higher among patients who suffer from chronic conditions with pain and or underlying inflammation.

 Irwlin MR. Inflammation at the intersection of behavior and somatic symptoms. Psychiatr Clin N Am. 34 (2011; 34:605-20.

Research has demonstrated that we need 6 to 9 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. AND, unlike what you may have heard before, napping counts.

Less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours of sleep is associated with increased pain (<6 hr or >9 hr of sleep = pain).

Less than 6 hours per night equates to sleep deprivation and has severe metabolic consequences:

The fix is simple. Get at least 6 hours of sleep during a 24 hour period.


Almost everyone understands that stress is unhealthy and can lead to the expression of heart disease and other conditions. The reason why stress promotes disease is because it generates an inflammatory state, much the same as sleep deprivation, a lack of exercise, and a pro-inflammatory diet. Interesting, the fact that stress causes inflammation has been known for years (1-5). And to bring it back to nutrition, stress causes us to eat pro-inflammatory foods.

Stress management involves the management of stressful things in our lives that cause inflammation. Stress management is really about developing mental fitness.

1. Maes M, Song C, Lin A, et al. The effects of psychological stress on humans: increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and TH-1 like response in stress-induced anxiety. Cytokine. 1998; 10:313-18.

2. Maes M, van Bockstaele DR, Gastel A et al. The effects of psychological stress on leukocyte subset distribution in humans: evidence of immune activation. Neuropsychobiology. 1999; 39(1):1-9.

3. Black PH. Stress and the inflammatory response: a review of neurogenic inflammaton. Brain Behav Immun. 2002; 16(6):22-53.

4. Maier SF, Watkins LR. Cytokines for psychologists: implications of bidirectional immune-to-brain communication for understanding behavior, mood, and cognition. Psychological Rev. 1998; 105(1):83-107.

5. Maes M, Christophe A, Bosmans E, Lin A, Neels H. In humans, serum polyunsaturated fatty acid levels predict response of proinflammatory cytokines to psychologic stress. Biol Psychiatry. 2000; 47(10):910-20.