Never as now emerges the need to adopt healthy and preventive behaviors in our lives in order to better deal with internal and external aggressions that are undermining our health and our psycho-physical well-being. The constant stress to which we are subjected is in fact, incessantly feeding the inflammatory state of the vital systems. I talk about it today with Professor Sergio Pecorelli, Academic, Researcher, Professor of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, former Rector of the University of Brescia.
GA: Professor Sergio Pecorelli for years you have been studying the relationship of inflammation with the development of chronic diseases, what exactly is inflammation?
SP: Inflammation is characterized by a series of biochemical and metabolic reactions that occur in tissues, when we are not able to respond adequately to abnormal stimuli. It follows that inflammation brings with it altered immune functions. Often the presence of a continuous inflammatory state in our orga¬nism generates the development of diseases that can become chronic. Usually the cause is due to an excessive load of toxins, oxidative stress, but also to an excessive reaction of the system to stress.
GA: What does inflammation depend on?
SP: Essentially the environment in which we live and our behaviors and lifestyles. To understand this we must go back to the concept of medicine, which today is identified as a network, Network Medicine, consisting of 3 interconnected levels. The first level is the MOLECULAR or metabolism level, where we find all the tissues and cells that constitute them connected by a metabolic network. At Level II we find all biological systems. At level III we find the individuals with all their social connections. That is, the ENVIRONMENT. In the environment there are the relationships with others, our work, colleagues, family, friends, our passions, music, sports, what we eat, drink and breathe, etc.. In this network system everything is connected, every single disease is connected with other diseases associated with it and with all other levels. And the environment plays a fundamental role in Health and Wellness. For example, the interaction between genes and environment has the great potential to identify ways to prevent or reduce the risk of disease. Since the environment acts on the genome it is very clear that behaviors affect inflammatory processes.
GA: So the behaviors and lifestyles we adopt can have a decisive influence on our health and well-being?
SP: Not only on ours but also on that of future generations if they are adopted by pregnant women. There are systems to reduce inflammation that are absolutely simple and accessible to all. It is an integrated network of behaviors and lifestyles for which I coined the term NETWORK WELLNESS paraphrasing NETWORK MEDICINE, it is a kind of Wellness Prescription:
- Assume proper nutrition
- Abolish tobacco, alcohol and drugs
- Caring for your body and your image
- Listen to music at 432 Hz
- Get enough sleep
- Respect the biological clock
- Cultivate your passions
- Meditation, yoga, anti-stress massage
- Using Aromatherapy
- Floating, Sauna or Steam Bath
It would be enough to incorporate these factors into our daily lives and we would have already done half the work for our well-being and that of our children. We often forget this, but following a correct lifestyle is the key to combat many diseases and to counteract the premature aging of our body. NETWORK WELLNESS is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory systems we know of
GA: Why is exercise so important for the brain too?
SP: Through physical movement we stimulate a part of the brain to produce substances, called brain factors (BDNF), which in turn stimulate an area of the brain, the Hippocampus, where neurogenesis, i.e. the formation of new nerve cells, takes place at any age. With walking, not only do we not only estimate the hippocampus, which in addition to generating new nerve cells, improves my memory and cognitive properties, but also myofibrils, small areas of our muscles, which put into circulation substances that stimulate the growth of blood vessels. In adults they cross the “barrier” and reach the brain, generating new vessels to support the formation of new cells. Even during pregnancy they reach the fetus and will serve its neurodevelopment that will begin at this stage. A quick walk every day for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 60 minutes would be enough to provide benefits to our body, even to pregnant women, whose fetus would benefit both in terms of improving neurogenesis and brain vascularization, with a lower rate of congenital heart defects and a better adaptation of the heart rate after birth.
GA: Can listening to music or playing a musical instrument affect the inflammatory state?
SP: Music itself is in our ancestral DNA, it is able to create very important brain synergies, to stimulate memory and especially the cognitive abilities of individuals. Playing a stringed musical instrument such as piano, violin or guitar for at least 1 year within 15 years of age will be less likely to experience dementia or memory loss. This is amazing! How to listen to music played with instruments tuned to 432 Hz. For example, music by Mozart or Pink Floyd.
GA: Professor this is amazing! It makes us understand how much the choice of our relationships, activities, passions are determinant on the state of our psycho-physical health and shows us that much depends on us, our will and our social responsibility, given the impact that the disease has on the health and economic system. It should be the institutions responsible for training that take charge of health and wellness education.