An important topic in health care is the impact of chronic, degenerative inflammation on the quality of our lifestyles. A Hawaiian word for this concept is “pehu”
Pehu is characterized by the time periods involved. For recent injuries, stress or trauma, the cardinal responses are heat, swelling, redness, pain and loss of function (acute).
In older, recurrent injuries, long term stress or trauma (chronic), those responses are changes of temperature ( loss of heat), swelling (edema), change of color (black or dark), episodic pain or periodic loss of function (morning joint stiffness).
These are different conditions. The latter, chronic state usually follows soon after the former, acute state. Although the idea of acute inflammation has been an observed condition since the early days of conventional medicine, there is no clear understanding of the causes for chronic or auto-inflammatory disorders. Biomedical efforts to address and manage symptoms of Pehu have involved steroidal drugs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, surgery or physical medicine.
Our experience in designing and implementing care plans for ohana, or former patients with Pehu has highlighted the need to approach each person as an individual. The goal is to evaluate each person and to create an integrative series of modalities, both modern and traditional, to address their ever changing profile of resilience and remission.