During workshops, trainings and in interviews I’ve heard Jill begin to explain the benefits of Yoga Tune Up® by saying  “All too often we underuse, misuse and abuse our bodies.”

The Yoga Tune Up® methodology and Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls are very effective at speeding muscle recovery and helping to prevent injuries.  Nevertheless there will still be times when we over exert ourselves and our new powers of proprioception alert us to sensitive areas, indicating low-level inflammation.  It’s important not to ignore the pain signals from our body.  But pharmaceutical painkillers and anti-inflammatories just don’t make sense for small bumps and sprains since the side effects can be more problematic then the original issue.  Lucky for us there are many completely holistic ways to treat sports-induced muscle inflammation. Utilizing multiple remedies together from the list of 10 below will yield the best results:

  1. Rest is the simplest, the most reliable and the most overlooked treatment for new ailments. The recommended time frame is 5-7 days.
  2. Drink more water.  Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight. If those muscles are hurting, water is key to transporting the good stuff in and getting the bad stuff out.
  3. Heat and Ice Therapy – Ice treatment is the appropriate treatment for trauma injuries and is most effective if utilized within the first 48 hours.  Heat increases blood circulation and is the recommended treatment for basic muscle aches due to over exertion.
  4. Food Choices – Certain foods are highly inflammatory (sugar, refined carbohydrates, animal fats), so avoid them. Foods rich in phyto-enzymes (vegetable juices, green chlorophyll-rich foods) help the body to scavenge inflammatory proteins, reduce toxicity and speed recovery, so bulk up on the good stuff when the body is below par.
  5. Massage improves blood circulation, stimulates nerve conduction and facilitates lymphatic drainage. A pair of well-loved Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls provides a cheap but invaluable (and highly portable) daily self-care tool.  Soft-tissue stimulation significantly improves recovery time but be careful not to apply strong pressure on tender areas that are painful to the touch.
  6. Many Essential Oils – Add 5 drops of Arnica, Calendula, St. John’s Wort, or Peppermint oil mixed to one-quarter cup of carrier oil and rub into the affected area several times per day to relax tense muscles and improve circulation.
  7. In Homeopathy, Arnica stimulates white blood cells to digest congested blood and to disperse trapped, disorganized fluids from bruised tissues, joints, and muscles. Arnica cream can be applied topically (do not apply to ruptured skin) and is safe for extended use.
  8. Spices and Herbs – Turmeric, Ginger, Cayenne, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Basil, Cardamom, Chives, Cilantro, Cloves, Garlic, Parsley all have strong anti-inflammatory properties.  Incorporate during mealtime prep or steep as a tisane (1 teaspoon herb: 8 ounces of water). Cayenne can also be mixed with a carrier oil for use as a topical ointment (1 teaspoon cayenne: 2 ounces oil).
  9. Vitamin supplementation – Research conducted by the University of Minnesota found that 93% of all subjects with non-specific musculoskeletal pain were Vitamin D deficient.  High doses of Vitamin C can reduce inflammation by 45% and Vitamin E plays a major role in reducing inflammation as well as cleansing the body of free radicals.
  10. Magnesium (and Magnesium Sulfate).  Magnesium is an amazing mineral and a terrific all-natural muscle relaxer.  It’s involved in roughly 300 vital biochemical reactions including transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, as well as bone and tooth formation.  Sulfates help form brain tissue, joint proteins, digestive proteins, and they assist the boy in detoxification. A perfect segue to my all time favorite cure-all: Epsom Salt Baths!

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Dinneen Viggiano

An experienced Therapeutic Movement & Back Pain Specialist with 18 years’ experience, Dinneen offers classes, workshops, trainings and online programming to optimize nutrition, improve mobility and Retrain Back Pain®. As a Senior Teacher Trainer for Tune Up Fitness® & Roll Model® Method, Dinneen travels the globe leading professional trainings. She is also a NeuroKinetic & CranioSacral Therapist and a Certified Health and Nutrition Counselor. www.dinneenviggiano.com

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Marilyn gibson

I suffer from chronic pain and utilize most of the list you have created. I do see an area I want to look at more closely and that is food. I have a generallly healthy vegetarian diet however your article gave me something to think about what areas of my eating habits I can improve.


Thanks, Dinneen, this is super informative. As someone who is typically over exerting myself physically, I have had to deal with lots of inflammation. As such, I’ve tried to go the homeopathic route to save my liver. Most recently I took refined sugars and the like out of my diet and incorporated pineapple (which I was told has anti-inflammatory properties). I want to try the herbs you suggested next. The one thing I didn’t see mentioned that I’ve found helpful is a supplements called WOB Enzymes. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these types of supplements…maybe I’ll harass you… Read more »

Renee holden

Thanks for this article on treatments for inflammation, I have dealt with many holistic treatments and methods over the years, this is wonderful for everyone, simple healthy ways to deal with injuries! My wish is that more people would use these methods, am
Nd not open a pill bottle, we would be a much healthier society!
I use a blendof peppermint oils on any injuries that I have had, they are anti-inflammatory and help draw blood, and oxygen to the area to help heal the area!

Morenike Allen-Romain

This is a fantastic top ten list, I will carry it with me! Thanks.

Marc Nelles

This is a great reminder that we can find a solution to most daily issues in holistic treatments. Inflammation is a common problem in today’s world, often enough triggered and furthered by pH-imbalanced diet, underlying health issues and stress.
I am incredibly grateful that I knew many of these easy, non-invasive cures through my aunt who is a holistic practitioner in Germany. Thank you for summing up the most important and relevant ones for us!


I was curious to read what these 10 things would be, since I grew up in a very holistic household. I chuckled a bit when I saw the bit about Arnica-my mom has been applying that my whole life! This is great-as I grow up and become more aware of my food choices and lifestyle, I’m starting to embody what it is my mother rooted into me long ago: that we have the ability to self-heal when we respect our bodies with whole foods, and search within to better ourselves. Thank you!

Victoria Yoffie

Drinking more water is the first homework “assignment” I give to my new clients. Once clients have integrated water into their lives I refine my instruction from “drink more water” to “drink more water consistently throughout the day.” This is an important distinction. Many men and women drink as much water as possible during one time of the day, in an effort to complete the “assignment” of their doctor or nutritionist or yoga teacher. Consumption of water consistently throughout the day will bring the best and most effective benefits to your overall health. Just remember, the consistency in which you… Read more »


‘Zyflamend’ is my contribution…. it is a natural supplement that promotes a healthy inflammation response in the body. I lived on it in my 20’s when I was an adrenalin sports junkie and fairly constantly injured. Knowing I wasn’t about to stop the causes of inflammation and that advil felt like it ate away my liver, I took to popping the Zyflamend capsules immediately on impact, which was pretty often! Highly recommend them if you don’t want to fuss around figuring out the ratios of a bunch of different herbs and spices.


thanks for this! i was just talking to a client about how easy it is to “forget” to take vitamins and such bc they dont seem have the “immediate” short term effects we are accustomed to getting by taking advil or valium or whatever. i just think its so interesting that we as a society always focus on the immediate solution to a problem rather than working on changing the habits that have gotten us to where we are! it can actually be a lot more fun to eat new things than it is to rely on a pill! thanks… Read more »

Anna-Marie Lawrence

I was looking at your bio, and I didn’t realize you also worked as a Nutritional Consultant. I really need to talk with you. About 4 months ago I received the results from and ALCAT test (food and environmental sensitivity blood test) and I have a laundry list of issues, which all have the same result digestive issues, chronic inflammation and stiff joints. Oh yes, I have Hashimoto Thyridis and Adrenal Fatigue as well, so any words of wisdom would greatly be appreciated! As for the 10 remedies for inflammation. I only wish there was one for internal inflammation, If… Read more »


This is an extremely well-organised list of remedies that ought to be printed out and checked against if need be. Thanks for making it available Dinneen! I am with you in all that you state and especially agree on the awesomeness of the Epsom salt baths. They are my number one go-to when my muscles are tired and achy. I also wanted to share that I have found helpful using other forms of magnesium such as Magnesium Chloride as a topical solution in addition to a daily capsule of Magnesium Glycinate.

Andrea Borrero

i love this. I think at one point or another I’ve heard all these things, but bringing it all together into one place, and easily digestible, is awesome. I’ll always refer to a holistic approach before painkillers, and I think the better attuned we become to these options, the more it becomes second nature. Sometimes not knowing something pushes you down the path of least resistance, and that path becomes habit. Educating ourselves over and over again to create new, better habits takes time and energy. But is so worth it to our bodies in the end. Thanks, Dineen.

Lauren C

I’m passing this information over to a friend who has a bad diet. She constantly has inflamation and complains about her pain. I now see it could be from a combination of her eating sugar and refined carbs and other unhealthy habits. As I learn more about a holistic approach over prescription medication, I have become much more aware of the benefits. Thanks Dinneen!


Thanks for posting this Dineen..I am on board with this holistic approach as well – and with the additional YTU ball benefits – it is no wonder that Jill stays as healthy as she does with all of her travel…Your description of what the ball work actually can provide – blood flow, nerve conduction and lymphatic drainage – so interesting..look forward to learning more about this!


I was compelled to read this from the title — then i saw who wrote it — such great information, Dinneen! Thanks for sharing it — I’ve actually been drawing myself a hot bath with baby oil and Epsom salts every night as soon as i walk in the door from the training this week — awesome way to decompress and reboot before homework. Great article — and I truly appreciated all of your help this week!


Nice assembly of some sound places to start dealing with injury and inflammation before snuggling up with the easy-reach (and potentially non-constructive) comfort of an OTC pain-killer/anti-inflammatory pill. Some should be explored with more care in a very individual-specific way (like high-er dose Vit C/D/E), but the majority are definitely worth taking the time to include in your healing process. The simplicity, access, and power of the Epsome Salt Bath is worth every minute of the soak! 🙂


Diet diet diet! If you have inflammation in the gut your muscles have no chance. The body first wants to heal the organs.

Hawley Laine Proctor

It is refreshing to hear about alternative methods to alleviate inflammation rather than taking the over the counter course. Though many of these suggestions must be done simultaneously to reap the full benefits your kidneys and liver will thank you for it later.

Elizabeth W.

As an athlete, yogi and trainer I have found that there is no better recovery tool than sleep. 8-9 hours in a cool, dark room with no alarm. It’s like a miracle sure!

Also, stiff and sore ( non-injured) bodies benefit from active rest: walking, biking, swimming, stretching and gently moving the body through a full range of motion at non-intense levels. I have found I recover faster and come back more quickly if I KEEP moving. If I do NOTHING I am sluggish and slow to get back to previous levels of intensity/performance

Terry Littlefield

This article gets an A for Awesome! I used to live on Advil. I love Arnica now. A lot of these tips I had read about before but now are in a place all together for amazing reference. Thank you!!!

David I

Love it! Thanks for great article Dinneen! I love feeling good. Diet and Yoga have played a crucial part in pretty much eliminating my arthritis and joint pain.

Murray Arnott

Thanks for the great article, Dineen. While was aware of many of your suggestions, the reminder about Food Choice, and the information on Vitamin D deficiency and Magnesium is much appreciate. Dr. Andrew Weil, also suggests and ayurvedic herb, Boswellia, which is also available in capusle form. I have also heard that Baical Skullcap is used in parts of Asia for inflammation. I will print your list and post in on my Fridge.

Theresa van Vugt

I love this article, thank you! I work with endurance athletes and am always looking for holistic alternatives to help their fatigue and injury. Most understand and benefit from massage, ice, and heat therapy, but diet is one of those treatments that I stress foremost, that I think is often overlooked.


Thank you, Dineen! Holistic healing is so important and I wish it was more available in our country. So glad to get this advice as I am constantly seeking tips like this and just can’t get enough.


Great advice! I’m a huge fan of Aveda’s Blue Oil concentrate and use it in place of advil. It’s a refreshing mix of peppermint and soothing blue camomile that works wonders on my temples or wrists. Thanks so much for sharing.

I Ju

I once read that inflammation is the source of all kind of disease. Thank Dinneen for providing such holistic ways for us to prevent inflammation. I am particularly interested in the food choice. I remember reading an article in which it categorized food in “acid” and “basicity”. Nowadays because of busy life, stress, pollution and increase taking of processed food, our body becomes more “acid”. We need to take more “basicity” food such as vegetables, fruits, water, tofu to neutralize and balance our body to prevent inflammation, which is the same as what Dinneen talks about in the article. I… Read more »


Great list. Through my practice I have amassed quite a collection of books and articles on ayerveda, holistic medicine, and other nutrition and alternative therapies, such as using food as medicine. You have to be careful to understand the symbiosis between everything you ingest but once you begin, you will find less reliance on the pill and more on the greenmarket.

silvia marisol

Thanks for your blog that reminds me how my homemade Chai Tea is not only delicious, but a potent anti-inflammatory beverage! I just purchased a high grade Cayenne pepper powder and appreciate you sharing the idea of using it with oil for massage.
Namaste, Silvia Marisol

Sharon Stockla

As one nutritionist said at a recent presentation asked us “how bad do you want to feel good?” These wonderful tips may take a little thought and effort, but the pay off can be tremendous. Thank you for sharing!

jennifer s

This is a great list of all things I believe in, I may not practice them all at the same time every day or week, etc, but I will definltely print the list for my self and share with others.

Melissa Tilley

I really enjoyed your top ten list! I’ve had some muscle soreness from my workouts in the last couple weeks. It was interesting readying your relation to animal fat and inflammation and how it can impact the recovery. During any muscle discomfort, my desire to eat meat has been null. (very uncommon for me). It amazes me how intelligent our bodies are and how many opportunities to assess it we are given. There are some other great tips I am going to incorporate if/when overexertion occurs. Great Tips!! Thank you 🙂

vivian nguyen

This is awesome, I always new certain foods, rest and hydration were naturally healing (for inflammation) but the information you provided about ingesting essential oils is very interesting, but then again it makes total sense!


I think that holistic medecine is such a fantastic complement to our western minds. So often we tend to reach for the usual pain rememdies — aspirin, advil, etc — yet often these short-term remedies simply mask the underlying issue. I find that when I use holistic treatments, I am much more aware of why I am using the product, and what benefit I may derive from it. It’s much more of a well-being approach to health vs. a just-mask-the-problem approach. Preventitive care so that the injuries don’t happen in the first place. This list is a great go-to guide… Read more »

pete lee

Wonderful article! Thanks for sharing! Inflammation is a huge issue, especially these days with environmental toxins and food allergies. These are great reminders that we can take charge of our own health and bodies without having to cover-up and medicate the surface level symptoms of inflammation – that we can go deeper into the depths of healing. I love how YTU exercises and with the therapy balls stimulate release and healing. And yes, integrate that with good rest and hydration… the very thought of that makes me feel better already. Sat Nam.


Great balance of a wide range of suggestions for inflammation! I realize how, just as we misuse or overuse our bodies, we could also do the same in our chosen methods to heal or “fix” our bodies’ ailments. Just like many of the YTU poses, which, when we really pay close attention, reveal many additional tidbits of info for us to assess those weak or overly tensed areas, inflammation is really an opportunity to apply multiple creative and totally- doable ways of bringing more wellness to our bodies. I loved that not only nutrition and supplements were suggested but also… Read more »

Liz Arch

Thank you for the great article. As a yogi and martial artist, I’ve been no stranger to inflammation and injuries. But when my mom was recently diagnosed with cancer, I began to really understand that inflammation is not just limited to sports injuries. It’s our body’s natural response to stress and is the common link in all disease. To help my mom fight the cancer, we put her on an anti-inflammatory diet and some of our favorites are included on your list above – turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, etc. A few additions that we love are pineapple as well as all… Read more »

Allison McCready

Thank you for this post about holistic approaches to inflammation. All too often I find clients and students want to reach for over-the-counter or prescription drugs for relief from pain & inflammation. While I do feel that Western medicine may sometimes be necessary, I agree that for smaller aches and pains a more natural approach is easier on the body overall. I find that the/ simplest and most cost effective remedies like rest, ice & salt baths can work wonders!

Luke Sniewski

Love this article. Inflammation is at the root of all disease. So glad that you focused on important lifestyle and nutritional solutions to a problem that is easily solved without medical and pharmaceutical intervention.

Dinneen Viggiano

Hi Readers, I appreciate all the feedback for the Top Ten Holistic Treatments for Inflammation. Most interesting to read the well-considered banter. Keep in mind this list is a Top Ten list of my personal favorite ways to treat inflammation. It is not an herb specific list. Nor is it meant to prescribe to individuals. It is intended as an alternative consideration for the automatic Tylenol/Advil/Aleve reflex. There are indeed many other herbs and many other ways to treat inflammation! As with any new protocol, if you are unsure how to implement the suggestions or what quantities to utilize, it’s… Read more »


…thanks for the info, Dinneen.
In an age of pharmaceutical fixes, it’s important to disseminate natural alternatives for pain management.
As a side…I think you might have left off a few herbs.

Priscilla Ch.

Thanks for sharing this great article with us. It’s good to know that there could be different ways to improve our health and all with the same intention.
I prefer not to take any type of medicines, I always prefer to help myself, my pains with exercises, yoga, a hot bath, massages and more.
But these tips seems really helpful to me,

Valorie Morales

I love reading this article. I’m always looking for better ways to care for my own body as I destroy it throughout the day, however I am also guilty of doing absolutely nothing to help myself out with recovering from stressful activities. While I have always been mindful not to reach for the advil, I haven’t been mindful enough to do anything else for my body. These are very good tips that seem semi easy enough to fit into a hectic daily schedule. Thanks!


I love it, there is such a focus on the quick fix; pop a pill and forget about it. So much more important to take care of the body from the inside out, paying attention to diet and exercise and not just covering up symptoms.


Often it is just easier to take a pain reliever than dealing with the problem itself. I myself can be accused of this. Pain relievers like Advil or Aleve only alleviate the surface of the problem. When you look at a holistic approach to dealing with pain and discomforts this can be both a healthy and more permanent ways to deal with them.


It’s lovely to read and learn about natural ways to heal. However, I wonder which method(s) would work best…alone or in conjunction? And for how long/often should a method be utilized (e.g. massages) and how much should be consumed (e.g. spices & herbs, magnesium)? I think experimenting with holistic method(s) is wonderful but clear guidelines/directions should be given. In addition, I believe the focus should be on freeing yourself from pain (especially debilitating pain) in a most efficient manner, even if that means through medicine. Nonetheless, thank you for sharing your knowledge!


People are often quick to reach for a bottle of advil or tylenol to soothe their aches and pains ( I am guilty of this as well) but we forget about all the natural remedies that are available. I appreciate you writing this article so we can see that our options to help with pain are much easier than we think. I was introduced to yoga tune up balls today and I can already tell that they are going to make a world of difference for my neck and shoulders plus, who doesn’t enjoy a good massage?


So nice to hear such a wealth of options other than aspirin & Ben Gay. We are the generation that will take care of our bodies and selves away from corporations and return to our selves and mother nature’s gifts. All we need is good guides to our higher nature like my wife Dinneen.
You go girl!
Love you and love your blog

Sherry Matwe

I know worst spelling ever sorry wrighting so quickly!!

Sherry Matwe

10 Great Suggestions, It makes sence when are muscles are sore to rub, massage, rest, ice, heat… but many of your suggestions include – diet, and topical concoctions. Items we can find around our house or visit a Health Food Store! It’s funny those forgotten vitamins and suppliments around the house can be taken again with a purpose. I can re appreciate my kitchen pantry when I have an achy tendon. Also a friendly reminder if we are drinking our spring water, getting rest, eating well (no white stuff=), and taking our suppliments (from the Naturopathic ND), countering our excersize… Read more »

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