Holistic Medicine is all about achieving a healthy physiologic state of Homeostasis. There are five integrated systems required to achieve that state.
Patients who seek Holistic Health treatment frequently bounce thru treatments and practitioners and actually make their attempts at obtaining improved health create chaotic cascades of new issues.
This article will be continually added to with more information about each individual system and how they connect to achieve total homeostasis.
I will try to address specific questions about unified homeostasis as everything must rationally fit the puzzle.
Please contact me thru my website; www.ThinkBetterLife.com with specific questions or material you believe is important.
With your help I hope to build the ultimate guide to Holistic Homeostasis.
There are five primary human systems that must be addressed and understood to achieve a healthy physiologic state of homeostasis. There is one additional system the Human Biome, the non-human cells outnumber our human cells by a factor of ten to one and act as an independent organ system.
A healthy Biome is essential for our survival and our ability to maintain health. While the human Biome is extremely important to our digestive system it is also responsible for health of our respiratory systems and is our first and strongest protection against dangers the microbial world presents.
The term Integrative Medicine has many meanings to many people. Integrative Medicine is it interaction of the following five systems to create Homeostasis.
1. The first and most important system is our airway, we cannot survive more than four minutes without oxygen.
The airway is far more important than just supplying oxygen, a simple example is the importance of nasal breathing to the immune system. Nasal breathing increase Nitric Oxide that protects health while simultaneously filtering, warming and humidifying air. Massive negative postural changes occur in patients with impaired nasal breathing
2. Nutrition is the second most important system. The single most important part of nutrition is Oxygen but due to its overwhelming importance it is included in multiple systems of homeostasis. Nutrition is a system because it is not just about what foods and supplements we eat but also how our alimentary system acquire, process, absorb, filter, utilize, balance and excrete various components. The proportions and utilization including relation to circadian rhythm are important for ideal homeostasis. The intake and metabolism of food, nutraceuticals and even pharmaceuticals are integral parts of our nutritional systems. The nutritional system includes the cardiovascular system because it is the transport mechanism for nutrients. The elimination of waste (leftover) products thru the kidneys and colon are also integral to the nutritional system. The airway system also eliminated waste products such as CO2 or carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide increase the acidity of urine and also tells are brain to breathe. Determining the levels of materials retained or eliminated is as important as bringing in nutrition.
3. Our neurological system including the Brain, the somatic or voluntary nervous system, The autonomic nervous system including both sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions, the input sensors including sight, sound, touch, proprioception and how the body and brain manage the biological input-output (I/O) algorithms. Our brains our our computers and are subject to input-output errors. All of the information coming into the systems has affects that permeate the entire nervous system thru millions of synapses or connections between neurons. There is also a cell to cell communication that occurs simultaneously Brain chemistry is actually the chemistry of synaptic connections. The righting reflex is an excellent example of a primary controller of posture but even though it is so important to posture it lies outside the brain. Dr Charles Scott Sherrington who received a Nobel Prize for his work used decerebate cats where the brain was disconnected from the system. Sherrington received the prize for showing that reflexes require integrated activation and demonstrated reciprocal innervation of muscles. The work of Sherrington can just as easily be placed in the fifth system, posture.
4. The fourth system is our Sleep-Wake Cycle and all of the components of circadian rythym. I iclude sleep in his system but I am also including the hormonal systems of our body in this system because it is impossible to have any semblance of hormonal function without normal sleep and wake functioning. The connections of hormonal systems to neural input, nutrition and oxygenation are some of the most complex concepts in Holistic Health. The effect of light is an excellent example. Neural input to the eye goes thru the optic chiasm and Pineal Gland and effect the production and release of the hormone Melatonin which changes our wake sleep cycle. This in turn effects multiple hormonal systems including Insulin (and insulin resistance) Growth Hormon, Sex Hormones and Cortisol the stress hormone. These hormonal systems affect how we utilize our nutritional intake.
5. The fifth system is our postural systems. Posture includes standing, sitting, sleeping movement, habits, exercise, and this includes both our muscular and skeletal systems as well as all the fascial tissues of our bodies. Posture is determined by our our somatic nervous system but also by our reflexes and our breathing. The functioning of our internal organ systems are effected by how we hold our bodies, the nervous system and postural systems work together. There ar many fields of holistic health dedicated to the postural systems including Chiropractic and osteopathic medicine, massage therapy, cranial sacral therapy Cranial therapy, TMJ therapy, Neurouscular Dentistry , sacro-occipital therapy, podiatry, optometry (use of prisms) exercise therapy, Feldenkrais , pilates, strain-resisistance, myotherapy, trigger point therapy and many many more.
Today is the birth of this column but I hope to expand and elucidate in greater and greater detail over time. Some entries may be linked hile others will be added to this page.
The following post is from a patient Charlene who while she does not say Holistic Health her kind words explain it.
The following link is to my youTube Channel with other videos