You may be familiar with the concept of Homeostasis [Derived from the Greek words Homeo (unchanging) + Stasis (standing)]. Literally it means to remain stable or the same.
However, when talking about complex organisms (like people) there is a little bit more to it than just a perpetual steady state. So let’s back up just a bit, to the gentleman who coined the term: Monsieur Claude Bernard a French physiologist and often considered one of the greatest men of science. Indeed! He was the first to suggest the use of blind experiments to ensure objectivity with scientific observation AND he gave us the concept of homeostasis or as he defined it:
“The Environment Within”
Claude used this term in many works, but most notably to refer to the extra-cellular fluid environment and its capacity to ensure protective stability in the tissues and organs of multicellular organisms. There are MANY processes that help regulate the human body’s internal environment; the liver, the kidneys, our brain (hypothalamus, the autonomic nervous system, and the endocrine system) help maintain homeostasis.
Well, it is Friday night…so as an example, the liver is responsible for metabolizing toxic (EtOH? 🙂 ) substances to rid our bodies of these harmful substances.
According to Claude:
“All of the vital mechanisms, however varied they may be, have always one goal, to maintain the uniformity of the conditions of life in the internal environment…. The stability of the internal environment is the condition for the free and independent life.“
Organisms have mechanisms to regulate internal conditions regardless of outside changing conditions. Therefore, for optimal health the body seeks to maintain a condition of equilibrium within our internal environment while dealing with external changes.
However, no matter how well you feel you live….Sometimes, the external gets too overwhelming. Our incredible bodies that work so hard to keep us in balance just can’t keep up. Perhaps you are perpetually tired, sick, cranky…this is your body talking to you, begging you:
You may have noticed I’ve been a little AWOL the last week. After finishing my final clinical and with the board exams looming, I realized I was out of balance, in a very unsustainable way. I’ve been here before , so I know what I need to restore my milieu intérieur. Serendipitously, I was headed to the very place to find it: HOME. For me, being near those I love, swimming in the ocean, yoga, mediation, a detoxing cleanse, and long rides on the motorcycle are just the ticket.
You only have one body and it does SO much intrinsically to protect you and keep you well, allow yourself the things you needs to keep functioning at optimal levels. Listen to it and ask yourself:
What do you need to get back into balance?
(not sure? You are welcome to come take a spin on the back of my motorcycle to see if that does it for you!)
Interested in one of these sweet painted shells? Stay tuned for info about how to get your hands on one and help raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in May!
I like the way you presented this, gives me some ideas for my classes
Thanks D! I hope to come to one of your classes someday.
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