THE FIRST TEN MILLION
Healthcare Reform Begins With Awareness
Modern medicine, in its treatment of chronic disease, seems to have abandoned the most fundamental biological principle of survival: homeostasis. This is the energy that directs the function of all organisms and drives them in the direction of balance and, thus, health. It is because of this fundamental energy that organisms are capable of self-healing.
Webster defines homeostasis as “the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function”. I would argue that the word “tendency” should be replaced with “obligation”. The truth is the organism can do nothing else. Its singular responsibility is to function at the optimal level of health and vitality; its very survival depends on this...
The law of homeostasis governs everything the body does. The energy and mechanisms of life not only perpetuate our existence, but they do so with incredible reliability and determination. Nature has equipped every organism, including humans, with amazing survival instincts and tools. We actually have to insult the body pretty dramatically to defeat this powerful governing force of homeostasis.
Homeostasis in action
Homeostasis is at work when our pancreas secretes extra insulin to convert a sugary treat into energy the body can use; it is at work when we cut ourselves and a clot forms to prevent life-threatening blood loss; it is at work when we contract the flu and our body raises its temperature in an effort to kill the invading virus.
Homeostasis is always at work, even when the body is not faced with a challenge. It is the underlying energy that operates the structures and functions of the body as we go about our lives. The normal daily processes of digestion, assimilation, circulation, respiration, elimination, etc. are guided by this incredible balancing energy. It’s not something we often think about--if ever--but the amount of intricate biochemistry constantly performed by the human body is truly awe-inspiring once we look at ourselves on a cellular level.
Vibrant health is natural!
Less complex organisms like worms, plants, or bacteria can inspire a similar level of amazement when we observe how they go about their days and how their structure and function, driven by homeostasis, supports not just their survival but their ability to thrive. And this is an important point. Homeostasis is not driving our human organism to just barely get by, it is guiding the organism to optimal function and the highest possible level of health and vitality. Every organism’s dramatic capacity for repair, recovery and adaptation exists because of homeostasis.
Thus, it is the very nature of all organisms to be vibrantly healthy! The very nature of your body, your human organism, is to achieve optimal function. In every minute of every day the remarkable biological mechanisms of your body, driven by the energy of homeostasis, are working to achieve their goal: optimal health.
We are incredibly resilient
Even under relative levels of abuse, the body will continue to do its best. We all know friends and family members who choose lifestyles that present serious challenges to their bodies’ efforts towards balance. If we ate cleaner, healthier diets and avoided various vices like alcohol and tobacco (amongst others), we would be helping to support our bodies’ job of maintaining equilibrium. Yet, regardless of our choices, our incredible bodies work to manage these insults and keep us relatively well and functional.
How we challenge homeostasis
The body is remarkably resilient, but this is not to say that we can abuse ourselves forever without consequence. The more we challenge the energy of homeostasis, the harder our organs and systems must work to maintain it. Eventually, the body will begin to suffer notably. On a personal note, I lost my older brother at age 57 to the effects of a lifetime of tobacco and alcohol abuse. A couple years before he passed, he suffered a few minor strokes. One day he commented to me, “I can’t believe my body is starting to break down on me”. We had a pretty honest relationship, and I replied, “I’m honestly surprised it took this long [to break down]”.
His choices of a poor diet and toxic levels of tobacco and alcohol did not stop his body’s energy of homeostasis but it made its job much more difficult. Over time, his choices were too much for homeostasis to overcome. While this is a fairly dramatic example, the lesson to take away is clear: You can overwhelm the guiding energy of homeostasis, but you cannot stop its efforts. Regardless of the circumstances, it will continue to do everything it can to keep us as healthy and vibrant as possible.
Of course, death happens, and at times, prematurely. Yet, if you have ever walked the end stage path with a friend or family member, it is incredible how long the body will stay functional until finally giving up. The energy of homeostasis keeps trying, even when nutritional support is inadequate and the physical body is literally wasting away.
Natural medicine 101: “Honor the wisdom of the body.”
There are treatment protocols for various chronic illnesses that work with the body’s guiding energy. There are treatment protocols that, rather than being based on interference (like various pharmaceutical approaches) are based in synergy. Protocols that work with and support the body’s energy of homeostasis, instead of fighting against it. Can you see the possibility that working in harmony with the body’s guiding energy will result in better and faster recovery from any illness?
We call this concept “honor the wisdom of the body”, and it is the foundation of natural medicine. Now that you can begin to see the tremendous capacity of homeostasis and its powerful ability to drive your body in the direction of vibrant health, perhaps you can also begin to see the limitations of the pharmaceutical approach to health and wellness. Drugs can only mask symptoms and reduce pain and suffering. They are not curative.
But your body, driven by homeostasis, is curative. The body is wise. It is no wonder that so many are confused by or resistant to natural medicine approaches: “honoring the wisdom of the body” makes no sense if one is unaware that the body is wise! As we begin to really recognize the body’s healing capacities, we open up to a whole new world of health and healing possibilities. It is my passion to help guide you along this path. Stay tuned!
Tom is the founder of ForeverWell and has spent decades studying and working with some of the most gifted healers in the field of natural medicine. Recognizing that our healthcare system is failing us in the area of chronic illness, he is passionately committed to helping catalyze a paradigm shift driven by education, awareness, and individual empowerment.