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In physics, the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observation makes on what is observed. This is often the result of instruments that alter the state of what they measure in some manner. The butterfly effect is a term coined by a mathematician and meteorologist to describe how small changes can affect large complex systems. This term comes from the suggestion that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in South America could affect the weather in Texas, meaning that the tiniest influence on one part of a system can have a huge effect on another part.


As above, so below. Our bodies are a perfect reflection of these universal principles of design.  From cells to organs to systems, and in ever expanding circles of seasons, bioregions and ecology- it is ALL connected. Complex and specialized, medical science has revealed amazing things- but also obscured the big picture- the connections that describe the system as a whole. This myopic view is changing. Across disciplines, healthcare practitioners are seeing the connections. Traditional “holistic” understanding of health is converging with the most recent discoveries in medical science.


Modern medicine is so sophisticated at this point, you would not expect scientists could “discover” a new organ. But just this year, researchers claim they have done just that- some claim this is the largest organ in our body. It was never seen before now because it is only visible “in vivo”- or viewed in a living system.  With new imaging methods, we can see a system that appears to have all the qualities that might classify it as an organ. This system – recently dubbed the ‘interstitium’ is a body-wide communicating system for chemical, electric, and mechanical information. A system of collagen and elastin fibers suspended in a mucous gel that binds with the fluids between cells. This system is closely aligned with the lymphatic system and the white blood cells of the immune system – and has been explored as part of how cancer might be spread or contained.  A fascinating twist to this story- Chinese traditional medicine texts have described a very similar system for thousands of years.  


Another fascinating example of recent scientific inquiry connects our digestive system and our brain. The gut–brain axis refers to the signaling between the digestive tract and the nervous system. In simple terms, digestive health determines brain function.


Ancient systems of medicine from diverse cultures described health in terms that up until recently were dismissed as superstitious relics of less advanced civilizations. This view is changing. We are witnessing a historic convergence: a synthesis of old and new, where recent observations are validating specific pathways of interaction between systems. Systems that are the foundation of ancient medicines. Systems lost in translation when observed from the perspective of modern medicine until recently. This is good news for everyone.  Ideally, we will continue to witness a convergence of ideas and progress in our understanding of the connections that form the whole.  



© 2018 Kristina D. Allred, M.S.O.M., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)


Magnificent Discovery: Everything is Connected

M.S. Oriental Medicine

Licensed Acupuncturist

Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)



Kristina D. Allred

Kristina _1890

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Kristina Allred holds a Master of Science degree in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a Licensed Acupuncturist, and is board certified in acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  She has extensive experience in nutrition as well as herbal medicine. Kristina is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Kristina’s background also includes working in organic agriculture and as a chef.   Kristina is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’ Alene.  Visit our website at to learn more about Kristina, join our e-mail list and read other informative articles.  Kristina can be reached at 208-765-1994 or and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.