The body is an amazing and complex machine. The Master Designer gave us organs, glands, cells, tissues and a miraculous array of inter-related instrumentation and called it a body. Every structure of the body has a purpose, including the parts we can’t see. All physicians have one thing in common – we realize the more we know about the intricate workings of the body, the less we really know.
Of what we do know, there is one certainty: God didn’t give us anything we didn’t need. Yes, we can survive without certain parts and appear to do so quite easily, however, if it were that easy, God would have spared us the extra machinery! What we also know, is that the body is a self-regenerating, self-functioning and self-repairing mechanism. Given ALL that it needs to function properly (which includes sufficient rest, exercise and nutrition), the body will function precisely as designed, which includes healing most anything that goes wrong.
Every minute of every day the body is undergoing change. Cells are dying off and the body is building new ones – at the rate of about 2 billion cells per day. These cells make up glands, organs, the skeleton, nerves, brain, muscles, and ligaments – everything in the body. This is part of the body’s normal and natural regenerative function. There is another certainty – the body can’t make something out of nothing. During our lives, we will engage in lots of projects. When we do so, we make sure we have the tools and materials needed to accomplish our task. The body does too. It needs certain raw materials to make these cells on a daily basis – vitamins, minerals, fats (yes, we need fats), protein, enzymes, carbohydrates and water. If they aren’t present, the body will either not make the cell, or will make a sub-standard cell which lacks the vitality, structural integrity or function a healthy cell would provide. This is called disease. Degeneration occurs when this happens and when the body is breaking down cells faster than it’s regenerating them.
These cells not only need to function, but must function as a unit. Every organ has an interdependence upon others. If an organ is not functioning optimally or is missing, the burden gets placed on the rest of the associated organs or glands. This is especially true of the Endocrine System. This system consists of all the organs and glands which produce hormones. They are all very closely linked to each other and very much influenced by the activity of another endocrine gland.
Let’s take the thyroid. The thyroid either influences or is influenced by other organs/glands such as the pituitary, liver, adrenals, reproductive organs/glands, thymus, pancreas, and para-thyroid. If one of these organs is weak or not functioning properly, neither will the thyroid. Likewise if the thyroid misbehaves, the other organs suffer as well. The thyroid should never be treated by itself. Doing so will adversely affect all the other endocrine organs/glands causing them to suffer as well. Then you find yourself ping-ponging around from one problem to another, getting one seemingly under control and other becomes an issue – such as becoming diabetic later or having female hormone problems.
Symptoms are merely the body’s warning indicator light that something is wrong. If we treat only the symptom, we find ourselves chasing symptoms and never really getting well. Other problems creep up as the body continues to try to find help, but all the while never getting what it needs. If you really want to get well, you have to find someone who will treat YOU – you as a person, and not you as a symptom. To get down to the reason your body is trying to flag you down with distress cries called “symptoms”.
Acupuncture, chiropractic, nutritional therapies and other natural modalities work well because they focus on the underlying reasons why you’re sick rather than just a quick fix. They treat the body as a complex system and not an independent organ with independent function. In addition, we still need to give the body what it needs to make healthy, functional, vibrant organs, glands, tissues and joints. This means we need to eat real live whole foods and avoid counterfeit vitamins sprayed into foods to “enrich” them. We need to eat less of the non-foods such as sodas, coffee, snack foods and other damaging foods and eat the real stuff the body needs to remake itself! We need to look at the body in all its magnificence and intricacies and treat it with respect. To treat the body as the whole, living, dynamic entity that functions best when all of its parts and sub-parts are functioning at their optimal levels. To fight disease as a united front best approached as the wonderful complex life that it is!
©2005 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.