What is Homeostasis?
- "The ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its internal processes."
(Webster's New College Dictionary)
- "The maintenance of normal internal stability in the organism by coordinated responses of the organ systems that automatically compensate for environmental changes" (Webster's Dictionary)
What is involved in homeostasis?
Refers to the internal balance of the body's electromagnetic and chemical systems.
- There must be a balance in enzymes, minerals, and hormones in order for the body to function properly.
- Enzymes drive many of the chemical reactions that keep our bodies functioning. There are two types of enzymes:
- Metabolic enzymes, which run our tissues and organs and regulate their functioning.
- Digestive enzymes, which help digest food. If the digestive enzymes get out of balance, we don't get the full benefit of food; food can actually become toxic and result in allergic symptoms (and leaky gut).
- Minerals -- minerals work in conjunction with each other; if there is too little or too much or one mineral, it can upset the ability of other minerals to work properly (i.e. calcium / phosphorus ratio, copper/zinc, etc.)
What upsets homeostasis?
- Major culprit: LIFESTYLE!
- Too much sugar -- compromises our immune system and weakens the balance in our body.
- Fast food -- which is usually fried. Fried foods have a greater quantity of free radicals and also clog the arteries.
- Processed, packaged, frozen, canned and overcooked foods -- are filled with chemicals, additives, preservatives, high sodium and sugar content. Our bodies are designed to digest food in its more natural state, not the 'improved', greatly adulterated food that man has come up with (Twinkies, Cheetos, and hot fudge sauce were forbidden in the Garden of Eden!!)
- Allergens " can be inhaled (plant pollens, animal dander, mold spores, tobacco smoke or vehicle exhaust), ingested (foods or medications), injected (insect bites or stings and some medications), or touched (plants such as poison ivy, nickel, copper or latex).
- Food allergies and sensitivities -- common culprits are eggs, dairy, peanuts, wheat, corn, shellfish, fish, soy, antibiotics and NSAIDS.
- Drugs -- these generally treat the symptoms and do not address the root cause. Much illness could be avoided altogether if people just ate the right foods. . .in the right amounts. Americans OVER consume food and then OVER medicate.
- Toxins -- there's no escaping them. They're in the:
- chemical-laden, artificially-sweetened food we ingest;
- polluted air we breathe outdoors and indoors; indoor air is 10 times more polluted than outdoor air -- even the air of major, industrialized cities!). Indoor air is polluted by:
- carpeting, paint, vinyls, plastics, fabrics, cleaning products, etc.
- perfumes, room deodorizers, even candles -- paraffin and wax candles release carcinogenic toxins into the air;
- mold and bacteria from the heating and air conditioning systems in our homes and offices;
- heavily-chlorinated water we drink and bathe in. Chlorine is carcinogenic and when heated releases into the air chloroform, a highly toxic gas which is then inhaled into the lungs;
- body, skin, and hair products and cosmetics we apply to our bodies. The skin is the body's largest organ -- everything we put on the body goes into the body where the liver and other organs must work to filter out harmful toxins. We put toxins in much faster than the body can get rid of, hence we become toxic, the immune system is impaired; and the body must fight a constant battle to get back into balance. As the body continually fights toxins, it cannot ward off illness properly.
- Stress -- compromises the immune system, creates muscle tension, emotional distress.
How do we know when we don't have homeostasis?
- What are the signs of being out of balance? (food and chemical insensitivities, Candida, fatigue, susceptibility to infections, prolonged infections. . .)
What do we do to bring our bodies back into balance?
- Eat the right foods (organic if possible), drink plenty of good (filtered) water, take supplements, limit alcohol, avoid smoking, limit usage of drugs, etc.
- Alter our environment as much as possible:
- use natural cleaning products, organic makeup and skin care; use an air filter (especially in the bedroom); bathe and shower in filtered water; use full spectrum lighting; remove mercury fillings
- Understand the mind / body connection:
- Take time to de-stress and relax -- develop hobbies, listen to relaxing music, get a massage, take more vacations and weekend getaways
- Choose to respond to situations in a positive manner, instead of anger, frustration, fear, etc. -- view life as exciting and an adventure.
- Cultivate a sense of humor -- people who laugh easily and often tend to be more optimistic, experience less stress, and live longer.
- Get plenty of exercise -- releases endorphins, aids the lymphatic system, induces better quality sleep
- EXERCISE -- cardio for the circulatory system, strength training for muscle tone and strength, and stretching for flexibility. The human body was designed for movement, not for sitting at a desk all day or in a car for hours on end. We tend to avoid anything that will make us sweat -- and sweating is a major way our bodies release toxins.
- Practice regular DE-TOXIFICATION techniques.
- Infrared saunas -- the best way to release toxins such as chlorine, heavy metals, etc.; why infrared is different from/better than steam saunas
- Massage -- stimulates lymphatic system
- Exercise / Rebounding -- stimulates lymphatic system
- Liquid (juice) fasting -- can do liver cleanses, etc.