Concepts Of Healing: Organic Stressors
In the last chapter, the role of the neuroendocrine and immune systems in healing was alluded to but not explained. This is what will now be introduced for discussion and clarification. The manner in which the healing process manifests depends on what aspect of the organism is being debilitated and the stressor causing the debilitation. There are two types of stressors, inorganic and organic. Inorganic stressors include physical & chemical aspects of the environment and physical trauma, while organic stressors include toxins in foods, parasites and pathogenic & non-pathogenic microorganisms. An important principle is that for the organic stressor to be successful, it must not bring undue attention to itself. Otherwise, the organism may be stressed to the point of causing death or to the point of becoming manifest to consciousness. Either of these states is counterproductive to the organic stressor as it ultimately leads to a reduction in reproductive capacity for the stressor. We shall discuss each of these topics in turn.
Let us deal with the healing of inorganic stressors first. Much of dealing with inorganic stressors involves a behavioral response. An example is moving into the shade to get out of the hot midday sun on a sunny day. Another is in moving to another location of habitat, migration to better hunting grounds. Changing eating habits to vary the mineral content of browsed foods is another. All are relatively easy to accomplish with learning from parents, family members and peers. Aspects of seasonality have to be toughed out with the materials at hand, the origins of food preservation techniques.
Organic stressors involve a much different debilitation. Many different microorganisms live with the body and some are quite helpful in keeping pathogenic microorganisms from getting a foothold in the body such as the Acidophilus and Lactobacillus species. Both parasites and pathogenic microorganisms cause some form of debilitation by causing the release of pyrogens (fever causing substances), causing tissue destruction, releasing deleterious metabolic products (such as tetanus toxin) and consuming energy yielding products intended for metabolism by the host. Once the debilitation causes death, the parasite or pathogenic microorganism is no longer able to pass on its genes to the next generation of host animals. Causing sufficient debilitation to bring awareness into consciousness of the host initiates a series of processes and concerted efforts by the host to rid the body of the stressor, again resulting in the eventual cessation of passing on stressor genes to the next generation of host animals.
The reaction by the host to the presence of the organic stressor within the body ranges from complete ignorance, to tolerance, to active concerted effort to rid the host body of the stressor. In any case, the healing processes of the body are responding to the presence of the organic stressor. What is it about the organic stressors that initiate these reactions? What relationship to the normal processes of homeostasis do the healing processes exhibit? And lastly, how do we augment their efficacy in ridding the body of unwanted organic stressors?
In order to understand the role of foreign substances in the initiation of healing responses, a little background into normal body processes is needed. The cells of the body are surrounded by the body's version of the early ocean aquatic environment, mainly inorganic minerals in content. This interstitial fluid also has dissolved gases, nutrients, proteins, lipids and various chemical substances in addition to the mineral salts. The waste products in the human are carbon dioxide and urea. The balance of all these components is maintained within a narrow range by the systems of homeostasis. The body is used to these normal substances in the interstitial fluid, blood and lymph. The lymphatic system drains the tissues of excess interstitial fluid that does not make its way back into the blood. Blood has a different set of proteins than that found in the lymph and interstitial fluids. The different blood proteins are involved in antibody-antigen reactions, various other immunological functions, maintaining blood volume & pH and blood clotting. The only way for the blood proteins to get into the interstitial fluid is for there to be some physical trauma to break the blood vessel walls open and releasing the blood elements into the interstitial spaces of the body cells. These blood proteins cause swelling and reddening of the tissue accompanied by an increase in temperature known as the inflammatory reaction. Damaged cells also release compounds into the surrounding area that serves to attract cells of the immune system. White blood cells and tissue macrophages clean up the mess and damaged cells that die are cleaned up also. Cells nearby begin to divide rapidly until the "open space" is occupied by new cells, whether blood vessel walls or other tissues. Again, all this is normal and the body takes care of this as a matter of course. These are the essential components of the healing process and involve cells communicating with other nearby cells.
In addition to the interstitial fluid, cells are surrounded by an extracellular matrix (EM). This EM is composed of proteins, the majority being collagen. The cells of the body secrete these proteins that polymerize into long strings of fibers that form a netlike matrix that serves to cradle the cells of the body. The actual solid form of your body is composed of the EM. The EM may take the form of any number of connective tissues depending upon the needs of the body- loose, elastic, fibrous, dense, cartilage, bone, blood. Thus, the body has as an intrinsic element of its composition a lot of space unoccupied by living cells, areas ripe for storage deposition of unwanted and toxic compounds as body burden.
The waste products of cellular metabolism are carbon dioxide (CO2), water and ammonia (that gets turned into urea by the liver). The CO2 and water are the waste products of burning glucose to make ATP, the energy currency of the body. Ammonia is the waste product of amino acid catabolism. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. All the above compounds are normal in the body and easily handled by the various systems of the healthy body. Now we begin to discuss the impact of organic stressors upon the body.
The first topic to be discussed is the consumption of plant and animal material for nutritional purposes. All animals in the wild learn which plants to eat for food, which to eat for special nutritional needs and which to avoid as noxious or poisonous. Only domesticated cattle and horses eat locoweed. Many plants produce secondary compounds that are toxic to animals, in order to avoid being consumed. These compounds interfere with some aspect of cellular metabolism. The body can handle them in small quantities. Humans, you would think, would learn to do the same thing- find out what plants are not good to eat. And indeed, all stone-age cultures are intimately aware of the uses of all the plant life in their environment. A very good reference for this fact is the Pulitzer Prize winning book entitled, "Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies", by Jared Diamond.
Much can be said for eating other animals. In fact, hardly any animals will make you sick if you eat them. Some of the exceptions are Polar Bear liver and Shark liver, too much Vitamin A (which will kill you). But, we in the industrialized nations eat far from the animal in the natural state! We get everything from the Supermarket. Where does the Supermarket get its stock- from distributors whom get their stock from manufacturers of food products. Where do the manufactures of food products get their supplies-from food brokers. And at last, food brokers get their supplies from farmers and large food growing companies. This is hardly new information. What happens to the original product gotten from the field or pen until you eat it is not either. It is processed to preserve it until consumed, as much as 2 to 3 years later. That is to say that which is canned, frozen, dried, smoked, pickled or salted. This is not to say we get some of it as the garbage they call "fresh". Again this is hardly new information.
The chemical fertilizers used to boost the growth of plants, the pesticides used to keep pests from consuming the plants before we get to harvest them, the herbicides used to keep weed growth down and from utilizing soil nutrients and water are also not new information. The fact that these compounds produce plants with diminished mineral content and are retained within and on the plant material is not new either. The fact that animal factories produce animals with grossly overstressed systems fed on contaminated feed, fed feed spiked with antibiotics and hormones, are killed and processed under appalling conditions is also not new information. The fact that not many people seem to care is also not new information. The government would not let anything happen! Yeah, right.
What is new is the fact that not many people know that processing food with equipment that uses A.C. current puts contra-life energies into the food being processed. I am not able to prove this with scientific evidence simply because the research has not been done and will most likely never be done, except to show that I am wrong! (Remember, it was never proven that smoking cigarettes would kill you). However, if you talk with very sensitive individuals, they will all testify to this fact. This is the source of many of the religious rituals concerning food and food preparation- sensitive individuals over the eons have been aware of the impact of mans handling of food processing. The point to this discussion is to help you decide to become more discerning about what you eat. Also the point is to get you to thinking about how to get as close to the food in its "natural" state as possible. Canning destroys much food value as does freezing. Freezing preserves the contra-life energies for your consumption. Canning and boiling gets rid of contra-life energies. But if you use electricity to cook with, you put them right back into the food. Salting food is terrible since it puts way too much salt into the body. Pickling is good if it is done naturally, but how do you preserve it without canning? Natural pickling is by beneficial microorganisms and you benefit from their synthetic processes- vitamins, natural mineral complexes, cofactors and tasty compounds. Drying produces the best preservation of foods. But not all food products are able to be dried and then rehydrated for consumption. Alas, the only way to go is to grow my own and cook with wood, gas or solar ovens. Fat chance that!
So how do I know if something I am eating is not good for me? Well, there is a very simple test anyone may use on themselves to find out. This precludes any products that have caffeine, chocolate, tea or any other mind-altering compound as part of them. You want to test only one food at a time so wait for 2 hours after eating a meal or anything else. Refrain from any strenuous exercise at least ½ hour before to allow the heart to settle down. Check your pulse rate for 2 to 3 minutes and average the counts. Then eat the food you suspect might be giving you a problem. Again check your pulse rate at intervals of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1 ½ hour and 2 hours later. If the food is giving you a problem, your pulse rate will be anywhere from 3 to 4 times as fast as it was before you ate it. Sensitive individuals will also get hives, rashes and other symptoms of energy unbalancing. I get an itchy and inflamed right elbow as well, right on my Small Intestine Meridian. Another symptom is a change in mood or excitability/irritability. With me, problems with fatty acid metabolism result in a depressive effect upon my mental state. I can not eat any mammalian food products without some kind of adverse reaction. Any stimulants in foods make me irritable and hyper-excitable, the same goes for "Aspartame". I find that if I consume foods with high magnesium content and high vitamin C content, the symptoms are much alleviated.
The organ of the body that bears the burden of detoxification of all unwanted organic compounds is the liver. It is fairly well equipped to deal with most natural toxic plant substances if not overburdened or poisoned. Today it must also deal with the hundreds of thousands of man-made organic compounds as well. Man-made hydrocarbons are the chemical plague not many seem to be aware of these days. This is changing somewhat because of all the poisonings reported. The main culprits are the chlorinated hydrocarbons that Rachel Carson brought to our attention before she died of cancer herself. The more insidious culprit has been found to be compounds used by the plastics industry. They are found in virtually ALL our food. Some of these compounds the liver can handle with ease. Many are extremely toxic, particularly the plastic monomers and plasticizer compounds. As an example, vinyl monomer is highly toxic. Not all vinyl monomer is cross-linked to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic in many human use articles. In Europe, PVC is banned in the manufacture of baby articles. In the USA, baby pacifiers are made of PVC. The vinyl monomer leaches out of the pacifier and is swallowed by the infant, which is poisoned. The liver has a hard time dealing with these compounds and eventually results in liver dysfunction or cirrhosis (hardening of the liver due to scar tissue formation).
Plastic compounds and other hydrocarbons are found in our fat deposits, dissolved in the oils. Other compounds are found in the connective tissues and are the cause of small tumors, storage deposition in the connective tissue as cells try to void the poisons from their immediate area. The interstitial fluid is not able to carry them as they are not soluble in an aqueous medium and precipitate out. These deposits cause the cells in their neighborhood to transform and become tumors. This is a burden for your immune system as it valiantly tries to rid the body of these toxins and thus an immune system stressor. The only way to survive a long and healthy life is to eat food with as little an organic contamination as possible and to do everything to boost your immune system. This we shall discuss as a separate chapter later.