The primary physical material of the cells is chemical – atoms and molecules. The universe and everything in it is made up of energy. The body, like the universe, exists in a state of constant change and movement.
The body tissues are muscle – nervous, epithelial tissue that lines and covers everything. Everything in the body is made from raw materials found in food. For example:
- Tendons and ligaments are made of protein.
- Glucose is used by cells to make energy.
- Omega-3 fatty acids make up most of our cell membranes.
- Cholesterol is used to make steroid hormones.
The body is made up of five main systems:
- Cardiovascular System – heart and blood transport
- Respiratory System – brings oxygen into our body and expels Carbon Dioxide
- Digestive System – allows your body to process food so it may be expelled or absorbed in your systems
- Urinary System – cleans and filters the blood and monitors the amount of water in our System.
- Nervous System – the communication hub of our bodies
Another system could be called the “spirit or soul.” The maintenance of harmony and balance within the organism is known in western physiology as homoeostasis. Homeostatic Mechanisms encourages and promote the balance that we need to provide the fundamental requirement for health. Although, we can’t easily describe the “spirit or soul,” it is a mystery.
Emotional health is dependent on the free-flowing and experiencing all our feelings. It is vital to the health of the body, mind, and spirit. Our emotions can affect our physical bodies, and for example, if we hurt, we may cry.
Understanding and respecting our need for emotional discharge or release is an essential part of remaining healthy and being able to be present within ourselves fully.
The nature of the ego/mind is that it can’t stand and wants everything to be solved. It believes itself to be in control – and it can’t stand anything that challenges this belief. It will come up with any number of doubts and arguments to prove that the spirit does not exist. The spirit isn’t a single entity. It is part of a person. It is their energy force.
The heavier or lower in vibration that our energy is, the more insensitive and the less we can feel and experience more subtle realities. The more precise and finely tuned our energy is, the more sensitive we become to being able to experience the truth that the world around us is made of energy. We are more than just a simple body.
Our basic needs for the body includes sufficient clean water. It also needs wholesome food containing all the nutrients, good quality air to breath, and the right amount of exercise and movement. For our minds, hearts, and bodies, we need meaningful work and joyful play, with a proper balance between the two.
It is quite common for modern medicine and culture to view these kinds of reactions as symptoms of diseases, to be suppressed, rather than as a homeostatic process. When we are healthy, we have more dramatic responses to toxins. When er is full of toxins, the body has less obvious reactions – but this doesn’t mean the toxins are not causing damage.
Suppressing such symptoms can create chronic illness.
Our health is dependent on the health of the environment in which we live – both internal and external. A significant step in self-care is to develop our self-awareness.
The Water of Life
Our bodies contain 60-70 percent of water. An essential naturopathic principle comment to most traditions is that we need to drink enough good clean water for optimal health. The lack of water in our bodies can lead to man signs and symptoms of illness. The general recommendation is that we need about eight full glasses of water a day.
When our habit is to not to drink enough, the sensation of thirst tends to dimish. If we begin to increase the amount of water we drink, we begin to be thirsty again. The more water we drink, the more diluted and copious our urine output will be. Water is important because it is used in many of the chemical reactions in our body.
Kidneys help monitor and gauge the amount of water in our bodies, and it increases or decreases the amount of water excreted in our urine. The kidneys make urine by filtering the blood. In one hour, all the blood in our body will pass through the kidneys.
The kidney’s main job is the excrete substances from our bodies that would otherwise poison us. Without water, organs of eliminations (kidneys, liver, bowels, lungs, and skin) will not work with able to work to they properly may healthy support our organs systems.
The amount of urine made by the kidneys, lone with a myriad of other bodily processes, is controlled by small chemical messengers called hormones. The endocrine glands help produce most of the hormones in our body. The endocrine is essential because it takes the water processed by the kidneys, along with other functions, to work with our nervous system.
The Energy of Life
The body is made of chemicals – water, proteins, fats, sugars, vitamins, minerals, trace elements. These chemicals are made of energy.
Two holistic approaches to describing energy are through Vedic (ancient Indian) or Shamanic (earth-based).
The Vedic tradition has a useful and straightforward way of describing the energy the makes up the reality of the materials.
- Heavy, low (tamasic energy) of ignorance
- Light, clear (sattvic energy) of goodness
- Passionate (rajasic) for getting things done
Shamanism is a healing technique for where every culture has been geared toward creating an energetic balance that is deeply connected to nature. Energy is restored and expelled from our systems if it is healthy or unhealthy.
Both Vedic and Shamanism practices with living with harmony with your systems and environment can help you balance your energy levels.
We are individuals, but we are completely interdependent on our environment. All of these systems need our attention to our health to flourish. Holistic self-care is basically about understanding and respecting the need to keep the body, mind, spirit well by giving each what it needs and protecting each from harm.
For our self-care to be fully effective, we need to become aware of and thoughtful about the gross imbalance in our societies. We need to create new policies that are more rational and balance to enable everyone to be healthy. All the systems are intimately connected and cannot indeed be separated. The fit of each is vital to the proper functioning of all the others, and the whole being.