“The fundamental cause of disease is an inability of the body to recover and heal.” ~ Dr. Tony Sandorfi
I realize that this is a big oversimplification but I hope you’ll give me some latitude. In order to understand why some diseases occur and continue to happen while other diseases the body is able to overcome, we need to look at what the AOS is and how it works.
To make things easier, I’d like to use the short form “Symp” for fight/flight and “Para” for heal/recover.
As I mentioned in the last article, these two systems are running in parallel constantly, 24 hours a day. Sometimes they run fairly equally, and sometimes one needs to turn up in volume as the other one turns down in volume.
For example, when you’re getting out of bed in the morning, Symp has to activate in order to increase your blood pressure, to counteract the effect of gravity. If Symp didn’t activate, your blood pressure would stay low and your blood (and oxygen) would pool in the lower part of your body (due to gravity). The result would be that you would feel light headed and maybe even faint. So your AOS is constantly adjusting various bodily functions throughout the day and night depending on gravity, the temperature outside, the barometric pressure, your mood, all kinds of factors.
Symp gets activated when you’re walking up the stairs, or when you’re running late, or when you’re on the receiving end of a SURPRISE!! birthday party. It also gets activated when you perceive (rightly or wrongly) that someone has offended you.
Symp is designed to help us get through stressful times so that we can survive. Blood pressure increases, blood flow to the extremities increases, so that we can run away from danger or stay and fight, our focus narrows, the heart pumps harder and more quickly, the immune system and digestion get depressed or inhibited and stored up energy in the body gets utilized; the furnace gets stoked.
A really good example of Symp in action is why you don’t want to go swimming right after eating. If you exercise right after you eat, your Symp will activate and shut down your digestion. In the case of swimming, you’ll get cramping in your digestive tract.
All of these changes can be considered “survival mode”. If survival mode is extended or becomes the norm however, chronic inflammation sets in including the secretion of cortisol. If “survival mode” becomes the norm, you burn way more energy than you can replace. It’s not a sustainable situation.
In the next article, we will take a closer look at how Para works and how it can help us heal.