Adapt and Overcome...Sometimes
The greatest aspect of human beings is their ability to adapt to their environment and survive. This is proven as we have inhabited every corner of the world, and have learned to survive in many different environments, from jungles, to deserts, to high mountains, to freezing cold area’s above the arctic circle. Humans have the ability to adapt to their environment and find shelter and food and overcome and conquer the many dangers of those different environments. We have even been able to adapt and create the ability to live underwater or go into space for months at a time and still survive those harsh conditions. No other animal can do what we do. Yes it does have to do with our brains, and the ability to problem solve and think ahead to anticipate the problems and perils that may lie ahead of us, but it is also because we have an amazing physiology that also works to keep us alive.
Every creature on earth strives to find homeostasis or balance. Homeostasis is the point in physiology where everything works as well as it can and the body is in balance. The energy demands are adequately met for the body to perform all of its functions. The body can eliminate the waste products it has generated easily so as not to create a toxic environment. The body’s pH (acid base balance) is appropriate to allow all the different reactions in the body to take place. All the neurological and hormonal signals are getting where they need to go and being interpreted properly by the tissues they are signaling to allow appropriate communication to take place. As amazing as the body is, it is very complex and very sensitive to the many changes it is constantly undergoing.
As change happens to the body, the body adapts to try and make changes that will allow the body to continue functioning and survive. An example of this is what takes place when your body temperature goes up. As your body temperature increases it becomes important to release that extra temperature, our body does this by sweating. The hotter the body is the more it sweats, cooling the body down. Not all animals have the ability to sweat. Dogs do not have sweat glands, they pant to release body temperature through their mouth, and if they don’t release enough temperature they can die. It is very special to be human with all our different ways we keep our physiology going and our ability to survive.
As the body adapts however it is moving away from homeostasis. The body is no long operating in an ideal state and is being asked to function in a sub optimal environment but still do all that is asked of it. The further the body moves away from that balance the greater the demand it now has to keep everything working and the harder it is to stay working without having to start making sacrifices for survival. Once sacrifices start to be made, the body is no longer healthy and we move into a degenerative state or a disease state, which will ultimately cause us to perish.
Think about this as it relates to high blood pressure. There are many reasons why blood pressure can be elevated. Normally blood pressure rises when we increase activity to move oxygen and nutrients around our body to nourish our cells. Blood pressure will also increase when we get nervous in case we have to go into fight or flight mode to get away from danger. If you wake up in the morning and your blood pressure is high did you stop and ask yourself why that is? Why is your body trying to push more oxygen and nutrients around your body? Or maybe it is trying to help to eliminate toxins from your body and has to work really hard to do that because of eating an unhealthy diet the day before. Maybe your liver has been abused for so long from chemicals, bad fats, and countless other environmental toxins that it needs to work extra hard to clean out causing an increase in blood flow to move the blood faster to the kidneys and lungs for elimination. Or maybe you are having trouble with stress and your adrenals are in such a crisis mode you stay in an excitatory state constantly keeping your blood pressure up.
Understanding the problem is not your blood pressure, it is only a symptom of your body no longer being in balance and causing an adaptation is very critical to your long-term health. Sure you can take a medication that will force your blood pressure to come down, but it does not fix the problem, as soon as the medication wears off your blood pressure goes up again. You must look at the whole state of your being to determine where your blood pressure problem is coming from. This same situation relates to all neurological and physiological changes that take place. There is always a reason why the body has changed and adapted, and there is often a natural way to help the body re-adapt back to homeostasis once the problem has been determined.
The other wonderful thing about the body is it always has the ability to heal. Healing is the body rebalancing and finding homeostasis again. When the body creates an immune response due to an infection or virus and kills that pathogen off you are healed as your body returns to balance. You are also stronger because you now have antibodies in your system to kill that pathogen in case you are exposed to it again. That is the amazing power of human adaptation.
To keep your body as close to homeostasis as possible we must always strive to find balance. We must eat healthy nutritious food, drink plenty of clean fresh water, and get fresh air and exercise. We then must get adequate rest to allow our body to process all we did during the day, eliminate the toxins we acquired and prepare our energy stores for the next day. Remembering that we can adapt gives us the advantage to survive, but if we do not allow ourselves to return to balance after the adaptation occurs we are setting ourselves up for degeneration and disease.