THE BLESSINGS OF FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
The human body functions much as a temple. Within its hallowed walls dwells the divine spirit that created and maintains it, and which all body-cells serve. A temple typically has columns that hold it up. The columns of the body temple are the functional systems that manage life in the body and facilitate the processes involved in transforming minerals and vital amino acids (vitamins) into the building blocks of the temple. These processes are what comprise our metabolism.
Our metabolism is a twofold creative process that includes the building up (anabolism) and tearing down (catabolism) of the various structures in the body – for one thing to keep them in good repair and working order. It also includes the chemical processing and conversion of foods into energy.
There are ten of these functional systems:
Endocrine System (hormonal glands),
Nervous System (brain, spinal chord & nerves),
Circulatory System (heart and blood vessels),
Respiratory System, (lungs and bronchial)
Lymphatic System, (thymus & lymph glands)
Genitourinary System (includes reproduction)
Digestive System, (liver, stomach, intestines)
Skeletal System, (bones & joints)
Muscular System, (ligaments & muscles)
Integumentary System (skin and fascia).
Cellular Level Health Care
At the macroscopic level, these systems are comprised of organs and glands, arteries and veins, connective tissues and ligaments, muscles and bones, fluids and marrow. At the microscopic level, all of this functional anatomy is comprised of cells, trillions of them, each one a living organism with systems identical in their functions to those in the larger body they comprise. In other words, cells breathe, eat, excrete waste, grow, reproduce and die. The cell is the basic unit of life in the body. As the cells live and die, so does the physical body. It is important, then, to maintaining cellular health and function.
This is essentially what functional medicine is all about. As its self-defining name implies, functional medicine concerns itself with the function of cells, organs and systems in the body, and the means and methods by which abnormal function may be normalized. Function is at the core of every condition known to medical science. There is not one disease, for example, that does not have at its root cause the failure of one or more organs and/or systems to function normally. Therefore, it follows logically, as well as clinically, that the correction of malfunction leads to healing and recovery.
This is not merely theory. It has been proven out over and over again in clinical settings throughout the civilized world where the natural approach of functional medicine is being used in the treatment of the whole person and not merely the disease. Chiropractic and clinical nutrition lead the way in the field of functional medicine.
Allopathic & Functional Medicine’s Forte
The treatment of disease is the forte of allopathic medicine, which uses drugs and surgery to intervene in the disease process and to relieve its painful symptoms. The restoration of function, and therefore of health, is the forte of functional medicine, which uses natural forces to support the healing process and thereby address the cause of disease. Both bestow their unique blessings, especially when and where they are allowed to work together. Our work is all about removing interferences to normal function in the body.
Wholistic Health Care
Wholistic health care concerns itself with the whole person and the various factors that go into manifesting healthy function in the body. For example, Chiropractic concerns itself with the correction of nerve impingement in the spine to free up the nerve supply essential to normal communication between the brain and the body’s parts and, therefore, normal function. Clinical Nutrition addresses the balancing of blood and body chemistry, both of which are essential to normal function. Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST) helps to restore normal function in the body as well as in the mind by removing interferences in the sub-conscious mind and feeling realm in the form of memories of past trauma. These memories can actually be “erased” so that they no longer trigger defensive emotional reactions that keep a person’s physical body in a stress response mode. In a stress-response mode, the body cannot heal itself nor grow its health.
So, we can see how wholistic (or holistic) health care is more about treating the whole person than about treating disease and pain with “alternative medicine.” We are more than vitamins and minerals, muscles and bones, organs and blood vessels. We are whole persons.
A whole person is made up of spirit and matter. The matter of our bodies is shaped and maintained by spirit, namely the spirit of Life. In Chiropractic philosophy we call this spirit Innate Intelligence and see it as a part of Universal Intelligence (God, if you prefer). The Innate Intelligence of the body runs the whole show without the input of our educated intelligence, but not without its cooperation. It knows exactly what’s going on in the body at all times, including what it needs in the way of external help and assistance in correcting deficiencies and structural damage and mis-alignments (such as in the joints and spinal column). We have learned how to access this information through Kinesology (muscle testing). This in Energy Medicine at its practical best.
Contact Reflex Analysis (CRA)
Contact Reflex Analysis, System Strength Analysis, Nutritional Response Analysis are all energetic methods of “reading” the body’s systems and communicating with its Innate Intelligence, which is more than willing to share with the practitioner information that will guide him in determining an appropriate approach to resolving health issues. This is a non-invasive procedure that is a hundred percent accurate. I’ve been using CRA for many years and have never found it to be inaccurate. It not only lets me know what to do but also in what order of priority. It is truly a gift from God. There is no question one cannot obtain an accurate answers to with muscle testing when one’s intentions are right and honorable.
Attunement — Vibrational Healing
I offer an energy-healing service called Attunement. Although Attunement is not a healthcare modality as chiropractic and clinical nutrition are, it does help mend, clarify, and enrich the connecting substance of pneumaplasm with our core spirit and thereby bring about peace, order and harmony within. When body, mind, heart and spirit are functioning harmoniously together, there is peace and harmony in the physical body. In a climate of peace and harmony, the cells of the body are able to function without disruption and interference. This essentially is what vibrational healing brings to the health care field. Everything we do in our service is done for the sole purpose of restoring normal function in the body so the body can heal itself.
How Vitamins Support Function
Vitamin A – supports the function of the eyes and immune system (infection control), the gums and nervous system, and the healing of skin. It’s necessary to cell metabolism, respiration and blood cell generation (platelets).
Vitamin B – supports the function of the heart and blood vascular system, the adrenal glands, the pancreas in producing insulin and digestive juices, and the nervous system. It stimulates and promotes appetite and normal digestion, promotes growth and vigor, and is necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and cell respiration, for normal pregnancy and lactation, and in maintaining muscle tonus.
Vitamin C – supports the function of the adrenal glands, the connective tissue, and the bones. Essential to health and integrity of endothelial tissues (raises resistance to infections), proper development of teeth, to oxygen metabolism, and to blood cell regeneration. It also maintains proper blood-clotting time.
Vitamin D – supports bone regeneration. Essential to proper mineral metabolism; absorption from alimentary tract, utilization and excretion of calcium and phosphorus. Necessary to successful pregnancy and lactation; for normalizing and reducing time of labor; to maintain blood platelets at normal level; to normal respiratory function. Maintains bone growth, muscle tonus and increases strength of capillaries.
Vitamin E – supports the skin, endocrine system (pituitary), heart, and sex-hormone production. Necessary to prevent irreparable sterility in male. Necessary to maintain mental alertness, growth and vigor. Possibly to prevent carcinoma. Necessary to resistance to infections.
Vitamin F – (Essential Fatty Acids) transports calcium from the blood into bones and tissues; necessary to cell respiration, hair health, and to brain function; supports prostate; converts sunlight into Vitamin D in skin.
Vitamin G – is one of the Vitamin B factors and supports circulation and brain function. Necessary to growth and development and cell respiration. As a growth stimulus, promotes normal repair processes and thereby delays senility. Necessary to blood regeneration.
Vitamin K – is not a single nutrient, but the name given to a group of vitamins of similar composition. The two main groups of vitamin K that occur naturally are vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone). K1 is found in many vegetables and K2 is produced by bacteria. It is more popularly known as a blood coagulant. However, it appears vitamin K, and vitamin K as MK-7 in particular, plays an important role in keeping calcium in the bones and out of the arteries. (Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD – see her article for important information about Vitamin K)
Note: Standard Process product labels prefix the vitamin with the word “Cataplex,” as in Cataplex A. This is due to the fact that vitamins do not stand alone in foods but are accompanied by complex co-factors that facilitate their function and preserve their integrity. Commercially processed supplements do not afford these same benefits. This is why I use Standard Process wholefood supplements.
How Minerals Support Function
There are 12 organic minerals and some 72 trace mineral that support the function of vitamins and the production of enzymes in the body. They also conduct energy into and throughout the body.
Calcium – supports the bones and teeth, helps with blood coagulation, reduces neuromuscular irritability, facilitates and provides fuel for muscle contraction and nerve conduction in the heart muscles.
Magnesium – supports tooth formation, enzyme activation, nerve conduction, and muscle lubrication.
Sodium – plays a large role in acid-base balance, osmotic pressure, blood pH, muscle contractility and nerve transmission.
Potassium – plays a role in muscle activity, nerve transmission, intracellular acid-base balance and water retention, and energy management. It assists in escorting glucose into muscle cells for energy.
Phosphorus – in closely associated with Calcium and its functions with bone and teeth formation. It is used in establishing and maintaining acid-base balance, is a component of nucleic acids and is involved in energy production.
Iron – assists in the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin, contributes to the production of certain enzymes and iron-sulphur proteins.
Fluorine – is used in bone and tooth formation. Chlorine – is used in acid-base balance, osmotic pressure, blood pH and kidney function.
Silica – plays a role in the alchemical production of bone tissue through a process of “biological transmutation.” It may also play a role in memory storage, similar to that of the silica microchip in the computer.
Manganese – is essential to the function of the Pituitary, the tone of ligaments and cartilage, and plays a component part in the makeup of certain enzymes.
Sulphur – is an antibiotic that also helps with joint motility.
Iodine – is essential to the production of thyroid hormones for metabolism, growth and development.
The seventy-two or more trace minerals play empowering roles in the balancing of body chemistry, especially with the hormones. Just to site a few:
Selenium, found in wheat germ oil, plays a key role as part of the Vitamin E complex in the cardiovascular system.
Chromium promotes the utilization of glucose by the muscle cells, thereby supporting the glucose tolerance factor in the bloodstream.
Molybdenum is a transitional metal that forms oxides and is a component of a coenzyme essential to the activity of enzymes involved in preventing toxic levels of sulfite, xanthine and aldehyde (such as formaldehyde) in the blood stream.
Gold is essential to balanced and clear mental function. Silver is a protective element against pathogens, such as harmful bacteria and viruses.
Levels and Ratios Critical
These elements of the mineral kingdom are not only present in a healthy body, their levels and ratios to one another are critical to maintaining healthy function, strength and vitality in the body. Calcium is in critical ratio to Phosphorus, Magnesium and Potassium; Sodium is balanced by Potassium; Copper and Zinc need to be in balanced ratio, as well as Sodium and Magnesium, Copper and Iron. The degree to which these minerals are present in their proper levels and ratios, the body is healthy. To the degree they are not, the body is sick and dying.
While Copper intensifies cellular activity, activating estrogen in cell proliferation, Zinc, which activates progesterone and testosterone, cools it down. The body contains two to three grams of Zinc, found mainly in bones, teeth, hair, skin, the liver, muscle, leukocytes and in the testes. It plays a role in skin integrity, enzymes, wound healing and growth.
Whole Food Supplements Best – Function the Key Factor
Seeing as how vitamins and minerals depend on one another for balance and orderly function, it becomes obvious that they are best taken into the body in whole-food form and not as isolated fractions, whether “natural” or synthetic, in “high potency” commercially prepared supplements. They’re not “natural” if they are not part of their natural environment where they can best function, and are essentially and functionally drugs as they are designed to stimulate or suppress rather than nourish. As such they really should be under the control of a regulatory agency and prescribed and administered by licensed healthcare professionals.
Therapeutic foods, such as those Standard Process provide practitioners, are best administered by a licensed healthcare practitioner. SP’s products can only be obtained in this manner. ❧
This concludes this reprint from Health Light Newsletter archives. This article was first published in May of 2007 as the last hard-copy publication and marked my semi-retirement from 45 years of practice. I thought it might be helpful to publish it in my blog for many more to benefit from it. Until my next post,
Here’s to your health and healing.
Anthony Palombo, DC, ACN (Applied Clinical Nutrition)
Visit my HealingTones.org blog for interesting and inspiring considerations around subject that pique my interest, such as the current article “Sonic Geometry and the Music of the Spheres.”
For deeper and inspiring reading on the body as a temple, you may like to review my book Sacred Anatomy.