The Health Corner Vol. 11 – Health Process in Depth

I believe it is important for everyone to understand the health process as fully as possible. That is why I have dedicated so much time in writing to you about it. In recent articles, I illustrated how Nutrition Response Testing facilitated the process in some of the patients I have seen in my office. Now I think it would be good to once again look at the process itself in a bit more depth.

I would like to discuss the idea of the disease process moving from outside the body to the inside. Specifically, I want to clear up any confusion on what ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ the body means. If we think of the body as a tube, the mouth is the opening of that tube on one end and the anus is its outtake. When we ingest something, it does not technically enter the body until it passes across the endothelial lining of the gut. Now if the substance ingested is in some way toxic, the body will attempt to remove that substance through diarrhea or vomiting–often times both.

The same thing is true in the nasal passages. When something harmful to the body is breathed in, the mucus membranes may secrete large amounts of mucus in order to remove that substance and keep it from passing through its barrier. Usually, the person will sneeze, thus clearing the nose in an attempt to remove the foreign substance completely.

If a foreign substance makes it to the lungs, the body will work to keep it from passing through the alveolar membrane into the alveolus. This occurs through coughing and expectorating phlegm, etc.

Now, through these examples, we can clearly see that the outside of the body is the first line of defense against disease. Excretion, which produces the aforementioned symptoms, is meant to keep any toxic substances from crossing the membranes into the body. If the body wins, the war is over. If the symptoms are merely suppressed rather than properly addressed, the ‘enemy’ organisms win this phase of the battle, and the next phase must be fought on another level—namely the inflammatory phase.

The inflammatory process occurs at membrane level where the unwanted agent is seeking to enter the body. Here, the site of the inflammatory process is directly associated with the cause of inflammation, be it a virus, bacteria, or some other causative agent.

Much has been written on the inflammatory reaction. From a holistic viewpoint, the acute inflammatory reaction is a natural and normal response to halt further invasion of the body. However, a chronic, or on-going, inflammatory response is not natural, and only happens if the acute process is unsuccessful in ridding the body of an invader. Worse, chronic inflammation causes damage over time.

In a healthy body, the acute inflammatory phase is like a hasty, well-fought battle to dispatch an enemy organism and end the war. This should be considered a good thing. The symptoms involved only indicate that the body is doing exactly what it is designed to do—containing by inflammation a foreign substance during a healing crisis. Though healing can seem like a violent upset of one’s life, there really is a point to the symptoms.

I believe the truth can set us free. And if we know what our body is trying to do in order to keep us healthy, we can more easily accept and embrace the process. Further, we can learn to help the process along instead of blindly following conventional wisdom and inadvertently suppressing it.

Remember, just feeling better does not necessarily equate with being healthy.

Until we meet again, here’s to your good health!

Dr. Jon R. Link