Health Care Paradigm: The Body Heals Itself


The Body Miracle

The Body Miracle

“The body heals itself.”

Unlike my MD brethren who attended medical school, I  had the above statement  hammered into my brain at chiropractic college in the early 1980’s.  I also learned the power of this statement while studying and practicing acupuncture in Sri Lanka in 1987.

This statement comes from the simple truth that, like the formation of stars, the intricate workings of a cell, and the astounding variation of a coral reef, our bodies have an innate intelligence that is adaptive, self-governing, and self-healing.

When burned, the body forms new skin.  When a bone is broken, the body lays down even stronger material to heal it.  The body will even regulate very complicated functions, and even prioritize them, in order to give us the best chance of survival.

For example, a stable body temperature is maintained by the thyroid (and, to a large extent, the liver)  and is the most important for the optimal function of organs and enzymes.   The temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit allows for the most number of enzymes present in the body to function.  Below that temperature, roughly half of our body’s enzymes cease to function!  Consequently, when the body temperature drops, all sorts of disease symptoms appear because the enzymes are unable to do their jobs.

Another example is how the body maintains blood pH. The term “pH” stands

Acid-Alkaline Chart

Acid-Alkaline Chart

for Potential of Hydrogen, which is the concentration of hydrogen ions in any substance or solution. The pH range is measured from zero to 14.  Human blood pH is ideally 7.35. Higher numbers indicate alkalinity; lower numbers indicate acidity.

This acid-alkaline balance of your blood is extremely important, and your body goes to enormous lengths to maintain this 7.35 pH level. If your blood pH were to vary only 1 or 2 points in either direction, it would change the electrical chemistry in your body. There would be no electrical “power.”  In a very short time, you would die.

(This is the main theory, by the way, of how very fit athletes sometimes drop dead while exercising.  While they were no doubt fit, they were not healthy.  Because of their diet and other factors, their blood pH dipped below the danger zone and they didn’t have enough alkaline reserve to save them. You can read about this problem, and how you can reduce your own risks, in any of Dr. Young’s books on pH and diet.)

The body can digest and assimilate vastly different foods for maximum energy, but always takes pains to balance the pH of each food intake.  since most people’s diets are very acidic, this usually means drawing from our body’s “alakaline reserve” to save our butts!

The problem: this alkaline reserve is usually used up around age 40, so the body – in its infinite wisdom – starts pulling the alkalinity from the calcium in our bones! Yet osteoporosis is considered (in the medical paradigm) as a  disease. It is, however, simply the body’s way of saving more important functions (the survival of the heart and brain) at the expense of lesser ones (our bones).


Even the so-called “abnormal” metabolic reactions by the body are interesting if you look at the subtle logic.  Fever is a good example.  While many people think fever is part of a sickness, it is a perfectly natural response to foreign intrusion.   Under normal circumstances the body, in its wisdom, will temporarily raise the temperature to kill off foreign bacteria and viruses it deems life-threatening.

Another example of an “abnormal reaction” is swelling after an injury. We usually attack this as if the body is the enemy – doing our best to “bring the welling down before it gets out of hand.”  The body, however, is only considering the stupidity of the occupant of the cranial vault . . . it is trying to immobilize the joint or area of trauma, kill off any invading bacteria, and basically stop you from doing any other activity until the dang thing heals!!

While putting ice on the swelling is best for pain and discomfort, I mostly abide by the admonition “Nature needs no help, just no interference.”

Remove Nerve Interference

Healing Hands

I will be the first to admit, however, that the medical model of disease has served us for well over a century,  through wars and epidemics.  With the human race poised to live longer and (hopefully) more peacefully, however, a new paradigm is necessary if we wish to achieve optimal health, and not just the avoidance of disease.

In chiropractic school, I learned that a chiropractic adjustment is only useful to ALLOW the body to do its magic . . . and not to MAKE it work.  “Dr. Sid” Williams at Life Chiropractic used to say “Find it.  Adjust it.  Leave it alone.” I used to think he was only full of hot air.  Now I know he was right.

We get out of the way.  The body takes care of the rest.