Disease Proneness Equation: Ratio Between the Levels of Environmental Challenge and Immunological Resisting Power
Immunity can be defined as: The ability to resist invasive pathogenic microbes and external conditions as well as internally generated infectious organisms, parasites and toxins that may damage tissues and organs (i.e., resisting power).
The effectiveness of one’s immunological defenses are dependent upon two interactive factors:
1) level of environmental challenges ((external factors that challenge the body to defend itself)
2) level of immunological resisting power
Accordingly, one’s relative proneness to disease is the product of the inverse variation of these two factors. The greater the environmental challenge and/or the lower the resisting power – the higher the risk of developing a disease (including an infectious one).
Conversely, the lower the environmental challenge and the greater the resisting power, the lower the risk of developing a disease.
Environmental challenges can be subdivided into two categories: Natural and Unnatural.
Natural Environmental Challenges
Of course, with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the natural environmental challenge posed by an infectious microorganism has now become the preoccupation of our existence.
However Chinese medicine recognizes a non-microbial, natural challenge. The Chinese conceptualize that the human body is indivisible from nature and so the internal environment is an extension of the external one. Hence, the climatic conditions that characterize all ecosystems migrate freely into the internal environment and, when not effectively regulated by certain defense mechanisms, may disrupt the harmony of the internal milieu.
In Chinese medicine, invasive climatic factors are referred to as Pernicious Influences, and include: Cold, Dampness, Dryness, Heat and Wind. Of course, the Pernicious Influences are not inherently pernicious, but become so when they invade the body.
So long as immunological resisting power is robust, such an invasion is unlikely. However, when resisting power is weakened, there is a breakdown in the protective mechanisms that normally prevent climatic invasion. Accordingly, excesses of cold, wind, dryness, etc., can invade the body’s nooks and crannies in the same way that they permeate a forest.
One cannot alter Nature nor be completely isolated from it. Good health depends upon the body’s ability to successfully mediate the impact of climatic factors upon the internal environment.
When the weather is very hot, use cool water therapies and emphasize fruits and raw vegetables in one’s diet. On the other hand, during cold weather, use hydrotherapies that encourage robust blood circulation and emphasize warming foods in one’s diet. During dry weather be sure that the diet is dominated by high water-content foods. When the weather is humid and rainy, eat a drier diet.
To a certain extent, the organism’s climatic adaptability, and thus immunity to Pernicious Influences is a measure of the resisting power of the skin. Thus the importance of Vital Chi Skin-Brushing, cool bath and shower therapies (cool water, if properly employed can serve as an immunological tonic), healthful sunbathing and air baths.
Unnatural Environmental Challenges
Autotoxemia can be defined as a level of internal toxicity in quantity sufficient to impair the life processes and propel the organism toward death. The related concept of the total load or total toxic burden is crucial to understanding both environmental challenge and the deterioration of resisting power.
Once the total load supersedes the body’s capacity limits for efficient detoxification, a back-up of toxins occurs that can damage body tissues and vital enzyme systems, initiating a cascade of progressively destructive reactions.
Xenobiotics is a term used to describe the countless foreign (i.e., unnatural) chemicals from sources such as air and water pollution, fabric finishes, carpet glue, insulation, particle board, plastics, radiation, cigarette smoke, etc. which permeate both the indoor and outdoor environment. Modern humans are constantly barraged by the environmental challenge of a vast panorama of these toxic agents.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, great emphasis has been placed upon reducing environmental challenge via social distancing, masks, gloves, hand-washing, etc.
While these measures are essential, one should not narrow one’s environmental challenge focus solely to this virulent virus. Instead one, should take measures to reduce exposure to the complete spectrum of environmental challenges including the avoidance of common household and garden chemicals, tobacco smoke, radiation, synthetic fragrances (clothes laundered with synthetically scented detergents and fabric softeners out-gas chemicals that the wearer continuously breathes in), etc.
An immune system burdened by these non-viral environmental challenges will be have less reserve capacity to mount a vigorous response to the corona virus.
While there has been a great deal of focus on reducing one’s exposure to the environmental challenge posed by the coronavirus, virtually nothing has been proposed by either the authorities or medical experts about the importance of building immunological resisting power.
To the extent that resisting power is even considered, the dominating focus has been upon the risky use of toxic, unproven drugs and the development of a vaccine.
A vaccine is being touted as the road to salvation. The truth of the matter is that a large percentage of those who die from the flu each year in this country have been vaccinated for it. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 out of every 640 children vaccinated with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine subsequently experienced a seizure. Annually, 300 of those children become permanently epileptic.
A 2002 study in Denmark involving over 500,000 children that compared the risk of death from measles to the risk of permanent injury from the MMR vaccine found the potential for a 77% greater risk from the vaccine than from measles.
Instead of becoming fixated upon the allure of a miracle cure vaccine while, due to a desperation for a return to normalcy, ignoring the potential risks, one should focus upon the restitution in his or her life pattern of the fundamental elements of life and health to reconstitute immunological resisting power in a safe and systemically beneficial way.
Human life is dependent upon the presence of certain fundamental conditions, including: proper diet; pure water; fresh air; sunlight; exercise; accommodating climatic conditions; good posture; rest and sleep; emotional poise. Health exists in direct proportion to the extent that these conditions are supplied or denied.
The human being has an intrinsic, organic relationship with said fundamental elements, and disease is an outgrowth of a deficiency of one or more of them. Thus, the restoration of health in the ill individual is effected via the identical means of sustaining life and preserving health in the well: meaning reestablishment in the ill person’s life of said fundamental factors in accordance with individualized biochemical and constitutional requirements.
Deficiency or imbalance of Nature’s elements gives rise to the two primary roots of disease: autotoxemia—a level of bodily toxicity sufficient to impair vital functions and propel the body toward disease; enervation—when vital energy is expended in excess of the body’s normal production and falls below requirements for efficient operation.
Autotoxemia stems from poor diet, impure air and water, synthetic cosmetics, prescription drugs, cigarettes and other sources which can result in symptoms such as constipation, weak kidneys, unhealthy skin and shallow breathing. Enervation is primarily due to lack of rest and sleep, continual emotional stress and the habitual use of stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol.
These two root factors work in conjunction, creating a vicious cycle. Autotoxemia causes congestion and overload, making the body work harder, and so, increases enervation by using up the powers of life to excess. Enervation, on the other hand, increases autotoxemia by slowing down all vital functions, thus leading to a back-up in normal fluid circulation, and, in turn, waste-removal.
Clearly, powerful immunological resisting power depends upon the avoidance of autotoxemia and enervation as well as the maintenance of optimal levels of vital reserves, which invariably requires a complete relationship with the fundamental elements of life.
One should be aware that psychogenic factors such as anxiety, anger, depression and other forms of emotional and nervous stress also engender the production of toxic metabolic end-products (hence the expression: “the smell of fear” so often referred to by soldiers recounting combat experiences) and deplete nutrient reserves that would otherwise be consigned for use by the body’s detoxification and defensive systems.
Each year of life brings new emotional stresses, many of which are never fully resolved, and their residues settle like geological sediments onto a base of previously deposited layers of unresolved emotional stress challenges. When an individual ultimately develops significant physical symptoms of disease, they are exacerbated by a rich emotionally based compost.
Our habitual emotional and thought patterns forge nerve pathways in the brain which, like a living computer, becomes programmed for either strength and health or weakness and disease. All physiological activity is dependent upon nerve energy generated by the brain and spinal cord, then transmitted via nerve pathways to every cell. Emotional stress and wrong thinking interfere with both generation and conductivity of this nerve force.
In the absence of mental poise (a state of balance, objectivity, positive thinking and compassion), the bodily functions proceed in an atmosphere of internal anarchy that sets the stage for autotoxemia/enervation and resultant immunological weakness. Thus, not only on an emotional level, but on a physical/immunological level as well, “as a man thinketh, so he is.”
For this reason, I consider Spiritual PhytoEssencing essential oil blends and gemstone essences, which act on a deep, psychospiritual level, to be an important component of a comprehensive strategy to build resisting power.
Clearly, the truest and safest to reduce one’s proneness to disease is to simultaneously reduce exposure to environmental challenges and build immunological resisting power.
In my next article, I will begin a focus on various foods, herbs, therapeutic techniques, etc. that create health and resisting power.
Disclaimer: This article is intended as an educational tool, and not as a prescription. Seek the advice of your health-care provider before discontinuing any medication and/or trying any new remedy or technique.