If I was to ask you how old your body is, how would you respond? Whenever I’ve asked this question people usually think about it a bit because of how the question is phrased. It’s not necessarily a trick question – but to help make it easier to answer – asking how old your body is, is a much different question than asking how old you are.
Unlike how long you’ve been around, your body is constantly changing. That’s because the most basic unit of our body, the cell, is constantly going through a regenerative process. All cells however, are not alike. In fact, there are 200 hundred different types of cells. Very specific cells make up your eyes while a very different set of cells make up your heart. Part of their differences includes how long of a lifespan they have. The cells that make up your bones for example live for 2 -3 months, depending on age and how healthy you are. Meanwhile, your liver cells live for 6 months, while some of the cells that make up the tissue in your digestive system live for about 24 minutes. All in all however, not a single cell lives for longer than 6 months. That means your body is never older than 6 months. Obviously as we age, our body’s ability to regenerate and create healthy cells can weaken – which is what accounts for us eventually dying.
That said, too often our body becomes weak and sick at a rate that is over accelerated. This is due to a few different factors, but at the root of it is how well the cell is able to perform a process known as mitosis. Mitosis is the cell’s ability to replace itself as it ages and is ready to die. There are genes within the cell’s nucleus that activate this mechanism once it senses it’s time for a replacement to take its place. When done correctly, the cell divides itself, creating a healthy new cell; the old cell dies and the immune system disposes of the dead cell.
The ability to create a new cell however, is only as good as the tools the cell has available. The primary tools that cells use are the nutrients available in the body. Cells use proteins, sugars and fats to replicate and build new cells. They need the right amount of each tool to build and create a healthy, new cell. This of course, all depends on our nutrition. The affects of our diet go way beyond affecting the size of our waistlines; it determines the health of new cells. If we provide our bodies with insufficient nutrients, it’s like asking a contractor to build a house made of cardboard, paper and duct tape. They may be able to do it, but it definitely won’t be a good home.
The same also happens with our cells. If we provide it a daily dose of unhealthy foods we’re setting up our bodies for failure. As a new cell is created, it will be weak and unhealthy. Luckily the body has a number of mechanisms in place to take care of unhealthy cells. All cells, whether healthy or unhealthy, contain a gene that allows it to kill itself off if it’s unhealthy. It’s incredible to think that an unhealthy cell cares more about the well being of the entire body, than its own ability to live. This cellular suicide mechanism is known as apoptosis. As the unhealthy/weak cell dies, the surrounding healthy cells then choose a cell among them to go through mitosis and create a new healthy cell to occupy the new vacancy.
In order for this gene to be activated however, nutrients are needed. If nutrients are lacking apoptosis can’t occur. In this situation the unhealthy cell continues to live. This is problematic because unhealthy cells produce toxins which sicken the cells surrounding it. We all know the saying about a few rotten apples spoiling the barrel. The same is true for sick cells. Over time the toxins they produce will cause the cells around them to become unhealthy. The body however, is intelligent enough to have a defense mechanism in these situations. The healthy cells know this unhealthy cell has to go. Using specific genes, another mechanism is activated which sends signals to the immune system to let it know there is an unhealthy cell that needs to be eliminated. These signals are so precise that not only do they let the immune system know something is wrong; they also act like a GPS – letting immune cells know exactly where the unhealthy cell is. The immune cells quickly respond and arrive to the location of the problem. Each immune cell is encoded with information on each of the 200 hundred different types of cells. This allows them to scan an individual cell and see whether it is functioning healthily or not. Once it scans the unhealthy cell, and recognizes it as a threat to the surrounding cells, the immune cell will dismantle and eliminate it. In addition to eliminating unhealthy cells, this is the body’s natural process for eradicating cancerous cells as well. Once again, the remaining cells choose a cell among them to go through mitosis and fill the empty spot.
What happens though, if the immune cells are compromised? We’ve mentioned how cells can grow unhealthy and function incorrectly – can the same happen to the immune system? It can and it does. One of the primary reasons immune cells don’t work as they should is due to stress. Stress creates certain physiological changes that make our body feel that it’s in eminent danger. When this happens energy is redistributed to the brain and muscles. This compromises certain parts of the body.One of the areas affected is the thymus. The thymus is located in your chest, between your lungs. It is a very important part of the body because it creates immune cells. When we are stressed however, a hormone known as cortisol is released. Cortisol inhibits the thymus’s ability to create healthy immune cells. If we are constantly experiencing episodes of stress or prolonged levels of stress we suffer from what is known as chronic stress. This means that the thymus’s immune cell production is heavily impaired. As a result, the immune cell that goes to scan an unhealthy cell is unable to detect it. The unhealthy cell stays, continuing to produce toxins and weaken the cells around it.
As you can see, the affects of nutrition and stress play a huge role in determining cellular health. At this point however, we likely don’t even have any symptoms. In fact, if you were to take a blood test, everything would show that you’re in perfectly great health. How is that if there is clearly something wrong happening within the body? The answer to that is because you your body and mind know that you still have to continue on with your day. You still have to go to work; you still have to take care of the kids; you still have to live your life. The body was made with so many different ways to protect itself from simply falling apart. In the case of the toxins an unhealthy cell creates, the surrounding cells will absorb all of the toxicity so that it doesn’t enter the blood stream. The cells understand that the blood needs to stay pure. After all, the blood transports oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body. If the blood is polluted all other parts of the body are at risk. And so the cells suffer themselves to take on the impurities and toxicities of the unhealthy cell – for the sake of the rest of the body. This is why you won’t find any issues in blood work or lab tests.
This is however, meant to be a temporary fix. The body allows us time and chances to change the habits and lifestyles that cause so much damage. If nothing changes, eventually the surrounding cells will become unhealthy and sick as well. As unhealthy cells go through mitosis, they create more unhealthy and sick cells. Over time, the ratio of unhealthy to healthy cells becomes too great. At that point the toxins can no longer be hidden from the blood stream. That’s when we find out that we have a chronic illness. That’s when we find out that we have diabetes or immune disorders. That’s when we find out if we have kidney or liver issues. That’s when we find out if we have cancer. By the time we know through any kind of blood test or lab results that we have a chronic disease, a lot of abuse has already taken place in the body.
Healing however, is possible. As long as there are healthy cells still available, the body can recover from illness through eliminating unhealthy cells. The right environment and tools must also be provided so that healthy cells can effectively go through mitosis and create new cells to replace the unhealthy ones. Below are some tips to help provide your body the ability to reverse damage and illness that has taken place.
- Nutrition – You can’t expect your body to repair and heal itself unless it has the nutrients needed to take care of the job. This doesn’t mean starving yourself or eating less. It does mean eating 5 times a day; a meal every 3 hours (3 main meals and 2 snacks). It isn’t enough to simply eat lettuce and tomatoes and assume you’ve gotten your vegetable intake. Each kind of food has different kind of nutrition elements which the body needs. Eating from a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, lean meats and other wholesome foods will allow you to provide your cells with the diverse tool set it needs to properly address damage. Water intake is also important – make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.
- Sleep – Adults should sleep between 7-8 hours every night. Children should be sleeping between 9 – 10 hours. Apart from feeling energized and ready to start the day, your body detoxifies when you rest. It completes its detox cycles as you sleep the correct amount of hours. Detoxifying means that in addition to removing toxins that unhealthy cells have created, your body is also removing dead cells as well as the viruses, bacteria and other pathogens your immune system has eliminated.
- Stress – You must control your stress levels if you expect to recover from illness. With the exception of genetic disorders, stress accounts as the root cause for about 98% of all chronic illnesses. All of Phytotherapi’s solutions include an aspect of addressing stress to alleviate your mind and allow your body to focus on healing itself instead of feeling like it is in danger.
The body has the ability to heal. In order to assist the body in its efforts to do so it’s important to have an understanding of how it works. We have seen many people achieve success in improving their health in 6 months or less through properly following the guidelines required in order to promote the body’s self healing capability.