‘What 5000 Year Old Ancient Science of Ayurveda, Yogic Sciences & Traditional Chinese Medicine have had as a Central Focus on in their Healing Approach, Modern Science Finally Recognizes that Concept as Homeostasis – The Internal Physiological Balance…!’
Coined in 1929 by Walter Bradford Cannon, the term Homeostasis is a modern scientific validation of an age-old concept of ‘Internal Balance’ as described in years old literatures of Ayurveda, Yoga & Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is believed in these ancient sciences that by restoring body’s internal balance, the diseases can be largely be cured as a result of balance in complex physiological mechanisms that maintain functional equilibrium.
Did you ever wonder why your normal body temperature is exactly 98.4 degrees F throughout your lifetime, if you are a normal healthy person living anywhere in the world, be it the hottest or the coldest zone? This fluctuation even by 2-3 degrees means high fever & a state of sickness. A simple explanation to this body phenomenon is that our internal machinery is constantly working to keep us in balance or is maintaining homeostasis. Homeostasis within the body is maintained at the level of various internal parameters including body temperature, body pH level, balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide, required digestive secretions, electrolyte balance, blood pressure regulation etc.
Homeostasis – The Phenomenon of Balance in Ancient Traditions
Very interestingly the phenomenon of ‘Internal Balance’ exists in all ancient traditions of the world including Ayurveda, Yoga Science & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As per TCM, this state of constant balance is measured on a scale of Yin & Yang and is dynamically changing or readjusting itself to triggers such as weather change, stress levels, foods, lifestyle & environment. However despite of changing all the time, the beauty of idea of balance in TCM is that our body itself attains its balance by changing itself to the circumstances to help itself survive its circumstances. However, the more body struggles to maintain its balance, the more our internal resources have to compromise in functionality to support body in attaining its balance in adverse circumstances. The same idea of balance, Hippocrates described in his early teachings of medicine that the state of balance of two individuals with similar medical conditions may be different because the root of internal functionality flaws may be different in both people. This may be an outcome of two different imbalances in two different people suffering from same manifestation such as diabeties.
Similar to TCM, Ayurveda’s idea of optimal health talks of body-mind balance from aspect of ‘Dosha-The three physical universal energies namely vata, pitta & kapha’ & ‘Gunas-The three psychological energies namely rajas, tamas, sattva’. As per Ayurveda, way before the physical balance of the body gets disturbed, the disturbances in psychological states have already manifested much to bring about these physical manifestations of imbalance. This means balance is a state of body-mind harmony and imbalance in any one aspect is enough to bring about imbalance in the other, spoiling the equilibrium of the body, showing up someday in form oof diseases which are a manifestation of these energetic imbalances. Very similar to Ayurveda understanding to homeostasis, the Yoga Science considers ‘Internal Balance’ as a harmony between mental & physical states of the body. The path to this internal balance in Yoga begins with practice of asanas or physical postures, sattvic living principles, diet therapy, cleansing techniques etc. The mental balance is attained by the practice of meditation using breath as a tool to bring about internal balance to reach deeper states of consciousness & deep relaxation. This induces the parasympathetic response with the help of hypothalamus to help create positive healing environment within the body.
To summarize, this homeostasis science is so deep and so deeply understood by the ancients that the modern scientists have just been able to scratch its surface to create a link between this internal balance & our state of body-mind health.
Homeostasis – The Phenomenon of Balance in Modern Science
Till now we have understood how important the synergetic relationship of our internal organs is to keep us healthy. Let’s see how science defines this balance. Take an example of your body temperature yet again. If your body temperature rises high to 99 or 100 degrees, the state of high heat or fever goes up within the body. Immediately with this rise the sensors of the body, the nerve cells that have one endings rooted in skin brain send a signal to the regulatory center of the brain directing it for the immediate need to restore the state of balance. As a result, the sweat glands throughout the body become active to begin cooling you down to restore your balance. This happens as an automatic homeostatic response created with the help of hormones signaling the brain to restore our internal balance by doing whatever it takes, even if means compromising on other unimportant functionality of the body. It may also be called a state of deep internal intelligence that is always working within us at different parameter levels (physiologically, maintaining body temperature is just one of the examples of homeostasis) to keep us balanced.
Thus, a state of homeostasis is a universal truth that science has just started to dive deep into & considering it as the root cause of almost all mental-physical-emotional disorders.
About the author
Deepti is amongst selected few certified Macrobiotic Nutritionists in India. She is also a certified Alkaline Diet Coach & qualified Clinical Nutritionist. Deepti holds Master’s degree in Yoga & Science of Living & is a certified Yoga Teacher. She is an educated Ayurveda & Yoga Lifestyle Practitioner, ICF certified Holistic Wellness Coach, an Author & an Entrepreneur (Founder of www.svarasya.com). Deepti deals in holistic philosophy of mind-body diet & wellness and her areas of practice broadly include holistic diet, yoga, skincare & holistic lifestyle. Her dietary practice is a medley of ancient food principles adopted from Macrobiotics, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Yoga Science.