Before addressing the systems of the body we want to provide a snippet of insightful knowledge in relation to the natural world of plants, that matches with our understanding of "like is cured by like."
The ancient herbalists understood that plants had virtues, or "vertues." Their power and reliability were the virtue of the plant, and perhaps the correct synonym is completeness.
They have envisioned the natural world as an allied dimension. They sought collaboration and support from the mere properties of plants found in nature.
The alliance realm has many dimensions, and the pharmacological aspect is just one of many.
The old doctors had helpers like animals: jaguars, serpents, mountain lion, owl, etc. But also mountains and trees can be allies, rain is an ally, fire is an ally, earth, water, and wind are allies and minerals too.
They have found that these assistants are dynamic or static in complementary with the dual nature. Some of them are more active and some more passive. Some you can trust, some you need to negotiate with; others are so effective it does not matter whether you believe them or not.
The plant may have represented a medium, or a messenger, a kind of gateway. It was like the plant was giving signals to the old doctors to perceive the inherent curative properties, and employing suggestive thinking; they used it to treat various conditions. The plant itself didn't need to be an ally; it was an emissary of conveying in a subtle dimension, a connection with the spiritual realm.
We have grown up with toxins from plants. It is not a coincidence that plant toxins are like the chemicals in our nervous system.
And we can see how it is used for plants. If the patient has heat in the spine, the herbalist will find a poisoned herb that will influence the same symptoms and give a small amount of herb to the patient.
This is called homeopathy.
Or a curandero treats a skin rash with a particular plant, not because the plant induces a similar rash but because the plant's juice soothes the infection. Perhaps the rash is caused by a fungus, and the plant contains an herbicide. This is allopathy.
And there's another sort of medicine, different from any of the above. It is the type of medication the practitioner takes, not the patient. Here we are in the alliance domain, and a proper name for it would be Iatropathy.
Following, we present the eleven systems of the body including also the etheric/spiritual system and the subtle physiology
The lymphatic system's well-being is vital to detoxification, immunity, and, in general, wellness. Because many factors contribute to a healthy lymphatic system, as it is diet, sports, and adequate rest, the stimulation of lymphatic drainage is necessary to preserve the health of the lymph.
The Skeletal System represents the body's framework, made up of bones and other connective tissues
(associated cartilages, joints) that protect and sustain the tissues of the body and the internal organs, produces blood cells, and stores minerals. The human skeleton comprises 206 bones, six of which are the tiny middle ear bones (three in each ear) that serve in hearing.
The muscular system represents a tissue structure consisting of skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscles. This constitutes body balance, regulates posture, and circulates oxygen all over the body. The vertebrate muscle system is regulated by the nervous system, while certain muscles (such as the cardiac muscle) can be completely autonomous.
The digestive system is essentially a long tube, which starts from the mouth and ends at the anus.
The system's goal is to break down food for absorption into the body.
Related digestive organs, such as the liver, turn nutrients into substances that can be used for energy production and for the creation and repair of body tissues, cells, and blood constituents — metabolic processes that lead the digestive process a step further.
The reproductive system is closely related to other organs, especially the endocrine and urinary system.
The reproductive system is needed for the formation and development of new living organisms.
The essential characteristic of man is the ability to replicate life / to engender and sustain it.
Anatomy = study of the structure of body parts and relationship to each other
Physiology = study of the function of the body’s machinery; how body parts work to carry out life
• relationship between anatomy and physiology = function reflects the structure
Levels of structural organization:
a. chemical level = substances essential for life; atoms combined to form molecules;
molecules combined to form organelles; organelles combine to form cells
b. cellular level = basic structural and functional units of life; vary widely in size, shape,
complexity; combine to form tissues
c. tissue level = groups of similar cells; perform a similar function; combine to form organs
d. organ level = discrete structures composed of at least 2 tissue types; perform specific
function; specialized functional center
e. system-level = organs that work together to accomplish a common purpose; 11 systems in
body (integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic,
respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive)
f. organism level = total of all structural levels working together; the highest level
Characteristics of living things:
• metabolism = all chemical reactions in the body
• catabolism = complex molecules are broken down; the energy released
• anabolism = small molecules are assembled into more complex forms; energy is
• excitability = ability to receive and respond to stimuli
• conductivity = ability to communicate the effects of stimuli from one cell to another
• contractility = ability to shorten for movement
• growth = ability to grow in size as materials are added faster than they are lost
• differentiation = cells specialize for particular structure, function
• reproduction = formation of new cells (mitosis) or replacement of an individual (meiosis
followed by mitosis)
Functions of organ systems:
a. integumentary = forms external body covering to protect deeper tissues/organs from
mechanical, chemical, & bacterial injury and from desiccation; includes epidermal and
dermal regions plus cutaneous sense organs and glands
b. skeletal = protects and supports body organs; provides frame used by muscles for
movement; allows manipulation of the environment; stores minerals; forms RBCs; includes
bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage
c. muscular = contracts (shortens) to allow for locomotion, manipulation of the environment,
expressions; maintains posture; generates heat; includes muscles attached to skeleton and
d. nervous = responds to internal and external stimuli/changes by activating other organs
systems; helps maintain homeostasis; includes the brain, spinal cord, nerves, receptors
e. endocrine = produces chemical messengers that travel via the blood to target organs;
regulates growth, reproduction, nutrient use, homeostasis; includes the pituitary, thymus,
thyroid, adrenal, parathyroid, pineal glands and ovaries, testes, pancreas
f. circulatory = transport system; includes heart, blood, blood vessels
g. respiratory = keeps blood supplied with oxygen and removes carbon dioxide; includes
nasal passages, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs
h. digestive = breaks down ingested food and absorbs nutrients/water; removes undigested
material from the body; includes the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, small & large intestine,
rectum, anus, salivary glands, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, teeth
i. urinary = eliminates nitrogenous wastes; maintains water, electrolyte, and acid-base
balance of blood; includes kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra
j. reproductive = provides for the production of offspring via gametes; provides for
development of embryo and nourishment of embryo and newborn; includes testes,
prostate glands, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, scrotum, bulbourethral testicles, penis,
ovaries, uterine tubes, uterus, mammary glands (part of the integumentary system), vagina
What is homeostasis?
It is the body’s ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions despite external
• what things have to be kept in balance?
• fluids surrounding cells of tissues in the body (extracellular fluids, intracellular fluids,
• these contain dissolved substances from blood plasma, tissue cells
• eventually, form lymphatic fluid which is monitored and regulated by the nervous
system and endocrine system
• How does the body maintain homeostasis?
has 3 interdependent components
• receptor, control center, effector organ
• harmful feedback mechanisms = output of system shuts off the original stimulus or reduces
its intensity; prevents sudden severe changes within the body
• example: blood sugar levels; typically have 95 mg sugar/100 ml of blood
• when drops below 95 mg, glucagon increases blood sugar by stimulating the liver to
breakdown glycogen into free glucose units which are then released into the blood
• when above 95 mg, insulin is released and stimulates the liver to remove glucose
from blood, convert it into glycogen, and store it
• positive feedback mechanisms = response enhances or exaggerates original stimulus;
activity is accelerated, resulting in cascades
• examples: uterine contractions – labor contractions release oxytocin which causes
increase in frequency and intensity of contractions until birth; blood clotting –
platelets release chemicals that attract more platelets
• what happens when homeostasis is not maintained? – disease, illness
a. anatomical position – body erect, facing forward, feet together, arms at sides, palms forward
b. anatomical directions:
• superior/cranial/cephalad – toward the head or upper part of the structure
• inferior/caudal – away from the head or toward lower part/tail end of the structure
• anterior – toward the front of the body; in front of
• ventral – toward belly or inferior surface
• posterior – toward or at the back of the body; behind
• dorsal – back, superior surface
• medial – towards the midline
• lateral – out towards sides
• intermediate – between medial/lateral
• proximal – the base of the structure
• distal – tip of the structure
• superficial – on or near the surface
• deep – under the surface
c. anatomical planes and sections:
• sagittal (or parasagittal) – divides the body into left and right sections unequally
• median (or midsagittal) – divides the body into left and right sections equally
• frontal or coronal – vertical planes that divide the body into anterior and posterior parts
• transverse – horizontal planes that divide the body into superior and inferior parts (cross-section)
a. dorsal cavity – protects fragile nervous system organs
1) cranial cavity – within the skull; encases the brain
2) spinal cavity – (aka vertebral cavity) – encloses the spinal cord
b. ventral cavity – houses internal organs/viscera; is separated by the diaphragm into 2 cavities
3) thoracic cavity – is surrounded by ribs and muscles of the chest; divided into lateral
pleural cavities (housing a lung) and mediastinum (containing pericardial cavity that houses the heart and surrounds remaining thoracic organs)
4) abdominopelvic cavity (also known as abdominal cavity and pelvic cavity) – incorporates the stomach, intestines, spleen, liver, gallbladder, pancreas in the abdomen, and the bladder, sigmoid colon, rectum, and reproductive organs; divided into nine regions
• superior – left, right, hypochondriac regions; separated by epigastric
• middle – left, right lumbar regions; separated by umbilical
• inferior – left, right iliac (inguinal) regions; separated by hypogastric (pubic)
• serous – enclose all portions of the ventral cavity; produce serous fluids that lubricate
• parietal serosa – lines inner body wall of the cavity
• parietal pleura – lines pleural cavity wall
• parietal pericardium – lines pericardial cavity wall
• parietal peritoneum – lines abdominal (peritoneal) cavity wall
• visceral serosa – covers organ surface
• visceral pleura – covers lung surface
• visceral pericardium – covers heart surface (aka epicardium)
• visceral peritoneum – covers the surface of organs in the abdomen
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