3 body systems for physiological health

Today I’ll talk about something I should talk more about: health. Our world of movement/fitness (or whatever name you want to call it) is usually very concerned with performance, often loosing sight of what’s important.

Physiological health is important. Whereas training is usually concerned with the outer, physiology is usually concerned with the inner: the workings of your hormones, organs and gut. The delusion is to think that the inner and the outer are separated, when it fact they depend on each other.

So, when approaching physiological health, what should be your main concern? Eric Hulse (Elliott’s Hulse brother, student of Paul Chek) talks about three key body systems for your physiological health, being:

  1. Hormonal system
  2. Gastrointestinal (G.I.) system
  3. Detoxification system

#1. Hormonal system

Your hormones are produced by different glands (and some tissues) in your body and go into the bloodstream to communicate organs between themselves and with other body systems. Some hormones are made of lipids, and other of amino acids (proteins), but none are made of carbs. Some hormones have local impacts, while other have global effects, but in the end they all determine important functions like metabolism, stress reaction and body temperature.

hormone-table-1.png
Some important hormones classified in Anabolic/Catabolic.

The nice things about hormones is that they can be classified in two groups according to their function: anabolic and catabolic. Anabolism means processes that build up and restore your body, so they promote things like stress reduction, muscle repair and rest & digest. Catabolism means processes that break up your body, so they activate systems of emergence, inflammation and fight or flight. In this system, it is of utmost importance to balance these two functions.

#2. Gastrointestinal system

You gut is your second brain. Having a mess up digestion can really screw up your life. Things like leaky gut syndrome and malabsorption at some degree are sadly the norm and not the exception in the majority of the population. Eating foods that are appropriate for you, managing your stress and re-populating your gut with healthy bacteria are all wise steps to recover your G.I. health.

Digestive_system_diagram_edit.svg.png
The components of the G.I. system

#3. Detoxification system

The body detoxifies through many places: the skin, liver and urethra. If the other system are working correctly, this one should work fine, but the problem is that the great amount of toxic sources that we are exposed to, either through food, pollution or body-care products tend to overwhelm this system. This again shows the point about the inner and the outer: without a healthy planet, how do its inhabitants expect to be healthy? The sickness of our environment is the sickness of ourselves.

yoga-detox-001.jpg
Pathways for detoxification.

This was a brief introduction to physiological health, but let this be the main take away: if you want healthy muscles and performance, look to the inside. There, work on your 3 body systems. How? By thriving for balance between seeming opposites: anabolic/catabolic, eustress/distress, rest & digest and fight or flight.

If you’d like to know more about these topics, I recommend the work of Eric Hulse and Sean Croxton


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