Introduction to Natural Health Philosophy
Lesson 4, Page 3 of 4

According to holistic health philosophy the physician does not heal the patient.

The Physician Within

We have seen that one of the basic tenets of Natural Health Philosophy is that the body has the capability of healing itself. I refer to this as "the physician within." We are all familiar with the body's immune system and how it produces white blood cells that kill and engulf foreign invaders or "germs" that can make us sick. The "physician within," however, encompasses much more than just the immune system.

Every system in the body has a role to play in maintaining the body's internal equilibrium or homeostasis. In fact, every cell has a part to play in maintaining our health. In order to perform its job properly each cell requires certain materials that it gets from the surrounding body fluids—fluids which come from the general circulation of blood. The cells also require a healthy internal environment, including proper pH; and their waste products must be carried away and eliminated, again by the fluids surrounding the cells.

To a large extent, it is the quality of this extracellular fluid that determines how well our cells will perform their work, which in turn determines our health potential. The extracellular fluid is the environment in which our cells live. And just as we multicellular organisms require a healthy environment to thrive, so too do our cells.

The state of the body's extracellular fluid is not left to chance. The fluid is derived from materials that we take into the body, so its quality is determined by our lifestyle choices. It is also influenced by the kind of exercise we get, or don't get, since exercise is necessary for proper circulation which in turn helps eliminate toxins. Our thoughts are equally important, since they influence the secretion of chemicals into the circulation that can work for us, or against us, depending on their appropriateness to the situation. When we perceive a threat, for example, our adrenal glands secrete adrenaline into the bloodstream. This can help us run faster to escape from danger, but it can also increase our blood pressure, and if it becomes chronic, can adversely affect our health.

Which of the following is the most important determinant of our health?

Our lifestyle
Our doctors
Our heredity
Our health insurance plan