The Cellular Side of the Story on Health

By Darrel Crain, D.C.

There are so many diseases to choose from these days, no one seems to know exactly how many there are. I have heard estimates from medical experts of least 10,000 different ways to be sick. By remarkable coincidence, many of these diseases were discovered and described just as a new prescription medicine came along to treat the new disorder.

But just like everything else in life, the answer you get depends on whom you ask. For example, ask the cells in your body how many diseases there are. Without any hesitation they will answer, “There are two.” Believe it or not, your cells operate under the assumption there are only two diseases, one called Too Much and the other Too Little.

autonomic nervous system spinal nerve chartsI know this sounds rather simple-minded, foolish and hopelessly naive, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, including the trifling 70 trillion life units that make up the human body. Kind of ridiculous that human cells could go around claiming to know more about health than actual medical professionals, isn’t it? Such arrogance. Those little pipsqueak cells would have us believe that the body’s innate ability to organize health far surpasses that of doctors and drug companies.

One thing that the medical world and our cells can agree on is that all processes in the body depend on chemistry. Cells are chemical factories called upon by the central nervous system nanosecond by nanosecond to help balance body chemistry from the inside. Medical doctors, meanwhile, believe in experimenting with different chemicals (drugs) from the outside, placed into the body in the hopes of changing things for the better.

Every single thing we do changes the body’s chemistry. Our rate of breathing, exercise and rest, the food we eat and beverages we drink, even our thoughts affect body chemistry. When the body chemistry is balanced, all things improve including healing, coordination, endurance, success in relationships and the ability to be creative.

At any given moment each cell inside the human body is either a) growing and repairing itself, or b) defending and guarding itself. No cell is able to accomplish growth and defense at the same time, but within a single body some cells may be in health building mode while other cells are guarding and protecting themselves.

Which brings us to Too Much of anything: food, carbon dioxide, oxygen, toxins, even excess nerve signaling from irritated nerves. Any of these may create interference with normal, healthy cell function. Consider someone who drinks “too much” alcohol. Coordination, thinking and speaking (not to mention driving) all become impaired when the body’s cells have to cope with too much alcohol.

Alcohol and other chemical toxins are often described as “harmless” in small amounts, even though the same substance may be deadly in a slightly greater quantity. The cells’ side of the story tells us that this thinking may be dead wrong. Even the smallest exposure to anything toxic will cause some cells to switch to their defensive mode and cease growth and repair. Depending on the toxin and the dose, a certain number of cells will even die.

A toxin or chemical may be called “harmless” when the rate of cell disruption and cell death it causes is at or below an “acceptable” level of damage. This is not to be confused with “harm free,” which means no harm occurs at all.

Too Little is the flip side of the health and disease coin, according to our cells. This means a lack of vital nutrients necessary for healthy cellular activities such as respiration, ingestion, excretion and chemical manufacture. If there is lack, there will be disorder and disease first in the cells, next in the tissue made up of cells, then the organ made from the tissue, then the whole body. By the same token, when the proper nutrients are available to cells in the proper quantities at the proper time, the miracle of good health can happen in the body.

Biologists estimate that within one square inch of skin there are 1,300 nerve cells, four yards of nerve fibers, 100 sweat glands and three yards of blood vessels. During the time it takes you to read this paragraph, about 50 million cells in your body will have died and been replaced. For most people, the entire body is renewed on the cellular level every couple of years. If the replacement cells are healthy, that bodes well for overall health.

The body possesses an amazing intelligence that automatically controls temperature, blood pressure, breathing, heart rate and blood chemistry at every moment?even when we are asleep. A balance of body chemistry, regulated by the body’s innate wisdom and controlled by the central nervous system, delivers just the right quantity and quality of the body’s own chemicals to exactly the right place at precisely the right time. Think of the body as nature’s perfect pharmacy.

The two-disease theory is alive and well among cells, it always has been and always will. It is also popular among a growing number of health professionals who find that focusing on health at the cellular level allows people to regain their health naturally without risk of adverse reactions.

As long as we hold onto our health freedom, we are each free to decide whether the cellular side of the story is just simple-minded, or just another magnificent example of nature’s elegant simplicity. Simplicity is defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as, “The degree to which a system or component has a design and implementation that is straightforward and easy to understand.”

When it comes to health and healing, the simplest explanation may possess the greatest wisdom of all.


Dr. Darrel Crain is a Family Chiropractor and Natural Health Writer practicing in San Diego, California. He is the President of the CCA San Diego County District and can be reached at 619-445-0100

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