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The Human Body is a Very Complex System

Your Partner in Good Health - Chiropractic Care

Good health rarely happens by accident.  That is especially true these days, because the typical American diet and lifestyle stacks the odds against us. 

A very small number of fortunate people will enjoy good health no matter what they do. Perhaps you know one of these rare birds who do all the "wrong" things and in their advanced years, will tell anyone who will listen how they've never been sick a day even though they smoke, drank, ate fried foods etc.

But for the rest of us, we need to make healthy lifestyle choices in order to enjoy long-term health and wellness.

Perhaps our goal is simply to be consistently well enough that we can live an active life without chronic aches and pains interfering with it, or constantly worrying about our state of health and what might be going wrong.

Chiropractic care is an important component of healthy lifestyle. Regular chiropractic care can help ensure that we get the most value out of the other healthy lifestyle choices we make. Regular chiropractic care can help us achieve the long-lasting good health and wellness that allows us to get the most out of life.

The concept of complexity is a useful way of helping us better understand the world around us.  Complexity theory is a scientific concept that has spread rapidly throughout the collective consciousness during the last several decades. Anyone who watches the television show "The Big Bang Theory" has heard various references to complex systems, chaos theory, and emergent phenomena. Perhaps surprisingly, these fascinating topics from the fields of mathematics, physics, biology, and chemistry also have special importance for human health and wellness.

Examples of chaos and complexity are prevalent in the natural world. Weather systems are a good example of complex systems, which is why the weather is so difficult to predict, even in the short-term. This is primarily because the basic structure of a weather pattern can change in an instant.  The scientific understanding of chaos theory has been advanced by studying another natural phenomena - avalanches.  Another example in the natural world is the flocking behavior of birds, which demonstrates the ever-variable outcomes of a great number of factors.

An emergent phenomenon is one that cannot be predicted from studying the various parts that make up the whole. Emergent phenomena include the flocking behavior of birds in flight, in which large flocks create beautiful, shifting, dynamic patterns as they fly; the structure of beehives; and the World Wide Web. Even human consciousness may, from a certain perspective, be considered an emergent phenomenon.

From an individual health perspective, the relative health and wellness of any particular person is also an emergent phenomenon.1,2, For example, fighting off the flu or a common cold is a dynamic process with many complex and chaotic interactions taking place in order to determine the outcome. The individual fighting off the flu or cold may be aware of how things are going in general, based upon how well or sick they are feeling, but they are not aware of each of the specific cellular and subcellular activities that are happening in their body.

Are our white blood cells working together effectively to keep us healthy?  Is their behavior organized? Do they know where they need to be in order to battle the invading forces? Or is their behavior uncoordinated and random causing us to end up sick as a result?

Consistent, long-term health and wellness emerge from a variety of prerequisites, including proper nutrition, sufficient rest and regular exercise. These activities are considered healthy lifestyle choices because they promote good health. Because the body's functions and the interactions with its environment are very complex, it is impossible to guarantee a specific outcome. But we can make an educated prediction based on historical data and analyzing the facts. It is clear that the outcomes we want - long-term health and wellness - are most likely to result from a set of healthy lifestyle choices that are made consistently over the long-term. 

1Koonin EV: Are there laws of genome evolution? PLoS Comput Biol Epub August 25, 2011
2Jayasinghe S: Conceptualising population health: from mechanistic thinking to complexity science. Emerg Themes Epidemiol 8(1):2, 2011