How Does Your Body Balance Itself?

How Does Your Body Balance Itself? - Featured Image

How your body balance heart rate, body weight, sugar, hormones, and everything else.
Your body is designed for efficiency through reciprocal trade-offs.  To use the metaphor of a balanced weight scale, if you add 5 lbs to one side, you have to add 5 lbs to the other or there is an imbalance.  In your body, if you take a steroid, the body has to also stop making steroids.  If the temperature increases to 102 degrees, your body has to adapt to maintain it’s temperature at 98 degrees or you could die. There are always trade-offs.


Another way your body maintains balance is by predicting the future. Did you know that the sensation of hunger pangs in your stomach isn’t from your stomach? How do we know? People who have had their stomach removed still get stomach pangs when they are hungry. That pain is actually your body predicting that it is time to eat and making preparations for breaking down carbs, proteins, and fats. 


Utilizing feedback and predicting the future are all part of a system called “allostasis.”  This is the term for how your body adapts and responds to stressors.  The final, and most influential part of allostasis is that all balance is controlled by a centralized mechanism.  This central control is needed to:


  • continuously monitor all of the organs
  • make the predictions
  • compute and update the list of priorities
  • enforce these priorities. 


This mechanism is called the spine and nervous system.  Balancing everything so that you can both survive and thrive is another tremendous reason to correct any issues in your spine and nervous system and maintain them for life.  No body part, part of life, or lifestyle is more important.

Schulkin, J. “Allostasis, Homeostasis, and the Costs of Adaptation.”  Cambridge University Press, 2004 (Zimmet et al., 2001).