Anatomy: Bones & Muscles & Organs (oh my!)

From an anatomical perspective, twelve systems work together forming the magical beast that is your body. It’s a whirlwind of coordination, calculation and change for our conscious minds.

Become savvy, and live in harmony with the millions of functions occurring at any given moment of your life. The more you know, the less you leave to chance, the more you flow with chaos.

Integrated Human Anatomical Systems

Anatomy: Lymphatic System

Nutrition-filled lymph drains from blood into the body tissues, into lymphatic tissues, then into the lymphatic system where it is filtered and returned to the bloodstream. It also plays a major role in the immune system, filtering out disease-causing organisms, producing specialized white blood cells and antibodies. Although joined to the cardiovascular system by a capillary system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump like the heart; this system relies on movement of the body to circulate fully.

Parts Involved

  • Bone marrow – produces lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes mature here
  • Thymus – T-lymphocytes mature here
  • Lymph nodes – filtering, diagnosis and treatment glands (100+)
  • Lymph vessels – everywhere that blood vessels exist, but off the pump
  • Spleen – (accessory lymphatic organ)
  • Tonsils – (accessory lymphatic organ)
  • Appendix – (accessory lymphatic organ)

Functions

  • Carries nutrition, water and oxygen to individual tissue cells
  • Carries out tissue cell waste and enters it into the nodes and organs for filtering
  • Filters lymph for foreign and unusable particles
  • Houses various immune cells that clean, diagnose and attack
  • Absorbs fats from the intestines

Lymphatic Fun Facts

Lymph nodes are most plentiful in the neck, armpits and the groin.

Chemicals in the eyes, stomach and mouth fluids fight infections.

Physics: Spacetime & You

Quantum physics asserts there are at least 11 dimensions that define the universe and everything within it. Even if that seems far-fetched to you, time is for sure the 4th, after a point, a line and a plane. Because as a species we are fairly addicted to our physical senses, it is easy to forget this. Balance is probably the closest thing we have to a physical sense of time.

Aristotle, then Galileo and finally Einstein created clarity about how time is relative. What does that mean? Well, when we dream we often have different spacetime experiences – ever taken a nap and felt like you were out for hours when it was actually minutes? Also, people often report that during intense experiences (like a car accident for instance) time slowed down. Finally, when we are having super good times, often we say things like, “where did the time go?” or “time flies when we’re having fun.” Some people can wake up at an exact time without an alarm clock.

This is not an arbitrary thing. Like a woman’s menstruation cycle and the tides are in synch with the moon, like people’s personalities shift with seasons, we constantly experience gravity, electromagnetism, thermodynamics and other cosmic forces on a visceral level. Our bodies are wired to work with them. Our minds are wired to work with them.

Nothing we experience or do happens in a vacuum; every action affects the rest of what goes on whether subtly or obviously.

Music & Time

Most people enjoy music of some sort; our interests reflect our preferences for particular vibrations for whatever reasons, as well as our relationship to time. Music cannot exist without time. Music is vibrational energy. All energy has frequency.

What kinds of music do you like, and why?

Do you know your own natural rhythms? Remember your autonomic nervous system has two main states it tracks – rest and rejuvenation, and fight or flight.

Do you play and manage with the same drive with which you work?

Do all of your friends operate at a similar frequency as you?

How diverse are your experiences?

Use these questions as food for thought, and consider experimenting in the following ways:

  1. Listen to music sometime while realizing that it reflects your personality and your physiology.
  2. Listen to music that you generally do not enjoy, and set the intention to learn more about what specifically doesn’t appeal to you. Realize how there is something else in your life that you do like with those qualities. Perhaps those experiences do not come in through your ears.

The Law of Perpetual Transmutation

This SuperLaw tells us that energy is always moving, transmuting, and changing.  It takes one form, then another, but it never stands still. Everything we see, hear, taste, touch, or smell is in a constant state of change.  In fact, this SuperLaw tells us that change is all there is.

People sometimes say, ‘Let’s wait until the dust settles after all this change before we do anything’ or ‘I just want this change to hurry up and be over so I can get back to normal!’ They don’t understand that change itself is what’s normal!

Every cell in your body is replaced in less than a year.  You aren’t even the same physical person you were a year ago.  You can go back to your old house or your old town, but it won’t be the same, you won’t be the same, and your relationship with it won’t be the same as it was.  In fact, the whole world as we know it is gone the moment we know it!

Futurist Eric Hoffer says, “In times of change, the learners will inherit the earth, while the earned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

What must you do to learn to embrace and leverage change?

What are you hanging on to in your life and/or your business that no longer serves you?

From JamesRay International High Velocity e-zine, Week 35

ANS: The Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system is divided into two subsystems, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, which work in tandem, either in a synergistic or an antagonistic way.

Sympathetically Speaking (SNS): Fight or Flight

The sympathetic system [SNS] is responsible for providing responses and energy needed to cope with stressful situations such as fear or extremes of physical activity. In response to such stress, the sympathetic system: raises blood pressure, heart rate, and the blood supply to the skeletal muscles at the expense of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and skin; dilates both the pupils and the bronchioles, providing improved vision and oxygenation; and generates needed energy by stimulating glycogenolysis in the liver and lipolysis in adipose tissue. In general, it serves to stimulate organs and to mobilize energy.

Parasympathetic R&R (PNS): Everyday Living

Between stressful situations, the body needs to rest, recover, and gain new energy. These tasks are under the control of the parasympathetic system [PNS], which lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, diverts blood to the skin and the gastrointestinal tract, contracts the pupils and bronchioles to normal states, stimulates salivary gland secretion, and accelerates peristalsis. The parasympathetic system influences organs toward restoration and the saving of energy.

Enteric Mysteries: The Inner Brain (ENS)

Some anatomists refer to a third, or enteric, system primarily situated in the intestinal walls. It can be modulated by both sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve fibers which are connected to plexuses in several layers of the walls. However, the enteric nervous system is capable of operating on its own, even after having been severed from input from the SNS and PNS. This is why the enteric nervous system is sometimes referred to as a ‘second brain.’ (Hospital Practice, The Enteric Nervous System: A Second Brain, Michael D. Gershon, MD, Columbia University) ([1])

The enteric nervous system [ENS] regulates secretions of the intestinal glands, regeneration of the intestinal epithelium, and intestinal motility. The ENS is sometimes considered the third part of the autonomic nervous system. 1 In some modalities, this is known as the inner brain.

Neurology: There’s No Getting Around It…

The nervous system controls the collection and expression of data electrically and chemically. The better tuned our receptors (the five senses, perception and balance), the better we relate effectively with our environment. Furthermore, the better wired we are into our spinal chord (the super highway) and our brain (the control center) where calculations are performed based on our intentions, the better chance we have of understanding our environment. Finally, how well we set intentions determines whether we make choices that support our goals and interests.

Because the autonomic nervous system determines our relaxation routines, reactions to stress and because it manages much of digestion, we’ll focus on that aspect of the greater picture. To get an overview of your nervous system, read the Anatomy posts and check out the suggestions in the continued learning posts.

A Nervous Perspective

Information Abounds

Our bodies and minds are constantly creating in present life, collecting information about what’s new and adjusting as needed to maintain our health and well-being. Sometimes everything works so well we take it for granted; sometimes information doesn’t get through clearly, like when muscles are tense, we’re emotionally depressed, or there’s an equipment failure like when our sensory receptors are damaged in a scar or injury. Sometimes there’s even a data conflict, like when our eyes see yummy cake and our nose smells nasty garbage. Our brains must then determine if that smell is related to the cake or not. To find out, problem-solving is essential.

Do you do the detective work to collect and decipher the messages? Sometimes 30 seconds of investigation, collecting additional necessary data to understand the situation is all it takes. Don’t give up! It brings new meaning to, ‘why just have your cake when you can eat it too?’

Conductivity & Coordination

So the nervous system controls the collection and interpretation of data. That means that we are electrically wired, or energetic. The better tuned our overt receptors (the five senses + perception), the greater our chances of relating effectively with our environment. Furthermore, the better wired we are to our spinal chord (the super highway), and finally our brain (the control center), where gazillions of calculations are performed with the messages from our senses, the better chance we have of understanding our environment. Finally, whether or not we have sound problem-solving and project management skills determines whether or not we take appropriate actions based on the messages (make good choices).

Integrated Sensing

Think about how much coordination and chit chat must go on between Brain and the many bits of Body associated with:

  • Pouring a perfect cup of coffee
  • Brushing your teeth (don’t forget the back ones)
  • Creating a unique bouquet of flowers
  • Riding a bicycle or driving a car
  • Giving a hug personalized just for him or her

Whew! How do we do it? Actually, just the mechanics of breathing alone is mind boggling… What an amazing design.

Sensing Links for Continued Learning

Take the Senses Challenge – BBC Science & Nature: Human Mind & Body

Seeing, Hearing and Smelling the World – Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Right Side/ Left Side – Neuroscience for Kids

The Five Wits – Wikipedia

Chakras Chart (corresponding sense, area of consciousness, color vibration, musical vibration, gland, nerve and system of the body) – The Brofman Foundation for the Advancement of Healing

Science Resources – Colonial Academy Teachers: Resources for students Grades K-12

Anatomy: Digestive System

Whenever we eat or drink, a chain reaction of intense proportions begins.  Teeth and muscles are mashing, pulpy juices are flowing, chemicals are firing and valves are opening and closing with the synchronicity of rocket science.

The digestive system mechanically, chemically and bacterially converts substances to energy, nutrients and waste.  It is regulated by hormones and the autonomic nervous system.

Parts Involved for Digestion

  • Mouth (salivary glands, mucosa, teeth, tongue)
  • Pharynx – the throat, where the digestive and respiratory tracts intersect
  • Esophagus and cardia (the lower esophageal sphincter)
  • Stomach
  • Small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum)
  • Large intestine (cecum, colon, rectum)
  • Anus
  • Liver – secretes bile which breaks down fats and processes nutrients
  • Pancreas – secretes bicarbonate fluid and digestive enzymes

Digestive Fun Facts

From mouth to anus, our digestive system is about 36 feet long.

The stomach can stretch to hold 4 pints (2 liters) of fluid.

Digestion is not easy for animals larger than tiny worms. It requires a major investment of time and energy.

Anatomy: Respiratory System

The respiratory system’s main function is gas exchange, mainly carbon dioxide to oxygen via osmosis. It also enables speech and sound, and has an extensive defense system against pathogens.

Parts & Functions Involved in Respiring (Breath)

The first five parts listed below make up the conducting zone, and the last four make up the respiratory zone.

  • Larynx – houses the vocal chords
  • Trachea – air tube connecting to the bronchi
  • Bronchi – left and right tubes that carry air to and from the lungs respectively
  • Bronchioles – non-cartilaginous branches of the bronchi, distribute air to alveoli
  • Terminal bronchioles – branches of the bronchioles
  • Respiratory bronchioles – branches of terminal bronchioles, with sporadic alveoli
  • Alveolar ducts – each lung holds 1.5-2 million of them, and they are responsible for 10% of gas exchange
  • Alveoli – responsible for 90% of gas exchange, sacs found sporadically on the respiratory bronchioles the alveolar ducts, within the alveolar sacs and at the end of each branch
  • Diaphragm – shelf of muscle separating the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity (critical to making room for aspiration)

Respiratory Fun Facts

Lined up end to end, the lungs’ airways would be about 1,490 miles (2,400 km) long.

The average person take 21,600 breaths per day.

70% of the body’s waste products leave through breath.

The brain uses 25% of the body’s oxygen and is only 2-3% of its mass.