this chapter please start with chapters:
WOB is Optimal
Myriad processes operate in our body and it functions optimally. As processes turn over, body appearance does not change. It maintains an equilibrium that is called Homeostasis. How homeostasis is maintained is unknown. The British physiologist Starling attributed it to a wisdom of the body (WOB), that knows how to uphold equilibrium. Yet WOB controls more than homeostasis. It manages all processes in an optimal fashion. Medical treatment interferes with WOB control and may harm the patient, and a good therapy ought to be in accord with the WOB.
The main message of this site is: How to understand WOB ways, and reduce the potential harm of medical treatment. WOB may be regarded as an independent entity that communicates with the environment which includes also the physician. This communication can be formalized as a medically meaningful language, which has to be understood in order not to harm the patient. With this language we may study WOB ways, particularly how it optimizes processes.
WOB as a computer (1)
The following example illustrates what is meant. Imagine a city and its network of streets. A central computer controls all traffic lights, and a satellite camera informs the computer about the positions of vehicles in the network. Your task is to set the traffic lights so that traffic through the network proceeds smoothly, and each car travels as fast as possible. In short, your task is to optimize the network. Neither you nor the most powerful computer on earth can accomplish this task. Now imagine the network is our metabolism , and the cars are processes in the body. WOB continually optimizes our metabolic network. It carries out a task that is beyond our understanding.
WOB may be regarded as a computer or a non linear black box with an input and output. The output informs us about its inner workings, and the input serves for manipulating them during therapy. Using WOB language we may interrogate input and output, learn how WOB optimizes, and take care not to degrade this optimization with our therapy.
Aristotle's Soul (2) is very similar to WOB. Animals and plants have a soul which ceases to exist when they die. Here it has three meanings: 1. An entity which controls processes in the body. 2. The set of processes in the body, 3. A medical metaphor which has to be considered during therapy. WOB is non-linear, chaotic and defies traditional medical reasoning which is linear. Medicine regards the organism as a machine and diseases as malfunctions, while WOB is like a vortex and diseases are whorls. WOB controls processes in all living things. It is an attribute of life.
The WOB of an ameba has a receptor which informs it about the environment. Based on this information WOB adjusts its processes so as to operate in an optimal fashion. If necessary it responds with an action. If for instance the ameba faces an increased salinity, WOB will attempt to evade it. WOB reaction is creative (unpredictable), since its decisions involve optimality considerations. WOB will always choose an action with the most favorable outcome. WOB does not initiate, it only responds creatively to receptor input.
In order to be creative, ameba has to have a memory which remembers its past experience. Memory is stored in the processes themselves, and in their configuration. Each experience modifies past configurations. WOB is knowledge as well as memory, and emerges with its experience.
In beings which exist in societies, like ants and bees, WOB has a special receptor for communication with its own kin. Ants have receptors for pheromones which are produced only by ants. Kin receptors in microbes mediate vital information. If for instance a microbe has survived an antibiotic treatment, WOB will pass this knowledge to other bacteria, and they will become resistant to antibiotics. Resisting microbes have to remember their resistance, which illustrates again that WOB stands for knowledge and memory.
Antibiotic resistance and the intestinal flora
Mind is a subset of WOB processes designed to interpret the outer world. Mind is an interface between WOB and the outer world. Like the Greek God Janus, mind faces two directions. Inward it listens to WOB messages and satisfies its demands. Outward, it interprets the outer world and guides WOB to resources. Mind has a memory and two cognitive faculties, discrimination, and association. Both operate also in the ameba otherwise it would not avoid extreme salinity. Ameba is equipped with a rudimentary mind. In more complex animals, like dog, mind is the site of will, imagination and reasoning (conditioned reflex). In the human, mind is an interface between WOB and our society, and is the site of language. The newborn or the patient in coma are a mindless WOB.
Consciousness is a state of the mind. 'Conscious' is defined as : 'Knowing what is going on around one because one is able to use bodily senses' (3). This definition applies also to an ameba, which feels pleasure and pain. Pleasure drives it to seek food, and pain to avoid high salinity. It has to know 'what is going on around it', and is therefore conscious.
Medicine is interested in another aspect of consciousness, like being awake, which is controlled by the mind. In coma when mind is turned off, consciousness is lost. This faculty seems to be absent in the ameba. On the other hand, unlike us, ameba might always be awake, and never loses consciousness.
Mind drives the patient to seek medical help. As long as WOB controls processes it remains silent. When losing control it signals to the mind to seek help. When water becomes scarce, e.g., during sweating, WOB sends a thirst signal, meaning :'Go find water and drink it!' Only the mind knows how and where to find water. Hunger is another signal which is sent to the mind when food becomes scarce. Only the mind knows what is food and where to get it. Pain and 'dis-ease' are signaled by the WOB when it lost control over some processes, and needs assistance. Mind understands that it has to call the physician. The mind is an important source of information on the state of the WOB. Feelings and sensations inform the mind on WOB workings. They are then communicated verbally to the physician. Like 'I feel pain in my chest'
The eye is a receptor controlled by WOB. Some of its sensations are unconscious and control the intensity of metabolic processes during the day. This phenomenon called Circadian Rhythm, is driven by light received unconsciously by our eye. In this sense the eye is analogous to the receptor of an ameba. In order to see, the mind assembles sensory inputs from the eye into Vision. When we look at Mona Lisa, the light reflected from her image interacts with our WOB even before the mind has appreciated her beauty. The eye itself does not see, only the mind is capable of seeing. When we faint and lose consciousness (turning the mind off), the eye continues to sense light. It then acts as an "ameba receptor", and lets the light in for interacting with unconscious processes. Illuminating the eye will reflexively contract the pupil. When the mind is turned off only vision is lost.
Brain and nervous system
The brain and nervous system carry out two tasks:
processing for the mind.
2. Metabolism control of cells, known as trophic function.
The first is visible by an electrical activity, known as action potentials. Brain is no more than a processing organ, and by itself cannot generate thought. Like the eye which in order to see requires a mind, so does the brain require a mind in order to think. When we faint, action potentials continue traveling in the entire nervous system, yet since the mind is turned off we stop thinking. Or better, we stop thinking with the mind.
Neurologists favor the idea that action potentials are thought units (like bits of information), assembled in brain centers into thoughts, which shape our mind. This is a naive simplification of what actually goes on, since electrical activity is supported by myriad processes. Some originate in nerve cells, and other in supporting cells called glia. At best, action potentials indicate that we think, in the same way as the eye's electric activity indicates that it receives light. Vision requires a mind, and so does thinking
Trophic function of the nervous system.
Besides serving as action potential carrier, nervous system controls also metabolic activity of each cell in the body. Experiments done in the beginning of the last century demonstrated that each cell in the body is connected to the nervous system by its own nerve fiber through which its metabolism is controlled by the nervous system. A simple experiment may illustrate what is meant. Try to imagine a juicy beef-stake (particularly when you are hungry). You will notice water filling your mouth. The image of the beef-stake is a message to the WOB that you intend to eat. It then turns on digestive processes, and waits for the food (4). This information was conveyed to cells by the nervous system, and is called trophic function. By the same route, light reflected from the image of Mona Lisa affects our metabolism, even before we have appreciated her beauty.
Process manipulation with imagination
Imagination which originates in the mind is an effective way to communicate with WOB, like when imagining a beef-stake. It affects not only salivation but other processes as well. Our will is transmitted to WOB by imagination. You cannot order the WOB to salivate, you have to imagine it. You cannot tell it that you want to be healthy, you have to imagine being healthy. But how? We ought to find out what has to be imagined in order to affect certain processes which improve our health, and formalize our findings as a WOB philology.
Pavlov trained his
dog to associate bell ringing with food intake. During training, whenever
the dog smelled food he heard a bell ring. Gradually his mind associated
bell ringing with food intake. Finally bell ringing turned on processes
with the same efficiency as smell does. Conditioning exploits the capacity
of beings to associate phenomena. The dog might also be trained
to associate other sensations with food intake, e.g., light, patting his back,
or raising his leg. Conditioning is an important tool for evaluating WOB philology.
Placebo is a conditioning agent (procedure) which originates in the mind. Consider a chronic disease that is treated with adrenal steroids which cause grave side effects. The physician will attempt to diminish drug dose as much as possible, without losing control of the disease. After making the most of this approach, he may reduce drug dose even more with a placebo (5). Without telling the patient he interleaves placebo tablets with steroids. First he replaces one tablet once a week, and attempts to replace it more frequently until losing control of the disease whereupon he will add more steroids. Obviously placebo affects the same processes as adrenal steroids do otherwise the disease would flare up. It lacks however the grave side effects of steroids. As strange as it seems placebo works and deserves an explanation:
1. Steroids affect two kinds of processes, drug specific, which have steroid receptors, and non specific processes. Both have to be manipulated by therapy. Placebo affects mainly non-specific processes.
2. Since processes interact they may be manipulated either directly (through receptors), or indirectly by other processes. Placebo acts indirectly.
Shamanism and the
Placebo and Ethics
Placebo is regarded as a deception and the above procedure unethical. The patient should be told that he receives a placebo. On the other hand, telling the patient that he gets placebo undermines its effect. And yet deception is necessary and justified. Placebo conditions the mind. Placebo works since the patient trusts his physician, and believes in his power to heal. Yet the same mind learns also that placebo is a fraud.
The physician is committed to his patient, and when deception is necessary for reducing grave steroid side effects, he has to deceive. The negative attitude of medicine to placebo originates in a misconception about the purpose of therapy. Medicine adheres to a 'rational therapy' while the placebo effect is 'irrational'. But what does medicine mean by a 'rational treatment'? It is a treatment that applies laws of linear machines to diseases. Yet WOB operates in a non-linear fashion, and placebo is a way to exploit this non-linearity. Once medicine will realize the importance of non-linearity for therapy, it will accept placebo as a genuine drug.
Additional reading: Medical significance of Shamanism
Communication with WOB
and conditioning are two ways to communicate with WOB. Other channels by which
processes may be manipulated, are listed in the table. They are ordered
hierarchically. The lower a channel in the table the more effective
it is. Upper channels convey messages from mind to WOB, which might
be either positive (facilitating) or
a negative (inhibiting). A negative message, like the belief that placebo
is a deception, undermines channel efficacy for therapy. The lower channels
(from 'Non verbal communication' and downward), are unconscious and serve
for communication with other WOBs. Spiritual experience and Love operate in
the gray zone between mind and WOB.
Body image is an inborn ability to relate our own body image (processes) to that of our parents. Which may be appreciated when smiling at a baby and it responds with a smile. In order to respond, the baby has to recognize our smile as a smile and not as a meaningless expression. Then the baby identifies its smile-muscles with ours. It then contracts its smiling muscles and smiles.
|Religion||God heals||Sin causes disease|
|Culture||Disease is life||Disease is bad|
|Medicine||Treatment helps||Tumor is evil|
|Philosophy||Disease is an experience||Diseases exist as such|
|Science||Genes curb disease||Genetic determinism|
|Society||Medical clinic||Cancer is a stigma|
|Shamanism||Good spirits||Bad spirits|
|Super-ego||Father helps||Father punishes|
|Belief||Gabriel heals||Satan lures|
|Suggestion||You are strong||You are lost|
|Hypnosis||You have hidden powers||You are under my control|
|Imagination||I heal myself||Hallucination|
|Society (kin receptor)|
channels, like conditioning, placebo, or Shamanism originate from an external
source. In other words, only an outsider can manipulate ones processes.
Other channels, like imagination and imitation, are internal and
originate in the mind. They are used by the Cancer-Yogi
to prolong remission (4). The physician can access only external
channels and the table lists different ways to manipulate processes
WOB in the unconscious patient
In the unconscious patient WOB controls all processes.
1. Dreaming: Brain and mind are controlled by WOB.
2. Fainting: WOB turns the mind off and later wakes it up.
3. Coma: The mind is turned off, while brain stem is active.
4. Brain death: There is no electrical activity (action potentials) in the brain, while WOB controls processes in other organs.
In all these conditions (states), WOB maintains homeostasis (equilibrium), which in these circumstances is the most optimal one. Even in the deepest coma, WOB attempts to wake up the mind. When resources are depleted, WOB turns to the mind for help. It sends thirst and hunger signals, and since the mind is turned off it does not respond. Even then WOB maintains homeostasis. Death follows when WOB is unable to sustain equilibrium (homeostasis) any more.
The newborn has a WOB and lacks a mind. It is mindless. In the womb placenta provided it with mind functions. Now that placenta ceased to exist, its mother provides the mind functions. Gradually WOB raises its own mind and the child becomes independent.
WOB is optimal
If WOB is so
smart, why does it need a doctor? At
each instant WOB faces a new challenge that requires process reshuffling.
Of all the feasible process configurations WOB will choose the one which requires
the least resources. Such a process configuration is called WOB solution.
Each WOB solution is optimal, which may be rephrased also as WOB is optimal.
WOB does not foresee, nor does it plan. It solves. When it lacks
resources it signals the mind to provide them. WOB depends on the supply of
resources by the mind.
1. WOB as a non-linear massively parallel computer.
2. Aristotle. On the Soul. Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by J. A. Smith
5. Ader R. The role of conditioning in pharmacotherapy . In: The Placebo Effect, Ed Harrington A. Harvard University Press Cambridge USA 1997
Click on your icon to follow your trail
Back to New Medicine