Kevin Spelman, RH (AHG)

Beyond Selye, Homeostasis Revisted


American Herbalists Guild 2003 Symposium ~ Albuquerque, New Mexico

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The French physiologist Claude Bernard observed the equilibria of cooperating somatic systems. This phenomenon was later coined "homeostatis" by Walter Cannon. Cannon and Bernard did not, however, recognize that many mammalian physiological systems are not strictly homeostatic, but demonstrate non-Newtonian character-variable states dependent on context. Since the context of existence is ever-changing, a more appropriate understanding of the dynamics of physiological stability is needed. "Allostasis" as a concept recognizes that physiological function is woven back and forth through the environment and thus demonstrates sensitivity to context, creating stability through adaptive change. Physiology and Phytotherapy are covered.