3. Temperature Maintenance
3.1 The Need for Temperature Maintenance
The human body has been developed in nature over eons of time to maintain homeostasis, chemical and mechanical consistency and a consistent temperature. The body operates best at a temperature range between 97° and 99°F. Various parts of the body vary in temperature.
Warm-blooded animals have many mechanisms that maintain temperature. Skin, hair and wool act as insulators to help maintain body temperature. Overheating is guarded against by perspiration and respiration. The body, in an intoxicated condition, may institute accelerated function to free itself of unwelcome toxicity. In this case it may also increase the metabolic rate, hence increase temperature. Heightened temperature is called fever.
The body maintains temperature through a basal metabolism controlled by many sensors throughout the body that act as thermostats.
3.2 Normal Temperature Is the Best Functioning Temperature
While bodies have been drastically reduced in temperature and overheated greatly and survived, the prevailing view is that serious deviation from normal temperature will cause the body to fail in some way to supply cells with needed oxygen and nutrients, thus impairing them. Notably is this true of brain cells which, if destroyed for any reason, are not regenerated. They are lost forever. It is generally accepted that a brain temperature exceeding 108-110°F destroys brain cells. While cases of overheating beyond this range have been recorded without damage, overheating is to be avoided. Cooling is far less harmful than overheating. At a temperature of 118°F enzymes begin to be destroyed and other body fluids become labile.
Frequenters of turkish baths and saunas sometimes experience surface temperatures of 140 degrees without apparent damage, but it is doubtful if the skin temperature actually ever reaches more than 110-115°F due to the body's capacity to cool itself. Needless to say, all overheating is unhealthful. Those who live in climates that reach 110-120°F during the day are not in danger, for the body can easily maintain its temperature by its refrigerating faculties, especially in view that humidity is usually low in most areas where such high temperatures are likely to occur. High humidity inhibits evaporation which is necessary to body cooling.
3.3 Questions as to What Constitutes Normalcy of Temperature
The generally accepted normal body temperature is 98.6°F. We do not have a uniform temperature at all times. At or near the end of a night's rest, with lowered metabolism the pulse is considerably lower than when active and the body temperature may be somewhat lower.
When the body has been vigorously active for an extended period, as in sprinting or running, the internal body temperature may rise to 105°F. This is not dangerous, for the body quickly normalizes this temperature when a state of relative rest is resumed. The body creates fevers that have been known to go as high as 108°F. The body will not create conditions that will injure itself.
3.4 Keeping the Body at a Comfortable Temperature
It has been observed that, when they are crippled, humans will devise crutches. The use of crutches further cripples the organism. This may be readily observed in individuals who use a crutch because one leg has been disabled. The disabled and unused leg will atrophy while the extraordinarily used leg will overdevelop.
Humans have become dependent on artificial means of temperature maintenance. In nature humans can live at extremes of temperature comfortably in their naked condition. Indians survive temperatures in the freezing range with vigor in many areas of South America.
But, because most of us are not physically able to cope with extreme cold, we must employ clothing to help maintain warmth. Warmth must be maintained lest we suffer functional disturbances due to reduced temperatures.
A comfortable temperature must always be maintained. Deliberate cooling or heating of the body is exhausting of nerve energy and lowers the body's functional abilities.
3.5 Some Problems of Temperature Maintenance
There are conditions under which temperature maintenance is difficult. One such condition is the fast. A person who is fasting must be kept warm. While fasting, a person can easily become chilled. The body's lowered metabolic rate will not produce sufficient heat to maintain warmth under all conditions. It is, therefore, important that fasters have sufficient clothing and bedding to maintain warmth.
3.6 Types of Clothing to Use for Warmth
Clothing should be loose fitting, as a rule. Being bound by tight-fitting clothing is unhealthful. Clothes should be equal to the warming task required. If you live in Alaska, heavy wool clothing may be required, whereas in Texas light cottons do for most of the year.
Cotton, linen and wool are to be preferred over other type of materials though silk and other natural fibers are also very good.
Clothing that is white or light-colored is preferred over dark colors because they admit more light. Natural light on the body (and eyes) is healthful.
3.7 Pathological Effects of Clothing
Clothing that is binding, tight fitting or otherwise constricting is unhealthful. Belts, girdles, garters, etc. should be avoided.
Synthetics sometimes cause poisonous reactions in the body. Synthetic clothing and plastics should not come into contact with the skin.
Porous clothing made of natural fibers are always to be used when possible for both wear and bedding.
3.8 Temperature as a Factor in Toxin Retention
When the body becomes chilled the skin pores close and other body reactions take place to protect against chilling as much as possible. In these instances, energies being redirected to temperature maintenance may result in temporary neglect of regular chores of elimination. The skin normally respires and the closing of pores throws an additional burden of elimination onto the respiratory system. If the body is already toxic, the added toxin retention may reach a level that will trigger a body cleansing crisis, such as a cold or flu.
Home > Lesson 4 - Introducing The Life Science System For Perfect Health, Part II
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