Dr Friedrich Staebler

The body is a miraculous mechanism. Its proper functioning, or health in other words, relies on the interplay of opposing forces, which need to exist in a balance of harmony.

This is true on all levels. Whether it is our heart, expanding and contracting like a pump to supply the body with fresh blood, the lungs doing a similar thing breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide, or our muscles showing the right amount of tension, neither too contracted (hypertonic) nor too lax (hypotonic).

Our stomach and digestive system require exact amounts of acid and digestive enzymes, in order to properly digest food, neither too much nor too little. Our thyroid glands have to produce the correct amounts of thyroxin, the hormone which fuels and warms the body metabolism. Our immune system, in order to recognise an intruder like a germ, a foreign protein or a tumour cell, has to produce the correct amount of response, not too much and not too little.

All our body systems work in this way, from the minute level of cellular metabolism to the visible functioning of our organs described above. This interplay of opposing forces has been described with different terms, according to the medical system or culture. In Western medicine and naturopathy the term homeostasis is used, in Chinese medicine the opposing forces are described in terms of Yin and Yang.

The body always strives towards achieving perfect harmony. It has inbuilt sensors and a complicated system of glands which are regulated by the so-called autonomic nerve system. This biofeedback mechanism seems to know at all times what correct level of homeostasis is required.

Integrated medical health care, and complementary treatments like acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine aim to use these inbuilt biofeedback mechanisms to help the body to achieve harmony; they help the body, or the person, to help themselves.