With the exception of our teeth and central nervous system, we are no more than a few years old. Some of our cells only live a few days and most are replaced within five years. The only minerals we do not recycle are those in the teeth, which is why teeth can be used to identify a geographic region of origin. Everything else is replaced. This begs the question of how does the body keep itself organized? Our Genetic and Epigenetic heritage obviously plays a complex, central role. However, there has to be a mechanism for organizing structural regeneration that includes information from outside the cell on what is going on within the body, enabling the body to adapt to functional alterations. The prime example is the role of Osteoblasts and Osteoclasts in bone maintenance. These cells constantly rebuild our bones to better handle current structural needs, responding dynamically to mechanical stress information from their surroundings. Our ability to recover from an injury like a broken bone, or adapting to changes in movement patterns like acquiring a skill like professional dancing is hard to imagine without this capability. It is not just our bones that have this capacity to adapt, as many of the other tissue types of our musculoskeletal system exhibit this competency.
STRUCTURAL REGENERATION IS BUILT ON
MECHANICAL LOADING INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE STRUCTURE.
BAD INFORMATION = BAD REGENERATION
Our cells contain an intracellular matrix or Cytoskelleton made from Actin and other proteins, which is linked to the Extracellular Matrix composed of Collagen. The Cytoskeleton links each cell’s nucleus to the larger macrocellular environment and has been demonstrated to actively influence DNA expression. Our cells, therefore, contain a mechanism that can use mechanical loading information to alter gene expression, and thereby adapt to changes in the demands placed upon them in their structural role. This is relevant to our discussion because this mechanism links our health – our self-optimization, to how we stand and move.
For free-floating single and multicelled organisms this mechanism does not play a significant role. It is only once creatures discovered movement, and particularly once they migrated onto land that this mechanism developed to provide feedback enabling them to dynamically adapt to their surroundings. As creatures evolved a more advanced relationship with gravity, by loading their mass onto their legs, they relied more on this innate ability to relatively quickly1 adjust their structure to their functional needs. This mechanism is rooted deep in our Locomotive Core, facilitating our bodies’ adaptability to functional and structural changes by sensing compressional and tensional loads. The dynamics of tensional and compressional loading in biological systems are discussed in the section on Biotensegrity.
This gene expression function enables cells to manage their roles as elements of animal structure. If a ligament is too loose, or the vector of compression does not line up with the compressional centerline of a bone, cells have some ability to fix this by monitoring strain (tension) and weight in all directions. This mechanism is most dynamic when we are growing2, and speaks to how the trillions of cells in our bodies can coordinate their actions as our body alters its overall size. It continues to be active throughout our lives, both in recovery from injury and in general maintenance, responsively attuning the body to the overall, averaged demands of managing its mass3. Having this adaptive ability confers an obvious evolutionary advantage over an animal whose structure is less responsive to changing situational demands and is intrinsic to advanced land animal physiology.
This is relevant for us because it means that even when we get older (remember almost all of our cells are just a few years old), we have an innate ability to influence how our cellular function behaves by how we manage the task of manipulating our mass – we can change ourselves by changing our tactics and strategies for movement. The effects of this mechanism of gene expression are strongest in relation to our Locomotive Core, influencing the character of our Bones and Connective Tissues (the Locomotive Core are our attributes with which we interact with Gravity). There is also evidence suggesting that how we stand and move influences our Metabolic, Manipulative and Neurological Cores through the Connective Tissue pervading these systems.
Learning how to apply our bodies more efficiently and effectively requires an understanding of a model for optimized stance and gait. A model is provided here based on the engineering principle of Tensegrity as applied to biological systems, the definition of Cores which clarify specific structural and functional relationships, and specific focus on optimal application of our feet. Habituating oneself to standing and moving aligned with these parameters takes practice, but with time noticeable improvements in the strength of stance and fluidity of movement will be experienced. This not only will provide good information for structural regeneration, but also enhance other functional systems like sensory processing. This writer has witnessed this regenerative ability most commonly in his client’s feet where through modifying how the client uses their feet by training with these guidelines and Manual Therapy, he has seen Bunions and Hammertoes diminish (the shape of the foot bones changes). He also has observed structural and functional improvements in his body, particularly in relation to the evolution of his understanding of foot function.
1 The rate at which this adaptation occurs is very slow. Connective Tissue Cells integrate loading information over days or weeks and their response is the best case solution for the overall demand. Therefore re-habituating movement patterns must be persistently pursued over months before significant changes can be observed.
2 One example of this is that when children grow, first their bones lengthen, and then the connective tissues adapt to the increased averaged tension by lengthening their tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Children experience this as growing pains, as their connective tissues will feel tight until they grow to normalize their functional parameters. (Magnesium Cream will vitalize these tissues, assisting to alleviate the pain. Magnesium can be absorbed topically and plays an essential role in connective tissue functions).
3 Validation for this statement can be found in this paper:
Biomaterials for Tissue Repair Karen L. Christman
Science 25 Jan 2019: Vol. 363, Issue 6425, pp. 340-341
TOOLS THAT ASSIST STRUCTURAL REGENERATION
NEAR INFRARED THERAPY
IRRITATION/INFLAMMATION GUT MICROBIOME