Personal balance seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. You need to strive for it, read books about it, practice it, eat to achieve it, however—what does it really mean. It is like a popular song on the radio that’s in everyone’s head, but no one really knows the lyrics.
People can guess at the lyrics. Some might get the chorus, some might think they know the first few lines of it.
We all know the song is important, for some reason. I mean it has to be since we are obviously humming it, so it seems to resonate with all of us on some level.
Personal balance is important but not necessarily simple. Because people are multifaceted, so it is with personal balance.
Most people will agree that when seeking balance in one’s life, there are three primary areas to address.
The Body, the Mind, and the Spirit.
The strategies to address each area are different to be sure. But the fact is, if any of these three areas is out of whack, it will most definitely affect the other two.
For example, how easy is it to be mindful if you’re tired or in pain?
Conversely, how easy is it to heal from disease or illness if you’re working or living in a stressful environment?
Finally, while spirituality is a highly personal area, how easy is it to tap into a greater power if you’re stressed out or suffering physically?
Improving any one of the three things in this triangle of balance—body, mind, spirit—should help the other two. Let’s take a look and discuss some strategies for achieving balance and how CBD oil fits in as part of an overall holistic approach.
The first question to answer in all of this is “What is balance anyway?” And when we say that we are “out of balance” what does that really mean? Once we “get into balance,” is it a permanent state or one we will have to continue to work for?
Since CBD oil affects the body, we will start by addressing what balance means in a physical sense.
CBD Oil and Balance of the Body
Balance in your body is referred to as homeostasis. And as the name balance implies it is not a static state. It is a complex and interconnected system within your body that works constantly to maintain a steady state of internal physical and chemical conditions.
“How are these physical and chemical conditions maintained?” you may ask.
They are maintained by the constant adjustments of our bodily systems—our hormonal system, our nervous system, our muscular system, and our endocannabinoid (“Endo” means body) system just to name a few.
This is where CBD oil a phytocannabinoid (“Phyto” means plant) fits in. In addition to being its own independent bodily system, our bodies endocannabinoid system (ECS) actually works with the other systems of your body. In fact, the ECS plays a large role in the regulation of our other bodily systems. The net result is that improving the balance of your endocannabinoid system actually helps improve the balance of the other systems working to maintain balance.
This importance of the ECS is all the more astonishing when you consider that it wasn’t until 1992 that the endocannabinoid system was even discovered. Yet, here it is, exerting its influence over our entire body. It is through this system that CBD oil is able to positively affect our body.
Examples of Homeostasis in the Body
So how does homeostasis (balance) manifest itself in the body? If the answer isn’t coming to you immediately, that’s OK. You actually have a lot of personal experience with homeostasis—even though you may never have thought of it in the past.
Here are some examples of homeostasis happening right now, in a body near you!
And since we started out this with a musical analogy, we are excited to bring you the Top Ten Homeostasis Countdown.
Top Ten Homeostasis Countdown!
10. When You’re Hot You’re Hot!—Body Temperature
The temperature of your body is a great example of homeostasis. When you’re healthy, the thermometer will read a steady 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When your not, it won’t. Your body controls temperature by making or releasing heat.
A small region in the brain called the hypothalamus, which releases hormones, is the superstar in the regulation of body temperature. And guess what else?
Research has found that the endocannabinoid system plays a leading role in the regulation of the hypothalamic pathways.
9. Let Me Call You Sweetheart—Because there is Glucose in Your Body
Your heart pumps blood containing glucose—the body’s own sugar. So if you ever doubted it, you should know that you really are a sweetheart.
In order to be healthy, your body must have the correct glucose levels (sometimes you can be too sweet). If your glucose levels are high, the pancreas releases insulin. If your glucose levels go low, the liver converts glycogen to glucose.
Here again, the endocannabinoid system plays a role.
Researchers suggest that under normal conditions, cannabinoid signaling in the pancreas is a bonafide mechanism of regulating insulin and maintaining blood glucose levels.
8. What’s Bugging You?—Bacteria and Viruses
Bacteria and viruses that can make you ill sometimes get into your body. When they do, it is the lymphatic system that kicks in to help maintain homeostasis. This system fights the infection. When it is successful, the lymphatic will defeat the bacteria or virus before you even get sick. The role of the ECS on the immune system has not been studied fully, so we look forward to learning more about this.
7. Under Pressure?—Your Blood Pressure may show it
Pressure pushing down on me. Pressing down on you, no man ask for. Under pressure that burns a building down. Splits a family in two. Puts people on streets – Freddy Mercury and David Bowie
All kidding aside, but were Freddy and David kidding really? When you’re in a stressful situation your body produces hormones. The result of this is a temporary increase in your blood pressure. Consistently reacting to stress in unhealthy ways can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
Maintaining healthy blood pressure is an example of your body’s homeostasis. This is a constant balancing act of your heart and brain.
Your heart senses changes in blood pressure which prompts it to send a signal to the brain. The brain, in turn, sends back a signal telling the heart how to respond. If your blood pressure is high the message is, “Hey! Slow down there!” If it is low the message is, “Yo! Pick up the pace!”
As with several of the examples of homeostasis presented thus far, the endocannabinoid system plays a role and therefore CBD could be of assistance.
Initial research found CBD effective in lowering elevated heart rates among a sample group of 9 healthy males. Though these results are promising, there have not been any trials testing the effect of CBD on chronic hypertension.
6. Body pH—The Switzerland of Your Body
Your body contains chemicals that are acids and others that are bases (alkaline). A proper balance of the two is needed for your body to function properly. The scale that measures your acidity vs. your alkalinity level s is the pH scale. It goes from 1-14. The lower the pH level you have the more acidic your body will be. Two of the organs that regulate acids and bases are the lungs and kidneys.
Acidosis is what occurs when your body fluids contain too much acid. Basically it means that your kidneys and lungs can’t keep your body’s pH in balance.
Homeostasis is your body’s attempts to keep your pH levels neutral, or slightly alkaline. It is nearly impossible for a health disorder or disease to persist when your pH is in the neutral zone (7.0-7.4). At this level, the body has a strong immunity to diseases. Most Americans, however, have a pH level of 6.2 to 6.4 which is on the acidic side.
What can you do?
Many doctors recommend an alkaline diet for those wishing to improve their body’s pH level.
Plus, breathing deeply and quickly helps move the blood pH toward the alkaline side.
5. Your Cells are Swimming—Because you are mostly water!
If anyone ever told you that you were full of it, you can safely assume that “it” meant “water”.
Because you are.
Your body is made up of 60% water and some parts of it even more. For example, it is estimated that your brain and heart are composed of 73% water and the lungs are about 83% water!
Maintaining the balance of water in your body is an example of homeostasis. If your cells have too little water they will shrink. If they have too much they will bloat (and may even explode!)
It’s up to your kidneys to regulate how much water is in your body. The kidneys also balance the concentration of mineral ions in the blood. The kidneys produce urine which is made up of waste products, excess mineral ions and excess water from the body.
4. Calcium — Not just for your bones and teeth!
Though 99% of the calcium in our body is in our bones and teeth, there is also calcium in the blood. In fact, calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. In addition to its role in building strong bones and muscles, calcium plays a key role in blood clotting and helps enzymes do their job.
Here again, is an example of homeostasis. The level of calcium in your blood must be maintained correctly. The body regulates those levels on an ongoing basis. When levels decrease, the parathyroid releases hormones. If calcium levels become too high, the thyroid helps out by fixing calcium in the bones and lowering blood calcium levels.
3. Work that Body! Exercise is Critical for Balance
In most of our examples of homeostasis, the balancing act goes on inside the body completely. It is aided by the food and supplements we take (supplements like CBD oil) but largely happens without our direct participation.
This example of homeostasis, exercise, is not just about what you put IN your body, but what you do WITH your body. When you exercise, lactate is sent to the muscles to give them energy. After a time, this also signals the brain when it is time to stop exercising, so the muscles can get the oxygen they need.
Here again, the endocannabinoid system has emerged as a focal point as research is done to learn about its mechanisms for how exercise benefits the body and how it reduces pain.
2. Homeostasis on Your Nerves!
Seriously! Your nerves and your entire nervous system help keep homeostasis in breathing patterns. Because breathing is involuntary, the nervous system ensures that the body is getting much-needed oxygen through breathing the appropriate amount of oxygen.
The nervous system is responsible for a number of other functions as well such as movement, sensations, perceptions and so on. It works hand-in-hand with the endocannabinoid system to maintain balance in a variety of areas.
Cannabinoids protect neurons and therefore show potential in related illnesses. In recent studies, CBD was seen to reduce or eliminate the impact of inflammation, oxygen build-up and brain cell decline.
1. Going Number One Helps Maintain Balance
You may have thought that the reason you needed to go number one was to keep yourself from exploding from all that water (or coffee!) you just drank. But another key reason to do it is it is your body’s way of getting rid of toxins.
When toxins get into your blood, they throw off your body’s homeostasis. Thankfully, by way of our urinary system, we are able to eliminate these toxins.
The endocannabinoid system also works with our urinary system to maintain homeostasis. In fact, research suggests that diseases of the lower urinary tract could be treated by addressing the endocannabinoid receptors in that area.
Now you have lots of different examples of homeostasis and you can recognize homeostasis in your own body.
If you are interested in trying one of our many CBD oil products to help maintain homeostasis in YOUR body, click here!