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The Perfect HVAC Systems is The Human Body
thermography for studying human physiology


Credit: Dr. Arthur Tucker /        Science Photo Library



We hold power To help or harm our bodies
Reprinted with permission from
Copyright (c) 2005 Lebanon Daily News  All Rights Reserved, By Janet Frick

Most of us come into this world with a perfect body. We arrive thin and healthy, free of doubts, fears, worries and bad habits. We arrive brimming with energy and potential. We arrive excited and curious, ready to learn.

Our perfect body is the most miraculous, self-healing organism. It has a heart that beats approximately 72 times per minute, pumping over six quarts of blood through 96 miles of blood vessels the equivalent of pumping 6,300 gallons of blood per day. It contains a seamless digestive system capable of turning nutritious food into energy for all the major systems and recognizing what foods have little or no value and ejecting them from our body.

Our perfect body has trillions of cells with millions of trillions of communicating connections. The largest organ in our perfect body is our skin, which has millions of pores acting as our cooling mechanism.

Our perfect body arrives with a genetic blueprint on which we can shift walls, open and close doors, enlarge the spaces and extend the roof, giving it skylights or solar panels. Our blueprint tells us where we came from, but not where we are going; our blueprint includes our talents, abilities and desires, but it is only a blueprint.

Our perfect body in a perfect world would function at 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. It would take in only nutritionally dense foods, turning these healthy foods into healthy blood, muscles, bones and new cells. Every day, it would take in the Earth's elements (sun, clean air and pure water) and use them to rejuvenate and refresh its systems. Our perfect body in a perfect world would be relaxed mentally and physically serene, content, without tensions, stresses and worries.

Our perfect body has two sets of cells, lean tissue and fat tissue, in perfect balance. Our muscles are our lean body mass and these cells not our fat cells use our energy. Our fat tissue insulates us and helps to maintain our body temperature. Our muscles, not our weight, help to determine the amount of energy we need each day. Someone who is overweight is simply a lean person with an extra coat of fat tissue.

Many parts of our perfect body also metabolize energy. Our brain and nervous system have the highest priority for energy and use more energy than any other organ.

Weighing only 3 to 3 and 1/2 pounds, our brain uses approximately 600 calories (of a 2,000 calorie diet) per day; our heart, beating 10,000 times a day, and our lungs, breathing in and out approximately 8 times per minute, use 300 calories; and our stomach and its 26 feet of intestinal tract use about 250 calories.

Our liver, which processes chemicals, makes cholesterol and blood glucose, and our blood system, moving along a 60,000-mile route in 80 seconds, use 250 calories; our bones and muscles, which weigh the most, hold everything together and give us our physical movement, use 500 to 800 calories; and about 100 calories are used by our miscellaneous parts our ears and eyes and our hormone, enzyme and immune systems.

Our perfect body never gets a day off, never goes on vacation. Unlike our house, we cannot shut down the heating and cooling system to clean the ducts. Unlike our car, we cannot take our body to a body shop for new filters, spark plugs and ignition system.

Although our brain manages everything in our body, its power source is the food we eat. The brain, as well as all the other organs and systems, is affected by everything we consume, whether it's organic fruits, vegetables, dairy products and whole grains or caffeine, sugar, nicotine and alcohol. The first group supports a perfect body; the second group destroys it. Too much fuel or not enough both compromise a perfect body.

Every minute we are alive we are either supporting a perfect body system or compromising it. Unlike a car, which simply will not start when something goes wrong, our heart will continue to beat while diseased; our blood will continue to flow while becoming sluggish in our narrowing pipelines; our brain will continue to think even when it is chemically altered or compromised; and our lungs will continue to breathe though blackened with tar.

Our perfect body is the most complex and smoothly running piece of machinery with interconnecting systems ever devised. The wrong fuel or too much of the right fuel, the wrong drink, smoke and neglect of exercise as well as emotional stresses through negative thoughts, destructive habits and self-defeating ideas, toxins in our body, toxic relationships in our lives, chronic stresses, unresolved tensions and ill-defined anxieties all will chart a lifetime of deteriorating physical and mental health, widening the chasm between our perfect birth body and our imperfect, faltering body of today.

So, just for tomorrow: Drink when thirsty, eat when hungry, exercise when depleted of energy, sleep when tired, work till accomplishment, play and laugh often, resolve to think good thoughts, say nice things, do good deeds and eat good foods, and let's reward our now imperfect bodies for rewarding us with life.


Frick is executive director of the Mental Health Association of Lebanon County.


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