Chonomedicine: A New View of Health
Chonomedicine is the new way of viewing the body and its relationship to cycles in our environment. Weather, time, season and even the environment created by the people around us can affect our inner mechanisms and emotions. The Chinese recognized this with the concept of the Horary Cycle of Organic Balance which divided each 24 hour period into times for both the action and restoration of every major organ. In fact, it has been shown that even medical tests and medications are most effective and work best within the body when they are administered in recognition of the body’s inherent cycles. Heartburn and ulcers tend to be worse between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM because stomach acid secretion is two to three times greater during this time to cleanse the stomach. Osteoarthritis tends to be worse at night, while Rheumatoid arthritis is worse in the morning. It is even thought that the cycle of hormones can not only predict health, but disease as well. A study in the Channel Islands measured women’s hormonal levels throughout the year. It showed that those who were without an annual cycle in their secretion of prolactin and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone went on to develop breast cancer.
Anti-inflammatives are given so often now for everything from unresolved back pain to a bout of bronchitis. But they only seem to be effective and produce less side-effects when taken at night in conjunction with the restoration and healing period of the affected organs.
Even mammograms have demonstrated the strong body cycles that women have. In reviewing mammogram results, it was noted that they were significantly more accurate when administered within the first two weeks after the start of the period when hormonal levels and symptoms were lower. In fact, the best time for breast cancer surgery would be the third week of the menstrual cycle, increasing the chances of disease-free survival by over ten years. This may be because progesterone levels are at their highest in the third week of the cycle.
Uterine and cervical cancer cases seem to double in February , while prostate, breast and colon cancer are two to three times higher in cloudy climates than in sunnier areas. It was also noted in a study in New Zealand that women with previous breast cancer had an abnormal melatonin rhythm with an unusual drop in the winter. This produced extreme insomnia and fatigue issues, which were thought be related to Seasonal Affective Disorder. When Vitamin D is administered, many of these symptoms seem to subside, leading to the conclusion that vitamin D levels may be more essential than we believed in not only promoting bone health, but in preventing breast cancer and reducing the incidence of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Even something as simple as temperature changes or moon patterns can affect many issues due to the effect on blood flow. This may be partly due to the fact that we lose 1/3 of our body heat by convection to the air. When the temperature drops there will be a decrease in blood volume, higher levels of fibrinogen and cholesterol causing blood pressure to shift and our basal metabolic rate to increase during the winter months. Even viruses react to temperature with more activity common in the presence of sunlight, increasing the likelihood of viral issues when the sun is stronger. Gout attacks seem to peak at the full and the new moons, while research suggests that decreasing night light immediately after the full moon may trigger ovulation. This makes IVF likely to be more successful if it is done when the moon is in its perigee.
For years we have even examined the effects of both positive and negative ions on the body. Normal air is concentrated with 1.2 to 1 of positive ions to negative ions. A significant increase in positive ions can cause troubling symptoms such as depression, nausea, insomnia, irritability, fatigue, migraines, asthma and even thyroid issues. This is especially true inside, where air tends to have higher concentrations of microbes, radiation and dust. Even air fresheners can contain a neurotoxin solvent known as dichlorobenzene which in a US study was found in the urine samples of children and in 98% of adults sampled.
Another study found three toxic substances, xylene, ethylphenol and styrene that are normally found in tobacco smoke to be present in 100% of tissue samples from candidates exposed to modern building materials. In the United Kingdom, levels of formaldehyde gas were ten times higher indoors than out.
Negative ions have a very positive effect on the human body by killing bacteria and reducing microbial air pollution. Inhaling air that has a high concentration of positive ions can reduce our breathing capacity by as much as 30%. Air conditioning shifts the balance of air to a 3:1 ratio of positive ions to negative ions.
Wind can even have a dramatic effect on the body by increasing serotonin and adrenalin levels. This can create an imbalance of serotonin levels which can create emotional instability and disrupt the melatonin cycle which leads to imbalances throughout the day which can be very fatiguing. Even increases in humidity has been known to stiffen joints, testified to by every arthritic sufferer. This is because there is a higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which is an indication of inflammation. Humid air, like cold air can also cause contraction of denser tissues like scars, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
We even react to types of light. Research in Germany showed that cool white florescent light caused the release of high levels of stress hormones such as ACTH and cortisol.
So perhaps it is important to pay attention to how our body reacts to certain types of weather, temperature change, time difference or even sound. All of these factors are just beginning to be understood in terms of their relationship to our body’s health and wellness. After all, we are a product of our environment and our internal environment for all intents and purposes is simply an expression of our external environment in a confined space.
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Hill, R.H. Jr, et al, "p-Dichlorobenzene exposure among 1,000 adults in the United States", Arch Environ Health, 1995, 50:277-280.
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Hollwich, F. and Dieckhues, B., "The effect of natural and artificial light via the eye on the hormonal and metabolic balance of animal and man", Opthalmalogica, 1980, 180:188-197.