Satyre <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


I'm now thinking in terms of there being what I call a "natural health management system", which does a kind of economic analysis of what the opportunities and the costs of self-cure will be - what resources we've got, how dangerous the situation is right now, and what predictions we can make of what the future holds. It's like a good hospital manager who has to choose if and when to throw resources against this or that problem, to hold so much back, to decide if it's essential to build up this area or that area - basically to try to produce an optimal solution to the problem of maintaining health with enough left over to meet coming challenges.

If this is right, it makes the placebo effect fit into a much larger picture of homeostasis and health management. And it converges with ideas being developed by researchers coming from quite different disciplines. I've been particularly struck by the work of the South African physiologist, Timothy Noakes, who has come up with the idea of there being what he calls "a central governor" in the brain which regulates just how far the body should be allowed to go in meeting the demands of extreme exercise.

I find myself interested in this notion of a central governor which regulates the health response of an individual. I feel that the threshold at which the governor fails, or errs, is more of a range rather than a point fixture. The individual consciousness plays as significant a part in failure, as it does in its success.

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