The Natural World

The natural world functions very well on its own. Left to their own devices, members of the tens of millions of species on our planet thrive and prosper without relying on outside agencies.

In order to grow abundantly, plants consume carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients from the soil. Likewise, herbivorous animals consume plants whereas carnivorous animals consume other animals. Insects eat a wide variety of foods, including plants, fruit, other insects, detritus (dead leaves, stems, and twigs), and even blood. Many types of bacteria and fungi recycle decomposing matter. Whales, the top predator in the oceans, may consume more than a ton of plankton per day in addition to fish, squid, and other crustaceans.

Every member of every species excepting humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) obtains everything it needs from the environment. Modern humanity is the only species for which the abundance provided by the global ecosystem is insufficient.

For instance, mountain lions, raccoons, and coyotes don't need sleeping pills. But humans spend more than $1.5 billion per year on the sleep aid Ambien. Dolphins, antelope, and bluebirds don't have problems with blood glucose levels. In stark contrast, the annual cost of diabetes medications in the United States was $12.5 billion in 2007. In the wild, oak trees, tuna, and elephants don't need nutritional supplementation. Humans, however, spend more than $23 billion annually in the United States alone. What is wrong with this picture?

As a species, humans have the unprecedented ability to manipulate and drastically alter the world in which we live. Also aside from epidemic infectious disease, there exists no natural check on human population growth. As populations expand, resources become scarce. Populations flocking to urban enclaves not only leave behind the countryside but also local sources of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry. Canning, packaging, and transportation of food over long distances become necessary to supply the energy needs of cities. But only calories and not much else are obtained by these methods. Energy is provided but food quality is substantially reduced.

Chronic disease becomes widespread. Diabetes, cardiovascular disorders including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke, and obesity are all the direct result of a severely compromised food supply.1,2,3

Our disconnect from the natural world poses many additional challenges. Our bodies were designed to meet the demanding physical requirements of a hostile environment. But for the most part we don't do physical work anymore. If we don't find satisfactory substitutes for strenuous physical activity our musculoskeletal, metabolic, and endocrine systems easily deteriorate. The consequences include osteoporosis, chronic aches and pains, gastrointestinal problems, and anxiety and depression.

It takes a lot of effort to maintain good health when we're so far removed from the natural world. We need to make sure our diets are healthy and we need to get sufficient and regular strenuous exercise. The short- and long-term benefits include happiness, self-esteem, and ongoing well-being.

1Kesse-Guyot E, et al: Adherence to nutritional recommendations and subsequent cognitive performance: findings from the prospective Supplementation with Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals 2. Am J Clin Nutr Nov 24 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
2Wolfe AR, et al: Dietary protein and protein-rich food in relation to severely depressed mood: A 10 year follow-up of a national cohort. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry Nov 22 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
3Pekmezi DW, Demark-Wahnefried W: Updated evidence in support of diet and exercise interventions in cancer survivors. Acta Oncol Nov 24 2010 (Epub ahead of print)

Contact Us Today!

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Tuesday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Wednesday:

8:30 AM-5:00 PM

Thursday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Friday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Locations

Find us on the map

  • "Dr. Johnson was very thorough and knowledgeable."
  • Double Indemnity

    In the classic 1944 film noir, "Double Indemnity", insurance salesman Walter Neff (played by Fred MacMurray), gets into some pretty hot water involving his client (Barbara Stanwyck) and his co-worker (Edward G. Robinson). Neff tries to misuse the concept of double indemnity and he pays a heavy price. ...

    Read More
  • Health Statistics and You

    We are awash in numbers, thanks in large part to the proliferation of personal mobile devices and the wrong-headed use of so-called big data.1 But applying statistical tools to the same set of data can support competing theories and lead to contradictory results. Such conflicting outcomes, known as antinomies ...

    Read More
  • Helping Your Chiropractor Help You

    Your chiropractor has many powerful tools at his or her disposal to help you get well. These powerful tools include chiropractic care itself and specialized knowledge in nutrition, exercise, and rehabilitation. There are some things that you, too, can bring to the chiropractor-patient relationship in ...

    Read More
  • Meditation and Me

    For many of us, the practice of meditation seems like a totally foreign notion. In an era of full-time, morning-to-night distractions and distractibility, the concept of quietly sitting with nothing else to do seems impossibly ridiculous. Why would anyone do that, we ask, as we text message with one ...

    Read More
  • New Beginnings

    The time is always right to begin returning to good health. Regardless of whether your issues involve weight, exercise, diet, blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic pain, now is the time to begin taking action on your own behalf. You are not alone. Literally hundreds of millions of people worldwide have ...

    Read More
  • Remember to Schedule Your Spinal Screening

    Most of us have undergone some type of screening exam in the last several years. Depending on your age, personal history, and family history, you may have needed to go for a periodic mammography, colonoscopy, or cardiac stress test. If everything was fine, you have probably been instructed to follow-up ...

    Read More
  • The Circle of Life

    Many people - adults and children - are familiar with the marvelous animated feature "The Lion King". Most have found themselves humming the film's theme "The Circle of Life" long after they've stopped actively thinking about the film itself. "The Circle of Life" is not only a terrifically catchy tune, ...

    Read More
  • The Light Within

    What animates us? In other words, what is it that causes us to be living matter? For example, what distinguishes a living orchid from a tissue-paper-and-paint model of an orchid? Or what distinguishes a hawk from an airplane? What is it that causes the material that is us to hold together and function ...

    Read More
  • The Natural World

    The natural world functions very well on its own. Left to their own devices, members of the tens of millions of species on our planet thrive and prosper without relying on outside agencies. In order to grow abundantly, plants consume carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients from the soil. Likewise, herbivorous ...

    Read More
  • Your Inner Ecology

    In April 2010 the BP Deep Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in a catastrophic offshore oil spill. Millions of barrels of oil have spilled into the Gulf since the explosion, representing an unprecedented environmental disaster. Many complex ecosystems are affected by the oil ...

    Read More