Born in 1802, orthopathy could be considered one of western medicine’s original “alternative” medical practices. These 16 laws underpinned their revolution. With the explosion of the “wellness industry” eradicating the dinosaur of “sick care”, it’s time to review these 16 laws and see how they impact your health right now.
The Law of Vitality: Each cell in your body organizes itself specifically for self-preservation. It sustains its effort by some inherent force in the organism called vital force, life force, qi or prana depending upon your culture. We honor this mystical force, because no discipline has ever been able to reproduce it, or even understand its mechanism. It is the self-animating force which not only bursts into creation, but re-creation, as cells seemingly spontaneously regenerate themselves, and resurrect as new cells through this “divine spark” of life. An organism’s success - regardless of simplicity or complexity of the organism - is in direct proportion to the degree of vital force it holds.
The Law of Order: Each organism in part and in whole remains entirely “self-constructing, self-maintaining, self-directing, self-repairing, self-defending, and self-healing” for the entirety of its existence. Like the DNA which acts as a sentient governor of the animating force of life, your body mysteriously “knows” what is best, fastest, and most efficient. The degree to which you observe and facilitate this re-ordering lies in direct proportion to your success of healing and wellness.
The Law of Action: Whenever something happens within a living organism, even as a result of external influence, that event must be attributed to the living organism, due to its animating power, and not to any lifeless thing. Nothing inert can cause reaction in life. Only life can act upon life, and only life can react to life. So, if there is something happening within you, you are and always will be the actor. There is an innate accountability to healing and wellness. Down to muscular tension - since all tonicity is conscious - you can, if focused, release all tension throughout your body; and if you harbor tension, for some reason, you desire it.
The Law of Power: Any power used or exerted in any medical or healing action is your own vital power. Power never comes from outside you. Nothing outside of you can heal you. No medicine. No physician. They are only “coaches” who “cheer” along your innate ability to heal yourself. You always and already have all the power to heal yourself, and to remain 100% well.
The Law of Distribution: All of the power within your body is distributed throughout in a specific proportionality relating to the need of the organs and tissues of your body. The 5 basic distributions of your body’s energy allocates to these areas.
1. mental (too often over-emphasized)
2. movement (too often under-utilized)
3. cellular (too often over-medicated)
4. digestive (too often over-utilized)
5. eliminative (too often most neglected)
The Law of Conservation: When in distress for nutrition, your organism will start to cannibalize its own tissues starting with the least useful first. This is why we burn fat in exercise. It’s why hunger isn’t a bad thing. It’s why over-eating is so insidious in over-abundance cultures. And it’s why eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia literally devour you from the inside.
The Law of Limitation: When you expend your vital power to the point of impending mortal exhaustion, your body will “check” that hazardous expenditure. Your body will even rebel against continued abuse of stimulants like nicotine by adapting to them so that they don’t effect you as well. Even alcoholics can be come sick at the smell of alcohol. And exercise can make an exercise addict sick.
The Law of Economy: Your vital force, under healthy conditions, can store a surplus of vital “funds” above your current output. This “reserve fund” is saved for times of critical need. This is why over-consumption is a threat to your health, because you will continue to save and save regardless of the burden this places on your entire organism. Obesity results from this law. It is also one of the fundamental reasons for the benefits of intermittent fasting - to cast out unnecessary reserve funds.
The Law of Accommodation: Your organism has an innate adaptability. It can adapt to virtually all situations in order to preserve itself. Whatever it cannot destroy or control, it accommodates. Your inherent ability to tolerate and adapt to adversity is what allows you to prolong your life. This law allows you to progress in your fitness. It is why you need stress in order to remain healthy. Without sufficient stress, you still adapt. Adapting to insufficient stress is the process of decay.
The Law of Stimulation: When faced with a toxin or irritation, your body releases a reactive agent to protect itself. This is the healing process. It’s the function of your immune system. But in releasing protective agents, your overall power diminishes. The more taxed your immune system - the more vulnerable you become because your vital power is diminished in direct proportion. This is also what medicines and herbs do: they only stimulate the body to heal itself. It’s also the potential harm of medicine and herbs: too much, too fast, too long , these external agents tax your overall vital power and expose you to harm and decay.
The Law of Compensation: Whenever you have expended a portion of your vital force to any of the five basic areas of distribution, your body demands recovery. Sleep, rest and recuperation must happen, or the body will begin to attack itself, and cannibalize its own tissues for resources and nutrients.
The Law of Elimination: Anything which is injurious to your body, regardless of how it was contracted will be opposed, inoculated and eliminated through any and all means possible, but your body seeks the least harmful channels first. Urine and feces are the most common forms of elimination, but breath, perspiration, tears, mucus, hair and nails are also forms of toxic elimination for the body. However, many people do not honor elimination with the same reverence they have for intake of food. Elimination is often perceived as an inconvenience when it is one of the most critical forms of health care.
The Law of Utilization: Whatever you need in your life is already naturally available. Everything you need to heal is already within you, which is why medicinals and herbs are only catalysts to your natural healing process. Furthermore, anything that isn’t a natural substance or process in the body is of zero value and cannot be used by a living organism. Non-native substances (such as artificial, synthetic sweeteners) not only cannot be utilized by the body, but are very difficult to be eliminated. This is also the reason for the authentic Hippocratic tradition of, “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”
The Law of Quality: When your organism encounters quality nutrition higher than that present in your tissue, your body will discard the less-quality cells to accommodate the superior materials and build a new and healthier tissue. Each cell in your body, even your very bones, are completely replaced every 7 years. You are a completely new person each 7 year cycle with no cell remaining from the prior cycle! This means that if you provide yourself with better nutrition, you will continue to create a more superior body each cycle. The reverse is also true: give your organism inferior nutrition, and you will find yourself sicker, weaker on a downward spiral.
The Law of Minimum: I call this the law of the weakest link because your development is in direct proportion to the abundance of the least provided or utilized element. Whatever you’re in deficient supply of limits your overall development. It could be proteins for building blocks. It could be minerals or vitamins due to ineffective foods. It could be neuropeptides from too much stress, not enough love, laughter or purpose. This also applies to fetal development.
The Law of Development: Any development of your body, in part or as a whole, mental, physical or emotional, is in direct proportion to the degree of vital force directed at it. If you don’t have sufficient vital force to direct at development, you won’t. Vital force is the fuel of change. Like in business, you need to spend money to make money, you need to generate your vital force in order to expend it upon development. Most people have too much scattered, ill-distributed, over-burdened and under-utilized forces throughout their organism. Aligning your vital force towards development, assures ongoing regenerative healing and wellness.
Though these laws seem obvious and even simple, at a minute level they involve college degrees worth of study to appreciate the depth of their meaning.
However, healing and disease isn’t even remotely as complicated as some would have you believe. You don’t need to know why your car starts if you insert your key and turn it, if you press the accelerator it goes, or if you press the brake it stops. Wellness and sickness are exactly like this. Study biochemistry to learn why spinach is good for you, but if your body craves it, if it feels good to eat it, then it’s good for you. Trust your intuition as it knows the 16 laws of wellness by design.