5-HTP: 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an intermediate in the natural synthesis of the essential amino acid, tryptophan, to serotonin. The enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase adds a hydroxyl group (OH) to tryptophan, forming the 5-HTP intermediate. In the body, it converts to serotonin with the removal of a carboxyl group (COOH) by a second enzyme. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of endocrine and brain activity responsible for emotion, appetite and sleep/wake cycles. In clinical studies, administration of 5-HTP supported serotonin production. The 5-HTP supplied in this supplement is derived from the Griffonia simplicifolia plant.
Asthma Allergy Information and Research (AAIR): is dedicated to further education and research in asthma and allergic diseases. It also provides support for patients in certain areas
Acai Ultra: Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a berry found only in the Amazon and has been used by the natives as a food source and energy boost. It was recently discovered by the western world and it is making its way to health bars everywhere. What makes Acai Ultra different from anything else out there? KTS Products is the first company to utilize a freeze-dried, patent-pending form of this berry known as OptiAcai.
Accounting Standards & Government Regulations For Non-Profit: a resource center for nonprofits.
Acne Resource Center: information on what acne is, different types of acne, and how to effectively treat it.
Acupuncture: the ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Chi or Qi present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. Imagine rivers that flood and cause disasters or an electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts. Acupuncture works to “re-program” and restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the Chi energy.
a list of resources can be found at www.holisticmed.com/www/acupuncture.html
acupuncture meridians: the channels in the body along which energy travels. There are 12 major meridians.
acute pancreatitis: pancreatitis is a condition in which the digestive enzymes of the pancreas attack the pancreas, causing pain, nausea, fever, bleeding, swelling and damage to the pancreas. With acute pancreatitis, the symptoms will go away on their own (as opposed to chronic pancreatitis, where symptoms linger for months or even years).
Acute Toxicity Database: summarizes the results from aquatic acute toxicity tests conducted by the USGS CERC located in Columbia, Missouri. The acute toxicity test provides a relative starting point for hazard assessment of contaminants and is required for federal chemical registration programs.
ADA timeline: an interactive timeline about the ADA’s history.
adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in cells that line certain internal organs and that have gland-like properties. Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinoma.
adenosine: sleep propensity increases in the course of wakefulness: the longer the previous wakefulness period is, the longer and deeper (measured as delta power in EEG recordings) is the following sleep. The mechanisms that regulate the need of sleep at the cellular level are largely unknown. The inhibitory neuromodulator, adenosine, is a promising candidate for a sleep-inducing factor: its concentration is higher during wakefulness than during sleep, it accumulates in the brain during prolonged wakefulness, and local perfusions as well as systemic administration of adenosine and its agonists induce sleep and decrease wakefulness. Adenosine receptor antagonists, caffeine and theophylline, are widely used as stimulants of the central nervous system to induce vigilance and increase the time spent awake.
adrenal glands: When you think about the adrenal glands, you should think about stress. Stress can take many forms: taking an examination, recovering from a broken bone, running away from an invading army, or maintaining proper levels of energy substrates in the face of even mild starvation. The adrenal glands produce three major classes of hormones, each of which aid in dealing with the multitude of small and large stresses faced by animals and people almost daily.
Adrenal Liquescence: a homeopathic remedy that boosts adrenal functions.
Aesculus: a drainage remedy (to minimize unpleasant side effects from chelation) that increases peripheral arterial circulation especially in arms and legs, and invigorates the return of venous blood. Aesculus contains Rutinum, which strengthens the walls of the veins and also reduces capillary fragility.
AIR: the Allergy Internet Resource page is a collection of links on allergy topics to help allergy discussion group members research for themselves.
Akutur: a remedy that provides a fast, powerful therapy for acute and chronic urological infections, including cystitis, urethritis, nephritis, cystopyelitis, cystopyelonephritis and neuralgia vesicae. As a biological alternative to antibiotics, this remedy usually eliminates even the toughest urinary tract infections within a few days, especially those prevalent in young girls or women. In addition, Akutur drops can be prescribed for pain that accompanies infections of the urological tract, including kidney discomfort.
Aldactone: one of the names under which Spironolactone is marketed (also Novo-Spiroton®, Spiractin®, Spirotone®, or Berlactone®). It is a synthetic 17-lactone steroid which is a renal competitive aldosterone antagonist in a class of pharmaceuticals called potassium-sparing diuretics, used primarily to treat low-renin hypertension, hypokalemia, and Conn's syndrome. On its own, spironolactone is only a weak diuretic, but it can be combined with other diuretics.
Alexander Technique: a way of learning how you can get rid of harmful tension in your body. The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change (movement) habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all your activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but rather a reeducation of the mind and body. The Alexander Technique is a method which helps a person discover a new balance in the body by releasing unnecessary tension. It can be applied to sitting, lying down, standing, walking, lifting, and other daily activities.
AllAllergy.net: a gateway to Allergy, Asthma, and Intolerance resources on the web.
Allergies: an overreaction of the immune system to substances that usually cause no reaction in most individuals. These substances can trigger sneezing, wheezing, coughing and itching. Allergies are not only bothersome, but many have been linked to a variety of common and serious chronic respiratory illnesses (such as sinusitis and asthma). Additionally, allergic reactions can be severe and even fatal. However, with proper management and patient education, allergic diseases can be controlled, and people with allergies can lead normal and productive lives.
The Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine: a physician directed and driven Integrative Medical Center located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since its inception in 1999, The Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine has achieved regional and national acclaim for its unique approach to health and wellness. In 1999, the Alliance Institute was named one of the 6 Top Holistic Health Centers in the country, by New Age Magazine. In 2005, the Alliance Institute was chosen by the Bravewell Collaborative to be one of its Eight "Leading Clinical Centers".
Alpha Lipoic Acid: an exceptionally versatile nutrient; being both water and fat soluble, it is able to function in almost any part of the body. It is manufactured in the body, but often times not in the amounts necessary to perform its many functions. Alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant which neutralizes harmful free radicals and enhances the activity of vitamins C and E. A key component of the metabolic process, alpha lipoic acid produces energy in muscles and directs calories into energy production. In addition, this powerful nutrient helps maintain healthy glucose metabolism, supports the nervous system and provides nutritional support for healthy liver function.
alpha motor neurons: large lower motor neurons of the brainstem and spinal cord. They innervate extrafusal muscle fibers of skeletal muscle and are directly responsible for initiating their contraction. Alpha motor neurons are distinct from gamma motor neurons, which innervate intrafusal muscle fibers of muscle spindles. While their cell bodies are found in the central nervous system (CNS), alpha motor neurons are also considered part of the somatic nervous system—a branch of the peripheral nervous system (PNS)—because their axons extend into the periphery to innervate skeletal muscles. An alpha motor neuron and the muscle fibers it innervates is a motor unit. A motor neuron pool contains all the alpha motor neurons involved in contracting a single muscle.
Alternative Approaches to Cancer: a 1998 article by Dr. Morie Gertz about unorthodox cancer therapy being tried at the Mayo Clinic.
Alternative Health Search (Yahoo): a listing of articles about alternative health practices compiled on Yahoo.
amalgam: a dental "silver filling" which a dentist places in a patient's tooth after a cavity is created by drilling out decay. Amalgam restorations consist of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and a trace amount of zinc. The dental amalgam has two fundamental flaws that adversely effect a patient's health. The first fundamental flaw is that all amalgam metals are cations. The net result of the tendency for covalent, ionic and metallic bonding and van der Waals forces between amalgam cations is a weak repulsion. So there is a sustained release of mercury and other metals from the amalgam into the body. Researchers have measured a daily release of mercury on the order of 10 micrograms from the amalgam into the body. Mercury is a toxic metal; the most minute amount damages cells. The second fundamental flaw is that there are five dissimilar metals in the amalgam. Galvanic action between these metals in inevitable (the dissimilar metals form a battery). Galvanism produces electricity that flows through the body. The electric currents produced by the amalgam typically are between 0.1 and 10 microamps, compared to the body's natural electric current of 3 microamps. The mercury challenges systemic functions of every individual and of developing fetuses, so it can lead to health problems and fetal malformations. Mercury leakage and its subsequent pathophysiologic effects are most often slow, insidious processes. So health problems caused by dental mercury poisoning are perceived many years after the amalgams are placed.
Amalgam Case History: Carol Ward , vice president of the non-profit organization DAMS (Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome), shares her medical history coping with toxic poisoning from mercury filling.
Amalgam Links: toxicity articles, links, and slideshows about amalgam fillings published by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP): an organization committed to the relief of craniofacial pain and dysfunction, and the advancement of research and study in this field. The AACP will continue to be the Craniofacial Pain/TMD organization representing all practitioners in this discipline by providing a common ground for advancement of knowledge, clinical practice and research.
American Dental Association (ADA: established in 1859, it is the world's largest and oldest national dental association. Today they have more than 155,000 dentist members.
American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA): founded in 1978 as a membership organization for physicians seeking to practice a broader form of medicine than what was (and is) currently taught in allopathic (MD and DO) medical schools. For 25 years the AHMA has nurtured and educated physicians making this transition. Current membership is nearly 1,000 physicians and allied health professionals who seek to make the holistic model available to patients and practitioners alike.
American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA): founded in 1968 in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, to help the hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians. Initially providing emergency relief, ANERA determined the effects of the war on Palestinian society would last well into the future and therefore began implementing projects that would establish a foundation for social and economical growth. Today, ANERA's projects improve communities throughout the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Jordan.
American Thyroid Association: a professional society of 900 U.S. and international physicians and scientists who specialize in the research and treatment of thyroid diseases. The Association is dedicated to promoting scientific and public understanding of the biology of the thyroid gland and its disorders, so as to improve methods for prevention, diagnosis, and management. The Association fosters excellence in research, patient care, and education of patients, the public, and the medical and scientific communities. The Association also guides public policy about the prevention and management of thyroid diseases.
AM-FM (Arm Movement-Field Movement): introduced in 1998 by Dr. Louisa Williams, it is a technique for bio feedback testing. The AM-FM system measures the state of the connective tissue, or matrix tissue, in the body, and is an even more sensitive diagnostic tool than kinesiology for determining the most effective therapeutic interventions in patients. In addition to the aforementioned diagnostic assessments measured in NK, the AM-FM method also includes testing for the need for drainage remedies (from Belgium), auriculotherapy (from France) and constitutional homeopathy (from India). Dr. Williams has renamed the technique “Matrix Reflex Testing (MRT).”
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation: a nonprofit health and human services organization that has served the greater Saint Paul, Minnesota, area since 1906. It operates dozens of programs that help children succeed in school, older adults remain independent, troubled youth create healthy futures, and individuals and families maintain long-term housing. Wilder is not a grant-making foundation.
amino acids: play central roles both as building blocks of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism. Humans can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids. The others must be supplied in the food. Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids, those that we cannot make, results in degradation of the body's proteins—muscle and so forth—to obtain the one amino acid that is needed. Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use—the amino acids must be in the food every day.
Aminomine: a balanced combination of 14 free form amino acids with special emphasis on excitatory neurotransmitter precursors & blood sugar stabilizers.
analgesic medications: Analgesics are a class of drugs which are used to relieve pain. Unlike the various NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and the Cox-2 inhibitors, which help relieve both pain and inflammation, analgesics only target pain. A doctor may prescribe one of the analgesics in addition to one of the NSAIDs, when a patient still needs extra pain relief. Examples of analgesics are Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Codeine.
anaphylaxis: a severe allergic reaction that may involve the entire body. It can result in trouble breathing, loss of consciousness and even death. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment, and later follow up care by an allergist/immunologist.
Ancef: is the injection form of cephalexin, is a semisynthetic cephalosporin antibiotic.
Andrew Taylor Still: the father of osteopathic medicine as well as the founder of the first college of osteopathic medicine. He was born in Jonesboro, Virginia (now known as Jonesville), on August 6, 1828. His father was both a Methodist minister and physician. Young Andrew Still decided at an early age to follow in his father's footsteps as a physician. As an apprentice physician to his father, he learned both from being at his father's side as well as from the course of study. He later served in the Civil War as a surgeon in the Union Army. It was not until the early 1870's that Dr. Still separated himself from his M.D. counterparts by his pervasive criticism of the misuse of drugs common to the day. Believing that medicine should offer the patient more, Dr. Still supported a philosophy of medicine different from the practice of his day and in their place he advocated the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment. Dr. Still founded a philosophy of medicine based on ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. The philosophy focuses on the unity of all body parts. He identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health. He recognized the body's ability to heal itself and stressed preventive medicine, eating properly, and keeping fit.
Anna’s Case: the genesis of Pacific Northwest Foundation’s (PNF) vision and, hence, mission. It is the fundamental reason for PNF moving from a grant-making to an operational organization. The case covers the medical history of a woman born in 1952 whose funeral was being planned in 1997 because of her deteriorating and seemingly hopeless health condition. It details her recovery in great detail in six month intervals, beginning in 1996 through 2003. It includes not only her perspective but such information as lab reports as well.
Anthracene: used in the artificial production of the red dye alizarin. It is also used in wood preservatives, insecticides, and coating materials. The substance irritates the eyes, the skin, the respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal tract
antibiotics: medicines that kill the bacteria that cause infections.
Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH), Aldosterone, and osmolarity: the primary effect of ADH is to limit the amount of water being lost in urine, by increasing the amount of water being reabsorbed into the blood. The ADH targets the cells of the tubules and collecting ducts, which causes an increase of permeability of the cell surfaces, where the water then leaves the renal tubules by means of osmosis. With more fluid being reabsorbed, the blood volume increases while the solutes concentration becomes more diluted. As soon as the osmolarity of the blood and body fluids is reduced, with more fluid being reabsorbed by the tubules in the kidneys, the receptors in the hypothalamus are no longer stimulated and the level of ADH stimulation is reduced, which then in turn signals to the kidneys to start excreting more water in the urine production until the blood osmolarity increases enough for the cycle to be started again. ADH is not the only hormone that helps with the regulation of kidney function - aldosterone (from the adrenal cortex) as well as parathyroid hormone (from the parathyroid glands) affects the balance and regulation of electrolyte content of the blood and body fluids. When aldosterone is present in the blood, the distal renal tubules increase their re-absorption of sodium and the secretion of potassium. With this action, more water is retained in the body and a person with high aldosterone content can have “puffy” features from the increased water volume. Aldosterone is secreted by the adrenal glands when the level of the potassium in the blood is increased, as well as the self-regulatory action of the kidneys by means of the renin-angiotensin system.
antihistamine: a drug which block the action of histamine, thus preventing or alleviating the major symptoms of an allergic response.
antimutagenic: a mutagenic agent is one which is capable of causing mutations. It may also (but does not necessarily) act as a carcinogen. Antimutagenic agents act to block mutagenic agents.
Apis Homaccord: a Heel remedy used to treat serious chronic skin conditions.
apo-Hepat: as the largest gland in the body, the liver serves as a processing factory of unmatched importance. It plays a key role in eliminating toxins and metabolic waste products from the blood that would otherwise poison the body. The liver also creates cholesterol and bile required for digestion, plays an important role in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism and breaks down old red blood cells. Apo-Hepat drops treat and detoxify the liver, gallbladder and pancreas, which work together to promote good digestion. This remedy provides a vital stimulus that aids in the excretion of liver toxins, thereby enabling the tissues to regenerate and resume normal function. It also eliminates liver portal blockages that commonly exist in chronically ill patients. In addition, Apo-Hepat drops increase kidney and gallbladder secretion, stimulate circulation and improve the lymphatic system. This medication should be seriously considered as an adjuvant therapy when treating all chronic illnesses with Pekana spagyrics as every disease adversely affects vital liver functions.
apo-Infekt: acute bacterial and viral infections can be treated successfully with the help of apo-Infekt drops, which work as an immune system stimulant and biological antimicrobial to eliminate pathogens. Unlike allopathic medications, this plant remedy does not burden the body, but rather helps stimulate an immune response and eliminate toxins that can block the metabolism. Its antibacterial qualities are essential for treatment of acute infections of the bladder, kidneys, bronchials and other organs. All pus-producing infections such as bronchitis, tonsillitis and otitis media indicate the need for apo-Infekt drops, which also stimulate the lymphatic system and address accompanying symptoms such as fever and weakness. In addition, apo-Infekt drops treat intestinal tract infections to help neutralize toxins.
apo-Oedem: a PEKANA remedy effective for treatment of different forms of edemas, including cardial, hepatic, renal, lymphatic and subcutaneous cell tissue. Conditions that can trigger or accompany the development of edemas include inflammation, deposits, disruptions in circulation and circulatory weakness through coronary insufficiency and reduction in kidney function. apo-Oedem drops also help relieve swollen ankles due to water retention, abdominal bloating and venous stasis.
Applied Kinesiology: Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a system that evaluates structural, chemical and mental aspects of health using manual muscle testing with other standard methods of diagnosis. The doctor using AK finds a muscle that is unbalanced and then attempts to determine why that muscle is not functioning properly. The doctor works out the treatment that will best balance the patient's muscles. Treatments may involve specific joint manipulation or mobilization, various myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian and acupuncture skills, clinical nutrition, dietary management, counselling skills, evaluating environmental irritants and various reflex procedures. AK uses the Triad of Health. That is Chemical, Mental and Structural factors that balance the major health categories. The Triad of Health is interactive and all sides must be evaluated for the underlying cause of a problem. A health problem on one side of the triad can affect the other sides. For example, a chemical imbalance can cause mental symptoms. AK enables the doctor to evaluate the triad's balance and direct therapy toward the imbalanced side or sides. AK skills are developed and approved by the International College of Applied Kinesiology Board of Standards. These skills are refined from many disciplines including Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Medicine, Dentistry, Acupuncture, Biochemistry, Psychology, Homeopathy, and Naturopathy etc. Members of these professions share knowledge through the publications and conferences of the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK). A Doctor using AK during an examination will add a new dimension to standard diagnostics.
Apthous ulcers: sores which can occur on the inside surface of your cheeks, on your tongue,or in your throat.. The exact cause of apthous ulcers is unknown. Some reports suggest that these ulcers are caused by a virus.
Arabica beans: the superior grade of coffee that most people usually refer to as gourmet coffee. They contain about half of the caffeine of robusta and have more desirable flavors and aromatic properties. Much of the coffee grown world wide is of the arabica species, but only a fraction meets standard set by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Arachnoid villae: (also called arachnoid granulation bodies) are small protrusions of the arachnoid (the thin second layer covering the brain) through the dura (the thick outer layer). They protrude into the venous sinuses of the brain, and allow cerebrospinal fluid to exit the brain, and enter the blood stream. The arachnoid villae act as one-way valves. Normally the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid is higher than that of the venous system, so cerebrospinal fluid flows through the villi and granulations into the blood. If the pressure is reversed for some reason, fluid will not pass back into the brain. The reason for this is not known. It has been suggested that the endothelial cells of the venous sinus create vacuoles of cerebrospinal fluid, which move through the cell and out into the blood.
Argon laser history: summarizes the work of Francis L'Esperance in the 1960’s and 1970’s developing an optic laser to treat diabetic retinopathy.
Arnica: also commonly called leopard's bane, the arnica plant has a bright yellow, daisy-like flower that blooms around July. Preparations made from the flowering heads have been used in homeopathic medicine for hundreds of years. It is popular in Germany and over 100 drug preparations are made from the plant. Arnica is a perennial that is protected in parts of Europe. Arnica works by stimulating the activity of white blood cells that perform much of the digestion of congested blood, and by dispersing trapped, disorganized fluids from bumped and bruised tissue, joints and muscles. Arnica is known to stimulate blood circulation and can raise blood pressure, especially in the coronary arteries. The plant is used externally for arthritis, burns, ulcers, eczema and acne. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that can reduce pain and swelling, improving wound healing. It is typically rubbed on the skin to soothe and heal bruises, sprains, and relieve irritations from trauma, arthritis and muscle or cartilage pain. Applied as a salve, arnica is also good for chapped lips, irritated nostrils and acne.
Aromatherapy: the use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being.
Arsenic: naturally occurring element widely distributed in the earth's crust. In the environment, arsenic is combined with oxygen, chlorine, and sulfur to form inorganic arsenic compounds. Arsenic in animals and plants combines with carbon and hydrogen to form organic arsenic compounds. Inorganic arsenic compounds are mainly used to preserve wood. Copper chromated arsenic (CCA) is used to make "pressure-treated" lumber. CCA is no longer used in the U.S. for residential uses; it is still used in industrial applications. Organic arsenic compounds are used as pesticides, primarily on cotton plants.
art therapy: an established mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.
Arthroscopic: a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a physical examination of the interior of a joint is performed using an arthroscope, a type of endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision. Arthroscopic procedures can be performed either to evaluate, or to treat, many orthopaedic conditions including torn floating cartilage, torn surface cartilage, ACL reconstruction and trimming damaged cartilage. The advantage of arthroscopy over traditional knee endoscopies is that the joint does not have to be opened up fully. Instead, only two small incisions are made - one for the arthroscope and one for the surgical instruments. This reduces the recovery time of the patient and may increase the rate of surgical success due to less trauma to the connective tissue. It is especially useful for professional athletes, who frequently injure knee joints and require fast healing time. There is also less scarring, because of the smaller incisions.
Association of Small Foundations (ASF): is a membership organization of 3,000 foundations with few or no staff. ASF provides their members with peer learning opportunities, targeted resources, and a collective voice in and beyond the philanthropic community.
Aston Patterning: the Aston Paradigm is an evolution of realizations by Judith Aston about the nature of human existence. It includes perceptions about our bodies' natural form and function, our processes of learning and self expression, and our interaction with the physical properties of the planet and our environment. Key to the paradigm is the recognition that the human body is an asymmetrical structure, that its motion and form take on three-dimensional asymmetrical spiral patterns and that each human body is unique. Aston-Patterning® is the application of the Aston Paradigm to human movement of the body, mind and spirit, as well as, bodywork and ergonomics, matching human function to its environment. As therapy, its uniqueness lies in its comprehensive approach to the whole individual rather than focusing on separate parts. Specific problems are evaluated in relationship to the whole, taking into consideration the entire person, their body, their character expressions, their personal beliefs and their movement habits. There is no set recipe for managing a problem.
atelectasis: a state in which the lung, in whole or in part, is collapsed or without air. It is a condition where the alveoli are deflated, as distinct from pulmonary consolidation.
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): conveys sensory impulses from the blood vessels, the heart and all of the organs in the chest, abdomen and pelvis through nerves to other parts of the brain (mainly the medulla, pons and hypothalamus). These impulses often do not reach our consciousness, but elicit largely automatic or reflex responses through the efferent autonomic nerves, thereby eliciting appropriate reactions of the heart, the vascular system, and all the organs of the body to variations in environmental temperature, posture, food intake, stressful experiences and other changes to which all individuals are exposed.