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Quantum


HEALTH


David Hamilton


The Philosopher’s Stone has been found...


It’s inside you! F


David R. Hamilton Ph.D


or centuries learned people have searched for the mystical philosopher’s stone, believed to be the elixir of life and give immortality to he or she


who owns it.


But could it be that the philosopher’s stone is not so much a stone but an attitude? A groundbreaking piece of research by Kevin Tracey, director of the Feinstein Institute and Professor and President of the Elmezzi graduate school of molecular medicine in Manhasset, New York, has revealed how the nervous system (the vagus nerve) controls inflammation in the body, now known as ‘The Inflammatory Reflex’. Inflammation is one of the major agers of the body and plays a key role in illness and disease.


Most people think of inflammation as the swelling and redness after a cut. This inflammation is a vital part of healing and helps to ensure that nutrient-rich blood is drawn to the site of injury to help facilitate healing. But it turns out that if it wasn’t for the vagus nerve - the longest nerve in the body that runs from the top of the brainstream, through the face, throat,


16 Quantum Health


chest, heart, the GI tract, all major organs, and even over certain immune cells – inflammation from a small cut would typically spill out into the bloodstream and lead to septic shock and multiple organ failure.


The vagus nerve is the brake on inflammation throughout the body. Once the vagus nerve senses that there are enough inflammatory substances (the chemicals of inflammation) following an injury it sends a signal to the immune cells that make those chemicals and tells them to turn off production.


The vagus nerve puts the brakes on inflammation in much the same way that you might apply the brake in your car when you’re travelling a little over the speed limit. The vagus nerve is highly important because inflammation doesn’t only arise in response to injury; it is also a side effect of unhealthy lifestyle factors – like poor diet, smoking, drinking, stress, etc. It plays a key role in heart disease, some cancers, and in fact it is involved in just about every serious disease we know of in western medicine.


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