Down the ages messages and messengers have always been crucial in conquests and the winning of wars.
I think of fast runners, who were sent to convey important messages to kings or enemies in the duration of conflict.
During the Roman times, pigeons were used as messengers. The rider on horseback was called in to swiftly take messages to far off places. And the Stage coach service that carried passengers goods and letters.
Then came the postal service and the trusty postman on his bicycle delivering good old-fashioned and personal snail-mail.
Now we have the internet and email – trillions of messages, information and advertisements sent at a 1,000 times the speed of persistency.
The messengers have come a long way in a very short space of time !
But I want to bring our attention to the unseen and hidden messengers.
I have been reading up on hormones ! Yes, mysterious, sometimes troublesome, often incomprehensible hormones, and have discovered that hormones are hidden but very important messengers too.
I would like to share with you what I have gleaned from my readings and my impressions of the work of these hidden messengers.
Before I continue, I must mention two other attempts at understanding anatomy, and at the same time make a humble confession of my prolixity. When I stumble onto something I tend to go fetch it at length.
You will see fine examples of my prolixity in my previous posts
From Menial to Magnificent, when I discovered the wonders of the circulatory system of blood, and also in The First Line of Defence, when I groped for knowledge of the Immune system and nutrition.
I am trying to curb this inter-twining writing style, but until then please bear with me, as I try again to be more concise on the subject in question.
But to the point of this post then …. finally !
I have read different approaches to the subject of hormones so that I could piece the writings together for more clarity and understanding.
Again, we have come along way in a relevantly short space of time, in the knowledge and understanding of the human anatomy, as I gleaned from the snippets taken from Dr Alan L Gillen’s book Body by Design ISBN: 0-89051-296-5 Publisher : Masterbooks
Hormones – the body in balance.
In 1902 the British physiologist Ernest Starling discovered hormones. Historically (1923) he was also the first scientist to use the metaphor of wisdom in the inward parts to characterise the body in balance….
…… he spoke about the regulation of body processes, their adaptability, and the contribution of hormones that integrated signals and provided balance through feedback.
For his epigraph, Starling chose a verse from the Book of Job 38:36|
Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts.
…….. Walter Cannon coined the term homeostasis in his book The Wisdom of the Body and built upon Starling’s theory of homeostasis : when he described this as a condition of uniformity that results from adjustment of living things to changes in their environment.
He described detail physiological mechanisms for this coordinated regulatory balance.
….Physicians have long recognised that the body must be in chemical balance to stay healthy. If one chemical variable in the human body gets out of balance, then disorder, disease and even death may result.
Dr Alan Gillen says … “Indeed, the Creator put wisdom in the inward parts (Job 38:36) This wisdom is evident in the process of homeostasis : balance, order, regulation and chemical feedback.
It is the Creator who has given understanding to the mind of man as he has discovered the laws that the Creator set in motion in the human body.
In the Endocrine system its glands and hormones we find a plan, purpose and design to maintain our health and wellness.
The next illustration (ref : clickmypicture.com/functions-of-endocrine/)
crisply and simply displays the positions and functions of the glands that make up the endocrine system, that houses these chemical messengers.
A little reading done at http://www.ikonet.com/en/visualdictionary/static/us/hormones
gives a clear and brief description of the body’s hormones :
Hormones : the body’s chemical messengers.
The human body secretes and circulates some 50 different hormones. A wide variety of these chemical substances are produced by endocrine cells, most of which are in the glands. The hormones then enter the blood system to circulate throughout the body and active target cells.
The Endocrine system tightly linked to the Nervous system, controls large number of the body’s functions :
metabolism, homeostasis, growth, sexual activity and contraction of the smooth and cardiac muscles.
The Endocrine system is composed of 9 specialised glands.
The endocrine glands : the pituitary, the thyroid, the four parathyroids, the two adrenals and the thymus,
and the number of organs capable of producing hormones include the pancreas, heart, kidneys, ovaries testicles and intestines.
The hypothalamus, which is not a gland but a nerve centre, also plays a major role in the synthesis of hormonal factors.
The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are the control centres of the endocrine system.
The Endocrine system is linked to the Nervous system, which regulates our feelings, our emotions, our internal universe. One act of kindness can release a chemical called oxytocin, they call it a love hormone. Some say that the four basic emotions are Love, Fear, Joy and Sadness, with all their derivatives. The stimuli (data) from our outer environment is processed and messages sent to cells for responses and reactions to interpret the situation . So hormones get to become very personal now.
The Nervous System is an orchestration of mystery and wonder, but to simply understand how the mechanics of it works I now refer to David R Hamilton’s book Why Kindness is Good for You. ISBN978-1-8485-178-2 Printed and published by Hay House SA (Pty) Ltd.
How it works :
The way it works is that chemicals known as neuropeptides are continually manufactured in an area of the brain known as the Hypothalamus. From there, many flow into the Pituitary gland and are released into the bloodstream in response to our thoughts and emotions.
…. Another way to think of it, less colourful but slightly more accurate, is to think of the neuropeptide as a space shuttle. For it to dock onto a space station, which would be the cell for this analogy, its docking port has to be the same shape as the docking port on the station. When it docks, an astronaut could walk into the space station and enter new information into it computers.
In the same way, a neuropeptide fits into its receptor and passes information to the cell, entering new instructions into is ‘computer’, which, for this analogy, is the DNA. So some of the information activates or deactivates genes.
There is of course much more on hormones, but sufficient for now, or else I will be guilty of information overload.
The hidden but honourable hormone is so necessary in triggering messages to cells to maintaining our body maintenance (homeostasis) for on-going orderly health and well-being in our bodily forms and functions.
So, hooray for hormones, and now you know part of the reason why you are so much more than just a pretty or good-looking face !! We are talking walking miracles precisely designed and engineered – and infused with wisdom for health and well-being!
But the most important message is to discover, to know and to appreciate God’s wonderful Mind in the design of the human body, and the miracle of how our bodies function in complimentary harmony to keep us healthy, happy and sane.
There are hidden messages in the Bible that reveal the wonders of His Mind and of His created works. If we would but just go and read about it, how astonishing will the revelations be that He has for us, to then become for us the secrets of wisdom. (Job 11:6)
Amazing in design, by an amazing Mind of an Amazing God – is the human body. We can only but stand in awe and in wondered reverence of His crowning creation – which is you … and me. Hallelujah.
So … we are pretty and awesome, and that is Pretty Awesome in the grand scale of hormones, would you agree ?