The Whole-Body Control System (see “Whole-Body Control System” on this site) has to perpetually adjust to changing state of the body and to changing environment. Otherwise, the body cannot survive – there is no way to predict these changes. The WCS has to adjust to keep the body safe, and to facilitate efficient functioning of the body. Hence, the Whole-Body Control System (WCS) has to be an adaptive system.
In the WCS, should be some mechanism, which monitors outcomes of body’s actions. These outcomes are affected by the body’s current state and by the conditions of body’s functioning. WCS should adjust patterns of these actions, as needed. In other words, WCS should change itself, as needed, it should adjust.
Neither changes in the body, nor changes in the environment are predictable. Hence, the Whole-Body Control System has to “experiment” to detect changes themselves and to detect their effect on the quality of functioning of the body. This seems to be the only way for WCS to adjust properly and in time.
These “experiments” should be special – they should not cause large changes in the body, because this is dangerous. Hence, WCS has to “run experiments” quite often to facilitate adjustments in relatively safe small steps.
The need for a sufficient period of time, when the body adjusts to a different form of activity, is well known. Sportsmen usually do special exercises, before intense physical activity. After a period of body’s fighting with an illness, doctors recommend special exercises to their patients, to bring the body to the state matching demands of healthy activity.
These examples show the importance of managing the process of WCS Adjustments. Following example is especially telling.
Body carefully limits amount of oxygen in the blood – excess of oxidant in the body is dangerous. It does it with setting the patterns of breathing, which it slowly corrects. In the same time, sportsmen need to switch quickly to a pattern of intensive breathing (to support intensive muscle activity), and sick people need to switch from reduced level of breathing to normal level of breathing (to fight the next wave of the illness). In both cases, special methods, different methods, though, should be used to cause desirable WCS Adjustments.
In addition, we need to pay special attention to activity of the body in periods, which we perceive as resting times. Often, these are the periods, which WCS uses for adjustment, and such adjustment could be contrary to needs of our anticipated activity. Hence, in such cases, we need to inject specially designed activity in our “resting” periods.
Note that muscles are not the only part of the body strongly affected by the WCS Adjustments.
Brain is a large consumer of oxygen and glucose, and when it does not have enough of any of it, because WCS adjusted to low level of activity, people experience bad memory, “brain fog”, poor coordination, etc. Hence, people need to actively engage the brain on a regular basis, when they want it to be ready on a short notice.
There are a few cases, when mismanaged WCS Adjustments could be dangerous.
When the body operates close to the limits of its ability, both activities of WCS – “experimentation” and adjustment of “body’s reaction”, could be dangerous. An adjustment could bring the body into a situation, which it cannot handle well.
The WCS’s search for an acceptable adjustment could be interpreted as a dangerous instability of the body i.e. it could be interpreted as an illness. This interpretation could trigger potentially dangerous “treatment” actions.
After a period of illness, when the body is still weak, “experiments” of WCS could bring the body into a state, which it cannot handle well yet.
Also, WCS Adjustments could be confusing, especially, when the process of finding an adjustment takes a lot of “experiments”.
Many of these phenomena are familiar, but they are rarely viewed as related. Presentation of them in terms of WCS Adjustments allows systematic approach to detecting, interpreting and solving of associated problems. Understanding the mechanism of WCS Adjustments is important for self-management, treatment of illnesses, and handling of situations requiring unusual physical, or mental exertion.
Alexander Liss 2/2/2021