Homeostatic system

The homeostatic system represents a comprehensive network within the human body, functioning meticulously to uphold balance and stability across all physiological domains. Serving as a body-wide, organless suprasystem, its principal aim is to ensure homeostasis, the fundamental state necessary for optimal health and functionality. This dynamic system coordinates a complex array of responses to both internal and external stimuli, regulating vital processes such as temperature control, hydration, and nutrient homeostasis. From the precise signaling of neurotransmitters to the coordinated interplay of hormones, every aspect of the body contributes to this essential equilibrium. It exemplifies the remarkable resilience and adaptability of the body, tirelessly endeavoring to maintain the crucial balance necessary for our well-being.

Allostatic load

The homeostatic system’s determinants encompass genetic predispositions, epigenetic factors, stress and trauma, nutrition, social connections, and physical activity. While genetic factors remain immutable, targeted interventions can modify the others. When these determinants are balanced, homeostasis is achieved; however, imbalances can lead to the onset of positive or negative allostasis.

Positive allostasis manifests in hyperarousal symptoms, such as heightened vigilance, rapid heartbeat, and exaggerated startle response.

Conversely, negative allostasis is associated with hypoarousal, characterized by fatigue, numbness, and dissociation. For instance, individuals experiencing chronic stress may exhibit symptoms of hyperarousal, while those facing prolonged adversity may display signs of hypoarousal, indicating dysregulation within the homeostatic system.

Homeostatic {Mental} Health Model

The elements of the Homeostatic {Mental} Health Model elucidate how prolonged exposure to stressful and traumatic events disrupts an individual’s window of tolerance, leading to positive or negative allostatic load. Positive allostatic load is marked by heightened sympathetic activity and Hyperarousal-Related Symptoms, while negative allostatic load entails heightened parasympathetic activity and Hypoarousal-Related Symptoms. Given the holistic presence of the homeostatic system throughout the body, these disruptions not only impact mental health but also physical well-being. Positive allostasis may correlate with impulsivity, aggression, psychotic disorders, and metabolic syndrome, including conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Conversely, negative allostatic load can manifest as depression, anxiety, as well as conditions like epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and chronic pain. It’s crucial to recognize this model’s dynamic nature, as positive and negative allostatic states can interchange over time, reflecting the intricate interplay within the homeostatic system.

Homeostatic Rehabilitation from Stress and Trauma (HRST)

Central to this approach is stress and sleep management, beginning with psychoeducation to impart understanding. Techniques such as relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness are employed, alongside trauma-specific treatments like EMDR and Somatic Experiencing. Additionally, psychosocial rehabilitation (CARe) and attention to social relationships are integral. Nutritional balance, physical activity, and supplementation, including endogenous homeostatic ligands like PEA, OEA and AEA as well as exogenous such are CBD and BCP are also addressed. Advanced interventions such as TMS/rTMS, EEG Neurofeedback, and even the use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and cannabis for medicinal purposes are considered. With a focus on reversible determinants, the method aims to re-establish homeostasis, leveraging the Homeostatic System’s capacity to positively impact brain neurobiology. Through enhancing neuroplasticity, neurogeneration, and proliferation, as well as neuroprotection, the primary goal is to foster comprehensive healing and restoration.