How well do you know the inner workings of your body? Usually there is a difference between what we think we know and what we actually do know. Ask yourself if you could describe in detail how the body functions. Or pretend you’re about to teach someone else. In your preparations, you’ll quickly find out how shallow or deep your understanding is!
Human anatomy is amazingly complex and detailed, but so perfect in its design. In short, we’re all equipped with everything we need to live a long, healthy life. However proper maintenance and balance are key to it all. Once we see how the body seeks to regulate itself, we only need to let it do what its designed to do!
Basically, there are 12 main systems in the body that are interrelated and sometimes overlap. The word “system” is used to describe different organs working together to perform specific tasks. No single part does the job alone and they depend on each other. For example, the respiratory system depends on the circulatory system to move oxygen through the body and the muscular system depends on the skeletal system to move the body and lift things. The energy muscles need to move is provided by the digestive system which processes the food we eat. The beautiful part is how these systems find harmony with each other!
There’s communication and coordination between them – and we hardly notice it! The body has various controls in place to keep a balance for each task. This balancing act is known as homeostasis. Too much or too little of something can cause harm. Initially, a lack of balance might start as a little discomfort. But if it continues, it can lead to a more serious illness. When it goes on for a longer period, eventually disease can set in. Homeostasis brings balance to everything – including maintaining our body temperatures, regulating sugar levels in the blood, and properly disposing of waste from natural body activities.
Looking at each system and their functions in more detail, gives a better idea of the genius of our design. Learning the details and appreciating your body only helps deepen your connection and awareness of your needs.
Click on the link below to take a deeper look at each system:
- Cardiovascular System – includes the heart, blood vessels and blood. It controls the flow of blood and nutrients throughout the body.
- Digestive System – is responsible for the digestion and absorption of food. Included are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, anus, liver, pancreas, salivary glands, teeth and tongue.
- Endocrine System – produces hormones for regulation of body functions and coordination. It includes the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, testes, ovary, and liver.
- Immune System – identifies and kills bacteria, viruses, parasites and cancer cells. It consists of various cells, tissues and organs including the skin, bloodstream, bone marrow, intestines and the lymphatic system.
- Lymphatic System – a filtration system, responsible for drainage and protection against infection. It consists of lymph vessels, bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, the spleen, lymphoid nodules and lymphocytes.
- Muscular System – includes all your muscles, both skeletal muscles that are controlled through the nervous system and cardiac muscles which are autonomous. This is the motor power for all movements.
- Nervous System – this is your brain, spinal cord, nerves and nerve endings. It is responsible for control and coordination of all body functions.
- Reproductive System – the organs work together for reproduction. In men, it includes the penis and testes and in women, the uterus, ovaries, vulva, labia, and clitoris.
- Skeletal System – includes the bones, cartilage and joints. It serves for strength, support, shape, protection, leverage, and cell production.
- Excretory System – the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra. Also known as the Urinary system, it regulates the body’s internal environment, and production and excretion of urine.
- Integumentary System – made up of the skin, hair, nails and sweat glands. It is the largest organ system providing protection for deeper tissues, regulating body temperature and eliminating waste.