Homeostasis paradigm

 

Although the word homeostasis is of relatively recent origins, coined by Walter Bradford Cannon in 1926 and based upon Claude Bernard's earlier milieu intérieur, the concept has ancient roots in Greek thinking. This concept of self-regulating interior environments (e.g., fluid level, temperature level) by maintaining some balance with its exterior environments is richly understood in Native Amerian lore. Extensive use of the wellness wheel, or sacred circle diagram, will help to illustrate this.

 

 

In this opening paradigm of indigentology, everything we can label as need relates back to this homeostatic process. In a closed system, the need remains internal. For example, maintaining an optimal blood pulse does not require some specific external item. When we think of needs we are typically looking at open systems, in which we need something outside of ourselves to restore something of balance inside ourselves. For example, how we intake water that is outside of ourselves to restore our body's optimal fluid balance.

 

 

As used here, homeostasis is understood as having an optimal zone (in green), a safe zone (in yellow), and a danger zone (in red). Internal systems remaining largely within the green zone does not call much of our attention. We attend to them automatically, as if on autopilot, as when the resource is abundant. When was the last time you worried about quenching your thirst, or recall using the restroom?

 
Homeostasis zones: green, yellow, red
.satiated.

 

We always need fluid equilibrium in our body, even after satiated with a drink. At a time when it is at an optimal level the need still exists, albeit it lies dormant. The "need" for water is left off our radar, not requiring our attention. While latent, our attention can be readily given to other needs. At least until our body fluid level drops to a point to trigger a feeling of thirse.

 

.thirst.

 

Moving above and below this green zone, into the yellow zone, is where our attention begins to be consumed with an urgency for some kind of relief. Whether craving for what seems desperately missing or trying to remove an apparent source of pain, functioning tends to become narrowly focused. Intuitively we realize little else can matter until this issues gets resolved.

 

.drink.

 

The "H++" and "H--" represent those points where deprivation—too much or too little of something—begins to present a threat to one's wellbeing. The body may go into shock, pulling in all available energy for its threatened self-preservation. Long-term or permanent damage may result, not only visibly but in less visible forms impacting one's psychological health.

 

.quench.

 

Moving above and below this green zone, into the yellow zone, is where our attention begins to be consumed with an urgency for some kind of relief. Whether craving for what seems desperately missing or trying to remove an apparent source of pain, functioning tends to become narrowly focused. Intuitively we realize little else can matter until this issues gets resolved.

 

.satiated.

 

Moving above and below this green zone, into the yellow zone, is where our attention begins to be consumed with an urgency for some kind of relief. Whether craving for what seems desperately missing or trying to remove an apparent source of pain, functioning tends to become narrowly focused. Intuitively we realize little else can matter until this issues gets resolved.

The second provisional principle for indigentology presumes all need experience is based on the process of homeostasis.

 

Homeostasis is a relatively new name for a concept that has been around for a long time.

 

The more something departs from its homeostatic equilibrium the more urgently we experience it as an attention grabbing need.

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Red zone

Homeostatic need:  restoring equilibrium by moving something in

If wellness is defined as

.satiated.

 

The "H=" represents the Homeostatic optimal equilibrium point, where any level above is increasingly more than optimal and any level below is decreasingly less than optimal. The "H+" represents the upper limit for optimal functioning, as does the "H-" for the lower limit. Fluctuations within this green zone typically does not prompt agonizing discomfort or obsessive desire.

 

.bladder.

 

Due to traditional taboos against openly discussing some topics, we do not have readily equivalent terms for excess fluid removal. Whether craving for what seems desperately missing or trying to remove an apparent source of pain, functioning tends to become narrowly focused. Intuitively we realize little else can matter until this issues gets resolved.

 

.urinate.

 

The "H++" and "H--" represent those points where deprivation—too much or too little of something—begins to present a threat to one's wellbeing. The body may go into shock, pulling in all available energy for its threatened self-preservation. Long-term or permanent damage may result, not only visibly but in less visible forms impacting one's psychological health.

 

.relieve.

 

Moving above and below this green zone, into the yellow zone, is where our attention begins to be consumed with an urgency for some kind of relief. Whether craving for what seems desperately missing or trying to remove an apparent source of pain, functioning tends to become narrowly focused. Intuitively we realize little else can matter until this issues gets resolved.

 

.satiated.

 

Moving above and below this green zone, into the yellow zone, is where our attention begins to be consumed with an urgency for some kind of relief. Whether craving for what seems desperately missing or trying to remove an apparent source of pain, functioning tends to become narrowly focused. Intuitively we realize little else can matter until this issues gets resolved.

Homeostatic need:  restoring equilibrium by moving something out

 

If wellness is defined as

Widely applicable

 

Replace "water" with other necessities for life, such as oxygen, nutrients, or self-efficacy and affection from a significant other, and you can hopefully start to see how homeostasis is at the root of all need experience.

 

It may be easier to visual the homeostatic qualities of our basic physiological needs. Oxygen goes in and once process it gets exhaled as carbon dioxide. Nutrients are drawn from food and we already know the byproduct expelled. When we say we "need" something we typicall refer to the item drawn in or requiring something to be distanced from ourselves, in order to restore a less obvious homeostatic equilibrium at its root.

 

Our emotional needs, our psychosocial needs, may be even less obvious. This is widely addressed in many of the other articles in this section, and throughout this site.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

nonfocal

defocal      prefocal

focal

Need experience:  4 stages of attention

 

If wellness is defined as

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about this new field called indigentology, the study of human need.

 

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