On May 1, 2013, neuroscientists announced, in the journal Nature, that the hypothalamus is important.

Well, yeah! That baby is part of the brain and controls both the nervous system and the endocrine system, which, in turn, control everything that happens in our bodies. I think we can all agree that controlling the universe is important.

However, the nervous system and endocrine system didn’t really get a mention in the article.

The study concluded the hypothalamus alone controlled aging.

In medical terms, aging isn’t about wrinkles and the saggy-baggy stuff. It’s about disease, specifically diseases that show up–in steel-toed boots, and with a bad attitude–after a lifetime of poor nutrition. Such things as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and the rest of the gang.

While any mention of the hypothalamus is good news, what with most people not having a clue, the paper continues the false impression that our body parts work independently of each other.

In fact, no body part is independent of any other body part. And members of the endocrine system have no independence whatsoever. Rallying to the all-for-one, one-for-all cry, they define teamwork.

Let me digress here. I live in Arizona, the home of a football team, the Cardinals, that’s looking for a path to the Super Bowl. Some say the problem’s the quarterback. Others insist everything’s the fault of the offensive line because they don’t protect the quarterback. Another group say, no, it’s the running backs; they drop the ball too much. And I could go on.

The Cardinals, in a way, represent the endocrine system. In football or in health, you can’t fix just one part. It takes the entire team working together to get the job done.

Just as teams playing against the Cardinals focus on weaknesses to pick the team apart, so disease takes the path of least resistance in our bodies.

But the study suggests the hypothalamus is the whole deal. It doesn’t mention any other member of the team.

This isn’t surprising since medicine teaches, preaches and otherwise promotes the idea of independent body parts. Find a part and fix it, never mind that it doesn’t work that way.

While we can’t overstate the importance of the hypothalamus, ignoring all its teammates leads to misguided thinking, then disease, because without the whole team, the hypothalamus can’t strut its stuff.
And the same goes for the thyroid or any other part of the endocrine system. It’s all or nothing; fix ‘em all or you won’t fix any. And if you don’t fix any, life doesn’t go well.

Which is why my Moving to Health program focuses on getting all body parts marching in rhythm and in the same direction. Because that’s the only way health works.

Back to the study. Having isolated the hypothalamus as their #1 draft pick, the researchers express their excitement about ways to force it to behave as they think it should.

So, they don’t understand how the hypothalamus works or everything the it does. And they don’t consider the members of its supporting cast–not who they are or what they do. But somehow or another, they’re only a short step from success.

This whole thing makes my teeth itch. The only path to health is serving the body–learning how it works, what it needs to work and what gets in the way.

Marching in with steel-toed boots and an attitude, whilst issuing orders, makes for a sincerely unhappy body.

Here’s how it is: The body is the star, acting the diva as needed. We are but a support system for our body, assigned to keep the star happy.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

Author's Bio: 

Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn’t help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to be a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Bette’s still researching, and you can get her free health e-mails by signing up at