The Human Health Matrix: How and Why our Industrial Complex is Approaching the Critical Mass to Kill Us All
Matrix: an environment in which something develops; a surrounding medium.
In the context of our health, the word "matrix" refers to the totality of your environment - everything but your genetic makeup. Barring a few exceptions (such as rickets and hemophilia), it is what elicits the manifestation of every health disorder.
To paint a slightly clearer picture, your health matrix (environment) includes:
- everything you ingest/metabolize, the liquids you drink, the air you breathe, the light that hits your eyes and skin, the people you socialize with, the thoughts you think, the entertainment you spectate...
The list is quite literally infinite. The most important point about your health matrix (as well as the reason I give it a different name) is that it is general in nature - not specific. Specific environmental conditions might be any of those listed above (e.g., the air you breathe). The term "matrix" refers to everything simultaneously.
The purpose of this post is to identify a multitude of specific environmental stimuli, which, in and of themselves, may not appear to have a significantly detrimental effect on your health. When taken collectively, however (as in the matrix), they combine to produce the very general state of disharmonious health that the vast majority of people on our planet experience.
Let's Get Specific
Have you ever heard a company spin their product as, "fine in moderation," or my personal favorite, "a part of this balanced breakfast"?
Have you ever heard a pharmaceutical company say that "there is no verifiable linkage between our product and [specific disease x]"?
As a health advocate, what used to frustrate me about these marketing spins is that they are actually quite hard to disagree with directly. There are very few mainstream products which, in and of themselves, will take you from vibrant health to a hospital bed. Therefore, when you try to advocate against them specifically, it's very easy for companies (or layperson advocates) to drop a couple of statistics and play you off like a stupid hippie. But just because something doesn't demonstrably take your system over, is it necessarily harmless to consume? The question that we really need to explore is, what happens when you add enough things to your system that seem to be "okay" - in moderation - in and of themselves? Is there a point of 'critical mass?'
To answer that question, let's explore some of the many environmental conditions currently in the Health Matrix of most people living in the developed world:
- In your Food you have: pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, dyes, antibiotics, engineered sweeteners (HFCS, Aspartame), flavor enhancers (MSG, glutamates), plastic byproducts (BPA), texturizing agents, and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).
- In your Water supply you have: chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, lead, pharmaceuticals, and the occasional particle of depleted uranium.
- From your Pharmaceuticals, you get: stimulants, pain-killers, anti-inflammatories, mood-altering drugs (anti-anxiety/depression), sedatives (sleeping pills), antibiotics, steroid hormones (birth control, anabolic steroids), cough and cold medicines, and mercury-laden vaccines.
- Hygiene/Cosmetics: you get dyes, preservatives, texturizing agents, and fragrances - in your soap, shampoo, conditioner, colognes, deodorants, lotions and makeup.
- You get Radiation from: cell phones, cell towers, wifi, iPads, televisions (yes, TVs often emit x-rays), microwaves, x-rays, CT scans, and the full-body imaging systems now in all international airports.
You get the idea.
Looking at our health as a Global System
In an effort to remain non-controversial, most doctors shrink away from advocacy against any of the above-listed items. They hide under the guise of "fine in moderate amounts." I would like to counter their stance, however, by suggesting the following:
You know what is fine in moderation? Things that are only fine in moderation. But we are not moderate about those.
The other rationale used in support of each of these products is that the benefit outweighs the cost. While I don't necessarily agree with that on most of these items, I understand how a strong argument can be made in advocacy of each one. Again, however, with enough "reward over risk" substances in our bodies, the entire global system of our health gets compromised. At that point, not only does the cost outweigh the benefit of any of these items individually, but, I would argue, it outweighs them all collectively as well. Somewhere along the line, this argument has to stop, as its line of reasoning effectively flips onto its own head.
The result, therefore, is nothing acute that you can link to any one product. By the time you're 50, every major system in your body (endocrine, immune, digestive, central nervous, musculo-skeletal) is just "not what it used to be." I'll give you guys a hint: it's not because you're 50. It's because you're cumulatively spilling over with "side-effect." The average adult, therefore, is not dying. They're simply in a condition of increasingly compromised global health, worsening by an undetectably small margin every day. As grim of a topic as this is, I do feel we are making a mistake if we don't face it. Most people wake up one morning in their 70's, 60's, and, increasingly, in their 50's as well, with colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc. Almost invariably, they have no idea what aspect of their lifestyle to blame it on. Was it the genetically modified fruit he chose instead of the organic? Was it the carcinogens in her makeup? No. It was everything. It was the whole collection of unhealthy factors that compose the Human Health Matrix. For when everything is weak, anything can take it over.
As a species, humanity is soft-killing itself through its own Industrial complex- the vast majority of it being carried out for financial incentive. The question that currently gets asked is not, "is this better for humanity," but "is this going to make us more profit?"
If this is not enough of an indicator for people to rethink our socioeconomic model entirely, I hope it will at least serve as a red flag that something is upside down. For those who are already working to raise awareness about a more harmonious alternative, let this information merely serve as reassurance and support that you are on the right track.
The take-home message
I recognize that it's impossible to eliminate every toxic substance from your environment. But that's no reason to throw your hands up in resignation. We can all do exponentially better than we are right now. As humans, our genuine needs for survival are very minimal: some water with no need for additives; some food exactly as it is found in nature; some clean air and some sunlight. Beyond that, all needs are manufactured. All wants are superfluous. Is there a chance that we would all be a lot better off if we just let this extra shit go?
Just food for thought, amigos. Pun intended :)