di Maximilien Girardin
Evolution of life demonstrates numerous of nature’s and evolutionary principles which are essential to understand and eventually try out the unique Evost Equine approach developed by Evost Fellows Peter Van Den Eynde D.O & Max Girardin D.O, (Part 1, Veterinary article)
Evost: Evolutionary Medicine in the Osteopathic Field
Evolutionary Osteopathic Medicine applied in equine genus
Combining human osteopathy and equine osteopathy with Evolutionary Osteopathy permits new perspectives in the equine osteopathic approach of diagnosis, treatment and education. We thus try in this article to offer a certain hierarchy and chronology in the diagnosis and according treatment, instead of splitting up the horse into specialist visions of the musculoskeletal system, the visceral system, the reproductive system, the cranio-sacral system and so on.
Respecting life’s own hierarchy and chronology that is +/- 3.8 billion years old, and working hand in hand with it.
Evost in a nutshell:
Health is as old as life, which means, at best present scientific guess: +/- 3.8 Billion years. The mechanism of evolution since then complexified and differentiated abundant life forms,
generating as such an incredible biodiversity that dynamically adapts to each local environment, filling in the ecological niches, layer by layer and dimension by dimension by as well microevolution as by macroevolution.
This means that the observer of Nature should be constantly aware of two major gears of Life:
Hierarchy – Chronology (which are the fundaments of the complexity level-layers of development observed and what is the emergent behaviour that sprouts out of it)
Dimension (which dimension are we observing? Molecular, tissular, human, animal, biotope, ecosystem etc…)
The aim of Equine Evolutionary Osteopathy is to focus on Health and not to find the dysfunction or disease. We try to work with the health-potential still present in the organism and that through its mechanism, tries to maintain the system’s optimum. It’s very important to integrate the basic osteopathic principles:
- The body is a unity
- Relation structure and function (FORM)
- Self-maintenance through the mechanism
• Rational treatment is based upon the three precedent
The puzzling fact is that humans, animals and most of nature we observe are in essence self-organized systems, each level is nested. This means that each single level layer of organization and complexity encloses all other levels within itself. (like the Russian Matroushka dolls) Each jump in level-layer of complexity demonstrates in an emergent behaviour.
Horses based in Europe will show different health problems than for example horses based in the Emirates. The climate, flora and fauna (local environment) will influence the horses health-system. The older level-layers of the list below (1) will depend on it, and influence the Form or function and in time structure.
For example if there is a problem with the absorption of inorganic minerals due to the climate, feeding or general stable management, the first spectacular symptoms will become obvious in the neural or/and vascular systems functions, (organ level) which most of the horseman won’t observe in this stage. They’ll recognize it as stiffness, difficulty to bend, resistance to the bit, painful muscular system or lameness.
The mechanism behind this is where complexity theory comes into play; if we have a scientific-holistic tool, we don’t have to focus on the separate facts or details, but on the Mechanism itself. And that is what the evolutionary system-complexity theory does.
The first round of the mechanism in a shoebox (the beginning of our time +/- 15 Billion years ago…
- Polarity (Just before the Big Bang)
- Space – Time (Hierarchy – Chronology)
- Pattern (Tension – or Force Field)
- Motion with direction (Position change – Vector)
- Form and emergence (Behaviour or function creates structure, when structure is formed it governs function)
B. CHRONOLOGY OF COMPLEXITY LEVEL-LAYERS (1)
The increasing complexity of level layers:
Original polarity (Big Bang)
Matter (sub nuclear particles)
Atoms (all elements)
Inorganic molecules (mainly: Na, Cl, Mg, P, S, C, H, O, N, K, Ca, Fe + oligo elements)
Organic molecules (mainly Carbon related chemistry)
Biomolecules (water + Protids ‘CHONSP’, Carbohydrates ‘CHO’, Lipids ‘CH’
Complex systems jump to the emergence of life: Complex Adaptive Systems
Prokaryotic cells (mainly algae, bacteria and protozoa)
Eukaryotic cells Flora & Fauna start (all cells that have a nucleus from unicellular to nested systems like mammals)
Multicellular life = Tissue
Systems (digestive system, circulatory system, connective system, nervous system etc…)
Organs differentiate ( lungs, liver, kidneys etc…) Fauna up to mammals and humans
• Memetics & culture
C. SYSTEMS AND THE MECHANISM
Making the difference between system and mechanism is essential for a good comprehension, as occasionally the two terms can be inverted. System and mechanism’s relation to health and its maintenance and potency are conclusive.
1. Definition used for a system:
Any system is composed by parts-agents or components which are related to one or another. It is this interrelationship or link that make out the difference between a system and a loose set of parts; this interrelationships represent the influence one component takes on the behaviour of the next. A system is usually delimited by a border, that is observable or definable but never hermetic or 100% closed. The border will be effective for certain parts, but permeable for others. All systems are thus open or semi-permeable. A few explanatory examples:
- For the system blood vessel there is a clear border between inside and outside of the system, at least concerning the cells, but for the fluids there is no real border, it just perspires through the small cracks between the cells.
- For the system skin and mucus membrane are the borders, although certain molecules, atoms, certain molecules, rays, etc. just like go through as if there was no border.
- For a field with horses, the fences and gates are the effective border, but they’re not for seeds, rodents, dogs, insects,…
The agents or parts that compose a system are directly dependable on the dimension at which we observe a system meaning that our observation is in direct relation to our knowledge and attitude. Therefore it is important to include the awareness of the dimension one is observing.
For a system atom, its agents are the electromagnetically linked protons, neutrons and electrons.
For the system molecule, its agents are the electromagnetically linked atoms.
For the system tissue, its agents are the overall pervading liquids and linked cells (cell adhesion molecules)
For the system house , its agents are the cemented bricks.
For the system ecology, its agents are the interlinked flora, fauna, climate, soil, etc…
For everyone of these dimensions of observation it is evenly important to realize that these are processes in motion and not fixed or stable facts.
2. Definition used for Mechanism:
The mechanism is the set of resources that systems deploy in order to maintain themselves despite their continuous changing environment. The mechanism can thus be seen as a synonym for systemic form maintenance or systemic health maintenance. In complexity theory this phenomenon is called “stickiness”.
3. Definition used for Form:
Structure and its behaviour is one and in continuous process as form. Form is the result of the mechanism at work (1,2,3,4,5) and as such forms the solution to the pattern, but in itself, it is a new polarity in a more complex level and higher dimension.
The consequence of the ‘Mechanism’ at work is complexity rising by jumps, and each increase in complexity convoys emergent behaviour. Natural selection will select out the fittest and when we look back it looks as if everything is perfectly adapted together, with all niches filled in. But if we look from start to where we are it is totally unpredictable. Adaptation or fitness increase does not always imply complexification within an organism, but is usually complexification of a metasystem – biosphere or ecological environment by mechanisms such as symbiosis, predation, co-evolution and self- organization (order out of chaos).
4. Definition used for Environment:
The environment is what is outside of the system’s border (the system observed), and as such the stimuli that destabilize, or disrupt the system balance, always come from the environment – or always from the outside of the system observed!!!
5. Definition used for Polarity
Polarity = a difference, for instance a concentration or mass, different from the environment. Nature erases polarities ( in different time-frames) because they form a local force or tension field (increase in energy) which is different of the environment. Force or tension fields generate position changes or movement, within a certain time frame.
Splints caused by injury to the interosseous ligament or the periosteum (soft tissue covering bone) of the splint bone or adjacent bone. If the covering tissue of the bone is injured we see initially soft tissue swelling which progress to bony swellings. The splint is the consequence of the system trying to get rid of polarity. The splint is the Form’s solution-consequence of this polarity, and in the environment this new form forms a new polarity.
6. Definition used for Health:
Health is the possibility a system has, to maintain its form in a dynamic balance as close as possible to its original maximal inherent potential despite the continuous changing direct environment (its adaptability). Health of a system is expressed by its characteristics of congruency and stability or resilience to the continuous change. Health has no pattern.
The healthier a system is , the more coherent and dynamically stable or resilient it will be in its specific continually changing environment.
Health and health-maintenance can thus be seen as parallel-evolved behaviours of complexity, or better, as behaviours emerging from this evolved complex adaptive system.
SYSTEM AND ENVIRONMENT, interact and react, whereby the balance disturber, the ‘disruptive stimulus’ always comes from the environment trying to erase the polarities, while complex and complex adaptive systems tend to maintain themselves in the environment. (once a system is formed, it tends to maintain itself = stickiness)
In nature’s actual state and process of development and evolution the Mechanism can be shoe-boxed as follows:
- Polarity generating a
- Force and tension field, that generates position change or movement and as such
- the Environment impacting on the system (= stimulus)
- Form has several reaction possibilities which modify the environment, and the system itself.
D. What is complexity all about?
Complexity theory states that critical interacting components self-organize form potentially evolving structures, exhibiting a hierarchy of emergent system properties. In other words, as soon as there is more than one constituent part or agent, and there is an interaction between these agents, they form a complex system.
Complexity ≠ Complicated
Complex= Natural & organic grown
- The connections are critical, individual agents much less so
- Simple rules result in complex & adaptive responses
- Agents have latitude of responses within the rules
Complicated = Human construct processes
- Elements and their connections are equally important
- Simple algorithms produce simple and predictable responses
- Agents or components response is fully determined
This ‘more ‘can be described as ‘emergence’ or emergent properties coming out of the complexity. Emergent properties are characteristics of the whole which cannot be reduced back to the properties of the single parts. In other words the whole is really more than just the sum of the parts.
E. How does the system response when dealing with a disruptive stimuli?
- Complex systems (non-living)
- Absorption of the stimulus
- Reversible form change (tensegrity deformation)
- Irreversible form change (decomplexification or destruction of a part or the whole system)
- Complex adaptive system (fundamentally living or living agents – meaning from cells on upwards)
- Absorption of the stimulus
- Metabolization of the stimulus (transform the stimulus and excrete a part of it)
- Reversible form change (tensegrity deformation)
- Irreversible form change: (5,6,7)
- Differentiation (loss of potential = specialization)
- Decomplexification (destruction of a part or the whole system)
The whole is more than the sum of the part
Self-organisation typically demonstrates emergent behaviour
F. “How do we apply the Evost Fellowships’ thoughts and Nature’s principles in equine practice?”
The answer is: Evost is a philosophic approach, where we develop a critical attitude, and learn “to see” instead of “gazing” at the fundamental principles of nature and the Mechanism . We can apply the insights of ‘the mechanism at work’ at just about every level and dimension, this means that the principles are applicable on virtually every theme. More specifics about the Equine Evolutionary Osteopathy in part 2.
G. References and notes
- Max Girardin D.O, JP Höppner D.O, Evolutionary medicine in the osteopathic field private course script 2009-2013
- W.G. Sutherland: “The mechanism is simple, as is common to all physiologic laws not framed by human hand”. Teachings in the science of Osteopathy, Rudra Press, 1990, p126
- A.T. Still: “… by knowledge of the normal and abnormal, I hope to give a specific knowledge for all diseases.” Last page of “Preface from Philosophy of Osteopathy”, Kirksville, sept. 1, 1899
- Max Girardin D.O, Complexity, system dynamics, evolution and osteopathy – A rich synergy with applications for education and practice (Evost work document)