Basic Anatomy for
Health Care Professionals
Alternative, complementary, detoxification, holistic, homeopathic, hydrotherapy, integrative, natural therapies, naturopathic, nutrition and stress management healthcare professionals are required to know the primary function of these parts of the body:
- The Digestive System and Endocrine Glands
- The Circulatory System, Interstitial Fluid and The Lymphatic System
- The Respiratory System and The Nervous System
- The Immune System
- The Skeletal System, Bones, Muscles, Soft Tissues and The Skin
This is a self-paced, independent study correspondence course divided into five parts. Each part will require five to ten hours of research and study.
The major organs and body parts are given in the included outline. A short introduction to each is also given. This is only a short review or a starting place. If this is all you study, you will not be able to pass the final examination for up to 30 CEU of credit.
Candidates are responsible for studying these topics independently by using the resources of local libraries and the Internet to search for information about these body parts and systems. For more information about human anatomy, bodily systems, glands, and physiology, a good starting place is WikiPedia.
We recommend three excellent oOptions for attaining up to 30 CEU for this anatomy course taught through webinars, telephone conference calls and examinations by experts we endorse.
You may want to consider one of these options
Part 1 - The Digestive System and Endocrine Glands
Mouth - The normal pH of the mouth is 6.8 to 7.0, or very slightly acidic to neutral, in those parts of the world where the population exists primarily on vegetable matter. Such a diet consists of berries, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, roots and vegetables. The incidence of tooth decay and gum disease are very low in those parts of the world.
When the mouth pH drops below 6.5, or slightly acidic, the incidence of tooth decay and gum disease increases exponentially. Bacteria multiply rapidly in slightly acidic conditions giving rise to plaque, caries and gum disease. This increase in mouth acidity is usually caused by consuming carbonated drinks, processed sugar and flour, poor oral hygiene, heavy metals, toxic chemicals and disease.
Tongue - The normal appearance of a healthy tongue is reddish pink. The floor of he mouth, cheeks and the soft palate including the uvula should also be a reddish pink. Any grayish or white coating on the tongue, cheeks or inside the mouth is usually caused by Candida Albanians. An infection of Candida Albanians is called Candida, Candidiasis and thrush or yeast infection. Left untreated a case of oral Candida can spread throughout the body especially to the inner ear, sinuses, underarms, toes, fingers, toenails and genitals.
The presence of Candida in the mouth is normally accompanied by a craving for sugar and sweet things and is indicative of digestive problems. Candida can also cause such diverse symptoms such as short term memory loss, dizziness, ringing in the ear, headache, stomach ache, digestive problems, irregular heartbeat, fatigue and susceptibility to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections.
Salivary glands - There are over 600 salivary glands in the human mouth though 6 of them produce about 95% of the saliva for most people. Saliva contains a mixture of enzymes like salivary amylase, maltase, lysozyme, salts and water. Saliva helps converting starch into maltose which is then converted to glucose by maltase and other enzymes in the small intestines. Lysozyme is an enzyme that kills bacteria, yeasts and viruses in the mouth but it is inactive in an acidic environment.
Esophagus - The esophagus is a strong muscular tube that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The pharynx is a junction box at the back of the mouth that sends air to the lungs and all other substances to the stomach. The muscles in the esophagus move food from the mouth to the stomach by contracting and relaxing in a movement called peristalsis.
Thyroid - The thyroid gland controls the rate of metabolism. Metabolism controls the rate of growth and function of the body. Fast metabolism burns fat. Slow metabolism encourages the body to deposit carbohydrates as fatty acids. The thyroid is controlled by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The thyroid requires Iodine to manufacture the hormones that control metabolism and regulate blood calcium levels.
Hyperthyroidism speeds up the metabolism and is easily diagnosed. Hypothyroidism slows down metabolism resulting in excess weight, lack of energy, a tendency toward depression, sluggishness and fatigue. Unfortunately hypothyroidism is difficult to clinically diagnose using standard allopathic tests.
Stomach - The stomach churns and mashes food into small particles in a hydrochloric acid bath. The lining of the stomach secretes gastric juices (hydrochloric acid), enzymes to assist in food digestion and hormones to control liver and gall bladder activity. So called "acid reflux" is caused by a shortage of hydrochloric acid which causes the stomach to churn rapidly. Betaine hydrochloride taken when the stomach is overly active resolves this problem quickly. So does a tablespoon or two of organic vinegar.
Liver - The liver is a vital organ with a wide range of functions including detoxification, protein synthesis, and the production of enzymes necessary for digestion. The liver is a critical organ necessary for survival. It is one of two human organs that can regenerate themselves. The other is the spleen. The liver stores a multitude of substances, including glycogen (digested carbohydrates), Vitamins A, D and B12, iron and copper. It produces bile, an enzyme that breaks down fats and is stored in the gall bladder (where it is called gall). It produces hormones to regulate blood pressure. It produces enzymes to break down dead blood cells and antigens it filters from the blood. It is the master digestive organ.
Cleanses and efforts to detoxify the body can overload the liver causing serious side effects unless care is taken to support the liver and enhance liver function prior to and during the cleanse. This often necessitates the removal of parasites before detoxification can occur.
Gall bladder - The gall bladder stores and concentrates bile produced by the liver. Bile is the primary enzyme for emulsifying fats thus making them usable by the body. Gall stones in the liver and gall bladder can block bile ducts causing excruciating pain. When this happens people usually choose to lose the pain by having their gall bladder removed. There is ample evidence this can be avoided by utilizing annual or quarterly essential plant oil and magnesium cleanses.
Pancreas - The pancreas secretes enzymes in the form of pancreatic juice into the small intestine to assist in breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It also produces important hormones including both insulin to maintain blood sugar levels and glycagon to help digest sugars and starches. The pancreas is often incorrectly blamed for diabetes which has reached epidemic proportions in the over 50 American population, and is becoming a major health factor in American youth. The real culprit here is toxic chemicals and heavy metals.
Small intestine - The small intestine is where the vast majority of protein, carbohydrate and fat digestion and absorption into the blood stream take place. Proteins and peptide are broken down into amino acids utilized by the body to build muscle, bone and skin. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars regulated by the liver. Fats (lipids) are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol.
The most common intestinal disorder is called imagination or hypochondria by allopathic physicians and leaky gut by others. Left untreated it can lead to Crohn's Disease (excessive inflammation) and eventually removal of part of the small intestine. Leaky gut is caused by a food allergy. The intestinal wall becomes inflamed and eventually opens small holes in the gut. Thus the name leaky gut because partially digested food escapes through these small holes into the abdominal cavity inviting bacteria, parasites and fungi to a rich feast at the expense of the individual. Waste products from these visitors only complicate matters.
Through a process of elimination, the foods causing leaky gut can be identified and eliminated from the diet. Cleanses and intestinal support using essential oils can help the gut to heal itself. It appears the incidence of leaky gut increases as the toxicity of the body increases through unintentional ingestion, inhalation and absorption of toxic chemicals by the body. It appears leaky gut affects about 5% of the world's population and almost 50% of Americans.
The second most common intestinal disorder is called Celiac or Coeliac disease which is caused by a reaction to gluten proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, and other grains. The most common symptoms are abdominal distension (bloating, gas and discomfort), fatigue and "feeling tired" a good deal of the time. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss or stunted growth. Celiac is not the same thing as a wheat allergy. Essential oils can help the small intestine heal itself once the client is on a gluten-free diet. There is no known cure for Celiac Disease except abstinence of the offending foods.
Colon (polyps and parasites) - The large intestine or colon removes excess water from the remnants of digestion and helps maintain water balance in the body. Friendly bacteria in the large intestine synthesize vitamins such as Vitamin K and other compounds used by the colon in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship. When unfriendly bacteria invade the colon they destroy the friendly bacteria and upset this beneficial symbiotic relationship. Parasites and Candida take advantage of this situation and create a second invasion. Colon problems caused by these invaders include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, polyps, diverticulosis and diverticulitis, colitis, Crohn's Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, cancer and other problems. The use of essential oils to remove these unwanted visitors and probiotics to rebuild the beneficial bacteria population will speed recovery considerably.
Anus (hemorrhoids) - Feces created by the removal of water from food fiber and undigested particles is stored in the large intestine until the individual defecates. Too much liquid in the feces becomes diarrhea that can cause a rash to develop around the anus. This rash is usually invaded by Candida. Too little liquid in the feces causes constipation which can lead to hemorrhoids. Both conditions can be managed with essential oils, but resolving the underlying Candida, bacterial or parasitic infections in the colon is the only real solution
Part 2 - The Immune System
- Small and Large intestines - In addition to the beneficial flora and fauna discussed above, the human gut can be home to one or more of almost 3000 different kinds of parasites and at least as many different kinds of pathogenic or harmful bacteria. Of all the things that can compromise our immune system, these intruders are by far the most common. Unfortunately they support each other and can cause a great variety of diseases, disorders and conditions.
- Kidneys and bladder - The kidneys are that part of the Urinary System that produces urine from water taken from the intestines and waste materials (primarily urea and ammonium) filtered from the blood. The kidneys reabsorb glucose and amino acids from the waste materials and return them to the blood stream. The kidneys assist in the production of hormones and Vitamin D.
The bladder is a muscular container for urine coming through ureters from the kidneys which it dumps into the urethras for evacuation from the body. This dumping is controlled by relaxing a sphincter muscle, which often weakens with age, and contracting the bladder, which can also weaken with age.
- Adrenal glands - The adrenal glands are situated at the top of the two kidneys. Their primary responsibility is to regulate stress response. To do this the adrenals use amino acids to synthesize cortisol to control blood sugar and the steroid testosterone. They also synthesize adrenaline and noradrenaline (also known as epinephrine and norepinephrine) which control our flight-or-fight response.
- Spleen - The spleen has three primary functions: 1. remove and dismantle old non functioning red blood cells from the bloodstream, 2. remove bacteria and parasites from the bloodstream, and 3. synthesize antibodies to coat these useless red blood cells, bacteria and parasites in the bloodstream. Notice that the term splenectomy, the removal of the spleen, indicates removing part of the spleen. Any amount of remaining spleen will coagulate and regenerate a spleen.
- Thymus - The thymus provides an environment where T-cells created in the bone marrow mature and migrate to the circulatory system. T-cells are the body's primary defense against hostile microbial invaders. The thymus protects our autoimmune system. For this reason alone, many consider the Thymus to be the primary immune system organ.
- Pituitary - The pituitary gland is the master gland. It is attached to the hypothalamus at the base of the brain. It protrudes from the hypothalamus within a cavity encased by the brain. Some consider it to be the home of the soul.
Hormones synthesized by the pituitary gland control cell growth, blood pressure, childbirth, milk production, sex organ functions for both men and women, thyroid gland function, metabolism (converting food to energy), kidney function, regulation of hormones created by other endocrine glands, water and temperature regulation and adrenal function. Medical science has yet to discover the full range of activity controlled by the pituitary gland.
- Bone marrow - The bone marrow is the birthplace for platelets, red and white blood cells. Red cells and platelets migrate to capillaries and to the blood vessels when they mature. Immature white blood cells migrate to the thymus (T-cells) and liver (other white blood cells) where they mature and move into the circulatory system.
- Stem cells - Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including: platelets, red or white blood cells, bone cells, muscle cells, nerve cells and connective tissue cells.
Part 3a - The Circulatory System
Circulatory System - The circulatory system is composed of the heart, blood and blood vessels. The heart is a muscular pump. The blood vessels are arteries, veins and capillaries. Muscles surrounding arteries pump blood through the vessels in unison with the heart. Veins rely on blood pressure created by the pumping heart and arteries to return to the heart. Capillaries are one cell thick, thin-walled porous vessels that allow nutrients to exit to cells and waste products to enter for transportation to the kidneys.
Blood is composed of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Plasma is the fluid of the blood that provides a suitable environment for blood cells, platelets, hormones, neurotransmitters and antibodies. Red blood cells carry oxygen, glucose and amino acids and electrolytes to the body cells. They also remove dead cells, microbes, White blood cells are the immune cells that attack and destroy unwanted bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes in the blood stream. Platelets defend against bleeding of a blood vessel. They are a natural source of growth factors that repair and regenerate connective tissues.C-2 Interstitial Fluid Interstitial fluid that enters the lymphatic vessels is called lymph. Interstitial fluid that enters a blood vessel is called plasma. Plasma or lymph that leaves its respective vessels moves into the spaces between cells and is called interstitial (between the cells) fluid.
3b - The Lymphatic SystemLymphatic System - The lymphatic system is responsible for absorbing and transporting amino acids (fats, fatty acids and chyle) to the circulatory system. The lymphatic system also transports immune cells to and from the lymph nodes. Interstitial fluid is a solution which bathes and surrounds the cells. When interstitial fluid enters a lymphatic vessel it is called lymph. Lymph is very similar to plasma in the blood and is the major constituent of the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes and spleen are connected by lymphatic vessels.
Part 3c - The Respiratory System
Facial sinuses - Facial sinuses are an air cavity in the cranial bones, especially those near the nose and connecting to it, and the mastoid bones near the inner and outer ears. They are a favorite living place for Candida Albanians, which has escaped from the intestines. Here they multiply rapidly in the stale air where they find an ample supply of mucus containing nutrients and water. The dead and dying fungi cells and their waste materials are a major source of discomfort in the form of runny nose, itchy eyes, sinusitis, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo (dizziness) and inner ear infections. When this fungus moves into the throat and mouth it is called thrush and "coated tongue." It requires an acidic environment to survive. Hence is it implicated in addictions and especially sugar addiction.
Nose and nasal sinus - Facial sinuses are also called paranasal sinuses or nose and nasal sinuses. There are three pairs of nasal sinuses: 1) frontal sinuses above the eyes in the forehead, 2) maxillary sinuses below the eyes in the cheek bones, and 3) ethmoid sinuses in the area between the nose and eyes.
Nasal passage and throat - The throat consists of the pharynx, larynx, epiglottis, esophagus and trachea. The pharynx is that area behind and below the tongue which provides a passageway for both food and air. It is also called part of the nasal passage. The larynx is just below the area where pharynx splits into the esophagus and trachea. It is at the top of the trachea and is commonly called the voice box.
The esophagus is the muscular tube that allows food from the mouth to enter the stomach. The trachea (windpipe) is a cartilaginous tube that allows air from the upper nasal passage to flow into the lungs. The epiglottis is a flap that separates the esophagus and trachea and prevents food and drink from entering the lungs. The trachea produces mucus to capture air borne particles and moves them up into the pharynx where they are swallowed as food or expelled as phlegm.
Vocal cords - The vocal cords reside in the voice box. (Larynx) and have no function except to create audible sound.
Bronchial tubes and air sacks - The bronchial tubes are airways or air passages where air inhaled through the nose or mouth travels to the lungs. The larger bronchial tubes near the trachea are called bronchi which progressively branch into smaller air tubes called bronchioles which finally terminate in alveoli or air sacs. It is in the air sacks that the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.
The lungs - The lungs are expanded by a downward contraction of a large curved muscle called the diaphragm. Air is expelled from the lung as the diaphragm relaxes. Oxygen coming into contact with the wall of an air sack diffuses into the blood stream and is captured by a red blood cell which will carry it through the circulatory system to a capillary where then oxygen will diffuse into a living cell. The oxygen moving into a cell displaces carbon dioxide which is captured by the red blood cells and carried through the veins to the lungs where it is exhaled and the process is continued.
The lungs help regulate blood pH, filter out small blood clots and very small gas bubbles which can be formed in veins, and protect the heart from blunt force trauma. They also assist in synthesizing hormones that dilate and constrict blood vessels thereby lowering or raising blood pressure.
Part 4a - The Muscles and Joints
Muscles - Muscles are soft tissue that contract and relax to move an organ or organism in a controlled manner. Muscles are divided into three major classification of skeletal, smooth and cardiac. Cardiac muscles move involuntarily and rhythmically to make the heart and arteries pump blood through the circulatory system. Smooth muscles help organs like the liver, gall bladder, stomach, pancreas, thyroid, thymus, intestines and other peristaltic and locomotion muscles function in an orderly manner. Skeletal muscles hold the body shape of the individual.
Tendons - Tendons (sinew) are a tough and dense connective tissue that connects muscle to bone.
Cartilage - Cartilage is a tough and dense connective tissue softer than bone yet harder than tendons and ligaments. Cartilage is found in many areas in the body, including ear, nose, throat, bronchial tubes and discs between the vertebrae. Unlike other connective tissues, cartilage does not contain blood vessels. It therefore heals more slowly than other connective tissues.
Bones - Bones are rigid organs that together form the person's skeleton. Bones are support for other tissues such as muscles and they contain blood vessels, nerves, marrow and cartilage.
Joints - Joints are places where two or more bones meet. Examples include the cranial joints where the cranial plates meet, finger, wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck, vertebrae, toe, foot, ankle, knee and hip bones meet other bones.
- Ligaments - Ligaments are tough and dense connective tissues that connect two or more bones to create a joint.
Part 4b - The Skin
- Skin - The skin is our largest organ. It protects the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, glands and fluids contained in our body. The skin absorbs oxygen and releases carbon dioxide in small amounts. It also absorbs toxic chemicals.
Collagen - Collagen is the main protein of all connective tissues including the skin, tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
- Fascia - Fascia is the soft tissue component of connective tissue. Its primary function is to create an environment where healing of tissue can occur. This includes muscle, bone, ligament, cartilage, tendon, nerve, organ, gland and skin tissue.
Part 5 - The Nervous System
The Brain - The cerebrum of the brain is divided into the corpus callosum and the frontal, central, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes. The cerebellum, limbic system, midbrain, pons, hippocampus, amygdala, medulla oblongata and brain stem are other important parts of the brain.
Left brain - The left brain is the linear reasoning, numeric manipulation and language part of our brain. On a physical level the left brain controls the right side of our body.
Right Brain - The right brain is the auditory and visual processing, spatial manipulation and artistic part of our brain. On the physical level our right brain controls the left side of our body.
Spinal cord - The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nerve tissue and support cells that extends from our brain to our tail bone. The brain and spinal cord together make up our central nervous system. The spinal cord transmits neural signals from the brain to the rest of the body. It also controls the reflexes.
Nerves and nerve endings - Nerves are a bundle of thread-like extensions from a neuron called axons. Neurons are electrical chemical transmitting and receiving stations in the nervous system. Axons are sheathed in myelin for their protection. Myelin is an organic non-conducting substance similar to Teflon.
- Focus and Concentration - Mental focus, attention and concentration are adversely affected by sugar, corn syrup and sugar, beet syrup and sugar, breads and pastries made with bleached flour and other food products.
- Memory - Both short and long term memory are affected by over the counter and prescription drugs, recreational drugs, alcohol and food allergies.
- Central Nervous System (CNS) - The brain and spinal cord are the control center for the whole body. This control center is the Central Nervous System.
- Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) - The PNS is that part of the nervous system that connects directly to the Central Nervous System. It is composed of major nerves and ganglia.
- Somatic Nervous System (SNS) - The SNS is composed of the sensory neurons that connect the receptors in the body to the Central Nervous System.
- Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) - The ANS is the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) that operate without our conscious control.
- Cranial Endocrine Glands - These include the Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Pineal Glands.