The knowledge and philosophy of Systems Medicine® stem from the development of new “epistemes”, knowledge-based theories based on unexpected scientific discoveries as well as innovative research in the fields of Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology and Medicine. The Systems paradigm epitomizes the contemporary abandonment of the fragmented mechanistic interpretation of reality (linear theory of cause-effect relationship) for a unitary vision of a “togetherness” in life and living systems (complexity theory).
Systems Medicine® offers an innovative model of the health-disease-healing relationship,and a strategic revision of the diagnostic-therapeutic guidance, particularly useful in the treatment of chronic illnesses..
Its foundations can be found in the General Systems Theory
( Von Bertanlaffy, 1968 ), a current of interdisciplinary research dealing with the composition and the properties of a System. The indispensable condition for a System to establish and maintain itself revolves around its elements constantly interacting through a continuous exchange between energy (mechanic, electronic and biological systems) and information (biological and social systems). When the elements cease interacting – due to either an external interference or an energy absence – the system tends to degenerate to a state where its individual components are mutually independent, thus gradually diminishing the structural complexity and function of the system.
Systems medicine® views the human being as a complex combination of functionally interrelated cells integrated and organized according to various levels of complexity, where each level shows emergent properties, non-existent at a lower level. Cells organized to form tissues, tissues to form organs and functions, organs to form organisms, organisms to generate social systems and ecosystems. Complex cellular systems are continuously communicating and helping each other, so as to preserve their common goal of survival.
Systems are able to generate emergent properties, which turn into an extraordinary power of evolution
An autopoietic system is based on such specific functional elements as the ability to reproduce oneself so as to preserve inner organizations, determine boundaries, develop distinct complexities as well as allowing evolution in relation to the complexity of the external environment and preserving such a complexity gap.
The human being may therefore be represented as an autopoietic system, able to continuously redefine itself and its own boundaries, keeping itself stable and renewing itself at the same time.
Life and health, according to Systems Medicine®, are the result of a condition of dynamic stability, thanks to the capability of constantly adapting oneself to the internal and external stimuli and by maintaining the stability of one's physiological systems through change (allostasis).
The adaptive response to stress-generating stimuli from the environment (food, breathing, relationships with the ecosystem, inner dialogue, social relations) is based on physiological mechanisms of inflammatory reaction, implying both variations in the neuro-immuno-endocrine structure as well as influences on the metabolic processes of energetic production and regeneration, which in time also modify the nutritional status. Responding to the challenges of the environment, an inflammatory reaction may assume physiological traits (allostatic state and allostatic load) or dysfunctional traits (allostatic overload), both locally and on a systemic level (chronic systemic low grade inflammation).
If a stress-generating stimulus happens to be persistent, or if numerous weak stimuli occur to add up in time, the chronic inflammatory reaction ends up causing progressive alterations: phlogistic-metabolic ones (PHLOGOTYPOLOGY ®) as well as ones on nutritional status (DYSNUTRITIONAL BIOTYPOLOGY).
As examples of PHLOGOTYPOLOGY ® we may cite the chronic affection of the NeuroImmune System (NEUROIMMUNE PHLOGOTYPE ®), as well as the Mucosal Immune System (DYSBIOTIC PHLOGOTYPE ®), the Turnover and Purification System (INTOXICATED PHLOGOTYPE ®), and the Vascular and Metabolic System (DYSMETABOLIC PHLOGOTYPE ®).
Examples of chronic changes in nutritional status are represented by the DYSNUTRITIONAL BIOTYPES: ACIDIFIED, OXIDIZED and CARENTIAL. When spontaneous self-healing and/or therapeutic actions of rehabilitation are absent, the chronic persistence of one or more phlogotypes and dysnutritional statuses leads to a condition of DEGENERATIVE PHLOGOTYPOLOGY ®.
To sum up briefly: in Systems Medicine, the diagnostic reference model is directly linked to identifying the phase of inflammatory reaction and regulation. This is a timely biological expression -- though an excessive and persistent one at times – on the ability to adapt to stress.
Systems Medicine® recommends a medical practice not only confined to the peripheral physiology or to the “type” of system elements (genetic constitutional structure), but able to propose “systemic” interventions, meaning interventions on aspects of the whole “man-system,” able to act on all the processes: interactions with the environment (metabolism), adaptation (psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrine system), relations (learning, representation and memory; emotions and cognitive models), external “inputs” (stressors) and supplied energy (nutrition, respiration).
It suggests innovative models for therapeutic strategy, aimed at restoring reactive ability (metabolic, structural, energetic) as well as at recovering the capability of adaptive regulation (psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrine).
It makes use of therapeutic tools like supplements and therapeutic nutrition (biochemical substance), low molecular weight pharmacology (biophysical substance), information therapy (quantum substance), doctor-patient communication (relationship substance) and counselling (substance of intention: awareness and responsibility in healing).