The science of how to heal is growing rapidly.
Dr. Naviaux published a journal article that organizes the current knowledge on the cell danger response.
I consider it a seminal work and one of four groundbreaking theories that form the basis of how I restore health.
Health happens on a spectrum.
At one end of the spectrum, the body can seamlessly maintain health. It does this through what Naviaux calls the health cycle.
If you have pricked your finger with a lancet or seen your finger bleed and repair itself, this is an example of the body seamlessly maintaining health.
At the other end of the spectrum, the body can no longer address stressors as cells and organs have stopped functioning, and a disease process is underway.
It does so when over time as more and more cells fail to be repaired such that organs begin to fail. This is where medicine excels.
In the middle of these two extremes, the body attempts to restore health by running health and cell repair programs, and we experience symptoms.
I like the analogy of a sailing boat rocking under strong winds (stressors) and rough seas (cellular capacity).
The boat’s rocking (including releasing histamine) is the boat trying to sail upright (by running the cell danger response cycle).
Unblocking the health cycle allows the boat to sail upright once again.
The Four Stages
Naviaux has suggested four distinct stages of healing based on distinct cellular characteristics.
The four stages are the;
Cell danger response 1 (CDR1),
Cell danger response 2 (CDR 2), and
Cell danger response 3 (CDR3).
Naviaux has also provisionally organized over 100 conditions into each stage, providing a working hypothesis on where targeted solutions can promote healing.
The Health Cycle
I have previously covered the foundations on which the health cycle depends.
This includes; circadian rhythms, metabolic flexibility, attending to physical stressors, and perceived stress.
The significance of the health cycle is that the body knows what to do.
Overall, no supplements (other than detoxification) are needed in the health phase.
The Cell Danger Response Cycles
The health cycle was not designed to handle continual exposure to sources of threats and stress.
When the total stressor load exceeds the health cycle’s ability to restore health, the body moves through three stages of the cell danger response.
The cell danger response is a primitive mechanism that protects cells and ourselves from harm. When our cells encounter a level of threats that exceeds the cell’s capacity for homeostasis, the mitochondria release ATP from the cell.
The extra-cellular ATP binds to purinergic receptors on the cells’ surface, initiates the cell danger response, and amplifies inflammation.
Purinergic receptors are found on cells throughout the body, including mast cells. Importantly, ATP not only degranulates mast cells, but mast cells also release ATP when they degranulate.
These stages are characterized by:
1. The HPA Axis
When a cell is stressed, the mitochondria respond by sending alarm signals to over 22 stress response systems.
Changes to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are a hallmark of the cell danger response. They commence on CDR1 and resolve on exit from CDR3 to the health cycle.
Adrenal support is frequently needed as part of the first stage of the cell danger response.
The involvement of the HPA axis can be assessed with a DUTCH test.
2. The Mitochondria
The mitochondria generate the energy-rich molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP has two roles. Within the cell, it produces energy. Outside the cell, it signals that there is a threat, starts the cell danger response, and triggers inflammation within the body.
Naviaux categorizes the cell danger response into three different mitochondrial responses; glycolysis (CDR1 blockage), aerobic glycolysis/pyruvate (CDR2 blockage), citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation (CDR3 blockage).
At the time of stage 2, the mitochondria are likely struggling and need support.
An organic acid can measure mitochondrial function. I like running this test with the Vibrant America Micronutrient Test to target mitochondria nutrients.
3. The Autonomic Nervous System
At CDR1, the cell gains cell autonomy to quarantine and repair itself. Healing remains incomplete until CDR3 is completed and cells reintegrate and take up their organ-specific role.
I like to use the analogy of the mitochondria being the fuse, the autonomic nervous system being the electrical wiring, and the brain being the switchboard. When a cell is stressed, the mitochondria blow a fuse and block communication.
This cell autonomy remains until CDR3. The last step of CDR3 requires the cell to re-establish bi-directional communication with the brain via the autonomic nervous system.
Only then can the health cycle be re-established. This is why I consider autonomic response testing so crucial.
The autonomic nervous system helps to determine whether a cell is functional or not. It can also determine whether the autonomic nervous system itself as a whole is overwhelmed by a total load of stressors.
Autonomic response testing provides precision around what the autonomic nervous system is trying to resolve and what will rebalance or bring the autonomic nervous system back online.
Naviaux’s four distinct stages of healing provide a hierarchy.
Naviaux has also provisionally organized over 100 conditions into each stage, providing a working hypothesis on what support is needed at each stage.
This support potentially includes:
Cell danger response 1 (CDR1) – pyrroles, acetylation, methylation, uric acid, and adrenal support.
Cell danger response 2 (CDR 2) – mitochondrial support.
Cell danger response 3 (CDR3) – anti-purigenic support (typically with suramin).
There is a very high correlation between these stages and what I see in my client base. Notably, many of my clients have pyrrole and acetylation issues that are switched on by the cell danger response and switched off once homeostasis is restored, and not necessarily a diagnosis.
LifeWave patches work on the energy body and restore balance to the autonomic nervous system, which is so vital to the cell’s danger response.
Over the last year or more, I have been refining my use of the LifeWave patches based on this cell danger response theory as follows:
This support potentially includes:
Cell danger response 1 (CDR1) – a kidney/adrenal protocol
Cell danger response 2 (CDR 2) – mitochondrial support using the X39 and X49 patches.
Cell danger response 3 (CDR3) – when little if any supplements are tolerated, I find that the patches can be used to address underlying stressors that would otherwise be treated with medicines or supplements.
The LifeWave patches are the most effective way of supporting the energy body.
The importance of the cell danger response to me is not in identifying medicines or mast-cell stabilizers but in providing a clear pathway to restore health.
Diagnoses and medications make for lifetime clients and are good for business. They are not necessarily good for health.
Having worked within this model since this paper was first published, I firmly believe that it provides a hierarchy that explains how ill health progresses and how we can heal.
We can either wait and do nothing or wait for a disease process. Or we can get busy supporting our body to restore health.
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