Science now recognizes that there are two types of system in nature. One is known as a closed system and describes what happens with inorganic materials. A closed system functions like a machine. It has entropy, meaning that over time there is increasing disorder, with loss of energy and eventual breakdown. This system acts in a linear way, meaning that a force applied at point A will cause a reaction at point B then at point C etc. An increase in the force applied will cause an increased reaction. This is the familiar world we live in where classical mechanics can explain the forces involved and the likely reactions.
Midway through the last century biologists realized that organic entities do not behave like a closed system. They have negative entropy, meaning that the system creates more energy than it loses. With sufficient energy, the organism can create increased complexity and make a transition to a higher level of organization, something not found in a machine. It is this process which enables a fertilized egg to become a human body.
There are several important characteristics that distinguish a biological system. One is an extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. Events early in development are much more likely to influence outcomes than later events. Another characteristic is the body’s innate tendency to self-correct and heal. The Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF) appliance is most effective when it is introduced early in treatment and can influence these factors to the maximum. However, the ability to heal persists throughout life. The ALF appliance still has the ability to stimulate a healing response, even in a fully mature adult.
It makes sense to think of the ALF appliance in biological terms rather than as a mechanistic system. To achieve a force suitable for the individual patient we have to ask the body what is its overall reaction to the applied force. Depending on that reaction we may or may not need to change the level of force. This process resembles the new thinking in medicine where a precise dosage of a medication is sought rather than a general broad prescription.
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