The Big Picture

What Are Artifacts of Compromise?

The state of matter we call life is marked by a continual flow of energy through the cell. The relationship between the cell, its internal environment, and its external environment, is essential for promoting positive development as well as healing and recovery. When the body undergoes stress—whether mental, physical, emotional, nutritional, or toxic—this can lead to artifacts of compromise, which start at the cell level and eventually extend out to the surrounding tissues, organs, and global system.

Why is the compromise of cellular function so significant? Because it’s at the root of the process of aging and degeneration. Keep reading to learn how artifacts of compromise develop, and what you can do to prevent them.

The Cell and Its Surrounding Environment

The cell’s functional stability relies on a balance of chemical interactions, both inside and outside of the cell. The interruption of this chemical balance—produced by stress—creates a destabilization within the cell (i.e., an artifact of compromise) and causes a ripple effect throughout the whole system. Stress thus leads to systemic derangement and various symptoms, including those associated with the syndromes labeled as diseases.

Artifacts of Compromise

Artifacts of compromise are at the base of my model for aging and degeneration of health and wellbeing. The following steps outline the cell’s path to compromised function:

  • Step 1: The energy demands on the cell exceed the resources available to meet them.
  • Step 2: The cell’s metabolism shifts due to the challenge’s effect on the internal chemical environment. This allows the cell to mobilize alternative energy sources.
  • Step 3: This altered metabolic state shifts the chemicals produced by the cell and thus creates a new chemical balance within the extracellular matrix. This new chemical balance interacts with the structural proteins that hold the cell and its surrounding cells in place. It creates a retraction and stiffening of the normal, more fluid collagen matrix.
  • Step 4: The chemical environment also affects the surrounding cells, signaling them to act in a stressed state. This creates a radiating field of influence and begins to exacerbate the stress within each affected cell.
  • Step 5: The intensity, duration, and frequency of the active stress state influences development and may result in an artifact of compromise. This artifact could be defined as a fibrotic portion of the tissue that does not allow fluid to flow through it easily. The tissue is “compromised” insofar as it becomes impaired in its function and is easily stressed whenever a challenge is presented. It also restricts flow and exposes the surrounding healthy tissues to undesirable chemical byproducts.

Want an example of this process in action? Read my previous post, Why Is Bad Posture So Bad?, to learn how bad posture causes artifacts of compromise to develop within the tissues of the spine and surrounding muscles.

How to Promote Ideal Health and Function

The best way to prevent artifacts of compromise and help the cells maintain ideal function is by creating an optimal balance in the relationship between the cell and its environment. This will promote an ideal flow of energy through the cell itself and will then produce positive effects throughout the body. A great way to achieve this balance is by reducing your global stress load and getting plenty of good nutrition and exercise. If you can take on an intelligent understanding of your relationship to the environment, learn to act confidently, and remain open to improvement, you will be able to reduce your stress, increase your fun, enhance your overall health, andultimatelybe the most alive!

Through intelligent action, you can condition your environment to enhance the quality of energy flow through the system and thus improve your health and your experience of life.

For more insights on the latest topics in health and nutrition, sign up for my monthly newsletter. Want to try a new exercise method that’s great for stress relief, posture, and flexibility? Visit to register for ELDOA group classes.

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