If we imagine a thermometer that registers the sum of all these interacting factors, our health threshold is the boiling point. By analogy then, like water, think of the human health threshold as 100 degrees Celsius. But the capacity for managing the various influences that affect our health is different for each of us because for some, stress, for example, accounts for 20 degrees, where for others, stress may account for 50 degrees at any given time. For some, diet may account for 30 degrees, and for others, it may be 70 degrees due to a genetic predisposition toward obesity. Nonetheless, when we are pushed past our individual thresholds, we are no more able to remain healthy than water can prevent itself from boiling when it's heated to the boiling point. Today, many of us run so dangerously close to that threshold that we increase our probability of an early decline in the functioning of our bodies.
We may be living longer than the generations who came before us, but we are living longer with chronic disease and discomfort. We are becoming "toxic." Our health "temperature" constantly rises with our increasing levels of stress, poor diet, environmental burdens, and our exposure to toxins, just as the mercury in a thermometer slides up in response to an increase in temperature.