Bodies: The Exhibition

by Courtney on May 23, 2010

Last night I went with my brother, Chris Whitcoe and Andrea McNinch to Bodies: The Exhibition in Tucson. You might recall my writing about my developed interest in anatomy in my Guardian of Organs post.

For Chris, Andrea and I, going to see the exhibition was both a learning experience and was valuable in grounding deeper our passion for helping people heal their bodies, feel and look fantastic, and extend their lifespans.
There were full bodies, solitary organs, cross sections, and features of systems of the body, as well (skeletal, muscular, etc). It was amazing to see the spacial relationship of the parts of the body, and how compact and efficient everything is. The organs practically lay on top of eachother. I didn’t realize how sort of smooshed in everything is (and of course, it’s not really smooshed otherwise it wouldn’t work so miraculously).
I was also surprised to see how small everything is. Some of the lungs, for example, couldn’t have been longer than 6 inches. The colon is narrower than I thought, and the kidneys are smaller than I thought (about 4 or 5 inches for the ones I saw). Seeing the glands were interesting as well, particularly the thyroid and pituitary. The pituitary, considered a main hub of the body that controls tons of functions, was tiny. It was about the size of a goji berry (like my superfood reference?). I enjoyed seeing the female reproductive system, how the ovaries, fallopian tube and cervix looked and how they were positioned in relation to eachother.
There was an incredible display of the circulatory system, as well, although not of the actual arteries, veins, vessels and capillaries. What it seems they did was injected the veins with some kind of colored plastic and then dissolved the rest of the body, leaving only a model of exactly how the circulatory of that organ, body part, or whole body looked. It was incredible to see how dense with blood veins the body is. I also noticed that there was a super dense system of blood veins in the feet, and very, very little in the hands. Interesting.
They also had displays comparing healthy organs with ailed ones, such as a healthy lung and a smokers lung, cancers of the thyroid, colon, prostate, liver, kidney, breast, and more. They showed a cirrohtic liver, a colon with a ringworm, a brain with Lou Gehrig’s disease, a heart with plaque buildup, and several other ailments.
The ironic end to the experience was that when we finished checking out the exhibit, we walked out to this little gift store, which mostly had anatomy books and books for children to learn about the body, but there was also a book for sale called The Pill Book: The Illustrated Guide to Most-Prescribed Drugs in the United States. Whoooooooaaaa!!!! I know that most people don’t have an awareness of the massive destructiveness health that prescription drugs have (to varying degrees depending on the drug), and the knowledge of alternative health that I do, but still. Whooooooooaaa!!!!
All in all, it was a wonderful ‘rubber hitting the road’ kind of education. To ground ourselves in the reality of our internal bodies and anatomy, I think, is very powerful and motivational for healing. It made me realize that the body really is a miraculous machine, and that there are daily choices we make that can either make that machine begin to break down, or fix the machine and upgrade it.
It reminded me of the importance of my daily choices if I really want my body, with my one heart and one stomach and one pancreas, my two lungs and two kidneys, to last 100+ years, everything really does matter. I only get one set, and although they can heal and regenerate, they really have to be able to do their thing in an efficient and uninhibited way, every second of every minute, day after day, year after year. In particular, I feel it is extremely helpful for anyone who is a health practioner, nutritionist, and healer to have a more solid visual and understanding of the body.
How do you feel about this topic? Have you seen bodies donated to science and preserved in some way? Did it encourage your own healing and caretaking of your body? Do you feel it important or necessary to educate oneself this way?

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