There are certain words I love. For some reason, when I hear them they light me up. Among those are the words innate intelligence. According to Webster’s, “innate” is defined as “1. existing in one from birth; inborn; native; 2. inherent in the character of something; 3. originating in or arising from the intellect or the constitution of the mind, rather than learned from experience.” Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defines “intelligence” as “the ability to comprehend or understand.”
Innate intelligence is found in all living things. It’s that wisdom that science cannot always explain, allowing systems and organisms in nature to thrive without any outside, or manmade, influence.
Every spring, I watch a robin work tirelessly building its nest. The outside of the window in my treatment room at my office gets caked with mud and debris as this bird lands on that window ledge with a beak full of grass, sticks, and other dirt-ridden materials before taking it into the small tree to add it to the nest it is building. This bird, like all robins, somehow knows which tree is best to build this nest, which branches within that tree are best, which type of materials to use, and how to actually build the nest. This is that inborn wisdom, or innate intelligence.
Think about your own body… have you ever given thought to the fact that your heart beats 40 million times every year, that you take roughly 23,000 breaths a day, and you blink over 200,000 times each week… without ever having to think about it. How does that happen? What is keeping that working so well and with such precision?
I remember being very young and looking at a newborn baby. What amazed me and intrigued me the most was the finger nail on its tiny pinky. I remember thinking, how does the body so perfectly and precisely know to put that there. Here was this little bitty finger nail in the exact spot it needed to be. How does is not end up on the forearm? Or maybe not there at all? Somehow, the body knows exactly how to make all the parts and put them exactly where they need to be. When things are not going well health-wise, doctors and other healthcare practitioners scramble to try to figure out what needs to be raised, lowered, or altered. They look to add something to the body or take something out. This almost always comes with adverse effects because you can’t just alter one thing without it affecting other things within the body.
When it comes to wellness, a key to my success with patients is that I do not try to outsmart the body and this inborn intelligence. I work with it. Your body has an innate ability to heal, function, grow, and adapt. This intelligence is always working to maximize your well-being. There is nothing stronger, smarter, or more powerful than your own body’s innate intelligence. My approach, instead of trying to raise this or lower that, is to give the body what it needs and to get rid of what it doesn’t. I let the body do the work.
Don’t underestimate the power of your own body and its innate intelligence. Honor and appreciate your inborn and innate wisdom and power. The same intelligence that brings a sperm and egg together to produce a fully functioning human being without any outside help or interference is the same intelligence that will bring you back to an optimal level of function and living if you give the body what it needs and get rid of what it doesn’t. And the next time you look at a newborn baby, take a minute to be in awe of that tiny finger nail on her pinky finger.