definition of physiology

The physiology It is the science in charge of describing the way in which the various organs and systems of living beings function, as well as the tissues that compose them. It constitutes one of the fundamental pillars of the medical sciences.

This word has its origin in the Greek language, physis: nature and logos: studio.

The study of physiology makes it possible to describe the various processes that take place under normal conditions in healthy tissues. Abnormal functioning or the mechanisms that lead to or accompany disease correspond to another science, pathophysiology.

Basis of physiology

Describe how each structure in the body works, from the microscopic to the macroscopic level. It also allows to know how the various structures interact with each other to achieve normal functioning as a whole.

This state of equilibrium in which everything works harmoniously is known as homeostasis.

In order to reach a good understanding of physiology, it is necessary to master concepts of the microscopic (histology) and macroscopic (anatomy) structure of organs and systems, as well as the composition and chemical processes that take place in them (biochemistry ).

Physiology is born from man's curiosity to know how the body works, its origin can be traced as far back as when Hippocrates raised his humoral theory that explained how the various fluids acted and the consequences of their alterations

Some theories that we still hear today such as chi, energy and life force, are nothing more than ways of trying to describe the functioning of the body based on the knowledge and beliefs of ancient civilizations.

From the eighteenth century, when the study of anatomy began to boom, physiology began to develop, under the principle of Goethe who established that “function in form in action”.

Unlike anatomy, based on observation, physiology began to take its first steps supported by research, achieving its greatest discoveries when the systematization of the scientific method was achieved.

For the nineteenth century the French Claude Bernard introduces the definition of physiology enunciating it as “Knowledge of the causes of the phenomena of life in a normal state”. This knowledge was initially obtained in animal models, so initially there was talk of an animal physiology whose principles were extrapolated to humans. Currently, advances have allowed physiological studies to determine the exact functioning of human organs and systems, thereby introducing human physiology.