Systems Health for Your Future

September 21, 2017, Author: Boomer Anderson

Human health is complex and requires complex systems thinking to optimize performance. Systems health is the answer.

Why do we treat it otherwise?

Do you have issues with sleeping? Go to the doctor.

Do you want to lose weight? Go to a personal trainer. Or a nutritionist? Or both?

The current system favors specialization.

It is outdated and needs correction.

Changing the health system
The current health system needs to be changed

What are Systems?

Donella Meadows, Dartmouth College professor and author of Thinking in Systems (also from Illinois!), described a system as:

“A set of elements or parts that is coherently organized and interconnected in a pattern or structure that produces a characteristic set of behaviors, often classified as a function or purpose.”

Any system has three common characteristics:

  1. Elements
  2. Interconnections
  3. Purpose

Based on the above, how many systems can you think of?

A school is a system

  • Elements – teachers, students, buildings, textbooks, etc.
  • Interconnections – student depends on teacher, student depends on lunch lady
  • Purpose – Education

The cafe down on the corner is a system

  • Elements – coffee beans, grinder, barista, customer, etc.
  • Interconnections – The customer and barista for caffeine. The barista needs the customer for a wage
  • Purpose – Good coffee for all

Chuck Norris is a system

  • Elements – Roundhouse kicks
  • Interconnections – Roundhouse kicks and bad guys
  • Purpose – Being Chuck Norris

The last one is a stretch. However, the list is endless.

This includes your health.

The Current Health Model

Today’s health model is sick care.

You go to the doctor when you are sick. You get a pill to relieve your symptoms. You move on with life.

Precision health is our future
The current approach to health needs to change

Some call it a “pill for the ill.” Others call it disease and cure. Our society performs this allopathic approach extremely well. Cure a common cold with penicillin. Antibiotics for infection. Advil for your hangover.

There are a number of problems with this approach.

  1. It does not get to the root cause of the issue.
  2. The specialists involved do not converse which each other.

This is the current model. A reductionist approach which looks at one problem and seeks a solution through a specialist.

Yes, the world is living longer (when you don’t strip out infant mortality).

But at what cost? And what if you want to avoid disease states? And to blow everyone’s mind — what if you want to climb the corporate ladder by unleashing new levels of mental performance?

For this, the world needs systems health.

Systems Health as Your Future

What is your goal?

This is a question every one of our client’s answers before entering the door.

  • Do you want to increase your focus?
  • Do you want to build stress resilience?
  • Do you want to get stronger?
  • Do you want to be more present in all of your relationships?

Taking a systems approach to health allows you to optimize the human to reach new levels of performance.

I would know. You can read my full background here.

Only when I started taking a systems view of health did

  • My focus improve
  • I get 20% stronger
  • I reduce inflammatory markers

So what do I mean when I say systems health?

Supplement Recommendations – The Current Approach

The current method (typical supplement commercial or branding)-

This pill promises increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, and an amazing sex life. Because we have them in our commercial, beautiful women will surround you.

Note: results not typical
You buy expecting the best outcome. You get disappointed when you fall into the “results, not typical” group. No muscle, same body fat, no new women.

Back to square one.

Supplement Recommendations – Systems Health

Let’s acknowledge the many factors influencing the human.


Epigenetics is the foundation of systems health.
Systems Approach to Health Simplified


  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Environment
  • Brain
  • Sleep
  • Detoxification

Each of these is systems on their own, but these interact with each other forming the human system.

A host of questions needs answering before recommending a supplement.

  • Nutrition – what effect will this supplement have on your overall diet?
  • Digestion – How will the supplement affect your digestive system? Do you have leaky gut or a parasite which may provide suboptimal results?
  • Epigenetics – do you have a predisposition to processing the supplement poorly?
  • Brain – what effect would the supplement have on your neurotransmitters? Do you already have too much serotonin or dopamine?
  • Movement – does the supplement affect your workouts? How is your performance currently?
  • Environment – does the byproduct of the supplement create environment issues? Does it create relationship issues? Are you surrounded by people who support your goals?
  • Financial – can you afford to take the supplement? Can you afford food which will eliminate the need for the supplement?
  • This list could go on
    • And on
      • And on

Implementing Systems Health in Your Life

Humans are complex systems. Any approach to improving your performance needs systems thinking. Each of these factors interacts with each other. By optimizing only one or two of systems in the complex system of human health, you end up with imbalances. Imbalances end in disease. Disease brings us back to sick care.

The next time you look to make a modification, go through the analysis. Maybe, it is only right for two of seven areas. Maybe it will cause problems in others areas of your life.

Once you see the world as a collection of systems with stocks and throughputs, it will affect everything you do:

  • From investing to sleep
  • Exercise to work
  • Relationships to food

This is difficult. Especially in health. Complex systems require complex thinking and analysis. If you are ready to elevate your physical and mental game, get in touch with us today! Precision health is your future.

If you are ready to get started in precision health, schedule a free 30-minute consultation to see if Decoding Superhuman services are right for you.

Free PDF! 6 Steps to Unbound Focus through BDNF

Can I just say, "I love you." The PDF and your path to superhuman focus is on the way.


Meadows, Donella. “Thinking in Systems: A Primer.” Chelsea Green Publishing. December 2008

Read, Proctor and Compton, Dale. “Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership.” National Academies Press. 2005.

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