What is Physiology

Depending on your viewpoint, it is either surprising or not at all that human beings are included in the classification of the animal kingdom. According to this system, human beings fall into the kingdom animalia’, phylum chordata’, subphylum vertebrata’, order primates’, family hominidae’, genus homo’, and species sapiens’. Mostly we call ourselves Homo sapiens. This categorization indicates that we have cells, a central nervous system encased in a bony spine, hair, mammalian reproductive processes, hands developed for grasping and holding things, bipedal posture and locomotion, large brains (especially frontal lobe), and the highly developed capacity to communicate vocally.

As we are included in the animal kingdom, our structures and functions are the study of the umbrella topic biology’. The study of the biology of animals other than humans is termed zoology. The human equivalent of zoology is physiology; it can be understood as human biology’. In the same way that zoology is akin to veterinary science, physiology is akin to medicine. Whilst medicine and veterinary science focus on how to rectify the unhealthy structure and function of humans and other animals, physiology and zoology focus on the healthy structure and function of humans and other whole organisms, or animals.

Just as biology is an umbrella topic that includes specific disciplines of zoology and physiology, so too is physiology an umbrella topic for specific sub disciplines. The sub disciplines of physiology explore in broad and acute detail how our bodies achieve very obvious and voluntary functions, such as walking, dancing, and hand holding, to hidden and involuntary functions such as digestion, the circulation of blood, and the production of urine etc. The sub disciplines include
Cardiac physiology covering the circulation of blood and lymph through the body.
Renal physiology covering the removal of waste from blood and the production of urine.
Reproductive physiology covering the reproduction of humans
Respiratory physiology covering the oxygenation of tissues, and cells, and the removal of carbon dioxide from same.
Digestive physiology covering the breakdown and incorporation of nutrients we eat
Endocrine physiology covering the multitude of hormones that are secreted into the bloodstream
Integumentary physiology covering what covers and protects and regulate us hair, skin, and nails
Neurophysiology covering the neural systems of our body, and the sensory and motor organs.
Skeletal physiology covering the internal structure that permits us to move, stand, produce blood, and store essential vitamins and minerals.
Muscle and exercise physiology covering the voluntary and involuntary movements our bodies engage in.

Each sub discipline is thorough in its scope, covering both the structure and function of
Whole systems (for example reproductive system, or renal system)
Organs (for example ovaries, or kidneys)
Tissues (for example connective tissues, cartilage, bone, or blood)
Cells, (for example luteal cells, or squamous epithelium)
Molecules and chemicals, (for example follicle stimulating hormone, or renin, or sodium).

In this way physiology covers the structure and functions of all the systems, organs, tissues, cells and chemicals of the human body, it has many related disciplines, including anatomy, pathology, medicine, histology, biomedicine, pathology, embryology, cellular biology, dietetics, physiotherapy, myotherapy, naturopathy, homeopathy, podiatry, chemistry, physics, and many other medical and scientific studies.