We are thankful to Dr. Pierre Morin of Portland, Oregon, for pointing us to the concept of allostasis. Homoeostasis is the tendency of psychological or biological systems to reach equilibrium. Allostasis includes maintaining stability by employing variability.

It seems to us that homeostasis is usually understood as a system’s ability to adjust to near equilibrium deviations, whereas allostasis is our innate ability to achieve stability and homeostasis even under extreme situations driving us far from equilibrium.

In process oriented thinking, allostasis includes the use of innerwork, sensing the dreaming body, outer social awareness, worldwork, etc.

See Wikipedia for more.  According to Wikipedia, allostasis is the process of achieving stability, or homeostasis, through physiological or behavioral change. This can be carried out by means of alteration in HPA axis hormones, the autonomic nervous system, cytokines, or a number of other systems, and is generally adaptive in the short term. (see “The concept of allostasis in biology and biomedicine”. Horm Behav. 2003 Jan;43(1):2-15. McEwen BS, Wingfield JC. (Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, The Rockefeller University)

The concept of Allostasis was proposed by Sterling and Eyer in 1988 to describe an additional process of reestablishing homeostasis, but one that responds to a challenge instead of to subtle ebb and flow. This theory suggests that both homeostasis and allostasis are endogenous systems responsible for maintaining the internal stability of an organism. Homeostasis, from the Greek homeo, means “same” while stasis means “stable;” thus, remaining stable by staying the same. Allostasis was coined similarly, from the Greek allo, which means “variable;” thus,”remaining stable by being variable”.
– Sterling, P. and Eyer, J., 1988, Allostasis: A new paradigm to explain arousal pathology. In: S. Fisher and J. Reason (Eds.), Handbook of Life Stress, Cognition and Health. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

– Robyn Klein Phylogenetic and phytochemical characteristics of plant species with adaptogenic properties MS Thesis, 2004, Montana State University Chapter 3.