Doctors do not heal the body. The body heals itself …. and when it fails to do so, as in very old age, no medicine can bring it back to normal health ! The power to heal itself is perhaps the greatest asset of a living body. It is an extraordinary ability that is critical in achieving continuation of life.
With the way we have become used to medicines, hospitals and surgeons as saviours of our life, it might seem strange as to how mankind survived and thrived all those millions of years without medical help or advice by his side. It is then that you come to realise the importance of this extraordinary healing power of the human body which helps it dealing with gravest of injuries and still being able to become fit and healthy again. The survival of our race would not have been possible without it.
HEALING – AN EXTRAORDINARY POWER OF THE CELLS
Healing is the process by which an damaged part of body is brought back to its normal condition. As we all know, body is made of organs that are made of tissues and cells. Each cell is a dynamic living unit which keeps changing its condition continuously. These cells get disturbed and injured regularly and have an ability to repair the damage and ‘heal’ themselves, regaining the original shape.
More importantly, cells also have an ability to replicate and form new cells that can replace the cells that have been permanently damaged and destroyed. Thus, even if a few hundred thousand cells are destroyed, as happens almost on a regular daily basis, the surrounding cells replicate to produce new cells, which replace the dead one in almost no time. This process keeps us intact and healthy even without our realizing it.
THE COMPLEX PROCESS OF HEALING
The most important aspect of body’s healing is its ability to replace the dead cells and tissues with an almost identical replacement. This complex process takes place in many steps.
The first step in healing is the immediate response of body to the injury, almost like the first aid treatment, consisting primarily of stopping bleeding. After an injury, bleeding is stopped by the contraction of blood vessels within a couple of minutes by the contraction of the blood vessels. This is followed by the process of blood clotting that begins with platelets, and ends with formation of a blood clot that blocks the leak from which blood is coming out.
Once the body’s first aid is in place, the repair machinery begins to take over almost instantaneously. The white blood cells accumulate at the site of injury, and begin to destroy and digest the dead cells there by the secretion of special enzymes that are stored within them in small packets called LYSOSOMES. They remove the debris and create space that new cells can occupy.
Almost simultaneously, the process of new cell formation also goes on. These new cells mostly originate from the youngest layer of cells in that tissue, while the older cells are pushed to the site of injury, gradually filling the gaps created by injury.
Sometimes, when there is a very big gap between the living tissues at the place of injury that cannot be covered immediately by new cells, that space is initially filled with the blood clot. Later, some fibrous material is laid down there, which makes the SCAR. This scar is almost devoid of blood supply. With time, it keeps shrinking, but may never completely disappear, because of which old scars often persist for life and serve as reliable identification marks.
Healing of body is a complex and highly coordinated process that never continues beyond the need and this complex process automatically comes to a halt as soon as the healing is complete. It is a self regularised process of living body that is almost perfect. This extraordinary prowess of human body is actually responsible for our survival.
Healing is not just about repairing injuries. It is a process that takes care of usual wear and tear of the body as well. Unlike an automobile, the human body does not require servicing, because it can service itself and heal its minor injuries without having to make any conscious efforts for the same. Healing also includes replacing dead cells of the skin, mouth, intestines and blood that are damaged and destroyed in very large numbers every day.
Healing is that extraordinary but absolutely essential characteristic of the human body which allows us to lead our lives without bothering about the continuously occurring minor damages and injuries to our body. It is this ability that allows us to continue to live in the manner we actually do, without being burdened by the consequences of injuries that can and do happen any time.