Many people nowadays are having accidents, surgeries and physical ailments and are looking for ways to help the healing process. They try conventional as well as alternative methods to speed up the process. I want to help you understand the healing process and how you can help yourself shorten the time you need to heal and, by extension, shorten the time you are experiencing pain.
Tissue heals through the following methods:
Resolution – For minor injuries, like a sunburn, the tissue heals by a process called resolution. The injury is small enough that the cells do not die and are healed relatively fast.
Regeneration – For more severe injuries, like cuts and abrasions, the tissue heals through regeneration of the cells. When you cut yourself and you start to bleed, the platelets in the blood form a scab on your skin. The cells on either side of the cut remain intact and healthy, so they subdivide and reproduce new cells underneath the scab. It replaces the tissue with the same type of tissue. When the cells have completed covering the area separated by the cut, the scab sloughs off. When you pick at your scab you stop the regeneration process, the tissue doesn’t heal correctly, and it finishes the healing process through Fibrosis.
Fibrosis - severe injuries, like large cuts, surgeries and major burns to the body, the body heals through fibrosis. Fibrosis is scar formation. With this process, the injury is so severe that there is not enough healthy cells to subdivide and reproduce, so the body replaces the injured tissue with a different, more thick and dense, tissue; scar tissue.
Factors That Prevent Fast Healing
Age – The younger you are, the faster you heal!
Medical conditions – Like Diabetes, Edema and other conditions
Medications – Some medications slow down cell processes
Eating unhealthy foods – We need vitamins and nutrients to assist in the healing process
Poor circulation – The most important thing that you need to heal fast is good circulation. The body’s natural pain killers, endorphins, are sent to the area along with platelets and other chemicals to help the healing process.
The Six Steps Necessary to Feel Better
The six steps are called the Six Stages of Rehabilitation. These steps are necessary for complete rehabilitation of any injury, whether from an accident, surgery or physical ailment. They must be completed in succession, one after the other, for this process to work. Skipping a step or two will cause the healing time to increase or completely stop, which will allow more problems to arise.
Step 1 - Reduce Spasms – Massage Therapy and Trigger Point Therapy
Step 2 – Correct Faulty Body Mechanics – You MUST change what causes the problem so it doesn’t return
Step 3 – Increase Flexibility – Stretching and increasing range of motion, yoga
Step 4 – Increase Strength – Exercise, lift weights, Pilates
Step 5 – Build Endurance – Increase exercise time, increase weights
Step 6 – Address Diet and Emotional Well Being – Eat right, seek professional help, if needed
Steps 1, 2 and 3 is performed by a qualified, Licensed Massage Therapist. Steps 4 and 5 is performed by a personal trainer, fitness coach, exercise physiologist or physical therapist. Step 6 should be performed by a nutritionist for addressing diet and eating habits. And for one’s emotional well-being, those trained in dealing with the emotions and feelings should be consulted.
Ed is a board-certified, licensed massage therapist who has much success in eliminating pain, restoring range of motion, restoring normal joint function and helping to return injured clients to a normal lifestyle. To schedule a consult or therapeutic session, call Ed at (267) 269-7388.