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Wpman in White Dress on Beach


For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. [Psalm 139:13-14 ESV]

Your body has remarkable capability to heal itself. If you are injured or become ill, your body is designed to quickly and efficiently resolve the problem and restore itself to health. The 30-40 trillion cells in the human body work continuously to maintain or return us to equilibrium (i.e. a natural balance): the liver regenerates itself, intestines regenerate their lining, fractured bones grow back, lungs repair when smoking is stopped, old skin sheds away, eye scratches quickly heal, the brain builds new connections, and more. One of the greatest examples of healing ability is the process that follows a bleeding injury, particularly blood clotting and new tissue formation. This begs the question as to why we have record numbers of people with chronic pain and chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, obesity, fatty liver and metabolic syndrome?

Part of the reason is that we have limited knowledge and understanding about the body’s healing processes. Moreover, for many decades, scientific research and medical treatments have focused on treating symptoms of sickness and disease, usually with medications or surgery. This approach can be beneficial when you need quick acting medicine for a life-threatening condition. However, without addressing the root cause of a health condition, the same situation may present itself in future.  We consider the resolution of sicknesses by addressing root causes true healing as opposed to a temporary ‘fix’.

A healthy body fights infection, heals wounds, kills cancer cells, repairs damage, and fights the aging process. However, keeping your body in a healthful condition is required so it can effectively utilize its natural healing processes. This requires proactive steps on our part rather than only reactive attendance at the doctor’s office when symptoms appear.

A Few Healing Processes

Cells, which are the building blocks of the body, have the innate ability to heal themselves when they become unhealthy and replicate to replace destroyed or damaged cells. As stated above, these processes allow broken bones to mend, for example. Interestingly, when your skin is cut, your blood naturally clots to stop the bleeding, white blood cells remove the dead, injured cells and new healthy cells repair the damaged tissue. Our bodies are in a constant state of repairing daily wear and tear to remove damage and produce new, healthy tissue.

Various aspects of our immune system deal with intruders such as viruses, bacteria, and toxins. In this regard, mucus, acids and a type of white blood cell called phagocytes, each play a role in ensuring that dangerous materials, organisms and invaders are destroyed and/or removed from the body. Natural killer cells recognize when one of our own cells have been invaded by a virus and destroy the infected cell. Inflammation is the result of injury or infection, which focusses your immune system to restore that area to health. In other instances, your body raises its temperature to a fever in order to kill viruses and bacteria, as well as to help your body fight the infection. Chronic diseases, chemotherapy and the use of steroids, can pose healing challenges because the immune system functions at a lower capacity, making patients more susceptible to infection.

Bodies also heal and regenerate themselves through stem cells. Adult stem cells are descendants of embryonic stem cells created while a fetus is growing in the womb. Unlike embryonic stem cells, each type of adult stem cell only has the ability to become certain types of tissue. For example, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells found in bone marrow that are important for making and repairing skeletal tissues, such as muscle, cartilage, bone and the fat found in bone marrow. MSCs play a key role in fracture repair.  Neural stem cells help to regenerate nerve tissue in the brain and spinal cord, and epithelial stem cells regenerate skin. Adult stem cells can reproduce for a long time, though their reproductivity is strongest in youth and will gradually weaken over time.

Hindrances to Healing

Our bodies’ healing processes may be hindered by inadequate, low-quality sleep, poor diet choices, minimal exercise, toxins and other factors, some of which we don’t yet fully understand. Your mental state and beliefs can also affect your health. For example, stress is often referred to as a silent killer because it can quietly affect many bodily processes, including our immune systems.

Inadequate Sleep

Your body most effectively repairs and regenerates during periods of adequate, high-quality sleep. When we’re at rest, energy use is minimized and only expended to sustain involuntary functions such as heartbeat and breathing, which allows the body to direct more of its energy to restorative and healing processes.  Lack of quality sleep lessens those processes and also weakens your immune system, exposing you to illness. Healing processes then have to be re-directed to fighting the illness rather than repairing daily wear and tear, as well as regeneration.

Poor Nutrition

Good nutrition is a foundation for daily healing as well as prevention of various diseases. In fact, a proper diet has been shown to greatly improve the healing process following injury or surgery. Poor dietary choices can allow environmental toxins to settle in the body where they can do great damage and cause various ailments. Foods that can hurt the healing process include caffeine, alcohol, excessive sugar, and salt. All of these can slow bone healing by depleting your body of nutrients. Inflammation is largely related to food choices, causing many digestive disorders and resulting in numerous diseases. Dehydration, which causes an electrolyte imbalance, can also decrease oxygenation to the tissues, which is needed to promote natural healing. So remember to drink plenty of water!

Lack of Exercise

Exercise, regardless of the intensity level, stimulates blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients to your cells while carrying toxins away. Still, a balanced exercise routine involving aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training increases the chances that your body will be able to ward off disease, fight infection, and heal faster following injury or surgery. Furthermore, this helps keep your body at a healthy weight, conditions the body’s cardiovascular network and lowers the risk of certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise in your youth decreases the chances of weak bones in your elder years, known as osteoporosis. Other benefits of regular bodily movement including better sleep, cognitive function and moods, as well as lessened stress levels.

Research shows that exercise can also play a role in aging and cancer. Specifically, a sedentary lifestyle lessens the protection of DNA which hastens aging and can contribute to the development of cancer.

Other Factors

Inflammation, stress, and infection can lead to the production of too many free radicals, causing oxidative stress, which leads to disease as well as damage to cells and DNA.

When stem cells get worn out, they are less able to replicate and regenerate new tissue. This, in turn, lessens your body’s ability to heal and generally regenerate. Some known reasons why stem cell numbers and efficiency decrease with age are the shortening of telomeres, oxidative stress, and chronic disease.

In essence, there are many factors that can contribute to minor injuries and degeneration on a daily basis resulting in sickness and disease. Individuals can contribute to their poor health –often unintentionally—by consistently getting inadequate sleep, neglecting their nutrition and/or consuming processed, sugary foods, as well as failing to regularly exercise. Our busy, stressful lifestyles can also contribute to challenges in these areas. Essentially, these factors and more can prevent a body from healing itself because it can’t keep up with the daily damage.

Multiple steps may be needed to restore balance and equilibrium in a health-compromised body. It really is about addressing root causes towards long term health rather than taking a “magic pill” to temporarily treat symptoms. The objective should be to treat your whole being, including physiology, mental state and emotions, such that your body’s natural healing mechanisms can optimally function in the way they were designed.


To explore some of the options that have helped chronic disease sufferers restore the internal equilibrium within their bodies, including natural remedies and alternatives, purchase from our Health Treasures Series:

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