Spring is around the corner, so we thought it would be fun to talk about some rates of renewal and regeneration in the body…
Why does it take 2-3 weeks to get rid of the flu? If only 25% of a healthy liver exists, is there any hope for a normal life? What about arthritis, bone loss, meniscus tears, ligament sprains, tendon strains and rotator cuff injuries? What can we hope and/or expect from our bodies in terms of healing rates. Is renewal, recovery and regeneration possible? Yes! We here at HCA see it and believe it! Healing happens every moment, every second, every millisecond of the day! Here are some healing rates for different tissues of the body…
THE BRAIN – Variable Times
Once believed to never regenerate, new research suggests that neurons do renew in the olfactory and hippocampus areas. They are finding this possible in other areas as well while research continues.
THE LIVER – 6 weeks
It takes 6 weeks for this organ to COMPLETELY rebuild itself, WOW! It has the fastest rate of regeneration of all organs in the body.
STOMACH LINING – 4 days
Cells of the lining of the stomach take five days to renew. The cells that make up the rest of the organ take about 16 years, while cells that come into contact with digesting food take only 5 minutes to renew!
SKIN- 1 Month
Surface layer of skin takes 2-4 weeks
BLOOD- 4 Months
Red Blood Cells are renewed in a few months, while White Blood Cells stick around longer, almost a year.
BONES – 3 months
Bone remodeling is constantly going on within the body. New bone tissue replaces old in approximately 2 to 3 months. The entire skeleton takes a bit longer, but every 10 years or so you have a new support frame, yay!
LUNGS – 2-3 weeks
Lungs (like the liver) filter a lot throughout the body, so luckily cells regenerate in 2 to 3 weeks time. Alveoli cells take longer, up to a year, but that’s still fantastic news! Take a deep breath of relief, ahhhh!
TENDONS, LIGAMENTS and CARTILAGE- 1-2 months
Cartilage has a lower capacity to heal because it lacks a significant amount of blood supply, but it is possible! Tendons and ligaments take only a couple of weeks to a month to heal.
Peripheral nerves regenerate at approximately 1 inch per month. While that may seem slow, it’s possible, and that’s something to feel good about!
**Sources for this information were drawn from various medical journals, NYT articles and books–available upon request**
So how can acupuncture help? Acupuncture reduces oxidative stress (damage to cells of the body), directs and increases blood circulation to specific areas (this is what heals tissue–blood and nutrients), relaxes the nervous system. reduces pain, swelling and inflammation.
Herbal medicine is always an excellent complement to acupuncture treatments. We have an effective series of medicinals called FLEX that aid in circulating and promoting blood flow throughout the body. They also contain guiding herbs that target specific areas: back, knees, ankles, shoulders and arms.
We are open 7 days a week. Come on in for a treatment and let’s speed up the healing process!
5 TIPS TO ENHANCE AND SPEED THE HEALING PROCESS
1. Schedule a healing treatment like Acupuncture, Cupping, or Massage at least 1x per week and learn ways to self-heal between treatments.
2. Cultivate a Positive Attitude about life, your body, and the healing process in general (GRATITUDE).
3. Drink a lot of water throughout the day! (tendons are 70% water, the brain and heart are 73%, the lungs are 83%).
4. Practice Healing Movement: walk, swim, tai chi, yoga, rock climbing, whatever your choice of exercise is, and include at least 30 minutes of it 4/5 times a week.
5. Eat lots of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables (increases anti-oxidants and gets rid of the oxidative stress).
***Enjoy Deep Breaths***