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Healing Damage from Injury or Disease

by Ron Kurtus (updated 13 March 2007)

Parts of your body may become damaged due to injury, disease or poisons. Healing is the physical process the body goes through in order to repair the damage.

Medications can assist the healing process, as well as to protect from attack by bacteria or other agents. Alternative healing practices also can help. They include mental processes, laughter therapy, touch therapy and prayer.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions. Health Disclaimer

Cell replacement

Injury, disease or poisons can damage or kill a large number of the cells in a location of your body. This is obvious in a physical injury, such as caused by a fall, blow, cut or burn. Diseases spew out toxins that can kill nearby cells. In fact, sometimes damage is done by your own body in fighting off the disease. Your defensive mechanisms may over-react and start killing your own cells.

Healing from the damage done by injury, disease or poisons is done by the natural process of cell replacement. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a slow process, as the new cells must replace the dead cells. As you get older, the healing process becomes slower.

One problem in healing is that often the new cells aren't quite as good or the same as the hold. Scar tissue replaces the former cells. Often the scar tissue just acts as filler material, not performing the tasks of the former cells.

Medicinal healing

Medicines can be used to aid the healing process. They do not do any healing themselves.

Most medicines given to aid the healing process either simply reduce discomfort or protect against further attack. The body has all the mechanisms to replace damaged cells or repair damaged body parts. There really aren't any medicines that will effectively speed up or improve the process.

Relieve discomfort

When a physician gives the classic line, "Take two aspirins, and call me in the morning," he or she is effectively telling you to take something to relieve the discomfort and let the body do its job. It is true that although aspirins reduce inflammation and discomfort, they may not help the natural healing process.

Prevent overreaction

Sometimes the body can overreact in fighting a disease and actually attack its own cells. In such a case, medication is needed to prevent that type of damage.

Prevent infection

Also, most medications are important to prevent infections and other attacks that may inhibit the natural healing process.

Alternative healing

There are theories that the mind can influence the healing process of the body. Mental imaging, touch therapy and laughter therapy are examples of alternative healing. Faith healing and prayer are also used.

Mental imaging

One method used to facilitate healing is mental imaging. Picturing yourself as a healthy, healed person is said to enhance the healing process. Positive affirmations may influence the body's natural healing powers.

Believing that you are getting better and your body is healing seems more effective than complaining about your injuries. Also, positive images tend to relax the body and reduce anxieties, which also may enhance healing.

There is also what is called the Placebo Effect where a person may get better from taking a pill that he or she thinks will provide a cure. This effect indicates some validity in mental methods to enhance healing.

Healing touch therapy

Touch therapy and healing touch practitioners may be able to assist the healing process through relaxing the person. Some theories say that changing the "energy fields" of the patient can help in the healing process.

Certainly, being touched lightly by a caring person can put a sick or injured person in a relaxed and assured state of mind. And that may enhance the healing. It is reinforcement of mental imaging and the emotional effect of knowing someone cares that may help the healing.

Although there are indications that the human body has energy fields, it is uncertain whether efforts to change them will actually help healing.

Petting soft animals has been know to improve the healing process, especially in children and elderly patients. Relaxation and reducing stress seems to be the key in these types of assistance to healing.

Laughter therapy and others

In the 1960s, publisher Norman Cousin used funny movies and laughter to help cure and heal from a debilitating disease. He later wrote a book on what he called "Laughter Therapy" that promoted this method. Although it created a stir for a while, I method soon fell by the wayside.

There are other methods that are supposed to improve the healing process, such as aroma therapy and such. They may be effective for some people.

Faith healing

There are people who believe in "faith healing" or being healed by prayer.

Some Christians refer to the healing done by Jesus Christ, as stated in the Bible. In general, many of the examples in the Bible were a combination of curing and healing. A good example is that of lepers, where they where cured of their disease and the damage was immediately healed.

Certain religions state that healing can be facilitated through a practitioner or through prayer. People use prayer and meditation to ask for help, as well as to encourage their body to heal.

Part of the curing and healing process is mental, such that the person's mind and attitude can enhance the healing process. But there is also the spiritual aspect of such healing that may be nothing short of miraculous. Certainly, there is much about the healing process that we don't understand.


Healing is the process of repairing damaged or injured body parts. Medicines can relieve pain and prevent infection. Some can enhance the healing process. Mental methods, including positive affirmations, healing touch, prayer and other methods can affect the body and improve the healing process. A combination of medicine, mental and spiritual methods is probably the best course in healing the body.

Your body, mind and spirit are integrated

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