By Adam Sinicki
Healing is a basic function of the human body and a process that falls under the umbrella term ‘anabolism’. Any anabolic process in the body essentially consists of the repairing and rebuilding tissue using the amino acids in our food and is the opposite to ‘catabolism’ which is any process that instead burns food (generally carbs or carbs stored as fat) in order to give the body energy. Other than healing, anabolic processes include growing, replacing cells and building muscle among other things. As we know there are certain ways to improve the speed of those things, so it stands to reason that we can increase and speed up our body’s ability to heal too and become less-hairy versions of Wolverine.
The first thing you need in order to encourage your body to heal more quickly is sleep. Sleeping is important as it enters our body into an ‘anabolic state’ (wakefulness on the other hand is considered a ‘catabolic state’). This is when our bodies will do the majority of their building, repairing and maintenance and this is increased by greater production of growth hormone among others chemicals in the body. This is why for bodybuilders it’s so important to get a lot of rest as well as working out, but for someone recovering from a cut, a bruise, a break or anything else then this is also just as important.
There are also other ways to increase the amount of growth hormone in the body. Bodybuilders for example take a synthetic form of growth hormone directly which can not only help to heal wounds but even turn back some of the effects of ageing. This product is not without its side effects however and is banned in many countries and states for that reason. Fortunately many drugs, such as GABA, offer a milder approach, helping the body to produce more growth hormone naturally (GABA also gives the user deeper sleep for other beneficial effects).
Other ways growth hormone production can be increased don’t require any supplements or ‘products’ at all. One of the best methods for example is actually to work out or to go sprinting, while even a boiling hot shower can help give the body a rush of the hormone.
Another hormone that increases the repair and building of tissue in the body is testosterone, which is partly why men are more muscular than women. Again it is possible to take testosterone enhancing supplements which help the body to produce more natural testosterone and include things such as tribulus terrestris and 6-OXO. At the same time certain foods can also help you produce more testosterone (while avoiding others does so indirectly by decreasing oestrogen), as can exercise again and interestingly sex.
Once the body is put into this anabolic state it then needs to have access to the tools used to repair the joint. This means mainly amino acids which are found in proteins and recombined to form the protein that makes up our own body. As such in order to heal, grow or build muscle the body needs to have a good supply of amino acids. If you’re recovering from an injury then, eating a lot of meats and taking a protein shake could help (or just an amino acid supplement).
Similarly your body also uses many vitamins to repair various problems. Vitamin E applied topically or consumed orally for example is great for damage to the skin, while calcium is important for rebuilding bones, cartilage and tendons. Taking a multi vitamin is one of the best ways to cover all bases.
Other miracle drugs either exist or are on the verge of existing. These generally revolve around giving the body new cells which it can use in order to repair its own tissue. One place this is found is in horse placenta which has useable stem cells that are being used in sports to turn back the clock on many old injuries. Another is extra-cellular matrix found in pigs which is potent enough to help grow back the tips of fingers by encouraging the body to prevent healing and to utilise its own satellite cells for repair.
Other products promise to help improve the appearance of wounds after the fact. One great product that actually does what it’s advertised to do is ‘Bio Oil’ which uses a different delivery system to get vitamin E, collagen and other vital vitamins, minerals and substances right into the injury.
Of course your ability to heal will depend largely on the wound, and on luck, and these tips will only help to a degree. However if you really want to give yourself the best possible chance of a full recovery, it certainly can’t hurt to try (and if it does, then you know how to heal yourself).