Understanding the Recovery Process

If you’re having some trouble wrapping your mind around all of the parts of the recovery process, don’t worry. I’ve been thinking, and I came up with a good way to visualize how your body gets things done.

The main parts of your physical recovery are rest, rehabilitation, and nutrition. If you think of your recovery processes like a group of builders building a house, it’s a lot easier to understand.

The rest portion of your recovery is the number of hours the builders work. If you limit the number of hours that the builders can work, it will take them longer to build your house than if they were allowed to work longer days (go ahead and assume that these imaginary workers don’t get tired, don’t need workers comp, and don’t complain about consecutive 16 hour work days. After all, your body is truly an amazing system).

The physical therapy and exercise is the training that the workers receive, and also their foreman. With a good foreman and lots of training, the workers are more motivated to build the house well and make it strong, and they’re more competent to complete the job more efficiently and at a higher level of craftsmanship. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that make it rebuild the part of your body that you worked out stronger and better while you rest.

Finally, your nutrition is materials that your house is built from. If you don’t eat well or enough while you’re recovering, your body won’t have enough or proper materials to build it’s house. If you feed your body lean protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as all of the other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it wants, your builders will have plenty of the strongest bricks and mortar. You don’t want your new house to be built out of Dr. Pepper and Fritos, do you? It’s completely ok to eat and drink a little bit of junk food, but the key word there is a LITTLE bit. Not a 2 liter and a family sized bag for breakfast before you go out and seize the day.

I hope that you’ve developed a bit of a better of an understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes during your recovery. If you give your builders enough time to work, enough training and a good foreman, and all of the best building materials; your house will be framed and finished before you know it, and you’ll be independent and lead a healthier lifestyle than you did before because of it.


Embryonic Stem Cell Controversy

Embryonic stem cells and the embryonic stem cell controversy are two of the most contentious and hotly debated ethical issues today. The use of embryonic stem cells, which are taken from a very early stage human embryo, is advocated by many in the scientific community. However, others believe that the use of cells from an embryo that could potentially become a human being is immoral, and that we should not continue to research into their uses.

Other types of stem cells, including fetal and adult stem cells have not escaped collateral damage from the embryonic stem cell controversy. These cells are not pluripotent (able to differentiate themselves into any kind of human cell), instead they are capable of differentiating themselves into many but not all types of cells.

Many opponents of the use of embryonic stem cells assert that adult stem cells derived from the blood inside the umbilical cord have been able to produce more promising results than embryonic stem cells in recent years. Whether or not this is due to the adult stem cells truly being a more promising cell type or because the use of embryonic stem cells in research has been heavily regulated for many years is up for debate. Feel free to discuss that in the comments below, by the way.

In the end, research into the use of stem cells centers around their use in regeneration and treatment of injuries like spinal cord severance and amputations. Some lizards are capable of a biological process where they reproduce an amputated limb or even a section of a tail that has been removed. The fact that lizards can regrow their tails is especially encouraging to me, because it means that there is a process in nature by which an animal is able to regrow a section of their spine. Humans right now are unable to regrow a severed section of their spinal cord, but researchers believe that they can treat this previously irreparable damage with the use of stem cells. Hopefully, a middle ground can be reached where the ethical and moral issues of the use of stem cells can be balanced with scientists’ desire to push forward in their research and discover new treatments for spinal cord trauma.