3 Medical Techniques That Help Your Body Help Itself

Do you tend to take a DIY approach to life's various challenges? From mending a shed to tuning the family car, many people like knowing that they posses the skills and resources to get the job done. As it turns out, your body takes the DIY approach as well. Human tissues have remarkable healing and regenerative powers to resolve their own injuries or ailments; sometimes all they need is a little extra help. If you need to get over an acute injury or manage a degenerative condition, check out these remarkable medical techniques that leverage the body's innate abilities to heal itself.

1. Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy delivers more of your body's raw building materials where they're needed most. The raw materials in questions, stem cells, have been dormant in your body since before you were born. These undifferentiated cells have not yet transformed into specific types of cells (such as brain cells, muscle cells, or nerve cells); they remain a "blank slate," waiting for some differentiate cell to to change them into that type of cell via chemical reactions. This process enables the body to make more of whatever kind of tissue it needs to replace or repair.

Unfortunately, your supply of stem cells dwindles as you age, leaving some parts of the body to do without. Stem cell therapy solves that problem. In this technique, your doctor takes adult stem cells from sources such as fat, bone marrow, or donated umbilical cord blood. The doctor then injects the stem cells directly into the tissues that need help so the rebuilding process can begin.

2. PRP Therapy

PRP therapy gives medical science another method of delivering high-potency healing to ailing tissues. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. Your blood contains three primary ingredients: red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma. The plasma emits substances known as growth factors which boost blood flow, collagen protein, protein expression, clotting, and other essentials for tissue growth. Unfortunately, some parts of the body have less of a blood supply than others, and these areas may suffer from prolonged or incomplete healing if they don't have ready access to those growth factors.

In PRP therapy, your doctor draws a sample of your blood and spins it in a centrifuge. This action separates the blood into its separate components. The separated plasma then gets injected back into the tissues that need extra healing power. The growth factors get to work repairing the damage. Such illustrious athletes as Tiger Woods have made use of PRP therapy for its ability to treat ligament and tendon injuries.

3. Cold Laser Therapy

Lasers have had medical uses for decades, beginning as a valuable surgical tool for pinpoint-accurate incisions. But cold laser therapy (also called LLLT, or low-level laser therapy) doesn't cut, burn, or even mark the skin. This laser beam operates at a sufficiently low-frequency level to pass directly through the skin and into the tissues without doing any harm. Quite the contrary, in fact. The laser energy causes structures in cells called mitochondria to produce of a substance called ATP. Cells use ATP as a fuel source for their various activities -- including repair and reproduction. As a result, tissues heal themselves at an accelerated pace. Cold laser therapy has the added benefit of stimulating the circulation, which can warm tissues and help painful inflammatory substances drain out.

Since cold laser therapy can speed healing in practically any kind of cell, this technique can give your body a much-needed boost in the treatment of sorts of conditions. Therapists use it on everything from acute soft tissue injuries and chronic joint degeneration to the repair of damaged nerves (which take a notoriously long time to heal on their own).

You can indeed "do it yourself" where healing is concerned -- provided you give your body the necessary support. Ask your medical practitioner whether any (or all) of these state-of-the-art techniques can help your particular condition.