If you cut yourself, fall over and scrape your skin, or if you break a bone, your body’s healing response kicks in and makes a quick repair, then over a few days or weeks completely repairs the injury. Sometimes medical treatment is needed to support this process (cleaning the wound, applying a dressing, holding the broken bone in place with plaster, bandages, or even screws and plates), but the only way the damaged tissue recovers is through the body’s own healing system.
If you are infected with a virus or a bacteria, again your body’s healing response kicks in, attacking the offending organism, and repairing any tissues damaged by the infection. Antibiotics can kill some bacteria, and some viruses can be killed with drugs too, but we have no medication which heals the tissues or organs damaged by the infection.
There’s a third kind of disease/illness which isn’t caused by either trauma or organisms, and that’s the kind which is rising relentlessly, it seems, throughout the World. Everything from many cancers, to “inflammatory diseases” like asthma, “autoimmune diseases” like rheumatoid arthritis, chronic diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, to genetic disorders, are understood best by us as pathologies, and whilst the body’s healing system constantly struggles with these disorders it never quite manages to throw them off. However, the healing response does try to limit damage, to repair what can be repaired, and to increase the over all resilience (defence and recovery) of the individual.
We seem to understand pathology better than we do healing. Maybe we need to invest more time, people and resources into changing that.
And although people will always get sick or injured, and we will always need to find the ways to assist people with these illnesses, shouldn’t we also integrate actions and support which stimulate and enhance the healing response, not just in every therapeutic plan, but first of all, before we do anything else? (Well, of course, that depends on the urgency of the situation), but is there ever a case for ignoring the healing response?
Real healing is natural. But that doesn’t mean we can take it for granted.