Check out your member benefits. In the fall of , Arlene and David Rubin were flying home to Boston after a vacation in northern California wine country. But somewhere over the Midwest, Arlene looked up from her magazine and got the shock of her life. But three strangers were determined to save his life.
A doctor and a nurse who were passengers worked side by side with a flight attendant trained to use an automated external defibrillator. The pilot made an emergency landing in Milwaukee, where David underwent open-heart surgery. Today David has returned to his work as a highly successful Boston real-estate developer. Remarkably, he was able not only to survive that life-threatening episode but, just as important, to heal from it and regain his strength. How did he do it? Each of us possesses a surprising capacity to bounce back from illness and injury, under the right conditions.
But David also took specific steps to help the process along. These steps—suggested by scientific research—can help anyone weakened by trauma or disease to find the strength to heal. Healing is my specialty. The first physiatrists helped injured World War II soldiers. Modern-day physiatrists treat people with a variety of serious illnesses and injuries, including strokes, spinal cord injuries, and lower-back problems.
When you click on your state, you will see a list of doctors to choose from. Your body will work hard on its own to help you recover—even if you do little to help the process along.
Healing - Why Doesn't God Heal Everyone?
Thousands of chemical and biological reactions occur throughout the day and night to help you to heal. Other blood cells called monocytes transform themselves into scavengers macrophages , to engulf and devour dead tissue and help to control inflammation. If you break a bone, bone cells called osteoblasts kick into action to knit the rough edges back together. And cell damage caused by illness—or by harsh therapies, in the case of cancer, hepatitis, and other diseases—gets mended by the same hordes of microscopic miracle workers.
There are so many cells assisting us in healing that we could never count them all.
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But even though these processes are involuntary and automatic, there are things smart patients can do to speed and strengthen their recovery. The best healing occurs when you are able to optimize your immune system to avoid infections; encourage the healing of skin, bones, muscles, nerves, and tendons; and build strength and endurance. In my practice, I have developed an eight-part strategy to put patients on the path to optimal healing.
And at the heart of this strategy are three fundamentals: how you eat, how you sleep, and how you move. I vividly recall the day the surgeon came into the exam room with tears in her eyes. I can still feel the overwhelming sadness and pure heartache of that day.
The surgery and chemotherapy were grueling, as I knew they would be. I also knew that the end of treatment would be only the beginning of getting well. I had helped many people with all kinds of illnesses heal; now I needed to help myself. Like most people struggling with serious illness, I lost my appetite, slept fitfully, and became less physically active. From a human standpoint, this was perfectly understandable.
But from the standpoint of a body trying to heal, it was a disaster. Skipping meals saves time in the short run.
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But in the long run, it can delay healing and hinder your return to health. I call inadequate nutrition, lousy sleep patterns, and physical deconditioning the Triple Threat to optimal healing. I knew the Triple Threat was keeping me from healing optimally, and I needed a plan to combat it. The answer seemed simple: eat better, sleep better, and exercise. For me, the trick came from having learned not only what to do but why and how it all works to accelerate healing in the body.
When I acted on this knowledge, I got results, and I know you can, too. We often read about how to eat to avoid disease. But once you get sick, there are also foods that will help you get better. For example, skin and bones need vitamin A to repair themselves.
45 better ways to say "Get Well Soon"
Vitamin C is crucial to the formation of collagen, the main protein of our connective tissue. Bromelain, a mixture of enzymes found in fresh pineapple, reduces swelling, bruising, and pain, and it improves healing time following trauma or surgery. And adequate protein is absolutely essential for optimal healing. When people are healthy, they often get away with bad dietary habits.
Skipping breakfast and using coffee as a pick-me-up might have worked fine for you in the past. I tell my patients to eat five times a day: three small- to medium-size meals and two nutritious snacks. This helps prevent severe drops in blood sugar levels that can leave you fatigued. A registered dietitian can be helpful for patients who need to gain or lose weight, or who have other specific needs.
So what are the best eating habits for optimal healing?
Get Well Soon Quotes and Messages
Some will sound familiar, while others may surprise you. Carbohydrates These compounds provide ready energy, and they are crucial to a healing diet. All carbohydrates are broken down into sugar when digested, but complex carbohydrates such as nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains break down more slowly than simple carbohydrates such as sugar and white bread.
The slower a carb breaks down, the less likely it is to cause a blood sugar spike.
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A measure called the glycemic index indicates how fast the body converts a food into sugar. As much as possible, stick with complex carbohydrates and other foods that have a relatively low glycemic index below One reliable source of this information is www.
Protein The building block of cell repair, protein gives you energy, as well. If your body has undergone extensive cellular injury, talk to your doctor about what your protein needs are. In addition to having cell-repairing properties, plant-based proteins provide phytochemicals which can help with healing and fiber. Fruits and Vegetables Eating at least five servings each day of fruits and vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your body.
A colorful array of fruits and vegetables provides a remarkable assortment of healing nutrients, including high amounts of vitamins and minerals that can promote physical recovery. Vitamin C, for instance, helps heal wounds, strengthen blood vessels, and ward off infection. Lycopenes—particularly powerful antioxidants that can boost immune function—are plentiful in tomatoes, apricots, guavas, watermelon, papayas, and pink grapefruit. As a general rule, dark-colored fruits and vegetables are richer than light-colored ones when it comes to phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Supplements While your doctor can best advise you on which supplements you may need, food is usually the best source for healing nutrients. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that taking too many antioxidant supplements such as vitamins C and E might actually depress rather than enhance your immune system. And while zinc, among other minerals, is critical to wound healing, taking too much of it can inhibit recovery and even lead to a copper deficiency. The one supplement I routinely recommend is a multivitamin. Consider taking a multivitamin that provides percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowances RDA for essential nutrients established by the U.
For example, the hormone melatonin is produced during sleep. This hormone is believed to boost your immune system and to help repair corrupted DNA.