Regeneration and cancer (10/3/10)
Regeneration and Cancer
Regeneration is what rebuilds your body and keeps you healthy. The process is vast, fast, and deeply influenced by what you do.
How fast? You whole gut lining is gone in a day or two. The pumping cells in your heart are essentially replaced in a few days.
The cells that make up your body operate at extraordinary speed, performing billions of reactions in seconds. With all that work they need to rebuild fast. No wonder so much of you gets replaced in a day.
If Your Body Were a Car…
To illustrate what happens as your body rebuilds, try the metaphor of imagining your body as a car. Inside twenty four hours much of your brake linings, gaskets, tubing and electrical connectors would be gone. Inside three days, large parts of your engine and moving parts would disappear. In perhaps 10-14 days, most of what would be left would be the body and chassis frame. Almost all the moving, working parts would be lost.
Your car might look okay at a distance (the seats would consist only of metal wires, the dashboard blackened plastic,) but in no way would it be functional.
That’s because cars can’t regenerate. You do. You remake all those parts. Over time, as your body gets new information, you even improve the effectiveness of your physiology. Regeneration constantly remakes the cells that let you live.
So why does cancer scare us so much? When cancer hits, the entire process of regeneration betrays us. Regeneration runs wrong, and runs wild.
Your Body as A Garden
It’s better to think of your body not as a car but as a garden. Plants go from seeds, to buds, to adults, die and are reborn, much as most our cells do. Like us, gardens are also ecosystems. In gardens, hundreds of different kinds of plants and animals, most of them microscopic, coexist. The important idea is system – things work together.
In cancer, one of those plants changes. It may at first still look like a rose bush, a tulip, or a dandelion, but soon it no longer operates as one.
It grows larger. Then it grows faster. Soon it looks like a weed you’ve never seen before.
This weed keeps growing. Growth and regeneration are necessary for life, but this metamorphosed plant now spreads out of control. Whole patches of the garden are replaced. Other plants begin to die. The system of light and water is disrupted. Quickly the frightening weed replaces much of what’s left in the garden, or prevents the normal regeneration of what remains.
Illness and Regeneration
Unlike other mistakes in regeneration, as occurs with osteoarthritis or much of heart disease, cancer cells don’t stop dividing. Normally the immune system finds the many cancer cells our body makes, stops them growing or kills them. But sometimes the cancer cells trick the immune system, which lets the bizarre new cells remain.
To be healthy you want to prevent regenerative mistakes. That means you have to give the body the right information. Much of that information comes from what you do, for what you do is what you become. How you eat, how you move, how you rest and when you do these things, all matter. Things work best when the system operates smoothly.
Unlike cancer cells, much of what we do is under our control. By doing ordinary things certain ways and at the best times, we can prevent many of the diseases that would maim and kill us. As is true of personal health crises as well as financial and economic crises, prevention is lot more efficient and effective than fixing the damage.
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