Regeneration is one of the most remarkable of all cellular functions. In some animals, regenerative capabilities are incredible –a deer can regrow up to 60 pounds of antlers in as little as three months, and salamanders can regrow limbs that are as perfect as the originals they’ve lost. Humans, however, are much more complex beings, so our regeneration capabilities – though still impressive – are more limited.
The body heals itself in many ways – either somewhat rapidly in response to a disease, a wound, or loss of tissue, or slowly over time, as part of normal functioning. Regeneration refers to the regrowth of lost tissues, and happens in response to injury or disease. Wound healing refers to the closing up of an acute injury with scar tissue. While we know the skin readily regenerates or heals, other tissues have long been thought to have no regenerative capabilities. But as research and time progresses, we are learning more and more that most all cell types can be stimulated to repair, regenerate, and heal themselves.
Regeneration and wound healing require a great deal of cellular communication and adaptation to take place. In the case of eyes, for example, cells expand and eat up old matter daily. Bones are “new” every seven to ten years. Non-injured skin is completely replaced every two weeks or so. Cell turnover slows as we age, but never stops completely, continuing until death.
Basic regeneration (that which does not happen as a result of injury) is part of normal cell function. Cells are always dividing, growing, and eating up their older or injured neighbors (this is called autophagy). This does not require any outside stimulation, although such stimulation can enhance and ease the process. Injury-induced regeneration and wound healing require significantly more energy and adaptation.
Whether or not it is as a response to injury, the process of cell regeneration is the same: a cell’s contents must be copied. DNA is made up of two strands, each able to serve as a template for a new strand. DNA synthesis or replication requires existing proteins to split and reassemble. RNA messengers help with the transfer of genetic information from the existing cell to the nucleus of the newly formed cell. This process requires electrical energy.
Since magnetic fields interact with and increase natural electrical charges, PEMF therapy can assist with this information transfer. These benefits of PEMF therapy are frequently seen with wound healing and often with tissue regeneration.