Almost all human cells reproduce on a cycle. Up to 10% of your heart is replaced each year. Red blood cells are replaced every three months. Skin cells, every two weeks.
But it has traditionally been accepted that neurons, the cells that make up the brain and spinal cord, do not regenerate. Based on recent discoveries, it turns out that, under the right conditions, neurons can indeed recover. They just need a break. That’s why, in modern medicine, we will sometimes induce comas and hypothermia in patients with brain injury; so that their brains can rest. It’s pretty incredible that if you can break your neurons from normal operations and focus on healing, they have a chance at regrowth.
So that just begs the question, how can we give our neurons a break, with less extreme measures such as induced hypothermia or coma state? How can we take a deep breath, in this moment, and stop all the bustling chaos in our brains and give our neurons the break they need in our muddled daily lives? It’s human nature to want to fix what’s broken. And we have the tools to fix it. Take a moment right now to close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out. Try it again. And one more time. We may not be able to replicate exactly what we lost. But in its place we can grow something new. And slowly, but surely, we can grow until we have everything we need.