Every living thing in the natural world has the ability to grow and regenerate in order to maintain its innate structure and function. The way the human body does this is through stem cells. These reside in every tissue of the human body and are more or less available depending on causes and conditions that arise where they reside.
Systemic factors like chronic inﬂammation, hormone or nutritional deﬁciency, poor sleep, toxicities, age, etc all impact how well out body is able to heal itself.
Integrative Medicine is the practice of optimizing the systemic factors that contribute to health and healing practiced in the larger context of modern day biomedicine.
Sometimes the problem is simply lack of blood supply to the injured tissue.
Regenerative Medicine is the practice of concentrating the body’s innate healing mileau of growth factors and stem cells and reinjecting it into areas of the body that do not usually heal well due to lack of blood supply (and thus these same growth factors that allow other tissues to heal easier).
Platelet Rich Plasma involves drawing blood from the patient, processing it in a centrifuge to isolate the platelet containing layer of blood and reinjecting that solution, which is full of growth factors, into an area to stimulate it to regrow.
Stem cells can be harvested from Bone Marrow or Adipose Tissue. Bone Marrow generally has a lower yield in patients older than 40. Many clinics perform Bone Marrow derived stem cell procedures today because it has been around for the longest time and has been well studied. In my experience, Bone Marrow derived stem cells tend to contain too high a level of inﬂammatory white blood cells and cause more inﬂammation at the site of the injury than is necessary or beneﬁcial.
The San Francisco Institute for Integrative and Regenerative Medicine is part of a network of regenerative medicine centers, www.Regenerismedical.com, across the country studying the effects of adipose derived stem cells in an IRB approved research study so we can form guidelines on the best practices and monitor the safety of the procedure performed in many different settings. We have standardized protocols for preparation, testing the quantity and viability via flow cytometry, and delivery of the end product.