In life, people commonly use the tool with which they are most comfortable over and over again. Repeated usage leads to mastery and confidence, which in turn leads to use of that tool in a variety of situations; sometimes in situations for which it was not designed, even when a more appropriate tool exists. We may be rusty with that more appropriate tool, so we turn to “old reliable.”

The human brain is an example of a wonderful tool developed over millions of years and for which we are continually learning new applications. Our brain has brought us to the top of the food chain. It not only helps us figure out complex problems while taking care of housekeeping chores such as breathing, eating, and sleeping without conscious thought, it has also helped us develop new tools (such as computers) to simplify its own workload. It is hard to imagine a more useful, more widely applicable tool in any tool box!

As incredible as the human brain is, it is not the only tool in our toolbox. We have many others – equally impressive – which we often take for granted and sometimes forget. Our intuition, for instance, is an extremely valuable asset often overlooked or ignored because we have so much faith in our brightest tool, the brain. As many of us can testify, this can be a big mistake as our gut feelings are often correct, yet we allow our logical minds to lead us astray.

Stem cells are another tool in our toolbox, and we are just beginning to appreciate their power and usefulness. Imagine a car that can sense a serious, potentially damaging transmission problem while barreling down the highway at 70 miles an hour. Now imagine that this car can replace the broken part (whatever it may be), reprogram the car’s software, and fix the problem while still driving without missing a beat. What would that car be worth? That is exactly what stem cells do for us every day – and without the conscious assistance of the brain!

Stem cells have helped people recover from a wide variety of previously untreatable or challenging conditions. This growing list includes arthritis, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, lupus, Addison’s, ulcerative colitis, chronic lung disease and more.

One of the latest stem cell technologies is called PEP therapy. PEP therapy harvests stem cells from your blood and is replacing bone marrow-derived or adipose (fat cell-derived) stem cell therapies because it is equivalent to embryonic stem cells, considered the gold standard due to the wider variety of cells that they can become (and thus repair). Unlike embryonic stem cells, PEP does not have the inherent risks or ethical issues of the embryonic stem cells because your own stem cells are used.

When it comes to using what we have to heal, stem cells are leading the way. Move over brain, there is a new tool in town!

Dr. Clair is founder and medical director of Vibrance Rejuvenation Center located in Rancho Mirage. He offers free consultation on PEP therapy and can be reached at (760) 324.4872.

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