Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to healing: Spiritual healing


1. the process of returning to health; the restoration of structure and function of injured or diseased tissues. The healing processes include blood clotting, tissue mending, scarring, and bone healing. See also wound healing.
2. the process of helping someone return to health; compassion by a health care provider is part of this. Authentic perception of the experience of illness in the particular person is the essential basis.
healing by first intention (healing by primary intention) wound healing in which restoration of continuity occurs directly by fibrous adhesion, without formation of granulation tissue; it results in a thin scar.
Healing by primary, or first intention. In primary wound healing there is no tissue loss. A, Incised wound is held together by a blood clot and possibly by sutures or surgical clamps. An inflammatory process begins in adjacent tissue at the moment of injury. B, After several days, granulation tissue forms as a result of migration of fibroblasts to the area of injury and formation of new capillaries. Epithelial cells at wound margin migrate to clot and seal the wound. Regenerating epithelium covers the wound. C, Scarring occurs as granulation tissue matures and injured tissue is replaced with connective tissue.
healing by second intention wound healing by union by adhesion of granulating surfaces, when the edges of the wound are far apart and cannot be brought together. Granulations form from the base and sides of the wound toward the surface.
Healing by second intention occurs when there is tissue loss, as in extensive burns and deep ulcers. The healing process is more prolonged than in healing by primary intention because large amounts of dead tissue must be removed and replaced with viable cells. A, Open area is more extensive; inflammatory reaction is more widespread and tends to become chronic. B, Healing may occur under a scab formed of dried exudate, or dried plasma proteins and dead cells (eschar). C, Fibroblasts and capillary buds migrate toward center of would to form granulation tissue, which becomes a translucent red color as capillary network develops. Granulation tissue is fragile and bleeds easily. D, As granulation tissue matures, marginal epithelial cells migrate and proliferate over connective tissue base to form a scar. Contraction of skin around scar is the result of movement of epithelial cells toward center of wound in an attempt to close the defect. Surrounding skin moves toward center of wound in an effort to close the defect.
healing by third intention
1. wound healing by the gradual filling of a wound cavity by granulations and a cicatrix.
wound healing see wound healing.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Restoring to health; promoting the closure of wounds and ulcers.
See also: union.
2. The process of a return to health.
See also: union.
3. Closing of a wound.
See also: union.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


Vox populi The process of returning to a previous state of health; the term is often used by alternative medical practitioners
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. Restoring to health; promoting the closure of wounds and ulcers.
2. The process of a return to health.
3. Closing of a wound.
See also: union
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


Enlarge picture
The restoration to a normal mental or physical condition, esp. of an inflammation or a wound. Tissue healing usually occurs in predictable stages: formation of blood clots at the wound; inflammatory phase, during which plasma proteins enter the injured part; cellular repair, with an influx of fibroblasts and mesenchymal cells; regrowth of blood vessels (angiogenesis); and synthesis and revision of collagen fibers (scar formation).

In skin lesions, regrowth of epithelial tissues also occurs. The many processes involved in the healing of a wound take 3 weeks or more to complete. Many factors may delay tissue healing, including malnutrition, wound infection, and coexisting conditions, e.g., diabetes mellitus, advanced age, tobacco abuse, cancer; as well as the use of several drugs, including corticosteroids. See: illustration


These may result from the formation of a scar that interferes with the functioning of a part and possible deformity; the formation of a keloid, the result of overgrowth of connective tissue forming a tumor in the surface of a scar; necrosis of the skin and mucous membrane that produces a raw surface, which results in an ulcer; a sinus or fistula, which may be due to bacteria or some foreign substance remaining in the wound; proud flesh, which represents excessive growth of granulation tissue.

aboriginal healing

1. Shamanism (2).
2. Health practices of native or indigenous peoples within a geographic region, which often include folk and spiritual elements. In Canada, the term pertains to specific governmental efforts to address health issues of indigenous or First Nations peoples.

faith healing

Healing from illness attributed to the agency of a divine being or power, usually through a variety of spiritual practices such as prayer, laying on of hands, or anointing with oil.

healing by first intention

A process that closes the edge of a wound with little or no inflammatory reaction and in such a manner that little or no scar is left to reveal the site of the injury. New cells are formed to take the place of dead ones, and the capillary walls stretch across the wound to join themselves to each other in a smooth surface. New connective tissue may form an almost imperceptible but temporary scar. In repairing lacerations and surgical wounds, the goal is to produce a repaired area that will heal by first intention.

healing by second intention

Healing by granulation or indirect union. Granulation tissue is formed to fill the gap between the edges of the wound with a thin layer of fibrinous exudate. Granulation tissue also excludes bacteria from the wound and brings new blood vessels to the injured part. Healing by second intention takes longer than healing by primary intention and typically results in the formation of a prominent scar; wounds that heal by second intention show signs of failure if the wound loses the normal red-gray appearance of granulation tissue and becomes pale, dry, or insubstantial. When granulations first form at the top instead of the bottom of the wound, the base of the wound may have to be kept open with wicks or drains to promote healthy tissue repair.

healing by third intention

Delayed wound healing that occurs in the base of ulcerated or cavitary wounds, esp. those that have become infected. The wound fills very slowly with granulation tissue and often forms a large scar. Wound revision surgery, including use of grafting, may be needed.

holistic healing

Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


1. The natural processes of tissue repair or restoration following an injury.
2. A power often wrongly attributed to doctors. Healing is a homeostatic function of the body and occurs automatically unless prevented by infection, continuing injury of any kind, radiation, cancerous change, the presence of foreign material or great age.
3. A claimed paranormal ability to perform miracles.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Patient discussion about healing

Q. How frequently do people heal from arthritis? what are the chances for it to go away? any statistics?

A. arthritis is pain/swelling/stiffness/and redness of joints---arthritis is not a single disorder,but the name of joint diseace from a number of causes--the cause is wear/tear on the joints. threatment: antibiotic drugs/anti inflammatory drugs. most common is rheumatoid/osteoarthritis/an still disease(children under the age of 4,which clears up after a few years)-arthritis may occure as a complication of infection elsewhere in the body, such as chickenpox/rubella/german measles/mumps/rheumatic fever, or gonorrhea. In most cases this disease can only be controled by meds,ther is no cure as of yet.


A. Chinese medicine and alternatives should be approached with caution, but that said, a modality that has been around for over 3,000 years must have benefits. The practitioner may possibly be a bit more suspect. Then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you haven’t any experience with it, how can one have a legitimate opinion?
Remember, a hundred years ago, our very own “Doctors” cured with leaches and such… it wasn’t until they pooled their resources together and lobbied the government for the right to the name of “Doctor or Medical Practitioner”. That’s it. No science, just lobbying the politicians….

Q. For those that had an epimacular membrane removed, how long was it before your eye healed? How was your vision afterwards? Do you now require or benefit from glasses?

A. Epimacular membrane removal can be associated with a variety of ocular conditions and therefore the healing process varies tremendously depending on the underlying pathology. Furthermore, this condition may recur.

More discussions about healing
This content is provided by iMedix and is subject to iMedix Terms. The Questions and Answers are not endorsed or recommended and are made available by patients, not doctors.
References in periodicals archive ?
The compositions Sn-20% Bi and Bi-10% Sn were chosen because they exhibit approximately the same percentage of liquid phase at the healing temperature of 338F (170C), allowing the study of the two systems simultaneously.
Promoting healing provides a sense of meaning to caregivers, Jonas says.
One year later, in 1975, historian David Edwin Harrell published his own pioneering work, All Things are Possible: The Healing and Charismatic Revivals in Modern America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press).
One word that the Old Testament (OT) uses to speak of healing is haruwkah.
Nick first discovered his healing gift more than 20 years ago, took some time out as an army chaplain and began healing services at St David's two years ago.
Since the 1990's when Schnieder did her study, few nurses have formally studied healing in order to build data based theoretical frameworks about the characteristics and process of healing.
When damage results in flail separation of the fractured material, proper healing generally will not occur unless the fracture surfaces are brought together.
Healing Hotels of the World is a global brand with more than 100 hotels and resorts worldwide committed to healing.
"The gift was passed down from my grandmother, she also used to practice energy healing, back in Germany", Jackle says as she invited one of us over for a demo session.
Epstein published a book, 'Healing Visualizations.'
Critique: Healing Happens: Winner of a Bronze Medal for Non-fiction in the Global EBook Awards, Stories of Healing Against All Odds gathers uplifting, inspirational stories from people who recovered from dire medical prognoses for illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
To compare the effect of Nano silver particles and conventional dressing on the healing of chronic ulcer prospectively at 2, 6 and 10 weeks.