Loading, lengthening, healing.
The topic of this thread is the “never make your penis heal or it will be shorter” theory.
It’s the most accredited theory among hangers, and you may know I have spoken about that in many threads.
It involves not only the way the penis is supposed to grow longer/larger, but also the “rest-days or not” debate.
Now I want to examine it again in this dedicated thread. Of course, it would be unrealistic to hope that here we’ll reach any conclusive point, but at least we can stock in one place the best argues of both parties.
Both parties also have smart people; I could be wrong, but even mods have different opinions on this subject. Of course, everybody is the welcome here posting their ideas on this subject. The debate will likely become pretty hot, but this is no bad, if we can go respective.
So said, let’s start.
The theory I’m referring to says: “You have to stretch/hang for many hours a day, avoiding rest, because rest will let your connective tissue healing in a shortened (or not elongated) state. Adversely, loading your penis hour after hour, day after day, your penis will become weaker, so it would be easily stretched, so it would heal in a elongated state”.
If I’m doing any mistake resuming that theory, feel free to correct me.
The anecdotal evidence that this theory is wrong is known by everyone here: how could, those who adopted a manual based routine, have gains? Near nobody does manual stretches for 3+ hours/day.
bennett8 and my Italian friend lallo were doing basically a stretches-only routine of about 30’/day , and they reported length gains of 2” or more, sustaining their claims with not photo-shopped-pics, according to the experts of fakes pics.
So, I want to talk of the theoretic side of that theory.
The first point to note, is the assumption that after stretching/hanging, the connective tissue is in someway injured. This is an unsupported hypothesis, as far as I know. I never found that applying a load to connective tissue results always in some sort of injury. It depends on the amount of load.
Let’s suppose, however, that the above assumption was true : why repeating stress (hanging/stretching) again and again, to avoid the healing process and to weakening more and more the penis? It’s not logical at all. If the goal is producing the max elongation and let the penis heal in elongated state, what they should promote is: “Use a so high load to produce the max possible injury, and then let your penis heal while using an extender/ADS”. This would save an enormous amount of time.
But, said in those terms, the theory appears to be an absurdity - as it is.
The second point is: applying a load to the weakened penile structure, you get way more elongation, hour after hour, day after day.
I think here the supporters of that theory are confusing elastic behavior with permanent changes.
As we know, there aren’t useful studies specifically referring to penile tissue and effects of loads; given that tunica albuginea is pretty similar to connective tissue, we have to read at something similar but a bit more scientifically studied : tendons and ligs. Let’s see:
In a typical load-strain, stress-relaxation experiment a curve is obtained of the
type shown diagrammatically in Fig. 5. The tendon is stretched at a predetermined
rate to the desired strain, thus producing the load-strain curve
shown at the left. The tendon is then maintained at this particular strain and
measurements of the load are continued, resulting in the stress-relaxation
curve shown at the right.
Fig. 6 shows a characteristic sequence of tendon load-strain curves. All
these were made with the same tendon. In each case the tendon was extended
at the same constant rate but to different extensions. After each extension
the tendon was unloaded and rested in a slack condition whereupon its
original length was fully recovered, except as noted below. This recovery
process in all cases took no longer than 10 minutes. The sequence begins with
curve A which represents a strain of only 2.5 per cent. After a rest the tendon
was stretched again, and, as shown in curve B, the behavior exactly follows
that of curve A. If the strain does not exceed approximately 4 per cent, this
load-strain behavior is reproducible through an indefinite number of cycles.
The Mechanical Properties of Rat Tail Tendon
BERNARD J. RIGBY, NISHIO HIRAI, JOHN D. SPIKES,
and HENRY EYRING
Another interesting observation connected with the load-strain studies is
that the tendon wave pattern (as described in the previous section) always
returns after each extension so long as the safe limit is not exceeded. Once
this limit is passed, however, as in stretches C-F of Fig. 6, the wave disappears
and never returns. Thus tendons stretched past the safe limit have a small
permanent extension corresponding to the straightening of the wave pattern
(this residual extension should not be confused with that resulting from the
“conditioning stretch” described earlier).
The “conditioning stretch” mentioned, is the permanent elongation of the tendon the first time it’s exposed to that unusual stretch. It’s about 0.6%, and after the first time this effect is no more reproducible.
An increase in the rate of straining does not significantly alter the shape of
the reproducible region of the load-strain curve. The main effect is an increase
in the load required to produce a given strain. An average of seven determinations
(at a rate of straining of 10 per cent/minute) of the maximum
slope of the load-strain curve yields a value for the Young's modulus of wet
rat tail tendon of 8 -4- 2 )< 109 dynes/cm. 2. This is approximately the same
value as that reported by Gratz (5) for human fascia lata.
More generally, to make a tissue permanently longer, there are two way:
a) no new “matter” is created - the total amount of tissue doesn’t changes. So, if the tissue elongates, it also becomes thinner.
b) new matter is born - so the tissue can grow both longer AND stronger.
If the continued imposition of load has the goal of avoiding healing, we are in the a) scenario. So the penis start becoming thinner; going ahead, I think what we should expect is a major injury.
So, what that repetitive straining of the weakened tissue should lead? This weakening process can’t go ad infinitum, or an injury will occur. So, to save the theory, they suppose that weakened tissue will heal anyway, overnight. This is counter-intuitive, and is not supported by any reference:
2. Repair and Remodelling:
Healing of the most connective tissue except bone, epithelium and endothelium occur by tissue repair. This is often accompanied by fibrous scar, which is the typical patching material for wound repair. Repair responses vary considerably in different injured tissues. After an injury, the healed tissue is never same as it was before. Tissue repair starts at 48 hours after injury and lasts up to 6 to 8 weeks, fibroblasts begin wound repair and collagen synthesis. Collagen has the property of gradually shortening when it is truly formed. This contracture occurs from the third week to the sixth month. New scar tissue will always shorten unless it is repeatedly stretched.
Remodelling, also known as maturation, involves increased collagen density and organization, resulting in increased tensile strength. This process begins as early as 3 weeks following injury and continues for a year or longer.
This is not fitting with the idea that some days off per week will make your penis heal in a shorter state. TA is not a tendon, but is similar, and I think supposing it can heal 20+ times faster than other connective tissue is hard.
But what is also interesting, is that imposing additional stress on injured connective tissue is counter-productive both for elongation and for strengthening effects:
Healing process can not be accelerated but guided to avoid delayed or poor repair. The injured part should be elevated to avoid high tissue pressure, gentle movement should be encouraged for venous drainage, drainage of a haematoma will avoid continued irritation, and prevention or rapid reduction of the inflammatory exudates will avoid dense scar tissue. To encourage good quality repair, gentle natural tension should be transmitted to the new collagen bundles as they are laid down to ensure correct architectural line up. These movements are usually appropriate from the 5th day, and should be progressively graded until final healing. Mobilization of the tissue by active and passive means will result in increased tensile strength of the healing tissue.
(same last source)
If mantaining a weakened TA is the escope, one should mantain tissue immobilized
Following immobilization, ligaments reach their yield point and failure point at lower than normal level of force. Clinically, this means that lower forces are required to produce partial ligament and capsule tearing as well as complete failure. If the tissue under repair is kept absolutely immobile, the resultant fibrous repair will be weak and collagen is laid down haphazardly. It may be plentiful, but it is poorly engineered. Fibrous healing is stronger if natural movements are encouraged. It seems that fibroblasts need to know which way to lay their collagen fibers. Gentle normal movements provide natural tensions in the healing tissue, and the resulting fibrous healing is much stronger.
What I’m pointing out is this: differently from what adverse party exonents believe, I think that healing, becoming longer/larger, and becoming stronger are all products of stress - unavoidably. Even when using extenders (very low force), to obtain gains you have to raise force. So, permanent elongation without healing can’t be gained.
Resuming: this theory suggests continually loading tissue because is exchanging elastic (temporary) elongation for permanent elongation.
Permanent elongation is the result of adaptation that requires long time; this accords to anecdotal evidence:
many hangers reported “not cemented gains” after breaks; on the other hand, many reported “gains in a spurth” after some week (or even months!) of rest.
The limit-force that is supposed to carry to permanent elongation (3-8% for tendons) is more easily reached with manual stretching, and it cause some alterations to connective tissue that asks for repairing (read to first reference posted), so the process requires at least some day to be accomplished.