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Final Conclusions About the Healing
"You're gonna need to clean out the wound every couple of hours and keep as much weight off the leg as you can. The Island will do the rest." --Richard Alpert
Before Season 6, I wrote a blog entry in which I analyzed the Island's healing properties. (See below for a link to that blog entry.) The most significant observation I made was that there seems to be a distinction between "accelerated natural healing" (a naturally-occurring phenomenon on the Island which can happen to anybody with non-fatal, self-healing injuries) and "miraculous healing" (very rare occurrances of healing which would normally not happen at all in the real world, which affected Locke, Rose, and Jin). Unfortunately, the final season hardly addressed the healing properties at all, so I'm pretty much left with the same theories I had before the final season. The text comments on one of the "enhanced" episodes (which isn't 100% reliable information about the show) mentioned that the healing properties were a result of the Island's electromagnetism, which is the same theory that I had for accelerated natural healing. And we now know that the electromagnetism comes from the Heart of the Island (the glowing yellow light inside the cave). But since the show never made any kind of distinction between accelerated natural healing and the seemingly miraculous healing of Locke's paralysis, Rose's cancer, and Jin's sterility, does that mean that the electromagnetism also caused the healing of those three individuals? I believe it's certainly possible in Rose and Jin's cases, since we don't really know how the healing actually works, nor did we ever know the nature of Rose's cancer or Jin's low sperm count. In John Locke's case, however, I think we need to assume that there's something more "special" going on. Richard Alpert himself said that the type of healing that Locke experienced could only happen to someone who was "very special".
At one point, I thought that maybe the Man in Black was responsible for healing Locke's paralysis, but now I'm thinking it's more likely to have been the work of Jacob. Jacob seems to have the ability to do so, plus we know that Locke was one of the remaining six candidates, chosen by Jacob. The Man in Black probably just took advantage of Locke's resulting situation. Had Jacob not healed Locke, Locke's attitude about the Island would've been much different, and the Man in Black probably would've just come up with some other plan to kill Jacob.
I still think Rose's questioning of Jack getting appendicitus was merely a reflection of her misunderstanding of how the Island's healing works, fueled by her own fluke cancer cure leading her to believe that the Island should heal all physical ailments. Appendicitus can still happen to anybody, and when it does, the appendix must be taken out, island or no island.
So in the absence of any other information, I think this is as good an explanation as any for how and why the Island heals people. It would certainly explain why people would be constantly after the Island's power if they knew about it.
Previous Related Blog Entry: The Island's Healing Properties