What and Why?
Wear and tear constantly threaten to disintegrate your body and it is marvellous how, despite this, your healthy self-maintenance effort manages to keep you whole and operational with scarcely any time off for maintenance or repair. Only when wear is sudden or overwhelming does it become an injury.
It need not necessarily become conspicuous and disabling, at least for a time. Injuries encountered during an important effort may be surmounted and even ignored, only to be discovered much later when the event is over. Soldiers have sometimes carried on normally after a wound which has severed a limb, only noticing their loss when they attempt to use it. What is more, sometimes the pain and bleeding only begin when the victim becomes aware of his injury. Conversely, Macmanaway reports, as a battlefield healer, the extraordinary effect that a surge of willpower, or the determination to get well, can have in stopping haemorrhage and pain .
On the other hand, the anticipation of injury may at times make it worse. When a drunkard falls off the platform of a moving bus, he is often very little hurt because he is too relaxed to injure anything seriously. Aboriginal Australians are so much at ease with Nature that when they fall from a tree or become ill they relax into their fate, and come out of it much better than a European would: most stiffen so much with fright that they break every available bone and bruise everything else!
Medical care for injuries is long established and has not been improved by the drug age. There are however many things doctors can do to hinder complications, and because their confidence in your health is less nowadays they tend to give these routinely on a preventative basis. Many unnecessary anti-tetanus immunization injections and courses of antibiotic treatment are given this way.
Few medical treatments actually promote healing. Surgical wound cleansing and setting of broken bones are the most constructive of these and have scarcely changed in a hundred years. These methods can be reinforced by a positive healing impetus from herbs, homoeopathy, osteopathy and massage.
Whatever treatment you are offered, sound healing of any injury depends on vigorous self-maintenance, which is an aspect of your general immunity. If you are poorly nourished and over-stressed you will be more susceptible to injury and take longer to recover from it. Even if you maintain your body well, your personal temperament and action-pattern may make you unusually accident-prone. This very real attribute may be hard to recognize unless you can compare yourself with other people. It is unhealthy in most ordinary circumstances, and deserves your attention.
Several specific injuries are topics in their own right: look for backache, concussion, coronary, food poisoning, joints and sprains. Inflammation, pain, recovery and natural first aid are closely related general topics.
What can I do?
Advice to maintain and maximise your health
1. Deal immediately with the inevitable shock. To straightforward quiet, rest and warmth, add Bach Rescue Remedy, two drops in half a tumbler of water sipped slowly; or homoeopathic Arnica 6 or 30, one dose every fifteen minutes until recovery. Make some fresh lemon barley water recipe and serve it hot.
2. Simplify your diet for a few days as if for cleansing. The object is to avoid rich or sophisticated food which preoccupies your metabolism and distracts it from healing.
3. Supplementation: Supplement this with
- Vitamin C, 1000mg in tablets or a quarter level teaspoon of powder in juice or barley water recipe, two or three times daily with meals. This scavenges free radicals and feeds the blood cells involved in healing.
- Take additional Vitamin B15 (Pangamic Acid, or Calcium Pangamate), 50mg twice daily with six Brewer’s Yeast tablets, to aid prolonged healing of complicated injuries.
- Comfrey accelerates the work of the white blood cells that are involved in healing, without loss of their efficiency. Its use can shorten the time it takes to heal a wound by as much as 30%. Use six 400mg tablets daily of the dessicated root for four to six weeks, or throughout the two or three months it takes a bone fracture to heal. If you want to take it for longer than that, stick to the above-ground parts of the plant which can be used fresh in wholemeal sandwiches or salads, or dried as tea.
4. Treat your pain: Disabling pain that interferes with your sleep is worth attention. Contrast bathing is always helpful but not convenient in every case. Hot water for three minutes is followed by cold for thirty seconds, and the cycle repeated three times finishing with cold. Infra-red heat for ten minutes is an alternative, followed by rinsing with a cold wet flannel. Arnica ointment 5-10% eases any closed wound, and support with an elastic bandage is worthwhile.
5. Massage eases muscle tension, which often causes most of the pain of blunt injuries. A physiotherapist or osteopath can treat you and teach your companion how to follow on.
6. Prescription medicines: Accept any pain-relieving or muscle-relaxing prescription your doctor recommends, to cope with whatever these measures do not help. Short-term use at the minimum effective dose is unlikely to harm you, but intolerable discomfort hinders your rest and recovery. Some medicines are best as a course, some can be used intermittently; make sure which type you have.
7. Rest: Full recovery obviously takes time. Using your injured part again too early can undo weeks of healing effort. When you are doing all you can to help yourself, abide by professional advice and be patient.
8. A booster immunization against tetanus is sensible if your last was more than five years ago. It is rarely essential to have a complete course of three doses. Rabies protection is urgent if you are bitten abroad by an animal that may be infected; you should contact a local doctor or hospital immediately.