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Healing Wise ...
with Susun Weed

Trauma Care in the Wild, part one & two

It hurt so much I thought I would faint. Or maybe throw up. Or mess my pants. No, I didn't think, no thought was possible. My world narrowed down to my wrist, which was rapidly swelling and looked grossly distorted, and HURT!!! It hurt too much to cry.

I willed myself to breathe out, a long breath, like blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. Again. And again. Long . . . slow . . . breaths . . . out, until the pain diminished, ever so slightly, true, but enough for me to remember that I am spacious.

I am made of atoms, which are mostly space. The volcanic rocks of the river pool are made of atoms, which are mostly space. My space passing through the rock space. No impact. Just space.

Alex and Eaglesong sat on either side, holding and supporting me for eternity (five minutes). Their calmness a balm to the panic trying to grab me.

"My glasses are gone." At my words they began to search the pool. Somehow their absence allowed me to roll onto my belly, and then to elbow and knee myself across the rocks until I could rise to a squat.

"They are gone and no point in searching," I heard myself say. They immediately came to me and – clinging to them and a rock – I came to my feet and shaky knees. With help and frequent stops, we finished the last quarter mile of the walk back to the car, where the women waited for us, unsure of how our adventure would continue.

At top speed! No, not to an emergency room, but back home, for first aid: Removal of my wet clothes. (And into dry ones.) Application of Arnica gel. (To prevent/moderate swelling and bruising.) A glass of nourishing herbal infusion with seven drops of skullcap. (To cut the pain.) All done with me lying flat on my back with my injured arm held out to the side.
RICE traumatic injuries. Rest. Ice. Compress. Elevate. I couldn't stand – I was still dizzy – so rest was easy. Ice was too hard and edgy on my wrist, so a kitchen towel was soaked in ice water and applied. An Ace bandage was at hand for compression. Elevation seemed a trifle risky, and increased my pain, but pulling my fingers straight out felt great.
Time for class. Time to talk about minerals. "My wrist and arm are injured," I told the women, "but my mind and mouth work just fine. If you are willing to accept teaching from a prostrate teacher, I am happy to teach!" And I did.

Trauma Care in the Wild, part two

I want to tell you what happened when I fell and hurt my wrist in Costa Rica. I want to tell you about the many interesting ways we worked to ease my pain and heal the trauma. And I also want to tell you about what step of healing we were using. (The Six Steps of Healing are found in the front of my Breast Book, my Menopause Book, and Down There.)

We began, as always, with Serenity Medicine: Step 0, Do Nothing. We assessed the situation, saw that it was not life-threatening, and took the time we needed to find our calm centers. I focused on breathing out. Alex and Eaglesong attended quietly. They did not ask me questions. They did not voice fears that may have been in their minds. Breathing out calms the vagus nerve, diminishing pain and limiting swelling in traumatic injuries.

We continued to assess the situation. I remained conscious. I could ambulate. I was moaning, but not crying or screaming. My Frightened/Curious Child wanted (and still wants) to know "What has happened? Are the bones broken? Is there nerve damage?" The nearest x-ray was ten hours away, so fear and curiosity, and the insistent demands of Story Medicine: Step 1, Collect Information, would have to wait.

"I heal quickly and well."

"My body has a map of its own perfection; it recreates and heals itself perfectly."

These affirmations could be considered Story Medicine, for they tell a story, but I am more likely to think of them as Faith Medicine: Step 2, Engage the Energy. The homeopathic arnica gel that we applied (and continue weeks later to apply) to my unbroken, but swollen and bruised, skin is also in this step.  . . . as are the beautiful well wishes for my healing I am receiving. I found in my travel bag Personal Safety, a mountain/tree remedy made from dew, and rubbed one drop on my skin and swallowed three drops. And just yesterday, a kind young woman offered me a pellet of Arnica 200x, which I joyfully swallowed.

Step 2 is as wide as the human imagination. It is the Shaman's Playground. The Spaciousness Exercise, which I detailed last week, is Mind Medicine. From the first moment, my other hand held and cradled my hurt wrist, suffusing it with healing energy. Call it what you will – and its names are many – there is an energy that is emitted by the human hand which can greatly reduce pain and hasten healing.  I will continue to engage this aspect of Energy Medicine for as long as it is needed.

Lifestyle Medicine: Step 3, Nourish and Tonify, comes next. As does Alternative Medicine:
Step 4, Stimulate and Sedate. I found no need to use Steps 5 (Use Drugs) or 6 (Break and Enter), Pharmaceutical Medicine and Hi-Tech Medicine always being my last resorts.

As is frequently the case in an accident, there was no time to nourish or tonify me right then, one must rely on the ground that has been built. My daily use of yogurt, cooked greens, and nourishing herbal infusions, as well as my commitment to walking, yoga, tai chi, and resistance exercise, has built strong bones that resist fracture.

So Step 3 steps aside (but don't worry, she will return), and Step 4 enters, at haste.
Stimulate and Sedate (especially sedate) are just what we need when dealing with trauma. Skullcap tincture (made from 100 proof vodka and fresh, flowering plants) was my ally to relieve pain. Small doses (5-8 drops) sedate the pain without sedating me.  I have judged my healing by the hours I can go between doses. (The first night: every two hours. The second day, every four hours. Now, twelve days later, once or twice a day.)

Alex offered to poultice my arm with a Costa Rican plant that his mother used when he hurt himself. That's Step 4, too. And I will tell you all about it next week.
To be continued...

Susun Weed’s books:

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.
Retails for $14.95
Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Healing Wise
Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $17.95
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com

NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Introduction by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $19.95
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com
For excerpts visit: www.menopause-metamorphosis.com

Breast Cancer? Breast Health!

Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations. Retails for $21.95
at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com

Down There:
Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed Simple, successful, strategies cover the entire range of options -- from mainstream to radical -- to help you choose the best, and the safest, ways to optimize sexual and reproductive health.
Foreword: Aviva Romm, MD, midwife, 484 pages, Index, illustrations Retails for $29.95
Order at: www.wisewomanbookshop.com



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