Haven’t Got Time For The Pain? A Case Study in Speed Healing

For the past few Tuesdays I’ve been playing indoor soccer. My friend’s team is under-playered and clearly desperate, so they asked me to join (it had been ten years since I kicked a soccer ball last).

Last Tuesday was playing out like normal; we were all sucking wind and getting stomped by the other team. Just after half time I had my breakaway opportunity. I just had to get around one defender for a shot on goal. In my attempt to maneuver around him, I tripped over myself.

Not only did I not get a shot on goal, as I fell, I landed on my left hand. The pain was immediately sharp, but quickly gave way to a strange numb and weak feeling. I finished out the game doing my best not to get hit or fall on it again.

We all headed out for dinner and drinks after the game. At that point I noticed that I had virtually no strength in the hand. I couldn’t lift the latch of the car door, and I didn’t even have enough grip strength to pick up my cell phone.

By the time I got home, the strange numbness and weakness gave way to pain and swelling. With any movement of my wrist, thumb, or index finger, I would feel a stab of sharp pain just below my thumb but above my wrist.

Despite the discomfort, I oddly wasn’t feeling concerned about it so I just went to bed. By 2:00 am, though, with almost no sleep, it was clear something was really wrong.

The pain was then constant, stabbing, and an 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. If I bent my wrist in any direction past 5 degrees (which was easy to do lying in bed), I would get a jolt of electricity in that spot below my thumb.

I decided to get out of bed and check it out. The swelling was getting bad. It was like a ¼ of a grapefruit was underneath my skin on the top of my hand. I immediately washed down four Yunnan Paiyao capsules with a beer and wrapped my wrist with an ace bandage to stabilize it. This allowed me to get back asleep.

When I woke up the next morning, all I could think was, “Shit, I don’t have time for this. How am I going to type for the blog? How am I going to finish remodeling my house to sell in a month?”

After a few minutes of feeling sorry for myself, I decided that I needed to heal my wrist in record time. While I treat others all the time for injuries, I actually haven’t had any major trauma since I started practicing acupuncture.

All of sudden, despite my messed up situation, I started getting excited. This is the kind of thing that motivated me to study Chinese Medicine. My background in martial arts is what led me to this career path.

In the beginning it was all about “hit medicine,” treating injuries from strikes, falls, and other martial and athletic accidents. -See my full healing regimen below.

Don’t Wait to Get Better, Take Action Now

The first thing I did was take four more Yunnan Paiyao capsules with a shot of Tiger Bone Wine (don’t freak out, pig bones are used now).

Yunnan Paiyou is an herbal trauma formula, that when taken with alcohol, reduces swelling and pain. Tiger (pig) Bone Wine is also an herbal formula steeped in alcohol that helps with everything from rheumatic disorders and soft tissue injuries to broken bones.

Next I called my friend and old acupuncture business partner to schedule an appointment for the next morning. Also, the chiropractor that works in his office could order x-rays if necessary.

Then, I called Wei Labs to order a week’s worth (three) of their FASTT herbal patches. I’ve referenced these before in my post about Tennis Elbow. Even though they are expensive (around $25 each retail), they are truly magical. Indications include any type of acute musculoskeletal injury including bone fractures.

After my calls and washing down a couple more capsules of Yunnan Paiyou with Tiger (pig) Bone Wine, it was off to Walgreens and the Chinese herb shop. At Walgreens I bought a wrist brace to immobilize my wrist during sleep and any kind of activity. Then to the herb shop to fill a Chinese herbal formula for acute injuries and bone regeneration.

Chinese Herbal Formula for Acute Trauma and Bone Fracture

I chose to make a tea with the whole herbs instead of using a prepared formula. Herbal teas tend to be way more potent and fast acting, but they do take some time to prepare and they have a horrible taste. As my kung fu teacher used to say, “You have to lick a dog’s ass to get that taste out of your mouth.”

Here is a link to the formula I’m using. If you are otherwise healthy and have no medical conditions, this formula is completely safe and incredibly effective for the applications listed below. If you need it, just print out the formula and take it to a Chinese herb shop to get it filled.

Do not take this formula if you have a medical condition, are taking medications, or are pregnant or nursing without the direct supervision of a qualified medical practitioner.

Applications:

  • Injuries including traumas, contusions, bruises, sprains, and strains.
  • Severe pain, inflammation, and swelling.
  • Broken bones and fractures.

After chugging down some herbal tea, it was time to get some Vitamin D. Vitamin D is critical for bone regeneration and the best way is to get it is naturally from sun exposure. While I normally get some sun with my daily activities, in this case I made it a priority to receive around 45 minutes a day with no shirt, no sunscreen exposure.

Research is also showing Vitamin D might “work better” in conjunction with Vitamins A and K. I chose to consume more eggs, grass-fed butter, and Cod-liver Oil than normal for this reason. I also increased my grass-fed beef intake as it can help with the healing of soft tissue, tendons, and ligaments.

My final step in supplementation was to add an extra 300mg capsule of Magnesium in the morning (I already take one in the evening before bed). Along with Vitamin D, Magnesium is critical for Calcium absorption. Magnesium also has the benefit relaxing muscles and spasms, which is usually a factor in sprains and strains.

By that evening the swelling had subsided some and the constant sharp pain was now more of an uncomfortable throb. Before bed I soaked my hand in Epsom salt and hot water to help with circulation, inflammation, and a topical shot of magnesium.

The Good News and The Bad News

The next morning I began with another round of herbs and supplements and then off to my buddy’s clinic for an assessment and treatment.

We had the office chiropractor check out my hand first. He did some tests for fracture (which were negative!), but there is also no way to know for sure without an x-ray.

The bad news was that if I did have a break, the location of my pain indicated a scaphoid fracture. The scaphoid bone is a bad bone to break because it doesn’t receive very good blood flow. If it doesn’t heal correctly it can lead to necrosis (death) of the bone. Not a good thing.

I’ve decided to wait for a couple weeks to get an X-ray. Hairline fractures are often hard to detect in the small bones of the hand until some degree of calcification has occurred. Since my orthopedic tests showed negative, it’s likely that I don’t have a severe break anyway.

After that exciting news, I had an acupuncture treatment along with heat therapy and an application of Chinese herbal liniment. The rest of the day I continued my herb, sun exposure, supplement, and Epsom salt soak regimen.

The Progress and Results

By Friday evening, and after I received and applied my FASTT herbal patch, I was significantly better. In only 3 days I no longer had constant pain, my range of motion was 80% of normal, and I could pick-up light weight objects and type.

It’s now Tuesday, one week after the initial accident, and I would say I’m 90% healed. I have started working on my house for the last couple days and I plan on playing soccer tonight.

I still wear my brace at night and have a little trouble lifting heavy objects and opening jars, but all in all, my life is barely affected now.

I’ll be continuing my herb, sun, and supplementation regimen for a least a week more until I get an x-ray and assessment of my scaphoid bone. I am making a couple of slight modifications today, however.

I’ve finished my Chinese herbal tea and will be switching to a prepared Chinese herbal product, Flex MLT from Evergreen Herbs, as it’s more appropriate for the mid stages of musculoskeletal injuries (and capsules aren’t nasty tasting). I will also be adding a Bone Broth to further help with the nutritional demands of tissue injuries and possible fractures.

This experience has shown me that it is truly amazing what the body is capable of given the right tools to make it happen. While I thought I would make some headway with my hand, I never believed I would practically heal in one week!

Do you have any questions or comments about speed healing or treating musculoskeletal injuries naturally? Please leave them in the comments section below.

Tuesday:

Time of Injury: 9:40pm

Wednesday: (increased consumption of eggs and beef)

  • 2:00 am – 4 Yunnan Paiyao capsules and one beer.
  • 8:30 am – 4 Yunnan Paiyao capsules and a shot of Tiger (pig) Bone Wine. 300mg Magnesium supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-Liver Oil. Good Morning!
  • 11:00 am – Bought wrist brace (for sleep and active times)
  • Noon – 2 Yunnan Paiyao capsules and a shot of Tiger (pig) Bone Wine.
  • 2:00pm – Finish brewing Chinese herbs – roughly 1 cup of herbal tea.
  • 2:30 pm – 45 minutes of direct, no-shirt, no- sunscreen sun exposure.
  • 7:00 pm – Second Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 9:00 pm – Soak hand in hot water and Epsom salt for ½ hour. 300mg Magnesium supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.

Thursday: (increased consumption of eggs and beef)

  • 7:15 am – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup. 300 mg Magnesium Supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.
  • 8:00 am – Acupuncture treatment along with heat therapy and application of Chinese herbal liniment.
  • 1:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 2:00 pm – 45 minutes of direct, no-shirt, no- sunscreen sun exposure.
  • 7:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 9:00 pm – Soak hand in hot water and Epsom salt for ½ hour. 300mg Magnesium supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.

Friday:(increased consumption of eggs and beef)

  • 8:00 am: Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup. 300 mg Magnesium Supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.
  • 1:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 2:00 pm – Wei Labs FASTT herbal patches arrive! – Immediate application to affected area to be left on for 48 hours. 45 minutes of direct, no-shirt, no- sunscreen sun exposure.
  • 7:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 9:00 pm – 300mg Magnesium supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.

Saturday: (increased consumption of eggs and beef)

  • 8:00 am: Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup. 300 mg Magnesium Supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.
  • 1:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 2:00 pm – 45 minutes of direct, no-shirt, no- sunscreen sun exposure.
  • 7:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 9:00 pm – 300mg Magnesium supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.

Sunday: (increased consumption of eggs and beef)

  • 8:00 am: Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup. 300 mg Magnesium Supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.
  • 1:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 2:00 pm – Removal of Wei Labs FASTT patch (no reapplication for 24 hours). 45 minutes of direct, no-shirt, no- sunscreen sun exposure.
  • 7:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 9:00 pm – Soak hand in hot water and Epsom salt for ½ hour. 300mg Magnesium supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.

Monday: (increased consumption of eggs and beef)

  • 8:00 am: Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup. 300 mg Magnesium Supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.
  • 1:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 2:00 pm – Application of Wei Labs FASTT herbal patch to affected area to be left on for 48 hours. 45 minutes of direct, no-shirt, no- sunscreen sun exposure.
  • 7:00 pm – Dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup.
  • 9:00 pm – 300mg Magnesium supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.

Tuesday: (increased consumption of eggs and beef)

  • 8:00 am: Last dose of Chinese herbs – roughly one cup. 300 mg Magnesium Supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.
  • 1:00 pm – 1st dose of Flex (MLT) – 6 capsules, Begin simmering Bone Broth (with ginger and tomato)
  • 2:00 pm – 45 minutes of direct, no-shirt, no- sunscreen sun exposure.
  • 9:00 pm – Soccer Game
  • 11:00 pm – 2nd dose of Flex (MLT) – 6 capsules. Roughly 2 cups Bone Broth. 300mg Magnesium supplement. 4 gel caps Cod-liver Oil.
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6 Responses to “Haven’t Got Time For The Pain? A Case Study in Speed Healing”

  1. Mike says:

    Doug,

    Thanks for this detailed post!

    As a newcomer to TCM, I am really impressed with how effective it is. I know this sounds arrogant, but I have a lot of Western Medicine prejudice to overcome.

    When searching for a local source of herbs, what should I look for?

    I am saving this post for future (urgent) reference!

  2. Doug says:

    Hey Mike,

    No worries, I thought TCM was pretty strange at one point also.

    I think most acupuncturists today use quality herbs. As a profession, we tend to concious about not poisoning people ;-) Just make sure your prepared herbs are GMP certified.

    But that being said, there are TCM colleges in most states. You can always pick up the “bulk” herbs from them without worry (that’s where I got mine this time).

    Since I know you live in the same area as I do, you can go to the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.

    Hope you won’t have to use this info!

  3. Sarah O says:

    Wow – I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this, but glad you are sharing your healing regimen with us. Sounds like it’s really working!

    I wish I had read this when my friend injured her hand in late June. It was pretty bad, she basically pulverized her pinky finger (it was almost amputated). Now she finds out it did not heal properly and after additional surgery has 6 more weeks with her right hand in a cast. Ugh. I wonder if any of the above suggestions would be helpful for her?

    • Doug says:

      It’s going really well!

      That sounds like a nightmare for your friend.

      If it has been a week or more after her surgery I would go with the Flex MLT, Magnesium, Cod-liver oil, bone broth, 1/2 hour plus of sun daily, and eggs and/or beef with every meal. If she has access to her pinky (removable splint), I would do the FASTT patches also.

  4. Jed Wilson says:

    But just imagine how fast you would have healed if they still used the bones of tigers!

    But seriously, sorry to hear about this, bro, and I’m glad that you’re on the mend…

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