Of course if we are young, strong and healthy, we can recover from a minor injury or a common cold quickly enough, but if we are not so young, or not so healthy, or we have a relatively serious affliction, we may need to be patient with ourselves. Mother nature will heal us, but she cannot be hurried.
There are, however, things we can do to help her along. For instance,
1. We can get enough rest. Sleep is a necessary part of life, and even more so if we are recovering. It allows us to heal and recharge our batteries, so we should not skimp on it if we can help it, especially at this time. The fact that we do, generally, get better from illness or injury, is pretty miraculous if you think about it. If your car breaks down, you can’t just leave mend itself. If the roof of your house starts leaking, it won’t repair the damage itself. Yet the human body will, often, repair itself. It will at least try to do so. So give it some support and get some rest whilst the magic happens.
More specifically, it is often necessary to rest an injury to let it heal. This is probably the purpose of an injury being painful – the pain is a message saying, “Stop! Healing time needed!” I notice this when I’m treating someone with something like tennis elbow. If the owner of the elbow does not stop trying to play tennis with it, or use a computer mouse with it, or whatever it is that has led to the injury, it is the devil’s own job trying to cure the problem.
2. We need to get appropriate exercise. This is the flip side of the above of course. We may need to strike a balance between rest and movement. Even if we are quite debilitated, a gentle potter round the garden or a slow walk to the shops (weather permitting) may help move things along. We need to be sensitive to ourselves; let’s not overdo it, but not be too lazy either.
3. We can get some treatment. Treatment should be about giving Mother Nature a helping hand, not shoving her out of the way in the interests of a quick fix that causes more trouble than it is worth in the long run. Medicine should be, as someone once said, the ‘intuitive art of wooing nature’.
And of course, we need patience. Impatience can be costly; someone who drives themselves back to work too quickly after illness can end up with year’s of trouble. This sometimes seems to be the origin of intractable illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome. Nowadays, perhaps, we may think that we are technologically sophisticated enough to be able to override nature and fix the damage instantly. We aren’t.