Controlling Pain Where There is No Doctor, by Bill R.

Some of you are probably asking yourself what this has to with Survivalism. Pain is our brain’s way of letting us know that something is not right. You touch a hot stove and it warns you to pull away. With any number of things that can set off TEOTWAWKI,  The result will be the same. Traumatic, stressful, pick your favorite term; it’s all the same. Increased stress levels in the body create tension. We have all heard the term ”your psychology affects your physiology”, nothing could be more true. I think it is an excellent idea to go through practice drills in as many what if scenarios as you can fathom. One of the things I have not seen accounted for however is the effect of stress and pain has on our daily routines .The moment the hammer drops we will probably get by on adrenaline for a short period. The first part is preparing our bodies for the culture shock that will probably happen overnight. I would say the majority of the people reading this have an ample food supply, guns, ammo maybe even a detailed plan on what to do. But how many of us have a way to reduce stress? If you do not have one during ”peaceful” times, how much less ready will your mind and body be prepped when the situation demands it of you? I am not here to tell you what method you should choose. One of mine is prayer. Whatever yours are, cultivate them now as you do everything else. This leads me to the title of the article.

Unless you are Amish or are like the few readers of SurvivalBlog that are already modern versions of Grizzly Adams, the overnight transition will be more mental and physical than you have been accustomed to. Mentally I have already explained the mind-body connection..What can we do in the physical? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here it comes: ”exercise”. This is much more than dropping a few here and there for the yearly family photo. A stronger, fitter body will not only reduce stress levels but will be able to handle a greater physiological demand. A stronger body will put you in a better position to defend yourself. When the last tick of the clock hits it’s point, you are where you are, and that’s it! That said, even the strongest bodies get sore and get injured. I have heard horror stories at the gym (where us city folk exercise). A man dropped some weights on his finger. The trainer urged him to stick his finger in the hot tub. That was a big mistake. This is an easy way to remember what to do INJURY = COLD (the area is already inflamed, heat will expand tissues more) SORENESS = HOT (heat soothes sore muscles, not injuries!) There are different ways to approach it. Without an MRI, you cannot know just how serious but you can start reducing the impact. After an injury, the area should be iced (if possible) 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. This should be done [during waking hours] for several days. Anymore than 15-20 minutes of direct contact will have the same effect as heat, counterproductive. All that work on the Ponderosa will not only have you singing shoulda coulda woulda’s on being better prepared, it will also leave every muscle in your body begging for mercy. I have done massage on some of the strongest men around (the “Power Team”) and I assure you that pain is universal. Here is a non-medicinal pain survival equipment list for you:

  1. Two tennis balls
  2. A huge encyclopedia
  3. A low-back chair(like you used to have in school)
  4. Any good simple book on acupressure or trigger points
  5. A rolled-up towel

I could make a list a mile long but these five will do wonders for you.
Using tennis balls: this is good, no, great for the back. Laying on your back on the ground, place one tennis ball on either side of your spine (not on the spine). Start with the cervical, then move down to thoracic, then lumbar. Typically 10 minutes in each area should do the trick. Another way to stretch that lower back out is lying once again on your back. Place the large book or encyclopedia under your sacrum for 10 to 15 minutes. This technique uses your own body weight to release the muscles they surround, thereby relaxing them. Have you ever cooked a chicken? When you pull the skin off that milky white layer over the muscle is the fascia, it holds the muscle in place. Changing the angle of your lower back does wonders. The next thing is the low back chair. I like chairs that go about mid back. Sitting in the chair in the normal way, reach behind the chair grabbing the top of the legs (you can go lower as you stretch). Do not bounce! Pull for a few seconds at a time while leaning backwards over the chair edge, creating tension on your arms but stretching your back. At this point you probably wondering what in the world a rolled up towel can do for you. Hopefully by then you have already memorized all of your survival books , but chances are if you have not, you will be doing some serious reading. Sitting in a higher back chair or even a wall, place a rolled up towel east to west underneath your shoulder blades. This will help keep you in alignment and take pressure off your upper and middle back that develops from slouching as we read.

If these things seem too simple, well then I can assure you that they work. “Simple” is the key when your resources are limited. The American Indians used to have the children of the tribe walk on their backs for those with ailing backs, so I think you can adapt to these simple cures.  Why not just pop an aspirin? Well, first off all if you have access to pain meds, they will be very valuable and the less you have to rely on them the better off you will be. Keep in mind that no pill will cure an injury or eliminate the cause of the pain. It will merely cover it up for awhile. Why not just treat the cause of the problem instead of the symptom? We have little control over the circumstances that come our way. We can either be more prepared or less prepared. Learn how to take care of your body if you want it to take care of you.