Thursday, April 22, 2010

'After-hand', rather than, 'Beforehand'

If I only thought with my brain, I'd say that some things that are basically 'preventative' could conceivably be good ideas. If Im thinking with my hands I tend to be a little more skeptical. The claims people make about certain products in the world of medicine and nutrition are so dubious and subjective that they can never really be proven, such as: if I eat such and such I will live longer, if I take this vitamin I wont get a bad cold, if I do this kind of exercise I wont have back problems, etc. It's pretty difficult to be our own self-controlled case to find out what really works. There is no parallel universe we can observe ourselves in, for us to be able to test abstract preventative products or theories out on ourselves.

My hands look for the tangible. They are wallers hands. They feel for the thing that fits - the fix that addresses the immediate problem. That's why I like remedies; things that work after the fact.

It's no good telling me that a particular medicine would have worked had I only taken some or applied some 'before hand'. When I bruise my hand under a big rock or sprain my ankle, it's silly to be saying to myself I should have eaten more broccoli. Im looking for something that's going to help heal the problem and help take away the pain right then and there.

That's why I like Arnica. It's an ointment used for bruises made from Arnica Montana, an innocent little yellow flower that grows in nutrient-poor soils throughout Europe (but ironically nowhere in Montana) . The day I decided to give it a try, after several herbal friends kept telling me that it really worked and I should try it, was the day I discovered that alternative medicine wasn't as wacky as I had supposed it to be. I still think the weird preventative homeopathic stuff is a bit of a hit and miss game, but you can't knock something that does the job after the fact.

Arnica has some unique ability to make bruises less painful and more importantly, to actually make it feel like the natural healing process is beginning much faster. I dont want to get all spooky about it, but this stuff seems to work! All I can say is 'try it' next time you whack your hand with the hammer. But probably it wouldn't hurt to keep eating your broccoli too.


  1. I agree completely about Arnica. It does really reduce bruising, however I still have one little objection to its wonderful effects. After a thump with a rock the pain last for a while but the bruise usually lasts much longer .After using Arnica I discovered that the effect of showing off the bruise meant much less awww than before I discovered it.I do slightly miss the awww from love ones.

  2. Aww-ing comfort the pain,
    or Arnika for the pain,
    I guess it's a trade off.