Survival Healthcare: 5 Things You Can Do Now to Promote Medical Self-Care

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nurseSomething not frequently addressed within the survival and prepping world is the importance of good health and medical self-care.  What I am referring to is the importance of having the physical and mental wellness capacity to give you the stamina to to withstand adverse conditions, perhaps with minimal shelter, minimal water, minimal food stores, and minimal health care facilities.

Think about it.  As much as we prep and do our best to store a years worth of food and supplies, how much attention do we actually pay to taking care of ourselves and staying informed of medical issues and topics?  For most of us, I can pretty much guarantee that food and supplies come first, closely followed by bullets and band-aids.

In a very worst case scenario, would you have the stamina and health to leave the comforts of your home with only the clothes on your back, a bug-out-bag and whatever else you could physically carry?  Answer honestly – are you healthy enough to do that?

I ask these questions today not to chide you to lose ten pounds or to take on a rigorous exercise routine.  Instead I ask them so that you will think about your own health in terms of those things you can do now to become accomplished at medical self-care so that you will stay healthy and stay fit even when professional medical care is not readily available.

But first . . .

What the heck is medical self-care?

Medical self-care is defined as those things that individuals do to deal with minor illness and injuries at home, including preventing, detecting, and treating sickness and disease.  Nothing weird, nothing “out there”.  Instead, medical self-care refers to making an attempt to initially take hold of and treat minor healthcare issues yourself.

Or, put another way, simply asking yourself if you need to see a health care provider or weather you can you apply a home treatment instead.  Medical self-care can be as simple as taking an over-the-counter medication for a headache or securing a sprained ankle with an ace bandage.

The important thing is that medical self-care means you are an active participant in your own health.  And for that, you need to take a proactive stance and take control over your own well-being.

5 Rules of Medical Self Care that will Help Insure Survival in Adverse Conditions

1.  Listen to your body since you know yourself best.  When you do not feel well, take care of yourself.

Since the beginning of time, humans have suffered from mild illnesses and simply taken it easy until the illness passed.  These days, however, with computers, the internet, cell phones and other gizmos, a lot of sick time is spent in the digital world instead getting real rest.  If you are going to be your optimal self, when feeling unwell, take the time to slow down for a few hours or a day, and give yourself time to heal.

2.  Stay abreast of common first aid procedures and utilize readily available resources to stay knowledgeable of viable solutions to everyday medical maladies. first aid photo

These days, with the resources available, much day to day doctoring can be done at home.  Things like taking one’s vital signs and blood pressure or testing one’s urine are easily and safely accomplished at home.  Learning to do these things now without reliance on a health professional will allow to take control of your own wellness no matter what happens in our society.

3.  Understand that being healthy and being well means more than simply being disease free.

The spread between wellness and illness is large with a lot of room in between.  Prevention means focusing on good health  while you are still on the wellness side of the spectrum rather than waiting to act only when disease or disability occurs.

4.  The goal of any health care system should be to help people stay healthy by giving them the tools that they need to take care of themselves.  You need to make that happen yourself.

To a large extent, individual practitioners still feel this way but for one reason or another, have had to subrogate those feelings as part of their alliance with large group practices.  These larger practices – many of which are huge conglomerates – have allegiance to big pharma and wall street interests.  This means that patient care comes secondary to making money.

The solution?  Individuals need to take more responsibility themselves through knowledge and through healthy lifestyle choices.  And when we do need medical care, we need to seek out healthcare workers who put our own needs first, above and beyond those of their employer or the greedsters who only care about money and huge year-end bonuses.

5.  Genetics and environmental conditions aside, we all have a degree of control over our health and wellness.  Eat a healthy diet and embrace an active lifestyle.

The human body has incredible healing powers if given half a chance to fix itself.  In order to restore itself, however, we need to treat the body with respect by feeding it a healthy diet and giving it regular exercise.  In addition, from a mental and spiritual  point of view, we need to provide ourselves with a meaningful and strategic life.

Remember this: practicing medical self care is one more way of taking control of your life.

The Final Wordfirst aid

It is somewhat of a travesty to think of our health as something that can abused over time knowing that a doctor at some point down the road with fix us up just like a mechanic will tune up the engine in our aging automobile.  Doesn’t it make more sense to simply perform preventative maintenance on on ongoing basis?

A few good print resources to put you on the road to successful medical self care are The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook, Where There Is No Doctor, and the Physicians’ Desk Reference. Where there is no Doctor can also be downloaded for free from the Hesperian Foundation.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


From the Bargain Bin:  Speaking of medical self care, how about some books on the topic of herbal healing and aromatherapy. Speaking of aromatherapy, if you are just getting started, get some clove, tea tree and lavender essential oils and everything else can follow as budget allows.  Also, be sure to read my article Essential Oils for the Survival Kit.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies: Rosemary Gladstar is the mother of modern herbalism. Her wisdom and vision have inspired an entire generation of herbal healers, and her insights into the healing power of plants have helped people everywhere embrace more natural, healthy, and radiant lives.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: I first became interested in aromatherapy and essential oils in the early 90s which was before they really became mainstream. I read every book I could get my hands on and dabbled at creating synergy’s (a combination of two or more oils that create a chemical compound that is greater than the some of its individual components). My bible then, and even now, is this book.

Aromatherapy for Dummies: Another good book that will help you get started understanding and using Aromatherapy. And you know how I love the “dummies” book series.

Clove Oil: Clove oil should be a component of every survival first aid kit. For less than $10, you have a multi-purpose product that takes up little room but solves a myriad of unwelcome and unexpected ailments. Travelers – this especially applies to you!

Top 14 Essential Oil Set: This well-priced set included Bergamot, Clary Sage, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary, Spearmint, Orange & Tea Tree.

wheat kit (Custom)This month Emergency Essentials is featuring a Wheat Cooking Starter Kit that includes a hand grain mill, some dough enhancer, instant yeast and a “Wheat Cookin’ Made Easy” DVD. It is nicely priced at about 33% off or $49.99.

If you are a Mountain House fan, the Mountain House Beef Stew is on sale for $26.49 which is 25% off the normal price of $35.49.  Also at 25% are other favorites such as Beef Stroganoff and Lasagna with Meat Sauce.

Other items on sale in September include a One Month Supply of Just-Add-Water Entrees for $134.99, Freeze Dried Mozzarella Cheese (21% off), Freeze Dried Yogurt Bits (for snacks) at 20% off, and something that I am ordering, Freeze Dried Celery pieces at $14.99 which is 30% off.

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Spotlight Item: Are you looking for some motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life? 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure, was recently launched on our websites and on Amazon. The website version is a PDF that works great on iPads, Nooks and other mobile devices. I think you will like it!


Survival Healthcare: 5 Things You Can Do Now to Promote Medical Self-Care — 6 Comments

  1. Very good advice, Gaye.
    Prevention, prevention, prevention.
    If you catch problems early, so much cheaper and easier to solve.
    Of course, the investment is in time.
    Time to educate yourself about home remedies, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies.
    Time to research and find the best preventative professionals: acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, naturopathic, physical therapy, exercise coach.
    I was homeless for a while, a mini experience in survival.
    The one part of me that I found needed constant vigilance was the care of my feet.
    Fresh socks, nail trims, catching any sores or athletes foot right away.
    I found a company on-line that puts out a line of Golden Seal herbal products with several for the feet.
    A lifesaver.
    Thanks, Gaye, very thoughtful information.

  2. Thanks for this great resource. Best line of the post from my point of view: “Individuals need to take more responsibility themselves through knowledge and through healthy lifestyle choices”

  3. One thing we can all start right now to take charge of our health and take with us into the future is the Water Cures Protocol. It is using unprocessed sea salt, dissolved in the mouth, then drinking a glass of water. The salt helps the water get to all parts of our body.

    There are a number of benefits. Aside from it being almost free (unprocessed sea salt is the most expensive part at several bucks a bag), it is simple and easy to do. Arthritis pain, sleep problems, stress management, stopping chest pain (when nitro is not available) stopping cramps, pain management and the list goes on. There are over 70 different ways it will help.

    Then, if there is a shortage of water, the salt will help you make what you have last longer.

    More on Water Cures…

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