Ep. 17: Dr. Maya Novak – Remedies for Healing the Body After an Injury

We can support the physical body in different ways.

I often talk about and guide my clients through the jungle of emotional and mental turmoil that comes with physical trauma. Together we release emotional blockages, deal with unhelpful thoughts, install empowering beliefs, etc.

Even though this is my calling and something that I’m really good at, I never disregard the physical things that we can do in order to help the body.

So in this week’s episode, we look into a few different remedies. You’ll discover how they can help your bone health, relieve pain, speed up healing, and so much more.

They are not magic pills, of course, because those don’t exist, but things I’ve researched and used myself as well.

Tune in… 

Show notes & links

The show notes are written in chronological order.

  • Elizabeth von Muggenthaler , “The felid purr: A healing mechanism?”, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 110, 2666-2666 (2001) [read it here]
  • The Healing Power of Cat Purrs – graphic [see it here]
  • The Feline Purr: A healing mechanism? [discover more here]
  • Chen LP, Han ZB, Yang XZ. [The effects of frequency of mechanical vibration on experimental fracture healing]. Zhonghua wai ke za zhi [Chinese Journal of Surgery]. 1994 Apr;32(4):217-219. PMID: 7842923. [read it here]
  • Beck, B., Rubin, C., Harding, A., Paul, S., & Forwood, M. (2022). The effect of low-intensity whole-body vibration with or without high-intensity resistance and impact training on risk factors for proximal femur fragility fracture in postmenopausal women with low bone mass: study protocol for the VIBMOR randomized controlled trial. Trials23(1), 15. [read it here]
  • Kiel, D. P., Hannan, M. T., Barton, B. A., Bouxsein, M. L., Sisson, E., Lang, T., Allaire, B., Dewkett, D., Carroll, D., Magaziner, J., Shane, E., Leary, E. T., Zimmerman, S., & Rubin, C. T. (2015). Low-Magnitude Mechanical Stimulation to Improve Bone Density in Persons of Advanced Age: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research30(7), 1319–1328. [read it here]
  • Qureshi, A. I., Memon, M. Z., Vazquez, G., & Suri, M. F. (2009). Cat ownership and the Risk of Fatal Cardiovascular Diseases. Results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study Mortality Follow-up Study. Journal of vascular and interventional neurology2(1), 132–135. [read it here]
  • Frequency sound generator apps [android, iphone]
  • Broken Bones – Homeopathy [discover more here]
  • Heel Traumeel S Cream Tube – Pain Relief [get it here]
  • Episode 15: Overcoming Skepticism and Doubts Around Holistic Injury Recovery with Jerry Sever [tune in here]
  • Saslis-Lagoudakis, C. H., Bruun-Lund, S., Iwanycki, N. E., Seberg, O., Petersen, G., Jäger, A. K., & Rønsted, N. (2015). Identification of common horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.; Equisetaceae) using Thin Layer Chromatography versus DNA barcoding. Scientific reports5, 11942. [read it here]
  • Costa-Rodrigues, J., Carmo, S. C., Silva, J. C., & Fernandes, M. H. (2012). Inhibition of human in vitro osteoclastogenesis by Equisetum arvense. Cell proliferation45(6), 566–576. [read it here]
  • Pallag, A., Filip, G. A., Olteanu, D., Clichici, S., Baldea, I., Jurca, T., Micle, O., Vicaş, L., Marian, E., Soriţău, O., Cenariu, M., & Mureşan, M. (2018). Equisetum arvense L. Extract Induces Antibacterial Activity and Modulates Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Apoptosis in Endothelial Vascular Cells Exposed to Hyperosmotic Stress. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity2018, 3060525. [read it here]
  • Bessa Pereira, C., Gomes, P. S., Costa-Rodrigues, J., Almeida Palmas, R., Vieira, L., Ferraz, M. P., Lopes, M. A., & Fernandes, M. H. (2012). Equisetum arvense hydromethanolic extracts in bone tissue regeneration: in vitro osteoblastic modulation and antibacterial activity. Cell proliferation45(4), 386–396. [read it here]
  • Arbabzadegan, N., Moghadamnia, A. A., Kazemi, S., Nozari, F., Moudi, E., & Haghanifar, S. (2019). Effect of equisetum arvense extract on bone mineral density in Wistar rats via digital radiography. Caspian journal of internal medicine10(2), 176–182. [read it here]
  • Carneiro, D. M., Freire, R. C., Honório, T. C., Zoghaib, I., Cardoso, F. F., Tresvenzol, L. M., de Paula, J. R., Sousa, A. L., Jardim, P. C., & da Cunha, L. C. (2014). Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial to Assess the Acute Diuretic Effect of Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail) in Healthy Volunteers. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2014, 760683. [read it here]
  • Asgharikhatooni, A., Bani, S., Hasanpoor, S., Mohammad Alizade, S., & Javadzadeh, Y. (2015). The effect of equisetum arvense (horse tail) ointment on wound healing and pain intensity after episiotomy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Iranian Red Crescent medical journal17(3), e25637. [read it here]
  • Araújo, L. A., Addor, F., & Campos, P. M. (2016). Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia91(3), 331–335. [read it here]
  • Boeing, T., Tafarelo Moreno, K. G., Gasparotto Junior, A., Mota da Silva, L., & de Souza, P. (2021). Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of the Genus Equisetum (Equisetaceae): A Narrative Review of the Species with Therapeutic Potential for Kidney Diseases. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2021, 6658434. [read it here]
  • Boyera, N., Galey, I., & Bernard, B. A. (1998). Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts. International journal of cosmetic science20(3), 151–158. [read it here]
  • Vitamin C: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals [discover more here]
  • Calcium content of foods:

0:00 – excerpt from the episode
0:58 – intro (listen to discover a little more about your host. Martin will tell you a new lesser-known fact about Dr. Maya)

Dr. Maya Novak:
This episode will be slightly different in regard to the ratio of theory and practice – it’s going to be a lot about the hands-on work, and the things that you can use to help your body on the physical level. As you know my focus and expertise is how the emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies affect the physical one. Things that are happening internally with us and how this can either make or break the recovery process. Now over the years, I discovered that it’s better to give advice for the physical aspect of healing sparingly – like a pinch of salt that we use when preparing food. Not because the diet, hydration, sleep, rest, physical exercises are not important – absolutely not.

But because of the way we were raised by our parents as well as the society and the medical system is that we automatically try to focus on the obvious – the physical aspect of recovery. And these also goes into extremes when people literally become ‘magic pill hunters’ and are always looking for that perfect new supplement, gadget, exercises tool that will do the magic trick with their healing. And this is something that needs to change. Because the downside of this focus on the physical is that we very quickly push even further away the things that we’ve been pushing aside for so long, and that brought us to this moment here and now – with this injury. You don’t have time anymore to ignore the signs, internal struggles, past traumas, negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, emotional turmoil, disappointments… etc. And if you’re focusing on the solutions that are outside of you, it’s going to be easy to do that – to ignore what makes a huge difference in anyone’s healing journey. Makes sense?

That being said, let’s go into helping the physical body by physical things. I’ll talk about 5 remedies, because while you shouldn’t make the physical body your one and only priority, you shouldn’t ignore it, either. So here are some things that are not magic pills – because those don’t exist – but things I’ve researched and used myself as well.

I’ll start with a funny one. And cat lovers will most likely love this part. So let’s quickly talk about low frequency vibration and the healing powers of cat purrs. What does that means and how does this work? Well, there's an old veterinary saying that says "If you put a cat and a bunch of broken bones in the same room, the bones will heal." Now for me, cat purring is really calming – when a cat is in a calm state, of course. But know that cats also purr when they are severely injured, frightened, stressed; when they are recovering from an illness, while giving birth, or also when they are dying. It could be a self-soothing mechanism but does it go beyond just that?

Look, the optimal frequency for bone stimulation is between 20 and 50 hertz, which is based on the research of Dr. Clinton Rubin and his associates. It’s interesting that cats’ purr is mostly between 25 and 50 Hz (and it goes up to 150Hz), which is the best frequencies for bone growth and fracture healing, as well as soft tissue healing. I mean there’s been all sorts of research on this topic and it’s showing that low vibrations are healing for the body. Low frequency vibration is also good for pain relief, as mentioned before soft tissue healing, tendons, muscles… And, some research shows that cat owners are less likely to die from heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases. I mean, I have a feeling that those listeners who have cats, today especially, there will be a lot of cuddling and soaking in their purrs, huh? [chuckles]

And just a quick recent, personal experience. Less than 2 weeks ago we rescued a homeless cat. We are still both wondering how he survived the streets since he’s so cuddly, gentle, and happiest when he can sleep in a lap or just be close to us. That being said, about 2 days after rescuing him, I got my period. And usually the first day, for a few hours, I have a bit of cramps. I was resting on the sofa and he joined me and laid down by my belly and started purring. A few minutes later, my cramps stopped. Just a coincidence? I don’t know – it might be but it might not be. If you don’t have a cat, perhaps you can look into some sort of frequency sound generator app. Just an idea.

Ok, next – let’s continue. If you have a fracture and suffering with pain, and you’re looking for some homeopathic remedies, here are some that can help you out. First, Arnica. It helps with pain, swelling, bruising. Then Symphytum which is the Latin name for comfrey, but its older English name was actually knitbone, because it was often used for helping with fractures. It’s used for broken bones because it promotes callus formation and osteoblast cell activity. This is also what I was taking after the surgery and if you listened to episode 15, you might remember that it’s something I got from my mother-in-law who is a homeopathic doctor. Then we have Calcarea phosphorica. This one is for enriching bone with calcium and phosphorus. Also look into Hypericum which can help with nerve pains at the fractured site, or any injuries to nerve rich areas like pinching toes or fingers. And there is also a cream called Traumeel, that we always have at home and it’s an anti-inflammatory analgesic. So Traumeel is a homeopathic formula with a blend of different medicines, but it is really effective for gently bringing down pain and swelling at injury sites.

In regards to dosis and a bit more info about these remedies, I’ll put a link in the show notes section that you access if you go to mayanovak.com/podcast and click on Ep. 17. The link is also, as always, in the description of this episode. And of course, consult with your homeopathic doctor who will be able to advise you based on your unique situation.

Next – let’s talk about horsetail (Equisetum arvense). This is something that I came across recently when searching for information about hair health. Long story short, last September I had a huge reaction to some “natural” products for hair and scalp. And I think the main problem of those products for me was alcohol. My scalp became extremely inflamed and as a result I started losing hair rapidly. What also happened as a result of this is that my scalp started producing tons of oil and, you know, it was really bad. And even though the situation is already better I’m still losing more hair than normal. Thank goodness, I have a lot of them and it might not be so obvious in the photos and videos but I can definitely see less hair when looking closely my scalp. So that’s how I came across horsetail. It’s very high in silica - up to 25% of its dry weight is actually silica, and potentially it is the only plant with such high amount of this mineral. Because of its high silicon content it helps with hair health. It’s suggested that hair with higher silicon content tends to have a lower falling rate and higher brightness. Silica also tends to help with lowering the oil production of the scalp. So this is something that I’ve been testing. And I can say that I’m noticing less oil production and potentially less hair falling out. But I have to say that it’s a bit early on in my testing so I’m not going to tell you that this is a miracle herb that will solve all of your problems.

You might be wondering how I’m using it. I make a strong tea, put it in a spray bottle, and spray it on my scalp after washing my hair. Here and there I also drink tea. Speaking of tea, horsetail has a diuretic effect. So, please, please don’t make the same mistake that I did a few weeks ago when I drank a cup of this tea in the evening. [laughs] That night I went to the bathroom 3 or 4 times. So not a good idea to drink tea in the evening. Also, for my ladies, previous cycle I did a bath with horsetail before my period. And you know, a lot of the times we’re bloated and there’s water retention… and it really helped. So now I’m playing with this thought and I think that perhaps this could be a monthly ritual for me. How I do this bath? If you’re wondering… I take 100g of horsetail (for my US listeners this is about 3.5 ounces), cover it completely with water (and a bit more), and soak it overnight. The next day I cook it for 20 minutes. I strain it, keep the herb. I pour this tea into a very warm bath and soak myself for 20 minutes. The next day I repeat the process with 1 difference. And that is that I take horsetail from the previous day and cook it for 40 minutes so that the herb releases everything. It’s something that I learned from a naturopathic doctor.

So, enough about hair and baths but there’s one other thing that I discovered along the way and that is that high silicon content also helps with bone health. It can actually stimulate their growth and regeneration. It can also improve the formation, density and consistency of bones and cartilage, improve the absorption of calcium in the bones, and increase the synthesis of collagen. Which gets us to wound healing where one study that I found showed that applying an ointment containing 3% horsetail extract promoted wound healing and helped relieve pain.

Now, side effects – we have to talk about those, right? Horsetail can cause vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. It contains thiaminase, an enzyme that breaks down thiamine. So taking horsetail for a prolonged period may increase your risk of thiamine deficiency. Horsetail can also cause hypoglycemia, hypokalemia (low potassium) because of the diuretic effect and as it usually is, there’s insufficient research on the safety of horsetail use when pregnant or breastfeeding. So as always, discuss your situation with your doctor or naturopathic doctor just so that you can be on the safe side.

I mentioned collagen production. Collagen is the primary building block of your skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues. It’s also found in your organs, blood vessels and intestinal lining. So collagen is basically everywhere, right? Many people try to boost their collagen level by eating collagen-rich foods but it’s not that simple because collagen cannot be absorbed by your body in its whole form. Your body breaks down the collagen proteins you eat into amino acids and then creates new proteins. But there are some nutrients that help with production of collagen. There’s one vitamin that is essential for its production and that is vitamin C. It’s important to know that when we don’t get enough vitamin C, this leads to low collagen levels and scurvy. And symptoms of scurvy don’t include only gum problems, but also problems with for example wound healing. So it’s important that we talk about what kind of diet you have in general, but especially when recovering from any kind of injury. Now, you can’t make vitamin C, so you need to get it from your diet. You can use a supplement, even though the first choice should always be real food. Because by eating real food you’re not only getting vitamin C but also other nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and so on that are important from your health and wellness. Foods that are great source of vitamin C are citruses (oranges, lemons, grapefruit), bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, etc.

Now, when I talked about horsetail and its silica content I told you what kind of role silica plays in bone health. One of the things that silica does is improve the absorption of calcium in the bones. Speaking of calcium – did you know that eating whole oranges doesn’t only give you vitamin C which is important for collagen production but also calcium. So it’s really a win-win situation when you add oranges to your meals, right? BUT this goes for whole oranges because calcium is hiding in the pith - that white part that so many people take so much time to remove. So next time you can skip removing that white part and just enjoy it as it is. You will get 140mg of calcium by eating 2 whole oranges. I also like sesame seeds which are also a very good source of calcium - 1 tbsp will give you 88mg of this mineral. In regards to green leafy vegetables here are a few that are rich in calcium: collard greens, bok choy or Chinese cabbage, kale, spinach. And if you like wild edibles, definitely go with lambsquarters. 1 cup of this cooked common weed will give you 464mg of calcium. If you prefer something more regular then 1 cup of cooked collard greens contains 268mg of calcium, 1 cup of spinach 245mg, 1 cup of kale 177mg, and 1 cup of bok choy 158mg. So even more reasons for you to eat your green leafy vegetables!

So, we covered quite a few things, didn’t we? As promised – no magic pills, because I don’t believe in those, but small tweaks that I’ve researched and tried myself. And of course, cats – the funny ones. Thank you for tuning into today’s episode. As mentioned earlier to access show notes, links, transcript, and video of today’s talk go to mayanovak.com/podcast and click on episode 17. When on my website, also click on the tab ‘Healing Services’ and discover more about my programs and how they can help you on this healing journey… or check out my book Heal Beyond Expectations. You can get it on Amazon.

Until next time – keep evolving, blooming, and healing.

Love and gratitude xx
Dr. Maya

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