Self-Care for Greatly Reducing Swelling After Injury

Self-care when injured with swelling

My dear friend, Linda Tellington-Jones was badly injured at our local airport. The airport had just recently made changes to its layout, making it confusing and difficult for drivers and passengers to maneuver around with luggage. It has caused quite some turmoil in the world of schlepping luggage undue distances and in this case, with great safety issues.

Linda got caught at the top of the escalator with her luggage and it all flew over her, landing on top of her, dragging her down the moving escalator. In this melee, her elbow was exposed and broken, and her shoulder was broken in two places. Not to mention, she looked like she was clawed down her whole left side by a scared bear. Don’t worry, no animals were harmed in the making of these temporary scrapes.

Surgery fixed the elbow. The rest was for us to gather together with healing women, Sandy Rakowitz and Sage Lewis and myself to help Linda for a few days here in my home. Then she would be good to fly back home to Kona, Hawaii.

The night before she was to fly out, her left hand was still terribly swollen and we were a little concerned about it at 30,000 feet high. My colleague from Israel, Ayala, suggested we wrap her hand with cabbage leaves and the swelling should miraculously go down in one day. We were so busy the day before that we completely forgot.

Linda remembered back from the Old Country to do this. Wet a wash cloth, wrap it around the swollen area, and wrap that in plastic wrap of some sort. We actually used a plastic grocery bag. Not Old World, I know. We wrapped her hand and upper arm close to her shoulder.

I so wish I took a picture of it this morning. The swelling was almost 100% gone!!! We re-wrapped her hand so flying back home might be safe from anymore swelling.

In Europe, many use Quark or yogurt, Topfen, a fresh cheese used to make cheese cake. Some add Arnica tincture to it and wrap the area. They have shared its wonders of reducing major swelling. Others use lightly bruised cabbage leaves and wrap them around the injured area to reduce swelling.

I am always in awe of what people figured out before the times of ice or drugs, etc. Here’s to Old and New things. Learn from the world around you. Share with friends what we can all do to help. The list goes on, I’m sure. Please feel free to use this place to share what you have found that helps you with swelling for humans and pets, too. Wouldn’t it be nice to know and share?

I sure wish I knew this when I broke my big toe last July.

And thank you Beth Rubenstein, fellow Feldenkrais® Practitioner who met Linda at the airport to take her to her gate. Thank goodness we have a village!

How Linda used self care to reduce major swelling

Love and warm Heart Hugs, Elinor Silverstein


  1. Hi Ladies – I have been following Linda’s accident account and am so glad she has you all to care for her. I am fascinated with the wet wrap method for reducing swelling. Do any of you know if it is capable of reducing old swelling that develop with an old injury and never went away?

  2. Brown paper (from grocery sacks works great), cut in strips, and dampened. Wrap area with the strips, cover with plastic wrap or bag. Works great on swellings. Cabbage leaves work great too.

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