After taking damage, you can recover vitality points & wound points through natural healing or through magical healing. In any case, you can’t regain vitality or wound points past your full normal total.
Natural Healing of Vitality Points: With a full night’s rest (8 hours of sleep or more), you recover 1 vitality point per character level. For example, a 5th level fighter recovers 5 vitality points with a night’s rest. Any significant interruption (such as combat or the like) during your rest prevents you from healing that night.
If you undergo complete bed rest for an entire day and night, you recover twice your character level in vitality points. A 5th level fighter recovers 10 vitality points per 24 hours of bed rest.
Anyone who makes a DC 15 Heal check can provide long-term care to a wounded individual. Providing long-term care means treating a wounded person for a day or more. This counts as light activity for the healer. If the Heal check is successful, the patient recovers hit points at twice the normal rate: 2 vitality points per level for a full 8 hours of rest, or 4 vitality points for each full day of complete rest. You can tend to as many as 6 patients at a time; all that is needed are a few items & supplies (bandages, salves, & so on) that are easy to come by in settled lands. You cannot provide long-term care for yourself.
Magical Healing of Vitality Points: Various abilities & spells, such as "cure light wounds" or "lesser vigor", can restore vitality points. When a character is magically healed, the damage, instead of simply going away, is converted into nonlethal damage. The character can then recover from the non-lethal damage normally—usually by just taking a little time to rest (Unearthed Arcana 115).
Natural Healing of Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rare of 1 point per hour per character level. For example, a 7th level magic-user heals 7 points of nonlethal damage each hour until all nonlethal damage is gone.
Natural Healing of Wound Points: A loss of wound points represents that grievous injury has been done to the character. Such damage rarely heals properly without the attention of a chirurgeon. After a full day (24 hours of rest), he has a 10% chance of recovering 1 wound point naturally. Unattended, such a character is also vulnerable to infection & other disastrous ailments- make a fortitude check against a DC 15 plus one for each day that has past since the character received the damage. Failure results in the loss of another wound point.
The use of the Heal skill is essential to the recovery of wound points. For each day of full rest, the caregiver makes a DC 20 heal check. Success means that the character recovers a wound point, & failure indicates that the character’s condition neither worsens or improves. You can tend to as many as 6 patients at a time; such care requires that you possess a healer’s kit or similar materials, & its bonus applies normally. You cannot attempt this check on yourself.
A very skilled healer (often known as a chirurgeon, sawbones, barber, or leechwife) can attempt a dangerous operation to aid with the repair of a wound. By making a Heal check DC 25, they repair the wound in a fundamental & lasting way—However, failure means that the chirurgury is mishandled & that the patient takes an additional 1d4 wounds. The results of a successful check mean that the character’s wound has been “repaired” in a self-sustaining way- bones reset, internal wound stitched, deep cuts cauterized & closed. Thereafter, the character recovers a wound point after 8 hours of rest, so long as nothing strenuous (like battle) is done during the day. A full day (24 hours) of rest after a successful operation will likewise recover 2 wound points for the character.
Magical Healing of Wound Points: Certain spells & abilities, such as "heal light wounds", can restore wound points. When a character is magically healed in this way, the damage, instead of going away, is converted into nonlethal damage, though the character remains fatigued. The character can then recover from the nonlethal damage as normal, usually with a little rest.
Healing Ability Damage: Ability damage is temporary, just like vitality damage is. Ability damage returns at the rate of 1 point per night of rest (8 hours) for each affected attribute score. Complete bed rest restores 2 points per day (24 hours) for each affected ability score.
Anyone who makes a DC 15 Heal check can provide long-term care to a wounded individual. Providing long-term care means treating a wounded person for a day or more. This counts as light activity for the healer. If the Heal check is successful, the patient recovers ability score points (lost to ability damage) at twice the normal rate: 2 points for a full 8 hours of rest, or 4 points for each full day of complete rest. You can tend to as many as 6 patients at a time; all that is needed are a few items & supplies (bandages, salves, & so on) that are easy to come by in settled lands. You cannot provide long-term care for yourself.