Healing Reactions: A Foreign Concept
Step 1. Take a complete medical history: This is where I pick up clues about what may be physically and/or mentally bothering you by asking a bunch of questions.
Step 2. Do a complete physical examination: This is where I poke and prod you until you can’t stand me any longer.
Step 3. Formulate a Differential Diagnosis: This is where I jot down (either in my head or on paper) all of the possible medical diagnosis that could explain the symptoms that you have come in complaining of.
Step 4. Order diagnostic testing: Here, based on what I think the most likely diagnosis might be, I order blood work, imaging studies or other specialized tests that will get me closer to the answer.
Step 5. Give your complaints a name: Also known as, a diagnosis.
Step 6. Treat your disease and/or symptoms: Most often with pharmaceutical medications, I will remove your symptoms….at least temporarily.
This is how I practiced medicine for the first eight years after my residency. I actually never thought twice about it. This is what I was taught, this is what all doctors did and this is the way it is supposed to be. Many who know my personal health journey, know that the light bulb went off in my own head when the above approach was not working to help me feel better as all of those medications stopped giving me the temporary relief that they had done in the past. Now, although I still whole-heartedly believe that listening to and laying hands on patients (history and physical) are still very important tools necessary to learn the most about how to actually help them, I don’t necessarily agree with the treatment approach any longer. I felt a real sense of awareness once I began to understand the role of healing reactions in health and healing. This is an essential concept that must be embraced by all healthcare providers if we want to see any lasting changes in health in our very sick population.
First, we can’t have a discussion about healing reactions, if we don’t first talk about retracing. Retracing is the deep healing process in the body where the cells of the body reverse all of the damage that has been done to them overtime, in an effort to heal. Basically, our cells don’t forget a single thing we have done to them. They remember every cigarette, every tequila shot, what it felt like to lose a loved one or an unhappy relationship, and every other moment good or bad that the body has experienced. This theory, which is heavily based on energy (also known as vital force, life force, chi, prana, etheric energy, and so on), describes the restoration or resetting of the body’s entire anatomy and physiology to a place of ultimate health and well-being.
So how do healing reactions fit into this, you ask? Well, healing reactions are the symptoms that occur as a result of the body experiencing the retracing process. Healing reactions are often uncomfortable, manifesting as a cough, a cold, an infection of some sort, a headache, aches and pains, severe fatigue, a rash, and many other symptoms. Further, healing reactions may be emotional. They can be in the form of anxiety, depression, irritability, or emotional ups and downs. The great news is that these reactions are most often (but not always) temporary, lasting no more than a couple of days to a week. Occasionally, a healing reaction will last weeks, months, and sometimes years. This is due to a deeper physical or emotional healing issue that needs resolving. An example of this is the obnoxious cough that I have had for the past three months accompanied by my once beautiful, pink lips turning black. No doubt, this is related to the 15+ years of cigarette smoking that I abused myself with earlier in life. My body is most likely purging the nicotine and other toxins related to smoking as well as reversing the bronchitis that I had on multiple occasions as a smoker. Lastly, healing reactions can, on rare occasions, be dangerous and always require the support and knowledge of a skilled professional. All in all, healing reactions are a wonderful sign that the body is actually healing deeply and permanently. On the other side of a healing reaction is a stronger, more energetic, and vibrant individual.
The problem comes in when these reactions are misunderstood, by patient and doctor alike, as illness or disease. When healing reactions are treated symptomatically (like with narcotics for pain or antihistamines for seasonal allergy complaints), this can lead to deeper levels of disease and illness because the symptoms are suppressed or shifted to another area of the body. These symptoms inevitably will return because removal of the cause has not actually occurred. Most often, healing reactions respond very well to supportive measures including rest, an appropriate nutritionally balanced diet, detoxification procedures (near-infrared sauna therapy, coffee enemas, oil pulling), reflexology, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and most importantly, reassurance.
Healing reactions can be overwhelming and are sometimes a reason why a person will quit a Nutritional Balancing program or other deep healing programs. This is why it is extremely important to be working with a health care practitioner that is familiar with this science and can support you along your journey. It is prudent to note, that sometimes the symptoms that a person is experiencing are actually due to a worsening illness or disease rather than a temporary healing reaction. It is useful to ask yourself several questions that will help to determine whether you are healing or getting sicker:
- Are you following a Nutritional Balancing program designed specifically for you based on the results of hair mineral analysis testing? Are you following your program closely and adopting the recommended dietary protocols, nutritional supplements, detoxification measures, and lifestyle alterations?
- Were you feeling good and energetic prior to the start of the reaction?
- Have the symptoms that you are experiencing occurred at some point in your past?
- Are the symptoms odd or unusual? In other words, do you have some symptoms (like cough and runny nose), but not others (like not being tired or run down as normally seen when a person catches a cold)?
- How long have you had the symptoms?
For the most part, if you are following a Nutritional Balancing program appropriately, had the sudden onset of strange symptoms that remind you of symptoms that you had in the past, aren’t necessarily making you feel miserable and don’t last very long, you are having a healing reaction. Embrace these times instead of dreading them, because now you know that you are healing!!
Lastly, nutritional balancing, retracing nor healing reactions are something that should be ventured into alone. As stated above, healing reactions can sometimes be dangerous, lengthy and extremely difficult to conquer. For more on this subject please see this article by Lawrence Wilson, MD.