Feeling Your Healing

Healing with natural methods do not occur in a linear fashion. By that, I mean there will be periods of improvement and there will be periods of relapse. There will be times when we’re on top of the world. There will also be times when we plateau and seem to make no progress. This is why insurance companies cease to pay, or someone will stop the therapy. It seems that the therapy has failed when, in fact, we are simply going through a period of adjustment, or even withdrawal, from our previous lifestyle.

These periods of relapse can manifest in a temporary increase of body aches or even a flu-like illness. This is known as Herxheimer’s reaction, named for the scientist who witnessed and documented the events.  Our human body adapts itself to whatever environment we are living in, and change is seen as foreign and unfamiliar and our body will initially rebel against the changes. We are familiar with withdrawal symptoms when stopping alcohol or drug addictions, but the same—to a lesser degree—can happen with natural healing methods. These symptoms will be lesser if we make gradual changes and not go “cold turkey”.

To get the most out of your therapies, it is helpful to let yourself feel the relapses and not become alarmed or discouraged. Natural healing will come in two steps forward and one step back. This is the rebellion from the body that has become stuck, or “conditioned” to stand, sit, or act in certain ways. Change, even positive change, is frightening. Knowing this, you can feel the changes with a sense that something good is happening to you, even if you are not feeling it immediately.

Try not to let any family members, friends, coworkers, or doctors deter you from your journey. They mean well and they don’t want to see us suffer. However, letting ourselves feel the changes—and embrace them, is part of the journey and can initiate the joy of self-discovery. Self-discovery can then lead to feeling powerful and in control. This is just the thing we all need to stay healthy and strong.

Keeping a journal as the changes occur will help us stay focused and shed light on the changes that we are going through. Artistic expression, such as painting, sculpting, or expressing yourself through other artistic means is another way to keep track of the changes you experience. Letting your thoughts and feelings out creatively can be a powerful tool.

If you can find a support group of others who are going through—or have been through—similar situations, that may help shed light on the subject. Keeping your therapists informed so they can make any necessary adjustments to your therapies as you make progress is also recommended.

A good positive attitude is part of your success. Know that all these ups and downs will eventually subside and you will come out on the other side smiling and feeling a great deal of success and accomplishment. Laugh at yourself. Learn from your feelings. Grow in knowledge. This is yours! Take delight in feeling who you are each day. What new feelings are there? What works or feels better? What doesn’t? Is it time for the next step? What is the next step? Try something new. Add a new yoga position, try a new food. How does that feel? How does that taste? Are my tastes changing? Did I relapse? Great! That’s part of the journey. 

Try not to let yourself think you have failed, or that you are “just getting older”. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are on a special journey that you and you alone can feel. You’ve got this!

By, Sharry Smith, LMT