"The cure invariably proceeds through the darkness and chaos of the crises to the light and beauty of perfect health, periods of marked improvement alternating with acute eliminating activity, until perfect regeneration has taken place." &endash; Henry Lindlahr, M.D.
There is a belief among many health practitioners working with natural therapies that a person who is in the process of getting well may undergo some sort of a "healing reaction" in order to fully heal. The "healing crisis," as it is known, occurs at a point when the body's self-healing mechanism has begun to "retrace" its own history of illness in order to completely heal and rid itself of the accumulated residues of disease.
A person who has experienced any form of lengthy illness, whether it is a long-term back disability or an ulcer, can attest to the fact that there is a loss of energy associated with the illness. Lack of energy always accompanies chronic health con-ditions, and it is this "lowered vitality" that blocks the self-healing process. The body is stuck in a rut, so to speak, and is unable to garner its restorative forces.
Henry Lindlahr, MD., in his book "The Practice of Nature Cure," states the following:
"Chronic disease is a condition of the organism in which lowered vitality, due to the accumulation of waste matter and poisons, with the consequent destruction of vital parts and organs, has progressed to such an extent that Nature's constructive and healing forces are no longer able to react against the disease conditions by corrective efforts."
The inability of the body-mind to self-heal may be expressed in these simple terms: health is a balance between inhalation and exhalation. In other words, we must be able to inhale good nutrition in the forms of good air, water, food and constructive emotions and we must be able to exhale physical and mental toxins. When this cycle is interrupted we develop "accumulations" which lower our vitality.
Natural therapies can open the circulation, restore the nerve supply, and improve the nutrition, allowing a person's well-being and self-healing ability to slowly increase.
Constantine Hering, MD., the well-known American homeopath, formulated what is called Hering's Law of Cure which states that "disease is healed from inside out, from the head down, and in the reverse order that it appeared." Healing occurs in the body at the deepest level first, then surfaces by moving from the head to the toes. The patient's most recent illness is the one that heals first, after which previous illnesses are "retraced" back to the oldest (historically).
As the patient begins to heal, he/she frequently experiences what are called "aggravations" which are flare-ups of present or past illnesses. These flare-ups are due to increased blood and nerve supply to blocked areas of the body, and after the aggravation, the patient always feels better.
Daniel David Palmer, D.C., founder of chiropractic, also referred to the flow of the healing process as "above, down, and inside to outside." This universal law of health, by its very existence, indicates that the body has its own priorities in getting well and, in fact, knows what to do better than we do. The Vital Force will direct its own healing if we supply what it needs. Dr. Bernard Jensen, D.C., Ph.d., in his book "The Doctor Patient Handbook," acknowledges the awesome potential inside all of us when he states:
"The body could manifest no greater proof of its ability to be self-adjusting, self-regenerating, and self-healing than it does through the retracing of disease and the production of the healing crisis."
What happens in a healing crisis? The increased nerve and blood supply along with improved nutrition stimulates a detoxification process. The healing crisis is a profound discharge of toxins from the body and the mind. One may feel increased pain or exhaustion, muscular stiffness or achiness, symptoms of the flu, mild dizziness, headaches, skin eruptions, diarrhea, or mental irritability. Crises often come when the patient is feeling better, and can last from one to three days. It should be mentioned that healing reactions vary from person to person and may be mild or strong.
Healing crises are very welcome signs when we get them. They will help the body build a solid health profile over the longhaul. We can rest assured that the Inner Healer in all of us will not produce a discharge physically or emotionally unless it is in our best interest. Retracing and healing reactions are signs of internal improvement, and the body-mind will repair what is most important first.
Real healing methods seek to harmonize the being by natural means and then allow the Inner Intelligence to direct the healing. Dr. Bernard Jensen, D.C., concurs when he observes:
"The intelligence within the patient's own body knows more about tissue structure repair and regeneration than any doctor could possibly know." Our job as facilitators and patients is to supply what the body needs to promote self-healing, and then let the innate forces of nature go to work.
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