Retracing, Healing Reactions and Flare-ups
Excerpts are from: Article Source.
Even though this article is related to sauna treatments, many of the
same principles apply to any type of natural healing, including Emotional Healing Reactions.
However, I caution you to not do the treatments recommended in this article, and to only follow my program (diet plus only the supplements recommended). That is because your body is smart enough to balance out all of its nutrients if given only the "proper nutrients" on Bee's program. Also some of the treatments in this article are not helpful, and others are inappropriate for candida sufferers, however the overall discussion is very good.
What Are Healing Reactions?
Healing reactions are symptoms related to eliminating
toxic substances, healing chronic infections, or other metabolic changes. They
are an essential feature of all true healing methods. Other texts may refer
to them as flare-ups, crises, retracing reactions, the reversal process,
aggravations or exacerbations.
At times, healing reactions are unpleasant and even
frightening. However, they are welcome signs that healing is taking place. If they did
not occur, one would know that sauna therapy [or diet and other alternative medicine] did not produce healing at deep
Healing reactions are little understood in allopathic (see definition below)
medical practice, so most people are unfamiliar with them. Yet one who undertakes
sauna therapy [and other alternative or homepathic medicine] and especially one who will guide others, needs to understand what
they are, how to distinguish them from worsening of a disease condition and how
to discuss and handle them safely.
One can read about healing reactions in texts on
homeopathy, chiropractic, orthomolecular medicine, and many others where they may be referred to as the
catharsis (see definition below). Max Gerson, MD, in A Cancer Therapy – Results of 50 Cases, devoted an entire chapter to them.
William Frederich Koch, MD mentions them often in his excellent
book, The Survival Factor in Neoplastic and Viral
Diseases. Bernard Jensen, DC, ND wrote about them in The Doctor-Patient
Most healing reactions are mild and pass quickly.
Symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, aches, pains, muscle cramps, mucus, discharges, odors, rashes, headaches, irritability and fatigue.
Emotional reactions include feelings of anxiety, depression, fear or anger. Reassurance and helping the person understand the healing process is usually all that is required.
If reactions are intense, speaking with a practitioner familiar with them is most helpful. Otherwise, one can stop a sauna program,
believing it does not work or that one is becoming worse, when rarely is this the case.
Healing Reactions Versus Disease Reactions
At times, reactions are not due to healing and
indicate a worsening of a health condition. This usually occurs when one is not
following the diet, lifestyle and other aspects of a complete healing regimen.
In the chronically ill, reactions resolve slower as less energy is available for healing. The healing power of the body is great, however, only when properly nourished and supported.
It is important to know "if" reactions are due to
healing or a worsening of a condition. Answering four questions can help one to
Was one following the entire
health program including diet, rest, supplements, etc.? Healing reactions occur most often when the body is
given all that it needs. If the complete program is not followed strictly, the
reaction is less likely due to healing. And remember that "more is not better" so doing too many treatments, taking more supplements, herbs, etc. overwhelms the body so healing may actually stop.
Was one feeling better before the reaction occurred? Healing reactions require
energy. One's energy level often increases until it is sufficient to initiate a
reaction. Often a reaction occurs just when one is feeling stronger.
Had the symptom(s) occurred in the past? Often, old symptoms or conditions recur during
the healing process, called "retracing." If one has experienced the symptom in even the distant past, it
is due to healing. However new symptoms can also occur.
Are the symptoms unusual? Healing reactions often produce odd symptoms and symptoms a person has not experienced in the past. For example, one might develop a sore throat or flu without fatigue or other related symptoms. This occurs when one is really not ill, though one may develop some features of an illness which involve natural healing processes.
Emotional Healing Reactions
One can change emotionally as well as physically
during sauna therapy [and other therapies]. Anyone undergoing a sauna healing program needs to be
prepared for these emotional shifts as body chemistry improves. Causes of these
changes are elimination of toxins that affect the brain.
Other mechanisms involve returning to earlier states of
body chemistry that are associated with specific emotional states or traumas,
or elimination of what may be called emotional toxins.
Emotional toxins are feelings or beliefs that block
healing. Examples are feeling unworthy, unloved, incompetent, stupid, ugly,
unfit or unlovable. Others are fears, worries, anger, resentment, guilt and
others. These can be every bit as toxic as pesticides or heavy metals.
Following is more detail regarding some of the mechanisms of emotional healing
Physically–linked Reactions: Some emotional toxins are linked to physical toxins
and impaired body chemistry. An unhealthy body sends negative messages to the
brain. These may be experienced as feelings of fear, anxiety or unworthiness.
Toxic metals can directly affect neurotransmitters and
parts of the brain associated with anger, fear and other emotions. Iron, for example,
is known to settle in the amygdala, an area of the
brain associated with anger.
As physical toxins are eliminated, emotional
states will change. As health improves, the body sends positive messages to the
brain. An emotional crisis may occur as it becomes more difficult to hold on to
negative feelings and beliefs.
Energy–related Reactions: Though often not taught, energy is
required to feel feelings, even to feel a depression. Many times, a mineral
analysis has revealed a pattern associated with depression. The client,
however, denied the feeling. After weeks or months on a healing program, the
client called and may blame me or the healing program for causing feelings of
In fact, the healing program merely enhanced the client's
energy and awareness. The client began to feel what had previously been
inaccessible or suppressed. Once the feelings surface, they usually resolve
quickly on their own. The brain, like the body, is self–healing provided it
For a psychological view of this phenomenon, I
recommend Arthur Janov's The Primal Scream and The Primal Revolution.
Enhanced energy due to natural therapies causes the brain to function better.
Clarity of thinking, memory and awareness often improve.
This assists one to
question beliefs about oneself and about the world. More capable of
understanding oneself, one lets go of false beliefs and destructive behaviors.
Completion Reactions: Incompletely healed traumas leave emotional residues.
Small children often cry hard when they fall down. They work
through the trauma in ten minutes and soon are laughing as if nothing
happened. This is the proper way to handle a trauma.
If energy is low or if
healing is interrupted for some other reason, a residue of the experience
remains and one develops fears or other mental problems and emotions. As energy and clarity in thinking improves, one often spontaneously heals residues of unhealed traumas.
Certain attitudes and behaviors are compensations for
ill health or low energy. As health improves, these are no longer needed and
may disappear suddenly. A surprising shift may occur, often accompanied by an
insight about oneself or about the world.
Sometimes an emotional toxin is a major stumbling
block that stops the healing process until the person is willing to address it. Body work and other
therapies can also be excellent to work with emotional wounds that retard
Handling Physical Healing Reactions
In general, the body will not undertake a healing
reaction unless it can see it through. Therefore it is most important to support the body,
allowing it to proceed with minimal interference.
At times, one may speed up a
reaction so it will end sooner. Other times, one may slow down a reaction to
lessen the severity of symptoms. Basic support for healing reactions includes:
Vary the sauna sessions. Continuing sauna sessions can intensify a healing
reaction. If the liver is being overloaded with toxins, this may not be
desirable. It may be best to cease using a sauna or reduce the frequency and
duration of sessions until the reaction passes. On the other hand, for clearing
an infection, healing a wound or injury or certain other conditions, continuing
or even increasing sauna sessions may get it over with faster.
In general, during a healing reaction, 10-15 minute
sessions eight times per day are better than long sessions. These are less
debilitating in the midst of a healing reaction. When reactions occur, it helps
greatly to call and speak with someone familiar with sauna therapy and healing
Rest lying down as much as possible. Reduce stress and strain. Conserve energy for
healing. Reduce mental as well as physical activity. Breathing deeply and
slowly is very calming for the nervous system.
Eat lightly or a liquid diet.
Digestion is an extra stress during healing reactions. If one is very
uncomfortable, it may be best to skip a meal. However one may notice that symptoms
subside after eating a meal.
Energy must be
diverted from healing to digest the meal, so symptoms temporarily diminish
while one digests. While drinking adequate water is important during
healing reactions, guzzling extra water is usually not helpful.
Detoxification procedures are often helpful. Besides more short sauna
sessions, other procedures include coffee enemas, colonic irrigation, massage,
chiropractic, energy balancing and acupressure. Enemas are excellent and
perhaps essential if one feels constipated and toxic. Chiropractic and energy
balancing may also be most helpful.
One can call someone familiar with healing reactions if one
is unsure how to handle them. Several
patients went to emergency rooms instead of calling me when they experienced
healing reactions. They wasted hundreds of dollars and received no benefit.
Those that stayed in touch passed through healing reactions, some very
vigorously, without needing medical treatment.
Use care in discussing healing reactions with
physicians and others unfamiliar with them. Healing symptoms can easily be misinterpreted as illness. This is a
common problem. Unless the doctor, friend or family member understands, costly
tests and toxic medication may be recommended. Medication can complicate
reactions and is rarely effective. Reactions will usually proceed in spite of
For Toxic Reactions in General: As toxins are mobilized and eliminated, one may
experience headaches, rashes, pain, dizziness, abdominal discomfort and other
If a symptom persists, ox bile, dehydrocholic
acid and silymarin can enhance liver detoxification.
Coffee enemas or colonic irrigation enhance elimination through the colon. One
may induce vomiting if extreme nausea is present.
Drink salt water first, so
the stomach is not empty. Lying down and remaining quiet for half an hour or
more is often very beneficial.
For Flare-ups of Infections: Common sites of chronic infections are the sinuses,
ears, eyes, throat, bronchials, lungs, intestines,
kidneys and bladder. Infections may flare up as they are healed.
Heat activates helps the immune system. Sauna use is excellent to help heal chronic
infections. Symptom flare-up is desirable and if mild requires no special
attention other than extra rest. Symptoms will pass in a few hours to a few
weeks for very chronic infections.
If using an infrared electric light sauna, expose the
infected area to more infrared as this can speed healing. Eat lightly and take
bee propolis, preferably in liquid form, 100 drops
three times daily of a standardized extract.
Rest lying down
as much as possible. Other supplements that may be helpful include zinc,
vitamin A, vitamin C, echinacea and astralagus. Another remedy that is somewhat toxic but less
so than antibiotics is good quality colloidal silver.
Any infection that persists for several months may not
be a healing reaction. In this case, consult a knowledgeable practitioner as
infections can become serious threats to one's health.
For Pain in the Liver or Kidney Area: For pain in the area of the liver, take extra ox bile,
pancreatin and dehydrocholic
acid (GB-3 by Endomet Labs) and silymarin
up to 50 drops three times a day or up to 3 capsules three times per day of a
standardized product. Coffee enemas may also be helpful for discomfort in the
area of the liver.
For pain in the kidneys or ureters, drink extra water,
up to one quart extra per day. Nettles may be helpful, up to 20 drops three
times/day of a standardized extract.
Elimination of antibiotics, metals or toxic chemicals may cause diarrhea. Rest
plenty and eat lightly. Well-cooked garlic or 15 garlic capsules daily may be
needed if one is releasing parasites. Eat lightly of non-fibrous,
non-irritating foods such as rice, other grains, chicken and vegetable soup
until diarrhea passes. Severe diarrhea that persists requires intervention.
Otherwise one may lose vital electrolytes and become dehydrated.
For Emotional Reactions: Emotional traumas deeply held need to be brought to
consciousness to be released. When emotions or negative thoughts arise, allow oneself to feel them without suppressing or wallowing in the
Observe feelings from as neutral a viewpoint as possible. It is very
helpful to talk with someone supportive to gain added perspective. Feelings
will generally pass, washing over oneself like ocean
Vigorous exercise can slow emotional reactions. Extra
rest and sleep will help them pass more quickly.
Many people learned well to suppress their feelings
and have great difficulty expressing them. One may become afraid of one's own
buried feelings. These people benefit from allowing themselves to cry, scream
or otherwise express that which they feel.
If this seems embarrassing, one can
close the bedroom door or go sit in a car. For several years I would cry for no
apparent reason, often in crowded places. At times I believed I was ill, but
eventually the symptom passed and I found myself much happier.
For Nervousness And Anxiety: Elimination of stored caffeine, drugs, anesthetics, diet pills or other stimulant substances can cause temporary feelings of
anxiety as they are released. These will pass without requiring supportive
therapy. Extreme fatigue or copper elimination can also cause feelings of
If a feeling is very intense or persistent,
nutritional supplements of calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and others can have a calming effect. Liquid supplements will act faster.
Resting, deep, slow breathing, calming herbs,
homeopathic remedies, massage, foot reflexology and other natural therapies may
be helpful as well.
For Weight Loss or Gain: During sauna therapy, weight will often fluctuate.
Weight gain may occur if the body retains water to buffer toxins that are being
eliminated. Weight loss may occur even in a thin person as damaged tissue is
One often will go through periods of greater tissue breakdown
followed by periods of rebuilding. Shifts in glandular activity may temporarily
cause weight gain or loss.
Most shifts in weight are not a cause for concern. Usually the therapy program needs to take
its course and weight will normalize after several months to several years, depending on the toxicity of the body.
To Slow Healing Reactions: Choline, 100 mg 3 times per
day, will help slow the elimination of toxic metals and chemicals. Taking
aspirin, Tylenol, tranquilizers or other over the-counter remedies is not
Spiritual Healing Reactions
Medical intuitive Carolyn Myss and many other authors discuss spiritual healing
crises, spiritual depression, even "spiritual madness". Anything that raises the body's energy level or
alters chemistry, including a nutritional balancing program, can precipitate
such as crisis.
Such a crisis may involve taking a leap of faith,
letting go of old attachments, increasing self–awareness, or a major shift in
perspective. Many people are ill because they are secretly full of fear, guilt,
self–hatred or self–loathing.
A healing crisis may bring this to the surface.
Such reactions often involve a phase of turmoil and confusion. After passing
through such a crisis, physical healing usually proceeds rapidly.
Discussing Healing Reactions
Forewarned, most people handle healing reactions well.
One should look forward to reactions as they are evidence of deep healing.
Those who stay in touch fare best on sauna therapy programs. Otherwise one will
stop the program prematurely.
These guidelines are sufficient to handle most healing
reactions. I have worked with over 15,000 clients. Healing reactions can be
vigorous, but rarely dangerous. Always use common sense, however. Occasionally
medical intervention is needed, especially with very severe illness.
allopathic – literally, "different suffering"; refers to medicine which focuses on drugs to actively kill cells or smother [suppress] symptoms. Allopathic medicine also focuses on surgery to cut portions of the body in an attempt to heal dysfunction and disease. Allopathic medicine is what is practiced by conventional medicine today.
catharsis is a Greek word meaning "purification" or "cleansing" derived from the ancient Greek word "gerund," which means to "purify, purge," and the Greek adjective "katharos" "pure or clean".