The Many Patterns of Healing: Retracing, Babysteps, Meltdowns and More!

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Photo credit: http://lightofhopekenya.org/

This is maybe the #1 topic of client questions: Is this normal? Why did I feel better and now I’m feeling bad? Will I be like this forever??

So today, I’m sitting down to type out my thoughts for YOU. If just one person had shared this insight as I stumbled through my healing journey, it might have made me breathe a little easier, laugh at myself a little more, and allow those meltdowns to just come and go without judgment.

My Healing Recipe…

In my experience, complete and permanent healing consists of the following:

  • Emotional release and balance – releasing past emotional energies and beliefs that no longer serve us.
  • Spiritual growth – becoming connected to, and forming a relationship with, the part of ourselves that is connected to something bigger, often experienced as the Universal Source, God, angels, etc. This helps us feel safe enough to let go and simply, live, instead of control our lives.
  • Healthy physical function of the immune system, with the ultimate goal being that it can keep all unhealthy viruses, bacteria and other threats at bay.

These three things are as close to the magic bullet as I think I’ll ever find. Of course, what each person puts into those three parts of the recipe is an individual journey – the fun part is figuring out what feels best for you. I am living proof however, that these things work. Not always fast, but they work.

Common Healing Patterns

Our patterns of healing can be very different from each other and also different for us at different times in our own lives too. It’s important to keep in mind as we roll with this journey of healing.

I. Peaks and Valleys pattern
Amy’s term: Ups and (Melt)downs

It is so very common to be moving forward and then suddenly feel back at a low again, continuing in this pattern during the entire healing process – except for that last stretch where you’re really about to get to your optimum wellness peak. In my personal healing experience, and from working with hundreds of clients in sessions, hitting a low does not in any way mean you are starting over. It’s just a few bumps in the road.

I believe that healing is often a steady climb to the top of the wellness peak (although I do admit some people seem to climb with more gusto than others, which is totally ok too). On your way, it doesn’t mean you won’t fall in ditches as you climb. You will. The awesomeness is that you will still be getting somewhere.

This is my very amateur sticky note drawing of how I imagine this process:

peaks-valleys

II. Physical & Emotional Retracing pattern

Retracing is a concept that I really started to come to understand, although somewhat hesitantly, on my healing journey in India. What do we mean by retracing? This process is essentially one of disease literally reversing itself – and it’s not always fun! It consists of retracing time periods from the past (and the symptoms that went with it), until the individual reaches the point from which they started.

During healing, a person can exhibit symptoms that have not manifested themselves for months, or even years. This can be so confusing, leaving them to feel like they are getting worse, or developing some new problem. But, they are actually retracing the several stages through which the disease manifested. To many doctors and practitioners, these retracing symptoms are a positive indication that the body is healing and returning to normal function.

Old injuries can “turn on” or “flare” again, and then simply go away. Emotional states will do the same: “turn on,” run their course, and then simply disappear.

Retracing symptoms can be related to eliminating toxic substances, healing chronic infections, healing old emotional traumas, energetic imbalances, or simply metabolic shifts that take place as a body heals and its vitality increases.

Retracing symptoms can last days or weeks, however usually not more than that.

Is it retracing?

  • Were you starting to feel better before the “crash?” If so, it’s likely retracing. When the body has more energy, it is more likely to initiate a retracing process.

  • Have the symptom occurred in the past, but are just now popping up again?

    **Always, always check with your doctor if any new symptom arises. Retracing is a common part of healing, but you also want to make sure something new is not developing. Only a medical professional can determine this.

III. Baby Steps pattern

Baby steps is one that I don’t see too often honestly, but it does happen. This is more the “slow and steady wins the race” kind of pattern. It’s the pattern where the person slowly improves over time, always moving in a forward direction toward health. They don’t deal with consistent setbacks, they simply keep chuggin’ along in the right direction. Lucky them, right? 

Insight for the Meltdowns

“It is what it is.” – Unknown

  • Don’t get attached to how healing “should be.” Our “should be’s” create way more emotional and physical stress than the actual event that we’re “should be’ing” about.

“To have pain in your body is to have pain in your body, but all the psychological stuff that rides along with the pain in your body like, “I deserve it,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’m failing, dah dah dah,” “I didn’t eat right,” “I didn’t do the right thing,” that stuff is what’s doing you in. That stuff will do you in.” – Ram Dass

 It’s All Part of the Game

  • Recognize that everything – every up and down and in the middle – is part of the healing process. Each day and hour, and all that happens within them, are part of the bigger picture. Hold the intention that whether you judge it as “good” or “bad,” it’s all part of what needs to happen to help you reach wellness.

Look for the Silver Linings

This is so so important that I almost want to SCREAM IT AT YOU (in a nice way of course). It’s easy to keep telling ourselves the same old story: “I don’t feel good.” “I still have so much fear.” “I’m crying all the time.” “My body hurts.” But, noticing your healing improvements takes eyes that are looking for it. Make sure they’re open.

Subtle silver linings (signs of healing): 

  • “I had a physical or emotional meltdown, but I bounced back ever so slightly better or faster than the last time.” Or, “I didn’t crash for two days after I went out, just one.” “I normally hold onto my anger for longer than this when someone hurts me. I got just as mad, but I let it go sooner than I usually do!”
  • “I get so tired easily, but this time I think I walked with a little more pep in my step before I totally crashed out.” Or, “I got just as tired, but I didn’t beat myself up about it as much. I just stopped and rested.” (BIG sign of emotional healing is being easier on ourselves, which then helps to free up energy for physical healing).

A Quick Guide to Getting Through the Tough Times….

  • Don’t hold your breath. We can tend to hold our breath when we’re upset or stressed. Take deep breaths instead to help the energy move in and around you.
  • Say an affirmation of protection in your mind to comfort yourself and send a strong message to your body that you are ok: “I am safe and will be ok. This too shall pass.”
  • Cross your arms. This doesn’t keep you closed off, but is a natural stance to keep your energy protected and you feeling safe. 
  • Picture yourself surrounded in white light several times a day. This imagery is very effective for creating a protective energy shield around you.
  • Tapping gently with your fingertips on specific points on the face and body can really help release energetic blockages. It’s the basis of many energy therapy techniques, one being Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which I use with great success in my practice. But, there is a simple shortcut you can do that’s particularly effective for fear and overwhelm. Find a spot about halfway down the top of your hand, in the groove between the pinky and ring finger. Simply use three or four fingers of your other hand and tap or rub that spot. Use it along with deep breaths when you can’t calm down. You are tapping a specific point on one of your meridians (also known as energy pathways) in the body. This one is responsible for your “fight or flight pattern,” one most of us go into far too often when we’re stressed.

Talk to Me :)

So, after reading these, do you resonate with a specific healing pattern? Do you have more insight on the silver linings to look for?

Share in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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A note from Amy

amyphoto I was once where you are so I totally get ya’. After suffering from a myriad of challenges from general anxiety about life to Lyme disease, endometriosis and every autoimmune disease under the sun, I ended up on a search for something deeper than a “fix”. I went to many alternative practitioners – but I couldn’t relate to a single on of them. As a very grounded-in-reality person, many were just too ‘woo woo’ for me and I couldn’t integrate their guidance into my very real-life, life. Then I found myself on an adventurous path of emotional healing — using energy therapy. Talk about ‘woo woo’ right? But with it, I learned. I unfolded. I let go.

My ultimate healing, the kind that goes deep down to your core and makes you whole again, came from following this road. And yours just might too.

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Disclaimer: As a Minister of Holistic Healing and energy therapy practitioner trained in energy psychology and energy medicine, I work with clients to balance the energies of their body in relationship to traumatic events, limiting beliefs and negative emotions that may be interfering with optimal well-being. I am not a licensed health care professional and my services do not replace the care from health care professionals. Therefore, my services do not in any way relate to medical and/or psychological clinical treatment. I do not diagnose or treat any diseases or disorders.