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The Healing Crisis And Retracing
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor
Certain unpleasant somatics that occur while fasting (or while on a
healing diet) may not be dangerous or "bad." Two types, the healing
crisis, and retracing, are almost inevitable. A well-educated faster
should welcome these discomforts when they happen. The healing
crisis (but not retracing) also occurs on a healing diet.
The healing crisis can seem a big surprise to a faster who has been
progressing wonderfully. Suddenly, usually after a few days of
noticeably increased well-being, they suddenly experience a set of
severe symptoms and feel just awful. This is not a setback, not
something to be upset or disappointed about, but a healing crisis,
actually a positive sign
Healing crises always occur after a period of marked improvement. As
the vital force builds up during the healing process, the body
decides it now has obtained enough energy to throw off some
accumulated toxins, and forcefully pushes them out through a typical
and usually previously used route of secondary elimination, such as
the nose, lungs, stomach, intestines, skin, or perhaps produces a
flu-like experience with fever chills, sweat, aches and pains, etc.
Though unpleasant, this experience is to be encouraged; the body has
merely accelerated its elimination process. Do not attempt to
suppress any of these symptoms, don't even try to moderate fever,
which is the body's effective way to burn out a virus or bacteria
infection, unless it is a dangerously high fever (over 102 degree
Fahrenheit). Fever can be lowered without drugs by putting the
person into a cool/cold bath, or using cold towel wraps and cold
water sponge baths. The good news is that healing crises usually do
not last long, and when they are past you feel better than you did
before the crisis.
Asthmatics seem to have the worst crises. I have had asthmatics
bring up a quart of obnoxious mucous from their lungs every night
for weeks. They have stayed awake all night for three nights
continuously coughing and choking on the material that was being
eliminated. After that clearing-out process they were able to breath
much more freely. Likewise I have had people who have had sinusitis
have nothing but non-stop pussy discharge from their sinuses for
three weeks. Some of this would run down the throat and cause
nausea. All I could say to encourage the sufferer was that it needed
to come out and to please stand aside and let the body work its
magic. These fasters were not grateful until the sinus problem that
had plagued them since childhood disappeared.
The interesting thing about healing crises are that the symptoms
produced retrace earlier complaints; they are almost never something
entirely unknown to the patient. Usually they are old, familiar
somatics, often complaints that haven't bothered the faster for many
years. The reason the symptom is familiar but is not currently a
problem is because as the body degenerates it loses vital force;
with less vital force it loses the ability to create such acute
detoxification episodes in non-life-threatening secondary
elimination routes. The degenerated body makes less violent efforts
to cleanse, efforts that aren't as uncomfortable. The negative side
of this is that instead of creating acute discomfort in peripheral
systems, the toxemia goes to more vital organs where it hastens the
formation of life-threatening conditions.
There is a very normal and typical progress for each person's fatal
illness. Their ultimate disease starts out in childhood or
adolescence as acute inflammations of skin-like organs, viral or
bacterial infections of the same. Then, as vital force weakens,
secondary eliminations are shifted to more vital organs. Allergies
or colds stop happening so frequently; the person becomes rheumatic,
arthritic or experience weakness in joints, tendons, ligaments, or
to have back pains, or to have digestive upsets. These new symptoms
are more constant but usually less acute. Ultimately, vital organs
begin to malfunction, and serious disease develop. But a hygienist
sees the beginning of fatal diseases such as cancer in adolescent
infections and allergies.
Retracing is generally seen only on water fasts, not on extended
cleansing diets. The body begins to repair itself by healing
conditions in the reverse order to that which they occurred
originally. This means that the body would first direct healing
toward the lungs if the most recently serious illness was an attack
of pneumonia six months previously. In this case you would expect to
quickly and intensely experience a mini-case of pneumonia while the
body eliminates residues in the lungs that were not completely
discharged at the time. Next the body might take you through a
period of depression that you had experienced five years in the
past. The faster may be profoundly depressed for a few days and come
out of it feeling much better. You could then reexperience
sensation-states like those caused by recreational drugs you had
playfully experimented with ten years previously along with the
"trippiness" if it were a hallucinogen, speediness if it was "speed"
or the dopiness if it was heroin. Retracing further, the faster
might then experience something similar to a raging attack of
tonsillitis which you vaguely remember having when you were five
years old, but fortunately this time it passes in three days (or
maybe six hours), instead of three weeks. This is retracing.
Please do not be surprised or alarmed if it happens to you on a
fast, and immediately throw out the baby with the bath water
thinking that you are doing the wrong thing because all those old
illnesses are coming back to haunt you. It is the body's magnificent
healing effort working on your behalf, and for doing it your body
deserves lots of "well done", "good body" thoughts rather than
gnashing of teeth and thinking what did I do to deserve this. The
body won't tell you what you did to deserve this, but it knows and
is trying its darndest to undo it.
Next: The Unrelenting Boredom Of Fasting
Previous: My Own 56 Day Long Fast