Consistency is the most important thing you can cultivate to healing chronic illness.
As a clinician having worked with hundreds of people with chronic illnesses, I can see clear patterns on who tends to recover more completely and who does not. Again and again, the people who I see reach their health goals are those who are willing to do the same foundational practices consistently for months and years. It is not about doing the most intensive or cutting edge treatments- it is about the foundations- rebuilding yourself through the nuances of daily routines over long periods of time.
Why is this? Well, because chronic illnesses develop due to chronic stress, we need “chronic healing” to reverse them! This is not like an acute injury that you can just bandage once and recover. Acute injuries generally require acute remedies- one and done treatments. For chronic illnesses, we must replace chronic stressors with chronic remedies. Depending on how long you have had these stressors in your life, it can take a lot of time to set new patterns into your immune system and nervous system.
What are these chronic stressors? Chronic illness develops from chronic stressors, and these chronic stressors can develop from almost anything. It can be dysfunctional family dynamics experienced as a child, toxic relationship experiences as an adult, growing up in an unsafe community, financial or work stress, low nutrient status from poor diet, exposure to toxins in your environment, dysregulated sleep schedule… the list goes on. These stressors can be handled if they are occasional- humans are quite resilient- but when they continue without being properly resourced for months and years, they start to cause problems in the body. Chronic illnesses develop as the body is exposed the chronic stressors and attempts to cope.
The remedy? Chronic relief. Chronic healing. Chronic resources. We have to reprogram our environment so that our body gets out of the pattern of expecting stress with no support. And this requires a complete change of lifestyle over the same amount of time. This is why pills, surgery and supplements DON’T WORK. People expect a quick fix when the illness did not develop quickly. The body needs time, space and resources to slowly undue the years of damage that have accumulated in our tissues.
This is why consistency is so important, because you are reprogramming your body into safety on the level of the cell and the nervous system. Consistency allows us to feel resourced in the face of all the threats and stress our body has experienced. It allows us to expect that we have plenty of support facing these threats- and emphasizing this fact over and over and over again.
What does this consistency look like?
Eating at the same time every day.
Sticking to your therapeutic nutritional protocol. Keeping blood sugar balanced. No “cheating” (you are only cheating yourself).
Taking your supplements regularly at the same times.
Gentle detox support on a daily basis (no quick fix cleanses- just the same simple practices again and again).
Sleeping the same hours every night.
Consistency in movement practice (the same amount of movement/exercise daily, without big unexpected increases)
Daily nervous system regulation practice, meditation, and gratitude/prayer
THESE are the simple practices that done CONSISTENTLY, will be the catalysts to your long term recovery.