The healing process is complex. It is not clear cut or linear. Many people feel like there is going to be a predictable line of improvement that is easy to track. This is not the case when you actually take a root cause approach!

When you are having symptoms of chronic illness, your body is in a state of survival. Reparative and detoxification processes are often put on hold, so that your body can focus on immediate needs. Chronic illness symptoms are simply manifestations of your body trying to stay alive in the short term while facing severe toxicity and imbalance.

When you start doing a comprehensive healing process, your body switches out of survival mode and starts repairing and detoxifying. Deep wells of imbalance and toxicity actually start getting addressed by the body. This doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t look nice, and it can cause what feel like “flares” of old symptoms.

Consider metaphors like setting a bone, cleaning out an infected wound, or scrubbing out a gutter. First of all, the body is only going to do this deep repair work when it has the RESOURCES to (meaning you have started a therapeutic nutritional protocol, lifestyle practices, and supplement stack). Second, “scrubbing out a gutter” dredges up a lot of old toxic material that has been stored away for years. Bringing old toxic material out to be detoxified and the damaged tissue around it repaired often means that symptoms will become more intense in the short term.

While people are in this initial healing and repair phase, symptoms almost universally get worse. People regularly report to me not only worsening symptoms, but also the resurgence of old symptoms they sometimes haven’t had in years, as well as bizarre new symptoms they have never had before. These are all side effects of your body deeply detoxifying and repairing, as opposed to the long term symptoms of chronic illness, which are caused by your body finding ways to keep you alive in a constrained context.

This most commonly looks like changes in digestive patterns, feeling disconnected or dissociated, severe depression, fatigue and muscle weakness, sensations in the nerves and muscles. These symptoms can come and go through the healing process. The body tends to do healing and detoxifying work in layers- it will pick one part of your body, one organ, or one system to primarily work on at a time. Once that healing has completed a phase, you will feel better- just in time for your body to take on a new project! Waves of detox symptoms can occur for years, and this is normal, expected, and a natural way that the body paces deep healing work.

Remember, the body will detoxify and heal only when it feels ready and supported enough to. Our body will tackle any project it feels ready for, and will not follow an exact timeline. It is essential to trust our bodies fully, knowing that if we are supporting ourselves properly, it will do exactly what it is supposed to be doing at exactly the right time.

About the Author
Jen Donovan completely rebuilt her life and career as a result of her experience with severe chronic illness. After finding no answers from conventional medical approaches, she took matters into her own hands and with the help of key mentors, found a path to healing.
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