In recent years, I have made substantial improvements in my state of health, physically and non-physically. That's not to say that everything is perfected - most notably, I would still benefit from doing more exercise. But all things considered, I do quite well.
A few weeks ago, I had sinus symptoms, which used to be a consistent problem. Because I have been feeling well, it got me thinking. This led to my decision to write to you about Retracing.
Please be aware that I am making very broad generalizations. What I write is not necessarily applicable to you. It is up to you to evaluate the relevance of any information provided.
Everything here is for purely educational and informational purposes only. I am not diagnosing, prescribing, or treating. If you have a health condition, it is very important that you address it with an appropriately trained and licensed health care provider.
What is Retracing?
I first heard this term three years ago, when I began taking quality nutritional supplements. Terms like 'healing response,' 'detoxification,' and 'healing crisis' have been used to describe the symptoms that the body has in response to health-supporting inputs like foods, supplements, therapies, treatments, and activities. I think 'retracing' does a better job of describing what is happening than these other terms.
For the sake of simplicity in writing, I will use the term 'inputs' to describe substances that are consumed (foods, supplements, medications, water, air, etc.), treatments that are received (medical and non-medical, surgery, massage, acupuncture, counseling, etc.), and activities (exercise, meditation, etc.). These inputs then have an impact on the body and its state of health.
Many times, people experience unpleasant symptoms in response to inputs.
If the input has an impact of limiting or harming the body in any way, symptoms experienced could be called 'side effects'. For example, if you drink a lot of alcohol, you could become drunk and experience the associated side effects. When someone first tries cigarette smoking, the side effect of coughing cannot be ignored.
Medications are taken to perform particular functions, but there may be additional effects. For example, a pain killer may relieve pain, so the medication is performing its intended function. But perhaps you also experience nausea, which is a side effect.
How about physical inputs? You stub your toe going up the stairs; the resulting toe and foot pain is a side effect. Say you are not accustomed to vigorous exercise and you decide to go on a long day hike in the mountains. You may experience leg soreness, and perhaps your back is sore from carrying a pack. It's great to participate in physical activities, and the overall impact may well be very positive (particularly if you were to regularly exercise). Yet sometimes we over do it. So the soreness could be considered a side effect resulting from an overall beneficial activity.
Retracing vs. Side Effects
If an input has an overall positive impact, assisting the body in becoming healthier, then symptoms could be described as Retracing.
Here is a simplistic explanation that I learned through Ziquin. If you do something 'good,' then resulting symptoms may be retracing. If you do something 'bad,' then resulting symptoms may be side effects.
It may be difficult to classify a symptom as retracing or side effects. Really, it doesn't matter; the words are just labels. Ultimately, what makes a positive difference and contributes to health is providing inputs that support healing.
Take the hiking example above. Or say, you finally join a gym and start an exercise program. Chances are pretty good that you will be sore. The overall impact of the activity is positive and contributing to health. So are the symptoms side effects of exercising? Or are they a healing response or retracing? It doesn't really matter. Keep up the exercise program, and the soreness will eventually decrease.
Re-tracing & Re-experiencing Your History
As we go through life, occasionally we are injured. When that happens we experience symptoms, perhaps including pain. When the body is ready to repair that damage, we may re-experience some of the associated pain.
Here is an analogy I use. Imagine cleaning a closet. You have to pull all the stuff out, and it gets really messy. You throw some stuff away, then you organize what remains and put it back into the closet. When your body is cleaning out old garbage and repairing damage, it can get pretty messy before it gets better.
In the midst of uncomfortable or unpleasant symptoms, sometimes it can be difficult to feel like positive things are happening. Really, it is all an indication that healing is happening and the body is becoming stronger and healthier.
This is the most frequent symptom of retracing, and it may occur relatively quickly in response to positive inputs. Cleaning your the diet and/or adding quality nutritional supplements (and drinking enough water!) frequently leads to symptoms. Constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, and headaches are the most common. Flatulence or burping, skin irritations, muscle or joint pain, sinus issues, . . . the detoxification possibilities are endless.
Think of detoxification as your body cleaning house, getting rid of garbage and toxic substances. The symptoms may be unpleasant, but isn't it better to get the garbage out of there?
Personal Stories of Re-experiencing History
About six months into my new supplementation program, I had my first significant experience of retracing. I had been a massage practitioner with a full time practice for thirteen years, so I used my hands a lot. Because I had learned to take care of my body appropriately, it had been many years since I had felt over-use pain in my hands or wrists. I vividly remember the moment when I first felt sharp pain deep inside my left wrist. I hadn't worked at all that day, and the previous day had been uneventful. I was actually relaxing at a spa when the pain appeared, so I knew it was not caused by current activity. I was so excited! This was retracing!
Adding quality supplementation to my diet had provided nutrients, enzymes, and other factors, replenishing substances that had been deficient. When my body felt like it had sufficient supplies to be able to make repairs, one of the places it went was my wrist. I'm sure it was repairing elsewhere well before that, but I just wasn't consciously aware of the changes.
With that first deep sharp pain in my wrist, I was re-experiencing the pain associated with years of over-use damage. For three days, it was quite intense and uncomfortable, consuming my attention and causing me to move my hand. Then it disappeared for about a month, only to return with less intensity for about a day. This retracing pain continued to occur, with decreasing intensity, duration, and frequency. Sometimes it was the left wrist, others the right. Now, I feel only an occasional and momentary twinge.
Here's another example. Many years ago, Ken (my husband now) had to take a nasty medication for two years. Plus, he regularly has some chemical exposure through his occupation. Several months into our supplementation program, he broke out in an incredibly itchy rash all over his body. It lasted a week. His body had replenished its supplies and was cleaning out the old gunk. Following that initial episode, he had several more itchy rashes appear, with both the frequency and the intensity decreasing over time. Now, all he has is an occasional couple of itchy spots.
Ken used to have a lot of headaches. Unfortunately and uncomfortably for him, this is an area where he experiences retracing. He doesn't like it, but he knows that it is retracing. Sometimes we have to re-experience our history to be able to release it and truly heal.
An Example of Retracing Compared with Side Effects
I used to have a lot of sinus problems, with draining into my throat essentially all the time, and active sinus infections occurring frequently, sometimes appearing as 'colds'. Stress, insufficient sleep, and insufficient intake of nutrients and quality food was a recipe for long standing less-than-optimal health. Then my life situation changed, and stress decreased, sleep increased, food intake improved, and supplementation began. So my active sinus problems ceased.
When circumstances occur that bring back the stress, sleep, and poor diet factors, what happens? The combined sinus infection and cold returns. This has occurred enough times for me to realize that it's not coincidence. The stress combination is a set of negative 'inputs', which then produces side effects in the form of re-experiencing old symptoms.
What triggered my choosing Retracing as the focus for this newsletter is that I recently experienced low-level sinus congestion and drainage, without the prior stress inputs. I realized that these sinus symptoms were different. This was retracing, not side effects. My overall life inputs were positive, producing an opportunity for my body to re-experience old symptoms as part of the healing process.
In Conclusion on Retracing
When I began writing this newsletter, I was struggling with how to convey the concept of retracing. This lack of clarity led to a two-week writing delay. So, I hope that reading this provided clarity rather than confusion for you!
If you have questions, feel free to contact me. sandra@MiracleInspirations.com.
To Your Health and Healing! Retracing is a Sign that You are Becoming Better and Better!
As always, you are so very much appreciated. Thank you for being there.
To Your Health and Healing!
Sandra Lynn Lee
Certified Healing Codes Practitioner
Everything in this newsletter is the opinion of the author and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. When information is drawn from outside sources, both credit and access to the source are given, when available.
Copyright 2008 Miracle Inspirations. All rights reserved.