Healing means peeling in a way, like peeling back the layers of time, or peeling off the layers of an onion. It seems that the more we add into our lives, the greater the value of returning to where we were when we were young, and unencumbered with responsibilities and the complex and somewhat toxic stew we have created for ourselves. It makes me want to develop a good case of Peter Pan Syndrome, and just play for the rest of my life.
Actually, and more seriously, I find the process of peeling back the layers somewhat fascinating and definitely intriguing, and I get caught up in it like reading a good “whodunnit” novel. So for any of you life sleuths who would like some good clues as to how the process works, I was reminded yesterday of some guidelines about how our bodies heal themselves. It is called Herring’s Law of the Cure, or of Healing.
Basically, Herring’s law states that the body heals from the head down, from the inside out, and in reverse order to what the symptoms appeared. So let’s take a hypothetical person whom we will call Jane Healthfan. Jane has three nagging symptoms, and she decides to follow a natural health protocol of changing her diet, improving her attitudinal view of life, embracing a spiritual perspective on her life, and enhancing her healing with supplements for cleansing and toning body tissues, organs, and systems. In other words, she’s going to start doing tons of good stuff for her whole self. Simple to say, but not so easy to do.
Jane’s nagging symptoms chronic swollen gums that have challenged her since she was a child, digestive intestinal irritation that has started in the last couple of years, and persistent skin rashes that started as a young adult. What can she expect to happen?
1) Chances are good that she will begin with an increase in these symptoms, because symptoms are not the problem, they are the body’s methods of dealing with the problem. So she will likely have flare-ups of gum inflammation, diarrhea, and itching/burning skin rashes. Her body may also enlist other ways to eliminate the toxic buildup that it is trying to remove from these areas, like increased urination, fever, or cold symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, coughing, etc.
2) Jane’s body may or may not be capable of clearing up all of the conditions at one time–most likely it will need to cleanse and then rest, cleanse and rest, cleanse and rest until it has accomplished its long-term healing work. Each cleanse, we call a Healing Crisis, since it is part of improving one’s overall health, and sometimes they can be severe, and last for a few days or a few weeks. But they always end with the person feeling enormously better.
3) Now, we’ve purposely kind of mixed up the symptoms in terms of Herring’s law, because that’s the way things are in our bodies. But the most likely order for the symptoms to go away for good will be the gums, then the digestive, then the skin. On the other hand, since the gum condition has lasted the longest, it may be the last to disappear, because we do not know how deep or how much toxicity there is that has been built up over the years. Since the digestive problems are the most recent, and on the inside, they will likely be the fastest to heal.
How long should this process take? There are a lot of factors, including our constitutional strength, metabolic rate, mental and spiritual attitudes, and how aggressively we tackle the process. It isn’t an overnight process, and generally requires a month or more for every year that the condition has existed. Yes, you can speed up the process, but it depends on whether you like feeling like you are in the middle of a tornado. Of course, your body may have a different opinion than you do about how urgent the process is, and you may end up in that tornado whether you like it or not. The important thing is trust your body, and trust divine power and the universe that this is the path to healing, and that somewhere, beneath the layers, is the healthiest version of you, and that you will feel so much better with each layer that you peel away. It may not sound as fun as being Peter Pan, but you won’t have to fight Captain Hook or dodge crocodiles either. May your health always be your greatest wealth. Dallin–The Herbmaster