I have been a clinician of some sort or another now for over ten years. In that time, I have seen miraculous recoveries- the sort that make someone happy to be witness, happy to be alive, and thankful to play some small role in. People suffering with severe mental imbalances such as Depression, Disassociation, and Trauma being able to function. People with Stage IV cancers go into complete remission. The person who goes into hospice care with their friends and family preparing for their death only for them to return to their lives. These are the moments to hold onto as a practitioner, the moments that keep you going.
For most healing is of the moderate success variety. Even as a practitioner who has seen miraculous things, and generally works with the people who doctors, health care practitioners, and assorted healing types, shaman, psychics, etc. have damaged or cast aside, I can boast of seeing people get better who have been told multiple times that they just have to deal with their symptoms. Anyone who has suffered with the relentless difficulty that is Depression knows that even a moderately better ability to function in this world is a hard feat, and one that is difficult to gain.
And most people fall into the category of moderate to decent success. This is actually a good category, and one that is lovely to witness. The patient is able to take a few steps forward on their path- increase their functioning, decrease pain, increase embodiment, become more spiritually connected and emotionally balanced. They are ready to move on from whatever difficulty they came in with to the rest of their lives.
But what of those who do not heal? Any practitioner who has been around for a while has these patients, no matter how good their success rates are. As a practitioner who has studied many different modalities and is rather obsessive with constantly learning, the vast majority of my patients are in the first two categories. But there are a few who come my way who stop treatment before something is solved/healed, who nothing works for, who come in the same way they leave. What is the reasoning for this?
Partially the reasoning is me. I am either not the right practitioner, or do not have the knowledge to help someone heal. I am okay with this. This is what referrals are for, quite frankly. Anyone who knows me knows that although I studied nutrition, it is certainly not my forte, and since quite a few illnesses are nutrition based, it is understandable that I need to refer for that.
The other reasons will likely surprise people, because they have to do with you- the patient. Sometimes a problem needs surgical intervention, or something drastic done medically, and that is why they don’t heal. Often the reason is that we live in a culture where we expect to not do any work- we go in to get serviced like a car, or go to the doctor to get a pill. We do not have to do anything but show up. Holistic medicines do not work like that. They need an active participant.
The other big reason is that the reason for the patient’s illness is emotionally based or would require some sort of action on their part that they are not ready to take. A truth they can’t yet handle. I have had women and men come to me realizing that their illness comes from a toxic relationship, or from how they interact with family, or living a life in which they are only just surviving. This often manifests (which may surprise some) as physical blockage. To release the stomach pain, or whatever is coming up, would require releasing a relationship, or to move a step forward in life or make a decision that it would be easier not to.
The biggest reason that people do not heal is because they are not ready to, or do not expect to, or they get something out of the disease or imbalance. People get really wrapped up in their stories- I have migraines, I have x,y, or z. This is not intended to sound insensitive. I get pain, I get suffering, believe me…. I have experienced levels of ill health and imbalances I would not wish on anyone. The biggest way I healed was to let go of being the person who gets migraines, the person who suffers. Imagining a life where you do not have to be a suffering person, an ill person, is often too much for someone to handle.
It sounds strange to write about someone getting something out of their disease or imbalance. But these issues are showing up to call your attention to them. I have spent a decade listening to what people’s bodies have to say to them, and many times it is an issue that either has been sectioned off because it was too painful to heal or deal with appropriately at the time, or it is the fact that the disease serves a function. Immune issues giving someone time to rest, PMS allowing someone to vent emotions, throat and tongue issues so that someone cannot or did not speak up.
The biggest leaps in healing I have seen from people who are willing to let go of their stories- of what they tell themselves about their health. I am entirely pragmatic about this- someone who has severed their spinal cord, or who has Stage IV cancer, or who has schizophrenia will not completely heal from letting go of identifying themselves as that issue. But often people place restrictions on themselves with both serious and not-so-serious issues that create blocks to them healing.
A note to end here: Since I have talked about the origins of disease, and why people do not heal, I often get some flak from people who disagree based on the fact that these disorders/issues are so physically based. And this is true. There is no denial of that. Instead, what I am suggesting (again) is that we are multi-layered, multi-level beings. We are physical, we are mental, emotional, spiritual beings. All of these levels need to be taken care of in order to heal. This blog was not to cast blame on the patient. Many imbalances are complicated, and require a healer (or many healers), doctors, and all sorts of care to get well. I just have realized from years of practice that if patients are active and participate in their process, if they are open to releasing their thoughts and identity, and are ready to move on in whatever way their inner guidance is telling them to in their lives, that miraculous things can happen. I hope for miracles for all of you.