Reaching for an aspirin to quell an unbearable pain is a really tough habit to break.  Ditto for antacids and antihistamines.  You INSTANTLY feel the relief and can relax.  It’s really quite amazing.  With natural medicine, the “results may vary,” but I want to give you a general guideline of what can still be considered a “normal” response to holistic healing methods.  With our Western mindset, it’s hard to not think if we are totally healed in 1 or 2 treatments that it’s not working.  Not the case.  A friend of mine saw an acupuncturist in San Diego for elbow pain.  This was a chronic (years-old) injury.  He said it healed great but it took “a lot” of treatment.  I asked, “how many treatments?”  He said “12.”  To me, that’s pretty darn quick for an old injury!

Many people respond favorably and quickly to natural medicine like acupuncture and herbs.  Some people and conditions respond differently.  Some other types of normal responses to natural medicine may include:

1.  Delayed response:  in other words, the patient is not getting better for possibly weeks and weeks and then, all of a sudden, they’re better.  Bam!  Overnight!

2.  Slow and steady progress:  have you ever seen a progress chart?  It looks kind of like this on an “up-turn” graph:measuring patient progress with natural medicine

In other words, the overall progress is UP, but as you can see, there are some places where the graph is flat for a while or actually goes a little bit down for a while.  But OVERALL the movement is UP.

3.  The onion effect:  I know it sounds cliche, but just like an onion, our health has “layers.”  On the outer layer are the more recent conditions, the less-severe conditions.  Those clear up the fastest.  The more chronic and severe conditions are “underlying.”  Think of it like pulling weeds.  The flower and outer stem of the weed comes off the easiest, but the roots can be very stubborn and hard to reach.

4.  The overnighters:  1 or 2 treatments and they’re done.  Simple and easy.  Actually, most people would fit into this category if they came in for herbs or acupuncture right away when they got sick or injured instead of waiting or trying chemical treatment for a physical problem, etc.

5.  The agitators:  these people get worse before they get better.  They tend to have a lot of toxins (physical or emotional) and stagnant blood in their bodies.  Moving the toxins out makes them feel agitated and yucky.  It’s a temporary sensation, but it passes and then they feel much better if they just stick with it.

6.  The non-responders:  either we are trying the wrong treatment method for them, or subconsciously they are not ready for healing.  I try to refer these people out.  It’s hard for me to not keep trying to heal someone like this because that’s what I do, but I like to know when to call in “backup and reinforcements!” 

Have you noticed any of these patterns in your healing journey?  I would like to know!