Can I tell you my favorite healing story?
I heard it long ago in my early training days, don’t even remember where, but it made a huge impression on me.
Here’s how it goes:
A village is suffering from a terrible drought. Their leaders and spiritual guides have done everything they can, to no avail. The crops are failing. They fear hunger and financial ruin. They call in a renowned healer to help. She arrives at their village and is greeted by fanfare and festivities, but immediately requests to be secluded.
Days pass, and she remains sequestered. Finally, she emerges, and as she does, the skies open up and it begins to rain.
“How did you do it?” they clamor, “What magic did you use?”
“I haven’t done anything yet” she replies. “Your village was so out of balance that I first needed to balance myself, and that is all I have done so far”.
Why do I love this story? Let me count the ways.
- First, I love the idea that in healing and balancing ourselves, we help to heal and balance the world (and the people) around us.
- Second, I love how it teaches that we don’t always need to work with the most obvious “symptom”. Sometimes what may seem like an indirect approach can actually be the most effective.
- It also reminds me of Louis Pasteur’s alleged deathbed recantation:
“The germ is nothing. The terrain is everything.”
- For those of you who prefer it in French:
“Le germe n’est rien, c’est le terrain qui est tout.”
- Or, as HH Dalai Lama put it:
“As one of seven billion human beings, I believe we all have a responsibility to develop a happier world…. [to do that] we must look inside. Even the source of physical health is inside, not outside.”
I was reminded of this once again when a client – I’ll call her Jill – came in for her second appointment today. At her first session a month ago she said:
“I’m very confused about what’s going on. Since August I’ve been in chronic pain. All the tests are negative. I have severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, muscle pain, stiffness and joint pains. I can’t fall asleep or stay asleep and when I do I have terrible dreams. I’m exhausted all the time. I can’t work out, I can’t have sex, I can’t socialize. Bloating and gas are terrible, and I alternate between constipation and diarrhea. The back pain, brain fog and headaches are crippling. I’ve never been a sugar person but now I have to fight off cravings all the time. I’ve been on antibiotics, pain meds, I cut out gluten and dairy but it still keeps getting worse.”
Jill is a bright and lovely twenty-something who had had a physically demanding job, enjoyed strenuous hiking, outdoor sports, and vigorous yoga – all while going to graduate school.
But now? Now she could barely function.
After taking a full history, reviewing lab work, and doing my “detective work” with ART (Dr Dietrich Klinghardt’s Autonomic Response Testing), I concluded that she not only had Lyme – despite her doctors saying otherwise – but also issues with mold and mycotoxins, heavy metals, sugar and sugar metabolism and some low grade chronic viral infections.
We did some work in our first session on the emotional and mental issues surrounding all this and then I put together a comprehensive protocol for her.
I took her off numerous foods – for now, not forever – that were increasing inflammation, as her system was hyper-reactive right now, and her inflammation markers were high. Many of those foods can be put back in later.
I did not address the Lyme directly, but instead laid the groundwork for a more functional immune response and some detox, and sent her home with lots of encouragement.
A week later she emailed me to say that she was feeling much better but was still having problems sleeping. I shifted the timing of one supplement for her, and that solved the sleep problem.
This morning, about 5 weeks after her initial session, she came back for a follow up and reported feeling great!
“I am now hiking 20 miles a week and feel awesome. I’m able to have a social life again. I am working full time and I feel a ton better. I went back to the rheumatologist, who said my inflammation was now at 0%, perfectly normal.”
Because she is still having occasional joint pain and experiencing some uncharacteristic minor anxiety, and those are both symptoms of Lyme, I thought it best to address the Lyme more directly now, but still with a very moderate protocol, and keeping most – though not all – of the support we put in place last time.
I have every confidence that she will continue to improve and leave this terrible phase behind her.
So much of what we go through in health is like weather, just passing through, though it can be hard to keep that perspective when you’re in the middle of a hurricane.
That’s part of my work too, having come through so many health crises in my own life (you can read about my experiences with Lyme, Breast Cancer and Ovarian cancer here on my blog). I can not only remind you of that process, but shepherd you through the storm with the knowledge, experience, and confidence that it can be done.
Do not accept your status quo. Healing IS possible, though it may not always look the way you expect, or come in your perfect timing. What matters is that it is possible; that you are designed to heal. All you need is the right information, guidance and support.