By Lawrence Wilson, MD

© April 2014, The Center For Development


Warning: Healing reactions are occasionally vigorous and once in a great while, they are dangerous.  Most of the time, they are benign and do not require medical intervention.  However, please always use common sense during healing reactions.


            This article is divided into three sections:


Section I. What Is Retracing And What Are Healing Reactions?


Section II. Handling Healing Reactions


Section III. Other Topics Related To Healing Reactions





            Retracing is a fascinating process whereby the body experiences deep healing of infections, wounds, injuries or other imbalances.  It does not occur often when using standard medical therapies, or with the use of most holistic and natural healing therapies.  As a result, it is not well known or well understood.  However, retracing does occur regularly when following a nutritional balancing program.  It also can occur with the use of chiropractic treatment.

              Retracing is a profound resetting or restoring of the physiology and anatomy of the body.  An article on this website that describes it in more detail is called Etheric Reset.


            Healing reactions are temporary symptoms that occur as a result of the retracing process.  Most of the time, they go unnoticed, although some can be unpleasant, and rarely they are frightening or even dangerous.  As a rule, however, the body will not retrace or begin a healing reaction unless it can see it through to completion.

Healing reactions are welcome signs of healing.  In fact, if they fail to occur, one knows that a healing method may offer symptomatic relief, but usually it is not as deep or complete as those therapies that cause healing reactions.


Terms used in this article.  Different healing sciences and various authors use differing terms to describe healing reactions.  I will use the following terms interchangeably: healing reactions, flare-ups, healing crises, aggravations, purification reactions, exacerbations, and the reversal process.




1. The body will not undertake a healing reaction unless it can see it through to completion.  I have found this to be true in at least 95% of healing crises, no matter how vigorous or unusual the symptoms.


2. Due to principle #1 above, reassurance and general supportive measures are usually all that is required, even with an intense purification or healing reaction.  These measures are discussed below and include plenty of rest, a simple diet, and keeping a positive attitude.

Fearing these reactions, and reacting with horror or severe anxiety, definitely impairs the body’s ability to move through the reaction.


3. Too many or improper interventions can worsen a healing reaction.  For this reason, I urge clients not to immediately visit doctors or hospitals if they feel badly, and to first speak with their nutritional balancing consultant or doctor about their symptoms.  In most cases, with supportive measures, and perhaps changing their program and a few simple remedies, the entire reaction subsides.




These reactions are called Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions in modern conventional medical care.  Here is an excerpt from


“A Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction is a fairly common reaction to antibiotic treatment of syphilis that involves fever and headache.  It may occur up to 8 hours after the first treatment of early syphilis.  The reason the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction occurs is not clear.  But it may be caused by the toxins released from the syphilis bacteria as they are destroyed by antibiotics.  A Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction is not the same as an allergic reaction to penicillin.”


Here is a more detailed description from 


“It resembles bacterial sepsis and can occur after initiation of antibacterials, such as penicillin or tetracycline, for the treatment of louse-borne relapsing fever (80-90% of patients) and in tick-borne relapsing fever (30-40%). An association has been found between the release of heat-stable proteins from spirochetes and the reaction.

Typically, the death of these bacteria and the associated release of endotoxins or lipoproteins occurs faster than the body can remove the substances (my italics).  It usually manifests within a few hours of the first dose of antibiotic as fever, chills, rigor, hypotension, headache, tachycardia, hyperventilation, vasodilation with flushing, myalgia (muscle pain), exacerbation of skin lesions and anxiety.

The intensity of the reaction indicates the severity of inflammation.  Reaction commonly occurs within two hours of drug administration, but is usually self-limiting.”


Regarding the first physicians who described healing reactions, here is an excerpt from the website


“Adolf Jarisch was an Austrian dermatologist who was born in 1850 and died in 1902.  Jarisch published his description of the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction in 1895...  As this was many years before the discovery of penicillin, the original description related to the treatment of syphilis with mercury.

Karl Herxheimer was a German dermatologist who was born in 1861 and died in 1944.  Herxheimer published his description of the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction in 1902.  He had already resigned his positions because of his age when the Nazis took power in 1933 but, despite being Jewish, he stubbornly refused to leave his native country.  He was imprisoned in the autumn of 1941 and on August 27 1942, aged 81, he died in a concentration camp.”




            These reactions are being studied to understand them better.  Here are two recent references:


1. Clin Infect Dis. (2010) 51(8):976-979. Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction after Penicillin Therapy among Patients with Syphilis in the Era of the HIV Infection Epidemic: Incidence and Risk Factors, Chia-Jui Yang et al.


2. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2005 Jun;30(3):291-5.

Proposed mechanisms and preventative options of Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions, Pound MW and May DB.




The same types of reactions occur in response to other types of therapies besides medical ones.  For example:


1. Chiropractic. Here they are referred to as flare-ups.  Here is a quote from a chiropractic website:


“We tell patients that they may have flare-ups throughout treatment. This is a very important communication, because if the patient’s expectation is that there will be a steady and unwavering improvement in symptoms, the flare-up after treatment can feel like a defeat and as invalidation.

In adjusting the spine and stretching tissue that has been shortened for many years, it is usually not possible to avoid discomfort and flare-ups. The flare-up can be seen as a good thing because it tends to corroborate our diagnosis and it tells us that we are in the right place. As the chiropractic care continues, pain and discomfort associated with it tends to diminish.” – from


2. Natural medicine. Max Gerson, MD, who pioneered natural cancer therapies and the use of the coffee enema, called these reactions flare-ups.  Here is a quote from the chapter entitled Reactions – Flare-Ups in his excellent book, A Cancer Therapy - Results Of 50 Cases, describing what he called a reaction period:


“A number of patients have remarked, within the first two weeks of the treatment, that they cannot stand the diet and wish to discontinue it.  They base their opinion on the following occurrences: nausea, headaches, in some cases vomiting, spasms in the intestines, more gas than usual, no appetite … and trouble with coffee enemas.”


Bernard Jensen, ND, DC wrote an entire booklet entitled The Doctor-Patient Handbook, Dealing with the Reversal Process and the Healing Crisis.


William Frederich Koch, MD also wrote extensively about reactions in his amazing book, The Survival Factor in Neoplastic And Viral Diseases.


3. Psychology.  In psychology and psychoanalysis, these reactions are called the catharsis.  Here is a quote from Wikipedia about the subject:


“In psychology, the term (catharsis) was first employed by Sigmund Freud's colleague Josef Breuer (1842–1925), who developed a "cathartic" treatment using hypnosis for persons suffering from hysterical symptoms.  While under hypnosis, Breuer's patients were able to recall traumatic experiences, and through the process of expressing the original emotions that had been repressed and forgotten, they were relieved of their symptoms.

Catharsis was also central to Freud's concept of psychoanalysis, but he replaced hypnosis with free association.[15]

The term catharsis has also been adopted by modern psychotherapy, particularly Freudian psychoanalysis, to describe the act of expressing, or more accurately, experiencing the deep emotions often associated with events in the individual's past which had originally been repressed or ignored, and had never been adequately addressed or experienced.


4. Yeast infection literature.  Here these reactions are called die-off reactions or purification reactions.  Discussions are found in books such as The Yeast Connection; A Medical Breakthrough by William Crook, MD, 1986, 2007.


5. Homeopathy.  Here they are referred to as aggravations.  Below is a short quote from a homeopathic website.  (Note: I do not recommend homeopathy at this time):


“The intensity and duration of the similar aggravation gives us a clue about the correctness of the chosen remedy, the patient’s vital force, prognosis, and for case management.”

 - from Hahnmann, around 1850.


            Thus, the concept of healing reactions or retracing is not new, nor is it esoteric or unknown.




            In nutritional balancing science, reactions are common, despite our best efforts to limit them.  They can be of several types, and often a hair mineral analysis retest will provide evidence and explanation for the symptoms.  Physiologically, they may be caused by:


1. Healing of an infection, as was noted by doctors Jarisch and Herxheimer over 100 years ago.

2. Removal of a toxic metal or a toxic chemical from the body or brain.

3. A change in the oxidation rate or oxidation type.

4. A shift into or out of a mineral pattern, such as a four lows mineral pattern or a bowl pattern, for example.

5. A structural shift caused by a changed in muscle tension, adjustment of the spine or other bones, more nerve energy flowing to certain areas, or some other mechanism.

6. At times, a reaction is mainly mental or emotional due to a change in brain chemistry, bringing up of a memory, more mental clarity, improved processing of a trauma, or some other shift in the central nervous system.




Common physical symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, aches or pains, muscle cramps, discharges, odors, rashes, headaches, or fatigue.  Others include getting a cold, a flu, or retracing an old case of bronchitis, pneumonia, hepatitis, or some other infection.  Old wound sites, scars, or injury sites often flare up, become painful or reddened, and then disappear.


Common mental and emotional symptoms may include irritability, anxiety, fears, anger, depression, feelings of panic, brain fogginess, or others.  Long-forgotten memories occasionally surface, or one may have unusual dreams as the brain processes traumas or incidents from the past.

In fact, symptoms may include almost anything.  Most healing reactions are mild and pass quickly.


Burning pain upon urination.  For example, rarely a person reports burning pain in the urethra and bladder area upon urination.  This occurs in children, at times.  The cause is a release of an irritating toxin through the kidneys and into the urine.  The best way to handle it is usually to drink more water, and perhaps take an Epsom salt bath – but no more than 3 baths per week. 

If it continues and is annoying, reduce the supplement program and it will likely slow down the elimination and thus the pain or burning sensation will diminish.  Eventually, it will pass when the toxin is completely eliminated.






              In general, the body will not undertake a healing reaction unless it can see it through.  Most important is to support the body, allowing it to proceed with minimal interference.  At times, one may speed up a reaction so it will end sooner.  Other times, one may slow down a reaction to lessen the severity of symptoms.  Basic support for healing reactions includes:


            1. Rest lying down as much as possible.  Also, reduce stress and strain.  Conserve energy for healing.  Reduce mental as well as physical activity.  Breathing deeply and slowly is very calming for the nervous system.


              2. Eat lightly.  Digestion is an extra stress during healing reactions.  If one is very uncomfortable, it may be best to skip a meal.  One may notice that symptoms subside after eating a meal.  The meal is not making one better.  Energy must be diverted from healing to digest the meal, so symptoms temporarily diminish while one digests.

            While drinking adequate water is important during healing reactions, guzzling extra water is usually not helpful.


            3. Discontinue most nutritional supplements until a reaction passes.  Reactions will proceed without most supplements.  Some can impair the healing process.  See below for exceptions.


            4. Shorten sauna sessions.  Continuing with long sauna sessions can intensify a healing reaction.  If the liver is being overloaded with toxins, this may not be desirable.  It may be best to cease using a sauna or reduce the frequency and duration of sessions until the reaction passes.  On the other hand, for clearing an infection, healing a wound or injury or certain other conditions, continuing or even increasing sauna sessions may get it over with faster.

            In general, during a healing reaction, 10-15 minute sessions eight times per day are better than long sessions.  These are less debilitating in the midst of a healing reaction.  When reactions occur, it helps greatly to call and speak with someone familiar with sauna therapy and healing reactions.


              5. Other detoxification procedures are often helpful.  Besides more short sauna sessions, other procedures include coffee enemas, chiropractic, and foot reflexology.  Enemas are excellent and perhaps essential if one feels constipated and toxic.  Chiropractic and related therapies may also be helpful.  Be careful, however, to get references and make sure anyone you visit is completely reputable.


              6. Call someone familiar with healing reactions if one is unsure how to handle them.  Nutritional balancing is not a do-it-yourself program.  When going through a healing reaction, your judgment is usually not good.  So please contact your nutritional balancing consultant or doctor.  Do not just try to solve things yourself.  This is a hard and fast rule.


Years ago, when I had a large practice, a number of my clients went to the emergency room instead of calling me when they experienced healing reactions.  They wasted hundreds of dollars and received little or no benefit because the doctors at the hospital did not understand what was occurring, and drugs often do not work during a healing reaction.

In contrast, those that stayed in touch with me passed through healing reactions, some of which were very vigorous, without needing any medical intervention.  So please stay in touch with your practitioner, who can check with me if we are not sure what is going on.


              7. Use care in discussing healing reactions with physicians and others unfamiliar with them.  Healing symptoms can easily be misinterpreted as illness.  This is a common problem.  Unless the doctor, friend or family member understands, costly tests and toxic medication may be recommended.  Medication can complicate reactions and is rarely effective.  Reactions will usually proceed in spite of it.




              Watch your attitude.  I find that if a person has a negative attitude or becomes too fearful with a healing reaction, this makes it more difficult to move through.  So, if possible, relax as much as possible and attempt to be grateful for this healing action of the body.  I know this is difficult, at times, but a positive attitude is extremely helpful for all healing.


            For toxic reactions in general: As toxins are mobilized and eliminated, one may experience headaches, rashes, pain, dizziness, abdominal discomfort and other symptoms. 

In addition to the general ideas above, more coffee enemas are wonderful for most detoxification reactions of this type.  In addition, adding milk thistle and dandelion root to your nutritional balancing program may help.

Nausea is usually due to congestion of the liver due to toxin removal.  More coffee enemas, up to four per day, is often helpful.  Two coffee enemas can be taken back to back in the morning, and two back to back in the afternoon.  This is a powerful combination, and this can be continued for a week or even a month or more, if needed.

In an extreme case, one can induce vomiting if extreme nausea is present.  Drink salt water first, so the stomach is not empty.  Lying down and remaining quiet for half an hour or more is often very beneficial.




            Retracing infections is often a bit scary, as one can develop fever, rashes, dizziness and other disturbing symptoms.  However, if a person is following a nutritional balancing program, most infections, no matter how vigorous they seem, are benign and ideally should never be suppressed with drugs, high-dose vitamin C, or other remedies.   Herbs such as Echinacea, golden seal and astragalus, are okay.  At times, colloidal silver is helpful.

Always make sure that one’s temperature does not rise above about 103-104 F.  If it becomes higher, ways to lower it naturally include sponging the body with cool water, and a coffee enema or two will almost always lower a fever.  This  will have to be repeated every few hours, but that is okay.

Also, be sure you are well-hydrated when fever is present, as the body can easily become dehydrated.  Drink water, and not tea or juice, please.


Common sites of chronic infections are the sinuses, ears, eyes, throat, bronchials, lungs, intestines, kidneys and bladder.  Most people have dozens of chronic infections that commonly flare up as they are healed.  They go from chronic to acute, and are then eliminated.  This is the reverse order in which they took hold in the body.  Here are some simple and safe supportive therapies that are excellent for retracing infections.


Coffee enemas.  These are excellent to help one move through any infection or fever.  Up to four per day is fine.


Heat. Heat activates the immune system and may disable or even kill some microorganisms.  For this reason, sauna use is excellent to help heal some chronic infections.  Do not continue with sauna therapy if it just irritates the body, which occasionally occurs.  It can be confusing, however, because at times the seeming irritation can be a healing process.

The light of the reddish heat lamp and the heat of the sauna definitely upsets most parasites, which is a type of ‘cold’ or ‘yin’ infection.

One can expose an area of chronic infection to more infrared as this can speed healing in some cases.  This works very well on the sinuses, for example, and can work well with parasites in the intestinal tract or elsewhere in the body.

Another excellent idea is to shine one or more red heat lamps on the thymus gland area, which is the middle of the chest or breast bone.  Do this for 30 minutes at a time, twice or three times daily.  This may also speed up healing.


Diet.  Eat lightly.  Drink plenty of spring water.  Chicken soup helps with some infections.  Do not eat fruit or fruit juices, as they are too yin.  Stay with the recommended diet but just eat less, especially if you are not too hungry.  Never eat a lot when sick.


Infection remedies when retracing. Check with your consultant about taking any of these remedies, as they will be indicated sometimes, but not others.  They include:


Limcomin. This is a product from Endomet Laboratories that contains some zinc, copper, vitamins A and C, and a little magnesium and vitamin B6.  It is designed to support the immune response, and often works extremely well.  Adults can take up to 6 tablets three times daily.  Children need less depending on their size and weight.


Vitamin A (and not beta carotene).  This is one of the most used natural remedies in nutritional balancing science.  It strengthens mucus membranes and has other positive effects upon the immune response, so it is helpful for many infections of all kinds.  Adults usually need about 25,000 to 50,000 iu per day for 5 days or so.  The natural vitamin A from fish oil is somewhat better than the synthetic form, called retinyl palmitate.


Colloidal silver.  I prefer the following brands, although other may work well, too.  Arabesque, Endomet, Sovereign Silver and Live Silver.  However, other brands are sometimes very good, too.  The usual dose for a low-potency product for an adult is about 1 tablespoon three times daily, taken by itself, at least 15 minutes away from all food and all beverages before and after taking it.  It may also be applied locally by sniffing it, inhaling it or putting it on the skin or a drop in an ear, for example.


Zinc. This important mineral by itself is usually not indicated during healing reactions because it lowers the tissue sodium level, which is usually low to begin with.  However, in combination with copper, manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C, in the product called Limcomin, it is extremely helpful, at times.


Vitamin C.  A little vitamin C boosts adrenal activity and helps raise the Na/K ratio.  It also has some immune-boosting ability.  Warning: As a general rule, do not use high-dose vitamin C when following a nutritional balancing program.  It upsets body chemistry, lowers copper, is too yin and is not needed.  Warning: Especially avoid extra vitamin C if a person is a fast oxidizer or is in a four lows pattern because these people need copper badly, and vitamin C lowers copper in the body.  Vitamin A is generally much better than vitamin C for retracing reactions.


Herbs such as Echinacea, golden seal, astragalus.  These are used, at times, but I find they are not as helpful today, for some reason, as in the past.


Bee propolis.  This is occasionally helpful for those following a nutritional balancing program.


Lifestyle.  Rest lying down as much as possible. 


            Any infection that persists for more than several days may not be a healing reaction.  In this case, consult a knowledgeable practitioner as infections can become serious threats to one’s health.




              For Pain in the Liver Area (which is common during a nutritional balancing program):

1. Rub the feet in the liver reflex area and on the top of both feet in the webbing between the first and second toes

2. Extra coffee enemas are often excellent.

3. You can also try taking extra ox bile and pancreatin (such as GB-3 by Endomet Labs).

4. You can add silymarin or milk thistle tincture and/or dandelion tincture.  The tincture is often better than dry tablets.  For adults, one can take up to 20 drops three times a day or up to 3 capsules three times per day of a standardized product. 


            For pain in the kidneys or ureters:

1. Drink extra water, up to one quart extra per day. 

2. Distilled water for a few days is sometimes remarkably helpful.

3. Stinging nettles may be helpful, up to 20 drops three times/day of a standardized extract.


              For Diarrhea:  Elimination of antibiotics, metals or toxic chemicals may cause diarrhea.  Rest plenty and eat lightly.  Be sure to drink enough water to avoid dehydration.  Avoid all fruit and all sweets!

Six charcoal tablets, three times per day will help absorb toxins.

            Well-cooked garlic or 15 garlic capsules daily may be needed if one is releasing parasites.  Eat lightly of non-fibrous, non-irritating foods such as rice, other grains, chicken and cooked vegetables until diarrhea passes.  Severe diarrhea that persists requires intervention.  Otherwise one may lose vital electrolytes and become dehydrated.


              For Emotional Reactions: Emotional traumas deeply held need to be brought to consciousness to be released.  When emotions or negative thoughts arise, allow oneself to feel them without suppressing or wallowing in the feelings.  This can be difficult.  Call your consultant or one of our program support counselors, if needed. 

Doing more of the Roy Masters meditation exercise can be most helpful, as can the physical procedures such as coffee enemas, near infrared lamp sauna sessions, rubbing the feet, and the others.

Observe feelings from as neutral a viewpoint as possible.  It is very helpful to talk with someone supportive to gain added perspective.  Feelings will generally pass, washing over oneself like ocean waves.

            Vigorous exercise can slow emotional reactions.  Extra rest and sleep will help them pass more quickly.

            Many people learned well to suppress their feelings and have great difficulty expressing them.  One may become afraid of one’s own buried feelings.  These people benefit from allowing themselves to cry, scream or otherwise express that which they feel.  If this seems embarrassing, one can close the bedroom door or go sit in a car.  For several years I would cry for no apparent reason, often in crowded places.  At times I believed I was ill, but eventually the symptom passed and I found myself much happier.


            For Nervousness And Anxiety:  Elimination of stored caffeine, theophylline, diet pills or other stimulant substances can cause temporary feelings of anxiety as they are released.  These will pass without requiring supportive therapy.  Extreme fatigue or copper elimination can also cause feelings of anxiety.

            If a feeling is very intense or persistent, nutritional supplements of calcium, magnesium, zinc, TMG (trimethylglycine) and/or ICMN (a product containing choline, inositol, methionine and niacinamide) may have a calming effect.

One may take up to 2500 mg of calcium, 1500 mg of magnesium, 100 mg of zinc, 4000 mg of TMG, and/or 1000 mg of choline, inositol, methionine and niacinamide in a 24-hour period.  Sometimes one of these works better than another.

            Resting, deep, slow breathing, calming herbs, massage, foot reflexology and other natural therapies may be helpful as well.


            For Weight Loss or Gain: During nutritional balancing programs, weight may fluctuate.  Weight gain may occur if the body retains water to buffer toxins that are being eliminated.  Weight loss may occur even in a thin person as damaged tissue is broken down.  One often will go through periods of greater tissue breakdown followed by periods of rebuilding.  Shifts in glandular activity may temporarily cause weight gain or loss.

            Most shifts in weight are not a cause for concern.  In some cases, eating more or fewer calories may assist in balancing weight during a detoxification program.  Usually, however, the nutritional balancing program needs to take its course and weight will normalize after several months to several years, depending on the toxicity of the body.


            To Slow Healing Reactions: According to Dr. Paul Eck’s research, taking lecithin granules can help slow the elimination of toxic metals and chemicals.  Do not take lecithin otherwise.  Taking aspirin, Tylenol, tranquilizers or other over the-counter remedies is never recommended.






A useful idea to help a person handle healing reactions is that of crutches and pushers.

Crutches are items or methods that just support a person while he or she goes through the pain or discomfort of a healing reaction or retracing.  Pushers support one, but they also move one faster through one’s issues or healing reactions, and therefore are even better than crutches.  However, pushers often cause more intense temporary pain or other symptoms, which some people do not like.




            Warning: At times, reactions are not due to healing and indicate a worsening of a health condition.  This happened to the author when he followed a vegetarian diet for a few years. One reads about retracing, and just assumes that any symptom that arises is a healing or retracing reaction. 

            It can be vitally important to know if a reaction is due to healing or a worsening of a condition.  Answering the five questions below can help one to know which is occurring.


            1. Was the person following a nutritional balancing program, including diet, rest, supplements and the proper application of the sauna?  Healing reactions occur most often when the body is given all that it needs.  If the complete program is followed fairly strictly, the reaction is likely due to healing.

            However, if a person is not following the program, or on a different regimen, then it is more likely that it is not a healing reaction.  Also, if one is terminally ill, it may not be a healing reaction.


            2. Was one feeling better before the reaction occurred?  Healing reactions require energy.  One’s energy level often increases until sufficient to initiate a reaction.  Thus, a reaction can occur and often does just when one is feeling stronger.  If one had been feeling worse, the reaction is less likely due to healing, however.


            3.  Have the symptom occurred in the past?  Often, old symptoms or conditions recur during healing reactions.  If one experienced the symptom in even the distant past, it is more likely, though not always, due to healing.


            4. Are the symptoms unusual?  Healing reactions often produce odd symptom pictures.  One might develop a sore throat or flu without fatigue.  This occurs when one is really not ill, though one may develop some features of an illness.


            5. How long have symptoms lasted?  Healing reactions usually do not last long.  They may be vigorous but end in a few hours or at most about a week.  If a reaction or flare-up lasts more than several weeks, it may be a worsening of one’s condition.

            This one is tricky, however, because a deep-seated physical or emotional problem may take weeks or months to retrace completely in a few cases.  Look to the other questions for more clarity, or do a hair analysis retest to gain more insight as to what is going on.






            Healing reactions are often accompanied by psychological shifts.  This is an interesting area of study in nutritional balancing science.  Changes in perception, cognition, rate of processing of information may occur.  Here are some of the more important examples of this:


            Physically-linked Reactions:  Some emotional toxins are linked to physical toxins and impaired body chemistry.  An unhealthy body sends negative messages to the brain.  These may be experienced as feelings of fear, anxiety or unworthiness.

            Toxic metals can directly affect neurotransmitters and parts of the brain associated with anger, fear and other emotions.  Iron, for example, is known to settle in the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with anger. 

As physical toxins are eliminated, emotional states will change.  As health improves, the body sends positive messages to the brain.  For example, an emotional “crisis” may occur as it becomes more difficult to hold on to negative feelings and beliefs.  A related cause of a “crisis” is when cognition and perception improve to a point that a person can no longer continue thinking the same improper or false way as before.


Energy-related Reactions:  Though often not taught in psychology, energy is required to feel feelings, even to feel a depression.  Many times, a mineral analysis has revealed a pattern associated with depression.  The client, however, denied the feeling.  After weeks or months on a healing program, the client called and may blame me or the healing program for causing feelings of depression.

            In fact, the healing program merely enhanced the client’s energy and awareness.  The client began to feel what had previously been inaccessible or suppressed.  Once the feelings surface, they usually resolve quickly on their own.  The brain, like the body, is self-healing provided it functions correctly.

            For a psychological view of this phenomenon,  I recommend a few older psychology books, Arthur Janov’s The Primal Scream and The Primal Revolution.  Enhanced energy due to natural therapies causes the brain to function better.  Clarity of thinking, memory and awareness often improve.  This assists one to question beliefs about oneself and about the world.  More capable of understanding oneself, one lets go of false beliefs and destructive behaviors.


            Completion Reactions:  Incompletely healed traumas leave emotional residues.  Small children often cry hard when they fall down.  They ‘work through’ the trauma in ten minutes and soon are laughing as if nothing happened.   This is the proper way to handle a trauma.  If energy is low or if healing is interrupted for some other reason, a residue of the experience remains and one develops fears or other neuroses.  As energy and cognition improve, one often spontaneously heals residues of unhealed traumas.


            Decompensation Reactions:  Certain attitudes and behaviors are compensations for ill health or low energy.  As health improves, these are no longer needed and may disappear suddenly.  A surprising shift may occur, often accompanied by an insight about oneself or about the world.


            Sometimes an emotional toxin is a major stumbling block that stops the healing process until the client is willing to address it.  Psychotherapy or other healing modalities may be required.  Body work and other therapies can also be excellent to work with emotional wounds that retard healing.


            Simple adjustment reactions.  These are common and involve a simple replacement of a toxic mineral with a more physiological mineral, or the correction of a simple enzyme system of the body.  Another simple reaction or adjustment is the improvement in a glandular or organ activity.


              Spiritual reactions – reducing chaos on a larger scale.  These are discussed below.




            Retracing reactions may be described as flare-ups of secondary chaos in terms of chaos theory.  Chaos theory is  a very modern and interesting science.   The concept is that when a system is not working right, it causes chaos.  As the system is fixed or corrected, the degree of chaos diminishes.  However, at times, secondary chaos may occur. 

This is an apt description of a healing reaction.   In our biological terms, a sick body is one that is in a high state of chaos.  Nutritional balancing reduces this chaos.  However, along the way, more chaos may erupt for a while as the body heals.  This is a rough description of what occurs in a healing reaction.




            It is clear from our experience that retracing involves a very beneficial inflammatory reaction of the body.  Serum tests may reflect this with slightly elevated liver enzymes, for example.  There may also be mild serum electrolyte imbalances  such as a low sodium and low chlorine.  These may be due to kidney stress from a toxic metal elimination, or may be due to other factors that have yet to be elucidated.

It is also clear from our limited research that a retracing or healing reaction is very different from the chronic inflammation that so many people suffer from. 




            A very interesting pattern seen on retest hair mineral analyses is called armoring up.  It consists of a reduction in the readings of some of the toxic metals and nutrient minerals that were already too low so that they now fall into a poor eliminator range, or go deeper into this range.

            Armoring up pattern seems to be related to a healing reaction.  It is somewhat akin to putting on your armor in order to handle certain old traumas or other old situations.

            A very interesting part of this process is that if a person can take enough TMG or trimethylglycine, then armoring up during healing reactions usually does not occur.  Armoring up often only occurs, in other words, in those people who do not take about 3000 mg of TMG daily.

The usual reason for this is that the TMG brings up their emotional issues – usually anger toward men - although I do not know why this particular emotion is related to the use of TMG.  Most of those unable to take the full amount of TMG are women, but there are some men, as well, and in all cases, so far, the issue is related to men, not to women.  TMG is a methyl donor, but it may have other actions as well related to SAM-e, methionine metabolism, homocysteine metabolism, taurine metabolism, and more.

This is an interesting research area.  For more, please read Armoring Up Pattern on this site.




            Some clients go to medical or other doctors seeking help for a healing reaction.  These doctors run blood tests and are often surprised and upset with the results.  Common imbalances seen on blood tests during healing reactions are:


1. Low thyroid hormone levels, or elevated TSH.

2. Slightly elevated liver enzymes due to liver irritation.

3. Low sodium and/or chloride levels, due perhaps to kidney irritation.

4. Slight macrocytic anemia in a few cases.  This can be due to an elimination of toxic iron, which damages some red blood cells.  It is actually a slight hemolytic anemia, not pernicious anemia although it appears the same on blood tests.

5. Elevated ferritin if the body is eliminating iron or manganese, perhaps.


            None of these imbalances are a cause for alarm, but many doctors do not understand healing reactions, so they may react badly and want more tests, drug or hormone therapy, or other measures to correct the blood tests.  In fact, if an abnormal blood or urine test is due to retracing, if one just waits a few weeks to a month, most blood tests will begin to normalize by themselves without a need for more tests or any medical or other type of therapy.




            While most healing reactions do not last more than a few days or a week, some will persist for a month or up to a year.  They are often deeper healing processes that cannot be resolved quickly.  These are among the most difficult reactions to handle because one can easily doubt that anything positive is occurring.

            I recently went through several of these.  For about one year, I coughed up greenish mucus from the lungs.  I also retraced intestinal infections that caused diarrhea and abdominal pain for over a year until they subsided.  I also had an odd, itchy rash on the face for over a year.

            All of these went away, but were difficult because of the length of time it took for the body to take care of them.  I tried a few remedies, but they did not work, and I knew that most remedies are not needed or helpful with a nutritional balancing program.

            I contacted those who were knowledgeable in this science, and that was most helpful, and that is what I recommend.  Eventually, the symptoms passed and I was much stronger after the purification symptoms passed.




              Medical intuitive Carolyn Myss and other authors discuss spiritual healing crises, spiritual depression and even "spiritual madness".  Anything that raises the body's energy level or alters chemistry, including a nutritional balancing program, can precipitate such as crisis.

            Such a crisis may involve taking a leap of faith, letting go of old attachments, increasing self-awareness or a major shift in perspective.  Many people are ill because they are secretly full of fear, guilt, self-hatred or self-loathing.

            A healing crisis may bring this to the surface.  Such reactions often involve a phase of turmoil and confusion.  After passing through such a crisis, some physical healing usually proceeds rapidly.  For more on this topic, read a newer article on this website entitled Spiritual or Chaos-Reducing Healing Reactions Or Retracing.




            This is another phenomenon that I have observed with retracing, in some cases.  I call it soul retracing because it is at a very deep level.  It might also be called soul completion.  In some traditions, it is called soul recovery.

            Soul completion has to do with perfecting of the inner person or soul.  All of us are born with certain “defects” or imperfections at deep levels or soul levels.  At times, and with the proper techniques, these imperfections can be cleansed, erased or completed.  It has to do with removing some toxic metals. 

Soul completion is also an aspect of what is called on this website mental or spiritual development, as are the spiritual healing reactions described above.  The difference is that soul completion is more complex and takes more time to occur than other aspects of mental development.

            Relation to soul recovery.  Soul completion is related to, and is an aspect of a science called soul recovery.   Soul recovery is a term used in the Native American Indian tradition, and in other shamanic and mystical traditions.  As they use the term, it means that one recovers parts of the soul that have been split off.  In fact, what occurs is biochemical in nature and involves replacing a toxic metal or entity with a vital or healthful mineral.  This is, in fact, the same thing that happens with nutritional balancing science and meditation with the Roy Masters exercise with modifications.  We are just describing it and causing it using biochemical,  nutritional and meditative methods. 




            When a person moves through a healing reaction, it can be hard on other family members.  First, it can seem like the person is more ill, which is always disconcerting.  Also, the person is partially present, but at times another part of the personality is literally living in the past, reliving, redoing, and/or reframing something from the past. 

This can cause the person to be less aware of the present, and sometimes causes one to “act out” in some way because a part of the person’s mind is literally back in the past when the person was 5 or ten years old, for example, and therefore less mature and less aware.  This can be difficult on spouses, for example.  fortunately, it usually does not last too long, but it can be difficult to understand.




              Forewarned, most people handle healing reactions well.    One should look forward to reactions as they are evidence of deep healing.  Always call someone knowledgeable if 1) you are not sure what is going on, 2) you are concerned or worried, 3) any reaction becomes severe such as a high fever, or 4) a reaction continues for more than a few days. 

            These guidelines are sufficient to handle most healing reactions.  I have worked with over 40,000 clients.  Healing reactions can be vigorous, but rarely dangerous.  Always use common sense, however.  Rarely, medical intervention is needed, but certainly not often.  Taking medical drugs such as antibiotics and aspirin or others can prolong the reaction or even turn it into a dangerous situation.




            Almost all retracing reactions are totally benign.  Some last for a few months, or can be very annoying, but most pass quickly and easily without a need for any extra interventions. 

However, once in a while they are extreme.  Here are some examples.  The first two were my clients


Case 1. Robert, age 60, had had a severe car accident 30 years before in which he temporarily became paralyzed from the neck down.  However, he seemed to recover after a few months, although his health was never very good after the accident.  After about five years on a nutritional balancing program, he began to become weak and actually lost the ability to walk normally.  He was hospitalized and doctors told him he had a neck injury that required immediate surgery.  He postponed the surgery, and began a long recovery using an infrared lamp on the area, and a careful diet and supplements.  Although he was recovering very slowly, he agreed to have neck surgery to release tension in the neck, but was progressing well before surgery as well.

Case 2. Peter, age 78, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  He was given 6 months to live.  He chose to follow a nutritional balancing program and began to feel better almost immediately.  He continued to feel better for about one and one-half years.  However, when he was at his best, he began to have pain in his kidneys.  This was likely a healing reaction as the body removed a lot of toxins through the kidneys.

Unfortunately, in this case Peter’s family panicked, as they believed he was having a relapse of his cancer.  They had him admitted to the hospital, where he was given a large dose of morphine, and perhaps other drugs.  Peter’s body could not handle the highly toxic dose of morphine.  He soon lapsed into a coma and died within a few days.  This is the only case I have been involved with in 30 years in which someone died during what appears to have been a healing reaction.  I believe this man was doing well and did not need to be hospitalized, where the doctors do not understand retracing and often use very toxic drugs in such cases, a very unwise practice.

Case #3.  Dr. Bernard Jensen describes a fatal healing reaction that occurred in one of his patients.  The patient was a boy with an advanced cancer with a tumor pressing on his spinal cord.  He was doing well on a corrective nutrition and lifestyle program.  However, at one point, the tumor began to either grow or swell.  This can happen as a tumor is breaking up or being absorbed by the body.  It was just enough that it impinged on the spinal cord and the body stopped breathing and died.

Case #4. A friend built a sauna and began using it daily, but did not follow the rest of a nutritional balancing program.  He began to feel better overall, and a very chronic sinus condition he had had since childhood improved a lot.  However, after about a year of this incomplete program, he began having trouble breathing and went to a doctor.  He was diagnosed with a defective heart valve from endocarditis, and required surgery and antibiotics to overcome this.  I am not sure this was a retracing reaction, since he was not following a complete program, but it is possible that an old infection was stirred up and his body did not handle it well.

Case #5. Mrs. G, age 71, had followed a complete nutritional balancing program carefully for several years.  She retraced many old health conditions fairly easily.  However, at one point she developed breathing difficulty and was diagnosed with a chronic bronchitis.  She recalled having this as a child.  It was so severe she could not sleep for a few days, and ended up in the hospital, where she slowly recovered her health.  She is still following a nutritional balancing program today.


            These cases are important because they point out possible dangers and necessary cautions that should be observed with any healing reaction. If the patient is very ill, very weak, old or debilitated, then extreme caution must be used.  Also, while medical intervention is sometimes helpful, it can also harmful in some cases, so it can be tricky.




During a retracing or healing reaction, it appears that one must essentially revisit the scene of the crime, to use a crude metaphor.  There one must revisit, reframe, and redo an old insult to the body or the mind.  This could be an ailment, an injury or some other type of emotional trauma, for example.  This is needed, apparently, to heal the problem completely.  It appears that this is the only way a person can build a firm and perfect foundation for further healing.

One of the amazing aspects of retracing is that as the body’s energy or vitality level keeps increasing, the body seems to know the perfect order for retracing dozens of insults, injuries, infections and so on.  At one time it may be an old case of poison ivy that flares up, while two months later it may be an emotional trauma involving a parent or sibling. 

With nutritional balancing, the job of the practitioner and the client is to just keep balancing and supporting the body and it will automatically retrace and heal hundreds of old wounds, injuries, infections and much more by itself when the conditions are fulfilled to keep enhancing the homeostasis, vitality and nutrition of the body.  It is quite an amazing process to behold, although it can be annoying and even scary, at times.  This has something to do with a concept called Etheric Reset.

Occasionally, retracing reactions are very strange and may have to do with other physical existences a person has had.  For more on this interesting topic, please read Deep Retracing on this site.





            One can read about healing reactions in texts on homeopathy, chiropractic and psychotherapy where they may be referred to as the catharsis.  Max Gerson, MD, in A Cancer Therapy - Results of 50 Cases, devoted an entire chapter to them.  William Frederich Koch, MD mentions them often in his excellent book, The Survival Factor in Neoplastic and Viral Diseases.  Bernard Jensen, DC, ND wrote about them in The Doctor-Patient Handbook.



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