Retracing – “Why Do I Feel Worse?”
There is a glossary of terms at the end of this composition.
Definitions offered are only listed as they apply to this article.
Transformative Ch’i (TC) clients most often exhibit feelings of peace and relaxation after a TC session. Our intensive therapies can lead to increased energy and improved sleep. Health can begin to improve after one or two sessions even though the client may be unaware of initial internal improvements.
Sometimes, however, a client may experience discomfort after a session. This usually goes away within the next few sessions.
The discomfort could be due to the body detoxifying after therapy. As poisons exit the system; aches, pain, muscle cramps, diarrhea, constipation, discharges, odors, rashes, headaches, irritability or fatigue may be experienced. Emotional reactions may include feelings of anxiety, depression, fear or anger. This phenomenon is called Retracing.
During the retracing process clients sometimes feel as if they are actually getting worse when they are experiencing a major step of the healing process. Fortunately, the process usually moves through the body rather quickly so the discomfort factor is brief. The retracing phenomenon can be found in other therapies such as massage, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative techniques (OMT). A parallel to retracing called the catharsis [from katharsis meaning “purification” or “cleansing”], has been recognized in the field of psychotherapy. There is much subject matter about retracing in texts on chiropractic, homeopathy, osteopathy, psychotherapy, et cetera.
Practitioners of Deep Tissue Massage, Rolfing, Shiatsu, Homeopathy and Energetic Medicines understand retracing as a natural part of the healing process. It is the re-experiencing or re-awakening of old pain and/or other manifestations. Retracing can affect memories on the physical, etheric [emotional], psychic [mind] and even spiritual planes. Retracing “reactions” are the body’s way to eliminate toxic substances, heal chronic infections and other metabolic (chemical and physical) changes. They are an essential feature of all true healing methods. In other modalities they are referred to as flare-ups, crises, healing reactions, the reversal process, aggravations or exacerbations.
At times, they are unpleasant and even frightening. The fact is, however, they are signs of healing. By experiencing a retracing reaction one can immediately know a particular therapy was producing healing at deep levels.
Are the reactions from retracing or from a worsening health condition?
Reactions are not always due to healing and may indicate a worsening of a health condition. This can occur when one is not following proper diet, lifestyle and other aspects of a complete healing regimen. They may also occur if one is terminally ill. In the chronically ill, reactions resolve slower as less energy is available for healing. An experienced therapist, trained in the processes of retracing, can help. The body’s innate healing power is great when properly nourished and supported.
It seems that most of those involved in the allopathic medical field are unfamiliar with the process. Those who understand energetic medicine should know the difference between a worsening condition and the retracing process.
The process retraces or recalls traumatic legacies [memories] which may have lain dormant for months, or even years. Legacies are often genetic memories passed down from your predecessors. It could seem that you are becoming worse; when in fact you are retracing several stages through which your problem has progressed. This is a common condition to which almost all are subject. The trauma must be retraced, step-by-step, in order to reach the point from where it started.
In some conditions pressure on nerve fibers gradually increase over a period of time and cause the tissues to become aberrant. In order to rebuild themselves these tissues must be allowed enough time to return through the various stages they have passed. but remember that all is progressing as it should. It took time for a client’s condition to deviate from health to illness. Fortunately, it usually takes far less time to retrace from illness back to health.
Not only is there a retracing of tissue cell memory there is also a retracing in the client’s manifestations. There are many unanswered questions concerning retracing. The process seems more prominent with chiropractic and OMT [Osteopathic Manipulative Technique].
In an example of massage therapy the steps can be shown with a client who undergoes neck and shoulder pain. Neuromuscular therapy in which the attachment points of involved muscles, such as the levator scapula, is applied. The next day after therapy the client may feel as if those tissues have been bruised, This is due to trapped metabolic wastes that are now being released by the body.
This is the time when the client should continue with neuromuscular care, because the body has been put into a healing mode. The natural inclination of the body to heal itself is being stimulated. During retracing, wastes are being flushed from the body so the tissues may return to homeostasis. Clients should realize the necessity for continuing their neuromuscular sessions, even though they might not immediately see the progress made from day to day, or even if they believe the condition has become worse. It is essential for this period of retracing to be passed through, and the client should not allow any temporary discouragement to preclude the ultimate health which can be achieved if therapy is continued. It is immaterial whether the problem is one of long standing or an acute condition.
Every cell in the body has legacies – including tissue cells. These legacies recall traumas of all types – and include the physical, etheric, psychic and spiritual planes. Because of this broad spectrum, retracing can manifest in a number of different ways. It does not have to be dramatic, but can be as simple as the urge to take deep breaths during and after sessions. Remember that physical, emotional and psychic manifestations derived from retracing will leave as that phase of healing is completed.
A client can change emotionally as well as physically during intense therapeutic massage and other therapies. Those undergoing healing programs should be prepared for these shifts as the chemistry of their bodies improves with the eliminating of toxins which affect the brain and any improvements in the clarity of their thoughts.
Emotional toxins are feelings or beliefs that block healing. Some emotional toxins are linked to physical toxins and impaired body chemistry. An unhealthy body sends negative messages to the brain These include anger, fears, guilt, resentments, worries, feeling incompetent, stupid, ugly, unloved and/or unworthy. These can be every bit as toxic as pesticides or heavy metals.
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 the body begins to purge the physical toxins the client’s emotional states will change. As health improves, the body begins to send positive messages to the brain. An emotional crisis may occur as it becomes more difficult to hold on to negative feelings and beliefs.
Energy is required to feel feelings, even to feel a depression. Once in a while a client might deny the feeling. Well into a healing program, a client may blame the therapist for causing pain, feelings of depression, or other manifestations experienced during the retracing process.
“As energetic, multi-dimensional beings our physical bodies were created so that we might experience this physical scope. It was intent that brought conscious-ness into motion. It is intent sparked by emotion that keeps this dimension changing and expanding.
“The Transformative Ch’i approach focuses on the whole multi-dimensional body by moving beyond the restrictive viewpoint of the human matrix.
“All behavioral and physiological patterns result from data stored, or encoded, as cellular memory. Every experience of this life and those of all our predecessors, are stored in our DNA. Multi-dimensional memories are also stored in DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) transmits these memories (legacies) to our cells.
“Some behavior and physiological patterns can be expressed as key reflections of traumatically encoded cellular information. In conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder information is traumatically encoded at the cellular level…” – Keith Coleman Pierce
John Upledger, D.O., the developer of craniosacral therapy, uses the terms unwinding and somatic emotional release to describe what we call retracing. It is based on his research on body energies and the role of connective body tissue in body structure.
Max Gerson, MD, in A Cancer Therapy – Results of 50 Cases, devoted an entire chapter to the retracing parallel.
William Frederich Koch, MD, mentions the parallel often in his book, The Survival Factor in Neoplastic and Viral Diseases.
Bernard Jensen, DC, ND, wrote about retracing in The Doctor-Patient Handbook.
Glossary of terms (definitions as relating to this article)
Allopathic Medicine: [uh-lo-path-ik • med-uh-sin] is the system of medical practice which treats disease by the use of remedies which produce effects different from those produced by the disease under treatment. MDs practice allopathic medicine (also called conventional medicine). The term “allopathy” [uh-lop-uh-thee] was coined in 1842 by Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann to designate the usual practice of medicine (allopathy) as opposed to homeopathy, the system of therapy that he founded based on the concept that disease can be treated with drugs (in minute doses) thought capable of producing the same symptoms in healthy people as the disease itself.
Allopathy: [uh-lop-uh-thee] is a term coined in 1842 by Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann to designate the usual practice of medicine (allopathy) as opposed to homeopathy, the system of therapy that he founded based on the concept that disease can be treated with drugs (in minute doses) thought capable of producing the same symptoms in healthy people as the disease itself.
Energetic Medicine: [en-er-jet-ik • med-uh-sin] is a wide-ranged field that includes Acupuncture, Bio-Resonance, EDS – Electrodermal Screening Devices & Computer Electro Dermal Screening (CEDS), Homeopathy, Informational Medicine – Infoceuticals (body field research and body field aligners), Quantum Scanning, Radionics, Rei’ki, Reflexology, Ro’han, Transformative Ch’i and many other healing techniques.
Detoxify: [dee-tok-suh-fahy] ¹ The natural process of the body in removing toxic (harmful or deadly) properties; ² To assist the body in cleansing itself from poisonous substances.
Homeopathy: [hoh-mee-op-uh-thee] A system for treating disease based on the administration of minute doses of a drug that in massive amounts produces symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease itself. Homeopathy extends at least as far back as the Ancient Greeks, the modern “father of homeopathy” was the German physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, who began outlining his theories of “medical similars” in a series of articles and monographs in 1796.
Homeostasis: [hoh-mee-uh-stey-sis] ¹ The ability of a system or living organism to adjust its internal environment to maintain a stable equilibrium; such as the ability of warm-blooded animals to maintain a constant temperature. ² The balanced state of the living body (i.e. temperature, chemistry, blood pressure, sleep and wakefulness, and so on), despite variations in the environment.
Human Matrix: [hyoo-muh n • mey-triks] or [hyoo-muh n • ma-triks] Matrix comes from the Latin term for “womb.” Human matrices (plural) [mey-tri-seez] or [ma-tri-seez] are enclosures that collect vibrational information converting it to third dimensional energy. Your matrix is a storage unit where all your thoughts are kept. It is in this “container” that your thoughts develop. As these thoughts take form, a type of holographic image is projected – a part of which, we see, as the physical body.
Legacies: [leg-uh-see z] are memories carried in the DNA. They are all the memories of not only our physical predecessors, but also of all the events of our own past, present, future and multi-dimensional encounters.
Levator Scapulae: [li-vey-ter • skap-yuh-luh] or [li-vey-tawr • skap-yuh-luh] are muscles situated at the back and side of the neck.
Massage Therapy: [muh-sahzh • ther-uh-pee] or [muh-sahj • ther-uh-pee] Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body to bring about relaxation and well-being.
Multi-dimensional Body: [muhl-tee • dih-men-shuh n’l • bod-ee] or [muhl-tahy • dih-men-shuh n’l • bod-ee] There is much evidence suggesting that other worlds or dimensions exist beyond the range of our normal perception. The theory of a Holographic Universe suggests eleven dimensions of space-time which appear four-dimensional on the human scale. However, there may be an infinite number of dimensions in which we simultaneously exist. Multiple dimensions can be accessed by using the Biological Internet.
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT): [noo r-oh-muhs-kyuh-ler • ther-uh-pee] or [nyoo r-oh-muhs-kyuh-ler • ther-uh-pee] is a specialized form of manual therapy. A trained NMT therapist is educated in the physiology of the nervous system and its effect on the muscular and skeletal systems. The Neuromuscular Therapist also is educated in kinesiology and biomechanics and how to work in a clinical or medical environment. NMT is distinguished from other types of massage in that a quasi-static pressure is applied to the skin with the aim of stimulating specific areas of skeletal muscle. Often these areas of muscle are myofascial trigger points.
Retracing: [re-trey-sing] is the re-experiencing or re-awakening of pain or other symptoms, including memories or even emotions that seem suddenly to erupt to the surface. It is a part of the healing process.
Toxins: [tok-sin’z] are poisonous substances produced during the metabolism and growth of certain microorganisms and some higher plant and animal species.
Transformative Ch’i: [trans-fawr-muh-tiv • chee] is an approach to health developed by Keith Coleman Pierce that uses both time–tested and cutting–edge techniques which have been developed into a quantum system that is designed to move the Whole Body toward health, joy and prosperity. In Taoism and other Chinese thought Ch’i is believed to be inherent in all things. The unimpeded circulation of chi and a balance of its negative and positive forms in the body are held to be essential to good health in traditional Chinese medicine.
Keith Coleman Pierce, founder of Transformative Ch’i, is now semi-retired. However, he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please Note: Due to travel and other activities there may be delays in his response to your emails.