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The Necessary Stages of Healing

The process of healing chronic conditions can be confusing or frustrating to understand. As a Naturopath, we first do a thorough evaluation and assessment of health of each individual to determine the key components needing to be rebalanced. We look at physiological. emotional, digestive, and nutritional imbalances that need to be restored. With many conditions, there are sequential stages of care that need to be addressed in the proper order.

Beginning Stage - Nutritional deficiencies should be addressed, including improving nutrient uptake, digestion and assimilation. Hydration should be improved if needed. Basic drainage and regulation of the lymphatic system and intestines are essential. Systemic inflammation needs to be down-regulated, and the immune system either needs to be down-regulated with hyper-activity (allergic reactions) or strengthened with fatigue conditions. Energy can be built back up, and sleep regulation is important. Palliative care can be given to provide relief from pain, but repairing the root cause or imbalance will be essential.

Middle Stage: Next Metabolic Imbalances are addressed and the endocrine system is supported. Deeper and more stubborn toxicities and infections can be resolved, including phase 1 & 2 of a liver detox. Proper drainage and regulation is maintained or improved. Symptomatic relief can be given. Emotional blockages, stress or cellular memories of trauma's may need to be addressed and released.

Maintenance Stage: Support is given to compensate for genetic tendencies and for irreparable damage to tissues and organs. Immunological and metabolic balance is maintained.

It is also important to match the aggressiveness of the protocol with the severity of the condition, but also taking into consideration the vitality of the client. Strong detoxification cannot be done on a weak or highly devitalized client. generic and gentle drainage protocols will not be sufficient to resolve deeply imbedded chronic infections and toxicity. It may take a while to resolve a serious and complex condition, but the client can start feeling better and better almost immediately. Too aggressive a treatment can cause a download of toxins a weaker client may not have the energy to resolve.

So we look for three basic types when we are working to resolve health issues.

One is the TOXICITY challenge. Very often working to support the kidneys, liver, lymph and colon to detox, as well as microbes, bacteria, yeast, viral infections, can work to resolve many issues. We also need to address any thyroid problems, insulin resistance, cardio support, and dietary and lifestyle changes to eliminate more accumulation of toxins.

Two is STRESS Busting. Emotional and psychic stress creates lots of wear and tear on the nervous system, adrenal stress, leading to adrenal fatigue, depletion of nutrients, sleep disturbances, and increased inflammation. The immune system can become weaker, the gut becomes imbalanced creating disharmony, and leaky gut with dysbiosis can be a challenge leading to more problems. Energy depletion can become significant if not addressed in this stage. Identifying and eliminating stressors is essential for continued improvement.

Three is FATIGUED and DISTRESSED. At this stage, clients can often have imbedded toxicity and often stealth infections of microbes, parasites, viral infections, fungus, or mold. There is lots of mitochondrial damage from oxidative stress, leading to exhaustion and energy depletion. The endocrine glands can ALL become weaker and may need support. But first we need to build the client back up so they can tolerate the protocols over time. Waiting till this stage to start repairing the health can take longer to recover from.

Follow-up appointments are essential for determining what has improved, and what is still needed. Even though someone starts feeling better, hidden problems might remain, leading to unstablized health returning. Working to uncover deeper levels and layers, and stirring up remaining pathogens will ultimately lead to restoring full vitality. Maintaining a health gut, proper diet and lifestyle, low toxic intake, and reduced stress can make a world of different in our health and outlook on life!

Jane Smolnik is a Naturopathic Doctor and Iridologist with a private practice in Asheville, NC. Please visit her website for more information at or call 828-777-5263.

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