Koren Specific Technique (KST) patients may experience the healing phenomenon known as retracing. What is retracing? It is an emotional healing process the occurs as old physical and/or emotional energies, diseases, pain or other symptoms “come to the surface” after subluxations are corrected.
Some examples of retracing are, after a KST correction, feelings of lightness and happiness may surface and the patient begins to laugh. Or, the reverse occurs and the patient begins to cry, even though they might not feel sad. Another example: The patient is feeling better and suddenly the original symptoms return and then clear up as quickly as they appeared.
Some patients externalize or release old toxins after a KST correction. This may include a rash or other skin condition, fever, cough or some other “cleansing” reaction. These conditions are usually quite short-lived. Retracing also may not be dramatic or even physical. Retracing may occur in dreams later that evening (or a few nights later). Patients often report more, different or particularly vivid dreams. Some patients say they don’t remember having any dreams because their sleep was uncharacteristically deep.
Retracing is healthy! No matter what happens, remain a little detached and enjoy the show. Your body and mind are healing and whatever happens is good for you. Retracing experiences can be both physically and emotionally quite intense. In such instances it’s often difficult to see the experience as part of the healing process. Patients going through a particularly intense retracing pattern may feel as if they’ve had a serious relapse or that they are getting worse. Please let us know what retracing you may experience because, although retracing usually passes relatively quickly, patients have been known to terminate their care as a result of it. Such patients are cheating themselves of complete recovery.
The phenomenon of retracing has long been recognized by the chiropractic profession and other healing arts. Practitioners of various forms of body-work including Rolfing, shiatsu, and massage therapy, have long noticed their clients experiencing “flashbacks” as they release energy long trapped in their bodies.
CranioSacral Therapy, developed by John Upledger, a doctor of osteopathy, uses the terms”unwinding” and “somato-emotional release” to describe this phenomenon. As Dr. Upledger writes: “Body tissues (especially connective tissues) possess a memory. When an injuring force occurs, the tissue which receives the force is changed. Perhaps it retains the energy of impact…The human body then either dissipates that energy and returns to normal; or the body somehow localizes the impact energy and walls it off, much as it walls off the tubercle bacillus during the inactive state of the disease. After the energy of the injury has been effectively isolated, the body adapts to this area. Energy (electrical, magnetic, prana, Qi or your own personal preference) is then forced to move around this area rather than through it…When the original injury is discovered, the repressed emotional components of the somatic injury frequently and concurrently release.”
Constantine Hering, a homeopathic researcher, codified the laws of retracing. It is known as Hering’s Law or the “Law of Cure,” and states that as retracing occurs, symptoms will move:
a) from interior to exterior
b) from the most vital to the least vital organs, and
c) in reverse order from that in which the symptoms appeared.
According to Dr. Hering, true healing only occurs if there is retracing: “Only such patients remain well and are really cured who have been rid of their symptoms in the reverse order of their development.”
Psychotherapists have also noticed “retracing” calling it progressive abreactive regression or PAR. It is considered a phase one goes through as part of the movement towards healing and wholeness. As the individual “moves out to new behaviors and accomplishments… they turn inward to experience fears and dysfunctional programs that need to be worked out.” PAR appears normally in human affairs as a part of growth at all levels. For example, if someone gets a long-deserved promotion and then begins to be troubled by feelings of incompetence or an artist is suddenly recognized and instead of finding exhilaration, becomes depressed.
Retracing seems to occur with healing systems that permit the body to express and rebalance itself. Retracing is uncommon in standard medical practice because medicine tends to suppress disease and mask symptoms. This may be dangerous because drugs tend to drive disease deeper into the body.
Retracing is a wonderful part of your healing journey. It can open the door to deeper health and healing.