Reading Time: 9 minutes

Eighteen days ago I declared rest in an Instagram post, unaware of the depth of rest that was to come. That night my son showed symptoms of an acute viral illness (yes, that one). We’ve been hunkered down since, taking our turns responding to this stressor.

My body initially responded with aches, chills, head pain, fever, and fatigue—all uncomfortable symptoms. And despite my discomfort, I celebrated these life-affirming expressions. (I also cursed them at times when I just felt over it all).

I celebrated because acute diseases hold immense healing potential. They can strengthen our vitality, and in fact, it is part of our divine design.

But we need to remember a couple of things if we are to alchemize vitality through acute symptoms…

Symptoms of acute disease can be indicators of AND catalysts for vitality.

I rarely had symptoms of acute disease (acute disease = any short-term adaptive physiological, somatic, emotional, or mental responses to stimuli) when I lived with chronic disease. I certainly never mounted a fever. While this might seem like a good thing, this consistent lack of response to external stressors such as viruses can be a sign of sub-optimal vitality. Fever, congestion, cough, etc. are ADAPTIVE RESPONSE symptoms that serve to return the body to a harmonious state following a challenge. For me, MALADAPTIVE REACTION symptoms dominated instead. My body reacted to all kinds of innocuous things (smells, foods, emotions, chemicals, my own tissues and organs), but it didn’t remember how to respond to the real stressors. This is often the case in chronic disease: hyper-reactivity is coupled with hypo-responsivity.

It’s a cycle that may begin with fear, resistance, and suppression.

The routine and repeated suppression of uncomfortable acute symptoms (emotions, fevers, pain, fatigue) prevents our bodies from completing necessary and vital adaptive response programs, and the body must compensate for this suppression. The suppressed symptoms find expression deeper in the being, often making themselves known in chronic complaints, like reactivity to foods or even one’s own cells. This is, in part, what led to my chronic autoimmunity and Lyme symptoms.

HOWEVER, when we allow acute, albeit uncomfortable, symptoms to move through without fear, resistance, or suppression, we open ourselves up to greater levels of vitality as these adaptive response programs are allowed to complete their action. Working with the body catalyzes vitality.

This is one reason why homeopathy is such an important medicine for acute AND chronic diseases. Homeopathic medicine can break the cycle of maladaptive reactions following suppression AND it supports the smooth resolution of acute adaptive responses as well.

*Note: There is nuance to this topic that I’m not diving into here (in the interest of brevity). Acute disease can also be life-threatening, and suppression is absolutely necessary in some situations to save lives. 

Symptoms of acute disease reveal our individual susceptibilities, and thus, guide us to our unique medicine.

All four people in our family had symptoms in response to this virus, but none of us had exactly the same pattern of symptoms. As a homeopath I watched with fascination. Our individual symptom expressions revealed our unique susceptibilities, our overall vitality, and the medicines we needed most.

My children both mounted a rapid, intense immune response with a rapid resolution of symptoms and no obvious lingering effects showing a wonderful strength of vitality. Both had fevers and head pain, but one had nausea, the other did not. One had congestion, the other did not. The nature of their symptoms revealed their susceptible areas and the medicine they needed when they felt a bit stuck.

My husband had mild symptoms, including a brief moderate fever, with rapid resolution alongside some new, seemingly unrelated symptoms. His response revealed a chronic issue that was under the surface below his conscious awareness. In his case, the acute dis-ease symptoms did not need support for resolution, but they brought out a previously unknown area of susceptibility that did.

I also mounted an intense response, but my resolution was much slower, as if my immune system needed time to remember how to complete the adaptive response program after rarely being allowed to do so without suppression in my youth. My susceptible area was my immune system itself after decades of autoimmunity. Despite the slower resolution, my vitality felt strengthened with the support of individualized homeopathic medicines and ample rest.

It’s worth noting that I uniquely struggled to trust my body the longer my symptoms lingered (a huge topic for another post). I share this to highlight the importance of honoring our unique mental and emotional symptoms in acute disease (in addition to the physicals), because they, too, guide us to our medicine.

You can see that no two people have exactly the same susceptibilities, even in the same family. Each of us required different homeopathic medicines to facilitate the resolution of symptoms when our bodies got a bit stuck.

When we remember our uniqueness and honor the unique expression of our symptoms with medicine tailored to our individuality, we inevitably strengthen our vitality.

*Note: Homeopathy does not claim to treat or cure any acute or chronic disease. Homeopathy supports the individual WITH the disease, strengthening her vitality so that she can heal herself.