Many chiropractic patients have experienced retracing, but may not have known what to call it. Retracing is the re-experience or re-awakening of old symptoms, including pain, memories and even emotions that your body moves through for more complete healing. It’s not unusual for someone under chiropractic care to often exhibit symptoms which have not manifested themselves for months or even years. The first impression people have is that they are getting worse; when in fact you are retracing several stages through which your disease has progressed. The disease must be retraced, step by step, in order to reach the point from where it started, namely health.
The time element in the healing process is always questioned. If a disease has been in progress for a number of years and has reached a maximum degree of abnormality, recovery cannot be expected in a few days. As it takes time to reach a diseased state, it also takes time for the “retracing” period. Acute diseases respond rapidly, while chronic cases are slower in response. Do not get discouraged, because good health can be achieved.
The Chiropractic Role of Retracing
A chiropractor is trained to detect the abnormal positions of the vertebrae in the spine. They are further trained in techniques of restoring these vertebrae to their normal positions. Patients often wonder why a chiropractor cannot return the vertebra immediately to its normal position and thus immediately restore the tissue to a healthy state. When a chiropractic adjustment is given, the vertebra is returned toward its normal position. Following an adjustment, the ligaments and muscles are given an opportunity to regain, in part, their normal tone, and this allows them to hold the vertebra in more nearly normal state.
The spine, however, and the body in general is subject to more or less strain during the every day life, and it is possible that the vertebra may recede toward its old abnormal position, thereby necessitating another adjustment. Keep in mind that tissues often must be rebuilt in order for the vertebra to hold its normal position. In addition, tissues that have perhaps for years assumed an abnormal condition, due to the gradually increasing pressure upon the nerve fibers, must be allowed time to return through the various stages they have passed in the production of the abnormality. This all takes time, and patience becomes a virtue, based on the knowledge that all is progressing as it should.
Whether the disease is one of long standing or an acute condition, there must be retracing in the position of the vertebra and in whatever structural or functional change has occurred.
Naturally, there must also be a retracing in the symptoms. In acute cases they may be so slight in degree that they pass unnoticed. Finally, every chiropractic patient should realize the necessity for continuing with chiropractic care, even though you cannot note the progress made from day to day, or even though you believe the condition is worse. It is essential for this period of retracing to be passed through, and do not allow any temporary discouragement to preclude the ultimate health which will be yours if you continue.