Dr. Lori Horan Soule, ND, LAc

Soule Health Care

3526 SW Corbett

Portland OR, 97239


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Newsletter Archive

Your chronic illness is telling you something

September 29, 2011

The following is a common and predictable course in the progression of a chronic illness:

  • An area of pain or infection appears somewhere in the body and medication is prescribed.
  • The medication works and the symptom goes away, but it reappears later.
  • More medication is taken and it works again, but not completely.
  • Higher dosages and different medications are prescribed, but the symptom remains present.
  • Eventually, the medication does not affect the illness anymore and the symptom becomes chronic.

Why doesn't medication continue to work if it worked the first time? Simply stated, it is because in chronic illness, symptoms are not the problem. Symptoms appear in the context of your life, and they hold important information about your big picture, or your whole self. Our whole selves are comprised not just of a physical body, but also a mental body, an emotional body and a spiritual body, all of which have specific concerns and needs.

Physical symptoms can be caused by something as simple as a B vitamin deficiency. Chronic illness is usually more complex, involving a need in one of our more subtle bodies that is not being met. Symptoms usually point to an area of the whole self that is out of balance. They could be saying that you are in a situation which is damaging to your spirit, or they could be reflecting forgotten memories that became stored in cellular tissue. There is a hidden logic in all chronic illness. Our bodies are very wise.

One example of chronic illness wisdom can be found in Sandy, one of my patients who struggled with chronic fatigue syndrome for years, with frequent colds and flu, no energy, forgetfulness, aching muscles, depression and very little stamina. During the course of her treatment, we discovered in her pulses that she had several blocks in the pathway on which energy travels through the body, which created an inability of her organ systems to communicate with each other.

Using 5 Element acupuncture, we removed the blocks and restored the proper flow of energy in her system. After removal of the blocks and strengthening her ability to contain her energy, she was able to recover memories of childhood abuse that led to self hatred and a constant feeling of inadequacy, which for years she tried to block out through over-achieving at work. When she felt well again, she realized that her chronic fatigue was her spirit protecting her from a lifetime of hiding from her emotional pain by working too much. Today, she no longer overworks and makes time for art and other activities which nourish her whole self.

Five Element Acupuncture is a very effective treatment for chronic illness and chronic pain. Part of Five Element diagnosis is to understand your illness in the context of your life history. Through treatment, it restores parts of you that may be deeply buried in your unconscious, and returns you to a state of wholeness. By treating an underlying imbalance of energy, it re-establishes the conditions that restore vibrant health.

If you would like to explore the wisdom in your chronic symptoms and experience comprehensive health, call for an appointment with Dr. Horan today.

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