“People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.”
~James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
One of my favourite genres in any medium is time travel. I was a teenager when Back to the Future was released, and relished every instalment in this trilogy. Who would have known that I would later become a professional time traveller? You didn’t know that was possible? Then I guess you haven’t yet experienced the “time line” part of Heilkunst treatment, which, you could say, is the “time travel” aspect of using remedies to re-visit and release all residual shocks and traumas still embedded in your cellular memory.
This is one of the core components of Heilkunst treatment is how we treat the patient’s “time line”. While we’re addressing everything that is going on for the patient in the present, we are also digging back into their history to release any major shock or trauma to their system. We start with the most recent, and work progressively all the way back towards the birth event, and then beyond into the genetic inheritance of chronic disease in the family tree. Without addressing this dimension, treatment would not be able to do much more than temporarily relieve symptoms as they present at the surface. The goal is to remove every root cause behind disease in order to cure it completely and permanently.
The exercise of creating the time line often poses one or more challenges for the patient. I have a few patients who strongly resist completing their time line in whole or part, and it takes them several sessions before they bring one in instead of more excuses about why they couldn’t get to it. Resistance is an interesting thing, and a good clue in itself as to potentially strong blockages around certain content in the patient’s history. Partial amnesia is one example of this, where a patient simply can’t remember back beyond a certain point in their life, or a particular phase.
Interestingly, as we work backwards through a patient’s time line, they will often spontaneously remember long-forgotten memories exactly at the point when we reach that point in their history. This has a lot to do with the fact that their treatment has increased their capacity for healing, and they are now both biologically and psychologically ready to fully process the content of the re-emerging time line event. It is a natural safety mechanism which protects us from undergoing a deeper healing process which we are not currently able to handle. This is one of the problems with certain approaches to depth psychology (including the use of hypnosis, for example), which can force open such areas of content before the patient is ready, and can cause more damage in the process than what is healed. Following the logic of the time line (cushioned by this safety valve of memory), will lead to deep healing results, but without having to provoke any risk. Similarly, some patients may very distinctly remember certain strong traumas, but choose not to include them on their time line until they are ready to share them. If this is a very strong issue for a patient, I will let them know that they don’t ever have to discuss the content of certain events, but if they can at least tell me the nature of the emotions involved, we can address those with the corresponding remedies. (Was their fear? Anger? Grief? Humiliation? Etc.). It can take a fair bit of time before a patient is even ready to discuss it at this level, and treatment helps them to be more ready for this when the time comes.
Another aspect of creating the time line which many patients need to sort out, is knowing the correct balance between too much and too little information. “It’s not a novel”, I caution some, who are prone to ramble on through many trivial details, diluting down the essential content. Yet others need to be encouraged to flesh it out quite a bit, where only a handful of dense, cryptic notes have been scribbled onto a small note pad. Each of these groups of patients need to learn to identify which events are likely to be considered traumas which they’ll need to have treated. Many patients will wrongly assume that events from the past are no longer in their system, whether as a natural process of healing and letting go, or of specific psychological or other healing work they have undergone. It is true that “time heals all wounds”, but the little understood distinction between ‘healing’ and ‘curing’ gets to the essence of time line treatment, which is a curative approach, in counterpart to the healing.
When a patient does bring in their time line, there are many things about its format which are sometimes as revealing about them as the actual content included. Is it typed, or hand-written? Neatly organized in a spreadsheet in chronological order, or haphazardly written in a stream-of-consciousness narrative, with many blocks of text “inserted” with squiggly arrows? The constitution of the patient (personality type) permeates everything they do and say (and how they do and say it), and the presentation of the time line is often one of my initial clues into which constitution the patient is.
If you overhear any conversation which includes the question “Where are you in your time line?”, you’ll know that you’re probably eavesdropping on one of our patients. Or, if you ever hear yourself stating that one or more of your health problems began with a certain event in your life (what we call “NBWS : Never Been Well Since”), then we know that your health will be improved when you work through your time line treatment. Time travel cruises are leaving from Port Arcanum on a daily basis….
[Technical note on this article’s title : We treat the time line using homotonic, rather than homeopathic remedies, but that is a story for another day.]