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The 12 Stages of Healing

1. Suffering - Different from pain, suffering is marked by a profound awareness that something is wrong. Parts of our being are disconnected. The awareness of this disconnection is usually made as we draw more upon our consciousness and energetic resources. This especially occurs when confronted by a traumatic or chaotic event or loss. The lesson of this stage is the acceptance that nothing works at this time, and that you are presently helpless.

2. Polarities and Rhythms - This stage begins with the search for the magical genie that can or has been identified as the savior from distress, pain, or crisis. We project from the alienated, isolated, traumatized, hurt, shamed or ignored aspects of our being. These parts try to gain power over our helplessness through external authorities, procedures, treatments, etc. As we heal, we eventually discover that what we blamed or projected as being so wrong is not so bad. Or we see that our genie is not so magical. We begin to become aware of our rhythms and polarities and discover we are somehow involved in a process, and are partially responsible for our distress.

3. Stuck in a Perspective - This stage of healing involves the recognition that our distress is associated with the fact that we have been stuck in a perspective. Our concepts and/or our physiology have been fixated. We do not yet know why we've been stuck, or what to do about it. We just need to be with the simple revelation that we've been stuck.

4. Reclaiming Our Power - This stage of healing is one in which we realize that the "script" determined by the above three stages is no longer desirable or no longer works. Initially, we are angry that we had lost our power, and are determined not to let it happen again. As we progress through this stage, we choose to no longer dishonor ourselves, because we deserve more.

5. Merging with the Illusion - This stage is associated with having a strong enough sense of self to turn back onto our own alienated "shadow" or "light" to heal the illusion and create more wholeness. At this major stage of healing we can appear on the other side of our illusionary self.

6. Preparation for Resolution - The alienated, traumatized, denied or redirected consciousness or energy is moving towards being prepared for discharge and resolution. We feel the tensions building within ourselves as this process advances. We find ways to create change and develop the flexibility to continue the process.

7. Resolution - Discharge of bio-electric energy is associated with a discharge of mechanical energy. This may be discharge of the muscular system, such as movement of the trunk or extremities. Processes such as fever, coughing, sneezing, or vomiting are common forms of discharge. Crying screaming and laughing are also discharge phenomena. When the discharge occurs after the previous six stages, resolution can occur with the discharge. When a sense of accomplishment, peace and inner strength accompanies the process, then resolution has been achieved.

8. Emptiness in Connectedness - After the discharge we are emptied. Rather than a space of nothingness, we find ourselves in a place of possibilities. We enter into a state of gratitude, vulnerability, connection with our external rhythms, and alignment with events around us. We welcome serendipity as a natural way of life.

9. Light Behind The Form - From our place of emptiness and gratitude we can truly appreciate our energetic fullness. We experience that we are more than our physical body, actually become aware of the flow of the life force, through us. We more fully experience our connection to others.

10. Ascent - We experience our union with the creative force of the universe. We transcend all limits, boundaries, language, judgments, and our existing sense of self. We gain the wisdom of knowing the oneness of all of creation during this stage.

11. Descent - We are renewed beyond our limits and sense of self and enter into the world again. We know that we are part of all we perceive and responsible for all that we know. We live without being attached to our situations. We love and serve.

12. Community - We experience our involvement with humanity and recognize that wholeness comes from bringing our individual gifts into community. This occurs in our internal and external communities. We receive gifts from within ourselves and from others. We recognize that all our choices are spiritual ones and affect all beings. Eventually we recognize that our limits stem from our own lack of wholeness. Consequently, we seek to re-experience the rhythm of earlier stages.

"If you can't be in the stage you love,
love the stage you're in!"

"Each stage has a rhythm of its own. No one stage is better than another. We cannot think or figure our way through any stage. Each stage represents one of the twelve rhythms of consciousness of humanity. Be with the stage you are in. Don't resist the stage, honor it. The stage will come to completion when you've gained the information within its rhythm.
Many people never fully experience most of these stages, spending their lives within the first few. Those receiving Network care consistently move through the stages much more rapidly, and sometimes all twelve stages in a few minutes. The ability to move back and forth through the stages as needed for your healing is ideal. This is more likely to occur with a nervous system freed from interferences, such as subluxations.
Breath, movement, and touch are always true and are your guides through each of the Twelve Stages of Healing. Honor them, and go with your flow. Regardless of the stage you are in, breathe, move your body, and let your hands move in any way or to any place your rhythms take them.
Each of us may choose symptom or disease care at any time and at any stage. However, this has little to do with healing. We suggest that after the condition is "under control" that you continue on your Twelve Stages Journey. Even your distress or dis-ease has a "story" to tell you. Let your peace teach your distress to heal.
This is not meant as a substitute for any form of health care. Any time you feel you need help, seek out the assistance of a professional."

From Dr. Donald Epstein's book, The Twelve Stages of Healing, 1994, New World Library.