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Stage Five of the Autoimmune Spectrum

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Stage Five of the Autoimmune Spectrum

The Five Stages of Autoimmunity

In this series of articles, I am exploring the Autoimmune Spectrum.

If you have not read the previous articles, TAP the appropriate link below.

The Five Stages

In this article, I am going to introduce you to Stage Five of the Autoimmune Spectrum and an overview of the protocols I recommend. 

When I work with patients in Stage Five of Autoimmune Dysfunction, the first conversation I have is about their journey through the Five Stages. When did things start? How fast did they progress? What was the initial trigger?

I ALWAYS take into account the Autoimmune Warning Signs and any significant trauma in their lives.

The more warning signs people have, the more patient and consistent they need to be.

It has been my experience, through the last 25 years of clinical practice, that 80% of my Autoimmune patients have experienced life-changing trauma.

Trauma has many layers. It can affect you on an instinctual level, making your nervous system VERY nervous – even if you meditate. This keeps your stress hormones and your immune system on red alert – until they become exhausted – over and over again until your physiological adaptability wears out.

Trauma can change your intuition into a visceral need for control – changing your relationships and your approach to solving problems. If all of the recent research on the connection between your nervous system, hormones, neurotransmitters, and your immune system is true – which is the basis for Traditional Chinese medicine – then this consistent war with judgement, shame, and control will determine your health to a great deal.

Trauma can also determine your existential relationship with meaning, truth, justice, and life.

Depending on the combination and amounts of instinctual, visceral, and existential trauma some people reach for any form of relief. Approximately 60% of my autoimmune patients have experienced some form of addiction.

If you are experiencing Stage Five of the spectrum, it is time to get completely honest with yourself about any trauma you may have experienced in your life. This is not true of everyone, but it is worth looking into. If you have experienced trauma, or not, the physiology and psychology of a chronic illness can be a form of trauma.

I encourage each and every patient I have, with stage three or beyond to see a Somatic Therapist. This form of therapy is like acupuncture for the mind, heart, and soul.

what options you can negotiate with after you have read through the 4 phases and six pillars of the Ancestral AIP.

Stage Five – A Renewal or Breakdown of Your Immune System

Stage Five begins when your doctor tells you that there is nothing anyone can do anymore.

This usually happens after years and years of being in Stage Four. It usually doesn’t come as a surprise.

I call this stage Renewal or Breakdown because I have seen people bounce back and have many healthy years after being told they were dying. I have also watched people’s bodies gradually breakdown, piece by piece until the end.

Your Life is precious. All life is precious.

Only you can decide when to turn away from life. In Canada, you can ask to be compassionately euthanized if your quality of life and prognosis are severe and dire. Until it is time to have that conversation with yourself, celebrate your life.

I would prefer that we were having this part of the conversation in person. Speaking in gentle and honest voices…

If you are still in love with life, then open yourself to a complete renewal of how you experience your life. Who knows what needs to change or what will be the most beneficial – there is only one way to find out. To try anything and everything that makes sense.

Use your intuition. If you have lost your intuition, see a Somatic Therapist, learn Qi Gong, meditate every day.

The Root Cause – Adaptive Overwhelm

Any chronic, inflammatory, degenerative, high risk, and especially life-threatening illness, will put a lot of wear and tear on your internal organs.

Imagine the damage done by ten years of living in Stage Four and twenty years of Stage Three. The sooner and more thoroughly you support your organs and immune system, the more efficiently your body can recover from the biochemical mess of chronic disease. This is where Traditional Chinese medicine has the most to offer people, assessing the adaptability or the adaptive overwhelm of each of your organs.

In Stage Five you will need to be as precise and consistent as possible. Sometimes, with a patient focus on systemic health renewal, people bounce back into Stage Four and beyond…

Re-Awakening Your Whole Self

EVERY time that I have known a person to go from Stage Five back to Stage Three, each and every one of them had a story of profound personal renewal. Some stories sound Spiritual and others deeply authentic about trauma and addiction. Each person who has reversed severe degenerative Autoimmunity has said they had a moment of complete personal re-alignment with something meaningful in their lives.

They all decided to start from scratch with a very different set of personal values.

They all decided to completely leave their past in the past.

If we go back to our favourite married couple metaphor, Stage Five is either a divorce or a Renewal of Love.

It is not enough to stop doing things that hurt, it is time to start living for love.

Stage Five ~ Lifelong

This is where the rubber hits the road.

It is time to start from scratch and renew every aspect of your life. The future is unknown to us all, and what each of us does with a potentially terminal diagnosis is very personal.

Renew your life and make everyday a celebration of experience and love.

My advice for anyone in Stage Five Autoimmunity is to start with the protocol for Stage Four. Down regulating your immune system and getting into a Seasonal A-AIP is a great start. Your clinician will likely have some modifications, given your unique, personal and present situation.

It is a reflex to move away from pain or problems.

When it comes to severe illness this reflex can get you into some trouble. If anyone on earth needs to practice Qi Gong, meditation, Yoga and go dancing, it is someone who has to renew their relationship with every cell in their body. These practices all bring your attention, curiosity and creativity towards the source of suffering.

Your specific diagnosis does not matter here. Applying yourself wholeheartedly to a regular practice is a good start and essential for everyone in Stage Five.

Try everything that you can!

Learn about Neuroplasticity!

Shamanism is a tricky subject, but I feel that this approach to healing deserves a lot more respect and research. Shamanism is about putting certain healing traditions into regular practice in a Sacred way. That can mean a lot of things, but if you have any access to a Traditional Healer or Ceremonial Circle then I highly encourage you to explore this world of ancient practices and mysteries.

Karma is another subject that defies an easy definition. If your life and long-term health outcomes are on the line, and they are for us all in some ways, then it would be good to come to peace with your past. If you are new to the concept of Karma, here is a link to a podcast. that should leave you with some practical and practicable tools.

That may seem like a lot to do for a person with severe health challenges, but you are not alone in this. Connect with the people and social services that will help you the most. Don’t be too proud. I think Crowdfunding is an excellent example of the good nature of human beings.

Get the support you need. Find accountability partners everywhere you go. Connect with people. Tell your story and keep learning.

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