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Acute Physical Illness


Patrick Healey, N.D.

“Illnesses do not come upon us out of the blue. They are developed from small daily sins against Nature. When enough sins have accumulated, illnesses will suddenly appear.”

As naturopathic doctors, our philosophy is different when it comes to our view on what it means to have an acute illness such as a cold or flu. These are short-term “healing reactions“, as we call them, that the body has in response to our body needing to go through a cleansing process. Colds and flus are not caught, they are created responses that our body has to help us heal – a “Spring Cleaning” so to speak. Just like when you are doing a spring cleaning of your garage or cleaning your house or room, things have to get a little messy and disorganized before they get clean and organized.

The signs and symptoms (“language of the body“) we have during these reactions i.e. fever, runny nose, sore throat, sinus congestion, fatigue, lack of appetite, etc., are our body’s way of helping us cleanse our internal systems and prevent chronic illness. The elevated temperature of a fever upgrades and stimulates your immune system to work optimally and more efficiently. Your runny nose is helping you get rid of waste products, toxins, and allergens. The fatigue and lack of appetite is your body’s way of conserving energy and focusing on healing and recovery.

If we take something (medication or drug) or do something (natural or otherwise) that suppresses and hinders these responses, 2 things will happen.

  1. Your illness/cleansing process will last longer.
  2. You will drive your illness deeper into the body which will lead to chronic illness. 

Acute illness arises from multiple factors that hinder the body from functioning at optimum:

  • Poor sleep
  • Junk food
  • Environmental toxins
  • Mental and emotional stress
  • Negative thoughts
  • Toxic relationships
  • Lack of physical activity
  • The list can go on!

When enough insult to the body has occurred and waste products and toxins are building up, the body creates an acute response such as a cold of flu to resolve the issues and bring the body back to homeostasis or balance.

Our goal as naturopathic doctors is to support the body’s innate healing and vitality response. We have a number of ways to do this with nutritionhomeopathy/drainagebotanicalshydrotherapy, nutritional supplements, just to name a few. We want to respect and support the body in its cleansing effort in order to optimize health in the short and long-term.


In our eyes, every person’s acute illness is for a unique reason and requires evaluation to know exactly what to recommend. If you want the support and guidance of our naturopathic doctors here at Options, we offer acute calls for our established patients for these types of acute responses so that we can support you individually through your cleansing journey. You may request and schedule that here.

Below are some general guidelines and suggestions for supporting your system during acute illness.