So glad you are on the forum now.
While we are waiting for Howard’s response, I will post mine based on my experience. Regarding how long it takes for a mind-body condition to develop, I think it can take a minute to decades. The reason for this is that these syndromes are driven by whether or not the brain perceives danger, either internal danger (inside the body) or external danger (outside the body). We all have different protective factors/resiliency vs. vulnerabilities combined with the different types of factors that trigger or maintain the danger signal (childhood trauma, adult trauma and stress, personality traits, conditioned responses and repressed emotions). All of these variables will play a role in the onset of the symptom(s). Oftentimes, someone might have small symptoms over time that do not play a large role in their life and are more easily ignored, and then they “blossom” into a larger, multi-symptom, multi-system syndrome or set of symptoms after a final trigger that tips one over the edge, creating more interference in one’s ability to function normally. When I say it could also take a minute, I’m referring to the power of a medical professional (or the 24 hour news cycle or social media) to scare someone into thinking they are damaged or irreversibly ill – it just takes one little comment to terrify a vulnerable person, thus keeping them in trapped in the pain-fear-attention-pain cycle.
Regarding how long it takes to heal, it seems to vary widely – from one visit, to years with most falling into several months I think. It is directly linked to how quickly you can turn off your danger signal – since this is directly related to your belief, on a conscious and subconscious level, of safety and wellness, it depends on the time to firmly establish that belief in your brain. I’ve see patients who have been sick for decades, in a wheelchair, walk-in pain-free by the second visit. Most patients can’t turn off their danger signal that quickly, but it is important to remember that this is like a light switch, or more like a dimmer switch – a little bit on, a little bit off, completely off. There is no physical thing to heal, so the time to heal (or have symptoms stop) is variable. It is a psychological/emotional healing, not a physical healing. There are instances where the persistent state of symptoms can create physiologic changes in the body, but that is probably for another forum topic.
Let’s see how Howard answers the question.