Q: The basic question is this: do I need to keep working with an issue until the physical discomfort is gone? The story: I woke up sick one morning and assumed it was emotional. Learned some fascinating things, feel much better emotionally, but still feel somewhat physically sick. Can I do enough presence work to banish the physical symptom right away, or is that too much to expect (and I'll use other healing methods)?
A: The fact you use the word "banish" means you still are missing the point of this work. This work is not about "banishing" aspects of our experience as if there is something wrong - it is about embracing all aspects of our experience as if they are all required. This is why I no longer use the word "heal" or "healing" in my vocabulary. I no longer seek to heal any aspect of my experience - however, it is my intent to integrate it all.
When doing emotional integration work it is recommended we take care of any manifesting symptom. This is obvious. We take care of our body-vehicle. However, it is important we do not try to force any physical, mental, or emotional outcome we assume necessary - because then we cannot be functioning "without condition" - which is required for authentic integration.
When an emotional signature is integrated - its physical manifestation has no foundation and thus is neutralized. However, we cannot be the judge of this, as emotional signatures are multi-dimensional. Often their symptomatic manifestations return so as all dimensions of the imprint achieve full integration. Until we have developed full felt-perception capacity, we cannot absolutely know that an imprint is completely integrated. To use our physical experience as a barometer of whether an emotional signature is integrated is therefore not reliable. To take this approach is to become result-orientated, destination-conscious, and conditional.
To focus only on "getting rid of the physical symptom" causes us to subtly enter a manipulative stance - and then before we know it - we are again controlling or sedating our physical experience [with the best of intentions of course] in an attempt to "heal ourselves". Most self-professed "healers" are actually practicing "manipulation" - especially if they are in any way invested in the removal of physical symptoms as a barometer of their efficiency.
Emotional integration work is not about healing - or about feeling better. It is about engaging with our life experience in a responsive manner - one which gradually trains us to become responsible for the causality of the quality of our experience regardless of whether we are in physical discomfort or not.
This requires getting better at feeling, not focusing on feeling better. While we remain fixated by the physical manifestation of our emotional charges - this level of ongoing responsibility is seldom attained.
If having physical discomfort is the only reason we behave responsibly - then our behavior is not responsible at all - it is actually reactionary. We are responsible for how we feel whether we are physically uncomfortable or not.
My suggestion is you stop trying to "heal yourself" and rather focus on becoming integrative.