Also known as the
"Herxheimer Reaction", this reaction occurs when the body tries to eliminate
toxins at a faster rate than they can be properly disposed of. The more
toxic one's bodily systems are, the more severe the detoxification, or
healing crisis. It is characterized by a temporary increase in symptoms
during the cleansing or detox process which may be mild or severe. You
may feel worse and therefore conclude that the treatment is not working.
But these reactions are instead signs that the treatment is working and
that your body is going through the process of cleaning itself of impurities,
toxins and imbalances.
are temporary and can occur immediately -- or within several days, or even
several weeks, of a detox. Symptoms usually pass within 1-3 days, but on
rare occasions can last several weeks. If you are suffering from a major
illness, the symptoms you experience during the healing crisis may be identical
to the disease itself. Sometimes discomfort during the healing crisis is
of greater intensity than when you were developing the chronic disease.
This may explain why there may be a brief flare-up in one's condition.
Often the crisis will come after you feel your very best. Most people feel
somewhat ill during the first few days of a cleanse because it is at that
point that your body dumps toxins into the blood stream for elimination.
With a more serious condition there may be many small crises to go through
before the final one is possible. In any case, a cleansing & purifying
process is underway, and stored wastes are in a free-flowing state.
The healing crisis
is the result of every body-system, in concert, working to eliminate waste
products through all elimination channels and set the stage for regeneration.
The end result: old tissues are replaced with new. When any treatment or
cleansing program causes a large scale die-off of bacteria, a significant
amount of endotoxins (toxins within the bacteria itself) are released into
the body. The more bacteria present, and the stronger their endotoxins,
the stronger the cleansing reaction. When any treatment or detox causes
the organs of the body (particularly the liver, which is a storehouse of
drug and poison residues) to release their stored poisons and toxins, a
cleansing reaction may occur. Any program, such as fasting, which causes
a rapid breakdown of fat cells (which are a storehouse for toxins), can
cause a healing crisis as toxins previously lodged in the fat cells are
released into the blood stream.
The healing crisis
will usually bring about past conditions in whatever order the body is
capable of handling at that time. People often forget the diseases or injuries
they have had in the past, but are usually reminded during the crisis.
There are a wide variety of reactions that may manifest during a healing
crisis, the most common are:
Your Way Through the Healing Crisis:
joint or muscle pain
Extreme fatigue and/or
its opposite, restlessness
to be caused by buildup of toxins in the blood)
Arthritic flair up
Fever (usually low
grade) and/or chills
and/or urinary tract discharges
Drop in blood pressure
Skin eruptions, including:
boils, hives, and rashes.
Cold or flu-like symptoms
Strong emotions: anger,
despair, sadness, fear, etc.
New phobias develop
Drink plenty of fresh
water (especially water), juices, and herbal teas to flush the body of
toxins. Some professionals recommend distilled water as the best. Drink
from 2 to 4 quarts(liters) per day. This will help flush the toxins out
of your system and speed along the detoxification.
Always ensure your health by having a thorough medical check up: don't
assume that if you have any of the above symptoms that you are in a healing
crisis: you may not be in a healing process, you may have a medical
If you are feeling fatigued,
or sleepy, your body is talking to you, and telling you to rest. Be kind
to yourself, and get the rest that you need.
Symptoms frequently disappear
immediately after a good bowel movement, use an enema to provide relief.
For other symptoms, meditation,
EFT, acupuncture or a good massage might be helpful to speed up the healing
process, and reduce the discomfort.
And, on rare occasions,
a reduction of the dosage or temporary cessation may be required.