Healing Crisis & the Detoxification Process
Healing Crisis is just what it sounds like. While cleansing and detoxifying your body you may experience digestive upsets, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, cold/flu symptoms, slight nausea, mild spotting between cycles, fatigue, tenderness, emotional releases, etc. Do not be alarmed or suppress these symptoms as these are normal during any detoxification process and provide valuable information on what’s going on in the body.
- Nausea or dizziness: increased liver and/or gall bladder drainage
- Bloating: increased bacterial activity of putrefying, old material in intestines and often happens when material is mobilized but not yet moved out of the body
- Chills: kidney drainage and energetic release and/or nervous system discharge
- Skin eruptions: increased detoxification of or through the skin cells
- Energy decrease: all organs are working hard to clear toxins
- Headaches and other body aches: mobilization of toxins out of the tissues and into the bloodstream
- Various emotions point to releases of energy in specific organs: fear= a release from the kidney, anger= a release from the liver, worry= a release from the spleen/stomach, grief= a release from the lungs
Healing Crisis or Herxheimer's Symptoms
On occasion when detoxing, particularly during your first few detoxes, you may experience some symptoms, often referred to as a “Healing Crisis” (Herxheimer’s reaction). It is characterized by a temporary increase in symptoms during the detoxification sauna. Reactions, when they occur, are almost always mild, but on rare occasions can be severe.
Healing Crisis Detoxification Triggers
- Any large-scale die-off of bacteria can release a significant amount of toxins present within the actual bacteria. The stronger those toxins are and the more bacteria present to release them, the stronger the cleansing reaction. Colon cleansing, the use of probiotics, digestive enzymes, immune enhancers, and pathogen destroyers can all trigger bacterial die-off.
- Any detox that causes the organs of the body (particularly the liver, which is a storehouse of drug and poison residues) to purge their stored poisons and toxins, can trigger a cleansing reaction, as can the use of an herbal blood cleanser.
- Any program, such as fasting or the use of weight-loss herbs that cause a rapid breakdown of fat cells (which are a storehouse for toxins) can be accompanied by a detox reaction.
The bottom line is that the body must go through an elimination process to achieve good health. There will be ups and downs. Symptoms, if they appear, are usually mild, but in some cases can be severe. Understand, the symptoms you experience are indicative of the cleansing, purifying process that is underway. If symptoms become too severe, stop the detox and regroup. You can always restart the detox again at a later date.
Coping With a Healing Crisis
Eating a poor diet, overeating, drinking excess alcohol, taking drugs, medications, pollution, cigarette smoke, using commercial body care products such as body lotions, make up, hair spray, and even toothpastes, and many more things we put on or in our bodies all contribute to our toxic load, the chemical build-up that results from months, years, and decades of the body being exposed to toxic residues.
A healing crisis occurs when toxins stored in the body’s organs and tissues are released at a faster rate than can be properly eliminated. Your body didn’t become toxic overnight, and the process of detoxification doesn’t happen immediately, or without some uncomfortable side effects, as your body rids itself of the toxins that have been storing there for years. The more toxic your body is, the more severe the detoxification and the more intense the reaction. A cleansing crisis can last minutes or up to two to three days.
The best way to get rid of these symptoms is to drink plenty of liquids such as purified water with lemon, fresh juices, herbal teas, and plant digestive enzymes, as these will speed up elimination of the toxins in your system. In severe cases, take liver herbs for two weeks to assist the body (this should also be done annually to help maintain detoxification).
One of the biggest misconceptions people face with the healing crisis is the belief that they have caught some infection or that an old condition like acne has returned. In actuality, these symptoms are a sign that your body is finally purging itself of the last remnants of the toxins that created the disease or ailment in the first place.
Top 15 Symptoms of a Healing Crisis
- Extreme fatigue or its opposite, restlessness
- Skin eruptions or acne
- Aches, pains
- Sinus congestion
- Fever (usually low grade) and/or chills
- Frequent urination and/or urinary tract discharges
- Drop in blood pressure
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Mood swings or strong emotions (anger, despair, sadness, fear, etc.)
- Suppressed memories may arise
Easing Your Way Through The Healing Crisis
- Get plenty of rest and sleep especially when feeling a severe crisis
- Drink plenty of fresh water, juices, and herbal teas to flush the body of toxins.
- Use an enema or colonic to provide fast relief
- Hot tub, steam bath, or sauna
- A therapeutic lymphatic drainage massage with essential oils
- A Castor Oil pack on the liver for 20 minutes
- Yoga or stretching
- Exfoliate the skin with a dry skin brush twice daily