What Is a Healing Crisis?

A healing crisis can either be a stepping stone to better health or a stumbling block. The key is understanding what to expect when you detox your body.

A healing crisis (Herxheimer reaction) can happen when you detox your body

While body detoxification is designed to be automatic, sometimes your organs of elimination can get overwhelmed, causing illness or imbalance set in.

Your body then remains in a diseased state until something like better nutrition, a time of rest, or a cleanse makes rejuvenation possible.

If Your Body Could Speak

"Healing is on the way!" your body would shout, if only it could let you know there was a method to its madness. Then you would have cause to rejoice.

You would not be so totally caught off guard when suddenly everything turns inside out. Instead of feeling good, you start feeling really, really bad.

As Hippocrates once said, "Give me a fever, and I can cure any illness."

Common Symptoms of a Healing Crisis

The body can react many ways to the process of bringing out the old for the purpose of healing. You may experience headache, fevers, chills, nausea, diarrhea, sinus congestion, body aches, fatigue, restlessness, skin rash, cold or flu symptoms, mood swings, or something strangely familiar from an illness or accident long ago.

Feeling Bad Can Be Good

Many people are shocked that beginning a cleanse can actually make them feel worse.

It's not that the cleanse is failing somehow. It's just the natural course of healing, which includes processing a large amount of nasty toxins and waste products.

When toxins are released more rapidly than your body can eliminate them, you will experience what is known as a healing crisis or Herxheimer reaction with unpleasant but temporary symptoms.

These reactions often last a day or two and usually no longer than a week. But they can be frightening if you don't understand what is happening. Once the healing crisis has passed, it is common to feel stronger and healthier than you did before.

The deeper your journey into cleansing, the more healing crises you will encounter, especially if you have significant health issues.

Hering's Law of Cure

"All cure starts from within out and from the head down and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared."

It is like peeling back layers of past trauma and illness, one at a time. In this way your body can thoroughly heal even what is concealed, including unresolved emotional pain and memories.

Symptoms of a healing crisis

Blast from the Past

During body detoxification, cold or flu symptoms and skin rashes are most common. But you may also recognize the pain of an old injury coming back, this time for more complete resolution.

While no one enjoys these symptoms, they are usually a positive sign.

How to Support Recovery

Body detoxification leads to a much better place

When you detox your body, expect cleansing symptoms to come. Even if you experience strong reactions, don't panic.

Obviously a life-threatening emergency or significant allergic reaction deserves immediate help from your healthcare provider. But for other cleanse reactions, the best plan is usually to ride it out.

Keep in mind that a healing crisis is a temporary path to a much better place. It is the process of healing, not the development of new disease.

To help your body recover, drink plenty of liquids to flush toxins and rest as much as possible.

Be sure you have regular bowel movements. Consider using a constipation remedy during a healing crisis for faster relief. 

For strong emotions that arise, journaling, processing your feelings with a friend, or EFT can bring closure. Face your past, and it will lose the power it once had.

The Best Is Yet to Come

Body detoxification can be a wild ride at times. But if you hang in there, you will love the view on the other side.

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