The Healing Crisis
You’ve done your research and determined that detoxing your body is the most efficient way to heal naturally. You’ve seen the results of the toxins that accumulate in the body and realize the major health risk it has to an individual’s well-being. You start to clean up your diet and go on a cleanse; while starting to sweat with the help of exercise and infrared sauna. You’re ready to start feeling the best you’ve ever felt and to start your health journey. As you start your journey, you begin to get a headache, feel lethargic, and start to break out. This is the complete opposite of what you were trying to achieve with this new lifestyle.
What you’re experiencing is quite common and known as a “healing crisis”. A “healing crisis”, clinically known as Jarisch-Herxhemier reaction, is a common experience centered on the basis that you become worse before you feel better. In other words, your symptoms can worsen before they begin to disappear.
A healing crisis can be very common when starting a detox as your body is having to deal with expelling toxins that it didn’t have to before. When you start a cleanse or begin sweating out toxins, the cells release the toxins into the circulation of the body. The elimination organs (skin, kidneys, bladder, liver, lungs, and GI tract) then must process and eliminate the toxins from the body. When the cells release the toxins, the elimination organs may not be able to get rid of the toxins quick enough and they stay in the circulation of the body. They can in turn effect the brain stem leading to nausea, headaches, fatigue, and even fever. 
Endotoxins Ruin the Day
Another cause of the healing crisis is the release of endotoxins. “Endotoxins are produced from infectious bacteria that exert a systemic inflammatory response. These compounds circulate and interfere with biological processes such as activating macrophage activity and stimulating other inflammatory immune responses” described Dr. David Jockers. Any sort of natural health program (infrared sauna, cleanses & detoxes, massage, chiropractic care, etc.) can cause a massive die off of Candida yeast infections, viruses and bacteria which leads to more endotoxins.
Removing these toxins are so important as the longer these toxins or pathogenic organisms remain in the body, the worse your health will be and the faster disease will develop. People usually base their health on how they feel and believe that their program is hurting them when they go through a healing crisis. This could not be further from the truth.
These symptoms usually last 2-3 days and will disappear if you continue your health program. The important thing to remember is that the more toxins you have in your body, the more severe your healing crisis will be.
Below is a list of tips to help your body in dealing with toxins to avoid a large healing crisis
- Drink as Much Water as You Can
- Water will help to flush toxins from the body and keep detoxification pathways, like the lymphatic system clear
- Use Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar is rich in antioxidants and helps boost the immune system
- Sleep is Important
- Sleeping allows your body to focus all of its energy on healing and detoxify which can help you flush toxins quicker.
- Consume Bitter Herbs
- Consuming bitter herbs like cilantro, ginger, and milk thistle can help reduce sugar levels and fight inflammation. This is why the common expression “bitter is good for your liver” is commonly used.
- Drink Bone Broth
- Bone broth is a healing elixir that I swear by. It helps improve the immune system with also reducing inflammation. It’s easy to make yourself too!