Understanding the Healing Crisis

Holistic medicine works differently!

A healing crisis includes a wide range of symptoms that may occur during the course of healing.  You may experience some symptoms immediately after a treatment or days later.  The worst of the symptoms may last as little as a few hours or as long as several days.  The longer the symptoms last, the stronger the healing crisis. Normally, when the symptoms have passed, you will feel better than prior to the crisis.

Because of the way conventional medicine works, most patients do not understand the healing crisis.  Allopathic or conventional medicine relies on eliminating discomfort/symptoms with prescription drugs and/or surgeries. Some CAM (Complementary & Alternative Medicine) practitioners also only focus on palliating symptoms by focusing on one facet of health, using less invasive treatments such as exercises, acupuncture, massage, joint manipulation, or using herbs orally or topically. Just because your pain is gone when you take a pill, rub on an ointment, or get a massage doesn't mean the problem is cured.  

True Holistic medicine seeks to address the underlying cause of pain and illness using both modern and natural approaches, balancing the body's biochemistry, structure, and energy flow so that the body can restore itself to a healthy physiological state. True Holistic Physicians do not shun the need for over-the-counter medications or a medical referral for Rx medication; they use all the tools available to help you to heal--natural and new, in a harmonious way.

Disease is a long, gradual process that occurs over time.  The disease progression moves from the less serious to more serious, and then moves inward to deeper levels.  Sometimes minor ailments are driven deeper into the body and become more serious by the use of incorrect therapies. Incorrect therapies are usually those treatments which suppress symptoms, and weaken the immune system.  For example, you may first experience a skin problem, which seems to clear up with a topical cream.  Later, the original disease may progress inward to be come asthma, because the skin wanted to express the disease but it was suppressed.  Later still, you may even develop a third condition such as depression, and so on.

Increasing a person's health "reverses" the disease process, almost like watching your disease process on rewind.  When healing occurs, old symptoms crop up, occurring in reverse order of their original appearance.  The person with the skin problem may re-experience some depression, followed by some asthmatic episodes, then the skin problem may eventually re-occur, cycling back through the original disease progression, until the patient is cured of the cause of the disease pattern.

Body aches/pains, headaches, nausea and fatigue often felt during a healing crisis are primarily the effects of detoxification and immune system battle with a microbe. In the healing process, the body is working to eliminate toxins that built up during the disease, or the body is creating chemicals to battle a virus, bacteria, yeast, fungus, mold, or parasite (microbe). Toxins are materials that have collected in the colon, the tissues, and in individual cells.  The body becomes temporarily more toxic until the battle is over and the toxins are excreted.

Some discomfort is normal, and symptoms can be a positive sign that healing is taking place. There are a number of things you can do to help your body during a healing crisis.  First and foremost, follow you prescribed protocol correctly! Taking supplements, remedies, or over-the-counter medications that were not prescribed by your Holistic Physicians, may delay the healing process and prolong discomfort.  If your healing crisis is too intense, please consult your Holistic Physician about possibly altering your personal protocol. Alterations in your protocol may mean that your healing will be slower, but more tolerable.

Sufficient rest is very important since your body is fighting a battle, during the healing process. Trying to "do it all" or start a new exercise regime while you're body is trying to heal is counter-productive. Please REST!

Home care is important to lessen symptoms, especially if the crisis presents itself on an emotional level. For example, the skin is an organ of elimination for toxins--a light brushing of the skin with a natural bristle brush, a trip to a steam room, light exercise, contrast hot/cold, castor oil packs, therapeutic enemas, or soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath, may be prescribed to help stimulate blood and lymph flow.

Reducing stressors and a positive outlook, can help a healing crisis pass more quickly. Take an honest look at your lifestyle and the list of side-effects caused by any medications you are taking.  Rx medications, your typical diet, smoking habit, alcohol intake, exercise regime, social interactions, and other lifestyle elements may need to be changed.  A positive attitude will allow you to relax and to recognize that the symptoms are temporary, and your treatment is on point.  A personalized affirmation with or without specific movement may be prescribed as part of your home care regime to aid in your recovery.

Communicate, openly and honestly, with your Holistic Physician.  Report intolerable symptoms in a timely manner, instead of giving up on your Rx plan.  Allow the doctors to help you, by following recommendations, and letting them know any discomfort you may be experiencing.  Remember discomfort from taking an anti-microbial is normal when your immune system is using the medicine to battle the bug.  You may also need to come in for one or more brief relief treatments during your protocol, or adjustment of the dosage of prescribed supplements, may be necessary to lessen your discomfort.  Don't be shy, your doctor wants success for you and needs to know!

The healing journey is very rewarding, and like any worthwhile quest, it has its challenges.  A healing crisis is an opportunity to understand the process the body is going through to reach a better state.  Despite some temporary discomfort, you should experience more areas of improvement.  Consider, the healing crisis a sign of progress and an indication that you're on the road to optimal health.

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