What Is A Healing Crisis?

Many individuals who embark on the natural healing path will encounter detoxification reactions, referred to as a healing crisis. A healing crisis is also referred to as a flare-up, die-off, aggravation or by its medical term a Herxheimer Reaction.
A healing crisis is not a pleasant experience and is attributed to detoxing the body faster than the organs can eliminate the toxins being released. During a healing crisis the cells are releasing toxins into the body at a time when the organs of elimination (bladder, colon, kidney, liver, lungs and skin) are overworked and cannot eliminate them quickly enough. As a result, the toxins simply circulate through your body, which can trigger healing crisis symptoms.
An additional factor of a healing crisis is dying off of pathogenic organisms in the body, such as candida. Any protocol that causes a massive die off of these organisms can result in a healing crisis. I have found that with a slow paced detox protocol you can avoid severe healing crisis symptoms.
For those who are chronically ill, or struggling with some form of EI, it may be encouraging to know that a healing crisis usually occurs when the body has enough vitality, that it is healthy enough to throw off toxins.
Detoxification Symptoms
For those who proceed at a cautious pace while detoxing, symptoms can be mild or nonexistent. Some typical detox symptoms include:

  • bad breath
  • acne
  • nausea
  • headache
  • flu like aches and pains
  • odoriferous stool and urine
  • exhaustion
  • fever
  • sweating
  • diarrhea


Most healing crisis lasts for one to two days, although they can last up to a week. It has been my experience that a healing crisis occurs when someone tries to detoxify to fast. If you approach detoxification as an ongoing, slow paced protocol, you are less likely to suffer the effects of a healing crisis. It is important to remember that the symptoms are temporary and will subside as your body becomes healthier and able to eliminate toxins more effectively.
People with EI, chronic or major illness are more likely to suffer from extreme reactions, which is why it is important to work with your practitioner on a detox protocol that is based on your needs and sensitivities. As you work through a detox protocol, adjustments will need to be made based on your reactions.


Working Through a Healing Crisis

  • Stay home and rest
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get a lymphatic massage to assist your body with toxin removal
  • Try a detox bath to assist your body in eliminating toxins
  • Use a liver pack/castor oil pack to draw toxins from the body
  • Discuss with your practitioner if colonics are a good option for you


Hering’s Law of Cure
Constantine Hering, M.D. (1800-1880) made the observation that healing occurs in a consistent pattern. He described this pattern in the form of three basic laws.

1. Healing progresses from the deepest part of the organism (mental, emotional, vital organs) to the external.

2. Healing progresses from the upper to the lower parts of the body.

3. As healing occurs, symptoms appear and disappear in the reverse order of their chronological appearance. (The most recent symptoms and illness disappear first and the most chronic, long term symptoms and illnesses disappear last).
In short, the laws states that healing happens from the inside out, from the top of your body down, from the more important organs to less important ones and from your most recent symptoms to the oldest.



Iridology: The Science and Practice in the Healing Arts Volume II by Dr. Bernard Jensen 1982

Alternative Medicine The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition

Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson Haas M.D.

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My Health Maven offers information on a wholistic approach to healthy lifestyle choices.