Anytime the body is healing itself, healing crisis happens. To effectively heal itself, i.e. to detoxify, repair, regenerate, the body must first restore homeostasis. So what is homeostasis? Is healing crisis a natural healing process? Read on.
Homeostasis: A State of Wholeness
Homeostasis is the process of keeping the body environment in a balanced, stable or equilibrium state, i.e. at an “ideal” constant value (also called “set point”).
All homeostatic mechanisms use the negative feedback loops.
Negative feedback promotes homeostasis, it triggers the system back towards set point whenever changes occur, thus keeping the body more or less as it is―stable and balanced.
For example, when we feel heat, the temperature sensors in our skin send the message to our brain. (The rise in temperature above the set point triggers negative feedback.)
Our brain then sends the message to the sweat glands to increase sweating and increase blood flow to our skin to cool the body.
When we feel cold, the opposite happens. (Here the temperature falls below the set point, and this also triggers negative feedback.)
Our brain now sends a message to our sweat glands to decrease sweating, decrease blood flow, and begin shivering, all to preserve heat.
This is an ongoing process that continually works to restore and maintain homeostasis. Besides the regulation of body temperature, other examples of homeostasis include the regulation of blood glucose level, blood pressure, hormones in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, inflammatory cytokines, etc.
|The inflammatory response is the body’s natural response to an injury or infection. Without this initial phase of the healing process, infections would go unchecked and wounds would never heal. However, inflammation may be potentially harmful if homeostasis is compromised.|
Homeostasis: Synergy at work
Each body system contributes to the homeostasis of other systems and of the entire organism.
No system of the body works in isolation, and the well-being of the person depends upon the well-being of all the interacting or communicating body systems.
Not surprisingly, this is also what is required to assist efficiently the body’s various healing processes, including getting over the healing crisis period.
A sluggish or imbalanced body system brings about “dis-ease” or discomfort to the body, whether mental or physical. But once the system is balanced, or has reached homeostasis, the conditions that cause “dis-ease” will no longer be present, hence, the healing process starts.
Related articles on Energy Healing:
Healing Crisis: It’s Working!
As part of the healing process, healing crisis involves every body system, all working in concert to eliminate waste products through all elimination channels, subsequently setting the stage for repairing and regeneration.
The waste products mentioned here are of two main types:
- Stubborn toxic residues built up over the years and stored within the cells/tissues.
- Endotoxins or bacterial toxins released by the bacteria when they are killed during the detox/healing process.
The healing crisis or the “Herxheimer Reaction” is the body’s (immune system) reaction to these toxins that are released into the bloodstream, faster than the body can remove them. This either exacerbates the symptoms being treated or creates new symptoms.
Just in case you wanted to know …
The body has two main jobs when it comes to detoxification. The first is to eliminate wastes and toxins. The second is to protect itself against harmful microbes, toxic chemicals, etc.
The latter is one of our skin’s main jobs. Acting as a barrier, it provides protection not only from mechanical impacts and variations in temperature, it also guards us against microorganisms, radiation and chemicals.
When toxins and other chemicals manage to enter our body, our immune system will start to roar. It keeps the bad microbes in check and triggers the inflammation process when necessary.
The respiratory system helps filter the air we breathe and keep as many toxins and foreign particles out of our body as possible. At times your body may need a helping hand here. To begin with, how about purifying the air in your home?
Finally, the biggest detoxifying job lands to the liver and excretory system. Ingested chemicals and toxins are first broken down (or metabolized) by the liver, and are then excreted as either blood or bile, which are ultimately filtered by the kidneys and intestines, and finally leave the body in urine and feces, respectively.
On whether the skin can sweat out toxins (this is still a hot debate topic), here’s a study that says it does. (link).
Symptoms of healing crisis
Once the healing crisis starts, the reactions may be mild or severe, at times they may appear even worse than before! You may experience:
• Muscle pain
• Strong emotions
• Mood swings
• Itch and skin rashes
Some may even experience:
• Flu-like symptoms
• Drop in blood pressure
Take note that you’re not getting worse, you’re actually getting better. Eventually you will get your good health back as your body begins to “normalize” itself, but first you’ve got to go through this period of “hangover” from the diseases or injuries you’ve had in the past.
WARNING: Any serious symptoms such as cardiac irregularity; breathing difficulties; chest, lung or throat constriction; significant swelling; or other severe symptoms should be given immediate medical attention.
How to ease your way through
During the healing crisis, it is important that you not suppress these temporary symptoms with drugs.
Drink ample pure water or juices daily to help carry out the toxins. Even if you’re not going through a healing crisis, this is still a must-do to keep dehydration at bay.
Adequately rest, get some sunlight, and do gentle exercises. Besides helping you through your healing crisis, these physical mechanisms too can positively influence homeostasis.
If the reaction is not too severe, allow the healing process to continue. The reaction is usually over within a few days (mine is much longer though) and is well worth the cleansing and healing results. Many unfortunately give up too soon at this stage.
Be kind, be gentle to yourself (mind and body)―at least try not to dump further “toxins” and chemicals into the body while it is already working hard.
A simple way is to stop or bulging yourself with processed foods and drinks, or foods that take hours to digest. If you need to know, too much toxicity also causes homeostatic imbalance, resulting in cellular malfunction.
As you know, digestion is a major energy drain on the body; why not allow the body to use the energy to heal and repair tissues rather than just process your fatty foods and junks. In short, it’s a simply healthy body that we’re trying to achieve.
Other helpful methods in the field of energy medicine (to “set the stage” for efficient healing) will be discussed in a future article.
Meanwhile, let’s find out what the TCM yin-yang principles have got to do with natural healing.
My own experience
For myself, the healing crisis, which lasted for about 3 months, hit me with frequent urination, sinus, back ache, finger joint pain and insomnia (they don’t happen at the same time), just a few weeks after my diet change.
Of course, healing crisis can also be triggered when one undergoes an energy healing therapy, start an exercise or yoga program, or as simple as an initiation of an improved diet, just like what I did.
However, what I was going through is not a cycle, but cycles of healing crises! The “blocked” energies (or chi) have taken time to develop, and naturally some time is required to release them, a stage at a time.
What did I do to my diet?
Well, I gradually cut down the consumption of meat, both white and red.
On top of my “meatless” diet, I also took (I’m still taking them) gentle yet superior total balance (this is much more than a multivitamin mineral supplement), omega-3 premium and one of nature’s best digestive supplements.
This is mainly to make up for any deficiency in nutrients found in our food today; and it also helps maintain a balance nutrient profile to assist the body in its healing work. Meditation, yoga and meridian tapping too are part of my daily holistic health practices.
If you’re not helping …
Don’t stand in the way either.
Our body’s natural healing process (including healing crisis) and homeostasis can be disrupted, and we, most of the time, are the cause of it … the point is this: if we keep “injuring” the body, how do you expect the body to heal itself completely.
But most people don’t realize that they are “injuring” their body every day by the way they are living and eating. When we eat wrong and live wrong, these small daily “injuries” will eventually result in a disease, in spite of the fact that the body will still try to maintain homeostasis and heal itself.
These external influences are based primarily on our lifestyle choices and environmental exposures that influence our body’s ability to maintain homeostasis and cellular health.
What happens if homeostasis is not maintained
Either homeostasis is maintained through a series of control mechanisms, or the body suffers various illnesses or disease. And when the cells in our body begin to malfunction, the homeostatic balance becomes further disrupted. Eventually this leads to more disease.
Disease and cellular malfunction can be caused in two basic ways: either, deficiency (cells not getting all they need) or toxicity (cells being poisoned by things they do not need). When homeostasis is interrupted in your cells, there are pathways to correct or worsen the problem. (Source: Wikibooks)
By removing negative health influences and providing adequate positive health influences, our body is better able to self-regulate and self-repair, aka heal itself, thus maintaining homeostasis.
Or/and when the body is able to maintain homeostasis, a favorable condition is set up for the body’s natural healing process to kick in.
Now that you know homeostasis is critical for your survival, and healing crisis is your body’s way of telling you it is doing its healing job, isn’t it time to start showing gratitude to this body of ours?
With all its senses, strength, flexibility, teamwork and its natural mechanism to continuously want to heal itself, the body is truly the one thing that we could be most grateful for!