Updated: Jul 11, 2021
By Dr. Andreas Marx
During treatment with natural therapies such as homeopathy, herbal remedies, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and other biological methods, you may experience an initial increase in symptoms. This is known as a "healing crisis" and usually lasts about three days. It may begin with a headache, body aches or occasional fever with perspiration. It is also possible to just feel very tired and sluggish. "Old School" Doctors view these symptoms as an initiation of the healing process and encourage their patients to enthusiastically embrace them.
To understand the healing mechanism, let’s use the example of how your body’s natural defenses respond to the development of a bacterial infection. As bacteria invade the body, they are confronted by an army of immune system cells that wage war on them. During the attack, you may feel sick. Your symptoms may include a scratchy throat which can advance to other bodily symptoms including fever.
Although unpleasant, these symptoms indicate that your immune system is putting up a good fight for your health. If the infection is mild and your immune system is strong, the fever will peak within a few days then slowly drop with a decrease in all the other symptoms. This is the natural course of the body’s healing mechanism.
If you become impatient with the body’s natural healing mechanism during the first few days of illness or when symptoms persist beyond the expected timeframe, the thought of resorting to antibiotics may cross your mind. If you begin antibiotic treatment, please understand that (in some cases) they can effectively kill bacteria; giving the immune system a chance to resolve the infection. However, while necessary and effective at times, antibiotic use and overuse can lead to other complications. And, in cases of colds and flu which are caused by viruses, they are useless.
When antibiotics kill microorganisms responsible for illness, the distressful symptoms subside but the body is flooded with dead microorganisms (residual toxins) which must be eliminated. This requires strong, vital kidneys, liver, lungs, skin and intestines. When residual toxins are effectively expelled from the body, problems are avoided and your health is restored. However, if the body lacks vitality due to poor nutrition, weak constitution, chronic constipation or lack of fluid intake (especially clean water), residual toxins cannot be effectively removed. The poisonous substances accumulate in the body and eventually lead to chronic disease.
WHAT HAPPENS TO RESIDUAL TOXINS?
Residual toxins (also referred to as toxic metabolic wastes), are primarily stored in connective tissues which serve as the "glue" that holds all cells together throughout the body. A genetically weaker cell system becomes the targeted storage location for residual toxins. In other words, the body tries to hide toxins in an attempt to prevent bodily poisoning and in so doing, selects an organ or organ system that is too weak to fight back; this condition is called a "constitutional weakness."
To understand the constitutional weakness concept, ask yourself the following: "Where in my body do the first symptoms of a cold or flu appear"? "Is it my head, throat, chest, stomach, muscles or joints"? Keep in mind that the same microorganism can cause symptoms in different areas of the body according to your weakest points.
Over a lifetime, regular treatment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can fill up your body’s primary storage place(s) with residual toxins; creating congestion and disruption of organ function. They can also block the cellular nutritional support required for metabolic waste elimination.
Now, consider the following:
Imagine your home is invaded by 100 mice. You put poison out to kill them and in short order they are all dead. You try to locate the 100 dead mice but find only 70. Some have disappeared into the walls and under the floors and cannot be accessed. What do you expect will happen within two weeks or less? Without question, your home will begin to reek with the foul odor of pollution caused by decaying mice. In similar fashion, accumulation of dead microorganisms and metabolic wastes from past infections can pollute your body when they cannot be properly eliminated!
THE NATURAL PROCESS OF HEALING
As previously described, infections (bacterial or viral) are handled by fever which is the body’s weapon of choice for killing disease-causing microorganisms. As often seen with the common cold and flu, the development, peak and decline of a fever is a slow, steady process that prevents residual toxic overload while promoting natural detoxification at the body’s own speed.
When treating a disease or supporting general detoxification with natural remedies, a "healing crisis" may develop. The symptoms felt during this time are actually proof that you are using the "right therapy", which is unlocking toxic storage places and expelling accumulated residuals from the body. This is a safe, effective way to permanently cure chronic diseases.
During any natural detoxification process, your body’s detoxifying organs including the lymphatic system, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs and skin may need support which can be achieved with the following: (1) the use of individually selected drainage remedies, (2) proper diet which includes consumption of a large variety of fresh fruits (avoid oranges if possible during this time) and vegetables, (3) elimination of sweets, (4) decreasing meat intake, (5) avoiding alcohol and stimulants, and (6) drinking plenty of pure, clean water (no tap or distilled water). If you feel weak or tired during this time, get more rest, cut back on strenuous exercise and by all means, avoid as much stress as possible.
Good communication with your doctor is imperative. If symptoms become overwhelming, he/she can safely lower the dosage of your remedies to quickly improve discomfort, while allowing the body to adapt to the healing process. Remember … discomfort is a result of the body’s up-rooting and elimination of toxins. A belief held by some of the greatest European doctors is, "the stronger the initial reaction … the more toxic elimination." Their theory is the process of toxic elimination dislodges the roots of disease and sets the stage for healing.
To use another analogy, the discomfort of detoxification can be likened to removing a splinter from your hand. Even if the splinter hurts, you may be able to function and get along remarkably well for quite some time while it remains lodged under the skin. Pulling the splinter out will temporarily cause more pain, but the short term discomfort is well worth eliminating the cause of chronic suffering.
And finally, if you’ve suffered many illnesses in the past, the detoxification therapy may lead you through short regressions during which symptoms of EACH past illness may surface. Do not be discouraged by this experience. Instead, feel encouraged and find the strength to persevere; knowing that healing is taking place. And always remember … the symptoms are positive indicators of an effective therapy that is working to promote deep level detoxification, stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanism and facilitate restoration of your health.
As so aptly expressed by Dr. Albert Schweitzer, "A good therapy is one that stimulates the healer within."
This information is not meant to diagnose, treat or replace traditional treatment, and has not been approved by the FDA or HPB.