All degenerative disease is due to a buildup of toxins. These toxins are created by the body by poor digestion due to poor food choices and eating habits; poor lifestyle choices; emotional issues such as stress, worry, anger; and are further exacerbated by environmental toxins; plus certain proclivities due to our body types and genetic heritage.
Cleansing these toxins from our bodies is what Western and even Chinese orthodox medicine practices really neglect to do. They just don’t bother because they weren’t taught to do so in school. Instead, pharmaceuticals are prescribed to mask symptoms, often giving you ten new symptoms to replace the original – the old ones traded for the side effects of the drug.
There are levels to cleansing. It starts with entire systems, then gets to the major organs, and finally, on a cellular level. Our very cells have garbage in them that needs to be taken out with the rest of the garbage in our livers and colon and lymph. This is why people with persistent skin issues receive no relief no matter how many unguents they apply to their skin. The Acne is an eruption from deep inside, poisons desperately trying to leave via any portal they can find; in this case, the pores. Cleanse the inside, and freckles, liver spots, acne, will disappear.
According to Hering’s laws of healing, healing (detoxing) progresses from the deepest part of the body, meaning the mental/emotional body and the vital organs, to the external areas such as skin. The second law states that symptoms appear and disappear in reverse – healing goes “back in time,” as it were. For instance, if you had poison ivy last year, those symptoms will reappear and disappear prior to the mono you had as a young child. So you’ll know your healing is progressing when you experience healing crisis symptoms from illnesses you perhaps forgot you even had. Detoxing also tends to progress from the upper to the lower parts of the body, which could explain why foot baths and footpads are so successful.
Whether your healing will progress similarly remains to be seen, but you can expect it to happen in stages. As you get clean, you may occasionally feel rather “high.” But take something to detox, and the body will dump old garbage, and that means healing crisis as another layer of toxins is released. So please do not get upset when you seem to be experiencing a “set back.” Know that this is a positive thing, and puts you much closer to your health goals. You’re just peeling off another layer of illness.
The paths of elimination must be honored and respected if you’re going to get better and stay young and energetic well into your golden years.
When people get a cold or flu, they tend to run to the drugstore to take something that will stop the fever, snot, coughing, sneezing or diarrhea. This is actually the worst thing you can do to the healing process and slows it down tremendously, turning a 24-hour flu into a much longer beast. A better response is to take things like ginger tea to help the body eliminate the mucous faster and resolve yourself to watching your favorite DVD while clutching a box of very soft Kleenex. Take a hot bath and sweat, this helps the lymphatic system.
The consequence of these flow-stopping actions is the toxins go deeper, where you cannot see them. They will fester and cause cysts, cancer and arthritis. To maintain health and balance, the paths of elimination must be kept clean and flowing. The main path is the colon, nothing does as much work or carries as much trash as the colon. The lymphatic system uses the colon and also the skin, eliminating toxins through sweat. The circulatory system uses the lymphatic, liver and kidneys. The urinary system is a path of elimination for salts, minerals and acids, thus we can tell a lot about someone’s health from the urine. The sinuses are a path, as is the mouth through purgation, or vomiting, and the ears. The vagina is a path of elimination.
Each path, when blocked or chronically overloaded, can back up into another path. The sinuses will use the throat and ears, for instance, via canals, and thus lead to constant ear infections. The liver uses the sinuses, which is why black pepper and direct sunlight makes us sneeze - they both wake up the liver, irritate it just enough for it to spontaneously cleanse. Meridians (energy channels) connect paths too, so you may get something like tinnitus or ear infections when cleansing the kidneys or liver.
The cleansing and detoxing stage is all about getting our major organs, systems and cells to get rid of their life-long reserves of toxic waste. When you’re dis-eased, it’s time to take out the garbage, and even when you’re not, it pays to do a bit of maintenance twice-yearly.
The Herxheimer Reaction, or Healing Crisis, or Die-Off, occurs when the body is detoxifying – releasing stored toxins - too rapidly for the paths of elimination to manage, and toxins are therefore floating around the bloodstream, poisoning you all over again. For instance, auto-intoxication, or self-poisoning, occurs when the bowels are full of crud, because the body is designed to absorb water and minerals from the colon. Any bacteria, yeast or undigested foods will also get absorbed into the bloodstream to be filtered out all over again by the kidneys, lymph and liver or attacked by the immune system. Both the lymph and the liver rely on the bowels as a place to dump things, so the cycle can continue until the bowels are cleansed with bowel management intervention such as colonics.
The process of cleansing and detoxing is a process of elimination, but the body can eliminate only so fast. Give it more than it can handle and you’ll feel poisoned – because you are! Thus, intervention that supports the paths of elimination will lessen the effect of the healing crisis, remove toxins, and get you that much closer to vital health.
A healing crisis can also happen as the body replaces old, toxic tissues with new tissues. The old tissues are broken down and add to the body’s waste materials. A healing crisis can happen when you add probiotics, as the colonies react to the newcomers which “clean house.” You can even experience a healing crisis by giving your body healthy juices that allow access to alkaloids that give passage to stored acids.
What this all adds up to is: headaches, sleepiness, extreme fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, cold and flu symptoms, ear infections, acne. As long as these symptoms are happening during a detox protocol, they are a natural part of the healing process and should be supported and even celebrated – and yet mitigated so that you stay within your comfort zone.
If you take something such as an herbal tea or intestinal cleanser and experience no healing crisis, then the dose is too small or the product is bunk. Increase dosage until you feel the healing crisis coming on, that way you’ll know it’s effective. It’s pretty funny, but I’m all the time saying “Great” when people complain of a product giving them a headache. The headache is telling you it’s working, and that’s a good thing.
A healing crisis means true healing because old injuries and stored toxins are being released. Once released, true repair and regeneration of healthy tissues can begin.
The healing crisis will usually bring about past conditions and personal issues so they can be dealt with and released for all time. Please be aware that the issues may be mental/emotional, not just physical. The healing crisis can include periods of anger, irritability, depression, and intense bouts of sobbing. You don’t have to know which trauma you are releasing to release it, so just go with the flow and let it out.
When you’re experiencing emotional release, the therapies that seem to help best are bodywork and energetic healing methods such as massage, chiropractic, Rolfing, flower essences, Reiki, acupuncture.