After a treatment from a healthcare provider you may find yourself feeling worse instead of better and thus wondering, “What happened?.” If this occurs, your original symptoms may feel exacerbated to an even greater degree, or you may have other symptoms of imbalance (i.e., increased muscular and/or joint pain, arthritic flair up, extreme fatigue, muscle spasms, diarrhea, etc.), and/or experience symptoms that seem completely unrelated (i.e., rash, extreme emotional responses, cold or flu-like symptoms, mood swings, anxiety, headache, arising of suppressed memories, etc.). Any or all of these reactions may lead you to conclude that the treatment is not working. The good news is that these signs indicate just the opposite – the treatment is working. Your body is going through a healing process by detoxing, cleansing impurities, and restoring balance. Therefore, feeling worse is not always a bad thing. Read on to give yourself a better understanding of your body’s response to a treatment and how to further your healing process.
The reaction of feeling worse instead of better (post therapy) is commonly known by health practitioners (energy and/or massage therapists, Rolfers, acupuncturists, chiropractors, etc.) as a “healing crisis”. I prefer to call it a “healing reaction” or a “cleansing reaction”. I first learned about the healing reaction through books about Reiki and Reiki News Magazine. Yes, even the Universal Life Force Energy that Reiki draws in to assist the healing process can prompt a healing reaction — even though, to some, this energy work may seem as a passive healing treatment.
These healing reaction symptoms occur on a physiological level because the body is trying to eliminate toxins at a quicker rate than what a person may be able to handle comfortably. There is much more explanation that could be offered about waste elimination, liver detoxification, etc. that I am not going to address in this article, but any cleansing therapeutic process will prompt the release of toxins into the blood stream and lymph system which can be large scale, depending on many factors – creating the whole gamut of healing reaction symptoms. These reactions are usually temporary; lasting 1-3 days and, on rare occasions, may last longer. Again, when this happens, it does not mean that the treatment was unsuccessful, but rather, it should be regarded as part of the healing process. I like to view it as stuck energy, that we hold in our body from both physical and emotional imbalances, that we may not even be conscious of, coming to the surface to be released. Additionally, the healing process has many dimensions – physical, spiritual, and emotional. Those dimensions are unique to each person and circumstance.
All healing is self-healing and it is important to take responsibility of your healing process. First, pay attention to what symptoms arise post treatment. If you feel great, your body is handling the healing with ease. If you feel physically imbalanced, sometimes it merely takes moving and stretching with lots of hydration (drink 2-4 liters (quarts) per day) to prompt toxin release. Magnesium supplements and other products on the market such as the essential oils in my Muscle & Joint Pain Relief formulas offer relief of muscular spasm. If you are feeling fatigued, be kind to yourself and get some rest. It will help your recovery. If moving, stretching, rest, supplements, and good hydration do not help you feel better, another treatment will help speed up the healing process and help reduce the discomfort.
If a deep physical issue is emerging that has deep emotional components, the above procedures are helpful, but you may want to consider journaling, letting the tears flow, talking to a friend, or seek counseling. Generally, tapping into your own internal world to look deeply at what may be uncomfortable issues will to help you get to the core of them and realize steps that you can take to further the release. In that process, it is helpful to draw in the spiritual practices by asking Source/Spirit for guidance. Whether you feel that connection to Source/Spirit or not, a therapist who can treat the energy body along with the physical body can facilitate the reunification of the self with the spirit and thus offer core regeneration.
It is important for us Western-thinkers to realize the practitioner is only a facilitator and cannot offer you the magic healing pill. Healing reactions, indirectly, are a blessing because the process is working and it is up to you to further the healing to create a complete release of imbalances. Great results occur when you participate in your healing process. Be in gratitude and let the healing flow to move you forward!