What the heck is a healing reaction? A healing reaction also referred to in the medical community as a “Herxheimer reaction” is your bodies response to detoxification. Understanding how to spot a healing reaction can help ease the discomfort as your are going through them.
Herxheimer reactions are widely talked about in the Lyme Disease community. Patients experience increased intensity of symptoms as Lyme spirochetes and co-infections are killed off. As the bacteria die off they release numerous endotoxins causing the immune system to act up.
Die-off reactions can happen from antibiotics, anti-fungals as well as from natural approaches to healing. These symptoms can be physical, emotional or often a combination of both.
Detoxification can be a great thing. Who wouldn’t want to rid their bodies of toxins and disease? It can do wonders for your body but it doesn’t always feel great as you’re going through the process.
Healing reactions can be scary. It’s possible to feel worse than you ever felt before making you question whether or not something else is wrong. I would often call my doctor in a panic thinking I was getting worse but there was never anything new in my blood work.
Healing Reaction Symptoms
The symptoms were always a combination of physical and emotional. It usually included fatigue, insomnia, low grade fevers, intense anxiety and mood swings. I noticed the reactions would always appear after a few days of feeling really amazing.
The length and duration of healing reactions depends on how toxic and sick your body is. I went through healing reactions on and off for years until my body finally returned to normal. Keep in mind, I was extremely sick. These reactions would come and go every few weeks and lasted for about 3 days.
Overtime, I became attune to my bodies responses and was able to identify what was a healing reaction and what wasn’t.
Knowing that my body was doing what it needed to fight back and heal got me through the discomfort I was experiencing in those moments. I embraced the healing reactions and was thankful that my body was working for me.
Supporting your Body during a Healing Reaction
It’s important to find ways to support yourself during these difficult times. Take epsom salt baths to sweat it out, ensure you are getting proper rest and drinking water to support the bodies natural detoxification processes. Personally, spending time in nature always had a way of making me feel better.
Healing reactions are not limited to the chronically ill. People experience die-off reactions from cleaning up their diets, incorporating probiotics, cleanses and other natural approaches to healing.
Healing reactions are uncomfortable but often a necessary step to reverse illness and remove the toxins in your body. Once you are able to identify these experiences it will be easier to embrace them. Focus on supporting yourself during these difficult times and know that your body is working hard to keep you well.