How to Avoid a Healing Crisis

Have you ever had a natural treatment and you temporarily got worse before you got better? This is common and it is called a healing crisis. Whenever I see a new patient I will tell them that they may experience this. Let’s cover a few reasons this can happen.


When you start a liver cleanse you can often feel flu-ish with headaches, body aches, and lethargy. This is often due to detoxing at a rate that is greater than your body’s ability to filter out toxins. This healing crisis can be avoided by slowing down the detoxification protocol. This might mean lowering the dose or frequency of the supplements or compounds that are used to pull out toxins. Always be in communication with your functional medicine doctor while doing a liver cleanse. They don’t know to slow you down unless you share the symptoms you are having.

Massage or other bodywork can also cause this kind of reaction. If you consistently feel ill or flu-ish after a massage you might need a liver cleanse. When this happens it’s usually due to a liver or kidney system that is already bogged down with toxins and you are unable to move any new toxins through your system. If this is something you experience consider our 10 or 28-day detox program. Also, drink lots of water and you may need to start with a shorter massage and work up to a longer one.

Rebound Toxic Load

If you have ever had a microbial overgrowth, like candida,  you might be familiar with a Herxheimer reaction. When an organism dies off it can spill the contents of its body, which can be toxic, into your body. This reaction typically lasts only for one to three days before your body clears it.


If you have ever seen the movie Shrek you will remember that onions have layers and ogres have layers. When you are getting muscle tested for misalignments in the structural system we will typically find indicators of how you have compensated over time. For instance, you might come in because you have recently had an episode of lower back pain. We would see weakness around the lower back and correct for that. The next time you come in you might say that the back pain is better but now your knee hurts. We might find that you have weakness around your knee and ankle and you might mention that you had an injury in that ankle many years ago. Bottom line is that all this time you have been compensating for an ankle injury and your body kept moving the pain around until you paid attention and starting correcting the imbalances.

In addition to that, when you have been in a certain position for a long time and we change that to a more functionally corrected position, your muscles, having a memory, will pull on the correction and that can cause discomfort. To alleviate this healing crisis we have you ice and rest the area for a minimum of three days. Often times that is all you need to improve.

To know the healing crisis is to empower yourself as you go through it.

Here’s to optimal healing!

Dr. Stacey

2 responses to “How to Avoid a Healing Crisis

  1. Hello and love from TX,
    As you know Dr Stacey, I’ve done my share of detox…I have found that a good dry body brushing followed by a salt bath work wonders for me during times of reactivity, toxic load, and stress. These techniques coupled with adjustments, help me better understand what “MY center” is even when my patterns or circumstance have pulled me off a bit. Then I’m more aware of how much of my pain is temporary and circumstantial vs what I’m dealing with over a longer time line.
    And because you test for muscle imbalance, vs x-rays and an “ideal of center”; there’s less of a tendency to over correct or “fix what ain’t broke”.

  2. That is great Amy. I completely agree. Hope all is well in Texas. Sending love to you and your family.

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