If you’ve been dealing with a chronic illness for any amount of time such as lyme, then you are quite aware of the Herxheimer Reaction/Healing Response that you can get anytime you start a new treatment, increase a treatment or detox.
Sometimes it’s quite unpredictable, but is usually a good sign that a treatment is effective!
A few days ago I had a client who told she she is allergic to the greens powder I recommended for detoxing and gets itching, depression, bloating and other responses.
Those are classic healing responses, the trouble when someone gets these responses they think “Oh damn it’s not working” or “It’s making me worse” and stop.
This is the worst thing you can do for detoxing, as that means there’s no longer a ‘push’ to get the toxins out. When the toxins are in your body settled in there, the symptoms may not be as obvious as when they are being stirred up and brought out.. but it’s a good sign that it’s doing something beneficial. Unless it’s really overwhelming then keep going! In fact it might be good to have MORE of the substance as this helps push it through faster!
I understand, i’ve gone through it myself many times. Even though I can see this straight away from the outside, when it’s happening to me and I can barely think, I feel like crap, have no energy it’s still very convincing and my mind tells me “This isn’t working, there’s no point, I should just give up.”
But after sticking to it until it clears I feel much better. It has a tricky way of convincing you to stop, I feel that it’s some kind of inbuilt defense mechanism. For example say your illness might have a certain ‘purpose’, such as getting you attention you didn’t get as a child. So you developed an illness to get attention from others. (This isn’t a logical decision in any way, but it does happen at a deeper level).
If you heal from the illness then how are you going to get that attention it was getting you? Your mind is like “Oh no, I want this attention” and you may not even be aware of it, because it presents as very logical sounding arguments and excuses “Maybe i’m allergic to it” “I should just stop, it’s not working” “I feel like crap, this is making me worse”.
It might sound weird, but deeper issues like this DO have an impact on your healing, and as you dig through the layers you’ll eventually find it and have to deal with it for maximum healing.
Remember you also need to deal with the healing on the physical level, but if you don’t deal with it on the deeper emotional level then it’s difficult to fully heal as your mind and body will be attempting to prevent you from doing so, especially when the illness is serving some kind of purpose. It might take finding another way to serve that purpose, such as finding a new, positive way to get attention, connecting socially with likeminded people or other ways to get positive attention in a positive way for you.
To go back to the original subject, when you’ve started a new treatment, detox or increased a treatment and you feel worse then it’s usually a good sign it’s working. Unless it’s totally overwhelming then it’s best to keep going.
This is a good time to be kind to yourself, find ways to relax, meditate, do somatic trauma work (Irene Lyon is highly recommended!), have a warm epsom salt bath, get a massage, whatever it is for you.
I admit that right now I need to remember this as much as anyone else! I’m going through a healing response and though I wrote most of this yesterday i’ve been stuck in the “nothings working, I hate this” response. The other tendency it brings to me is starting to research more things I can try or take to heal.. thinking “It’s not working I need more” when I don’t always need more, I just need consistency and to remember this is a sign it’s working!
Sometimes it really does feel like in the photo! But you can get through it!