The Healing Crisis

We’ve all been there, you’ve had your treatment and instead of feeling the sweet relief you were expecting you actually feel worse! It’s disappointing, I know. But it’s important to be aware that even though you are uncomfortable now, it’s actually a good sign that your body is changing and working to heal itself. This state you’re in is called a healing crisis. You may be experiencing headaches, joint pain, muscle cramps, irritability, or unusual fatigue. Keep in mind, these are just a few of the possible symptoms that could indicate that a healing crisis is underway. There are countless more, so if in doubt contact your practitioner.

OK, let’s break down what’s happening…

As your joints and soft tissues release and reposition themselves during and after a treatment they are making room for muscles to fire properly, often in ways they weren’t able to before. This clear path can scare your body. It knows changes have been made but because it’s not your “normal” is can set off an internal alarm to lock down. It can take time to make these changes hold. Also, we have to take into account that these realignments are releasing toxins trapped in these structures into your body causing multiple systems to have to work overtime to eliminate them. All of this is obviously ultimately what we want, but sometimes our body is afraid of this change and tries to push back against it. It can seem like with every two steps your body takes forward, it takes one step back but it’s crucial during this time to remember healing comes in waves and there will be another upswing, I promise!

Now that you’re in it, what can you do to help yourself?

  • First, drink plenty of water (and no, tea, juice, and beer do NOT count). Water assists in flushing toxins and keeps the joints and soft tissues happy, hydrated and lubricated.
  • Second, listen to your body. If you feel fatigued or sleepy your body is talking to you and telling you to rest. LISTEN! Be kind to your body and get the rest you need.
  • Above all, get back to treatment. I know what you’re thinking, “But that’s what caused me to feel all of this in the first place.” It’s not. It can be hard, but remember, this is your pain. It’s our job to bring it out and help you work through it. Please talk to your therapist if you have questions. We are here to help!

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Written by: Rachel Harrison, RMT