Healing reactions present an opportunity to go back through everything not previously resolved in one’s life. We carry our entire personal histories in our bodies. Every injury that has not healed fully--whether physical, emotional, or mental--has the potential to be corrected. All obstructions, toxins, aberrations, and pain must be cleared in a total healing.
The nature of a reaction indicates which phase of life is being healed. The reactions feel similar to the original disease or emotional trauma, but usually appear in a diminished form. If the reaction is an emotional discharge of anger, the feelings surrounding the discharge will remind one of anger earlier in one’s life, even though the present anger may be “caused” by different circumstances. Physical discharges are also reminders of old conditions. If chronic sore throats occurred during childhood, a healing reaction could involve one or two sore throats that would eliminate any residues that accumulated from the original infection(s).
As the organs become strong and Qi stagnation moves, the body begins to purge. Certainly everyone wants healing reactions to be minimal or non-existent. According to traditional Japanese medicine, however, if there is no meigan (healing reaction), there is no cure. Most reactions involve the body’s purging itself of toxins. The outward manifestations of this elimination may be severe or moderate, depending on your constitution.

Examples of Healing Reactions
1. Tension or pain may occur in the upper back and neck, which may move upward to the head, downward across the abdomen, arms, and legs, and eventually to the head top, toes, and fingers. Pain may occur in the internal organs, particularly in the liver area under the right side of the rib cage. Headache is common.
2. Vomiting may occur. Bile or various types of mucus may come up.
3. Digestive imbalances may develop: gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, etc.
4. Weakness, weight loss, and sensations of cold and/or heat are signs that the body is first strongly eliminating before the building and strengthening phase occurs.
5. Typical emotional reactions include unreasonable impatience, anger, and/or depression. Sighing uncontrollably may occur.
6. More sleep may be needed during transition, and dreams may be wild. You may experience insomnia. Unusual visions, apparitions, or altered states occasionally occur.
7. Menstruation sometimes ceases but will resume when the digestion calms and the liver and kidney functions are renewed.
8. Sexual desire usually diminishes, especially in men, but eventually becomes more balanced than previously, once the kidney-adrenal function is strengthened.
9. Possible discharges include boils, pimples, rashes, body odors, carbuncles, nasal and vaginal discharges, coating on tongue, and black feces. Silver amalgam (mercury) fillings may fall out.
10. Temporary tooth or jaw pain may occur.
11. Urination may change or become painful.

If any of these come up in the course of treatment, you are responsible for immediately letting your acupuncturist know. IT IS A FANTASTIC SIGN! You are becoming well. Most healing reactions involving pain and discharges will last less than a week, although these symptoms sometimes last longer. Since the body needs the sexual/reproductive function least at this time, the resurgence of sexual energy and menses may take the longest.
You are also responsible for letting your acupuncturist know how aggressively you would like to address your condition:
1. Very aggressive: yields the fastest results and the most intense healing reactions, perhaps even leading to several days in bed.
2. Moderately aggressive: yields slower results and moderate healing reactions.
3. Least aggressive: yields the slowest results and the subtlest healing reactions.
You are responsible for letting your acupuncturist know of any past allergies to herbs or medications.
Note: It is not recommended that a woman dramatically change her diet during pregnancy, since the released toxins may harm the fetus; the shock to the system in general may also trigger spontaneous abortion. She can safely abstain, of course, from such extreme items as intoxicants and highly refined, chemical-laden products.

Which speed would you prefer?
(Please check the appropriate box)
  • Very aggressive
  • Moderately aggressive
  • Least aggressive