healing crisis

What is a healing crisis?

A healing crisis is a blessing in disguise

A healing crisis is defined when you feel horrible and have a headache or diarrhoea and vomiting, reflux, bloating. You can’t stop crying, you feel down, and this is after a visit to your therapist. It could be you have just one or two of these symptoms… or all of them. Relax, it will pass. You are not sick even though you feel so bad.

If you have a natural practitioner, you may have heard the term “healing crisis” before. Despite the fact you feel horrible there is healing happening inside, which involves a cathartic process of throwing off toxins, poisons and/or emotional and mental baggage. This is another reason why it is called a healing crisis.

Quite often when we are ill, we take vitamins or go through a process of juice fasting, altering our food, taking some kind of immunity boosters, Chinese herbs, have acupuncture treatments, psychotherapy, Reiki etc. These are all designed to make us feel better.

What we often don’t realise is that healing involves a process. This process begins when we take the healing treatment and after that, to a certain extent, it is out of our hands. Once the treatment is administered then it needs to be integrated into the body. The body knows how to do this best and the healing treatment is integrated in such a way that it can do the most good.

Unfortunately, the spot the treatment sometimes attacks first is the weakest and most ill. It hits this vulnerable part of us, be it a virus, bacteria, lack of energy, emotional turmoil. It is as if the illness becomes aware of the treatment’s “attack” and does not like the fact that it needs to heal and undergo a change. The illness has become used to being lodged in your body. It thrives on you being ill as that is its comfort zone.

As soon as the treatment begins to work, the illness tries to lodge itself even deeper into your body, emotions or psyche. The result is that you start to feel bad. You may even start to feel very ill. Even more ill than before you sought help and this could continue for some time.

Psychologically, because you feel so bad you begin to think that what you are taking is making you ill when this is not the case. This is called a healing crisis because the crisis is that you feel bad and are not aware that you are, in fact, healing.

It can continue for days, even sometimes weeks, although this is unusual except in major illnesses when the body is trying desperately to reverse the illness by kicking in your immune system. Sometimes the person feels so bad they think it is the treatment and stop taking it, maybe even just for a few days. This means the illness has won!

Why has the illness won? Because when you stop taking the therapy to activate the healing process, the healing crisis is over. The reality is that you start to feel better because the immune system is no longer attacking the illness. The illness starts to re-lodge itself, re-establish itself in its comfort zone and to happily fester again. You feel better because you are returning to the state that the illness has kept your body in for some time; you have become used to what it feels like to be ill.

Then, you may decide to try the treatment again. The same thing happens for the same reasons and you may have another healing crisis with different symptoms again. In this way, we remain ill for long periods of time, while consciously trying everything to get better.

The same thing happens with emotional traumas. We may go for counselling or to a therapist in an attempt to change our lives in a positive way. Then the healing crisis comes. All the things we did not want to think about or feel, for years sometimes, start to come to the front in our conscious mind. Often this is very difficult to handle, we become uncomfortable and think we are getting worse because we are so agitated and “out of sorts”.

In fact, by bringing this to the conscious mind we are getting better. If we are aware of what still has a hold of us, we have the power to do something about it. If we are in an emotional state and/or grieving about a situation, we have the opportunity to “get it out of our system” rather than have it festering inside us causing any number of psychological, emotional and physical illnesses. That is exactly what it will do, if it remains there.

Research has proved that many illnesses have an emotional basis and turn into physical handicaps. That is why stress is called the silent killer. It creeps up on you in the ways mentioned above.

A healing crisis is so difficult to understand because your mind is saying to you that you should feel better, not worse. You want to feel better so you resort to old habits, which take you back to your comfort zone. You may know this needs to be changed as it has not served you well in the past, but because you feel so ill you often let the body and emotions fool you that the treatments are not working.

Next time this happens to you, remember this article. Ask yourself if this is what is happening. Consult your therapist again and ask them. Follow their expert advice and have faith. Once you are through the stage where you need to throw off the poisons (physical, mental or emotional), you will not only feel better, you will also stay that way.

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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