Recognising a Healing Crisis
When we recognise that we are emotional and spiritual beings, any healing that takes place on our emotional and spiritual bodies can impact the physical body, bringing physical symptoms ranging from headaches, cold and flu symptoms, muscle aches or even (as happened to me a week ago) spinal realignments. A cursory Google search shows the term “healing crisis” used in relation to physical detoxes (like fasting or a colon cleanse); it’s also a common and specific term when you’re dealing with “woo”: It is the physical reaction to energy and emotional/spiritual healing work in the form of a sudden sickness or discomfort. It can be very dramatic stuff, once you’ve eliminated all the other possibilities. Recognising a healing crisis can be useful in knowing what to expect, how your self-care should adapt, and how to facilitate a quicker recovery.
Why the physical reaction
Our emotional and physical bodies are intimately connected and anything that happens to one is going to impact the other. Very recently science has confirmed that trauma (physical, emotional) can be passed on to progeny in the DNA. In other words, science confirms that trauma is recorded on the physical level, in each and every cell of our bodies. Healing a physical injury is straightforward. Healing on an emotional and spiritual level impacts the entire body. Healing crises could be due to the release of years/decades of suppressed emotion finally finding expression in tears and physical symptoms (and in compressed time–think about it!), or the release of toxins that may have been held in the body before for psychosomatic reasons. The body purges itself of what it no longer needs–whenever we get sick from bacteria or a virus, it does whatever it needs to to. In an emotional/spiritual healing, it does the same thing, and sometimes dramatically.
Timing is everything
The timing of any sickness is always perfect–except our modern lives don’t usually allow us to see it this way. We expect our bodies not to fail us when we’re having a difficult time at work–but often we fall sick precisely because of the stress from work. While some stress can be good, too much and consistent stress weakens our immune systems. (And if you’re working for employers that expect you never to get sick while under constant stress, you’re working for despots.)
Not all sicknesses are healing crises–some may be messages from your body wanting you to rest, or urging a long-term change around your work/lifestyle. At the same time, flu bugs, mosquitoes, and bacteria will always be around in varying amounts in any area/circle of people/times of the year. When I know I’ve been overtaxing myself and ignoring certain issues and have put them off for too long, I will either get a headache or a bug shortly. But if everything in my life is OK and I’m happy with where I am, I don’t get sick even when surrounded by people having the flu.
Healing crises are spiritual
They will be preceded by energy work, or sometimes, a strong spiritual intention. In my younger and more stupid days (I blame pregnancy-brain), I asked to clear as much as of my negative previous-life karma that I could in this life. Let’s just say I’m grateful to still be alive, while still hoping I didn’t misbehave all that much!
To me, healing crises can be triggered by the following:
- Energy healing in the form of Reiki, pranic healing, or a guided meditation working with your energy body.
- Tremendous emotional release (granting forgiveness, showing acceptance of loss/difficult circumstances).
- Receiving an energy attunement (like getting initiated into Reiki, or receiving DNA activation or a “caught” teaching).
- Being in sacred space or around sacred objects.
- “Nothing.” You haven’t been around sick people, life was great. In which case, an old karmic issue can come up for healing. Grab the opportunity!
- Strong intention.
Not all of the above will spark a healing crisis, and the symptoms and the strength of the symptoms will vary. For #5 and #6, what symptoms you get will provide huge clues to what’s being healed or still needs to be worked on. That said, not all karmic issues coming up for healing need to be understood–but it helps, and I believe you’re always given what you need to know, if you’re open. The clues will come in dreams, in memories, or in “aha!” moments that help you connect one thing to another. In my own life, I’ve had much pain and illness based around my throat (hyperthyroidism, neck aches, sore throat). Being a Mercury sign, I take it that I’ve got lots to heal/work on in the area of communication. (In my personal life, I’ve suffered and been ostracised for speaking up, usually for progressive views–and I don’t think it’s been just this life!)
Diagnosing anything as a healing crisis doesn’t mean necessarily avoiding the doctor; hyperthyroid medication was necessary for me to overcome my too-long-misunderstood insomnia symptoms, among others. At the same time, I still needed to speak up in my own life and come to terms with where I wasn’t being heard. And so the same goes if your healing crisis takes the form of, ahem, your spine getting out of whack from happily reading in an odd position in the bathtub–head to a chiropractor. (I really couldn’t have fixed that one by myself!) You could get a new neck and shoulders out of the experience, and a chance to re-evaluate how you face the world and what new responsibilities you’d like to take on! Diarrhea and flu symptoms shouldn’t need the doctor unless they persist for too long. (And could your diet benefit from a change? Your body and intuition will guide you!)
Use your discernment where medication is concerned–I personally don’t take painkillers, preferring natural pain relief, meditation or sleep. Pain suppression doesn’t help healing. Accepting and dealing with the underlying issue does. If a condition requires medication to correct a severe imbalance, accept that–along with the possibility that the condition isn’t forever and that various methods of holistic healing exist, as complement or alternative.
Any crisis presents opportunity. Healing crises present the opportunity to release what we no longer need, and to embrace and program the new.