With all the recent healing work, a healing crisis was inevitable. It was funny as I hadn't identified with it as such, I just knew something was "off" and was trying to figure out the reason for this.
In the back of my mind I had this thought that I needed to write about healing crises in my Reiki Level One Manual, because following a Reiki attunement (and each of the three levels) you go through a 21 day healing process.
The number 21 is very significant in spiritual fields as it means that new beginnings and change are coming in, and this should bring greater balance and harmony, and therefore should be positively embraced. However often this means that the old needs to break down to make space for the new to come in and this is not always an easy process.
So there I was thinking about writing about a healing crisis but not having identified with it. Then rather coincidentally (but of course there are no coincidences), a good friend asked me what a healing crisis meant. Suddenly it dawned on me, "ah ha, of course, yes, this is what I am going through, a healing crisis!".
They are never easy to go through at the best of times and this one lingered on for a good ten days, bringing up old anxious and sickness energy from my solar plexus and sacral chakras. I knew it wasn't how I felt now, but it was unsettling all the same. Obviously I just wanted it to go, but this is the thing about the healing process, you have to feel it for it to truly leave the body. That's often the reason that we need to do some healing work in the first place, because we never felt the emotion or whatever it may have been at the time, and stuffed it away, where it becomes a stagnant and stuck energy and subtly (and not so subtly) affects our lives.
So what is a healing crisis? Let me try and explain.
Well as I've just mentioned energy gets stuck for a reason. Often it’s because you can’t or don’t want to face something difficult. Thus energy can also get stuck from trauma, crises, numbness, or denial. Some part of you, whether it’s the ego, body wisdom or spirit, is trying to protect you. Rather than feeling everything in that moment and letting it pass through, thoughts and emotions (energy in motion) gets stuffed down into the energetic corners, so to speak. Stuck energy can lead to pain and disease. It’s protection and in the short term it has a place, but when numbing and holding on becomes a habit and a default coping method then it can lead to long term problems.
Healing work is essentially about releasing the stuck energy that no longer has a purpose and serves the individual. If it’s not acute or obvious, it could simply be a feeling of life being “off balance” or something just not feeling quite right. Whatever the reason for the healing work –receiving Reiki for example – the goal is generally to feel better, not worse.
Any type of cleansing or healing that you do will come with a release. This can happen on a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual level, and often happens on several levels simultaneously. When toxins and toxic energy are released, your body and mind have to deal with a sudden and powerful shift in balance. It’s impossible to have a release in any of your bodies (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, energetic) and not have the others affected.
The body is good at maintaining a balance, so the symptoms are usually mild. But symptoms are always unique and dependant on your sensitivity, your level of illness or disease, the extent of your denial, and/or your frame of mind during a session. This is referred to as a “healing crisis”. Essentially you are releasing the old stuck energy with new energy and your whole system has to adjust to the change and you may experience uncomfortable symptoms.
The healing crisis can be unpleasant and even take you a while to identify that this is what you’re experiencing - this is what happened to me! It's always a relief when you recognise that you are simply going through a healing crisis. It’s all part of the healing process and essential to complete the healing – better out than in! Essentially you’re releasing all the stuck anger, hurt, broken heart, anxiety, depression, sadness, betrayal, unhealed trauma, unspoken feelings, resentment, frustration, rejection, loss etc. that you’ve been holding onto inside.
The thing is, you won’t be able to release it all without feeling some of it again. It’s like you have to feel it, to release it and let it move on. Sometimes the release is quick, e.g. an overwhelming sense of anger and need to run it off, or scream it out, momentary feelings of sadness and unexpected tears. There may be vomiting or diarrhoea, muscle ache, fatigue, the need to forgive a past situation or person, or make amends with someone, and/or a large emotional purge. Sometimes you might pick a fight with a partner or friend, simply as a way of releasing pent up frustration or anger.
Sometimes the release might take a few days or a week or so, where you don’t feel quite right, to the extent that you might start wondering if your old anxiety, depression, resentment, sadness, grief, or whatever it might be, has come back again, and this might make you feel a little panicky.
I've certainly gone through a combination of healing crises in the past. When I was doing my Reiki training all those years ago, I got what I thought were a lot of vomiting bugs, but I later realised that these were healing crises, the old coming out. In these early days, especially with the yoga I had some sudden anger outbursts that came from nowhere and these too, I came to realise were healing crises too.
Please don’t worry of you too go through a healing crisis from yoga or a holistic treatment or practice. It’s just the old moving out to make way for the new, and your body needs time to find a new balance and adjust to the higher vibrational energy. It should be embraced rather than feared as it is a true sign of healing. Please don’t think that the practitioner or teacher did anything wrong or you did anything wrong, it’s simply the healing process. The deeper and more intense the healing crisis, the deeper and more intense the healing.
You might find that after a healing crisis things change for you. Your vibration has changed so situations and the people you attract into your life will also change. This may mean that there will be some dis-resonance with people and situations already in your life, and some of these will adapt and morph with your own energy, and others will drop away. Please just trust the process, it is all for the higher good and may highlight to you, relationships and situations that are no longer serving you. You’ll shine lighter and brighter as a result.
Try to drink lots of water during this time, and move your body, getting out into nature, getting your feet on the Earth, perhaps journaling, doing a guided relaxation, holding rose quartz or chakra balancing crystals and just trying to be super compassionate and kind to the self.
I've found myself drawn to do all these things during the healing crisis, especially running, as if trying to sweat and move it out, running my life forward. I've also drawn on the yoga nidra network and listened to some lovely free and nourishing Yoga Nidras, while holding rose quartz. I've also played a lot with the children and swum in the sea, getting outside as much as possible. It's all helped!
As it happens a 21 day cleanse from the last Reiki attunement session I ran ends today, hoorah for that, it coincides with the weather shifting and my cycle shifting to the autumnal stage and no doubt things will shift during this moon phase. Happy healing!!