the healing crisis – revealed.
A “healing crisis” is the belief that an individual in the process of getting well will undergo some sort of healing reaction – it could be mild or it could be more extreme – putting it really simply it’s the idea of “you have to get worse before you get better.” Having experienced quite a few odd symptoms over the last few weeks while withdrawing from conventional anti depressants, I decided to look into the idea of a “healing crisis” in more detail.
At first I thought I was losing my mind – as well as general physical symptoms of fatigue, congestion, digestive sluggishness and skin irritation, I began experiencing some emotional reactions to the changes I had instigated. Huge mood swings, general irritability and anxiety, plus I even felt like I was reverting to old behaviours. This culminated in me being told I was ‘acting like a 2 year old,’ when everything finally made sense. YES I may have been behaving like a child, but it was as if my body and mind had reverted back to stage before I had started being “treated” by conventional medicine…. sound crazy? Perhaps, but it makes sense in my head, so I’m going to go with it! Anyway, although these symptoms were rather brief and fleeting, they really gave me insight of the deeper healing that was going on inside my body (and mind).
“When improvement occurs, vitality is restored to the body, and its self-healing mechanisms are awakened. As healing begins, symptoms reappear as part of the body’s process of eliminating diseased cells and toxins from its tissues. Hence the assessment that the healing “crisis” is actually good news because it is a sign and signal of deep healing and restoration. It should be added that, not surprisingly, the patient always feels better after the healing crisis has run its course.
The healing crisis is recognized today by many natural health practitioners. Homeopaths call these incidents “aggravations” and chiropracters refer to the phenomenon as “retracing.” What is important for us to understand is that a healing crisis, or any healing that will sustain us over the long haul, must occur at some point in the therapeutic program. ” (Source)
I have been lucky enough to come into contact with a group of ladies from all different walks of life – Mother’s, natural health practitioners, energy healers, to name but a few. I wanted to gain insight into what these women thought about the notion of a healing crisis – so I have put together their thoughts, articles and experiences
I have been a long time reader of the inspiring and beautiful blog by Lucie D’Alessandro, Delve Spot – so I was thrilled when I came across her blog post describing her very own experience of an (on going) healing crisis as she used the intensive natural healing modality, Gerson Therapy to treat her breast cancer. She left the most encouraging comment on my initial post about my own experiences, which really hit the nail on the head in my mind: ”I love hearing that people understand healing reactions, Lou – go you for embracing yours and sharing. They can make you, your world, feel so wobbly and seem so counter intuitive to healing, no? Yet they’re so necessary and powerful. They panicked me at first, even now I still get a liiitle bit weary, but having a deeper understanding of what healing reactions are all about took me down multiple notches. Talking about what we experience is so important – demystifying the weirdness!”
Lucie also put me onto this fabulous site which includes a post that really defines a healing crisis in such a positive way.
You all know I’m a big fan of sharing – I find it such a powerful form of therapy, and sharing knowledge/experiences may just help others who are in a dark place, or are trying to regain their health, do you agree? The thing is, not enough people KNOW what a healing crisis is – and may take it as a sign that their therapy is NOT working – when it may just be the beginning of something amazing. The following quotes and snippets are from some very inspiring women – check out the links to get to know them better.
“Well, I’ve dealt with many healing crises before! Both my own and my clients. I love that they occur. For me, healing crisis symptoms are headaches, increased thirst, skin rashes, large cyst like blind pimples generally around the lymphatic glands (throat, groin, arm pits) digestive upsets coupled with extremefeelings of overwhelm and anxiety. Sleeplessness, crying, bad breath and stronger odour of urine. This might sound strange but I would get excited for my clients as it meant changes and shifting which is what they and I were hoping for. It means the body is adjusting, clearing and cleansing. Every time this arises I would be sure to transition them (and myself) more gently through this process with the purifying essence blend. This really serves to support the physical and emotional clearing without it becoming an added burden.” Naturopath and Essence Practioner, Alisha Lynch (Naughty Naturopath Mum)
“With every step I take in my healing process, I get the healing crisis. I just didn’t know it had an actual name. It can put people off -’ I changed my diet and I got sick!’…. there needs to be more info about it so they persevere!” Blogger (and holistic health hero) at Natural New Age Mum Sonia Donaldson
“My experience with healing crisis is that it is MUCH less with the use of homoeopathics, as the medicines are gentle and given in specific potency most often a helping crisis does not occur. I have received many patients in my practice in a healing crisis from other practitioners. My approach is to assist with this with remedies. However I believe that ‘good’ patient management and prescriptions when given by the practitioner can AVOID a helping crisis all together and this is my approach. Not every ailment has to get worse before it gets better. Sure sometimes there is a a slight response when first starting a remedy however good practitioners create wellness without this happening most of the time. Slow and gradual improvements in health last and become permanent. Hard and fast detox, prescriptions etc can lead to healing crisis and I don’t think this is the best way. (Not judging anyone btw just sharing my clinical experience I hope it comes across as such and not criticism)
Illness/wellness is layered. When you manage the layers gently you don’t get a healing crisis. When you go for the centre of the orange and just cut of course you will get ‘splatter’ …. I don’t cut – I manage the layers and then they dissolve and reveal the next one.” Nicole Cunningham, Homoeopath and creator of Puraforce Remedies.
As you are probably aware, I have chosen Classical Homoeopathy as my main source of healing-assistance as I attempt to withdraw from conventional anti depressants – I think this little quote from Puraforce Remedies sums up the modality nicely: “Homoeopathy is a form of medicine that assists the body in healing itself. It does not reject the great discoveries of modern medical science, only their commercial abuse. Homoeopathy has stood the test of time, helping people achieve health not only in the last 150 years, but since its discovery 2000 years ago.”
I also need to state here (being a responsible blogger, I suppose) that my journey is exactly that – MINE. I am in no way suggesting or providing tips for withdrawing from conventional medicine. Any decision regarding this needs to be an educated one – with appropriate advice and support from reputable sources/practitioners. I tend to use this blog as a type of diary – but I am aware of the implications of this, as the internet is a massive entity and there are impressionable folk out there. Take care, and do not do anything rash!
Finally, a little video-link to Kelly Burch (Dog Rose Healing). Kelly is an energy healer and specialises in Energy EFT – if you are feeling even just a teeny bit stressed or overwhelmed - watch (and TRY) this video. I had never experienced Energy EFT before, and let me tell you, after this 10 minute exercise, I felt like a bucket load of tension had just melted away. I have been using this technique every few days, and it’s wonderful. A new little trinket for my healing “tool-box” if you will.