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What is a Healing Crisis?

Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master

When I attended my Reiki I class years ago, the concept of a healing crisis was presented to us, in case we experienced one during the attunement process, or within the next few days. I continue to discuss the concept, when teaching Reiki at all levels. I remind the attendees that not only can this happen during attunements, it can also happen during or after a Reiki session. It can feel disturbing for both the receiver and giver. Let’s give this concept a deeper look.

There can be various meanings placed on the phrase “healing crisis.” Healing is more than curing physical symptoms, or making us feel better about a situation that no longer serves our life purpose. For some, healing means accepting a chronic condition or a terminal illness. Although Reiki may alleviate pain or stiffness, the illness does not go away. The client can become more accepting of the condition, with each Reiki session.

Often, when clients are faced with the reality that a choice may no longer be serving them, it can feel like a crisis. While many of us see a crisis as a negative experience, it can actually be a positive event in our lives. A crisis can mean someone is at a crossroads, or a turning point. It is the time when a decision has to be made to either continue on with current choices, or forge a new path in your life.

What is a Healing Crisis?

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Recently, a client of mine faced such a decision. She came to the session with complaints of ongoing, increasingly more severe stomachaches. She had seen a specialist who gave her a medication. If the pain continued, the next step would be a battery of gastrointestinal testing. During the session, there were several blockages in her solar plexus chakra area. The impression I received is that she felt disempowered and “stuck.” When I shared this impression, she immediately resonated with the message. She talked about her career as owner of a restaurant her now-deceased father had built. She felt no passion for the business, but also felt a responsibility to keep the business in the family, as he had always wanted. Her secret desire was to be a nurse, bringing comfort to the elderly. The idea of selling the restaurant and attending nursing school was both exciting, and frightening. She stated she felt powerless (not wanting to disappoint her father) and powerful (if she sold the restaurant, she’d have enough income to pay for nursing school and pay her bills). She was in a turmoil, and her stomach was paying the price. During further discussion, she stated she had been thinking about seeing a psychotherapist, and I supported that idea. Within several weeks, the stomachaches disappeared as the client decided to follow her dream of becoming a nurse.

In this situation, the client embraced the idea of getting to the root of the problem and making a decision. Other clients, however, may have stayed stuck in a career that is not in alignment with their life purpose. It is easy to find reasons not to make changes in our lives. The all-knowing and all-loving Reiki energies can bring these emotions to the surface, creating a healing crisis. We have a choice – we can stay with the familiar and continue with non-life-giving commitments. Or, we can make changes.

So, if you have a client who informs you they had uncomfortable feelings, or aches and pains, during or after a session, remind yourself that Reiki never harms, it always helps. Gently remind the client these things happened for a reason, and it is part of their healing process. We do not even need to know the details of their lives to know that Reiki always brings a person closer to true healing, in whatever form is needed for them. A healing crisis is one of the greatest gifts of Reiki.

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Deborah Lloyd
Deborah Lloyd

Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner, providing Reiki sessions and training in Asheville, NC. Deborah is the author of two books, 22 Messages from the Archangels; and, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. She is also one of the co-authors of Reiki 101: 101 Answers for Your Reiki Questions. Reach Deborah at http://www.deblloydhealing.com/, deb@deblloydhealing.com and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jessica July 29, 2015, 5:31 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I recently attended a Reiki level 1 education weekend. Lots of emotions and felt a lot of love. Felt a bit mixed emotions the weeks after and was sent towards a desicion of some form in a particular question. Now I know why 🙂 For my greater good and wellbeing. Thank you again. Love Jessica

  • Deborah Lloyd October 24, 2015, 5:21 pm


    Thank you for sharing – the healing process is not always the most comfortable place to be. Yet, it is necessary to help us make the right decisions in life.

    Many blessings to you,

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