Article by Angie Webster
When we have accumulated a lot of energy blockages and begin to work with a form of healing, they can release very rapidly. As the system rebalances itself, it must let go of these old energies that have become toxic. Sometimes this rapid release of toxins and energy blockages can feel uncomfortable or even somewhat distressing. This is often referred to as the healing crisis.
The energy blockages are stored in various ways in our energy systems and the ways we may experience the release can vary from person to person and from situation to situation. Not everyone will experience a healing crisis and we don’t experience them the same way. It is also true that we can have a healing crisis at one point in our lives and have an entirely different kind of healing crisis at a later time.
A healing crisis can be brought about when working with any form of therapy that moves energy in our systems, including massage, homeopathy, and Reiki. We can have a healing crisis when we have a response to treatment with any of these methods or when we get attuned to Reiki. Though it may feel very uncomfortable, a healing crisis is a positive sign that your system responding well and is beginning to heal. On the other hand, you should not feel worried that healing is not taking place if you don’t have a healing crisis. In some cases, your system is simply able to move the energy in a gentler way and no crisis occurs.
There are three major levels at which a healing crisis might be experienced—the physical level, the emotional/mental level, and the life situation level. A healing crisis usually only manifests on one of these levels, though in a few cases it may manifest with minor aspects on a secondary level, as well. No healing crisis should last more than 48 hours—72 at the maximum—and there are never signs of serious illness, such as high fever, with a healing crisis. Anything outside of these parameters is something other than a healing crisis and medical attention should be sought.
Physical—A physical healing crisis is just as it sounds. It occurs mostly on the level of the body. There may be headaches, nausea (with vomiting in a few cases), diarrhea or soft stools, aches, fatigue, and other mild flu-like symptoms. A few people run a low-grade fever. (A high fever is not a sign of healing crisis, but may be a sign of serious illness. Seek medical care.) Some people have a mild sore throat or a cough for a day or so, which quickly goes away on its own. Increased urination is a very common after-effect of Reiki treatment, as this is the easiest way for the body to flush toxins away.
Drinking additional pure water can help to support the body as it moves through a healing crisis on this level, and is a good thing to do after any type of healing. Rest as your body asks for it. Get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Take warm baths or showers.
Emotional/Mental—When a person has a healing crisis on this level, they may experience many unprocessed emotions coming up for clearing. They may cry unexpectedly or feel the need to release grief through sound from the body. Sounds connected to the emotions may naturally wish to come out, such as wailing or a primal scream to release anger, longing, sorrow or grief. It can feel very similar to giving birth as these emotions release themselves after being stored in our bodies for so long.
Old belief and thought patterns may also shift as we release the energy of old issues from our bodies and minds. We may suddenly remember an old hurt through new eyes, able to shift the way we see it and let it go with forgiveness. Or we may have a flash of insight and a new perspective on a past regret we have held onto with guilt and shame for many years.
It is best to allow the emotional energy to simply flow through and release. If any sounds wish to express through the body, this is helpful in releasing the emotions. Trust the wisdom of the body. Find a place where you feel safe and comfortable and allow the tears and sounds to flow. There are sound healing meditations that can help encourage you to release with the sounds of your body. Peruquois offers amazing sound healing CDs for emotional release. Journaling can also help us to process the flow of emotions that come up for release.
Life Situation—Sometimes the biggest change that happens when we start the healing path is that many things in our lives shift and come up for healing. We may have bills that we have long put off paying that we are reminded about. Relationships that we have been struggling in may reach a crisis point and call for a change. A job that is not working out may shift in some way. Or a doctor that has not been truly helping us get better may transfer to a new town. Perhaps we will suddenly find that a move to a new city that we had not expected to make comes about. It can also be much smaller things that may seem to be of little consequence at first. Each of these shifts offers you the opportunity to clear out old ways of thinking and behaving that have been creating energetic blockages so that healing will continue. They may offer you the opportunity to see things, or yourself, in a new way. While this type of healing crisis can sound the most frightening, it also offers many new paths for growth and change. We fear change because we don’t know what the new way will bring, yet if the old one is doing us harm or holding us back, a new way is often the healing balm we need.
Journaling is the most helpful method for this type of crisis, overall. It offers you a way to process the shifts as they happen, while giving you a way to look back later and see the healing that you have done over time. Rest more during times of change. Seek support and counseling where you need it. Read supportive and inspirational materials. Supporting your spirit in this way is like a protective multivitamin for the soul.
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Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).