What is a healing crisis and why is it good for you?

When we hear that someone has been cured of an illness, we often imagine that someone has undergone medical treatment, taken a course of antibiotics, or taken other medications to relieve the symptoms associated with that illness.


From a holistic perspective, healing is a much broader process than simply addressing physical or psychological symptoms in an attempt to cure an illness. In fact, healing is an ongoing process that never ends and offers you opportunities for growth and transformation throughout your life.


Healing on a deeper level takes time and is not easy, tidy or linear. It follows a pattern that undulates, spirals and repeats over and over. Each time there is a deeper layer that peels off until you get to the core and essence of your problem.


The flow of Reiki energy through your body stimulates the gradual release of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual patterns and blockages. You can think of them as toxins that have accumulated in your energy system over the course of your life. They arise from the past, traumas and experiences such as illnesses or injuries, but also from unhealthy lifestyle habits. The purification and cleansing that takes place during the Reiki treatment is usually gentle and goes almost unnoticed. However, sometimes it can cause an overwhelming and intense reaction in your body. Such a response is what holistic therapists call a "healing crisis."


A healing crisis occurs when "the mud is stirred." You can imagine a lake or a river with clean, clear water. If you take a stick, put it on the bottom and stir the water, all the muddy and cloudy bits and debris will come to the surface.

A healing crisis is a kind of release process, where old symptoms and problems temporarily come back and resurface. They often move from the chronic phase back to the acute phase of the problem and lead to true healing. Your symptoms will first worsen before clearing, as blocked energy and toxins are released and removed from all layers and levels of your being. 

It can be very uncomfortable and alarming at times, but it is a sign that your body is healing itself and it is a completely natural response. It also depends on how sensitive your body is to energy healing and how much toxins have accumulated in your body.


What can you experience during a healing crisis?


You may feel tired and exhausted, and need to sleep longer or can't even sleep. You may feel pain where you had surgery and where the trauma or injury occurred. You can get rashes and flare-ups on your skin. 

Deep-rooted emotions, which have been repressed by experiences from different stages of life, such as grief, fear, depression, sadness, anger and frustration, can surface and feel very intense.

You may also experience flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, sore throat, cough, aching joints and muscles, tingling, nausea, constipation and diarrhoea.


Do you have to have a healing crisis to know the treatment was effective?


Absolutely not. Your body heals in a way that serves it best. You can only have gentle and pleasant experiences after each Reiki session, because during that time your body needs to repair and take care of itself.

A healing crisis occurs when your body is really ready to let go and heal on a very deep level and you can't rush it. It is completely dependent on divine timing and where you are in your life at that time. If you have a healing crisis, don't stop the treatments. Sometimes people get scared and take a break or stop therapy. It's like letting the debris and mud that has been brought to the surface settle into the sludge of your life. Trust that you are ready to initiate that inner healing process.


What can you do to help yourself?


✨If you are going through a healing crisis, lean in and let it be.

✨Communicate with your therapist about what you are experiencing.

✨ Be gentle with yourself and give yourself space to feel it fully.

✨ Take time to relax and rest. Focus on self-nurturing and self-care.

Remember that what you are experiencing is the many systems in your body working hard to remove waste products and toxins and that this process is only temporary. Your body is healthier and stronger afterwards and you feel lighter and freer.


I send you a lot ❤️!

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Monika DeBoer


I offer holistic energetic therapy and nutritional coaching that appeals to you as a unique and whole person. I am also a teacher of Energetic Massage at Healing Space Institute in Bussum, the Netherlands. My mission is to help people live in a state of optimal health and wellness and reconnect them with their body's innate wisdom and healing power.


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