Many years ago I was in a meditation ashram relishing my favorite spiritual practice: chanting devotional Sanskrit hymns. The mantras, syllables and even the ragas, or melodies, were designed to purify the body, mind and spirit. My first spiritual teacher then asked everyone what they experienced and the answers were: “light, bliss, peace”, etc. Finally one brave soul raised her hand and said “I feel terribly agitated.” The guru was delighted and said “YES—that is VERY GOOD!”
Far from relishing in someone’s suffering, the teacher went on to explain that the very pure vibrations of the chant will work deeply on breaking up any denser energies, any less-than-happy thoughts and feelings and begin to clean out the closets, so to speak. A very good thing indeed, but it can be a very unpleasant, and misunderstood, process.
The same is true with energy healing. Most people will experience very pleasant sensations like warmth, tingling, peace, lightness, calm, happy, energy, hope and pain relief. Some will not notice anything, but may later find they feel very rested and refreshed. My mom was like this. She rarely felt anything in the moment of receiving Reiki but went into a deep sleep and always awoke feeling better.
Yet a handful of people may have what is called a “Healing Crisis”, experiencing very strong unpleasant feelings and sensations, like dizziness, nausea, extreme fatigue, intense pressure, strong emotions, headaches, even pain. It is not common but when it happens I feel just like my teacher: “Very good!!” Because I know that the energy is working on a causal level to bring up to the surface an old pattern, repressed emotion, old injury or illness process, and assist in releasing it. I also know that the person is going to feel VERY changed when something this intense happens.
For example, in my recent Global Distant Healing, one woman, new to energy healing, wrote that she felt sick with a very strong headache and that she had to be still or it worsened. She felt actually “knocked out” by the energy and in “some other place.” It was disturbing her, until the next day when she awoke:
“This is like a totally new place for me. I feel new, I feel changed. When old fear thoughts come in, it is so much easier to let them go. I feel aligned and more expansive. I really am amazed.”
I have never experienced someone remaining in this type of intense agitated place for very long. As a matter of fact, the more intense it is, the greater the shift afterwards. So it may seem strange, but I get very excited when a client experiences a Healing Crisis.
What is Healing Crisis (aka Herxheimer Reaction)
In the holistic health worldview, a healing crisis is seen as not only natural but necessary. In the article “Understanding Healing Crisis” Ginger Chalford, Ph.D writes: “The body has an inherent desire for perfect health… the body must go through an elimination process to achieve good health. The elimination process is often referred to as the “healing crisis…also known as the Herxheimer Reaction which occurs when the body is detoxifying too rapidly and toxins are being released faster than the body can eliminate them. A healing crisis can result from any holistic/natural therapy such as homeopathy, naturopathy, improved diet, etc.” I would of course insert here the Usui System of Natural Healing or Reiki.
“In a healing crisis”, Dr. Chalford continues, “every body system works together to eliminate waste products and set the stage for regeneration. Old tissues are replaced with new. A disease occurs when the body cannot make it through its natural healing crises for one reason or another. The body is “locked” into a destructive and shut down place, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.”
While the symptoms of the healing crisis may at first be similar to the problem or disease it is meant to heal, there is an important distinction: elimination or release. A cleansing, purifying process is underway and stored wastes are in a free-flowing state. The body, mind, and spirit are no longer “locked.” Sometimes pain and symptoms are re-experienced during the healing crisis but it is temporary and on the way to being released or “healed”.
Reiki energy healing always works on the causal level to shift imbalance and dis-harmony and may bring to the surface past physical injuries, conditions and personal issues so that one can heal their unfinished business. And Yes, as my guru would say, “that is VERY GOOD.”
Stay Tuned: next article “How to Better Handle Healing Crisis”