How do You Know You’re Having a Healing Crisis?

Healing Crisis

What is a Healing Crisis?

One of the things many people are not prepared for when doing spiritual work or personal growth is that for any growth and expansion to occur, we must heal our old wounds and release all that is not serving us at the next level of our journey. 

This may be releasing difficult emotions that have been buried for too long.  It may be healing from childhood wounds or other emotional traumas from our relationships with others.  It may be finally releasing the bitterness we have been holding onto from a break-up where we felt betrayed.  It may be forgiving your parents for their treatment of you.  Or it may be forgiving yourself and learning to let go of self-loathing.

All of us go through some or all of these things in our lives.  And holding onto them in any form only keeps us in a lower vibration, not allowing us to move forward or grow.  That growth we seek will not be possible until we have accepted the situation for what it was (that doesn’t mean we have to like it), seen it with new eyes and comprehended the lesson we needed to learn from the experience.

When that process is truly complete— which can be as quick or as long as we choose to make it— we may experience a healing crisis to complete the release of this experience.  Why does this happen?  Because every emotion we feel, we feel in the body. 

And when we have held onto something, guess where it is we hold onto it?  That’s right!  We hold all that stuff in our bodies, which is how feeling excited or in love can give us physical energy and how negative emotions and stress leads to physical illness and conditions.

Emotional Release can happen in many ways, just depending on the person, the type of healing you are doing, in what form it was stored in the body and where.  Some of my husband’s patients have experienced emotional release of long-held trauma as an unexpected side benefit of receiving acupuncture!

Storm of the Healing Crisis

Some Ways that You May Experience Releasing a Healing Crisis…

Crying and emotional purging. 

You may be wondering what in the world is going on with you. You may be feeling hopeless or like your whole world is falling apart and the worst part is, you’re not even sure why!

If we remain unconscious, we may get sucked into the vortex of our own emotional storm instead of realizing this is just part of the process of releasing those things which are no longer serve us.

Self-awareness of what is happening is key here.  If we’re extra emotional, we could be prone to taking it out on a loved one.  This may be followed by emotional numbness for a little while until it balances back out.  Don’t force, just allow it. This too shall pass!

Cycling between extreme emotional highs and extreme lows.

I know first hand how disconcerting this can be! One day you’re feeling high, buzzing, full of beautiful energy. Life is AMAZING! The next, you’re low in every way, even though nothing has changed. But your world sure feels vastly different.

It’s alright, really. Even if it may not feel like it at the moment when you’re in the middle of it. I know how very difficult that can be to bear.

When we’re pulling ourselves out of the lower vibration place we’ve been imprisoned in for so very long, unfortunately, we don’t always get a ladder to go straight up.

It can be more of a spiral, with the primitive unconscious processes of our body trying to fight back to keep us in what it knows as ‘safety mode’. It has assured our survival up to this point by doing exactly what it has been, so why change?

We strive to change because we seek emotional and spiritual growth. To feel better. To feel more. But survival is the ONLY thing our primitive unconscious is concerned with. And overcoming its powerful ingrained pull requires strength and tenacity!

Becoming very ill. 

Because any kind of healing, even emotional, will be held in the body, often it can be manifested as a physical symptom as well, the body releasing its years of the tension it has held onto.

Not too long ago during a healing process of my own, when I finally put on my big girl boots and carried out a difficult action in a relationship, that night I became violently ill. In every possible way. And I don’t get sick, like EVER. But I knew exactly what was happening- my body was purging and releasing all of those emotions it had had to hold on tight to all those years.

Not being able to tolerate things you used to. 

When you’re going through ahealing crisis or a spiritual awakening, you may suddenly find you have an inability to tolerate things you used to. This could be anything from alcohol or smoking to certain kinds of foods. 

Back when I was 14, I had become a vegetarian. I loved animals so much (after all, much of the time growing up and feeling so alone, I felt they were my only true friends) and finally felt strong enough to stand up to my father and declare my decision.

Unfortunately, in the weakness of my twenties around relationships and feeling loved, I allowed myself to compromise my values in exchange for love and acceptance by my ex-husband and started eating chicken and turkey. Of course, I never felt right about it and I knew deep down I was not in alignment with myself. But the fear of not being loved and accepted won out. So, I made a bunch of go-to convenient excuses for myself that I lived with for the next decade and a half.

After that more recent episode, suddenly I had this intense awareness that I could not tolerate eating meat any longer. It was like I purged that from my system too, and the action I had taken to bring me into alignment with myself and my values in one area automatically affected another.

Having difficulty with others’ behavior. 

This might be any form of negativity, yelling, cursing, gossip, violence on TV or superficial media.

I have always been sensitive to things of this nature. But I have found that the more aware I have become, the less and less I can handle anything of that sort. These days, I keep myself away from mainstream media pretty much entirely and when I am subjected to it somewhere I have to be, like a waiting room or something, it always feels like such a shock to my system! I never fail to be stunned at what is considered to be normal behavior and entertainment in ‘the rest’ of society. It feels like an entirely different world.

Feeling hypersensitive to your environment. 

This may be an inability to tolerate any chemicals present in the home or personal products you’ve been using.

Here, too, people often referred to me as the canary in the coalmine because I was so sensitive to everything. But long ago, even though I could feel the unpleasant effects, I could at least force myself to deal with it for a time. But, during my process of spiritual growth, that changed. I could no longer tolerate things like that at all and had to be conscious of everything I used in my home.

For about a decade now, I have been making many of my own personal care products from natural, organic ingredients like almond and coconut oils and shea butter, beeswax and essential oils. And my main helpers in cleaning my home? Vinegar and baking soda! As a bonus, it’s also much less expensive and eco-friendly!

Unexpected Bodily Reactions

Women have been known to release deep emotional wounding via uterine bleeding or having their regular menstrual cycles become erratic for a few months. 

Yes, this happened to me and seemed very strange until I discovered what was going on.  And it was precipitated by a letter that I wrote to my parents that it had taken me years to work up the courage to write. 

Old injuries acting up again out of nowhere. 

During my years-long spiritual awakening, a couple of injuries I had received as a teen from my violent father suddenly flared up and started hurting again as though it had only just happened. Healing crisis? I believe so! These lasted a few years but eventually went away on their own.

You may experience just one of these during your healing crisis, a few or you may even experience all of them, just hopefully not simultaneously!  Sometime back during an intense part of my spiritual journey and intentional healing process, I went through many of these for a few months.  It was a difficult time, to say the least, but when I came out the other side, I felt not only so much better, I felt lighter than I had in decades!

Just be sure to be gentle with yourself and give yourself extra self-care. Drink lots of water, eat nourishing food and get lots of rest.  And if you have a partner, then don’t forget to make them privy to what you are going through so they don’t think the relationship is in question and they can offer you support.

Rainbow of the Healing Crisis

Here are Some Ways to Cope and Soothe Yourself during the Healing Crisis Process…

  1. Listen to Soothing Music.
  2. Draw, paint or express yourself through some other creative outlet.
  3. Have a warm bath.
  4. Receive a massage or holistic healing support such as Reiki, Craniosacral or Acupuncture.
  5. Do yoga
  6. Meditate
  7. Breathe
  8. Journal or write a hypothetical letter about what you are experiencing and your feelings.
  9. Cuddle up with someone you love.
  10. Talk with a trusted friend.
  11. Cuddle and pet a fur baby!
  12. Do some gardening.
  13. Take a walk or bike ride in nature or sit by the water.  Or just sit in a park. Nature is so healing and soothing to every part of us- body, mind and soul. The more we can be in it, the better our well-being is.
  14. Read and relax.
  15. Anything else that tends to work for you that is healthy and nourishing!

Do be aware to avoid escapism type behaviors that could exasperate the symptoms you are already experiencing during your healing crisis and only set you back on your journey.  This might be things such as drinking or other substance use, taking it out on loved ones, partying, mindless television or other media consumption.

I truly hope this article finds you and helps when you are needing it most!

With Infinite Love,

Áine McGowan

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