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File 2 - Article 9 Previous Index Next
Author: Lyanne Mitchell
Title: The Healing Crisis

Perhaps I am not alone in feeling rather daunted as I embark on my contribution for this "bench mark" issue within Nature Cure philosophy. My perspective has been formed by what I learned as an NC patient, my own reading and research on the subject and my personal experience within the field of alternative / complementary healing.

Many healing practices recognise and teach about "the Healing Crisis". In Nature Cure it is welcomed as a process that occurs naturally after a period of living right! Only when the whole body is strong can it involve all the organs in a rally to cleanse, eliminate waste and create an environment for regeneration.

My understanding of the healing crisis is that it should not to be confused with illness. The difference is that 'healing crisis' symptoms are short in duration and may move from one part of the body to another, from inside out and from top to bottom. This is quite unlike illness, where there is often fear and a feeling of being 'out of control' and when one or more organs are not working well, causing a toxic build up of waste material that can't get out. In a healing crisis, physical reactions could include skin eruptions, nausea, headache, head or chest cold, ear infections, boils, or any other way the body uses to loosen and eliminate toxins. Although the patient may feel thoroughly miserable for a time, there is the prevailing feeling that underneath all the symptomology, everything is working just the way it should and everything is really OK.

In the first issue of this NC File, Diana Milne suggested that Nature Cure adherents may benefit from being open to other forms of alternative healing. I completely agree. I am involved with Reiki healing and this too, teaches about the 'healing crises'. As many of you will know, Reiki is a Japanese word which translates literally as.... (Rei meaning Universal...Ki, meaning life force energy). It is a gentle form of hands-on, energy healing, which is channelled through the healer's hands to the patient, boosting the immune system and the body's natural effort to be well. Reiki works on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. It teaches that whenever energy shifts and changes, (even when it is a good change), a period of adjustment is necessary so that the various parts of our lives that were connected to the problem area can get used to the healthy new conditions. This period can be quite confusing and clients often feel that things are getting worse before they get better.

A healing crisis can be likened to getting new furniture for your home. During the process of removing the old and bringing in the new furniture, your home will look like a shambles! - And it will be thoroughly uncomfortable for a short time. Cobwebs and dirt -of which you were previously unaware, will be exposed. However, after the dirt has been cleaned up and the new furniture is in place, your home will look and feel better than ever.

I am employed as Reiki Practitioner (complementary Therapist) for a local Women s Support Group. All the women have had health problems or have been hospitalised. Many are suffering from nervous disorders and stress, as well as various physical conditions such as arthritis and chronic back pain. I was really shocked to hear some of their stories..... ie -a typical experience would begin with a trip to their GP to ask for help with fairly mild conditions such as insomnia or work-related stress. The GP prescribed various forms of anti-depressive medication, and this has led to severe clinical depression and serious, long-term complications. These women form roughly half of my client base. Most of them are 'sampling' Reiki treatments only because the Support Club is paying my fees. The other half of my clients are independent 'health seekers' who have been recommended to me by word of mouth.

The contrast between these two groups could not be more dramatic. The women from the Support Group are almost all 'victim thinkers' ....they wear their illness / disease like a badge of honour. They enjoy my loving / concerned attention and the peacefulness of their hour of Reiki..... it gives their confidence and sense of well-being a temporary boost..... but I doubt they will ever get well until they wake up and join a 'well woman' club which focuses on wellness rather than illness. The 'independents' are pro-active about their health. They are open and receptive and more than willing to change their attitudes and habits. They tend to move on quickly....or decide to train and attune as Reiki healers themselves. This has taught me a great deal about healing. As with so many other areas of human life, a passive or negative attitude of mind is a potential killer - not only limiting progress, but also creating barriers which can become permanent. Healing is active and depends on sensitive, consistent cooperation with the body.

When a healing crisis strikes me - and I am laid low with a stinking cold - it remains an on-going challenging lesson for me to remember what I have been taught by my Nature Cure Mentor - that symptoms should not be suppressed....they are not enemies, to be stopped and killed by all kinds of drugs. They are the body's way of eliminating catarrh and waste. Mucus production is the body's perfect mechanism for taking out the garbage! If this process is suppressed, the immune system is compromised and the next time, it won't work so well. The body has its own memory and it remembers. And have you noticed how valiantly and fiercely it fights to keep going despite years of abuse and neglect?....and how quickly it responds when it is given half a chance, with healthy food choices and regular exercise?

Nature Cure teaches us that the healthy changes we experience after a healing crisis remain as long as a health supportive lifestyle is long as we continue to honour the remarkable and extraordinary intelligence of the body. When we give the body what it needs to constantly create strong new tissue, the reward will be wonderful health and vitality.

Perhaps I could not do better (within this prestigious company) than to close with some words from JC Thomson himself:-

Real health is rarely placid. As a rule, it is a study in dynamics and every now and again, it can assume an aspect of sheer violence.

This exuberance makes for misunderstanding. People mistake healthy reactions for disease and try to stop them, particularly as health phenomena are not generally studied. Indeed, except by the Nature Cure School, health as such, is not investigated. The usual acceptance is that health is a negative quality - a mere absence of symptoms of disease. This conception is ludicrously false.

.....A point is reached where the local tissues start a cleaning- out which may take any one of a number of forms. The simple cold or diarrhoea, the more specialised rash or abscess, or an effort involving the whole body's forces, such as a fever: one and all have the same purpose. All are indications of the body's healing and cleansing efforts.

The world has moved on since JC wrote this in 1935. Nature Cure is no longer the only 'alternative voice' within the business of healing. I strongly agree with Peter La Barre's suggestion within this issue, that a small working party or focus group should be formed to review his writings and bring them up-to-date 'stylistically and factually' and offer them again for public and professional scrutiny. Has this been left too late? I sincerely hope not.

Lyanne Mitchell is a Further Education Lecturer in Graphics, Reiki Practitioner and ex-NC patient.

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