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Author: Sheila Wallace
Title: The Healing Crisis

A Nature cure cleansing or 'Healing Crisis' as it is also known, is really a miraculous feat of engineering on the body's part, in that it allows accumulated debris and toxic waste products to be released from the cleansing organs in a controlled and safe manner. The 4 cleansing organs are the skin, kidneys, liver and lungs and in a healthy body, these work together to give the body a 'Spring Clean' approximately once or twice a year. Waste products accumulate not only from toxins in the air or in foodstuffs etc but also just from the combustion processes which are part and parcel of every-day living.

One of the most vital elements required by the body's cells is oxygen; if we make an analogy between a coal fire and the workings of the body's cells, then we can see how important the 'clearing out' process is, because a fire which is not cleaned out regularly and is starved of oxygen, will very soon go out.

A healing crisis may take any number of forms, but often it appears as a cold or perhaps a skin rash or series of spots or blemishes. Naturopaths see this acute cleansing condition as beneficial and necessary, and if it is suppressed and not allowed to run its course naturally, then it is highly probable that - over time - chronic conditions may develop. We thwart Mother Nature at our peril!

So far I have discussed the body's needs on a physical level, but the other 2 aspects which nature cure recognises are the emotional and the spiritual needs of the body and I feel that emotional healing crises and crises of the spirit too, play an important part in Nature's attempt to maintain balance and wholesomeness in our health.

What are termed 'mental breakdowns' may well be seen as the emotional part of our being, doing its best to clear out mental and emotional debris ; and I do not feel it is too fanciful to suggest that other symptoms may be thrown up by the psyche to address problems of the soul. How many symptoms can we think of which arise out of hate, lack of love or the inability to forgive?

The guidelines for dealing with a routine kind of crisis are relatively simple and can be seen readily in the animal kingdom when animals have control over their own health. The body is already working hard so does not need the added burden (which is considerable) of digesting food. Sips of water or diluted fruit juice should be adequate for the first day or two, moving on to fresh, sweet fruits and salads. Physical and mental rest are important, whilst remaining warm with plenty of fresh air available, will allow the body to do its work unhindered.

The use of the verb 'allow' is instructive because this 'welcoming' and understanding frame of mind is very useful in a healing crisis. Understanding what the body is trying to do, removes the element of fear which symptoms can often produce when the patient is anxious; 'embracing' the symptoms of the healing crisis can completely alter a person's perception of any pain or discomfort because it is acknowledged that it is ultimately beneficial and with the passage of time, the patient comes to realise that he or she will in all likelihood feel radiant once it is over!

Sheila Wallace is a Naturopath Practitioner and President of ISRN 2004

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