I’m writing this post on the heels of a profound weekend of learning, giving and receiving Craniosacral Therapy. My experience deep diving into healing, and ultimately experiencing a healing crisis, inspires me to share with you a few thoughts and tidbits on healing.
Over the years, I have found that there is quite the misperception of what true healing is. Many of us impatient Westerners think that we heal with the quick fix of popping a pill. And the reality is, when we pop a pill to help relieve symptoms, all that it is doing is just masking a symptom.
Now I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with popping medication to help relieve painful symptoms. What I am saying is that it’s not always the be all, end all answer to curing what ails you.
Another issue this mindset of a “quick fix” can create is the thought that it takes only a few massages or bodywork treatments to “fix” the problem. For example, I’ve heard many times over from clients throughout the years, “I just want you to fix me” or “dig in, you can’t hurt me” or “dig out the knots.”
My friends, I’m here to tell you that when you turn to any form of bodywork, whether it’s Craniosacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, Reflexology and the like; the healing that occurs is a process and not something that the therapist can quick fix.
One reason for this is when you solely turn to a pill or an outside person to “fix” your symptomatic pain, this approach misses one main factor and that is…..YOU.
You are a component that you must take into consideration when going about any alternative or natural forms of treatment to help heal the symptom.
First of all, true healing helps to reduce the symptomatic pain by dealing with the root cause of the pain. Popping pills only masks this root cause, so the symptoms are likely to rear its painful little head again in a matter of time.
Second of all, our bodies have a wonderful mechanism that stores memories and traumas (emotional, mental and physical in nature). This mechanism is called the fascia. Now some of what I’m about to share is what I’ve learned studying with my mentor, John F Barnes over the years. The fascia is considered the tissue of consciousness. And if you take a look at the deepest layer of fascia, you will find the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system houses the brain, cerebrospinal fluid, the 22 cranial bones and the membranes inside of the cranium, the sacrum, and spinal column. When past lived traumas, stored up memories or emotional tensions are not fully experienced at the time of onset, they don’t just disappear into thin air, they actually get stored into the fascial system. If these experiences are not released from the fascial system, they manifest into painful patterns of tension or other forms of symptomatic pain.
Third of all, everybody has their own memories, experiences, emotions, tensions, and traumas, and there is no cookie cutter way to truly help someone heal their specific set of pain patterns because they are unique to only them. This is where YOU come into the picture. When you receive a treatment and your fascia starts to release, it is YOU who are experiencing what is coming up, and it’s ONLY YOU who can fully work your way through what’s surfacing.
All of this shared, when old memories, pain patterns, traumas and the like start to surface, a phenomenon called a healing crisis can occur.
Now the word crisis can freak some people out. I get it. It freaked me out! Then I heard someone say that a crisis can be thought of a sifting if you will. And instead of feeling freaked out by the possibility of a healing crisis, the thought of sifting through old stored up issues, discarding the ones that were causing pain, while keeping the ones that felt good, didn’t sound so bad after all.
A healing crisis, while not necessarily an enjoyable experience, can be a necessary one to fully and truly heal certain ailments. If and when you experience one yourself, please know that it is your body’s way of releasing what it no longer needs to hold onto so that you can fully heal and let go of any trauma that may ail you.
What are some things you can expect during a healing crisis? This can vary from person to person, however, the following is a list that shares some possibilities of what can occur:
* Emotional releases such as crying, laughing, the need to scream and the like
* Feeling nauseous, elimination of body fluids, vomiting
* Feeling an old injury resurface like you’re injured all over again, but in reality, you’re not. The pattern just resurfaces so it can move through and out of your system.
What are some things you can do, or not do, during a healing crisis? Once again, this can vary from person to person, yet the following are a few suggestions for you to try out:
* Take time for yourself to be with yourself and rest.
* Spend time in nature.
* Talk with a trusted friend, and if extra intervention is needed, turn to a trusted counselor or therapist.
* Drink plenty of fluids (if you can keep food/liquids down).
* Involve yourself in something creative to express any emotional build up such as journaling, painting, dancing and the like.
* Allow yourself to feel what is coming up for you, and instead of quickly turning towards analyzing it, allow yourself to feel what’s coming up to the surface. When you allow yourself to feel your way through challenging emotions/memories, rather than running away from them, one can find that the experience tends to dissolve on its own. After feeling it, if you feel the need to analyze it, then turn to a trusted confidant or therapist to work through it cognitively.
When you allow yourself to take care of yourself during a healing crisis, you may find that the symptoms that once ailed you, tend to dissipate on their own and you will come to find that with your active participation in your own healing that you end up healing yourself. You have that power within you to do this. My work and the work of my colleagues practicing various forms of natural healing therapies, are here to help facilitate this process, but it is ultimately YOU who is doing the healing.
And remember, if you find yourself in this not so pleasant phase of healing, know and trust that you will come out the other side if you allow yourself to.
On that note, I leave you today with this lovely piece that was posted on the Unify Facebook page, that reflects this topic and can serve as inspiration. Enjoy…
_”Nobody ever talks about this part…
You know, the part where you are no longer a caterpillar and not yet a butterfly. You don’t know who you are and you don’t know where you are going. All you know is that every fiber of your being is calling for transformation. For disruption. For a revolution of the spirit. So surrender. Breakdown.
This is not the death of you. This is the dying of who you once were. This is your rebirth, darling.
And these are called growing pains.”_ ~Unify