The Mystical Healing Crisis

As Fall moves toward Winter, an interesting and somewhat predictable pattern emerges in my private practice. People find themselves in some sort of healing crisis. It seems to happen more often in the slower, drowsier, sedentary and contemplative months of late fall and winter.

Healing crisis is a term that is frequently bandied about in therapeutic and alternative healing circles. For clarity sake, healing crisis includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual/energetic components. 

A healing crisis may rise up through some sort of eruption in the body, accompanied by high levels of mental stimulation, emotional outbursts. The spiritual/energetic components run the gamut from a complete upheaval of life as known to sacred profundity and moments of absolute grace.

If you’re aware of someone experiencing a healing crisis, how much compassion can you hold as you contemplate what it must be like to be in such pain? If it has never happened to you, it may be difficult to fully perceive and comprehend the enormity and magnitude of the experience.

How much compassion can you hold for yourself if you’re navigating a healing crisis right now?

Healing crises rock the foundation, strip away pretense, lay bare the heart and wrack the body

When a healing crisis arises, it’s difficult to look too far ahead, to make many concrete plans. They are navigable moment-by-moment, with the proper equipment – a spiritual practice, nurturing foods, emotional and physical support (hopefully professional as well as family, friends).

As the crisis evolves, it can at times focus on one aspect of the crisis – the body’s acute symptoms, or the overarching emotional pain, grief, anger.  Other times it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees – everything is up, clamoring for attention, easing, release.

The energetics of a healing crisis are fascinating and help the practitioner perceive how things are unfolding in current time. It’s powerful work to support an individual during one of these experiences. In most cases, a multi-layered, carefully facilitated approach yields beautiful results, especially when the client is empowered to see the experience for what it is – a healing crisis.

As the client moves through the crisis, the nuances become significant and revelatory as he or she takes up various roles — sleuth, observer, deep processing participant, dot connector, pattern shifter and shaman with the goal of returning to equilibrium, to the light.

A healing crisis is a deep call for evolution

As the crisis abates, the mystical, alchemical nature of shedding and re-creation inform and enlighten the individual, illuminating the darkness and shining the light on the beauty of transformation and regeneration.

Thankfully, a healing crisis is always an internal eruption that devolves multiple layers and levels of material before emerging in a new, more wholly authentic life. During the acute and most painful moments of the crisis, it’s hard to acknowledge that the experience underway is a calling from within.

Have courage, dear ones, knowing that relief emerges, that evolution is afoot.

Have faith, dear ones, the burden is eventually put down, cast away, shed, discarded.

Have humor, dear ones, amidst the ugliest of the uglies, can be found glimmers of light, comedy, black humor, raucous, rollicking hilarities.

Have heart, dear ones. You are strong, powerful and fierce, this raging storm cannot match or vanquish your light.

Have help, dear ones. Going it alone is not a requirement. It’s a time when you deserve to be seen, understood and well supported.

And when burnished from the heat of the fire, the crisis abates, the stormy waters calm. New awareness owned and validated, life blooms once again.

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26 thoughts on “The Mystical Healing Crisis”

  1. Thank you for this insightful post. It is just over 2 weeks since I saw an energetic healer/intuitive. I got a healing and she said i would feel much lighter with more clarity and ease and purpose etc. however I have spiralled out of control and feel like it’s too painful to keep on choosing life. I feel like everything is far too hard and my head is torturing myself… the doctor thinks I should be on antidepressants. I’ve gone through several bouts of severe depression and anxiety like this but it gets worse each time and I don’t think there is anything ‘healing’ about wanting to die. I’m not sure where to draw the line between medical intervention and what is simply a ‘healing crisis’… the ideas clash. I’m really losing faith x

    • Fi, I do hope you’ll seek the professional help you need to find your feet underneath you and anchor back in to yourself and your life. I often refer my clients and students to a therapist as part of the support team for navigating the crisis. A good therapist can help you gain context and insight into your experience. In a spiritual or healing crisis, context is essential, and professional help that grounds and anchors your spiritual process and work can bring you out of crisis and into neutrality and balance. Please get the help you need.

  2. Thank you for your article, it has given me hope and a piece of mind knowing I’m not the only one going through this. I’ve had to battle every moment of every day to continue pushing on with living as I feel like I am slowly being punished of tortured. I am currently on my 6 week of my healing crisis and at times question what is really going on. The physical aspect is unbearable and I sometimes think what did I get myself in to. I unfortunately have multiple physical traumas and abused my body for decades. I am fortunate, I have a family remember that went thru a Healing crisis that is supportive . I text her numerous times daily for reassurance as they are the only one who understands . To others on the think I’m ok since I may look ok especially since I lost 50 pounds but they have no idea.

    • I’m glad the article is useful to you Jerry. I know how hard this journey is. I went through a couple of them myself, and have stood by many a client in their healing process. Sending best wishes to you as you see your way through, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute.

  3. Thank you so much Jill. For as much as I’ve been suffering lately, this article has completely changed my mindset. I was worried that what was happening to me was abnormal and that meditating was the worst thing I have done to myself. Unfortunately my crisis has been so bad to a point that I had to completely cut down on meditation. But at least I understand what is going on now. Thank you for the comforting and may you be blessed.

    • I am so glad that you understand what is happening as you navigate the healing crisis you’ve been experiencing. I do hope you have support and help from professionals who are experienced with what you’re going through. It can make an enormous difference. I wish you wholly and truly well, evolved and aligned with Who You Are becoming as a result of this process. Jill

  4. Thank you so much beautiful soul for this post. Indeed it is what we ask for, what we need but still hard to deal with sometimes it is very brutal physically and mentally.. The journey is amazing even with the hard times and I think when this process is over the celebration will be great.. You said you’ve gone through this process I mean the healing crisis, can you share how it ended for you, honestly this is tough I need a good story to keep the faith..
    Thanks Jill <3

    • Thanks for your inquiry about how my healing crisis ended. I understand the interest in and need for ‘a good story to keep the faith’. The journey through a healing crisis can feel very solitary, in fact, it is. If you haven’t read Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, I strongly recommend it. It was one of the bulwarks of my own personal process. My story did end well (they usually do). I stripped away a lot of false layers, ways of being and acting in the world that had little to do with Who I Am or what I wanted to be, do and create. I let go of EVERYTHING. I relocated across the country, I upended my business and started over. I bit by bit and piece by piece built a new life for myself that allows me to be Who I Am. And in spite of the challenges I faced, I truly never looked back. That’s the ending of the latest healing crisis! I’ve had several over the years. I’ve witnessed many of them with clients in my private practice. I can honestly say that not a single person I’ve had the privilege of supporting would say that the journey and its ups and downs, intensities and sometimes aching inertia were anything other than an essential rite of passage that yielded better and more authentic living as the crisis waned.

  5. I am having a healing crisis for a year now . First physical and now we have Mind soul spirit. It’s horrific
    Can I get a phone consult ?

    • Hi Sam, I don’t know if you’re asking about your own experience, or if you’re asking out of curiosity about the end of a healing crisis. They do end, though there’s no timeline or guidepost for how long one may last. I will say that it’s pretty important to have guidance and support when navigating a mystical healing crisis. If you or someone you know is going through a crisis of this sort without help and guidance, please encourage them (or choose for yourself) to get the support you need to gain context, filter and sift through the experiences and emotions, and to stabilize the body.

  6. Thank you for this post. For 7 weeks I’ve been in a healing crisis, emotional symptoms to now physical symptoms.

    I’m feeling pretty terrible and I do trust in the process but today I just needed to read this.

    Thank you ?

    • Hi Michelle, I’m so glad that this post was here for you today. I’m so sorry that you are feeling so unwell and uncomfortable. May this post be an ongoing source of light and hope for you. Stay in the hope, allow the evolution, put down what needs to release as you rest in hope, faith and trust in full measure.

  7. Hi Jill. I have been a nurse for many years. NEVER imagined someone could go through something like this and survive.
    Going through the process right now! Sometimes I feel like I won’t be able to make it.
    Thanks God for a supportive husband and son and an army of angels that hold my hand along the way.
    Will I get my life back??
    Thank you for all the postings.
    Love and Light.

    • Hello Ileana, I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing a healing crisis right now. They are challenging for certain, and I’m grateful that you have resources to stand with you and support your journey. I don’t know your circumstances at all, so I can’t speak directly to what you’re experiencing. I can say that there’s a powerful shift that comes as you surrender to the crisis, while doing the work and holding the intention for thriving, growing and evolving. In other words, your body is in its version of the crisis, and yet as a nurse, you know the body is always seeking homeostasis. Your emotions are conceivably all over the place, some days or hours you can feel quite hopeful and peaceful, and then spend hours or days feeling overwhelmed and ill at ease. It’s a journey, and surrendering to the journey is important, while concurrently taking the appropriate actions and doing the work to navigate toward the light, the release and peace. If I can support you in your journey, I’m happy to do so. And if your resources are holding you tight and you have what you need, I’m glad and grateful! Keep the faith, Ileana. May all be well for you.

      • Hi Jill.
        Thank you for your response.
        Just out of curiosity, did you experience a HR.
        I asked this because I been searching for a Healer that had a personal with the event.
        Unless you have gone through this you might not have any idea of how powerful this could be. Will love to speak with you regarding a consultation.
        Love and Light.

    • Ileana, I also question if I am going to make through the process every moment of every day. I think anyone who gets through s Healing crisis would automatically qualify to be a Green Beret or Navy Seal

      • I trust you both will get through this process. And I trust that you’ve got professional practitioners supporting your journeys. It’s important to have professional resources guiding us in addition to the support of our loved ones to see the journey through.

  8. Thank you so much for this. I am having a healing crisis right now! What you wrote is much like what a friend who’s a Jungian psychotherapist told me earlier today. It was really helpful to have it reinforced.

    • Hi Elene, I’m so glad this post is helpful to you. A healing crisis is a deep and powerful experience and leaves its evolutionary mark as the crisis is navigated and then completed. Whatever is taking place for you, know that you are growing, shifting, changing and be-coming a you that is stronger, more powerful and aligned. Having the support you need during these experiences is essential. I trust you have a team of resources that will support your journey through and beyond. Sending best thoughts and wishes for your healing and evolution.

  9. Thank you for such a beautifully articulate description of what I like to call, “Meditate, Cry, Repeat”, haha. Seriously, this post touched my heart and I am so grateful to you for writing this. Further, your description of what arises post-crisis is very comforting. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Stacy, – love it – Meditate, Cry, Repeat. Wow! That’s quite a process. I’m so glad that this post touched you and gave you some context for the journey that most of us find ourselves on at least once in our lives. Big hugs to you!


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