When I first began to learn about the Bach Flower Remedies in 1990, I saw the puzzling phrase, “healing crisis.” How, I wondered, could healing be a crisis?
My first understanding of this phrase was intellectual. I learned that the phrase was originated by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy. A healing crisis is considered to be a temporary worsening of one’s symptoms during a course of treatment. Despite the ominous word, “crisis,” the condition means that the homeopathic remedy being taken for an illness has aroused the body’s own healing ability to release the toxins or energetic imbalances that have kept the illness active.
People may experience colds or flu-like symptoms or skin conditions. These indicate a general release of toxins. The symptoms may also be specific to the illness. Generally speaking, the recommended attitude to such conditions is “This, too, shall pass.” And generally, they will, to be followed by restored health.
In the case of a healing crisis caused by taking flower or other essences, the symptoms are usually emotional. If, for example, you’re taking Holly because you have a lot of anger, you might find that you’re getting even angrier than you were before. This might make you want to throw away your dosage bottle, because it seems that this stuff has a boomerang effect. You’re taking it to feel better, not worse.
Some essence practitioners prefer to call healing crises “awareness crises,” a far more accurate phrase. Literally, you are becoming more aware of your emotional state.
You may have decided, “I have this anger problem,” but perhaps you didn’t realize how deep or widespread it was. Taking Holly enhances your awareness of the emotional issue. You begin to realize that you were ignoring or suppressing a lot of the anger you felt. Emotional release, however, requires emotional awareness.
Knowing that the intensification of emotional symptoms is natural helps many who take essences, but you can do more.
Rescue Remedy: This composite of five Bach Flower Remedies has a calming effect. (It won’t interfere with whatever essence you’re taking.) I recommend putting a few drops in a glass of water and sipping it slowly. Repeat as needed.
Meditation: If this is something you do regularly, meditate with the idea of calming and relaxing your body/mind. If this practice is foreign to you, you can benefit from lying down and breathing deeply and deliberately. This will relieve emotional tension.
Physical exercise: This can range from burning off some of the excess energy you may feel to yoga, tai chi, and chi kung. Many people find that swimming is the most relaxing exercise.
Attitude: If you can detach from the emotional whirlwind, you’ll find that it’s teaching you a lot about yourself. Maybe you’ll discover that the person who angers you so is in some ways like you-an often horrible realization but useful. Write about what you’re feeling. Talk to trusted friends.
Take heart: “This, too, shall pass” fully applies to emotional healing crises. Yours will pass, leaving you feel as refreshed as the air is when a thunderstorm ends.