What is happening?
Now that you have a sense of why a healing crisis occurs, let’s discuss what is occurring. Essentially, your body and your mind are detoxing. The simplest reason why Rolfing creates this detox is because the fascia, the connective tissue that Rolfers release, held all the toxins and stress of the body. When the fascial network begins to relax, and become suppler, the circulation into once restricted areas begins to increase. The blood flushes out deposits which were locked in the soft tissue of the body including its organs.
When this occurs, it may not feel like a good thing, but trust me – it is. What was deposited in the tissue was preventing the body from functioning optimally. It is not much different than attempting to increase the flow in an old pipe. For it to happen the gunk needs to be roto-rootered out.
The body is always processing the by-products of life, much like a sewer plant does. It is when the sewer plant gets backed up that there is a problem. The liver handling the oil soluble and the kidneys handling the water soluble waste can get overloaded when the blood is carrying too much of the flushed out. Then when the back up organs such as the lungs, colon and skin can’t handle the toxins, there is a healing crisis. It’s not much different than when storm sewers running into the sewer system after a heavy rain cause the sewer plant to discharge untreated effluent directly into a river.
Other holistic traditions have their explanations of what occurs during a healing crisis. Oriental medicine speaks about the five elements (the ten organs) either supporting each other or conflicting with each other. If one organ pair is not doing its job, and the others can’t pick up its load, the entire system becomes sick.
Homeopathy tells us how the most recent symptoms will be released first and the older ones later. This means if you injured your back three years ago and your leg 20 years ago, you are more likely to have a healing crisis that affects your back first. It is worth mentioning that I have seen, including in myself, how old injuries and illnesses are forgotten. Regularly, I ask clients if they have ever injured a certain area or have had a particular illness. Since it happened in the past, and the current problems do not seem connected to these older problems, we don’t remember.
Homeopathy does a good job explaining how our normal medical treatment, allopathic medicine, often represses symptoms of illness and hinders the natural healing process. Consequently, when a truly holistic approach, such as homeopathy, or Rolfing, impacts the body, the incomplete cycle of healing that a drug might have stopped is reactivated to be completed. In the course of treatment, layers are peeled away, much like the proverbial peeling of the onion.
Constantine Hering, M.D. (1800-1880), the father of American homeopathy, observed three phenomena concerning the progression of symptoms through the course of healing:
The first progresses from the deepest part of the organism – the mental and emotional levels and the vital organs – to the external parts, such as skin and extremities The second is the reversal of their original chronological order of occurrence The third flows from the upper to the lower parts of the body