According to the philosophy of Natural Therapeutics, when you're on the path to healing, it's common for symptoms to get worse before they get better, we call this the "healing crisis."
Nature Cure describes a healing crisis as "an acute reaction, resulting from the ascendancy of Nature's forces over disease conditions. Its tendency is towards recovery, and it is, therefore, in conformity with Nature's constructive principle."
People in my NMSNT community also call it "going acute."
"I went acute last week" a friend of mine said recently. I got the message. She had been through a healing crisis. I understood the principle behind the phenomenon- once you are healthy enough to deal with the real nasty shit that's accumulated in your system, your body takes advantage of your good health to get down to the nitty gritty. You're doing everything right- and things seem to be getting worse.
I had seen women at SafePlace go through healing crises. I saw it happen enough that I would warn clients who came into our transitional housing program about it. After being stuck in survival mode for so long, and then finally having a safe place to live, things were finally stable enough for the person to process everything that had happened to them. And it usually freaked them out.
But it wasn't until recently that I actually experienced it myself- on a small scale.
It was the first day of my cycle. I was used to having painful menstrual cramps. They usually lasted 4-6 hours and were manageable enough that I could work or sleep through them. But this time they were more intense then they've ever been and lasted 8 hours. From midnight until 8am the next morning I was crippled with abdominal pain. It was the same pain I'd always experienced but ramped up to the point where I couldn't numb it or ignore it and I was up all night with it and finally surrendered and just listened to it. And despite having gotten no sleep, after it passed, I felt great.
But over the next few weeks I started to worry. Was this going to happen again? Was every month going to be a repeat, or worse? Would I have to (gasp) go to a doctor?
I was bracing myself, but the next cycle came, and was over in three days, with very little discomfort at all.
This month was even easier. And I can finally say that for the first time in my life, I am having what I would call a "healthy" cycle. My body is no longer screaming at me and it's doing its job efficiently. I even forgot it was time this month, when I failed to have the usual irritability/tears that let me know I'm about to start bleeding.
I can't pinpoint the change that allowed this to happen. Maybe it's the work I've been doing through my school. Maybe it's because I've been eating well. Maybe it's a natural result of being in a truly healthy relationship for the first time in my life. Honestly, I don't care why. I'm just grateful for the reminder that when you make positive changes in your life, things really do change.