The Healing Crisis.
Everybody´┐Żs Guide to Nature Cure (1936)
Harry Benjamin ND.
Compiled and edited by Ivor Hughes.

It frequently happens that when a course of natural treatment is undertaken, the patient suddenly finds himself developing a heavy cold, or a skin eruption appears, or there is an outbreak of boils, etc. Such manifestations are all signs of the cleansing and healing work taking place within the organism, as a result of the treatment, and should give rise to no alarm on the part of the patient. Such outbreaks or disturbances are merely the result of the forcing to the surface of the body of deep-seated toxic material, and will pass away in due course, as the treatment proceeds, leaving the patient in far better health as a direct consequence of their appearance.

Such disturbances are known as " healing crises " in the world of Naturopathy, and are called such for the reason that they mark a temporary crisis in the process of cure taking place, a crisis engendered by the healing forces at work within the body of the individual concerned, and which has as its aim the increased elimination of toxic material from the body of the individual under treatment.

Any person, therefore, who suddenly finds himself developing a cold, or excessive catarrh, or a skin eruption, or a crop of boils, or diarrhoea, or such-like disturbances, under treatment, should welcome its appearance as a sure sign that the treatment is doing its allotted work in forcing toxic material out of his system, and should not blame the treatment for adding further troubles to those he already has. The cure of disease ultimately depends, in every case, upon the removal of impediments to the proper functioning of the organism, and the removal of toxic waste and other deleterious material from the cells and tissues of the body has been shown in the present book to be the quickest and surest way of bringing this about. Any movement, therefore, which hastens this eliminative and cleansing process should be regarded with satisfaction by the patient undergoing treatment. That is why the " healing crisis " is so much to be welcomed when it comes.

It must be pointed out that not every patient under treatment will develop a " healing crisis," yet others will develop two or even three. It all depends upon the constitutional make-up of the individual concerned, and cannot be forecasted in any way. The great thing is to lie prepared for such crises to appear during treatment, and to accept them in their true light. The information given in the various sections of the practical portion of the present book will make it quite easy for any patient to cope successfully with any occurrence of this nature which may arise during treatment.

In the natural treatment of fevers " healing crises " often occur, and it is because these sometimes appear so serious to those tending the patient, giving the appearance that the patient is growing very much worse, that it is always best to have a Naturopath in attendance in all such cases. But even here, without personal naturopathic advice, if those responsible for the carrying out of the treatment will keep their heads, and realise that what is taking place is only a special recuperative effort on the part of the healing forces at work within the body of the patient, and, when past, will mean that a decisive step towards final recovery has taken place, then such crises can be readily weathered in every case. The thing is just to keep calm and carry on with the treatment, and do whatever common sense dictates for the immediate relief of the patient. In most cases nothing at all will be required to be done, except to keep the patient as comfortable as possible. The crisis will pass off as naturally as it has come.

It is worth mentioning here that cases are on record where a fever was in process of being fasted, and, a healing crisis having developed, those undertaking the treatment, not having a Naturopath nearby to consult, have grown panicky and sent for a doctor. The result has been that the doctor has at once proceeded to inoculate the patient with some serum or other, and insisted upon the patient being fed in accordance with his own views regarding the treatment of fevers, and this, coming on top of the previous fasting treatment, has resulted in the death of the patient. Of course it was the fasting which was blamed for the death of the patient, not the doctor's treatment at all !

The tragedy is that if, in these cases, those responsible for the administration of the treatment had only kept their heads when the crisis appeared, and carried on as before, the patient would have got over it quite all right, and would soon have been convalescent.

A particular case that can be cited is one of a boy of twelve who developed diphtheria. His parents decided to treat him themselves, without the aid of a doctor, along Natural Cure lines. The boy was fasted for several days and was getting on splendidly, when suddenly he began to bleed profusely at the mouth and nose. The parents grew alarmed at this (although, if they had only known, this was a very good thing indeed, a real " healing crisis "), and sent hurriedly for a doctor. When the doctor arrived he proceeded at once to inject anti-diphtheria serum and told the parents to begin feeding the boy. The result was that within forty-eight hours the boy was dead. The blame, of course, was laid at the door of the fasting ; not on the medical treatment superimposed upon it !

Many persons undertaking a scheme of home treatment for a particular ailment, as outlined in the present book, will find various difficulties of one kind or another arising. Not everyone's environment is exactly alike, and all that can be done is to give a general scheme of treatment which each individual must adapt as best he can to his' own particular circumstances. But there are some general rules of living to which all can subscribe, once treatment is begun, and which are outlined below. If adhered to, they will make the process of cure far easier and surer than would otherwise be the case.

1. The first thing is to enter upon the treatment with the feeling that you are going to do your utmost to make a success of it. Remember that health must be earned, and in achieving it you will be more than amply rewarded for all the efforts you have made.

2. Try to be as cheerful as you can all the time. A cheery and optimistic outlook is an inestimable asset to have along with you in your fight to regain health. Remember that the mental factor is of the utmost importance where the production or the eradication of disease is concerned, and the right mental attitude is therefore a fundamental necessity if you wish to gain the fullest advantage from the treatment you are now undergoing. Remember that depression, fear, anxiety, and such-like emotions are due to a lowered state of the system and of the nerves especially, and realise that by substituting their opposites, hope, courage, determination, etc. you are effectually neutralising their effects upon you and paving the way for their ultimate elimination from your mental consciousness.

Instead of thoughts like " I shall never get well," " Everything is going wrong with me," " The whole world seems against me," etc., etc., you must keep in your mind thoughts such as " Now I am going to get well," " I know I am going to get well because the treatment I am undertaking is bound to help me to secure health," " My troubles are due to my own folly and ignorance and will be rectified by my own efforts now I have been shown the right way," etc.

3. Remember that the worry habit does more to sap vitality and initiative than any other single factor, and remember also that the way to overcome it is by right thinking and right action along the lines consistently laid down in the present book.

In essence worry is due to a depleted nervous system and lowered, nervous tone, and the more you strive to build up your health along the lines here laid down, the more surely will you be paving the way for the eradication of the worry habit. As your health improves and nerve power is increased and the nervous condition built up, so inevitably must worry cease to occupy a dominant position in your mental consciousness. That is a thought worth pondering upon frequently by everyone.

4. In all that has here been said, the importance of the mental factor in the curative treatment of disease has been stressed and the use of beneficial mental self-suggestion encouraged. A good thing for all those undergoing treatment is to make a regular habit each night, before falling off to sleep, of visualising themselves as they would like themselves to be. " Picture to yourself what you would be like full of radiant health and vitality," and keep that picture in your mind when you fall asleep. Such self-suggestion is in the highest degree beneficial.

Another good thing is to start the day by affirming to yourself your determination to get well in spite of all obstacles, and to repeat several times with emphasis : " Now to begin again on my new treatment which is doing me so much good and is going to make me really well in time." Daily self-suggestion of this nature can do far more good from the curative point of view than most people would imagine.

5. Turning from the mental to the physical, the patient must always see to it that he has as much fresh air and outdoor exercise as his environment and physical condition will allow. Never over-exert yourself in taking exercise, but remember that a good walk, of a few miles each day, is an excellent thing for you, if you are able to undertake it. All forms of exercise are good, providing they are not too strenuous; but taking everything into consideration, walking is the best exercise, and the cheapest and simplest too.

6. Always see that your bedroom is well ventilated at night; it does no good at all to sleep in a stuffy atmosphere. Also wear the minimum of underclothing. The best kind to wear is the cellular mesh-type, such as " Aertex " and " Lahmann." If you must wear extra garments, because of the cold, let them be external garments, not garments next the skin.

7. Keep to the three-meals-a-day plan outlined for you in your treatment, and have no " snacks " of any kind in between. Never eat when you are overtired or overwrought in any way. Food at such times will do you more harm than good. Never come to a meal in a hurry, and try to have a short rest after a meal. Do not rush away immediately after eating to catch a train or to do some strenuous work. Always masticate your food thoroughly, and enjoy each mouthful. If, for any reason, you do not feel hungry for a meal, then miss it, and wait for the next. It is never good to force oneself to eat because it is meal-time. Above all, never over eat. It is always best to under eat rather than to over eat; but in general, let your own hunger decide.

8. Keep faith in yourself and in the treatment you are undertaking. Remember, it has set the feet of many thousands of others on to the path to health again, after being cast aside as incurable by the medical profession, and it can do the same for you if you will only carry on with patience, perseverance, and determination. Read this whole section through several times a week.

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