I Cried Today – Understanding Setbacks in Your Healing

It’s not often that I write a post about me. That’s because I see my blog more as a conduit for helping people rather than being about me. However, I felt it was important to share this story as there’s a gem of wisdom for those who suffer or have suffered from a chronic condition lasting many years. Read the article to discover how to let go of the past and set yourself free.

I Was in a Car Accident

Almost twenty years ago, I was in a car accident. My family was on our way to my grandparents’ 40th wedding anniversary banquet dinner. Before we left, I remember getting into the back of the car, which was a Honda Civic hatchback, and complaining that I was stuck sitting on the hump. This was back in the day when a small car could seat three in the back. The hump was a raised section on the floor covering some sort of mechanical part of the car.

My sister graciously offered to trade seats with me so we swapped. This gave me the window seat while my sister sat in the middle. Little did I know how that one decision would change the course of my entire life.

My father had driven less than a mile from our home when we stopped at an intersection to make a left-hand turn onto a busy roadway. We noticed a car drive past the intersection, hit the brakes and then start reversing on the road during rush hour.


I distinctly recall myself saying, “That looks like an accident waiting to happen.” And sure enough, we saw an approaching Mercedes Benz make a right turn from the same road. It was going fast and the driver didn’t notice the reversing car heading straight towards him.

The reversing vehicle smashed into the Mercedes causing it to veer off course. Instead of turning into the lane beside us, the Mercedes drove directly into our car. I saw the whites of the driver’s eyes as he looked at us in horror, his hands flailing on the steering wheel. It was totally like in slow motion until I felt the impact.

The Mercedes hit the side of our hatchback with brute force, connecting with the rear passenger side of our car. That’s where I was sitting. Remember how I switched seats with my sister?

This caused my head to whip violently to the side. My jaw smacked into my sister’s head and then my head ricocheted back in the other direction until it smashed into the side window. The accident left me with a legacy of chronic pain in my neck and shoulders.

I would experience pain episodes every few weeks. I’d feel fine and then I’d reach for a towel and twist the wrong way and end up with excruciating pain that lasted for a week or two. Sometimes the pain was so intense, I wished I were dead.

What Opened My Eyes to Alternative Healing

The doctors couldn’t help me. Physiotherapy was a joke. It was the first time in my life that I realized that modern medicine couldn’t solve everything. And that’s what caused me to make an abrupt change in direction. It’s what opened my eyes up to alternative healing because that was the only thing that gave me relief from the pain.


The accident happened in my mid-twenties and I remember feeling like my body was broken and that I was ruined for the rest of my life. Fortunately, after much trial and error, I healed my neck, back and shoulders to about 90 to 95-percent, almost as good as new. The pain became tolerable and was nowhere near as intense, and the episodes occurred much less frequently.

At the time of the accident, I was two weeks away from testing for my blue belt in Karate. Even though I had the pain under control, I was never able to return to martial arts. I tried a few times, but it was always too hard on my body, aggravating the old injuries.

I kind of let the martial arts go even though I had enjoyed it so much. In the meantime, I learned how to heal myself and discovered the key to health and vitality and I released 99.9-percent of the accident from my body.

I honestly considered myself to be pretty much 100-percent healed. After I started practicing Chinese Reflexology, I never experienced another pain episode for over a decade. However, in the past few weeks, everything came around full circle and that’s why I cried today.

I’d always felt a calling to go back to martial arts and tried a few styles, but didn’t really take to them in the same way. Then a couple of months ago, I thought, “Why don’t I look for a Karate class in the same style that I used to study?”

I found a class and it felt so good to be there. The drills were familiar, the stances were the same, the muscle memory was still there. And my neck, shoulders and back felt fine after class. I started going regularly and I felt good.

Oh No! What Happened Last Saturday…

2015-03-image-giThen, last weekend, I woke up with a little pinch in my neck, which I attributed to sleeping in an awkward position and staying up too late reading a book on my iPad. It wasn’t painful, so I went to Karate class.

There was a guest instructor who was really high ranking. I think he may have been my Sensei’s teacher. Consequently, the Sensei really pushed us hard in class and the guest instructor also challenged us to work harder. There was no coasting or hiding in the back row that Saturday.

As the class continued, I started feeling more discomfort in my neck and shoulder. I thought about leaving early, but with the guest instructor there, I didn’t want my early departure to reflect badly on my Sensei.

After class, I went home and then the achiness began to morph into pain, radiating across my neck and shoulders. I had to lie down and nap in the afternoon because I felt so uncomfortable. I felt much better the next morning but later in the day, the ache returned.

Eventually, the pain started to dissipate, but I still felt sore even three days after the Karate class. It was then that I realized, I knew this feeling. It was just like the pain from the car accident.

Okay, So Here’s What Was Really Going On…

Given what I know now, I knew that this pain was there to tell me something. My body was trying to communicate a message to me and I needed to listen to it. The message was that I hadn’t let go of the accident 100-percent. Physically, I had healed, but the recurrence of the pain told me that there was still something that I needed to let go.

I asked myself, “What do I need to look at about the accident?” And I allowed myself to go back to the memory of the accident and to go deep into the feelings that I held inside. And I realized that what had upset me the most, was that no one had ever acknowledged my pain.

When I was at the hospital, the doctor told me to take some aspirin. I got stronger drugs when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. This pain was way more intense. It felt like the doctor didn’t acknowledge my pain.

I was in the accident on a Friday and then went to work on Monday. That’s because I knew my boss was going to be away and we had two new people starting. And I thought, “Who is going to train them if my boss is away?” So I went into the office. I was in so much pain.

My boyfriend at the time, acted as if nothing had happened and wondered why I was so irritable. He expected me to do all the things that I did before the accident. He didn’t know how much pain I was in.

No one knew how much pain I was in. No one acknowledged my pain.

2015-03-imageboohooI realized that no one knew how much pain I was in because I never told anyone how much pain I was in. I kept it to myself. And with that realization, I whispered out loud to myself, “I was in so much pain.” And then I started to cry.

I realized I needed to forgive myself for not expressing the pain I was in—for putting myself in situations where I had to silently bear the pain. After I cried for a few minutes, I felt better.

Then, it was time for me to go to woodworking class, so I left. I got immersed in handcrafting reflexology sticks. When I got home, I noticed that all traces of the lingering pain and soreness in my body had completely disappeared. I didn’t feel anything. In fact, I felt fantastic.

Looking at the last bit of emotion held inside and releasing it, was what had finally freed me from the car accident. Now, I can say with 100-percent truth that I am 100-percent healed now.

Here’s What You Can Take Away from My Story

2015-03-image-hurrayWhen you are healing from a chronic condition that you’ve held in your body for a very long time, sometimes you have to relive it in order to release it. What this means is that when you start getting better, you may experience a recurrence of the problem. You’ll start to feel like you are on the mend and then all of a sudden, it will seem like all of your symptoms have come back in full force.

Part of the reason for this is resistance. Your mind is adjusting to letting go of something that has been a part of your identity. Your mind likes to create an illusion of control because this creates an illusion of safety and stability.

So when you start healing, this rocks the foundation of who you are. It rocks your identity, so your mind steps in and tries to recreate stability by bringing back the symptoms in full force. It’s like it’s trying to make things like they once were.

However, if you allow yourself to go through this experience and look deeper within for answers, the experience will pass and then, you will be truly on the road to healing. There might be a few more speed bumps along the way, but nothing that you can’t handle. The only thing that holds the resistance in your body is resisting and denying it.

It’s Like Detoxing at the Deepest Level

In Chinese Medicine, there’s a technique called cupping. If you’re not familiar with it, basically it’s very strong stimulation on the back using glass jars that have been heated for a few seconds to create a vacuum. This causes them to suck onto your skin and stay in place when they’re placed on your back. Often, they are placed on “back shu” points, which are points that correspond to different organs in your body.

The underlying idea is that the suction helps to pull toxins deep within the body to the surface so they can be cleared away by the body. When there is a problem with an organ, the cup will leave what looks like a dark bruise. That’s because it is pulling many toxins to the surface. If there are no issues, the cups leave faint marks, if any at all.

So, when you experience what may appear as a setback, you may also be pulling out the deepest emotional toxins held in your body. Pulling out these toxins cause them to surface and as a result, you re-experience the symptoms, albeit for a much shorter duration.

I see this happen with clients and students all the time. And, it most recently happened to me with the car accident. That pain was buried deep inside!

Not everyone goes through it, but many people do. It seems like they get better and then they get worse before they are finally healed. There is always some sort of epiphany that needs to be realized during the period of resistance and once it is acknowledged, it’s very easy to let go and you start seeing improvements again.

So it may seem like you take two steps forward and three steps back sometimes, but know that you are on your way. This is simply part of the healing journey and what you need to do is look for that deeper meaning within. And once you do, you will set yourself free.

P.S. I started writing this article two days ago, so I didn’t cry today. I cried two days ago and I’m feeling pretty good today! Hope you are too!

12 thoughts on “I Cried Today – Understanding Setbacks in Your Healing”

  1. That’s a very interesting lesson on how so much time can go by, but you can still be affected.

    It is amazing how much our emotions affect our bodies. It’s even more amazing that many people are only just starting to think about using emotions as a healing tool.

  2. Holly, Thank you SO much for taking the time to post your story. I could really identify with the pain that you were still holding onto. I feel that although my mom and dad have been gone for a while now, I’m still holding on to some of that pain, and that despite feeling so much better, I continue to have anxiety and panic sometimes. I’ve often felt that I need to completely let go of things that happened during their illnesses over which I had no control, and accept that I really did everything I could for them. I think only in this way will I be free of the anxiety, which I think sometimes is a manifestation of lingering guilt that I am still here and they are gone. Sorry for rambling. Thank you again for a truly inspiring post! I’m so glad you have released that pain!

    1. You’re very welcome. I’m glad to hear that my story touched you. It sounds like you already know your path to freedom from the anxiety. I am sure your parents appreciated everything you did for them and now would want you to let go of the pain and live your life to the fullest.

      Lots of love and light,

  3. Hi Holly,
    I am so glad I ‘stumbled’ across your Hay House story today and now this gem. You are speaking the words I need to hear. How sweet is that. What a gift to be able to give and receive and join with other souls on the journey of awakening. I look forward to following your story and reading your book! <3 Sabrina

  4. hi Holly, such an interesting lesson.
    I have a question for you. I had got a reflexology massage done last week and that therapist has told me i have crystals at four points.
    1. shoulders
    2. head
    3. Lungs
    4. Small intestine.

    What does this mean? am i suffering with major diseases? what should i tell doctor when i meet him for above problems . I cant tell him that i met a foot reflexologer and he said i have these problem points?
    Shoulder and head yeah i do experience pains.
    but Lungs? what could be the problem with lungs?
    I do have dust allergy and last year i had a congestion in chest.
    but this year , till now..i am fine. but still crystals are present?
    what do u suggest now?

    1. I see you signed up for my free online lessons. In the video lesson, I explain the meaning of sensitive points (includes crystals) in the feet.

  5. I really enjoyed reading your story, thank you so much for sharing. There is so much to learn from all of our challenges, and life adventures. It sounds like you are really being mindful of your experiences and what they have to offer you.
    Great website- I’m inspired by all the content. If you ever visit Vernon BC, feel free to look up Vernon Reflexology. I’d love to have a coffee/tea with you!

    1. Thank you Melissa! It’s always awesome to connect with other reflexologists. I have friends in Vancouver, so maybe one day, I will visit :). Happy New Year!

  6. Totally inspirational to work at bringing so much more healing to my body both emotionally and physically. Thank you so much Holly

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