What is a Shamanic Healing?
In a shamanic healing a lot of different things can happen! But the overall control is with the client and the healing always moves at the rate and in a manner that their system is comfortable with.
From a Shamanic world view, illness or dis-ease is brought about by a loss of natural balance and the Shamanic practitioner will endeavour to restore that balance. Traditionally, a diagnostic journey’ is performed, in which the practitioner ‘journeys’ to meet with his or her spirit allies to enquire about and be shown the nature of the clients dis-ease. They might ask, ‘what does this person need specifically to return to balance, strength, vitality or indeed to their truest self?’ This is not a search for perfection but for wholeness.
The ‘journey’ happens in an altered state of consciousness, brought about by a drum or rattle being played at a rate of 4-7 beats per second. This shifts the awareness of the practitioner who can then access a greater pool of knowledge beyond the day to day from which they can bring back healing information. In this altered state, they connect and communicate with their helpers or ‘allies’ who direct how the healing unfolds – the optimum methods applicable and any healing information, transmissions or instructions for the client. The work is always a partnership between the practitioner and their allies in this way.
Illness from a Shamanic Perspective
In Shamanic terms, parts of us – both physical and spiritual – can become damaged along life’s road. Bits of us can become “lost”, fragmented or negatively affected by misplaced energies. This is quite common and natural given what life can throw at us sometimes!
Trauma – both major and minor , physical emotional and mental – is one of the most common causes of dis-ease that practitioners see. The results of large trauma can be immediately apparent, but not necessarily any more damaging that the cumulation of many small traumas that can lead to chronic health conditions, misfortune or simply feeling ‘out of sorts’. The most surprising things can be an indication that balance has been lost and healing is required; bad dreams or persistent nightmares, a run of back luck or patterns you find hard to break.
Traditionally, one would not have to wait more than three days to receive help from the community Shaman and soon be back to full strength. Modern times have certainly seen wonderful developments in healing – but there have also been losses. Many indigenous pathways to health have become lost and forgotten, denying us potent medicines in an age where modern methods cannot always get to the bottom of recurring health issues and persistent conditions.
What Happens in a Healing?
For Shamanic healings, clients are fully clothed and lying down on a couch or on a blanket on the floor. I may use voice, drum or rattle to call to my Spirit allies.
Before any work begins, I will check in with the client to see if they are happy with hands-on or prefer hands-off work and at any time the client can request that I pause or to check in with them.
Shamanic healing can also be done at a distance – which is the way I commonly work. In this form, the healing is exactly the same, except rather than the client being present I work with a surrogate – a representation of the client which could be a piece of wood or some other natural item. There will be a video or telephone chat pre-session for the client to discuss their needs, to set them at ease, to answer any questions they might have and to explain the work to come. Then the client will lay down comfortably at home and I will work with a representation of them in my healing space. To be clear, healings done in this way are no less potent!
Shamanic healings can vary from person to person and session to session and the most common forms of healing are listed below – but this list is by no means exhaustive! Each healing is different and could seamlessly weave together one or more of the modes listed. After the work, the client receives a healing story – this both explains the work done and serves to help them mentally understand the cause of their ailment. They may also be given some manageable follow-up work to do to assist integration. In the case of absent work, this story and and any information would be conveyed by telephone or video call post-session.
Common Shamanic healing can include one or a blend of the following:
- Extraction – removal of unwanted energetic blockages.
- Power Animal Retrieval – the return of power, gifts and strengths to the client often communicated by an animal form.
- Soul Retrieval (from soul loss or theft) – a return of pure soul essence and vitality, often lost due to trauma on some scale or complex relationships in which a person has unwittingly taken or been given a piece of the client’s vital force.
- Protection – a ‘powering-up’ of personal boundaries to reduce susceptibility to and prevent ill health.
- De-possession – don’t let Hollywood movies scare you! A more accurate term for this experience would be “overshadowing” to a greater or lesser degree and happens when a deceased person travels with a client and needs assistance to move on. In these cases, compassionate healing is received by both parties.
- Curse Unravelling – Curses can be generally defined as words or actions with the conscious or unconscious aim of invoking harm to someone, something or oneself.
Ancestral curses, accidental curses and self-cursing (‘I’m a failure and always will be’) are all common and can be undone by a Shamanic practitioner, often leading to a much freer experience of life.
Ancestral curse unravelling can often result in the removal of hereditary issues and patterns. These issues and patterns may have been laid down generations ago and the client often experiences them as difficult, repetitive or challenging behaviours that they have struggled with long term. An ancestral curse unravelling very often creates space in the client’s life for them to truly be and express oneself.
Shamanism is a spiritual practice and not a religion. Shamanic work can therefore be harmoniously provided to clients of any belief system. I am happy to discuss concerns or answer any questions you may have in this regard.