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How can shamanism benefit your health and wellbeing?

Individuals may seek shamanic healing for many different maladies. If they are living within a shamanic culture, shamanic healing is typically part of a multidisciplinary approach used for any disease or imbalance, in partnership with physical healers, botanical medicines, changes in diet, and other therapies.

In contemporary western society, shamanic healing is unfamiliar to most non-indigenous individuals. Despite that, people are finding their way to contemporary shamans for all types of health challenges, but especially when they are not making satisfactory improvements with conventional approaches. 

Shamanistic perspective on disease

The perspective on individual disease is different in shamanism than in the conventional medical view. In a shamanistic view:

  • Similar symptoms or diseases do not stem from the same underlying root energetic problem.  
  • Community disharmony often manifests in individual illness. 
  • Any illness may have a significant underlying spiritual or energetic issue, regardless of the form in which that illness manifests - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or relational. 

Certain illnesses are more likely to have a spiritual component that may respond to shamanic healing techniques. These include psychological diagnoses like depression and anxiety, ADD/ADHD, autism, and addictions.

Illnesses that manifest physically may still have significant spiritual underpinnings. This is especially true for illnesses that have atypical or premature presentations, such as a degenerative illness that normally occurs in elder years occurring in a young adult. 

The sense that something is "missing" or that "I haven't been the same since..." can often be indicative of an energetic loss of some type, including soul energy loss. Shamanic healing is often part of a multi-pronged approach to an illness, and is fully compatible with both conventional medicine and other integrative treatments, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and others.

Shamanistic healing

Shamanic healing work requires two distinct phases:  

  • The accurate diagnosis of the seen and unseen energies at the root of the problem. 
  • Carrying out the specific choreography of energies needed to resolve the problem. 

The shaman may serve by removing energies that are inappropriately present, or by returning energies that have been lost. This includes soul recovery to accomplish healing via the return of lost parts of the soul. 

When an individual is living within a community that supports such work, there is time and support for the integration and processing that an individual must do to complete most healing processes. In contemporary society, the shaman and the client must create the resources and structure for the individual to adjust to the shift in internal energies. 

Shamans direct and move energy to restore the harmony within the individual, between the individual and the community, and between the community and the spirit world.

How do I find a shamanic practitioner?

For individuals who live within an indigenous culture, shamanic practitioners are readily known and easily accessible. But for the majority of contemporary westerners, shamanic practitioners are not known. As shamans are called to their practices through direct spiritual initiation, there is not a certifying body to register practitioners. That said, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies does post a registry of Certified Shamanic Counselors who have completed a training program in Core Shamanism through the foundation.

If you find a practitioner in your local community, ask friends and colleagues about their reputation. Then meet with the practitioner and ask how they were initiated and trained, as well as how they practice. One critical question is whether the practitioner would be available after a shamanic healing (especially a soul retrieval), to help with issues of integration and processing (or if they at least refer to a colleague to assist in that work).