SHAMANIC healing is believed to be one of the oldest healing practices understood today. It stretches back thousands of years and links to indigenous cultures across the globe. There are shamans in various cultures: native american, celtic, etc. Shamanism is essentially an energy-based therapy. It is rooted in the belief that everything has an energy and that, at times, work needs to be done to bring all things back into balance.
Traditionally, a shaman was an important part of tribal life – a medicine person, said to be able to communicate with spirits and ‘journey‘ to spirit realms with the help of their own spirit guides. The modern-day shamanism path follows a similar pattern, with properly-trained shamanic practitioners working with spirit helpers, totems and power animals to seek answers and advice for the client.
Typically, a shamanic practitioner sees health issues as being connected to the loss of energy, or power, and will work to balance these issues. This often involves a recovery of lost energy, removing negativity and returning the client to wholeness. Sometimes, the practitioner will bring back advice from the spirit realms, perhaps action points, mantras or ‘homework’ for the client to aid them on their healing journey. As with most energy-based therapies, there is always a responsibility for the client to be absolutely willing and ready to make the change towards a positive, healthier way of being. This is essential for progress and true change to take place.
During a shamanic session, a practitioner may use drums, rattles, chimes, chanting and song, as well as ‘sacred smudge’ – a method of burning herbs or incense to spiritually cleanse and bless the area. Sometimes, the practitioner uses other healing tools, such as feathers, as well as a combination of hands on, or off, healing, similar to that experienced during a Reiki session. (see also Shamanic Reiki practices)
(see related blog posts for additional information on this topic)