The missing link...we need to Heal the Spirit
According to the National Institutes of Health Research, 40 percent of Americans (about 120 million) are regularly using complementary alternative medicine today. They are looking for other options. Searching for healing methods that better support their lifestyles and belief systems to heal not just the body but the mind and the spirit as well.
We are seeing that if a doctor or healer takes into consideration a patient’s emotional state and cultural and spiritual beliefs, the patient will most likely experience less stress and resistance and will be more ready to accept treatment, thus increasing the chances for a more complete recovery.
Today, with new awareness, many doctors and medical facilities are offering what we call alternative modalities on their premises, such as Reiki, reflexology, acupuncture, yoga, massage, breathwork, meditation, and more, or recommend it to their clients.
Thus the new term integrative medicine has emerged, which takes into account the whole client, his or her lifestyle, belief system, mind, body, and spirit.
One area of healing that is also becoming more available in our Western culture is the practice of Shamanic Healing. It is a powerful, transformative modality that helps us shed emotional traumas, blockages, burdens, old beliefs, and baggage that keep us from being the best versions of ourselves.
For instance, Ipupiara, a Brazilian shaman, was asked to perform his tradition of shamanic healing ceremonies in a Washington DC cancer hospital. “Calming and balancing the physical and emotional bodies creates less opposition for the medicine, which allows it to work better.”
Contrary to some people’s beliefs, shamanic healing or shamanism is not a spiritual practice in itself. It is a very result-oriented system that uses many tools to induce positive changes in a person’s life. One of the tools used is working directly with spirits. And, if a shaman sees that one tool she uses won’t do the job, she will exchange it in favour of one that does. A shaman’s community reputation solely depends on the actual results of the healing work.
Maybe the difference between these two systems can be described in this way: like a gardener, Western medicine attempts to clear the weeds from the garden by spraying chemicals or nipping the leaves and stems above the surface. The shamanic healer, by contrast, searches for the emotional and spiritual roots of the illness and pulls them out from the ground.
Shamanism isn’t a formalized set of beliefs. There isn’t one leader or a single set of scripts to follow.
Instead, there are different shamanic practices that differ from one another depending on the country and region. It’s adaptable, as the activities and experiences are often tailored to the environment and culture of the country. In shamanism, the practices are centered around building the connection within yourself, to nature and the world around us.
By activating one’s inner sense of self, better relationships can be formed with others and with the world. Humans are seen as an integral part of the world; everything is connected and practicing shamanism can open the gateway within one’s self to feeling these connections.
Many people are drawn to shamanism from all walks of life. Claiming your true self and grounding your roots in nature puts you in touch with your primal source of creative power, and opens the path to healing and wholeness.
Poor health, disease, dysfunction, and depression are signs that we are out of alignment. That explains the experience of many clients of mine who report, after shamanic ceremonial healing sessions, unexpected positive results, such as better, more restful sleep, clearer thinking, feeling more grounded, and improved digestion.
When we are unwell, it's mostly due to imbalances clogging our lives and limiting our innate capacity for joy and well-being, to be in 'good spirits.' These internal imbalances and energy blockages often express themselves as disturbing emotions, anger, frustration, anxiety, and alienation, to name a few, and also manifest through the physical body as ulcers and allergies, migraines, back pain, and other forms of dis-ease great and small.
In modern society, we expect quick fixes. Western medicine focuses on curing people through surgery, pharmaceuticals, and other medical interventions. If you have a bacterial infection, western medicine provides the cure, antibacterial medicine.
Many treatments exist in western medicine. Treatments focus on curing symptoms. For example, medications are used to treat symptoms of depression and pain. Treatments can be beneficial in acute situations. However, long-term reliance on only treatment can inhibit healing, create a dependence on the treatment and even create additional illness and disease. For example, antibacterial medications often create an imbalance in the gut, which can lead to autoimmune diseases.
Healing goes beyond medical treatment. It includes spiritual growth, intellectual expansion, physical cures, and other interventions. Healing requires digging deeper into why you got a bacterial infection in the first place and why you have depression and pain.
Shamanism represents a range of spiritual, healing, psychological, and ritual knowledge, which has evolved over the millennium. Shamanism has always adapted and developed to meet the challenges of changing conditions. One factor we consider is that we are becoming more and more disconnected from Nature and its healing power.
Around the world are examples of integrative health approaches in which traditional healers collaborate with doctors and mental health professionals. For example, integrative approaches are already available in places such as Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, North America, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Taiwan. In 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report on Traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) highlighting the potential underutilization of this health resource.
Humankind has shifted so far out of alignment, in terms of our structures and systems and how we treat each other and the planet. We are at a point in our existence where spirit is asking us to pay attention, not from a place of punishment, but from a place to give us space to re-identify our reason of being and to look at all the resources we've been given and how we treated them.
Shamanic Healing helps us to tap into the universal spiritual wisdom inherent to all indigenous tribes and is available to each and every one of us, and we can begin just by taking a step towards Nature.