Shamanic Healing Sessions
In the shamanic perspective, true healing — spiritual healing — cannot be done on a physical level. Healing means to return to wholeness, and returning to wholeness is purely an inside job.
Shamans act as a sort of “hollow bone,” or an intermediary, by merging with the spirit realm and
connecting with helping spirits to channel energies and wisdom in order to aid in healing within
individuals on this dimension.
The helping spirits of the shamans are able to diagnose the cause (since they are spirit, they can
easily see all that is happening on the spiritual level) of an illness, give insight, and then help to
facilitate the required treatment for healing. For that, during a shamanic healing, the shaman
must go on a shamanic journey to retrieve this energy and information — that is the core of a
healing session. As well, many shamans will perform a bit of energy work in order to integrate the
effects of the journey, locate, and release blockages, and increase the body’s ability to heal.
How it’s done
A typical healing session can take place inside or outdoors, depending on the client’s preference; Whichever way, the area must be quiet, safe, and relaxing. A “sacred space” is created. This space is dedicated to opening, releasing, and healing. Effects such as a candle display, incense or palo santo (holy wood) burning, an altar with crystals or special stones, soothing music, and a comfortable position. The first thing that will happen is an open discussion between the client and the shaman; for this, the shaman will hold a respectable, non-judgmental space. They may discuss the client’s history, and/or how their soul is feeling at the present moment. The shaman will inspire and encourage the client to dig deeper into their story and really open up as they both hunt for truth and healing potential.
These conversations are usually effortless and productive, as the shaman is trained in fostering and nurturing that safe space, and the client is willing to be transparent in order to heal. Place to lie down on is usually included. Next, they move into the ceremonial work. At this time, the client can lie on their back, wearing loose and comfortable clothing. The shaman will then assess their various energy centers (usually found along the 7 chakras of the body). At this point, the shaman can sense where unnecessary energy is being stored, where stagnant energy can be released, and where empowering energy can be placed. The shaman is then ready to access non-ordinary reality, and proceeds to induce a trance (theta brainwave state) via rhythmic percussion (generally using a drum and/or rattle).
Then, there are the shaman journeys…
Within this shamanic journey, the shaman connects with his or her spirit helpers/guides.
Shamanism organically arose all over the world, all throughout history, as a response to
the needs of people. Shamanism is an ancient collection of traditions based on the act
of voluntarily accessing and connecting to non-ordinary states — or spirit realms — for
wisdom and healing.
The word “shaman” comes from the Siberian Tungus tribe, and it directly means “spiritual
healer,” or, more cleverly, “one who sees in the dark.”
Shamanism comes with a great responsibility. Alongside simply accessing worlds, they must
possess the ability to transform what they have learned and experienced into a concrete
change in the physical world.
In the shamanic perspective, true healing — spiritual healing — cannot be done on a physical
level. Healing means to return to wholeness, and returning to wholeness is purely an inside
job. Spiritual healing addresses the root — the spiritual — problems that cause dis-ease.
It is important to note that shamans believe that despite their great accessibility to the spirit
realm, all healing is self-healing. A shamanic healer knows how to move and manipulate
the energy of another’s body and can pass wisdom through from the spirit realm, but true
healing must take place inside the spirit of the individual.
In other words, a person must be willing and ready to take full responsibility for his or her
own healingn— there is no magic pill that lies outside of one’s spiritual body. A shaman
can be an outstanding tutor, but will not give all of the answers. It is also important to note
that shamanic healing is not to be a substitute for conventional medical or psychological
services, but is to instead be worked with adjunct to.
All of that being said, there are two main types of shamanic healing practices: a shamanic
healing session, and a shamanic plant medicine healing ceremony. The main difference
between these two types of healing is that in the latter healing practice, the clients goes on
a journey with the shaman.
Shamans also act as great teachers, for they teach that everything is spirited; that all things
are interconnected and alive, including (but certainly not limited to) the Earth itself, the
stars in the sky, and even the wind in the air. For this, it is also the shaman’s role in a
community to demonstrate and maintain the harmonious balance of humankind, nature,
and spirit.Although shamans in some ways may act as teachers, many shamanic healers do
not consider shamanism to be a religion. They feel this way because, within shamanism,
there are no dogmas, no sacred text, and no single founder or leader. While individuals
of religious practices may practice shamanism, not all shamans are part of an organized
When an individual has a very serious illness — or near death experience of any kind — and
are visited by spirits , they are said to have a “shamanic calling.” They can become shamans
from these experiences because they are said to have known death, returned from it, and
thus, have a secret of life not attained by others.
As well, some cultures, such as the Greeks, highly regard being struck by lightning as a
supreme calling, as the lightening possesses magical powers of the sky.
From a shamanistic perspective, there are 3 classic causes of mental, emotional, and physical
Disharmony (or Power Loss)
Disharmony, or power loss, oftentimes occurs when someone has lost an important
connection to life, or when life seems to lose it’s meaning. This can happen either subtly or
catastrophically; either way, we experience a loss of livelihood and meaning, and experience
disempowerment in the process. This loss of will, or life power, strongly and directly affects
our energetic matrix, and can cause us to become quite vulnerable to illness.
A common, yet tragic, example of this is when there is an elderly couple who have spent
most of their lives together and one of them dies. The survivor oftentimes goes into a life
crisis upon the loss and, shortly after, incurs an illness (such as cancer) and dies — that’s
Fear is the most common cause of illness. Fear is responsible for emotions such as anxiety,
stress, anger, jealousy, etc. Scientists and researchers also heavily agree that when these
stress-producing hormones are present, they quickly begin to disintegrate the protective
mantle of the body’s immune system, as well as it’s overall energetic matrix. Illness, as a
result, is inevitable.
Half a century ago, the Renaissance physician, Paracelsus, honorably noted that “the fear
of disease is more dangerous than the disease itself ”. Shaman’s would surely agree with
Soul loss is the most extreme — yet, sadly, still common — cause of illness; in fact, it is the
most serious diagnosis and a major cause of severe illness and even premature death.
Soul loss is most often experienced after a traumatic experience takes place, such as a bitter
divorce, or intense bullying. In some cases, these experiences can be so shattering that
one’s soul can begin to fragment and dissociate. In the most extreme and overwhelming
cases, these soul parts get too far lost and fail to return.
We have heard people say things like, “I have not been the same since the incident,” or “a
part of me died that day.” These remarks are red flags for soul loss. As well, the following
symptoms are also commonly present:
• Feeling “not all here,” or fragmented
• Blocked memory
• Emotional distance, or complete apathy
• A lack of joy, motivation, or enthusiasm
• Suicidal tendencies
• Chronic depression and negativity