What is a Shaman and what is Shamanic healing?


Shaman is an Evenki word from Siberia meaning one who “sees” or “penetrates to the source.”
Around the world shamans are called by many local names, among them sorcerer, healer or curandero/a, walker between the worlds, medicine man/woman, priest, transformer, psychopomp and so on. Shamans may inherit the role from their ancestors, come into it by surviving an accident or disease, display talent for it as a child, or merely seek training on their own.
Both males and females function as shamans for their communities although women often raise their children first. Generally, to become a shaman requires a many years of rigorous apprenticeship with many tests and initiations along the way.

Not everyone who begins their training succeeds at becoming a shaman. Some even may die in the process.
Shamans are typically high functioning people-highly respected by their communities as advisers and consultants, dedicated to healing, manipulating reality, divining, forecasting, or prophesying future outcomes. They can choose to enter altered states at will to perform a variety of functions including as ceremonials, engaging in the creation of art, trance dancing, chanting, and healing.

Shamans know where to access power and information from nature. They study and communicate with plants, animals, elements, and the spirit world. They are excellent problem solvers, diagnosticians, psychologists, storytellers, teachers, and hypnotists.
Historically, in many parts of the world, kings, queens, and emperors were always trained shamans and if not personally trained, they always employed shamans to advise them on many matters.
Quite probably the human race would not have survived without the presence of shamans because they were the first doctors, knew what plants could be used for medicines, and could see where to direct the hunters to find game. They could predict the weather and had many skills that were critical for the survival of their tribes and communities.


A shamanic healing starts with an interview to find out what the symptoms are, how long the person has been having them, as well as severity and type of pain and other pertinent information such as whether the person has been seen by a medical doctor and what types of medication the person is taking.
The practitioner then prepares themselves, usually by silently observing the patient in a meditative state, by asking their allies or helping spirits and the patient’s allies to help them see what is needed in the healing.
Depending on the information they receive they may take various approaches to the healing using the proper shamanic tools for the job. Since most problems come from dammed up flows of energy the most common approach is restore circulation and movement of energy in the body.
The practitioner may use sound healing with a drum or rattle, feathers, tobacco, crystals or other tools to clear resistance in the form of fear or anger patterns, get circulation moving again, restore lost parts of self, or energetically extract foreign energy or obstacles. Occasionally they may use simple massage techniques. Commonly the practitioner will sing, whistle, or hum traditional healing songs.
Shamanic healings are generally short, between fifteen minutes to half an hour but in some cases they can last up to an hour. They often come in groups of three over a period of days or even weeks.
While it is common for the practitioner to charge a modest fee for such work, they should never manipulate the client by suggesting that only they can save them nor should they charge exorbitant fees or make any inappropriate sexual innuendos or touch the patient in an unacceptable way.



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