Sienna, a woman I had first met during a workshop I gave in Los Angeles, approached me at another workshop and asked if we could talk privately. I arranged for a meeting in a small conference room behind closed doors.

“It’s my daughter—Aimee,” Sienna said. “She’s always been a delightful child. Never gave her father and me any trouble. A good student, lots of friends, but…” She hesitated, looked away. “Something’s happening to her.” Sienna’s brow furrowed; she was obviously struggling to find the words.

“She just turned fourteen, and it’s almost like overnight she isn’t the same person! She was always happy but now, a deep depression has settled on her. It seems to be something more than just coming into puberty. Much more. We’re at a loss to know how to help her. Her grades are down. She doesn’t eat—hardly speaks.” Sienna got up from the deep chair she was sitting in and started pacing the room.

My eyes followed her before asking, “What else?”

“She’s started cutting herself.” Now the tears streamed down Sienna’s face. “We’re desperate. I thought you might be able to help.” I asked if Aimee knew her mother was consulting me. It’s important to have permission from the patient, if it’s at all possible—even when it’s an adolescent and I’m talking to her parent.

Siena said yes, adding, “She’s in no shape to be here.” I told her Aimee didn’t have to be present. Because a shaman works outside of ordinary space-time, there was no need for the patient to even be in the room. I only needed to have permission to track her and intervene.

I entered a consciousness that the shamans refer to as the tracking state so that I could scan Aimee’s luminous energy field. The luminous body matures with the physical body, and the chakras change in color and vibrancy throughout the stages of life. Coming into puberty is a turbulent time, and adolescents can be particularly vulnerable to energies from others. Chakras can even be damaged, and this is what I was seeing in Aimee.

The seventh chakra, the crown chakra, had a deep tear in it, and through this opening she was absorbing confusing emotions from troubled peers. I concentrated on clearing the damaged chakra of the psychic sludge that was making her want to hurt herself. What a strange paradox. Aimee was cutting herself to keep the emotional pain at bay. I cleansed the chakra repeatedly and washed it with pure light from my Wiracocha.

Sienna was amazed when I shared what I had seen. We are all connected in the universal matrix, I told her, so I can work on a patient wherever she is. Then Sienna mentioned that Aimee was on the phone a lot listening to her friends talk about their problems. She was a great listener—but that was part of the problem. Aimee needed to establish boundaries for herself, and she needed protection from her friends’ toxic emotions. They didn’t mean to harm her, of course, but she was not able to handle all their grief and discontent.

To help Aimee avoid the noxious emotional energy from others, particularly during her adolescence, I installed the bands of power on her. The invisible bands are a protection that can help us live safely in this world. They represent the five elements and nourish the chakras with Earth, air, fire, water, and chi (known as causay to the Inka).

The luminous bands are layered over the chakras, like a shawl wrapped around the body: Black representing the earth is woven over the first, or root, chakra; red representing water is woven over the second and third, or sacral and solar plexus, chakras; gold representing fire is woven over the heart chakra; silver representing wind is woven over the throat chakra; and pure white light representing Spirit is woven over the sixth chakra.

The light radiates as a rainbow, ascending to the seventh or crown chakra, flowing out and circling down into the earth and returning to repeat the cycle, forming a veritable rainbow fountain of energy. The luminous bands are like a suit of clothing that cover the chakras, which vibrate at their own frequency and color. Although Aimee did not know the details of the work I performed, and her mother might choose not to tell her, I knew that the bands of power could make a difference.

Sienna told me some time later that a change had taken place in her daughter. One day she came bouncing down the stairs all excited, which was something that had not happened in a long time. In her hand was a gift she had received from a friend for her birthday—a pin with delicate arches of color. A rainbow.

This was more than a coincidence. And that was just the beginning. From then on, rainbows became the focal point of Aimee’s life. Rainbows in her hair, on clothing, on schoolbooks, on her bedroom walls—everywhere she turned, there were rainbows. The old Aimee was back, Sienna said. She stopped cutting herself and was starting to change her circle of friends.

During my own training as a shaman, my mentor wove these invisible bands around my body in a rite known as the “bands of power.” Students of my shamanic energy medicine training receive the same rite, as it provides a very important spiritual protection for the healer.