During my studies with the shamans of Peru, I discovered that there is a difference between “curing” and “healing.” Curing is the business of doctors. Healing is the business of the shaman.
Curing consists of treating disease and eliminating symptoms. We all know people who have received cures but have not experienced healing. Unfortunately, their symptoms generally return.
Healing addresses the cause of disease, which shamans believe is due to imprints of trauma stored in a person’s Luminous Energy Field (LEF). While healing, shamans measure success by increased wellbeing, a sense of newfound peace and empowerment, and a feeling of communion with all life.
No two shamanic energy healing sessions are identical, although most begin with an initial interview during which the client describes the physical and/or emotional symptoms they are experiencing, as well as problems that may be arising in their life. Depending on individual needs, sessions can take up to an hour or longer.
A healing session can be done indoors or outdoors, with the client reclining on the floor/ground or a massage table, and the shaman positioned near the head. The shaman may ask the client to blow into a healing stone in order to help release harmful patterns in the LEF and to determine where they reside in the body.
I always begin a healing session by opening Sacred Space, where I am working, calling in the Four Directions, Earth and Heaven. This creates a stable, safe environment in which to work. Next, I open my personal sacred space, or Wirracocha, around myself and my client. This is the place outside of time where all possibility exists.
In a first session with a client I typically begin by “tracking” or noticing, any energies in my client’s LEF that don’t belong there and need to be removed. I might use my hands above my client’s body to sense these energies, and sometimes will also use a rattle or drum in our session. Feathers, bells, pendulums, crystals, stones and smoke (tobacco/herbal) are other healing tools that shamans might use in a healing session.
If sludgy, congested energy is detected in any of the seven chakras, I will spin the chakra counterclockwise to open it up. Once the energy is cleansed, the chakra is spun clockwise to rebalance the energy and reestablish the proper direction of spin. As I work, I might quietly describe what I am doing, or I might remain silent. The client, in the meantime, may experience warmth, tingling, emotional release or deep relaxation.
At the end of the session I will close my Wirracocha and then close Sacred Space with a prayer of thanks, releasing the six directions. I then will encourage my client to slowly sit up and we discuss what took place, giving my client exercises to practice at home that will assist in their healing process. Follow-up sessions might be recommended that could include an Illumination, Extraction or Soul Retrieval.
In the days that follow a healing session, my client may feel unusually tired or need more quiet time as releasing and energy shifting continue. The transformative experience of healing is reflected in every aspect of life – relationships, diet, job, marriage, how you relate to your children, as well as how you experience wellness and illness.
Look for next week’s blog, where we’ll explain the Illumination, a core practice of shamanic healing.