What is Shamanic Healing?
Shamanic healing is a set of skills and techniques that have been found over many thousands of years to work well for a spiritual approach to problems and issues from the physical to the spiritual/ energetic. The approach I work with has come mainly from the Q’ero tribe, an ancient and still living lineage of medicine women and men regarded as the purest descendents of the ancient Inka in Peru. On the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors 500 years ago they moved up to the high Andes mountains in order to keep their teachings intact. They have only relatively recently begun to come down from the mountains and share their knowledge and traditional wisdoms with others, including westerners. The techniques have been gently adapted to suit western culture and minds, while retaining the integrity of the lineage from which they come. I have chosen to work mostly with this tradition because I find it combines being very effective with also being very gentle and readily accessible to all types of people.
The Inka do not distinguish between 'good' and 'bad' energy – they see that there is same, energy which is light and nurturing to us, and hucha, heavy energy which does not work for us but might be perfect for a rock, for example. I like this perspective as it helps us to avoid being victims of 'bad' energy, and gives us the power to simply release energy that doesn't serve us without it needing to be a drama.
How does it work?
The tradition says that for every condition of body, mind and soul there is an energetic counterpart, in the form of an 'imprint' in the structure of the luminous energy field, or aura. Imprints are like affinities that we have for that condition or situation – so by working with our affinity we can help change the condition or situation.
The link between the presenting condition and the energetic imprint is via the chakras. The chakras are like spinning funnels of energy, and there are generally considered to be seven main ones within the physical body itself. They are connected to the central nervous system through the spinal column, and directly influence the organs and glandular system. From the spinal column they extend outwards in a funnel shape, back and front, into the energy bodies around the physical body.
An active affinity or imprint we are holding in the energy field will affect the smooth-running of various chakras, which in turn affects the body/ mind/ emotions/ energy/ life situation. By finding which chakras are involved in the situation we can release the energy of the imprint through the chakra. We are thus working to integrate at the energy and soul level, rather than the layer of symptoms.
What happens in a session?
We work within sacred space, asking for the blessings of the earth and spirit as well as archetypal animals and energies that represent special gifts which can help us to create a really safe and nourishing space to work within. The basic core of the session involves naming (internally or out loud) the issues you want to work with – we use stones to hold the intention during the session. Then you will lie down and we will use guided breathing and intention to move the heavy energy out of the body, while I cradle your head and work energetically with you. Every session is different as this is an organic process which unfolds according to each individual, and can be likened to a journey to find the healing potential that is latent within us all, by following the innate wisdom of the body and energy. The aim is always to reach a place of deep peace and tranquillity where energy can flow as freely as possible, and to provide guidance and support so that you can take responsibility for your own healing and empowerment. I then 'illuminate' the chakra we have been working with, by bringing in very high clear energy that replaces the heavy energy we have removed.
There are also other techniques which we use. For example it may be that we are carrying energy that does not really belong to us – this could be in the form of others’ beliefs that we have taken on, jealousy or anger directed towards us etc. This energy can be removed, allowing our own energy to flow more strongly and freely. It is also often the case that we have lost some of our vitality, perhaps through a major or minor trauma or accident. This energy is not truly lost but is displaced out of the vital centres where it really belongs, and so is unavailable for us to use. This is why people who have gone through shock or trauma may feel 'spaced out', or like they are not really in their body, or are viewing things from a distance. This can also correspond with many health problems including depression and fatigue. In general we have all been through some knocks that have left us feeling somehow less full of life, and the 'soul retrieval' journey that the practitioner undertakes for the client is a way of restoring this energy. For this the client remains lying down using breath or just relaxing while I gently use my rattle or drum and visit the energy of the situation, bringing back various elements that will help healing and integration – these include the energetic version of the client that has already resolved the issue, a medicine gift and a 'power animal' (this may or may not be your 'core' animal – see below) who can be called on to support and guide after the session is over. At the end I will explain the journey and what I found and give suggestions of things to do to help integrate the whole process. If possible I recommend you have some time set aside after the session to reflect and integrate, rather than rushing straight back into a busy lifestyle.
Who can use shamanic healing?
Anyone can use and access this healing. It is also suitable for buildings, land, businesses etc.
Do I need to have any particular spiritual beliefs?
Shamanic healing is not based on belief. It is a practical set of tools that have been found to work over many generations of experience. There are various ways of explaining how it works but none is necessary to experience the benefits, and it works just as well when seen as a metaphor as when taken literally. So it will sit happily alongside whatever beliefs (including none at all) that people may have.
Core power animal journey
I also offer a guided journey for you to discover and form a relationship with your core power animal. Shamanic traditions say that we have many animal helpers that come in and out of our lives at different times, and many recognise a core animal who is with us from birth to death. The significance of the animal relates to our immune system, vitality, psychological health and intuitively wise self. So to journey to meet with one's core power animal can be immensely helpful – it is a relationship that lasts our lifetime and once we have got to know them we can call on their energy for help and support at any time. Children also benefit from and love to journey this way. Once you have learned how to journey, you can use this technique at any time on your own to journey for other animals to help with any more temporary situation, from the esoteric to the extremely practical - for example one can even journey for an animal to help with a job interview! I will drum gently and guide you through a journey to the 'lower world', which is where the animals live and where we journey for healing, and you will be guided to find and confirm that you have met your core animal. Once you return from the journey you can name the animal and I will blow their energy into your heart and crown, to help integration. Then I will give you suggestions of how to work with the animal you have found.
If you went to see one of the Q'ero for help they would most likely do a ceremony for you, called a despacho. This involves the practitioner and client together creating a representation of the client's life using different materials to represent different aspects of what they want to create in their life, for example home, family, relationship, work. These representations are carefully laid into a piece of paper, all the while praying and setting clear intention to bring balance and harmony into one's life - traditionally the Q'ero pray using their sacred plant which is the coca leaf. Once the despacho is complete it is used to cleanse the energy body of the client and then it will be burned in a special fire in order to release the prayers to the universe. A different version of this ceremony can also be used very effectively for people who have had a lot of heavy energy directed towards them, as a way of creating an end to that phase and beginning of a new life. Despacho does not replace the need for personal healing work but on occasion it is the perfect thing for a particular situation.
A shamanic healing session lasts at least 2 hours - please allow up to 2 1/2 hours. It costs between £100 and £110 depending on location.
A session for a power animal journey or despacho lasts about an hour and costs £50.