• Nicole Berrios, L.Ac.

What is Shamanic Healing?


What is shamanic healing, what are its potential benefits and most of all, how do you know if shamanic healing is right for you? Keep reading to find out!


What is Shamanic Healing?


Shamanic healing is essentially healing done at the spiritual level. Shamanism is a form of spirituality that views everything as having a spirit and acknowledges different layers of reality, in which we are surrounded by a spiritual world. When a shaman provides a healing, they are tapping into this spiritual world to help heal an ailment on a spiritual level.


What is a Spiritual Ailment?


By its very definition, a spiritual ailment is any ailment, either physical or mental/emotional that a person experiences that has a spiritual cause. Many (if not all) physical or mental/emotional ailments have a spiritual cause, but most people are not aware of this because as a society we don’t practice shamanism or even realize a spiritual world exists in the first place.


But just because we as a society are unfamiliar with the theory of a spiritual ailment, I have no doubt that we are all very familiar with what they look like. Here are just a few ways a spiritual ailment can manifest (this is not a definitive list):


  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Mental illness (anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc)

  • Unexplained digestive issues (all lab/medical tests come back negative)

  • Addictions

  • A general sense of just not feeling well or right, even though there is nothing actually measurably wrong


Not all physical or mental/emotional ailments have spiritual causes, but I would hazard a guess that the majority of them do.


What Causes a Spiritual Ailment?


An ailment that is rooted in a spiritual cause can be from any number of things, but typically a person experiences a spiritual ailment (that can manifest physically) from some sort of a loss of personal power.


When we are born into this world, we are fully empowered individuals and as we grow up and take on the nuances of whatever culture we are raised in, it is common to experience a loss of some of this personal power. Any event in our lives that we deem as traumatic can cause a loss of power. And what is traumatic for one person may not be for another, so really anything can be considered traumatic through this lens.


Below are some examples of things that can be considered traumatic to an individual. Some may be more obvious than others but this should illustrate just how broad the concept of trauma can actually be:


  • Being left alone in a crib while in distress as a baby

  • Getting into a car accident

  • Being teased or bullied as a child

  • Getting a divorce

  • Watching a scary movie

  • Being physically or verbally abused

  • Being malnourished

  • Moving house


Since we are all human with our own life experiences, it is not just likely but pretty much a given that we all have experienced a loss of power and therefore have suffered from some kind of spiritual ailment as a result of said power loss. Think of spiritual ailments as opportunistic pathogens, which are illnesses that wait for the right opportunity to strike when your defenses are low.


But just because you’ve experienced power loss and (potentially) a spiritual ailment because of it, does not mean that there isn’t anything you can do to turn it around. This is where shamanic healing comes into play.


Potential Benefits of Shamanic Healing


Shamanic healing seeks to heal spiritual ailments by returning power to an individual. Once an individual is standing firm in their personal power, spiritual ailments more or less just resolve on their own. It sounds simple in theory but in real life it is more complicated than that.


The process of returning power to an individual (which can be in the form of a power animal or soul retrieval just to name a couple of different methods) is obviously empowering, but can also be challenging. A person has to actually WANT to heal and to accept the newly returned power into their being. And while it sounds like a given (who WOULDN’T want to heal and be empowered), the reality is that many people have limiting beliefs that prevent them from truly being able to embrace their own power and sovereignty.


But for those who are ready, the results can be profound.


Some potential benefits of shamanic healing can include things like weird physical issues resolving, overcoming mental illness and addictions or just suddenly deciding to take action to alter the course of your life for the better. It can provide the starting ground to helping you to dig deep and do the emotional healing you need to thrive or of finally having the courage to start therapy or join a support group (as an example).


The shaman helps the individual “heal” by returning power to them and then it is up to the individual to decide how they want to proceed with their newfound power.


There are many other ways shamanic healing can work, but this is typically the starting point: you cannot be a strong, healthy and happy individual if you are disempowered by past traumas, limiting beliefs, etc. and having the power to overcome those things will help you heal.


The Bottom Line


Because shamanic healing typically involves a return of personal power, there is an element of self-responsibility to it. While the shaman can help facilitate the power retrieval process, it really is up to the individual to decide how they want to proceed and what action they want to take to better their lives and their situation. And since not everybody is willing or in a position to take such responsibility, shamanic healing isn’t for everyone.


But for those that are ready to dive deep and take the plunge, it can be a wonderful tool that can sometimes feel like years of therapy in one session.


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