Healing: The Shaman’s Way

Much is being written about various modalities of alternative medicine. The term alternative medicine grinds on the nerves because it immediately sets up a potential confrontational situation with what is called “traditional medicine.” Complimentary or supportive medicine is a much better term and contemporary medicine is better nomenclature for “traditional” medicine. What are the supportive or complimentary healing techniques? A list would include Reiki, Qigong, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Chiropractic, Biofield Energy, Therapeutic Touch, Spiritual Healing, Faith Healing, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Yoga, Sufi Dancing, Polarity Therapy, Feldenkrais Method, Meditation, Visualization, Chakra Balancing, and Sound Healing (Vibrational Healing).

One healing method is older than those listed-shamanic healing. It has been around for at least 40,000 years. Interestingly enough, it has used and still does use many of the techniques that are incorporated in approaches to current complimentary healing. Two popular healing techniques have their history in the world of shamanism: healing hands and healing sounds.

What are healing hands? Healing hands are sometimes referred to as the “laying-on-of-hands” or as healing touch. Reiki is a good example of contemporary healing techniques using hands, having been introduced in the early 1920’s. Like the shaman, the Reiki healer functions as a conduit for the universal life force.

A shaman uses his hands to locate an issue in his patient, then to redirect energy to that area so the person can begin to heal him or herself. What happens at this point is a realignment of the molecular vibrations of the body. As the realignment or bringing into balance takes place, the shaman’s hands may exhibit warmth, cold, or vibration. In the event the vibration becomes intense, the shaman may be referred to as a “tingler.”

Vibration segues to the second commonality in healing strategies that have come up to us through shamanism, sound healing. Today there are Mp3 files, tapes, DVDs, CDs containing electronic sounds to increase one’s vibration levels for healing. Some of these productions go from 396hz to 852hz. There is vibrational sound to heal one’s DNA. There are still practitioners who use the old methods of sound healing, mainly drums, rattles, and flutes and bowls (Tibetan and Quartz). The shaman, like many modern healing practitioners, uses voice in the form of chants and supplications to the spirit world.

It’s apparent the cliché “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater” is a good reminder not to be so quick to dismiss that which our ancestors found useful.