The Pros and Cons of Shamanic Healing Practices

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As humans, we have always sought out ways to heal our physical and mental wounds. And while modern medicine has made significant advancements, there is something to be said about ancient practices that have stood the test of time. Shamanic healing is one such practice that has been used for thousands of years to reconnect with nature, heal the mind, and restore the body. But what exactly is shamanic healing, and what are the benefits and risks associated with it? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the fundamentals of shamanic healing, its potential benefits and risks, how to find a shamanic healer, what to expect during a shamanic healing session, and ultimately, whether shamanic healing is right for you.

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What is Shamanic Healing?

What Is Shamanic Healing?
Have you ever heard of shamanic healing? It’s an ancient practice used by tribes and cultures all around the world. This type of healing involves reaching altered states of consciousness to connect with the spiritual world and to receive guidance and healing. Shamanic healing is based on the idea that everything in the universe is connected and that spiritual energy can be used to promote physical and emotional healing. In this section, we will explore the fundamental principles of shamanic healing and the practice of shamanic journeying. So, if you’re curious about the mystical world of shamanism, let’s dive in and discover the magic together.

The Basis of Shamanic Healing

Shamanic healing is an ancient form of healing that is rooted in the belief that everything in nature is alive and interconnected, including humans, animals, plants and even spirits. The basis of shamanic healing is the belief that the shaman has the ability to journey to other worlds to bring back information and healing for the community. This is done by entering into an altered state of consciousness through the use of drumming, rattling, or other rhythmic techniques.

During a shamanic healing session, the shaman works with spirit guides to identify and understand the root cause of the client’s illness or issue. The shaman then uses various techniques such as soul retrieval, extraction, power retrieval and psychopomp to restore balance and harmony. Soul retrieval involves bringing back lost parts of the client’s soul that may have been “lost” due to trauma or other life events. Extraction involves removing any negative or harmful energies that may be affecting the client’s well-being. Power retrieval involves restoring power to the client that may have been lost due to life events or negative experiences. Psychopomp involves helping the souls of the deceased to transition to the afterlife.

Shamanic healing is based on a holistic approach to healing, which means that it takes into account the whole person, including their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. It is also based on the belief that the shaman is a mediator between the spirit world and the physical world, and that they have the ability to communicate with and receive guidance from various spirits and entities.

Overall, the basis of shamanic healing is the belief in the interconnectedness of all things and the ability of the shaman to access other worlds to bring back information and healing for the community. The techniques used in shamanic healing are designed to restore balance and harmony to the whole person.

Understanding Shamanic Journeying

Shamanic journeying is the process of entering an altered state of consciousness to communicate with the spiritual world. This practice is a key aspect of shamanic healing, and it involves going on a spiritual journey to connect with one’s spirit guides and receive insights and guidance.

The Process of Shamanic Journeying

Shamanic journeying can take place in different ways, but the fundamental process generally involves the following steps:

Step Description
1 Creating a safe space: before starting the journey, the shamanic practitioner creates a safe and sacred space in which to work. This may involve smudging with sage or other cleansing rituals to create a clear and positive energy.
2 Entering an altered state: the shamanic practitioner uses various methods to enter an altered state of consciousness, such as drumming, chanting, or dancing.
3 Meeting spirit guides: once in an altered state, the shamanic practitioner journeys to meet with their spirit guides. These may be animal guides, ancestors, or other spiritual beings.
4 Receiving guidance and insights: during the journey, the shamanic practitioner communicates with their spirit guides and receives guidance and insights that are relevant to their needs or the needs of their clients.
5 Returning to the present: when the journey is complete, the shamanic practitioner uses various methods to return to their present state of consciousness, such as counting backwards or shaking their body.

The Benefits of Shamanic Journeying

Shamanic journeying can offer numerous benefits for individuals who seek spiritual guidance or healing. Some of the benefits include:

  • Clarity and Insight: Shamanic journeying can provide individuals with clarity and insight into their personal issues, relationships, or life purpose.
  • Healing: Shamanic journeying can be a powerful tool for healing emotional wounds and trauma. It can also aid in physical healing by connecting individuals with the spiritual sources of healing.
  • Spiritual Connection: Shamanic journeying can help individuals deepen their connection with their spirit guides and the spiritual world.
  • Personal Growth: Shamanic journeying can promote personal growth by providing individuals with new perspectives, insights, and inspiration.

The Risks of Shamanic Journeying

While shamanic journeying can offer many benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential risks. Some of the risks associated with shamanic journeying include:

  • Psychological Risks: Individuals who have a history of mental health issues may be at risk of experiencing psychological distress or triggering underlying mental health conditions during a journey.
  • Physical Risks: Shamanic journeying can induce altered states of consciousness that may affect an individual’s physical abilities or cause disorientation.
  • Unintended Consequences: Journeying may lead to unexpected outcomes or unintended consequences that may be difficult to manage.


Shamanic journeying is a powerful practice that can offer numerous benefits for individuals who seek spiritual guidance or healing. However, it is important to approach this practice with caution and work with a trained shamanic practitioner to ensure safe and effective results.

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The Benefits of Shamanic Healing

The Benefits Of Shamanic Healing
Shamanic healing has been practiced for centuries and has gained immense popularity in recent years. Many individuals seek shamanic healing to improve their overall well-being, heal emotional wounds, and connect with their spirit guides. The benefits of shamanic healing extend beyond the physical, providing individuals with a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world. In this section, we will explore the various benefits of shamanic healing and why it has become an increasingly popular form of alternative healing.

Connecting with Spirit Guides

Shamanic healing practices often involve connecting with spirit guides, who are seen as guardians, teachers, and helpers in the spiritual world. These guides can provide essential insights, wisdom, and assistance to the shaman and their clients, allowing them to gain clarity, direction, and healing in their lives. There are various types of spirit guides that a shaman can work with, including animal spirits, ancestor spirits, nature spirits, and angelic spirits, each with their unique characteristics and roles.

Animal spirits: Animal spirits are often viewed as powerful allies in shamanic healing. They are believed to possess qualities and abilities that can teach us valuable lessons and help us connect with the natural world.

Ancestor spirits: Ancestor spirits are believed to be the spiritual essence of our ancestors. They may offer guidance, support, and protection to the living, and may also help to heal ancestral traumas and patterns.

Nature spirits: Nature spirits are revered in shamanic traditions as guardians and keepers of the land. They can assist with healing and maintaining the balance between humans and nature.

Angelic spirits: Angelic spirits are often seen as divine helpers who offer guidance and protection to those who seek their assistance.

Connecting with spirit guides requires a shaman to enter a trance state through methods such as drumming, rattling, or meditation. During this state, the shaman can communicate with their guide and receive messages or insights that they can then use to help their clients. Spirit guides may also appear in the physical realm in the form of animals or other signs, providing further guidance and support.

It’s important to note that connecting with a spirit guide requires trust and respect on both sides. It’s not something that can be forced or taken for granted. Shamans must cultivate a deep relationship with their spirit guides and treat them with reverence and gratitude. By doing so, they can build a powerful connection that can offer profound healing and transformation for themselves and others.

Healing Emotional Wounds

Shamanic healing has been known to help people heal emotional wounds. Emotional wounds are negative experiences that often have long-lasting effects on our mental and emotional well-being. These wounds can include traumas from childhood, broken relationships, or even the loss of a loved one. Shamanic healing can help people heal these wounds by tapping into their spiritual beliefs and addressing the root cause of the problem.

During a shamanic healing session, the shamanic healer will work with the client to identify the emotional wounds that are causing distress. The shamanic healer will then use various techniques like drumming and chanting to help the client enter an altered state of consciousness. In this state, the client can access deep insights and hidden emotions that were previously buried.

Shamanic healing can help clients release the negative energy that has been trapped within them for years. This can be a deeply transformative experience that can lead to a more positive outlook on life. By releasing the negative energy that has been trapped within them, clients can finally move forward and start on the path to healing.

Benefits of healing emotional wounds through shamanic healing:

  • Improved mental and emotional well-being
  • Better relationships with others
  • Increased productivity
  • Greater self-awareness and self-acceptance
  • Reduced anxiety and depression

It’s important to note that shamanic healing is not a substitute for professional medical treatment. However, it can be an effective complementary therapy for those experiencing emotional distress.

Shamanic healing can offer many benefits to those looking to heal emotional wounds. By tapping into spiritual beliefs and addressing the root cause of the problem, shamanic healing can be a transformative experience that can help clients release negative energy and move forward in a positive direction. If you are struggling with emotional wounds, consider exploring shamanic healing as a complementary therapy to help you on your journey towards healing.

Improving Overall Well-Being

One of the key benefits of shamanic healing is the improvement in overall well-being. By addressing the root cause of physical and emotional imbalances, shamanic healing practitioners claim that their work can enhance a person’s overall sense of vitality, fulfillment, and ease. Below are some ways in which shamanic healing can contribute to personal growth and improved well-being:

  • Relaxation: Shamanic healing sessions often involve relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. With professional guidance, individuals may also learn to let go of negative thought patterns and find greater inner peace.
  • Self-Awareness: Through shamanic journeying and other healing techniques, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their true nature, needs and goals. By developing a connection with their spirit guides and learning to listen to their own intuition, people can learn to make more informed decisions and take actions that align better with their values.
  • Physical Healing: Shamans believe that the body is interconnected with the spirit and emotions, so addressing the root cause of any issue is key to long-term healing. Shamanic healing methods can help remove energetic blockages and promote physical healing at a deeper level, even if the symptoms themselves are physical. This approach can also enhance the overall immune system, making individuals more resilient to illness and disease.
  • Mental Clarity: Shamanic healing practitioners believe that the mind and body are closely linked. By working with individuals to release any pent-up emotions and negative thoughts that are holding them back, shamanic healing can help enhance mental clarity and focus, which leads to improved decision-making, and can even assist with spiritual awakening.
  • Positive Energy: Negative energy can become a significant drain on a person’s overall well-being. Shamanic healing practices, such as prayer, intention setting, and the use of protective talismans can help create and maintain a positive energy field around individuals, reducing the effects of negativity and improving overall emotional balance.

If you are seeking to improve your sense of well-being or want to address a specific physical or emotional issue, shamanic healing may be a valuable avenue to explore. Remember, it’s important to choose a professional and experienced shamanic practitioner to ensure your safety and support your journey towards positive change.

The Risks of Shamanic Healing

The Risks Of Shamanic Healing
While shamanic healing can provide numerous benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential risks involved. These risks can range from psychological to physical and may vary depending on individual circumstances. It is essential to weigh the potential risks against the benefits and consider whether shamanic healing is the right choice for you. In this section, we will discuss the potential risks associated with shamanic healing and what you should be aware of before undergoing a session.

Psychological Risks

One of the main concerns with shamanic healing is the psychological risks that it may pose to individuals. While it is important to note that these risks are rare, they cannot be completely disregarded.

Shamanic healing often involves delving into deep subconscious states, which could result in the following psychological risks:

Risk Description
Prolonged Psychosis In rare cases, shamanic journeying could lead to long-term psychosis. This is typically caused by the individual not being able to fully exit the journey state after a session.
Psychological Trauma For individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions or past traumatic experiences, shamanic healing could trigger intense and overwhelming emotions that may be difficult to manage.
False Memories The immersive nature of shamanic journeying could create false or distorted memories, leading individuals to believe in events or experiences that did not actually take place.

It is worth noting that the chances of experiencing any of these psychological risks during a shamanic healing session are quite low. Shamanic healers are typically well-trained and experienced in guiding individuals through the journeying process, and will take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their clients.

However, it is important to take note of any pre-existing mental health conditions before engaging in shamanic healing. If an individual has a history of mental illness, it is recommended that they consult with a mental health professional before beginning any form of alternative therapy, including shamanic healing.

Physical Risks

Physical risks associated with shamanic healing can be limited if proper precautions are taken. However, it is worth noting that there are some potential physical risks that individuals should be aware of before engaging in this type of alternative therapy.

One of the main physical risks associated with shamanic healing is the potential for physical injury during the healing session. This can occur if the patient experiences intense emotions or physical sensations, which may cause them to move or thrash about unexpectedly. Patients also risk exposure to physical injury during the use of physical objects, such as rattles or other tools, which can be swung or thrown during the ceremony.

Another physical risk for shamanic healing is related to the use of psychoactive plants, such as Ayahuasca, which are used to induce trance-like states during shamanic ceremonies. While these plants have been used for centuries and have been found to have medicinal properties that can help with a range of physical and psychological illnesses, they can also pose certain physical risks. These risks include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, cardiovascular complications, and even death if not used under proper guidance and in the right dosage.

It is important to note that proper safety measures can help to mitigate many of these physical risks. For example, it is recommended that patients seek out experienced and qualified shamanic healers who can guide them through the healing process and have experience with managing patients who become physically distressed during the session. Patients should also take steps to ensure that they are physically and mentally prepared for the experience, and should seek out medical guidance if they have any underlying medical conditions that could put them at risk.

While there are some physical risks associated with shamanic healing, these can be mitigated by following proper safety guidelines and working with an experienced healer.

How to Find a Shamanic Healer?

How To Find A Shamanic Healer?
Looking for a shamanic healer can be a challenging process, especially if you don’t know where to start. The good news is that there are various resources available to help you find a reputable practitioner.

Word-of-Mouth Recommendations: One of the best ways to find a qualified and trustworthy shamanic healer is through word-of-mouth recommendations. You can ask friends, family members, or spiritual communities for referrals. If someone you trust recommends a particular shamanic healer, it can help ease any concerns you may have about the legitimacy of their practice.

Online Research: Another option is to do some online research. Many shamanic healers have their own websites or social media pages where they describe their services, qualifications, and experience. You can also use online directories or resources, such as the Society for Shamanic Practice or the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

Attend Local Events: Shamanic healing practitioners often attend regional events, such as holistic fairs or spiritual retreats. Attending such events can provide an opportunity to meet and talk with different healers and ask about their approach to healing and their training.

Trust Your Intuition: It is important that you listen to your inner voice when finding a shamanic healer. Trust your intuition and choose a practitioner who resonates with you on a spiritual level. A good shamanic healer should provide a safe and supportive environment for you to explore your healing journey.

Keep in mind that shamanic healing is not regulated in the same way as mainstream Western medicine, so it is important to do your research and use your best judgment when choosing a practitioner.

What to Expect During a Shamanic Healing Session?

What To Expect During A Shamanic Healing Session?
Embarking on a shamanic healing session can be an exciting and transformative experience. However, if you have never participated in one before, you may be wondering what to expect during the session. Will it be like other therapeutic sessions you have had? Or will it be a completely different experience altogether? In this section, we will examine the step-by-step process of a shamanic healing session, from before the session to after the session. By the end, you should have a better understanding of what to expect and how to prepare for your own shamanic healing session.

Before the Session

Preparing for a shamanic healing session is important to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from the experience. Here are some things to keep in mind before the session:

  • Choose a reputable shamanic healer: It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable shamanic healer who has experience and positive reviews. Look for recommendations from friends or online groups dedicated to shamanic healing.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol: It’s recommended to avoid alcohol and drugs, including marijuana, for at least 24 hours before the session. This is because substances can interfere with the clarity of the experience and the connection with the spiritual realm.
  • Dress comfortably: Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to relax and move easily. Some people prefer to wear loose, flowing clothing to help them feel more connected to nature and the spiritual realm.
  • Set an intention: Before the session, take some time to reflect on what you hope to gain from the experience. Setting an intention helps to focus your mind and energy, and can help guide the shamanic healer in their work.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before the session to help cleanse your body and prepare for the experience.
  • Avoid heavy meals: It’s recommended to avoid heavy meals for at least a few hours before the session, as this can make you feel sluggish and interfere with the energy flow during the experience.
  • Be open to the experience: Lastly, it’s important to approach the shamanic healing session with an open mind and heart. Allow yourself to be receptive to whatever may come up, and trust in the healing process.

By following these guidelines and taking the time to prepare for the session, you can maximize the benefits of shamanic healing and have a more enjoyable and transformative experience.

During the Session

One important aspect of shamanic healing is the actual healing session. During the session, the shamanic healer may create a sacred space by burning sage or incense to clear the energy in the room. The client may be asked to sit or lie down comfortably and relaxation techniques may be used to help the client enter a meditative state.

The shamanic healer may then begin the process of journeying to meet the client’s spirit guides and power animals. This may involve the use of shamanic drumming or rattling to induce a trance-like state. The healer may also use other tools such as crystals or feathers to help facilitate the journey.

As the journey progresses, the shamanic healer may communicate with the client’s spirit guides and power animals to gain insight into any blocks or issues that need to be addressed. The healer may also use various techniques such as extraction or soul retrieval to remove any negative energy or restore lost parts of the client’s soul.

While the shamanic healer is doing their work, the client may experience various sensations such as warmth or tingling. They may also have visual or auditory experiences such as seeing colors or hearing music.

It is important for the client to be open and receptive during the session and to trust the process. The shamanic healer will guide the client through the journey and offer support as needed.

After the journey is complete, the shamanic healer may offer the client insights and guidance based on what was revealed during the session. The client may also be given aftercare instructions and advice on how to integrate the experience into their daily life.

After the Session

After a Shamanic healing session, it’s essential to take things slow and integrate the experience fully. Here are some crucial steps to take after a session:

  • Rest: Rest can be crucial in integrating the lessons and messages received during the session. Resting may help the physical and psychological body relax and release any tension or stress.
  • Hydrate: Water can help flush out any toxins that may have been released during the session. It’s vital to drink plenty of water to support the body’s healing process.
  • Journal: Writing down any experiences, feelings, or insights gained during the session can help clarify the experience and help with integration. You may want to write down any messages received during the journey, any significant insights, or any emotions or sensations you experienced.
  • Reflect on the Experience: Take some time to reflect on the experience and what it means to you. This reflection can help deepen the healing process and integrate any lessons or wisdom gained during the session.
  • Stay in Touch with Your Shamanic Healer: If you have any questions or need further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Shamanic healer. They may have some further insights or guidance to offer to support you in your healing journey.

By taking these crucial steps after a Shamanic healing session, you can maximize the benefits of the experience and fully integrate the lessons and wisdom gained.

Is Shamanic Healing Right for You?

If you are considering shamanic healing as a potential therapy, it is important to take some time for self-reflection and introspection to determine if it is the right fit for you. It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.

Consider your belief system
Shamanic healing is grounded in spiritual beliefs and practices. If you are not someone who is open to the idea of connecting with spirits, this might not feel like the right approach for you. It’s important to feel comfortable and at ease during the healing process to allow for a successful experience.

Assess your mental health
If you have a history of severe mental illness, it’s important to talk with a mental health professional before trying shamanic healing. That being said, shamanic healing can help individuals struggling with depression or anxiety, especially if they are seeking alternative options beyond traditional therapy.

Consider any physical limitations
Shamanic healing sessions can be physically demanding, as you may need to sit or lie down for extended periods of time. If you have physical limitations that make it difficult to sit or lie down for extended periods of time, it may be more challenging to fully participate in the healing process.

Assess your overall goals
If you are seeking a quick fix for a specific issue, shamanic healing may not be the right approach for you. Shamanic healing is a holistic practice that focuses on overall well-being and may not offer immediate relief for specific symptoms. However, if you are open to a more comprehensive healing process that can help improve your overall well-being, shamanic healing may be worth exploring.

Ultimately, the decision to try shamanic healing is a personal one that requires careful consideration and self-reflection. It’s important to approach the practice with an open mind and to work with a qualified practitioner to ensure a safe and successful experience.


In conclusion, shamanic healing can be a powerful tool for those seeking to connect with their inner selves and find healing for their emotional and physical wounds. It is important, however, to approach this practice with caution and a clear understanding of both its benefits and risks.

On the one hand, the benefits of shamanic healing include the opportunity to connect with spirit guides, heal emotional wounds, and improve one’s overall well-being. On the other hand, there are also potential risks involved, both psychologically and physically, that must be considered before embarking on a shamanic healing journey.

It is important to find a reputable shamanic healer who is experienced and knowledgeable in their craft, and to have a clear understanding of what to expect during a healing session. It is also important to carefully consider whether shamanic healing is the right choice for you, taking into account any personal beliefs or cultural considerations that may come into play.

Overall, shamanic healing can be a valuable tool for those seeking a connection to the spiritual world and a deeper understanding of themselves. However, it is important to approach this practice with caution and an open mind, being aware of both its benefits and its potential risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between shamanic healing and regular therapy?

Shamanic healing often involves working with spiritual elements and practices, while regular therapy typically focuses on psychological and emotional healing.

Are there any religious requirements for shamanic healing?

No, shamanic healing can be practiced by individuals of any religious or spiritual background.

Can shamanic healing be done remotely?

Yes, shamanic healing can be done remotely through methods such as phone or internet communication.

Is shamanic healing covered by insurance?

No, shamanic healing is generally not covered by insurance as it is not recognized as a traditional form of medical treatment.

Can shamanic healing be used in conjunction with traditional medical treatment?

Yes, shamanic healing can be used as a complementary form of treatment alongside traditional medical treatment, but should not replace it.

How long does a typical shamanic healing session last?

A shamanic healing session can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on the individual healer and the needs of the client.

Can anyone become a shamanic healer?

While anyone can learn shamanic healing techniques, it is important to undergo proper training and apprenticeship under an experienced teacher in order to become a qualified shamanic healer.

Are there any age restrictions for receiving shamanic healing?

No, there are no age restrictions for receiving shamanic healing, but children under 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the session.

Can shamanic healing be harmful or unsafe?

While shamanic healing is generally safe, there are potential psychological and physical risks involved, particularly for individuals with certain medical conditions. It is important to consult with a qualified shamanic healer and/or medical professional before undergoing a shamanic healing session.

Can shamanic healing be beneficial for individuals with chronic illnesses?

Yes, shamanic healing can be beneficial for individuals with chronic illnesses by helping to alleviate stress, anxiety, and other emotional and psychological factors that may exacerbate the illness.


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