Curious about the mind body connection and Shamanic healing? This is the second installment in my series about modern Shamanic healing. The last entry focused on my first introduction to a Shamanic treatment. It was not my true “calling” to the medicine which happened years earlier in childhood. This entry focuses on what happens during a session.

I don’t want to undermine the magic, mystery, profound power and tangibility that this medicine contains. I do want to portray the information in a way that is accessible to our Western “ modern” minds. For better or worse until I’m closer to enlightenment those are terms I have to work with. Truly this medicine can only be experienced and can’t be understood through reading alone. Your monkey mind can’t go there. However I will try to write about it on such a way to give you a taste or flavor of the potential.

The Shaman performs a journey on behalf of the patient to determine if and how healing can occur. Sometimes this process begins before the patient has even come for a visit. During this journey various spiritual guides, animals, spirits of nature and protectors are consulted with on behalf of the patient. Shamanism and Chinese medicine believe that part of our soul is free to leave the body at any time. Shamans enter in to an altered state of consciousness, (in my case through the aid of rhythmic rattling) which allows the soul to travel to receive information, retrieve lost power and allow healing.  I like this description of what’s happening.

“It has been found that the monotonous rhythm of a rattle or drum at [a certain] beat induces the altered state of consciousness in which the ability of the human brain to image is remarkably facilitated. This is a process called brainwave entrainment, with the drumbeat or rattle stimulating the production of brain waves in the low alpha and theta range, a state which is associated with heightened creativity and vivid imagery.” Read full article here

“A person who has taken time off from a task and begins to daydream is often in a theta brainwave state. Individuals who run outdoors [or]do a lot of freeway driving often get good ideas during those periods. It is a state where tasks become so automatic that you can mentally disengage from them. The ideation that can take place during the theta state is often free flow and occurs without censorship or guilt. It is typically a very positive mental state.” Read full article here.

While incomplete, these descriptions give a partial portrayal of what it often feels like during and after shamanic session. Most people feel refreshed, awakened, reconnected and the imagery from the journey can be very powerful.