Exploring the Role of Shamanic Healing in Modern Healthcare


Shamanic healing has been practiced for thousands of years and is often regarded as the one of the most spiritual healing methods available. Shamanism is both a way of life and also a path of transformation. Shamanic healing taps into the spiritual and non-spiritual realms to create wholeness, growth, and for spiritual guidance. Shamans or shamanic healers interface with  the spiritual realm to facilitate healing, create physical and psychological balance, and restore harmony. The practice is now often used alongside contemporary western medical techniques to cure illness and improve psychological well-being

It is important to note that every individual’s experiences and the impact of  pre-existing conditions can influence the effectiveness of these age-old healing rituals when combined with modern-day healthcare. In this blog post, we discuss healing through shamanism. We also learn  how shamanic activities can help with physical and mental health conditions.

What is Shamanic Healing: An Overview

Shamanic healing is a practice that utilizes spiritual and energetic techniques to restore balance and well-being on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. The core belief of this practice is that ailments and suffering stem from energy imbalances and/or physiological blockages. They can be cured by channeling energies from spiritual realms and celestial elements. Channeling is a healing process performed by a shaman who acts as a conduit between the physical and spiritual realms, as a way of accessing healing energies and guidance from the spirit world. He or she employs a variety of techniques, such as power animal retrieval, soul retrieval, wound extractions, energy clearing, chakra clearing, and divination to address the root causes of ailments and promote healing.

healthcare in modern science

Understanding the Mind-Body Connection

In contrast to western medicine, which frequently concentrates only on physical symptoms, shamanic treatment takes a holistic stance that recognizes the connection between the mind, body, soul, and spirit.  Shamanic healing acknowledges that mental, emotional, or spiritual problems may be an underlying cause of physical illnesses and thus, attempts to treat these core problems. Shamanic healing works on many levels at once in an effort to bring balance and harmony back into all facets of a person’s being, which in turn enhances general health and energy.

A person’s beliefs and attitudes also play an important role in the healing process. Shamans believe that thoughts and beliefs have a powerful impact on our inner and outer experiences. Healing can unfold by aligning your beliefs and intentions with your desired outcome. Therefore, creating a positive mindset can help your ability to heal.

In addition, physical harm and trauma can leave both the body and the psyche with permanent scars. In order to facilitate healing and the release of repressed energy, shamanic healing makes a connection with the emotional and energetic components of these events to transform them into balance and peace.

Evidence-Based Studies on the Effectiveness of Shamanic Treatment

While traditional shamanic healing procedures have been passed down through millenia in many cultures, western science has started considering them as positive adjuncts to conventional medicine, as well as researching their efficacy. Sociologist Meredith McGuire, in her investigation of ritual healing in suburban America undertaken in the late 80s, was one of the first researchers to consider these questions. She noted in her book, Ritual Healing in Suburban America (1988) that respondents “criticized the social sources of illness and illness….(e.g., hazardous or stressful workplaces, advertising that promotes unhealthy behavior, industrial pollution, poverty).” They also expressed the belief that health maintenance occurs at the individual, rather than the social, or political, level (1988:249).

Understanding the Mind-Body Connection

Shamanic Healing for Physical Health Conditions

The healing techniques of shamanism can support conventional medical care for illnesses of the body. In order to find and treat the underlying causes of chronic pain, for example, shamans explore the spiritual domains. Some of the research studies that have been or are being undertaken on the effects of shamanic healing on specific health conditions often involve qualitative research methods, interviews, surveys, and observation of outcomes. Slowly, they are providing valuable insights into the potential benefits of shamanic healing, and are shedding light on its effectiveness as a complementary or alternative therapy.

Several researchers, including Nancy H. Vukovic, et al., at Kaiser Permanente Center for Holistic Research in Portland, Oregon, undertook a study on shamanic treatment for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in the Journal of Alternative Therapies (2007, Vol. 13, No. 6). They found that there was a significant decrease in symptoms of TMJ after 5 sessions of shamanic healing. They concluded that “traditional systems of healing, such as shamanism, may not readily lend themselves to conventional research methods, yet studying their effectiveness is especially germane in the case of chronic conditions…that involve an emotional component that eludes allopathic treatment regimes (2007:28). 

In another example, researchers at PlantMed, an organization and research facility in the Peruvian Amazon, have been conducting research on shamanic medicine in the treatment of chronic illnesses with positive results. In addition to the use of plant medicines from the jungle, shamans use energetic and spiritual methods to support the body’s innate healing processes. 

These and other research studies that have been done to date are pointing towards the fact that there are important benefits in combining shamanic healing techniques with mainstream western medicine.  

The Rising Popularity of Shamanic Healing

The practice of shamanic healing highlights how everything in the universe is interconnected through energy. More and more people in western society are  accepting the fact that healing occurs at the intersection between the inner and outer selves. 

 If you want to take the next step toward greater health, contact Rachel Mann PhD.

Rachel Mann PhD is a professional shamanic healer, spiritual teacher, and Sacred Activist for Peacemaking with  more than 30 years of experience. She has supported over 2000 clients worldwide. Her study and knowledge in  western shamanism, and training with Native American and shamanic healers give her the tools to support clients in overcoming imbalances in the body, mind and emotions, as well as removing stubborn blocks to love, prosperity, and health. You can schedule a consultation or “Discovery Call” with her to share your situation and receive guidance.

In conclusion, shamanic healing can lead you on  a liberating journey, reconnecting you with your wholeness and authenticity.

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