The following article is excerpted from Shamanic Healing: Traditional Medicine for the Modern World by Itzhak Beery, recently published by Inner Traditions.
Uniting Shamanic Healing and Western Medicine
“I have consulted internists, dermatologists, urologists, psychiatrists, and a neurologist regarding the unexplained sensations and associated pains, but no specialist in any of these fields has found any pathology. I believe that I require soul retrieval and an entity extraction.”
So read the e-mail I received, one of many sent by people from all walks of life and professions who have tried conventional medicine without success. Why is it that Western medicine doesn’t have the answers and proper treatments for these people? How is it happening that they are “miraculously” healed by practitioners who are trained to use ancient shamanic healing tools? Something must be fatally wrong in the approach we take to health care in our society. The man who wrote me that e-mail received his answers and was healed in a session. How?
Another client wrote, “I don’t know why I came to see you in the first place. Maybe I was desperate. I tried lawyers, counselors, and the ‘normal’ ways. But nothing happened. After each of our sessions something strange happened. After the first one I found pennies everywhere even in places I could not imagine. After the second session I found dimes everywhere, and after the third I found feathers everywhere. Isn’t it strange? I think there is magic in what you do. Or maybe my awareness became wider and larger? Yes, I feel so different.”
Yes, you could say there is “magic” in traditional shamanic healing. But it only seems like magic in Western society, with its emphasis on rational thinking, scientific proofs, and materialistic consumerism, as we learn to dismiss the metaphysical energy world.
I coined this phrase to describe allopathic medicine because of its sickbased model, profit-minded assembly line, speed-dating-like, impersonal human interactions, and the use of medicine by trial-and-error methods. I sincerely do not fault the individual doctors and their staffs as they are under so much pressure from the corporations and their shareholders.
Today, those pressures are rapidly growing with the new capability of digital diagnostic methods and robotic surgery, which may make the work that many of these doctors do obsolete.
Fifty-nine percent of all Americans (188 million people) are taking prescription drugs daily, as recently reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, while 15 percent of all Americans take five drugs or more each day. That is astonishing. Isn’t it? Costs and premiums are rising, quality of services are declining. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America notes that 10 percent of Americans are depressed and 18 percent suffer from anxiety. We must and can do better.
The following and surprising story illustrates this point perfectly. One afternoon as I walked into my optometrist’s office, a man I did not recognize came out to greet me. I was confused. When I finally recognized his sparkling blue eyes under his fashionable glasses, he had to help close my gaping jaws. “What happened to you? You lost half your weight?” I finally asked him as I caught my breath. He laughed out loud.