Why Shamanic Healing?

Three years ago I began professional training in shamanic healing. Initially, I was drawn to participate in the training because of the value I had received as a client of shamanic healing since 2014, as well as my experience participating in my teacher’s monthly gathering of groups of folks as she encouraged us to become more skillful in going on journeys for our own healing. I had just become a racial justice activist at that time and found myself frequently overwhelmed with all the intense reading I was doing on the history of racism in the US history, studying policing policy and learning what is being learned about data collected by police in relation to vehicle stops. I was attending city council meetings for the first, getting to know the city manager, chief of police through attendance at a plethora of meetings and learning how the city government operates. And I was exhausted, mentally, physically (did I mention I was going to lots of meetings and talking to lots of people?), I was writing Op Eds, I helped create a manage a non-profit racial justice organization. I wrote detailed comments on policing that I shared regularly at the podium at City Council meetings and I supported others in writing their own comments and letters to the editor. Shamanic journeying supported me in finding deeper resources within myself to do all of these new tasks, learn all these new skills, and repeatedly put myself in uncomfortable situations that I had never considered being part of before 2014.

While Shamanic journeying kept me actively engaged in activist work for five years, I finally came to the realization that activism at this level was not my calling and I was truly burnt out. When my shamanic practitioner encouraged me to participate in the three-year training to become a practitioner myself, I asked her if this could be a way for me to address social justice; and could we heal our ancestors of white supremacy? With her affirmative response I signed up for this training whole-heartedly, despite not knowing how this would impact my professional work as an acupuncturist.

What I am finding today, after my first month of serving clients with shamanic healing, is that these shamanic practices are being responded to with great eagerness and enthusiasm by my clients, in a way that I had not anticipated. I do not expect my clients to come to me with the intention of addressing social justice, at least not initially. Nor has my own healing through shamnic journeying been focussed primarily on overcoming white supremacy, but it has become absolutely clear to me that this is an essential level of healing on which racism and all forms of social injustice can be addressed. When we are each clearer in our own personal authority about who we are and why we are here, we are on the road toward a healthier community. This is the potential of shamanic healing practice that I am excited about sharing.

I continue to love acupuncture as a form of medicine that serves my clients in body, mind and spirit. With the addition of the even more ancient practices of shamanic healing, I look forward to exploring these levels of healing more explicitly.