Note from Sandra Ingerman

Shamanic healing is a spiritual method of healing that deals with the spiritual aspect of illness. There are three common causes of illness in the shaman’s worldview. A person may have lost his or her power, causing depression, chronic illness, or a series of misfortunes. In this case, the shaman journeys to restore that person’s lost power. Or a person may have lost part of their soul or essence, causing soul loss, which sometimes occurs during an emotional or physical trauma, such as accidents, surgery, abuse, the trauma of war, being in a natural disaster, divorce, the death of a loved one, or other traumatic circumstances. Soul loss can result in dissociation, post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, illness, immune deficiency problems, addictions, unending grief, or coma. Soul loss can prevent us from creating healthy relationships and the life we truly wish to live. It is the role of the shaman to track down the parts that have fled and been lost due to trauma by performing a soul retrieval ceremony. Another cause of illness from a shamanic perspective would be any spiritual blockages or negative energies a client has taken on due to the loss of his or her power or soul. These spiritual blockages also cause illness, usually in a localized area of the body. It is the role of the shaman to extract and remove these harmful energies from the body.

A shaman heals both the living and the deceased. In healing those who died, the shaman performs a psychopomp ceremony of helping those who have died cross over to a comfortable and peaceful place. The ceremony may also include clearing a home or land of spirits that are in a state of unrest.

What I have written above is just a brief overview to give you a sense of how shamanic practitioners might work to help you. You can find a detailed explanation of how shamans view and diagnose emotional and physical illness in my books Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self and Welcome Home: Following Your Soul’s Journey Home. There is an in-depth talk on this subject on my lecture tape “The Soul Retrieval Journey”. You can find my books at most bookstores, or on-line at

As shamanic healing deals with the spiritual aspect of illness there is no way to predict the results that will manifest emotionally or physically. Shamanic healing does not replace the need for traditional psychological and medical treatment.

There are different ways that practitioners can work. One way is for the shamanic practitioner to only provide spiritual healing and follow up treatments if necessary. Another option is after the healing work to continue to work with your shamanic practitioner on the process of integration.

The purpose of continuing the work would be to find ways to restore balance and harmony in your life and create a positive present and future for yourself through the use of spiritual practices and ceremonies. Life without passion and meaning can result in despair. With shamanic practices you can explore how to create a meaningful life. Examples of the type of work that shamanic practitioners can help with is written up in my second book Welcome Home and has to do with what I call “life after healing”.

Some people feel they have their own support systems in psychotherapy and with other spiritual practices and do not feel they need such follow up work with a shamanic practitioner.

It is important that you find what you need to support the shamanic healing work that has been done. The practitioners on my list ( can supply support if you need it.

Here are some guidelines to find a practitioner:
· Go to the list in the state where you live and try to find someone you can see in person. It is best to work with the practitioner in person rather than long distance. Long distance work can be done with shamanic healing, however, I do find the best results occur when the client sees the practitioner in person unless there is a critical situation that prevents the client from traveling.
· Talk to the practitioners near you and choose a person you feel comfortable working with.
· Find a practitioner who is flexible in their fees.
· Make sure the practitioner is accessible and does follow up work if you need it.

It is important to understand that in the practice of shamanism the shamanic practitioner works in partnership with his/her helping spirits. The helping spirits do the diagnosis and advise on what healing ceremony should be done.

Today in a psychologically sophisticated culture many clients show up telling shamanic practitioners what healing work needs to be done. This is not how shamanic healing works. The shamanic practitioner listens to the problem the client presents and then consults with his or her healing spirits for the spiritual diagnosis and the proper healing method.

Also, please understand that all shamanic practitioners have different styles of working. A good shamanic practitioner follows the directions of their helping spirits who know what is best for the client.

In the Practitioner section, you will find a list of local shamanic practitioners who have trained with me.

If you have any questions or comments on the shamanic work you receive, please feel free to write to me:

Sandra Ingerman
P.O. Box 4757
Santa Fe, N.M. 87502

I wish you great success in your healing journey.

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