Shamanic Healing

Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2001 Aug;7(3):126-31. Shamanism as a healing paradigm for complementary therapy. Money M.Centre for Health, Healing and Human Development, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

Abstract Excerpt:
“Any healing process…must entail the stimulation and direction of the body's own restorative functions…The immune system is implicated in the operation of these healing processes, and immune system functions are modulated by both internal and external variables. External variables include the nature of the infection or trauma. Internal variables include the meaning of the illness to the patient or the patient's imagery surrounding the illness…Shamanism…pays particular attention to bridging the internal world of the patient to the external world where the problem originates. Shamanic practice is specifically focused on this healing task, and has its own toolkit of techniques for the modification of consciousness, the manipulation of imagery and meaning, and the generation of a healing milieu and therapeutic images from its mythic content…The shamanic corpus exemplifies a healing paradigm that may also be used to understand the essential elements of healing, which underpin some established complementary therapies and some other healing modalities…”PMID: 11855507 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1: J Med Philos. 1993 Apr;18(2):107-27.
The experiential foundations of shamanic healing. McClenon J.
Department of Social Sciences, Elizabeth City State University, NC 27909.

An experience-centered approach reveals empirical foundations for shamanic healing. This article is based on data derived from surveys of Chinese, Japanese, Caucasian-American, and African-American populations and participant observation of over thirty Asian shamans. Respondents reported anomalous events such as apparitions, extrasensory perceptions, contact with the dead, precognitive dreams, clairvoyance, and out-of-body experiences. Based on folk reasoning, these episodes support belief in spirits, souls, and life after death. Shamanic healers have a far greater propensity to experience anomalous events than general populations and to use their beliefs arising from these episodes to produce ceremonies that change clients' perceptions of their illnesses. Although the foundations supporting shamanism differ from those sustaining Western medicine, both traditions provide experiences that convince clients that specific procedural methods alleviate illness.
PMID: 8315358 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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