Any of these events can be traumatic mentally or physically. And from a shamanic perspective, even minor traumas can cause a loss of spiritual power — that is, part of your energy — or even parts of your soul — flee in pain or fear.
Losing power means losing part of your spiritual immune system. Your natural protection develops gaps, exposing you to the slings and arrows of the world, and making you vulnerable to negative energies.
Shamans believe this power loss is what allows anxiety, depression, and even physical illness to set in, or to become worse. Your energy begins to wane. It becomes harder to focus. Little annoyances suddenly seem insurmountable. Maybe you start to feel hypersensitive or defensive. Chronic physical or mental ailments may start to appear. In my own experience, power loss feels like a string of bad luck, and in a way, that's exactly what it is. If you've heard terms like "soul loss" or "holes in your aura," these terms all describe the same thing — trauma has caused spiritual parts of you to flee.
Getting Back Your Mojo
The good news is that power loss can be reversed. Using altered states of consciousness, a shaman can travel to other dimensions to locate your lost power — or even departed parts of your soul — and bring them back to you. Power may be returned to you in the form of raw energy or soul parts that a shaman puts back inside you, or it may take the form of a power animal — a spiritual helper that has chosen to empower you with ongoing healing protection for weeks, months, or even years.
Finding and returning a person's power may take a single shamanic session or many — it depends on how extensively a person is suffering from physical, mental, or emotional traumas, some of which may date back to childhood.
In addition to bringing back power, shamans may also bring back wisdom from teachers in other dimensions who choose to share prescriptive instructions for a patient.
Here's an example. I was suffering from a physical problem that had been lingering for about 3 months with no resolution by my Western medicine doctors, so I sought help from a shaman friend. Using traditional shamanic techniques, my shaman returned some of my lost power, and removed energy intrusions that were contributing to my issue. I felt better almost immediately, although I still wasn't back to 100%. In a follow-up session, my shaman's interdimensional teacher passed along a piece of advice for me: Tell him to drink more water and electrolytes. I followed the instruction, doubling my water intake with heaps of electrolytes, and my physical problem vanished!
Equally amazing is that I didn't tell my shaman the specifics about my physical problem — she just knew — and both sessions were conducted online via the Internet — I was hundreds of miles away from my shaman, and yet she was still able to travel outside of space and time to bring back the perfect healing for me.
Don't get me wrong — the above doesn't mean that spiritual healing can solve every problem by itself. A person suffering from a broken bone needs medical attention. However, medical attention by itself probably won't address the spiritual power loss that causes, accompanies, or results from health trauma, and unless lost power is restored, it can cause lingering, systemic problems that can last a lifetime. Even in cases that seem purely medical, there is often a spiritual component as well — a power loss making symptoms worse, or that prevents a patient from "powering up" to heal themselves.
Imagination Is The Real Doctor
Shamans have known for millennia that healing starts with imagination. Jeanne Achterberg, a research psychologist who studied mind-body healing for cancer treatment, writes that imagery is responsible for the vast majority of human healing, invoking the right side of the brain to repair any biological system in the body.1 This claim is supported by metastudies that have found that placebo is likely responsible for 30% to 79% of healing, and that placebo, in turn, is driven by imagery — by the imagination telling the body that it is being healed.2
Imagery is relevant because it is the primary tool used by shamans. Shamans enter altered consciousness through imag-ination,5 enable seeing from the heart organ instead of the eyes, bring back visualized power for a patient, and recount in visual terms what they witnessed to the patient, who then imagines the healing at work. (Don't mistake shamans' flights outside of time and space as being purely imaginary, however; from a shamanic perspective, such interdimensional travel is absolutely real energetically,5 and no less real than my perceived physical presence at my desk as I type this).
In other words, both Shamanism and human healing occur through the visual senses. Although different from medicine made in a lab, shamanic work is equally potent in its own way, operating on an energetic, quantum level, undoing illness that also uses imagination as its vector for infecting a patient.
Fortunately, "what the imagination makes, it can also unmake."6
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