Chronic pain, experienced by many individuals in many different forms, can come with emotional challenges in addition to the physical. In modern medicine, the pain is often correlated and diagnosed to a type of specific illness or imbalance; patients are then treated with modern medicine according to the presenting symptoms. Isn’t it imperative to really get to the root of the symptoms? The other aspect to healing and addressing chronic pain physically and emotionally is in the root of energetic and spiritual components; this is something modern medicine is just beginning to truly open up to look at and address. The idea of addressing chronic pain and its emotional component from a spiritual and energetic perspective has been done since the beginning of time by ancient medicine people who practiced shamanism.

Shamanism is one of the oldest forms of spiritual and energetic healing on the planet. From a shamanic perspective, chronic pain and the emotional expressions that come with it are observed and dealt with through energy and spirit connections. A shaman does not just see “symptoms”; they will look at them and see the final physical expression of an issue that has surfaced from a deeper energetic or spiritual cause.

A shaman will observe the whole person, including the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional aspects. Ultimately, the physical expression is the final manifestation of the issue. The shaman then looks deeper to the helping spirits for guidance on the cause of the issue and the energy surrounding it that needs healing. In many cases, the “root” of the issue can be the opposite of the actual physical manifestation. For example, if a female individual is suffering from something such as uterine cancer, the spiritual or energetic root may go as deep as repressed emotions that have “settled” in that area. It could be ancestral blockages that may have been carried down from the female lines connected to creativity issues, or it could be an intrusion that was implanted or taken in during a trauma.

The practitioner may look at a case like this and ask the individual, “When did you stop singing and dancing in life? When did you stop feeling joy?” The shaman would also connect psychically and spiritually with the helping spirits to see what is recommended as the best route of resolution.

Depending on the root cause from the spiritual and energetic perspective, a shaman may utilize extraction, soul retrieval, ancestral healing, crystal healing, energy transformation healing, power animal retrieval work, ceremony or other shamanistic techniques. In many cases, an issue may have multiple components that led to the creation of the actual manifestation. By going to the energetic and spiritual roots of the issue, there is a deeper opportunity to heal, transform, balance and harmonize the base of the problem from its true energy and spirit source. Just as the issue that has manifested has gone through ripples of creation to appear, it also goes through a rippling process to unravel and transform in its healing process in shamanism.

Individual Receptivity to Healing

The other aspect to healing from the shamanic perspective is the individual’s true wishes and desires to accept healing. Shamanic healing is a collaborative process. The helping spirits can present and facilitate the healing for the individual; how the individual then embodies the healing from the spirits and applies it to their life is the other part of this equation. The spirits cannot interfere with someone’s free will, and cannot “make” someone want to heal. The individual truly must want it, be truly open to receiving and work their part as well. When they do, it is an amazing aspect of healing that can transform, harmonize and assist the individual in moving forward in their healing process, clear blockages, and provide states of renewal and new doors of opportunity.

Today, shamanic healing is continuing to be facilitated by modern shamanic practitioners. This ancient tradition and healing path is becoming more mainstream with its premise of healing the “whole” person rather than just a limited view of the manifested symptoms. Our ancient ancestors truly understood this, and the practices have stood the test of time as a result. Seek a shamanic practitioner who has committed to extensive formal training and has established experience in facilitating shamanic healing work. Shamanic healing does not just involve natural abilities alone, and should never be attempted untrained. It also involves a commitment to apprenticing with a seasoned shaman for an extended amount of time. Additionally, shamanic practitioners must commit to continued education and their own personal healing process; a healer cannot truly assist another in their healing process unless they are committed to their own healing as well.

Jessica Hunter is a Shamanic Practitioner & Teacher, Shamanic Medium, Crystal Healing Teacher & Melody Crystal Healing Practitioner, Reiki Master, and Acupressurist. She is in private practice in Bridgeport, CT, and is also available for sessions at Healing White Light in Newtown, CT.