If you mixed the ivory towers of Western medicine with the back jungle villages of the native shaman and shook them up with Pop Rocks, you’d wind up with something that starts to resemble the way I work one-on-one with patients.
At least that’s what other people who hear me talk about my work tell me.
My Work is Shamanic? Say What?
For at least a year, people have been telling me that the way I practice medicine is very shamanic. Having never studied anything about shamanism, I’ve been a bit baffled by these comments since what I do when I’m with patients is purely driven by gut instinct.
Here’s an example of the kind of thing I might do:
A woman who was abused and neglected throughout her childhood – let’s call her Glory – has grown up feeling unsafe in the world. She has been professionally trained to carry a gun and can knock a dangerous person flat on their back with one twist of an arm in the blink of an eye. As a child, she learned never to turn her back to anyone.
She has multiple mysterious medical problems. A disorder that saps her blood supply and requires “infusions” which I don’t understand as a physician. An inability to get anything inside her vagina. A debilitating combo of obsessive compulsive disorder and PTSD.
But she is done. Glory is ready to heal these bad boys. She is committed and will do anything in order to LIVE.
After I did two extended sessions with Glory that included atypical techniques like direct eye gazing, intuitive guidance came to me in the form of an image of this woman cradled in my arms, with her back to my chest - turning her back to me.
So we did it.
Before she came, I blessed the space with sage, lit a candle, asked God and the angels to be with me and to protect the sacred space, and did a clearing meditation to get my own ego out of the way so the Divine could use me as a healing channel.
Then I created the nest by laying a yoga mat on the floor and covering it with soft blankets. Leaning back against a wall, I became the container, and with a pillow on my abdomen, I invited Glory to lean back against my body with her head resting on my chest and her back to my belly.
She raised an eyebrow at me and grudgingly knelt down, hesitating before turning her back to me and assuming the position.
I asked Glory to close her eyes, put a hematite stone shaped like a heart in her hand, and led her in a grounding meditation that tapped her into the core of Mama Earth and invited the earth energy to fill her body and connect with Divine love. I then turned on music, rang chimes, anointed her forehead with an aromatherapy blend I had mixed especially for her, and lay my hands upon her in various locations – her forehead, the tops of her arms, over her heart, moving between locations as the spirit guided me.
As I held her in my arms, I felt her body begin to lightly twitch. The twitching was followed by something that more closely resembled convulsions. I breathed through it, visualizing all the while that her demons were coursing out of her body and down the redwood roots coming from her body down deep into the core of the earth, where they were vaporized.
As her body quivered, I kept my hands on her, feeling an electric charge in them that was almost, but not quite, painful. The whole time, I was sending it energetically back to the earth.
Finally, after quite a while, her body was still. I keep my hands on her, running my fingers through her hair, keeping my hand over her heart in silence.
And then I guided her back into her body, turned the music off, rang chimes, and invited her back into the chair, where we processed together what had just happened. She had seen an image of her abusive mother in front of her, and she felt exhausted, but free.
Glory emailed me a few hours later to say she couldn’t get out of bed. She felt like she’d just been run over by a Mack truck. I told her she had just run an energetic marathon and that her response was to be expected. I encouraged her to sleep, rest, get a massage maybe.