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When Shamanism Meets Western Medicine

The Next Session

Three days later, we did it again, only this time, her body was still the whole time as I led her in guided imagery to a fully healed version of herself at a point in the near future. She had the chance to see where she lived, meet her future self, ask her fully healed self any questions and receive a gift from her healed self. Then her healed self hopped on a beam of light with her and entered her body in the present moment. I pronounced her whole, healed and perfect just as she is, and then the session was over.

In Gloryís Own Words

The day after her second shamanic session, Glory wrote to me and said:

I have come back with a clarity of exactly what I do and don’t want in my life. Like I mean, CLARITY.† Itís almost frightening it’s so clear. I do feel changed. I do feel free in a way that I never have. And I’m reaching for what I want without being timid.

A week later, she wrote:

I am doing wonderfully – free and light as bird, and I don’t at all mind saying so. If I get anymore wide open than I am right now I’ll be inside out, and that’s just fine too. I spent the day with my friend yesterday and told her everything about the shamanic work and how it took it all away, how the weight of everything I carried is gone and the only person that dwells in me now is me. My mother’s threatening and crushing presence is gone. The looming shadows of unknown men are gone. Itís just me! And I love that I have myself back, or possibly even that I have myself for the first time at all, ever. She said the difference since she saw me last was more than remarkable. Life is so good.

Glory is totally blowing me away, not just by the rapidity of her progress, but by her courage. This is intense work, and you have to be committed to going to some dark shadows in order to squeeze through the†narrow place into the light. But when youíre working with someone like Glory, itís remarkably easy, because sheís ready. Sheís willing to try anything, go anywhere, do anything, in order to heal.

Glory credits me with the transformation she is undergoing, but I just told her the feeling is mutual. I am learning as much from Glory as she is from me. Because she has been so brave and willing to try anything I feel might help her, she has given me the chance to dive into uncharted territory in my work, so I can expand the definition of what ďpracticing medicineĒ means to me. In doing so, I am discovering the infinite capacity of both the human spirit and the human body. I will always be incredibly grateful to Glory for opening my eyes and my heart to the possibility of deeper, more sustainable healing.

In our next session, I am planning some more shamanic work, aimed more at her physical health issues. I wonít tell you what I intend to do because I wouldnít want to spoil it for Glory, but suffice it to say that she wonít be needing me much longer. Whole healing, the kind I aim to help my patients achieve, can actually be that easy – and that quick. It just doesnít have to be hard.

And when we combine this kind of healing work with the Western medicine I spent 12 years studying in my medical training and 12 years practicing, magic can truly happen.

Furthering My Training

Soon, Iíll be meeting with a†shaman, Jon Rasmussen, who I have worked with in the past personally, because I want to learn more about what Iím doing and make sure Iím protecting both my patient and myself during this process. He says it took his teachers 300 years to teach him in 3 years what he will teach me in 3 hours. So stay tuned. Iím sure Iíll be writing about my one-on-one training session with him as well.

Iím really excited about exploring the intersection of Western medicine with practices like these, and Iím blown away by how quickly my patients are getting results, not just from emotional issues but from physical ones. Our bodies are giant balls of energy, swirling around as atoms, and when you work on the energetic level, rather than restricting the healing process to just the physical one, atoms can rearrange overnight. It blows me away, really.

What Do You Think?

What do you think of all this? What does shamanism mean to you? Do you think Iím playing with fire? Does it excite you to think about marrying these kinds of healing modalities? Tell me what you think!

Fascinated by shamanism,


PS. Just so you know how much I protect my patientís confidentiality, I wrote this with Gloryís blessing. She genuinely hopes her story might help someone who wants to trust the process and allow healing to happen for themselves.

Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013),†TEDx speaker, and health care revolutionary.†Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on†Twitter and†Facebook.

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at† and also created two online communities -† and† She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


+ add your own
2:21PM PDT on Sep 20, 2015

Thank you Lissa.

12:45PM PST on Mar 4, 2013

Thank you

11:33AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Louise Hay has many books on how to heal spiritually and how each disease has an emotional root cause and if you have read any of her books you will see they are scary accurate!!!" A-Z Healing" I think it is called now is great!!! (I have an older version.)

11:53PM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

I think that, having had soul retrieval sessions, that this kind of work is essential to help the Self heal, and Western medicine does not address it, nor does traditional psychotherapy. To have a person like you with skills in both areas would be go for it!!!

4:42PM PDT on Jun 19, 2012


5:07AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

It works, but will insurance cover it?

12:25AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

What I miss most about not living in Scotland is the great abundance of alternative healers and therapies that co-exist with traditional medicine. These alternative therapies are wonderful in helping to heal the patient in their entirety : holistically. I applaud you and other shamans and alternative healers for bringing about a healthier, happier and more whole world. Thank you for the article.

12:07PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Thank you Lissa,

There are several Doctors and many Nurses out there waking up to the larger perspective on the nature of Disease and Healing. I know one MD that has a full shamanic practice while he is the Chief Medical Officer of one hospital and is in charge of the Rehab Wing of another where he is allowed to openly use shamanic methods..

You have a gift, find shamanic training with someone to allow you to integrate the best of Western medicine with the Shamanic Path. Open to guidance from spirit and trust that guidance, as you did working with "Glory".

You were guided to a form of what I call compassionate Depossession. You were shown a way to release Attachments that could have been suffering beings, memories of trauma, thought forms that held her trauma, and yes, you could have begun a soul retrieval process.


Kent Dorsey
Center for Shamanic Healing

11:03PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

I think that modern medicine needs to reconnect with the medicine of ancient times. I believe that our ancestors were more in tune with how nature actually works than we are today. We need to re-affirm the credibility of our ability to heal on an energetic level. Modern medicine needs to be less skeptical of the ancient arts.

1:19PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Shamanism is the oldest healing tradition. It appears that all the Human race has learnt via the various healing traditions. seems to be integrating into ONE

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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