Healing has always been the shaman's chief task.
Whereas modern people have learned to identify several different classes of diseases, shamans make no distinction between mind, body and spirit illnesses. Their eyes look into a deeper layer of reality, a twilight zone where physical, biological or psychic laws no longer (or do not yet) exist - there are only laws of life.
Because their method is so deep and so absolute, the shamans' healing way is very powerful.
Some years ago I treated a man suffering from a knee ache.
38 years earlier he'd had a motorcycle crash and his knee had been severely injured.
Both meniscuses were taken off, and the bones had been suffering more and more friction over time.
Medical specialists told him there is nothing to do but to take drugs when he goes for long walks, since he loves trekking. They also said that a knee prothesis would solve the problem, in about 15 years.
A shamanic Extraction healed him, as a matter of fact.
He hasn't needed any drug since, and can now trek in the mountains for hours, carrying his wife's backpack
too without swelling or pain (In such cases, though,
it is possible that the disorder may show up again in a few months
and more extractions may be needed).
Later on, I asked him if he suffered from stomach disorders before the accident and if he had difficulty in social relationships. He said yes, that he'd had relationship problems at work the very year of the crash and that he'd also had a peptic ulcer. The ulcer had been treated and had healed up - then just a few months later he had crashed the motorcycle.
Here's a difference between orthodox medicine and the shaman's view: orthodox physicians differentiate diseases as much as possible: stomach diseases are divided into gastritis or duodenitis, or duodenal or gastric ulcer, or...
This approach is intended to make the illness easier to cure. This works on one level: in fact a Western doctor is able to heal a peptic ulcer (especially today, thanks to antibiotics), however he does not recognize that stomach and knee are linked on a deeper and non-physiological level.
So if the disease isn't cured on a deep level, once that the stomach has healed up, the illness may shift
to the knee. As for my client, the effective treatment of the ulcer, incredibly, "caused" the far more
serious knee injury!
You can see how helpful a collaboration between orthodox medical doctors and shamans might be.
Western doctors don't normally see any connection between a peptic ulcer and a meniscus injury, because they don't go beyond the surface of reality where a trauma is an accidental event which means nothing. Besides which, the stomach and the knee aren't linked physiologically.
Yet a shaman believes that accidental events are ruled by profound laws: knee roundness and stomach are linked symbolically and a symbol is as real as physiology.
Caution! DON'T make wild diagnoses, on the basis of the instance above. A stomach disorder not deeply cured doesn't have to shift to the knee, it may as well move to the ankles. On the other hand knee isn't only linked to the solar plexus, its soft side (hind area) is connected to sex and may affect the urinary bladder - where sex energy flows indeed.
Shamans' view is a simple view: every illness is due to something extraneous that entered the body
or to something missing.
Any other cause can be reduced to either or both.
I maintain that a disease may involve body, mind and spirit at the same time, and that such distinctions are superificial. So diseases seemingly different may be an only one, in the shaman's eyes.
This view goes far beyond the usual definition of a psychosomatic illness, because the distinction between mind and body is illusory: mind or psyche originates not only in the brain, but in each part of the body (e.g. self-assertion flows in the solar plexus) while each part of the body has its own soul.
diseases due to extraneous beings:
diseases due to a loss or a lack: