Could modern shamanism be the answer to our mental health crisis?
Shamanic life coach Inga Lamb shares her thoughts on shamanic healing and how she believes it could help to tackle the mental health crisis
“Uncle Davie will be staying for a while, but he’s not well.”
I was eight years old, and I didn’t know what “not well” really meant, but I knew it felt strange, and different in some way.
My uncle had had a nervous breakdown and after receiving electric shock therapy, he was left incontinent and unable to properly communicate.
It was this event that awakened something in me, a calling that I would heed 37 years later.
"When the call for me to train as a shaman came in March 2020, I was ready to answer"
Times have changed and what happened to my uncle will never happen again, but that does not mean that mental illness has disappeared. In fact, a study by The World Health Organisation has found that anxiety and depression rose 25 per cent in the first year of the COVID 19 pandemic.
When the COVID lockdowns began, I had already experienced the extraordinary power of shamanic healing seven years before.
So, when the call for me to train as a shaman came in March 2020, I was ready to answer.
How does trauma affect us?
We all experience trauma daily. An argument, a jolt or even a breaking glass can be traumatic. The body responds with fright, or shock, but within moments it rebalances, and order is quickly restored.
There are however traumas where the body does not re-balance and order is not restored. When this happens, adrenaline continues to circulate, the adrenal glands and kidneys struggle under the weight of fear. The soldiers that work for the immune system remain in the field on red alert and as a result the immune system becomes compromised. The liver is unable to detoxify properly. The heart pumps faster and the other organs all begin to slow down.
Experiencing trauma can have longlasting effects on your mental health
The initial trauma is usually in childhood, when we are still exploring the world and have few tools to deal with anything that frightens or unnerves us.
Extreme or repeated trauma tells the brain that we are in danger. The brain, acting on our behalf, hides the trauma away, so that we can’t see it and it can even disappear from memory.
The brain disassociates from the traumatized part. This means that this part either leaves or is violently shocked out of the body. The shaman calls this soul loss.
"The brain, acting on our behalf, hides the trauma away, so that we can’t see it"
The traumatised parts continue to signal danger to the body and brain, but this happens under the radar in the sub/unconscious brain and can only be detected when depression, anxiety, guilt, or anger begin to manifest.
The work of a shaman is to access the higher realms of consciousnesses and to work on behalf of the client within these realms.
The way that this is done is through a shamanic journey.
What happens during a shamanic journey?
Using my traditional drum and voice to induce a light trance, I am able to journey within the realms of my mind to my sacred place where I meet my spirit guides. My guides come in many spiritual forms, and each plays a different and very important role within the journey.
The journey is like a film in which I am the actor. I have no control of where I shall go or who I shall meet, as this is decided by the client’s higher self. My role is to be guided and to work on its behalf.
The journey takes place, either in the lower world, where we journey for healing, or in the higher world, where we journey for knowledge. These worlds are accessed through openings, which appear like holes in a veil. This could a be a staircase, a vortex, or a pool of water. Anything is possible.
"I have no control of where I shall go or who I shall meet, as this is decided by the client’s higher self"
It is here that the journey begins.
My guides and I then work together to retrieve lost, traumatised soul parts, resolve energy blockages with people and places, re-write soul contracts that are no longer valid and release heavy energies that are causing the client discomfort.
The work may involve meeting the client’s ancestors or even past lives for guidance and healing from any energetic patterns that have come through to this lifetime. This can be seen as karmic resolution.
I also work directly with the client in guided visualisations to help them get in touch with their own inner knowledge. This is done by connecting with the pineal gland, also known as the third eye. It is through this eye, that we can begin to “see” the truth.
The pineal gland is located in the centre of the brain and is also known as the third eye
I also use the guided visualisation of the third eye, to return to past traumas, so as the client can become the impartial observer. Once the client can observe the event, they feel they are then able to either “change the past” or to see the truth behind “what really happened”.
This work can release trauma instantaneously as it is resolved when it happened, in the past, therefore changing the past and affecting how the client feels now. This is what Einstein called “spooky” action at a distance. In other words, studies by quantum physicists now suggest that the future can affect the past.
AD Posey said, “There is magic in the old and magic in the new; the trick is to successfully combine the two.” Within the old ways of the shaman and the new ways of the quantum physicist lie the answers to our mental health.
Inga Lamb is a shamanic life coach. Find out more at Your Inner Healer
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