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Many people ask me what to expect during a shamanic spiritual healing session. The questions are often of the form:

  • What happens when we ask for our healing?
  • What chain of events gets set in motion?
  • What does a healer actually do?
  • How far does the healer's responsibility extend?
  • What is the healee responsible for?
  • These last two are often in the form, can you/will you heal me?

Healing begins when we ask. That opens a door, alerts the universe/Helping Spirits, and sets things in motion. No healing happens unless and until we ask. Even if I see that you are in great pain, heavy distress, huge discomfort, I can not begin to work with you until you ask. This is also why I can't work with family members who you want me to heal; they have not asked.

The healer is on your healing adventure, too. As a shamanic practitioner, I can't tell you in advance what's going to happen: I sometimes don't even know in the moment what's going to happen until it does. One thing I'm certain of: I am not doing the healing. That is in the hands of the Helping Spirits. All I do is create the conditions in which the healing can happen. What actually happens is between you and the Helping Spirits.

As shamanic practitioner, I find out what healing you desire, then I travel to talk to the Spirits and see what they are willing to do. Then we do it. It's that simple. The Spirits only ever do as much as you can integrate in a single session, and they only give you as much as you are able and willing to receive. Big, miraculous healings are possible. And rare; a change which is a movement towards healing is more common. A wise person once told me that we will change as much as we are willing to change. Sometimes a part of us wants our life to be very different, but deep down we are afraid of, or unwilling to have things change for us. So, the Spirits give us just a little bit.

As the person in the role of 'healer', here's what I can do: I can walk beside you on your healing journey. I can take you to the bridge that spans the chasm of your change. But you and only you can walk across that bridge by yourself; I cannot accompany you there. I will be cheering you on, never doubt! But I cannot force or propel you on your journey; I can simply show you the way, and it is you who must travel it alone. I learned this lesson from a client who angrily wanted me to "Give me a magic bullet! Fix me! I'm wounded; lift me out of this foxhole and carry me to the surgery tent." I knew in that moment that all I could do was shine the light while they crawled there on their own steam. This process isn't about me. It's about you and what you are ready for.

You are on your soul's sacred journey. Your choices have cumulatively created your trajectory. A healing session can radically change that trajectory, but you will have to keep steering your life toward your own ends. Maybe I can give you help along the way, offer you clues as to what to expect, open the door so that Spirit and healing can walk through.

We are all actively on our soul's journey. How audacious of me to think that you need healing! How audacious of me to want to heal you. Only you can want to heal you, and only your soul knows how much; the depth or intensity of what I want does not figure into this equation. It's all between you and the Helping Spirits; all I can do is bring them to you.

So ...

Ask for your healing with your entire soul! Be very clear about it and about what you want. Want it with every part of your being! Be utterly willing to do anything for it! If you are unwilling to do some of the things the Spirits suggest because it might make you feel embarrassed or look stupid, even with the lights off, curtains drawn, in your own home, you are not yet ready for your healing. If your healing isn't worth paying even that simple price, please know that the Spirits see this clearly. They will engage when you are ready to change and to receive what they are offering you.

Sometimes we must first dislodge all of the little rocks before the big stump can be moved. Keep moving the little rocks while keeping your eye fixed on that big stump! It will move eventually. Trust me.

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Jeffrey Rich, LMT, is a practitioner and educator in the healing arts living and working in Huntsville, AL. He is a licensed massage therapist, a certified systemic and family constellations facilitator, and shamanic practitioner and instructor.
Being a true Gemini, he has two websites,
www.shining-mountain.com and www.waterwillowmoon.com