Holistic Health Practices/Part 36

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2009
Shamanistic medicine is the application of animistic and various ancient witchcraft techniques to health care. It may involve either shamanism itself as a means to health and enlightenment, or the varied use of specific shamanistic techniques in conjunction with a particular health program.

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What is shamanistic medicine?

Shamanistic medicine is the application of animistic and various ancient witchcraft techniques to health care. (A shaman is a pagan priest who has acquired occult powers through spirit possession.) It may involve either shamanism itself as a means to health and enlightenment (shaman initiation and following the shaman’s “life path”), or the varied use of specific shamanistic techniques in conjunction with a particular health program (visualization, altered states of consciousness, dream work, use of “power animals” [spirits that appear in the form of animals, birds, or other creatures to instruct the shaman], etc.).

Shamanistic medicine claims that its methods will bring healing for a wide variety of physical and psychological problems and also that it will bring a practitioner into harmony with nature, thereby maintaining health.

Because shamanism is an occult path claiming contact with supernatural entities, it is not a legitimate medical practice, but rather a form of ancient spiritism. Shamans are, by definition, spirit-possessed individuals whose lives are regulated by their spirit guides. In fact, achieving true health according to shamanism demands that the practitioner be “energized” by his/her “power animal” or spirit guide. Thus, healing and possession by spirits are one and the same. In shamanism, possession by one or more spirits for empowerment, personal health maintenance, and healing abilities is fundamental. Because the shaman himself is spirit possessed, those individuals whom he treats run the risk of spirit influence or even possession themselves.

It should be noted that using shamanistic techniques in a health program is not necessarily the same thing as following the shamanic path. One may lead to the other, but they are not equivalent. Shamanic methods may introduce one to shamanism which may or may not lead to pursuing the life-path of the shaman. Nevertheless, the potential dangers of shamanistic practice include temporary insanity, demon possession, extreme physical suffering from shaman initiation, and conversion to occultism as a result of being treated with shamanic techniques.

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