Shamanic healing in clinical trials

Twenty two women were given up to five Shamanic healing sessions for  a painful condition that affects the face and jaw, Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), in a study done at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, Oregon, USA.  What’s amazing is that after the healing sessions, only four of these 22 women were clinically diagonised with TMD.

Not only that, but in the discussion of the study itself, I was fascinated to read this:

“Patients least likely to respond to allopathic treatment are those with the most marked biological responsiveness to external stressors and concomitant emotional and psychosocial difficulties. These characteristics describe individuals who are “dispirited” and may benefit from shamanic healing, an ancient form of spiritual healing.”

The idea that some people are measurably more sensitive to stress than others isn’t breaking news for the medical profession.  It’s generally understood that the setting of the Reticular Activating System (RAS), an area in the brain that acts as a sort of central filtering unit of all of the information that might we possibly take in, differs from person to person, meaning that some people comfortably process a lot of stimuli whereas too much can tip others towards rocketing stress levels.  The RAS gives us the biological basis of introversion or extraversion.  In short, if the idea of going to a crowded club with a big banging sound system makes you want to run for the hills, blame a very sensitive RAS!

But what is interesting is the bit where it talks about allopathic medicine being less effective for people with ‘emotional and psychosocial difficulties’.  Allopathic medicine doesn’t really tend to factor our emotional states into the equation, but this seems to further suggest that the medical profession recognises that our mind has a role to play in the success of the medicine we take.

Shamanic healing is an ancient system that works on many levels, most often calling upon spirits or our very souls to participate in a healing process.  This study at least shows that working with our spirits has an effect on our bodies.

I always urge people to talk to their doctors and follow their advice.  I personally go for all the regular health checks that, as a woman, I should keep up with.  I firmly believe that we should take a totally holistic approach to managing our health and cannot stress enough the importance of regular visits to your doctor and making sure that you share any health concerns with your medical professional.  But I really hope that this study encourages the scientific community to keep a very open mind and do further research, not only into Shamanic healing, but into many other areas where many people have found comfort or cures that have often up until now been dismissed as being based in irrational superstition.  It would be absolutely brilliant to one day look forward to having a health service that offers us a whole range of treatment that embraces all of us, body mind and soul. 

Loads of love,

Michele x

Read more about the study