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Reiki and Shamanism: Holistic Options for Chronic Pain

By Lian Sawires 
Published in the April 2019 Issue of Health Back magazine


When faced with pain, how many times do you just look for relief, without resolving the issue? Have you tried to understand the underlying cause of something and become frustrated? In this healthcare climate it can feel like a jungle to understand and resolve pain and symptoms, to know what to choose and what to do. Having to understand the problem is part of the issue. Reiki and shamanism are two alternative modalities that bypass the need for mental understanding to use. Reiki uses “intelligent energy” while shamanism lets spirit guides and power animals, who know what the deep issues are and how to resolve them, lead the way. Can these help you? We’ll take a look at both of these proven care options and let you decide for yourself.
Modern Japanese Energy Healing Reiki is a Japanese energy healing method that can be used hands-on or in distance healing. Energy is transmitted through a practitioner who has been attuned to carry this healing and send it to and through you. This type of energy healing treats the whole person, including the body, a pleasing warmth or sense of peace is usually all that is felt. Most practitioners simply transmit energy and sometimes get intuitions of what’s going on in the body. This happens because reiki flows to where it’s needed.
Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing anyone can use as a method of attaining well-being. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and its gentle effects are always beneficial. It also works well in conjunction with other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.
Reiki sometimes has the effect of “changing the internal weather” of a body. For example, after several reiki sessions for fibromyalgia, my client Margo found she was looser, had less ongoing pain and over time, less bad days. This led to greater activity, and therefore strength. The recovery process can be slow with 
Reiki, but the comfort of the energy itself inspires the patient to keep with it.


SHAMANISM: Ancient Spiritual Healing 

A modality around for 30,000 years, most indigenous peoples have practiced a form of shamanism. Traditionally in these healing sessions drumming, ceremony and sometimes plant medicines are used. However, modern-day shamans and practitioners are intelligent, everyday folks who have stumbled upon an easily accessed realm where everything is known, and healing takes place by the free loving help of compassionate spirits. 
The course a shamanic healing session takes may seem totally unrelated to the symptoms, however the client experiences relief. Here are a few examples.
Eleanor had recurring back spasms and spinal pain for years. So had her mother, so everyone chalked it up to bad genes. When the spasms struck, it required a trip to the 
chiropractor, pain meds and bed rest for a week for her to improve even a little. This greatly affected her job and quality of life.
Before working with Eleanor, I did a shamanic journey to understand underlying causes. I saw a shadow of sorts in journey and asked who or what it was. I was shown that a “land spirit” has been hanging around the women in her family for generations. The story was that back in the old country, husbands died and two sisters prayed for anything to help them with their crops and to keep the farms safe and in their hands. The spirit of a mountain nearby heard their call and attached itself to them. The spirit liked being honored and stuck around. But over time, it became a burden.
When I shared this with her, Eleanor said the family farmed fruit in Michigan for 100 years, after coming over from Europe where they also farmed. There were stories of all kinds about the women in this family for years, including illness, mental instability and hauntings.

In my journey with Eleanor, we did a ceremony to honor, thank and allow the spirit to leave her and her descendants. I cleared this energy from her field and filled it with light and thankfulness. Her back pain left that day and eight months later, she still has had no major recurrence.

In another case, John was suffering from the pain of stage 4 lung cancer. There is no cure at this point, only meds to manage pain. John wanted an alternative. We journeyed together to ask what will help that would not make him sluggish and tired. We were shown that cannabis oil is a good partner for him. The 
spirit of cannabis showed him that it changes the cells and their relationship to the cancer, so that pain lessens.

John still checks in with his medical doctors, but has been on cannabis oil for 13 months now. He experiences no pain, and scans show the tumors have shrunk somewhat. Our continued sessions have allowed him to explore the reasons for his cancer, emotional issues related to it and how to live a good life now. John’s quality of life and wellbeing have been greatly enhanced through shamanism and working with guides.
Shamans often work with past lives, family issues and removal of other people’s energies (cords) that get entangled with yours. All kinds of problems can cause imbalance, pain and suffering, even if you have no awareness of an underlying issue. A shaman’s connection to guides and direct revelation makes the difference here, allowing entire constellations of physical/emotional and life complexity to be seen and cleared up on multiple levels.

Like reiki, shamanism works well with other medical solutions and often strikes partnerships that result in major positive changes including healing in the body, family, life issues and circumstances. Like reiki, sessions can be conducted in person or at a distance, and usually no physical touch is involved.
Combine Ancient with Modern for Complementary Healing Reiki and shamanism can also be combined, creating shamanic reiki. I routinely performed reiki on Alisha’s knees once a week for pain relief, even though she was planning a double knee replacement. Using my shamanic skills and calling in the guides, we prepared her for her upcoming surgery. I was shown that ancestral emotional problems were hidden precisely in her knees, causing both knee deterioration and depression, which Alisha had suffered her entire adult life. The guides said the knee replacement would dramatically relieve her depression as well as increase her mobility. That was exciting!
I assisted Alisha in the hospital right after the surgery with reiki for pain relief. I also performed a silent shamanic ceremony to remove any residual ancestral issues in her leg ligaments and tendons. Physical recovery was fast and uncomplicated. Alisha’s depression also lifted. In the year since surgery, she has had no major depressions, has greater physical and emotional “mobility” and her life has improved overall.
If you are looking to go deeper, to be involved in your own healing process or have a shot at resolving the underlying life, ancestral or karmic issues causing your pain, shamanic reiki is a wonderful place to start.

The world of alternative healing is constantly changing. It makes sense to explore alternatives to experience healing for yourself. 


Lian Sawires has been a teaching reiki master since 1997 and a practicing shaman for three years. She is the founder of the Shaman Collective, an international group of shamans who meet twice a month via video conferencing to discuss cases and explore techniques. If you would like to try either modality, feel free to contact the author.