Body & Soul with Gail Harris
Program List
Tell Me More

Reading List

The Series
Who We Are
How It Began

Talk to Us

Companion Book
Program Videos

PBS Online

Ancient Healing

In both contemporary and traditional shamanism, the shaman is called upon to fulfill the role of priest, magician or healer. The shaman's greatest power is his or her knowledge of other realms of consciousness. With this knowledge, the shaman is able to serve as a bridge between earthly awareness, and the higher and lower states of altered consciousness. The ability to move beyond the physical body is particularly linked to the shaman.

Frequently, a shaman may exhibit a particular magic specialty. However, the most common power manifested is that of healing. In a shamanistic trance, the soul of the healer is thought to leave the body and ascend to the heavenly realm, while the shaman maintains earthly consciousness. Frequently, he or she will also engage the assistance of spirit helpers.

Aur-Tom Juan Yu-Yunkar, a highly regarded shaman from the Ecuadorian rainforest, describes healing a woman of her terrible headache.

"…I invoke the healing energies of the trees, of the earth, the cosmos, and the energy of all who are present. I put my hands on her head, close my eyes, and focus all my power, all my energy and strength… power from the plants, from the animals, power from the people… And that energy flows into her, into the part that hurts her, that place where her energy was low, or empty. She is charged up with new energy, and I feel it passing into her through me, until at last I feel when the pain has left her. I have energy called "Shunta Sinsa," a positive living energy, given to me by the elders, that I in turn give to the sick person. Then I begin to take in the negative energy-I capture the negative energy as it comes out of them, absorbing it by swallowing it, but… it cannot remain in my body. Because it makes me nauseous, it makes me physically ill…So I use all my effort and power to pull out the sickness… The negative energy that comes out, I blow on it, and disable it. It shoots out of me into space, like rockets."

Program Description
Ted Kaptchuk, OMD
Tell Me More
Help YourSelf


Body & Soul is currently airing Monday-Friday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm on PBS YOU.

home | program list | tell me more | links | reading list | who we are | how it began | talk to us | companion book | program videos

copyright © 1998-1999, Beacon Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.