Shamanic Healing: Illness Through Imbalance, by Itzhak Beery

Shamanism Tutor at The College of Psychic Studies, Itzhak Beery draws from a wealth of experience. He reveals a core principle of shamanic healing - the importance of balance...

By: Itzhak Beery.   Posted

Having walked the path of shamanism since 1995, and with multiple apprenticeships under renowned shamans, Itzhak Beery is incredibly knowledgeable in his field. In his brilliant book, Shamanic Healing: Traditional Medicine for the Modern World, he shares much of his wisdom - including shamanic beliefs surrounding disease. In this extract from the above-mentioned book, Itzhak reveals a core principle of shamanism - that illness is a result of imbalance, and to restore health, one must re-establish balance...

hamanic Healing: Traditional Medicine for the Modern World by Itzhak Beery, profile pictures of Itzhak Beery

"In contrast to Western medicine, traditional shamanic healing is not necessarily about curing someone's symptoms or manifestations of illness. Rather, it sees the sick person as a whole complex environment and makes an effort to reinstate the person's overall health. True healing happens by restoring harmonious balance and connection to nature and fostering oneness among the person's body, soul and spirit. The shaman aspires to locate the deeper cause of the client's condition, which may be emotional or spiritual in nature, and bring the client back into alignment with their soul's calling, spirit's purpose and daily path.

The Quechua strongly believe that all physical, mental and spiritual problems are essentially the results of an imbalance in our energy bodies. This imbalance in our energy body results from polluted energy penetrating our illuminated body – that oval sphere that envelopes us.

How we pick up bad energy

Bad energy can be easily transferred through words and sounds, through our mind using curses and the evil eye, and through emotions such as jealousy and envy (envidia). If you become jealous or envious, for example, you can transmit that bad energy to your family, friends and clients. Just being in or around physical places that contain negative air or wind energy (mal aire or mal viento) like the location of a murder, a battlefield or a natural disaster, can transmit negative energy to us. These conditions can occur by meeting harmful spirits (duende) or harmful energy attachments or intrusions sent either intentionally or unintentionally by another person as in witchcraft – brujeria. A trauma, shock or sudden fright (susto or espanto) can unbalance the energy and cause a soul loss.

Negative energy (supay) has a lower vibration. It is stagnant energy, thick, heavy, without life force, and essentially related to evil and death. Positive energy (Kawsay) flows freely, is moving and changing like life itself, and is recognised as light, a higher vibration.

Quecha quote by Itzhak Beery

Finding balance

The shaman's sole work is to bring the client back into a state of balance and harmony. An Ecuadorian shaman once told me, 'Listen to me carefully. I'm going to tell you the three most important principles of shamanic healing: 

  1. be in balance with yourself, 
  2. be in balance with your family and community, 
  3. Be in balance with mother earth. 

That's it. It is all about being in balance.' Sounds so simple, but it is not.

This is balance between the earthly heavy and dark forces and the heavenly forces of spiritual and light or the balance between feminine and masculine energies, found by opening all the energy blocks in the body. Opening the body's energy blocks and cleansing negativity will help to lift anxiety, depression, fatigue, and emotional trauma – opening pathways for happier relationships, peacefulness, better sleep, higher energy, better concentration, and the attainment of abundance.

The true healer

Shamans believe that the major part of healing is done by none other than Mother Earth herself, Pachamama. Mother Earth – who goes by other names: Alpa Mama, Mama Terra, Ima Adama – is the real healer. The shaman's body and spirit become a vessel that channels her energy and her vibrations, which do the actual healing. Therefore, the shaman must be humble and take no credit for the results of the healing they perform, as remarkable as the healing might be. As Ipupiara used to say, 'Mother Earth is doing 50 per cent of the work, the patient is doing 40 per cent and the shaman only 10 percent. So how can one take credit for that 10 per cent?'"

This extract is from Shamanic Healing: Traditional Medicine for the Modern World by Itzhak Beery [Destiny Books, 2017], copies of which are for sale in the College shop.

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Itzhak Beery apprenticed with Taita Don José Joaquin Pineda a well-known fifth-generation Ecuadorian Quechua Yachak (shaman) from the village of Iluman, who initiated him into the 'Sacred 24 Yachaks Circle of Imbabura'. He was also initiated by Shoré, an Amazonian Kanamari Pajè (shaman) on the riverbanks of the Rio Negro. Itzhak studied and assisted for 12 years with Ipupiara Makunaiman (Dr. Bernardo Peixoto) a Brazilian Pajé from the Ure-eu-wau-wau tribe and his Peruvian curandera wife. Additionally, Itzhak studied with elders and shamans in North and South America, Greenland, Siberia, and Africa. Some of his contemporary teachers are Michael Harner, John Perkins, Hank Wesselman, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, and Tom Cowan.