When does healing happen?
You might think healing happens during your session.
You arrive, a service is performed for you, you leave healed.
I have yet to experience this - in any modality.
Have you ever had a medical condition that when you get to the point of showing a doctor the situation has spontaneously cleared itself up? Or how about a broken bone? You have it set and cast, but the physical healing takes place after you leave the emergency room. In my experiences both embarking on, and facilitating healing modalities, the healing process begins long before a session and continues long after. I have witnessed countless times in both fields of neurofeedback and shamanism - the healing actually begins when you make the first step on your path to wellness.
After you have made the appointment, the energy is set in motion. You may find the issues you are aiming to bring healing to exacerbate, intensify and really get-in-your-face. Think of it like a detox or cleanse, the toxins are coming up to the surface for clearing out. This really helps you become acutely aware and hopefully more determined to work on exactly what is needed. However, this has potential to be an uncomfortable time.
During your session, you my have a deeply personal experience full of raw emotion, visions, revelations - or you may come away feeling like it was interesting and nice but not revolutionary. Neither experience guarantees the outcome of your recovery. While clients and practitioners may both prefer a powerful poignant experience to confirm "something important happened" this is not actually the make-or-break point of your progress.
The make-or-break point, sometimes the hardest point (but not always!) is after your session. The time for integrating the healing work. This part requires your active participation, your follow through. With a broken bone it would mean wearing an itchy, hot cast for weeks. In neurofeedback it is giving your brain a rest time to solidify new, healthier neural pathways, there can be no alcohol and reinforcement with various techniques is encouraged. In shamanism it means completing the "prescription" which likely comes in the form of a task or activity that anchors the healing work already done, and allowing your mind and body to remember the healing has already begun. This part is also essential to signal you are willing to do your part instead of wanting others to "fix" things. It is sometimes a trying time of being "tested" where you may need to utilize wisdom from the session. It's the time your internal work needs to shift and become reflected in your outer world, your day-to-day life. It takes time and dedication until there is harmony between the "unseen" healing and the "seen" life. The time it takes varies. Having support from your practitioner, friends, and like-minded community is a big help if you find this part tricky.
You will know you have made it through the integration phase when you have an ease both within yourself as well as in your daily life around the subject you've been working on. When a triggering situation occurs your nervous system and emotions no longer respond in unhelpful ways. Peace, clarity, and awareness reign.
Don't be fooled into thinking the healing process takes places solely within your session, but in fact, prior to, during, and sometimes long afterwards. Your practitioner facilitates, and Spirit directs, but You and your dedication is what allows healing to truly happen.
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A bean feasa of Gaelic heritage shares stories & insights from her animist and 'shamanic' practice on the West Coast of Canada.