We all know people who have received a dire medical diagnosis. Perhaps we have had this experience ourselves. One response is to look for a miracle, willing the threatening illness to disappear. What we get instead in western medicine are drugs and invasive surgeries – often with serious side effects. However, there is another way.
On the heels of his national bestselling One Spirit Medicine, published earlier this year, psychologist, medical anthropologist and practicing shaman Alberto Villoldo offers a rare glimpse into the mysteries of energy medicine. A Shaman’s Miraculous Tools for Healing shares 12 stories of desperate clients who stepped outside their comfort zone and gained far more than they bargained for.
Each chapter alternates observations and treatment notes by Alberto with the first-person account of each individual, as told to co-author Anne O’Neil. The clients reached out to Alberto for a variety of physical, mental and emotional ailments, and the treatments he applied demonstrate a different aspect of energy medicine. During private sessions, clients are taken on healing journeys unknown to modern science. The outcomes not only improve their health but also heal their souls and point them toward their destiny.
A Shaman’s Miraculous Tools for Healing is ultimately about people realizing their own truth. When they embrace shamanic energy medicine, they begin a journey of healing and self-discovery – one they eventually understand they had always been seeking. In the end, these individuals came to know their authentic selves, and this realignment of body and soul resolved much of their original health crises and enabled them to change their lives.
Medical anthropologist Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and Andes for more than 25 years. In 1984 he founded the Four Winds Society, which offers extensive education in the philosophy and practice of energy medicine, training students to become modern-day shamans.
In his mid-20s Villoldo was the youngest clinical professor at San Francisco State University, where he founded and directed the Biological Self-Regulation Lab to investigate how visualization, energy and psychosomatic medicine change the chemistry of the brain. He soon realized that the microscope was the wrong instrument to answer the questions he was asking. Other scientists were already studying the hardware, Villoldo wanted to learn to reprogram the system.
He heard stories about people in remote parts of the world who claimed to know such things, including the Inka in Peru – among the few remaining shamans. After initial research, Villoldo decided to personally investigate this ancient culture in order to learn about the 5,000-year-old energy medicine known for healing through Spirit and light. Recognizing this investigation would not be a part-time pursuit or brief sabbatical, Villoldo resigned his post at the university and traded his lab coat for hiking boots and a ticket to the Amazon.
Scattered throughout the remnants of the ancient Amazonian empire were a number of sages or “Earth Keepers” who practiced the ancestral healing methods. Alberto visited countless villages and met with scores of medicine men and women. The lack of a written body of knowledge meant that every village brought its own flavor and style to the healing practices that still survived.
For more than 10 years, Villoldo trained with the jungle medicine people. Along the way, he discovered that his journey into shamanism had been guided by his personal desire to become whole. He learned to transform old pain, grief, anger and shame into sources of strength and compassion.
Villoldo later trekked the coast of Peru from the mysterious Nazca lines to the sacred Shimbe lagoons in the north. At Lake Titicaca, “The Sea on Top of the World,” Villoldo collected the stories and healing practices of people from whom, legends say, the Inka were born.
Over the course of two decades with the shamans in the jungles and high mountains of the Andes, Alberto Villoldo discovered a set of sacred technologies that transform the body, heal the soul, and can change the way we live and die. He learned that we are more than flesh and bone – we are absolutely fashioned of Spirit and light, surrounded by a Luminous Energy Field whose source is located in infinity. This unending Luminous Energy Field exists in every cell of our bodies, acting as a matrix that maintains our physical and spiritual health and vibrancy … it is up to us to recognize and work with this gift to change the very nature of our living