Shamanism & Acupuncture part 1 Although many acupuncturists and those fond of ‘sciencing up oriental traditions’ don’t like to be associated with it, acupuncture has its roots in shamanism. More than that, the ancient Chinese character for medicine even has the component Wū in it, which loosely translates as Shaman.
The word Shaman actually stems from the Tungus tribe from Siberia, but is now commonly used in our language as the term for Healer / See-er / Wisdom keeper from many cultures: From Mongolia to Nepal, from China to Latin-America. With it’s Power / Spirit animals, soul work and colourful ceremonies, many people like to label it as hocus pocus. But few things are literally as down-to-earth as shamanism is.
Last week i spent a wonderful day with Itzhak Beery. Living in the jungle of New York, this well known Shaman has been initiated in the traditions of the Amazone and the Andes for over 20 years. He is the author of Shamanic Healing: Traditional Healing for the modern world and The gift of Shamanism and other books.
With a small group of people we were practising Aztec bodywork, energy field gazing, shamanic drumming and last but not least, using needles the Andes way. We utilized the needles of the Takuma palm. They were far from blunt and although it is applied non-invasively, some part were really sensitive to it’s stimulation. Like the neck, hand palms and foot soles.
The thing that is extremely interesting, especially for me, is the fact there are techniques that overlap with those used in acupuncture. For example, an area that is stimulated for fertility, corresponds with ‘our’ kidney meridian, which plays an imporant role in fertility in Oriental medicine as well. Also a few important points on the Bladder meridian and the Du Mai are used in the routine.
But also the body work and Shamanic drumming contained parallells with my acupuncture practise. In fact, all reading & healing aspects of that day are directly applicable in the clinic. And there was so much recognition. Not in a way like ‘oh I already know that’. More in a heart warming receiving of century old (but timeless) knowledge. Opening for a renewed contact with Heaven and Earth and especially yourself.
Naturally Itzhak Beery himself had everything to do with that. With a perfect combination of love, warmth, directness and humor he stirred up quite a few things. For me personally power, clarity and insight. And all that on a Saturday, barefoot in an Amsterdam backyard.
In a next blog more on shamanism & acupuncture and more details on this lovely meeting of worlds.