How Shamans Heal: A Q&A With Alberto Villoldo

Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
A Shaman's Miraculous Tools for Healing
by Alberto Villoldo with Anne E O'Neill

  • Isn't spirituality completely different from scientific fact?

Science is relatively new while spirituality is very ancient. I discovered that what the spiritual traditions did was put an archaic language to what we describe today as neuroscience. However, what they refer to as "enlightenment" is optimal brain function – the ability to create psychosomatic health. Many people however associate the term "enlightenment" with organized religion when in reality it's available to all people of any belief.

  • What is a Luminous Body or Luminous Energy Field? Does everybody have one?

Yes, everyone has a Luminous Energy Field (LEF). The Luminous Energy Body/Field is an invisible matrix that informs the anatomy of the body. It contains a template of how we live, how we age, and how we might die.

When there is no imprint for disease in the LEF, recovery from illness happens quickly. By the same token, imprints for diseases can depress the immune system, and prolong recovery time during an illness. The good news is: When we erase the negative imprint that caused the onset of illness, the immune system can rapidly eradicate the disease.

The Luminous Energy Field is a reservoir of vital force – a sea of living energy as indispensable to our health as the oxygen and nutrients carried by the bloodstream. When the vital reserves in the LEF are depleted through illness, environmental pollutants or stress, we suffer disease. We can safeguard our health and vitality and extend our active, healthy years by replenishing this essential fuel.

  • How can people who don't practice shamanic work get more in touch with their Luminous Body – and what are some of the benefits of that?

Detoxifying the body of toxins, heavy metals and negative perspectives will help prepare the brain for the healing of the light body. Many of these toxins are held in our fat cells – and the human brain is 75% fat. In the west we live with excessive levels of stress, which cause the body to produce high levels of cortisol and adrenaline both of which negatively impact us and keep the body in a permanent state of fight or flight. With the dietary recommendations provided in One Spirit Medicine, any one of us can prepare to make a shamanic journey.

  • What about chakras? How do they fit in?

The chakras are the organs of the Luminous Energy Field. They transmit information of past trauma and pain contained in imprints in the Luminous Energy Field, into the nervous system. The chakras inform our neurophysiology, affecting our moods and influencing our emotional and physical well-being. The chakras also connect to endocrine glands that regulate all of human behavior.

In parts of South America the chakras are known as ojos de luz, or eyes of light. We receive impressions of the world through our chakras, perceiving love in our heart; sexuality, fear, and danger in our belly (second chakra); and insight in our brow chakra (sixth). In a disagreeable situation, our second chakra can go into spasm and we may feel a knot in our stomach. From the unmistakable experience of sensing feelings through the heart center, we come to associate love with the heart, or refer to sadness as heartache.

The shaman can sense the luminous threads, or huaskas, that extend beyond the body, connecting us to the trees, the rivers, and the forests. These luminous fibers also extend to the places where we are born and live, and to our personal history and our destiny.

Every living being has chakras – even crickets, deer, snakes and trees.

  • How can a shaman tell if something is "off" in a client's LEF? Can anyone learn to see this?

Shamans learn to assess the quality of the LEF through a variety of techniques such as muscle testing, using a pendulum to check the chakras and tracking the client's light body.

  • What is an Illumination? What are the potential benefits, and is it appropriate for everyone?

The Illumination process, the core foundational healing practice of the Light Body School, is the technique used to clear imprints from a person's Luminous Energy Field. As the LEF informs the physical body, a shift in the LEF will manifest in the physical reality. As needed, different healing techniques are used with clients. Illuminations are a very standard technique which can be highly beneficial to individuals.

  • How would someone know if they need "energy healing"?