As an Acupuncturist, this can be physically dangerous, as Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Medical Doctors, and even Physical Therapists have begun needling. Improper technique with an acupuncture needle can lead to pneumothorax (essentially what happens when you put something pointy into the Lungs and they deflate like a balloon), bruising, or pain on insertion of the needle. Licensed Acupuncturists can cause these effects as well, but it is much rarer due to the amount of training they have. In fact, mostly if you go to an ineffective Acupuncturist what typically happens is the patient thinks that Acupuncture doesn’t work because they got no results and is not willing to spend money or time on it again. It is hard to convince them that Acupuncture with an experienced practitioner might actually get them results at this point, or that Acupuncture can happen without pain, etc.
CranioSacral Therapy is something that can also prove to be ineffective in the wrong hands. It is rarely dangerous physically, although I have worked with several patients who have had improper cranial base techniques done resulting in headaches and other body pain. The issue with CranioSacral Therapy is that often they are weekend classes and after the first course, many practitioners hang a shingle or put on their business card that they are CranioSacral Therapists. It also is not regulated well, so in some states practitioners who do not have any previous health care training become practitioners. This is not an issue for many clients with garden variety type pain, stress, and overwhelm that comes from daily life. In fact, these beginning practitioners can be just what these patients need.
But I have worked with more than a dozen clients who have worked with CranioSacral Therapists who are beginners treating everything from severe trauma and disassociation to cancer. While no physical trauma occurred as a result of these treatments, the results of “nothing happening” to having extreme emotional duress, physical pain, or other issues during or after a session that the practitioner is not experienced enough to handle have occurred. Many people have come to me with improperly released trauma and emotional issues due to practitioners being unskilled or unable to properly help the patient release.
The most difficult clients that I have to deal with are those who have been to a Shamanic Healer and/or Energy Worker who has caused them serious harm. These are not easy fixes. I believe (and many others do as well) that there are certain people who are called to being a Shaman or an Energy Worker. They have natural talent, and this combined with physical teachings, non-physical teachings, and a considerable spiritual practice can create an extremely effective practitioner. But like a session I had today (which was the catalyst for this rant/blog post) this field especially attracts people who take a workshop, or read books, and start working on patients with complex spiritual and energetic issues. This can create harm to the patient, to the family/friends of the patient, and to the practitioner who is working in areas they shouldn’t be. In rare cases, this has caused the death of a practitioner who found themselves in a situation that they were not able to handle.
Take my session today with a client. She had been to two other “Shamans” who had done soul retrieval work for her. After the sessions, she completely disassociated, spent time in a psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide, and was basically non-functional for a period of two years. Before this time, she had struggled with some minor depression and early childhood trauma. Going over the tracks of the other practitioners, I saw that one of them had brought back energy that was not hers, and this energy was very dark, heavy, and filled with despair. By doing so, there was no longer any room for what was actually “her” so she energetically left her body. She had spent the last two years going to psychiatrists, taking medication, and basically being non-functional before something finally clicked in her that this began with soul retrieval work she had received. In the session with her, I not only had to undo the other practitioners work and imprint, release the energy that was not hers, but then coax and calm her fractured, disassociated self back into her body, as well as do healing work surrounding her experiences over the last few years.
This story is not a unique one. Every week I receive emails and phone calls from people all over the world who have been to spiritual healers that have done more harm than good. What is lucky about the situation is that most work is reversible. Many practitioners who call themselves Energy Workers and Spiritual/Shamanic Healers simply fall into the category of the Acupuncturist Medical Doctor hobbyist and do not do much harm or good. But some have learned techniques and skills that can cause harm. And often these practitioners do not understand the serious nature of the forces that they are dealing with and take patients with serious issues before they are ready to.
So what is the point of this blog? Is it for me to applaud myself on how I can fix rather complex situations, or how I am an effective practitioner, or about my session today? Is it to judge these other practitioners? No, not really. My point here is simple. These healing modalities are extremely profound with the right practitioner. Life changing in fact. With the “wrong” practitioner, the results are either nothing or worse- emotional, physical, or spiritual trauma that can be difficult to fix. If you go to a practitioner, ask what sort of training they have, how long they have been in business, and if they have worked with someone like you. Realize that if you go to a spiritual practitioner that effects can be profound and this is uniquely dangerous because it is rare that someone is able to link the work they had done to their life, mental/emotional/physical health, or destiny completely going off track. It is also difficult to to find a practitioner who can work with repairing the work of other practitioners.
So be careful… realize that spiritual matters, emotional issues, and physical issues can be healed or worsened in profound ways by any of these modalities. Realize that reactions to these healing modalities can affect your entire life in ways you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Ask questions, trust your gut instincts about a practitioner, and most of all, realize that finding a practitioner that is experienced, naturally talented/skilled, honest, and is a good match for your personality can be a life-changing thing.