Native American healers have developed methods to produce altered states of awareness for centuries. These methods include piloting other means of consciousness. Research into using nondrug methods to produce trancendental states shows that it works by changing the subject’s brainwaves, so that they enter an alpha state and become more prone to suggestion. Since ancient times, American healers have developed means of making patients more susceptible to suggestion, which will assists the healing process. In effect, they hypnotize their patients. This places American healing for ailments in bed with psychotherapy.
Native American healing in societies is called falls under the practice of shamanism, a family of customs that involved entering altered states of consciousness to socialize with spirits and heal the distressed and sick. Shamanism may be 25, 000 years old, and fully 25% of these worlds cultures make use of institutionalized alternative state of consciousness. In traditional societies, these are, nearly without exception, sacred states. Practices that induce altered states of awareness are often considered religious healing practices since they’re based on religious and supernatural beliefs.
Nevertheless, they may be seen as emotional healing practices, or psychotherapies in several cases. The practice of spirit travel by the healer differentiates shamans in the rest of the world from most Native American medicine people. Nevertheless, there is not a clear demarcation between shamans and Native American Trainers. Native American Trainers also use rituals and ceremonies that invoke a religious realm and use altered states of consciousness. For instance, according to Sandner, soul loss is a major cause of illness among traditional Native American people, and might be equated with depression.
Soul loss is thought to be caused when the patient’s soul is separated from the body or possessed by an evil power, leading to a loss of interest in life. The healer tries to cure soul loss by drawing the soul back to the body with prayers and rituals or by entering a deep trance and traveling in the other world to recover the lost soul. This method was practiced by Shoshone and Northwest Coast tribe healers until recent times. The entry into a varied state of awareness for healing might be facilitated by many practices. To prepare for healing, native healers might go for a day or more without food, sleep, or even water.