Ellen Winner

FAQs About Shamanism


What happens during a shamanic session? 

The shamanic practitioner asks you about your situation or problem and then journeys to helpers in the spirit worlds for information, guidance and direct spiritual help in dealing with the problem. After discussing the journey with you and obtaining your informed consent, the practitioner performs any indicated healing activities.

How long does it take? 

Sessions typically take more than an hour up to an hour and a half or two hours.

How much does it cost? 

Shamanic healing is by donation in accordance with a client's means and the value they place on the healing. Recommended donation $75 to $150 per session. Sessions usually last one-and-a-half to two hours. At present (since the beginning of Russia’s war on Ukraine) I am donating half my earnings from shamanic healing sessions to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

How do I arrange for shamanic healing? 

To arrange for in-person shamanic healing in Boulder, Colorado, or long-distance healing, email Ellen at or call 720-635-7212.

You will be asked to sign our intake form agreeing to the treatment. Click here to access this form. (Shamanic work is permitted  by the State of Colorado as a form of alternative and complementary medicine, and practitioners must disclose to clients that they are not licensed as physicians, nurses, massage therapists, or other regulated professionals.)

Can shamanic healing be done "long distance”?

Yes, most shamanic healing work can be done "long distance,” over Skype, via phone or other technologies.

Preferably shamanic healing work is done with the client and the shaman together in the same physical space and time. However, when necessary, sessions can be conducted via Zoom or phone. 

Also, because time and space are irrelevant in the spirit world, if necessary shamanic healing can be done long-distance at a time when the client and shaman are not in contact in ordinary reality. 

If you want to arrange for long-distance healing please click here to access the Intake Form.  Please read, fill in, and sign it, and email  it to or mail it to Healing in Consciousness, 1045 Toedtli Drive, Boulder, Colorado 80305.

Can I arrange for shamanic healing for another person? 

Not without the permission of that person. We do not interfere with others’ freedom of will, or enter their psychic space without their informed consent.

Will I be asked to do anything during the procedure? 

Most shamanic work requires you only to be open and receptive. The shamanic practitioner will ask if you object to being touched, and if not, may do hands-on healing through  touching, or channeling energy. If the spirits recommend you take any action, during or after procedure, we encourage you to evaluate its appropriateness for yourself.

Can I be made to do anything against my will? 

No. The goal of shamanism is to increase your personal power, vitality, resilience, and self-determination. We strive for impeccability in all aspects of our practice and observe ethical standards that include declining to work on anyone who has not fully understood and consented to all procedures. Practitioners of core shamanism are trained by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies to work with compassion, respecting client privacy and autonomy at all times. For more information see the Foundation for Shamanic Studies website.   

Will there be loud drumming? 

We typically use drumming to achieve an altered state for the shamanic journey. The sound level is adjusted to avoid disturbing others. We often use earphones in hospital settings.

How will I know the process is working? 

Effects may be dramatic and immediate, but more often are gradual. You may experience emotional release and feel lighter and more hopeful. Physical symptoms may abate, and you should feel more in control of your life.

Will I need multiple sessions? 

Not usually. Expect a miracle! 

Multiple sessions are often useful because many physical and emotional conditions heal gradually. 

Soul retrievals generally should not be repeated before six months to allow full integration of the retrieved soul part.

Is shamanism a religion? 

No. It is a set of techniques developed over millenia using a model of reality in which the existence of spirits is assumed. Whether or not this model is accurate, the techniques have continued to survive because of their usefulness. You do not need to subscribe to any beliefs to make the shamanic work effective. Core shamanism is a “science of the sacred.”

Have shamanic methods been scientifically validated? 

Because shamanic processes are unique to each person’s situation and specific time and place, they usually lack precise repeatability. There are many anecdotal reports of highly-effective, even miraculous, cures, but few scientific studies. Published studies show effectiveness in immune enhancement and alleviation of mood disturbances,* and temporomandibular joint disorders.**

Are shamanic procedures safe? 

Yes. These procedures do not involve invasive or dangerous treatments. Healing is effected on the spiritual level. However, some persons occasionally experience temporary uncomfortable emotional or physical reactions as part their healing process.

Is my privacy respected? 

Yes. Ethical shamanic practitioners are bound by confidentiality. However, we recommend that, if possible, you have family members and friends present during the sessions for social and spiritual support.

I have other questions, how can I get answers?

Please contact us if you have other questions.



* Harner, S. and Tryon W. (1992) “Psychoimmunological Effects of Shamanic Drumming,” In Northern Religions and Shamanism (M. Hoppal and J. Pentikainen, Eds). Budapest: Akademial Klado: Helsinki Finnish Literature Society;

Harner, S. (August 13, 1995), “Therapeutic Effects of a Spiritual Practice – Shamanism,” Presentation at 103rd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, New York, N.Y.;

Harner, S. and Tryon W. T. (November 26, 1995) “Psychological and immunological responses to shamanic journeying with drumming," Presented at the 3rd International Conference of the International Society for Shamanic Research at Nara, Japan.

** Vuckovic, N. H. et al. (Nov/Dec. 2007), “Feasibility and Short-Term Outcomes of a Shamanic Treatment for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders,”  Alternative Therapies 13(6):18-28.


Shamanism is a set of techniques for healing at the level of spirit. It is meant to complement, rather than substitute for, conventional medical treatments. No claim is made that shamanic practitioners diagnose, treat or cure physical, mental or emotional disease.  Shamanism is not a type of psychotherapy.

Copyright © 2004-2023, Ellen Winner, Healing in Consciousness

All Rights Reserved