A shaman's cure: The relationship between altered states of consciousness and shamanic healing

Anthropology of Consciousness 20 (2):171-197 (2009)
This study, which is based upon ethnographic data collected between 1999 and 2008 in Nepal, examines the connection between the shaman's altered states of consciousness (ASC; i.e., what goes on inside the healer's mind/brain) and therapeutic changes that take place in the patient's mind/body. Unlike other studies that primarily emphasize the shaman's internal psychological state, this article attempts to explain the role of the healer's ASC and elucidate how desired therapeutic changes depend upon patient–healer interactions. This question is explored in the context of a healing ritual highlighting various aspects of the cosmology of Nepalese shamans.
Keywords Nepal  Shamanism  altered states of consciousness  spirit possession  symbolic healing
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DOI 10.1111/j.1556-3537.2009.01016.x
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