Whole Life Magazine

April / May 2015

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Page 29 of 43

art & soul BOOKS Black Smoke Healing and Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon By Margaret De Wys T o journey through the Ecuadorian jungle with composer and former Bard College music professor Margaret De Wys is to embark upon a fi rst-rate adventure worthy of Indiana Jones. At a year 2000 New Year's gathering of indigenous healers at the Mayan ruins of Tikal, Guatemala, De Wys encountered Carlos, an enigmatic Shuar shaman, or uwishin. Reeling from a recent diagnosis of breast cancer and seeking a cure, she was instinctively drawn to Carlos, who accurately diagnosed her condition during a session that included initiation into la Medicina Sagrada—the sacred medicine known as ayahuasca. De Wys then journeyed to the healer's home in the upper Amazon and immersed herself in the rigors of village life—no small feat considering many of the warlike, primitive Shuar had never before encountered a pale, fair-haired gringa, unaccompanied by a husband or male relative. She undertook a grueling series of detoxifying and healing sessions in the transcendental landscape of aya- huasca, which she describes in vivid and unsentimental detail. Continuous ingestion of psychotropics and purgatives required considerable strength, mental clarity and fortitude—the "path of the warrior"—but she is now cancer free. Ultimately De Wys apprenticed with Carlos and his son, and brought them to New York and Canada in 2001. Their subsequent arrest and incarceration (and eventual release) for controlled substances added to the complexity of this engrossing, ongoing saga. (Inner Traditions) —Marcy Graham By Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. O ne Spirit Medicine offers readers a multi-layered wellness guide for the 21st Century in the form of an easy-to-understand synthesis of ancient wisdom and recent research. Initially trained as a psychologist and medical anthropolo- gist, author Alberto Villoldo studied traditional healing prac- tices of the Amazon and Andes for more than 25 years. He masterfully interweaves the essence of these practices with the latest healing information in nutrition, supplementation, de- toxifi cation and neural stem repair. Villoldo's enjoyable and coherent presentation begins with his own journey through a life-threatening health crisis that required application of all he had learned about energy med- icine throughout his career. He later added a nutritional plan provided by Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solu- tion, and a neural cell repair strategy he co-created with Grain Brain author Dr. David Perlmutter. One Spirit Medicine presents a master plan for vibrant mind and body that utilizes specifi c shamanic techniques to clear our energy fi elds of imprints for disease while upgrading our capacity for cellular repair; dietary and nu- tritional guidance for healing the "second brain" in our digestive tract; and methods for eliminating toxins in the gut and replenishing benefi cial bacteria. It also includes guidance in use of the medicine wheel for cultivating the stillness and awareness that will allow us to let go of old ways of thinking to discover a new personal "mythology." A comprehensive book on self-healing, One Spirit Medicine provides an accessible strategy for attaining the kind of health most of us aspire to, all within a compact and readable 200 pages. (Hay House) — Deborah Mokma One Spirit Medicine Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness 30 wholelifetimesmagazine.com

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