Spirituality and the Healing of Addictions: A Shamanic Drumming Approach

Michael Winkelman

in Religion and Healing in America

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167962
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850150 | DOI:
Spirituality and the Healing of Addictions: A Shamanic Drumming Approach

Show Summary Details


One area of American medicine in which spirituality is widely considered a vital aspect of healing is in substance abuse rehabilitation. While mainstream spiritual healing practices are found in the methods used by members of Alcoholics Anonymous, a variety of other spiritual practices are also used in substance abuse rehabilitation. This chapter assesses the role of community drumming and shamanic programs in healing addiction. The putative effectiveness of these practices in treating substance abuse is proposed to derive from the psychobiological dynamics of the altered states of consciousness (ASC) and other psychophysiological changes they produce. The psychobiological and psychophysiological processes underlying shamanic practices are described to illustrate their potential contributions to the resolution of addiction. Cross-cultural evidence supports the contention that shamanism is a cross-cultural phenomenon with universal features based in human psychobiology.

Keywords: Alcoholics Anonymous; substance abuse; rehabilitation; drumming; shamanism; psychobiology; altered states of consciousness; addiction; spiritual healing

Chapter.  6294 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.