Palmyra shaman

THE first Shamanic healing clinic in Australia will open its doors in Palmyra this weekend.

But don’t expect hallucinogenic plants, all-night rituals and scary-looking masks and headdresses (although the Chook did spot some drums and a feather in the treatment room).

One Tribe Shamanic Clinic founder Mark Steinward says it’s really all about “Releasing and clearing energy or taking back the client’s energy – like their confidence, voice, self-expression, innocence and so on.” 

“A lot of shamanic healing is working with the deep subconscious which expresses itself in the form of the inner child.

“It is important to form healthy relationships with these parts of ourselves to make them feel safe, heard and loved.”

On a practical level this involves using guided visualisations, breath work, sound, crystals and other tools to sweep away the energy or break it up with fans or rattles. 

“We also invite clients to repeat powerful affirmations of how they want their lives to be and what they are letting go of, releasing emotions through words or sound and occasionally gentle touch, with permission, to name but a few techniques,” Mr Steinward says.

“Shamanic practitioners give clients a clear diagnosis of the energetic cause behind their situation. This often relates to events that happened in the past – traumatic events or even subtle encounters – that left a powerful, lingering influence.”

He says some shamanic practitioners use plant medicines to make clients more receptive, but the 20 dedicated practitioners at his clinic don’t, instead preferring “universal wisdom” to seek guidance.

Mr Steinward has been steeped in alternative medicine from a young age – he took ill aged six in Bali and in conjunction with medicine sourced by his doctor mother, received an energy healing treatment which he claims helped him recover.

“From that moment on whenever I got sick, I would put my hands on what was sore and it would go away. I even used to doctor the best players in my footy team to try to get them back on the field quicker.”

His spiritual adventure continued aged 11, when he went with his mother to India and spent considerable time in an ashram, experiencing shaktipat (spiritual awakening of the kundalini) under the guidance of a local guru.

He was introduced to shamanic healing in his early 20s by teacher Sue Coulton, and went on to start healing in 2005, creating the One Tribe shamanic school in Fremantle.

“The very first sound healing we ever did over 10 years ago was in a small yoga studio on South Terrace,” Mr Steinward says.

“Sound healings immediately took off. Within months we had outgrown the space and moved to the Beacon Yoga Centre, going from 20 to 60 people each session.

“So it was a natural progression to have the clinic in the area as well. We absolutely love Fremantle and feel really integrated into the community here.” 

Mr Steinward, who has lived in Hamilton Hill for more than 12 years, says it felt very special to open the first shamanic healing clinic in the country.

“Opening a new Shamanic healing clinic now is a bit like opening the first yoga studios 30 years ago, and the first public meditation classes 20 or so years ago; it feels like a turning point with more and more interest in, and demand for, energy and shamanic healing,” he says.

“I also really like that the premises was a doctor’s surgery for over 30 years, so it has been a place of healing for a long time.”

One Tribe is having an open day tomorrow (Sunday October 24) at its Shamanic Clinic at 1/68 Petra Street, Palmyra. For more info see   


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