"Shamanism" is not a religion or a belief in one thing or another, they have many beliefs and come from all over the world (Siberia, Mongolia, Peru, Native American cultures, Ireland, Sicily, various African tribes, to name a few!). Shamanic Practitioners are not "shamans". The word "shaman" is a term given to Siberan medicine MEN specifically (the women have a different term). Shamanic healing has come to be known as a term for people who embark on a path of helping others through being able to have one foot in nature, and one foot in the spirit realm, specifically with the intent to heal the individual, the community, and the earth. They promote wisdom, harmony, and balance. They are usually very grounded and realistic people with a sense of wisdom that is not their own. The best shamanic healers have gone through difficult initiations in life and done a lot of healing to develop the required faith and to be able to silence the ego. This allows for them to be a proper vessel of allowing light to flow through to fight darkness. Darkness's #1 way in is through the ego!
People who have this calling should always be developing it, always learning somehow. That's why it's a CALLING, not an occupation. It's usually something that defines who someone is; if you look up the qualities of shamanic healers, they all seem to fit a mold! I think I realized this was my path when I had a psychologist tell me to stop using my "defense mechanism" of the "helper personality" (implying it was disingenuous and there to cover up my own need to look competent)--I realized this couldn't be farther from the truth for me, I really did care more about helping others than myself, and I was baffled that an entire system of psychology (my chosen field!) was based around the actual proven data that most people's intentions, even if they appear noble, are actually driven by the ego. I'm not tooting my own horn here, I think many people called to the helping fields have this realization.
But, I digress. Shamanic healing is a difficult path involving fighting one's own demons, actual dark energies that may be attached to people, and putting oneself at risk to help another. Not all healers are shamanic healers (though that doesn't make them any less outstanding at what they do!).
Shamanic practitioners might do things like:
1. Soul retrieval: When trauma happens, the spirit fractures. Psychology has actually shown this. Shamanic healers believe the pieces can be retrieved in the spirit world and reintegrated back into the soul. This process can be life changing, but at the outset can be difficult because it forces the individual to deal with things they didn't initially want to face.
2. Power Animals: Animals are teachers. Sometimes when you are struggling an animal appears around you in the spirit realm to give you the particular type of strength it provides. I seem to consistently have wolves around me (not surprising since many of the qualities of wolves also define me, plus I love dogs more than anything!).
3. Removal of energies: This is one of those things that so many people THINK they can do, and so few can do it effectively. I can tell you if I sense something, but I don't even mess with removing them, I send these people straight to a friend of mine who specializes in this (Someone doing this work does not have to be local to you!). If you have something attached to you that is EITHER a lost soul (a human spirit), or a dark energy (never human, not a nice thing), you could be experiencing persistent depression or even house haunting symptoms. This is not something you want to wait on because it gets progressively worse. Please don't listen to people who say things like, "Just think positively and it will go away!" And please do not go to someone who charges you some enormous amount of money to remove it! I can also give you tips on how to clear your home temporarily until you can get help. Please don't just wave a sage stick around, if you have a dark energy you will only aggravate it.
I hope this information was helpful!