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Lora JanssonI was very ill with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) for 11 years, and shamanism cured me in four hours.

I fell ill right after I started a small boutique-advertising agency. CFIDS hit like a tsunami, and once it did, I was completely dismembered. I had a 100+ fever for 11 years, cognitive dysfunction, absolute insomnia and a very long list of very painful and uncomfortable symptoms.

But I had a knowing that this was a spiritual quest. Back in the 1980s, the culture was not working with the notion of illness as teacher, but I was certain that's what my illness was.

I studied Taoism most intensely as well as Hinduism and Buddhism. If any complimentary medicine offered any hope, I was willing to try it. I learned a tremendous amount in those years, but remained quite ill.

I finally discovered shamanism through a friend. I found people initiated into Lakota Sioux practices, and they told me the first time we met that the illness was calling me to do the work for others. And that they would not initiate a curing session, but the spirits would work with me when it was time.

The first shamanic journey I took changed my life forever. Working in an indigenous way, the focus was on reverence and honoring the spirits. It was an extremely intense first year of hard and painful work punctuated by immense joy and miracles.

On the one-year anniversary of my first journey, I went to meet with the Spirit of the Illness to learn its wisdom. The journey lasted many hours and was extraordinarily intense. But at the end of the 4 hours, the illness was cured. The Spirit of the Illness gave me shamanic work to do for the next year, which I did. Then my mentors told me to start seeing clients. I did that for a year gratis to be certain I could serve. Many people came and most received cures. Not always the cure they thought they would receive, but the cures that were perfect for them.

That was 15 years ago. I have been a shamanic practitioner since, and am now faculty for the FSS. That I love my work is too small a way to put it -- I am really, in so many ways, a beginner and always be. The FSS is my tribe, and allows me to initiate others into this ancient, sacred work. I am very, very blessed.