The Four Directions of Health— A Circular Worldview

medicine-wheel-20160817_170952-1-adjby Jodi Roberts

Shamanic healing explores the state of balance of body, mind, emotions and spirit from a circular, rather than linear progression. According to shamanism, health is the ability to stand in the center of our personal sacred circle, or medicine wheel, and have full awareness of and access to our spiritual life, physical health, emotional well-being and clear thinking. This circular worldview holds many metaphors and explains the patterns seen in healing.

The linear perspective often brings a belief that once something is dealt with, it will never appear again, and unfortunately when it does, a shadow of self-judgment flares up that can exacerbate the problem being transformed. Circular healing, on the other hand, has a basic metaphor of new beginnings, taking action to facilitate change, going into the shadow places, having the “Aha!” moments of clarity and beginning again. The process of growth and healing is different each cycle, with deeper nuances and greater ease and health. The middle of the wheel represents the healthy, heart-centered human with feet firmly on the ground and head expansively connected to the greater wisdom.

Shamanic healing calls this health. HeartMath is a system comprised of techniques, tools and technology developed to help incorporate the heart’s intelligence into day-to-day experiences of life with the goal of reducing stress, building resilience and unlocking the natural intuitive guidance for making better choices. The HeartMath system looks at health through four domains, or directions, in indigenous wisdom, and sees the center healthy place as coherence. The four domains are the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental bodies. Resilience is defined as the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, challenge or adversity.

Both bodies of work—shamanism and HeartMath—teach the tools needed to be responsible for creating healthy practices. Rather than relying solely on a practitioner, there is a high value placed on empowering the client and teaching methods and modalities for daily practices that create a health sustaining life of balance.

Jodi Roberts is a cultural anthropologist, sound healer, shamanic practitioner and certified as a HeartMath coach. For more information, call 469-344- 6484 or visit

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