A Shamanic Approach to Chronic Anxiety & Insomnia -- By Sharon Burch, APRN


Bob* was a 70-year old man who had a long history of working in a highly stressful job. He had just retired when he experienced two major heart attacks. He recovered from those, but for the first time in his life, Bob felt he couldn't trust his body. He was filled with worry that another heart attack would come and end his life before he was ready.


Bob was not sleeping well and felt like his "mind was on fire" at night. During the day he felt exhausted, hypervigilant, and disturbed by an inner unease. Bob told me he felt like he was “sitting on something big inside” and he didn't know what it was.

Over the previous years, Bob had studied with several teachers from the wisdom traditions. He wanted to experience his life as a whole person, with his mind, heart, and spirit connected in a oneness that he understood was possible.

Bob worked with Dr. Sandal and Conner Keyeski, APRN to optimize his physical and biochemical health, and he worked with me to optimize his mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

In our first session, we went outdoors and I introduced Bob to a “Heaven and Earth Breathing” approach to open his reception to the aliveness of the earth, cosmos, and bring it into his heart and spirit. I encouraged him to practice this exercise daily, standing barefoot on the earth, and use it to develop a new sense of wholeness, peace, and calm.