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A Look Inside My Shamanic Toolbox

The main goal of any energy medicine modality, including Healing Touch, is to help people find relief from illness, pain, and stress by clearing blocked energy and balancing energy. Clients generally feel lighter, calmer, and more vibrant—all qualities that help support healing and maintain good health.

What I love about shamanic healing is that it employs a deep connection with nature in a way that enhances my focus during a session and deepens the healing response in my clients.

Florida Water, sticks, rocks, and ceremonial "tool-box"

How do I connect with nature during a healing session?

I use a variety of shamanic tools. Some tools represent the energy of a vast array of allies found in nature. Other tools are used as percussion or music to clear blockages and raise the energetic vibration.

Here are my favorite tools:

My voice

Although the tools I use may vary by session, I always sing icaros, which are indigenous songs of blessing, gratitude, healing, protection, and more.


Turkey, Hawk, Pelican, and Owl feathers are all part of my work. I also have Raven and Parrot feathers on my moviary, which is a wand used for alignment and clearing in the Mexican Huichol tradition.

These feathers are used for clearing hucha, and to realign a client’s energy. I trace the feather along a blue line that I visualize. It begins with my client’s feet and legs, moves up through the navel center, the heart, down the arms, and then up from the heart through the crown, into the sky,  connecting with Spirit.


Mesa means “table.” Many people (including me!) find it helpful to set up a sacred place with meaningful objects, like an altar, to support prayer and meditation.

You can also place these objects in a bundled mesa. Mine includes objects that represent the four directions. A sunburst fossil represents Fire (East), rocks from a variety of power spots on the planet represent Earth (South), shells represent Water (West), and feathers represent Air (North). I also include crystals in my mesa to help open the heart and raise the energetic frequency.

All of these objects are bundled in fabric woven by the Q’ero of the Peruvian Andes. Sometimes a client holds the mesa over a particular chakra to facilitate healing. The feeling and the weight of the mesa is very comforting.


The beating of the drum or shaking of the rattle helps to break up energy that feels stuck. The vibrations also create a rhythm that induces a relaxed, or slightly hypnotic state. As I drum or rattle, I voice guide my client through a journey. This gives clients a chance to gain wisdom or retrieve parts of themselves that have been left behind. This is especially helpful when working with trauma.


Typically, tobacco is considered poisonous or harmful to our health, but when used in the right way, it’s a powerful healer. Mapacha is an especially potent form of tobacco found in the Peruvian jungle. It’s an ally that is considered in the shamanic tradition to be highly programmable. I begin by singing an icaro into the tobacco, marveling at the power of this ally and singing words of intention, giving the tobacco instructions, and thanking the tobacco for being my ally, before it’s even lit. The smoke is not inhaled, but rather blown into the client’s field to clear anything that isn’t resonant. It also offers excellent protection.

Agua florida

This is a liquid made with pure alcohol and flower essences. Again, I sing an icaro into it to program it with our intention. I often use it at the end of a session. I may spray some into the client’s field or sprinkle some in my client’s hands, inviting them to rub their hands together and then breathe in the pungent aroma. It’s a wonderful tool for raising the energetic frequency and filling the client with light and many blessings.

The interesting thing about using any of these tools is that I never know what I will be using until we get into the session. I simply tune in to my client, connect with Spirit, and open my heart to intuitive information. In short order, I am guided to the perfect combination of featherwork, drumming, rattling, and singing.

Katie Oberlin

A Healing Touch Certified Practitioner, Katie received advanced training in shamanic healing at The Power Path School of Shamanism in 2014. Her travels have taken her to power spots in the southwestern United States, as well as Mexico and Peru, where she has worked with shamans from the Q’ero and Shipibo indigenous healing traditions.