Extraction: Is This an Andean Healing Technique?

At a few of the Andean workshops I have taught, participants asked about using khuyas—stones charged with sami—or other instruments of energy work such as their misha (mesa) or even a feather or crystal to extract energy during a healing session. I always answer by asking a question: What are you extracting?

Their answers vary from energy blocks to negative energy to dark entities.

My response then is take them back to the basics of  the Andean understanding of energy. The bottom line is that, according to the Andean tradition as I have been taught it, there is nothing to “extract.”

Andeans (at least the paqos of my lineage—don Benito Qoriwaman, don Andes Espinosa and don Melchor Desa) view the kawsay pacha as streams of free-flowing energy. Sami is the highest “frequency” of this free-flowing kawsay. Hucha is kawsay that human beings have slowed down. Hucha is not bad, negative, dark, contaminating, or harmful. It’s just slow energy. So what is there to extract?

The primary technique for healing I have witnessed or learned about from the Andes is to “sweep” the poq’po to get hucha moving again. You know when you see a paqo moving his or her misha over a person’s body, usually moving it in downward strokes over the body? That’s pichay, which literally means “to sweep.” The misha is a great eater of hucha. Sweeping it over the body gets the kawsay moving again, turning that hucha into sami—free-flowing energy. That’s all. It’s that simple. You either sweep or strengthen the poq’po so it can more effortlessly absorb and radiate kawsay without slowing the kawsay down. So, there is nothing to “extract.”

Healing in the Andes is like being a conductor of a symphony. You direct the energies. You get it moving coherently. You help the person playing the instrument of their poq’po to keep more perfect time with the rhythm of the kawsay pacha. Your conductor’s baton is your intention.

That said, way back when I was first starting on this path, I spent time with a few women friends and Américo Yábar on the Island of the Moon learning about khuyas. Américo imparted all kinds of information about the uses of khuyas, what their shapes and appearances might mean and how to use them, and I passed this information on in my Masters of the Living Energy. Although I used the word “extraction” there once, that is not a accurate word choice. We are not extracting anything, even though we use all kinds of linguistic metaphors to describe getting the kawsay to move freely again. We talk about cleansing hucha, eating it, digesting it, pulling it, pushing it, unblocking it, and so on. Really, all we are doing is helping people get what is slow within them to move more naturally, which means faster.  You are helping them unlock their own self-healing potential, which is subject only to their will, not to yours.

If extraction is found in Peru, it likely comes from the Northcoast or Amazonian healing traditions, not from the Andes area.

Very simply, from the Andean perspective, kawsay either moves freely or it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, the reason is something in the person (fear, worry, judgment, etc.). While it is true that the person is responsible for invoking their will and personal power to heal himself or herself, it is also true that a healer may need to meet the expectations of that client. Expectation has a huge impact on the propensity to heal or not. Sometimes a client has an expectation that you must use gemstones, crystals, feathers and so on in order to heal them. However, according to the Andean tradition those things are not doing anything—only you are through your intent and your own ability to push the kawsay on behalf of the client.

I always joke that I don’t want to be known as the killjoy of the Andean mystical tradition! Joking aside, I am profoundly serious when I insist that students learn to interact with the yes you cankawsay pacha using nothing but their intent. I ask them to view everything outside of their intent as a “fetish.” Using fetishes—whether a khuya, feather or even the misha—can be fun, but they are  not necessary. Using them is a choice, and as consciously evolving human beings we want to make conscious choices. Once you can move energy using your intent, then you are free to do anything and use anything because you know you don’t need it but simply choose it. In this way you always maintain and act from your own personal power and you assist your clients to access and use theirs as well.


3 thoughts on “Extraction: Is This an Andean Healing Technique?

  1. Hola Joane! Gracias! Jpor la claridad de tus conceptos y la experiencia que compartis en Ayni.- Coincido con contigo en que , la intensión es la herramienta mas simple y efectiva, todo lo demas acompaña pero no es lo que “mueve” el Kawsay.- Mas de una vez me encontre “pensando” : usare las plumas? el cristal?, antes de terminar el pensamiento se habia limpiado el campo y no necesite nada mas!! Abrazos y Bendiciones a tu Tarea! Escribo en español porque leo ingles pero no escribo.-


    1. Here is a rough translation for those who need it:
      Joan Hello! Thank you! From the clarity of your concepts and experience that you share in Ayni, I agree with you: intention is a tool that is simpler and more effective. Others help but do not “move” the Kawsay. More than once I found that before even “thinking” should I use a feather or a cyrstal that the field has been cleansed and I need nothing more! Hugs and blessings in your efforts! I write in Spanish because I read English but I do not write.

      Thank you for your comment! I appreciate your sharing your experience and know others will benefit from it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. beautiful answer and summary just when I needed it. Thanks so much for sharing your understanding of these precious teachings, Nora


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