Shamanism is an ancient form of spiritual practice spanning back over tens of thousands of years. A shaman is a man or woman who willingly enters into an altered state of consciousness for the purpose of accessing an ordinarily hidden terrain. The word "shaman" comes from Siberia and means medicine person or see-er. Shamanism is found all over the world. If we travel back in time, into our own ancestry we will find elements of shamanism there.
The shaman works on behalf of her community to access wisdom, healing and information. Working directly with her helping spirits, a shaman helps to create balance by either restoring power or removing intrusions of power (that which does not belong).
Everything in life has a spiritual aspect to it and shamans work with that spiritual aspect of life. Ritual and ceremony are a part of shamanism, which honors all of life. Some of the healing work that the shaman may perform would be restoring wholeness and balance to one's soul, extracting intrusion of power from the body, assisting souls crossing over, healing physical and emotional problems, and restoring power and focus to an individual. The healing work may involve the community and be a group effort. I believe that it is our disconnection from life that causes illness. When we are connected to nature, our community, and our past it can bring us into balance.
Shamanism is not a belief system. One does not have to rely on faith to communicate with divine help. Rather it is an experiential system and one experiences helping spirits directly.