Joe Tafur, MD

Joe Tafur, MD

Spiritual Healing in Modern Health Care, Epigenetics and the House of Spirits.

Over the years, Dr. Tafur has collaborated on a variety of community and academic projects with his Integrative Medicine colleagues at UCSD, UCLA, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, the Alternative Healing Network, and the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine; including two years of  post-doctoral research at the UCSD Dept. of Psychiatry/Behavioral Medicine.

For the past seven years, Dr. Tafur has been travelling to Peru to study with Master Shipibo Healers.  He has completed his shamanic initiation under Maestro Ricardo Amaringo and works alongside him in healing ceremony at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual.

Here in the United States, he is working to promote the value of spiritual healing in modern healthcare and to demonstrate the intersection between ayahuasca shamanism and allopathic medicine.


Presentation Abstracts:

The Role of Spiritual Healing in Modern Healthcare

Drawing upon his experience with ayahuasca shamanism at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual in Peru, Dr. Tafur will describe his vision for the role of spiritual healing in modern healthcare.  Ayahuasca tourism is itself a response to the growing healthcare crisis of Western culture.  Aspects of this crisis are rooted in an overly materialistic and ego-driven world view.  This crisis exists at a cultural level and can be transformed at the individual level.  The individual must be guided to remember how disconnected thoughts and feelings contribute to medical illness.  Dr. Tafur will describe his theory on the spiritual risks of our current materialistic culture as they relate to the increasing prevalence of stress-related disease, mental health problems and psychosomatic illness.  He will also discuss how these problems can be addressed through spiritual healing techniques, as in ayahuasca ceremony.  Spiritual healing reminds us that expanded consciousness, an open mind and an open heart are all crucial to our vitality.

Epigenetics and the House of Spirits

Drawing upon his experience with ayahuasca shamanism at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual in Peru, and upon modern medical research, Dr. Tafur will present his ideas regarding the part epigenetics might play in spiritual and emotional healing. Epigenetic imprinting plays a significant role in emotional attachment and neglect and also demonstrates a significant role in a number of mental health problems.  A valuable access point could be to view the genetic code itself as the seat of the soul and epigenetics, the soul’s living room.  Expanding this metaphor, the living room may extend into a kind of House of Spirits.  We know that the epigenetics are altered by emotional experiences and by altered states of consciousness.  Perhaps the epigenetics represent, at some level, a material target for shamanic practices.

Panel Discussion:

Shadows, Darts & Spirits: shamanism & the darkness not typically discussed
Panelist: Joe Tafur, MD

This panel presentation will speak to dangers that may arise from unsafe use of plant medicines, vulnerabilities that may arise when in the effects of plant medicines, susceptibility to influence and abuse, including sexual misconduct, and practices that utilize plant medicines for harm.

Panelists: Joe Tafur, MD, Sitaramaya Sita
Moderator: Ayasmina Flores, JD