A man struggling with alcohol and drugs moved to the Amazon on a ‘healing journey’.
Lewis Powell wanted to change his life for the better so he decided to make a drastic change and live with tribes in Peru.
Whilst there he learnt shamanic healing which is a form of spiritual guidance that has been practised around the world for more than 100,000 years.
Lewis has now taken what he learnt and opened a new wellbeing centre on Walton Road, in Liverpool.
Based at Efik House, the community hub Inner Guru offers a range of activities, events and workshops to help people heal, learn and grow and it offers free support to people with mental health issues and addictions.
He hopes to promote physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing through Inner Guru.
Lewis, originally from Ellesmere Port, now lives in Kirkdale but for three years he spent his life travelling between Liverpool to Peru.
He would go out to the rainforest for months at a time to live with locals including the Shipibo tribe and the Ashaninka tribe.
The 34-year-old told the ECHO: “I was on my own healing journey, trying to find myself so I went to the Amazon and stayed with some tribes.
“They kind of taught me about headlining work, it was a lot of working with plants and natural medicines.
“I was able to heal myself from depression and anxiety and health problems.”
Lewis battled with drink and drugs, which he said contributed to some mental health problems, before his ‘headlining journey’.
He said: “My lifestyle at the time wasn’t great, I wasn’t living a healthy life, I knew that I needed to make change and I had researched into alternative practises and it led me there.
“I was involved in drugs and drinking a lot at the time before I went, I wasn’t on a great path, that was contributing towards my mental health problems.
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“I wanted to learn about it how they work with healing and therapy and it was then that I learnt about the mind and patterns that people get stuck in. It was interesting to understand their view of mental illness.”
Lewis said he decided to go on his ‘healing journey’ after not getting the required outcome he wanted from treatment and antidepressants in the UK.
The NHS advises a number of ways to help depression on its website where there is further information and support links.
Helplines and support groups
The following are helplines and support networks for people to talk to, mostly listed on the NHS Choices website
- Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]
- Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is an organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
- Mind (0300 123 3393) is a charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
- Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
- Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
- Hub of Hope is the UK’s most comprehensive national mental health support database. Download the free app, visit hubofhope.co.uk or text HOPE to 85258 to find relevant services near you.
- Young Persons Advisory Service – Providing mental health and emotional wellbeing services for Liverpool’s children, young people and families. tel: 0151 707 1025 email: [email protected]
- Paul’s Place – providing free counselling and group sessions to anyone living in Merseyside who has lost a family member or friend to suicide. Tel: 0151 226 0696 or email: [email protected]
Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are treatments that fall outside mainstream healthcare.
The NHS advises to first see your GP, if you think you have a health condition, before visiting a CAMs practitioner.
The new centre and non for profit organisation hopes to grow over the next few months so that it can provide help to those in need.
Lewis said: “This year and the sequence of events during the last nine months has had a tragic effect on the mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing of people in our community and our centre aims to combat that by helping people heal, grow and learn.”
Inner Guru has also teamed up with global charity, TUFF.EARTH, to look at additional funding options.
Lewis hopes that working in collaboration will lead to offering more free wellbeing services to those who need, such as those suffering from mental health issues, addictions, disabilities and those on low incomes.
Dr. Shamender Talwar, Co-Founder of global charity TUFF. EARTH, said: “Our global charity has a campaign called KIND20 that has set out to turn 2020 into a year of kindness and we are partnering with local organisations here in Liverpool who are doing great things to make the world a better, kinder place.
“What Lewis has created with Inner Guru is very special and something the world needs. “We’re looking to work with him to deliver projects that will provide free help to those who need it the most.”