Shamanism covers a wide variety of beliefs and practices. It was shamanism that came up with “aspirin”. and many other medicines. Yes, much of Shamanism works very well.
The shamans of indigenous, tribal people, are the guys that go into trances by various means to bring back information from the spirit world. In most cultures, the spirit trance is induced by means of very powerful and dangerous hallucinogenic drugs.
Basically, uneducated people getting loaded on drugs and being deluded into thinking their psychotic drug addled state of mind is some kind of spiritual vision.
Much like Ezekiel when he was with the elders of Israel, eating “Bitter Herbs” (maybe fermented rye tops full of ergot fungus) and having the vision of God’s chariot, wheels within wheels winged creatures with four faces, bright flashing lights, sorta like a Led Zeppelin concert.
Shamanism is a spiritual practice. Spiritual practices like shamanic practice, meditation, prayer, music, dance, poetry, painting, caligrapy, etc. enhance peoples lives, but not every practice works for every person, and not every practice works for any person all of the time. Certainly just about everyone “believes” that some sprititual practice works; whether or not you credit a specific practice with efficacy depends on your culture, what you have been taught and what you believe (“the power of suggestion”), and what you have experienced. “The power of suggestion,” an openess to spiritual growth, and the intention to develop a spiritual practice may facilitate the effectiveness of a spiritual practice, but the true key to any spiritual practice is… practice. Music has charms to soothe a savage breast so even for those of us who are spiritual “savages”, without faith or belief or intention, spiritual practices have charms to soothe our harried souls.
Are some people natural shamans? Certainly, but then some are natural musicians and qualified saints as well. Don’t let the virtuosos, prodigys, saints and natural-born shamans put you off; we all have the capacity to hum a tune, say a prayer, or take a shamanic journey. Give it a go!