Healers are people who have been gifted, by the Creator through his spirit helpers.
Healers have been on vision quest to receive these gifts, in order to help a person get better. Some healers get vision through dreams as well not necessarily going on the hill, some got a dream when they were really sick and received a gift as well as getting better at the same time.
There are many types of healers, according to the vision and instructions on how to heal from the spirit who gave them the gift to heal. Some pray and use smudge, others are using drums and hot rocks, some have the gift to extract the sickness through a eagle bone. Some doctor in sweatlodges, some use herbs in combination with prayer and ceremonies. There are a variation, on how the healer would do his practice, they are not all the same way. They have to follow their dreams and protocols on how to heal. Some cannot doctor their own family members, while a few very few can doctor their family members. You cannot take a course on healing, this comes from dreams and interpret from teachers (older healers). Who put them on the hill and support them on their healing methods till they can do it on their own. The real healers do it this way.
Today people claim they are healers without any teacher or proper method of attaining this status and they usually have problems themselves with this way. A true healer is recognized by his community, as a healer and is not self proclaimed. His doctoring works and has results. A true healer medicine will work with the medicine doctors give a person and inhance the healing, it wont counter or react in a negative way with the medicine the doctor prescribes. This is how you tell if he is a true healer.
Healers are not necessarially, ceremonialist although there might be a few who are both. A ceremonialist usually has a bundle and comes from a sacred society and is not a healer. They rely on the power of their bundles to help a person. You must ask a healer to help you, by protocol, he cannot impose his healing, he must be asked in order to activate his spirits to help and say yes we will doctor the person. Its not up to the healer its up to his spirit helpers who gave him or her the medicine. A healer cannot set a price for you to pay, it is up to an individual to gift a healer, we usually ask members of the tribe what would be an appropriate amount of money to give him or gifting. There has to be an exchange of energy. Tobacco offerings is just a contract to say i need your services the gifting comes after the doctoring.
Some people make the mistake that the tobacco is the gift or exchange for the doctoring. This is not the way. Healers when they doctor, pay a price the spirits take 1 day off their life in order to heal a person, so tobacco I feel is not enough, in exchange for his services, nor is 60 dollars. We have to put value into our healers and set them up to pare with modern doctors. Too often when a doctor cannot help a patient the patient goes to the healer and gets better. The payment isn’t the same across the board. Even our own people need to be educated on the respect that healers sacrifice when they doctor.