David Cumes, M.D. was born in South Africa and received his medical training in Johannesburg. Specializing in urology, he previously taught at Stanford Medical Center, has published extensively in professional journals and currently has a private practice in Santa Barbara, CA. He is a Western trained surgeon steeped in the allopathic paradigm of medicine and he is also a sangoma (Zulu for shaman or indigenous healer).
Although Dr. Cumes has had classical training in a profession that relies heavily on analytical reasoning, he has pursued a personal quest that evokes his intuitive and introspective capabilities. After extensive travel, which included time with the Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert and shamans in Peru and South Africa, he explored the role nature plays in personal healing and transformation and founded a company called Inward Bound, that leads groups on healing journeys to remote wilderness areas. He is convinced that nature’s medicine is the most powerful tool of all because healing involves balancing the different polarities that challenge us in life, and nature is the best place to encounter these polarities in their purest form.
Dr. Cumes is also the author of three books, “Inner Passages Outer Journeys”, “The Spirit of Healing” and “Africa in My Bones”. The first explores the restorative power of nature, and the second the interrelationship between the patient, the healer, and the Divine Force or “Field” as essential components of the healing process.
Dr. Cumes has been initiated as a sangoma. His third book describes his initiation. He is a bridge between Western medicine and indigenous healing wisdom. His roots are in Africa but he is also convinced that since humanity began there, so too did the first healing techniques.