GUIDE TO THERAPEUTIC USAGE OF PSYCHEDELICS
UNDERSTANDING HOW PSYCHEDELICS FUNCTION THERAPEUTICALLY
Classic psychedelics momentarily decrease the activity of the brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN), which governs the interaction among different brain regions and forms our ego or sense of self. This reduction in DMN activity facilitates more fluid communication across various brain regions. Specifically, it enhances the dialogue between our emotional processing centers and the higher-level prefrontal cortex.
This enhanced communication fosters new neural pathways, allowing for novel ways to understand ourselves and our experiences. It lets our emotional side forge new connections with our ego, which in turn breaks down barriers to past traumas and negative learned behaviors, thus promoting healing and growth.
PSYCHEDELIC DOSAGE CONSIDERATIONS
The appropriate dosage depends on your specific intention for the psychedelic experience. For therapeutic purposes, the dose should be more than a microdose (0.1-0.3g for magic mushrooms), but less than a “heroic dose” (5g and above). The recommended dosage lies around 1.5g to 3g for magic mushrooms, providing a complete immersive experience without entirely disconnecting from our typical state of consciousness.
SETTING YOUR INTENTION AND UNDERSTANDING MOTIVATION
Intention essentially reflects what you hope to achieve from the experience, while motivation digs deeper into the emotional underpinnings of your intention.
Intention can be a straightforward goal like reducing anxiety or finding more purpose in life. Ensure your intentions align with the psychological benefits offered by psychedelics, which include breaking psychological patterns and enhancing self-awareness.
Motivation delves into the feelings associated with your intention. By connecting with these emotions before the experience, you prime your mind for processing and understanding them during the psychedelic journey.
A useful approach to understanding motivation involves asking questions like, “Why do I want this?” or “What emotions are involved?”. This introspective exercise should ideally be performed close to the experience.
PREPARING THE SETTING AND ENSURING FULL IMMERSION
The setting includes the physical location, the people around you, and your activities during the experience. Ideally, you should be in a safe and comfortable place, preferably lying down with calming music playing. Using a blindfold can further promote inward exploration.
A trip sitter or a supportive person may be beneficial for first-timers or if you feel more comfortable having someone around. However, it’s equally important to select healing, lyric-free music that can guide your inward journey and help alleviate distress if the experience becomes overwhelming.
Remember, acceptance rather than resistance is key to preventing distress. You can use mindful practices like focusing on your breath or body sensations to anchor yourself during the experience. Meditating leading into the experience can also prove beneficial.
CAPTURING AND INTEGRATING THE EXPERIENCE
As the psychedelic experience tapers off, try to recall what you experienced to solidify your memories. You don’t need to understand it fully just yet. It’s also helpful to journal about the experience and discuss it in the days following the journey to ensure maximum benefit.
Integration involves processing the psychedelic experience and applying its insights into everyday life. Accept that the experience exposed aspects of your true self. Negative experiences show where you need to heal, while positive ones show what you should incorporate more into your life.
Remember, there are no “bad trips,” only those that are wasted due to lack of proper integration. A challenging experience could hold significant healing power and may require a longer integration period. Be patient with yourself and maintain a positive outlook regardless of what your awareness reveals.
Regular mindful meditation can greatly assist with the integration process. The combination of mindfulness techniques and psychedelics can foster significant internal
growth and healing. Therefore, incorporating meditation practices into your integration process can lead to fruitful results.
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