Since I wrote the popular article in 2014: Ayahuasca: Dispelling Myth – Harm Vs. Healing, I recieved countless emails asking for advice from people who have suffered similar (and worse) adverse reactions from drinking Ayahuasca.
It has been 3 years since I wrote that article- and nearly 5 years since the experience I described and the long aftermath it caused.
It gives me immense joy to tell you I have completely recovered, I love my life deeply, my cognition is great now– and I have obtained the wisdom, skill and comprehension necessary to help people through the challenging healing and recovery process I went through myself…
If you find this information is helpful, but you feel like you could use 1 on 1 support:
I’ve had an immense amount of experience and I have seen a lot of people through recovery.
I have started to offer individualized recovery strategies based on an individuals unique constitution and healing style. You can contact me here for support.
HERE IS THE RECOVERY PROCESS THAT WORKED FOR ME:
Before my body and brain could heal from the symptoms I described in my article-
I had to forgive myself for what had happened.
In fact, I had to forgive everything in my life that was preventing me from moving forward, adapting, and my bodies intrinsic healing abilities to come back online and get me healthy again (this one took a while to figure out).
I discovered our psycho-spiritual orientation can be directed towards health or disease through forgiveness or resentment.
Hating ourselves for the mistakes we have made and resenting others for hurting us leads us to an orientation of disease, whereas if we can truthfully forgive everyone who has hurt us (intentionally or not) we can re-orient (spiritually speaking) towards actualizing our highest potential health (mentally, physically emotionally and spiritually).
Forgiveness frees us from holding ourselves back, it allows us to move forward, to adapt and to move on from the traumatic experiences which have made us ill.
Forgiveness is an essential step so that the biology of our body can be free to change, and not stay stuck and stagnant in a cycle of self destructive emotions. We have to re-orient ourselves towards our greatest health, and forgiveness i what allows re-orientation.
If we can forgive ourselves from putting ourselves in harmful situations we are now ready to move forward with your life and change your thinking from “what happened” to “whats possible”.
If you suffered Ayahuasca induced psychosis or a traumatic experience in a ceremony- you have likely been lead to severe mental and emotional destabilization.
Your brain and nervous system have been through a lot – and you more than likely need to rehabilitate cognitively and neurologically.
This can take a while but here are the steps which gave me back my brain and brought me back to optimal cognitive function.
A) Symptom Reduction
At my worse I was a mess of anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment, disorientation and suicidal ideation. Panic attacks became a constant and I didn’t believe I could get relief from what I was experiencing – and I needed something to take the edge off.
I did not want to take psychiatric prescription medications whatsoever and vitamin and mineral nutritional supplements were not helping (at this point) – I needed something that could directly lower my extreme anxiety.
CBD is a powerful anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anti-convulsant, anti-seizure, anti-psychotic and anti-inflammatory compound from the hemp/cannabis plant.
THC made things way worse for me so I started seeking CBD oils that were made from strains of Cannabis that did not have any THC in them.
I discovered that you can get very effective CBD oils that are made from strains of Cannabis under .03% THC – (these strains are referred to as hemp – and the actual definition of “hemp” is Cannabis Sativa under .03% THC)
Humboldt CBD is the company whose products which I highly recommend to anyone looking for CBD. They’ve been around a long time and their quality standards are unparalleled. They use organic CBD/MCT oil blends, and are committed to higher levels of integrity than most other brands.
CBD was the only herbal product which let me feel relaxation, it allowed me to get some relief (which is un-imaginably valuable when you are in a constant state of panic).
CBD is also a powerful neuroprotectant and is showing promise in reversing and preventing neurodegenerative disorders. With what it is indicated for– to me, taking CBD was a “no-brainer” – and it has become an integral part of my self care.
B) Brain performance upgrade strategies
Now that acute symptoms of extreme overwhelm, sensory overload, anxiety and panic we’re getting significantly reduced from the CBD, and I began to forgive myself for getting into this mess, and forgive those who unintentionally brought harm into my life.
Moving forward, it was time to get motivated, and that means exersize, specifically cardio, weight lifting, and yoga.
The brain needs plenty of oxygen (among nutrients, hydration, neuroprotectants, and rest) to fully heal and recover. Oxygen is your brains best friend.
Get a bike, go running (if your joints can support it) go for walks, get your heart rate up, and get much oxygen as you can to that beautiful brain of yours- it seriously needs the extra oxygen right now to get healthy.
I also utilized something called EWOT (exersize with oxygen training) for my recovery process. It is a technique to hyper-oxygenate your brain during cardio training, and it was also another major piece of my puzzle in recovery. EWOT has shown great promise in increasing recovery for illnesses and brain injuries.
EWOT during helped me immensely during my initial process.
You’ve been through a lot and you probably feel weak mentally and emotionally. Starting a weight lifting program is going to help you feel strong again.
Start off with 3 days a week (if you need help you can contact me and I can help you create a strategy). The most successful people in the world frequently attribute their motivation to weight train and exersize, this is what increase hormones associated to drive, focus, and feeling powerful in your life. As we move forward on our journey- it’s time to get strong and leave feeling weak in the past.
Lest get disciplined and on the days we are not training with weights, move into our yoga practice, the benefits of yoga become self evident and were also a major part of my full recovery. I practice 3 days a week minimum.
If you need more convincing read this article I wrote about the neuroscience of yoga and meditation...
C) Relaxation & Recovery
To be honest, meditation was not helpful for me at first. Sitting in silence with my crazy, headache ridden, anxiety, panic attack prone brain was about the least comforting thing imaginable, it just increased my awareness of how horrible and messed up I felt. Eventually it became helpful, but at the beginning my sitting meditation was not helpful.
However, biofeedback & neurofeedback were.
After about 20 sessions of neurofeedback – I started using something called HeartMath Inner Balance (which is very cost effective and easy to use- whereas neurofeedback requires a health professional to do sessions with and you pay per session)
Its a biofeedback technology which shows you your own stress response in real time utilizing your iPhone and a sensor which measures your internal stress response through Heart Rate Variability.
Check out HeartMath for HRV biofeedback.
Combining this with a dose of CBD – after an EWOT (hyper oxygenation) session offered me AMAZING results. I finally felt what it was like to not be in fight or flight through this strategy.
The float tank – was also a technology which was very useful in recovery, but only after I learned how to relax.
I would actually take CBD before my float tank sessions to lesson anxiety and give my brain some healing anti-inflammatory power, it was also helpful to do the biofeedback before a float tank session to give my brain a taste of what relaxation and coherence felt like. Once you are able to get into a state of relaxation, and if you gain the skill of deepening it in the float tank- it is an experience of deep rest and deep rest is a place where recovery really occurs.
Massage therapy with a qualified and trustworthy healing arts specialist, was also necessary in my process. After about 50 hours of body work, seeing someone 2 days a week who was very skilled and trustworthy – I really felt transformation throughout my system (in combination with the other strategies I was using as well)
3. Cumulative Benefits Over Time = Metamorphosis
Patience is a virtue.
If this sounds like a lot to take on– or if you need more information and an individualized recovery strategy:
You can contact me here for 1 on 1 work.
Through forgiveness, effort and commitment – magnificent transformation is possible.
There is no magic pill thats going to take away your problems (or magic psychedelic drink for that matter). Healing is a process of adaptation and evolution, and if fully embraced can lead you to a beautiful quality of life- which you cannot imagine when suffering intensely.
It took me a long time to see myself transform and be on the other side of what I wrote about in Ayahuasca: Dispelling Myth – Harm Vs. Healing .
It took changing my orientation from disease to health.
It took forgiving myself and everyone who has ever hurt me.
It took a profound commitment to self discipline and total commitment to never giving up on myself or my health.
Eventually my efforts were rewarded and I feel like an entirely different person through biohacking myself back to health.
I believe in you.