For years, human beings have consumed substances that alter their consciousness levels. In traditional societies, the substances were used for initiation ceremonies, contacting gods, and healing rituals. Today, these conscious-altering substances are known as psychedelics. Research on these substances increased in the 1950-the 60s but slowed down when they were made illegal in the U.S.
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Over the last twenty years, authorities have approved research into psychedelic substances to treat various substances. This has led researchers to discover that they are safe and have several therapeutic effects on humans when used correctly. Some of the common substances now used in psychedelic therapy include LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), ayahuasca, ecstasy (MDMA), the West African iboga, and psilocybin.
Psilocin is a natural substance in psilocybin mushrooms, the most common psychedelics. The mushrooms are grown in Europe, U.S, Mexico, and South America. These mushrooms are often called magic mushrooms or, simply, shrooms. Psychedelics are potent substances that have been shown to have a profound effect on the mind. The drugs are believed to affect the neural circuits controlled by serotonin, a neurotransmitter. In doing so, psychedelics make you feel relaxed, improve your sense of well-being, and increase social connectedness.
Owing to their effects, psychedelics have shown significant benefits in managing substance use or alcohol disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and mood disorders, among other mental health issues. However, some people report an altered sense of time, reality distortions, and paranoia after psychedelics. When used in therapeutic settings with a trained professional, the professional can help you understand these effects and relieve them.
Professionals are also on hand to educate you on psychedelic therapy preparation, or as others will say, how to prepare for shrooms. The preparation ensures that the psychedelic you are taking actualizes the highest benefits for your mental health.
Below are the steps a professional might advise for psychedelic therapy preparation.
Notify a Professional of Any Health Changes
Notifying your clinician or psychedelic practitioner of any significant mental and physical health changes you have undergone is essential before the start of psychedelic therapy. Some changes outside normal ranges like heart rate or blood pressure and mental health alterations can inform the postponement of your treatment. Some issues you should report during psychedelic therapy preparation are suicidal ideations, newly discovered familial mental health conditions, new clinical diagnoses, pregnancy, and increased anxiety.
Your safety and health are the primary priorities in psychedelic therapy preparation. As such, it is crucial to have a complete picture of your mental and physical health before therapy so that you readily notice any negative changes. Other than psychological and physical changes, tell a doctor if you are on any meds for other illnesses to know how they will interact with psychedelics.
Consider Your Setting and Set
Set and setting were cornerstone concepts coined in the early psychedelic clinical trials. When learning how to prepare for the therapy, you will often come across these terms. Set denotes your mindset during psychedelic therapy preparation. It is essential to be calm, trusting, and open when signing up for psychedelic therapy. This can be achieved by taking days to prepare your mindset for the experience by getting enough rest, meditating, journaling, and resolving all your psychedelic therapy preparation questions. It would also be best to clean up your diet by negating caffeine, alcohol, and junk food for a week before your therapy session.
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Setting as a step of psychedelic therapy preparation refers to your physical environment when having the experience. This can be a practitioner’s office or your home. The ideal setting for treatment is a safe, uninterrupted, and quiet one. Dim your lights when preparing a room for psychedelic therapy, clean it up and ensure pets, kids or friends are kept away during the session. Just a few changes to your set and setting will heighten your experience and benefits in psychedelic therapy.
Define Your Intentions
Intentions are cornerstones of a psychedelic experience, and among the key aspects, you should have in mind during psychedelic therapy preparation. Your intention is a simple statement articulating what you want to achieve after the session, the life themes you wish to address, and the states of being you wish to embody. It is essential to note that intentions are different from expectations during psychedelic therapy preparation.
Expectations are more of requirements that might come to pass during therapy, so you spend time waiting for them to happen. On the other hand, intentions are personal and vary from one session to the next. Spend time working on your intentions privately, then clarify these and refine them with a professional before your therapy session.
Choose Your Psychedelic Carefully
Remember that not all psychedelics have the same effects. As such, one of the key steps of psychedelic therapy preparation is picking the correct medicine for you. One element that will inform your choice is the common side effect you can expect from the psychedelic. For instance, LSD is associated with dry mouth, increased heart rate, numbness, and rapid emotional shifts.
Psilocybin might make you nervous, panicked, and immensely relaxed, much like after taking cannabis. Peyote is associated with flushing, DMT with agitation, and Ayahuasca has been linked with a profound state of altered perceptions or awareness. The short-term effects of psychedelics kick in within 20-90 minutes of their use, so plan for this during psychedelic preparation.
Other than the effects, your physical and mental states will dictate the choice of your psychedelic. If, for instance, you are not well-connected with your physical body because of past trauma, MDMA might be an ideal choice. On the other hand, ayahuasca might be a good alternative for those looking for a profound transformation and can spare 7-10 days for psychedelic therapy.
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Get Geared For Your Therapy Session
There are several things you might need to take your psychedelic experience to the next level. When searching ‘psychedelic therapy preparation’, most professionals will suggest incorporating music into your session. Carefully selected music can calm your brain and guide you into a higher consciousness state during your therapy. Get an excellent relaxing playlist for your therapy session and a decent pair of headphones or stereo speakers.
An eye mask can also be beneficial because it reduces the visual input that can distract you during therapy. A few people record their sessions to know what they will say when relaxed, so you can get a recorder if this sounds like something that interests you. It is also advisable to have someone with you when taking psychedelics, more so for the first time. This can be a therapist, guide, or trusted friend to ensure your safety.
Learning about psychedelic therapy preparation in the guidelines covered above might seem overwhelming. However, it is far from so when you remember to enjoy the treatment while continuing your healing and wholeness journey with psychedelics. It would help if you started your psychedelic therapy preparation by scheduling a consultation with a licensed doctor on MD Berry. The consultation is essential if you want to gain the highest levels of mental fulfillment. As powerful drugs, psychedelics can worsen your mental health when misused. During the consultation, a doctor will educate you on the best approaches to minimize harmful side effects from your therapy while maximizing its benefits.