Therapy is any type of activity, self-applied or professionally supervised, that seeks to treat a patient of a medical condition. Recently, psilocybin has been receiving a lot more attention, and the decriminalization efforts are getting ever stronger. In places like Oakland and Denver, psilocybin-assisted therapy has already become a valid option for people.
In particular, such therapy is ideal against mental disorders and various medical conditions that traditional therapy is ineffective against. In this article, we’ll be going over a few key facts about psilocybin therapy, what it’s good for, and whether you can do it yourself or assisted by a professional. Finally, we’ll talk about a few myths that have been perpetuated related to psilocybin.
What can psilocybin therapy help you with?
Anecdotal and even scientific evidence points out to the immense medical and health benefits that psilocybin that provides. For instance, many consumers have said that it helps keep their anxiety in control. Others have attested to the anti-depression effects of psilocybin, which science seems to back up. Even the FDA has agreed that a form of treatment based on psilocybin is much more effective than traditional treatments.
When it comes to anxiety, for instance, researchers found out that a psilocybin treatment helped cancer patients deal with their severe anxiety. They discovered that not only psilocybin had close to zero side-effects (and even those were completely risk-free), but that it also improved their mood significantly. Even end-stage cancer patients with serious emotional issues reported feeling better and a reduction of their anxiety.
Psilocybin can also decrease your hard-feelings and grief resulting from social rejection. A study performed in 2016 entitled “Effects of serotonin 2A/1A receptor stimulation on social exclusion processing” discovered how psilocybin, being an ideal agonist of the 2A/1A serotonin receptor, helped patients suffering from social exclusion pains. The patients reported feeling less socially excluded in society after being administered a dose of 0.215 mg/kg of psilocybin.
Last but not least, psilocybin can promote positive changes taking place in a consumer over a long time, both spiritually and medically. Spiritually, users would even classify their experiences with psilocybin as a peak spiritual breakthrough for them. A study conducted at John Hopkins University revealed this fact.
Nearly two-thirds of their test subjects said that the psychedelic experience was among the 5 most important life experiences for them.
Psilocybin dosage is important for therapeutic use
First and foremost, you should know that psilocybin is not a mushroom itself. It’s the active compound in several mushrooms, with the concentration in each being largely different. For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll take the most common strain of psychoactive mushrooms – psilocybe cubensis, a rather powerful strain.
A regular dose of dried psilocybe cubensis is approximately 3.5 grams, which is neither weak nor strong. There’s nothing to worry about if you go above and beyond the recommended dose though. You can’t overdose on psychoactive mushrooms. The worst that can happen is suffering from temporary side-effects due to the lack of anticipation of such strong psychedelic experiences.
Whether you should start with a smaller or a bigger dose is, interestingly enough, debatable. Some therapists argue that psilocybin should be taken progressively so that your body and mind get used to the psychedelic trips and the potential anxiety. Others argue the opposite – that you should start with a stronger dose to shatter your psychological barriers in one go, thus reaching a state of deep spirituality, and avoiding anxiety. Combining doses is a solution as well.
Step-by-step guide to using mushrooms
Mushroom therapy isn’t simply about sitting down, ingesting a mushroom, and waiting for the effects to kick in, hoping nothing bad will happen. There’s a certain preparatory process required that ensures the quality of your psychedelic experience. We’ve summed it all up in the following 9 steps:
Step One – First and foremost, make sure you won’t be disturbed for the following 4-5 hours. That’s the general duration of a psychoactive experience with psilocybin. Moreover, be sure you’ve eaten beforehand – hunger will only muddy your experience.
Step Two – Prepare an adequate dose. Either small or large, there are no attached risks to consuming mushrooms. They don’t cause addiction, and they aren’t inherently dangerous. We recommend brewing the mushrooms into a tea and consuming it afterward. That way, the effects will kick in more quickly.
Step Three – Consume the mushrooms either raw or eat it with another food, to change its taste
Step Four – From the moment you ingest the mushrooms, there are approximately 30-60 minutes before you start feeling their effects. Take this time to visualize your goals and motives for using psilocybin.
Step Five – This is when your visual perception is altered, a sign that the psilocybin has reached the onset. These visual phenomena might be interesting and one-of-a-kind but focus on your goals for this psychedelic experience.
Step Six – 60-90 minutes post-ingestion is when the effects are at their strongest. You’ll be very receptive, open-minded, with a greater creative potential, and the ability to focus much better on certain issues. Your mental boundaries will crack down and you won’t feel inhibited by any thoughts, emotions, or thought process.
Step Seven – Use this state of openness and inner receptiveness to mentally go over the issues or challenges you’re dealing with. They could be emotional issues, social problems, or even anxiety or depression. You’ll feel unshackled and free to visualize your issues objectively, which will improve your problem-solving skills.
Step Eight – Relax! An epiphany might come from the most unexpected places, after all.Step Nine – The mushrooms will start losing their effects. You can write down your experiences, share them with someone else, or just rememorize your experiences. Don’t wallow in disappointment now that you’re back to your old self, shackled by inhibitions and barriers – think of what you gained from your experience.
Common myths about psilocybin
The first myth we’re going to talk about is that “mushrooms cause insanity” or they’ll make you go crazy and kill yourself. The science says otherwise though – despite the likeness between psilocybin trips and schizophrenia psychotic episodes, the former is temporary, while the latter is permanent. In fact, psychedelic experiences help us understand schizophrenia more.
Another myth is that you can use psilocybin at any time, in the most casual circumstances. If you’ve read the above-mentioned guide to using mushrooms, you know that serious preparation is required. You should only do it in a tranquil environment where you won’t be disturbed. This is even more important for patients who want to treat their medical conditions.
Psilocybin mushrooms are poisonous or so the myth goes. If what you mean by poisonous refers to mind-altering and intoxicating experiences, then you could classify psilocybin as poisonous. However, this means alcohol and caffeine are just as poisonous, which we know is false. To shatter this myth once and for all – psilocybin is a non-toxic mushroom.
Psilocybin could lead to brain/stomach bleeding, or kidney failure – No evidence of this ever happening exists as of yet, and numerous studies have been done on psilocybin mushrooms across time. The only recorded symptoms/complications with psilocybin are extremely sensitive reflexes and dilated pupils.