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Benefits of Ayahuasca and side effects

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ayahuasca health benefits

Discover the Benefits of Ayahuasca + Dangers and Possible Side Effects.

Have you ever heard of a ceremony and the benefits of ayahuasca? Ayahuasca has been used for centuries in “healing ceremonies.”

It is about drinking a hallucinatory mixture of a plant and a vine under the guidance of a shaman with the aim of self-discovery and enlightenment.

This can sound intriguing, scary, or both. You may be wondering, is ayahuasca legal? Ayahuasca’s legal status is murky at best, but the substance it contains, DMT, is illegal in the United States and most other countries (more on this shortly).

The ayahuasca experience is said to be full of hallucinations that can lead to spiritual healing. Recently, ayahuasca has gained more widespread attention as an open (and now closed) retreat in the United States.

Some researchers also think that it could be used as a form of treatment for depression; But, it also contains powerful compounds that can also cause some serious side effects.

Health benefits of ayahuasca

1.- Benefits of ayahuasca for depression

A small open-label trial was recently conducted in an inpatient psychiatric unit. The trial researchers theorized that since the “natural psychedelic drink” rich in DMT and harmine causes feelings of subjective well-being, then it may also have antidepressant effects.

However, the trial was very small and very limited; they only gave six subjects currently experiencing a depressive episode just one dose of ayahuasca (AYA).

Did they find it? There were “statistically significant reductions of up to 82 percent in depressive scores” between baseline and days 1, 7, and 21 after the subjects took the AYA.

Depressive scores were measured on the following scales: the Hamilton scale for depression (HAM-D); the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Scale (MADRS); and the Anxious Depression subscale of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS).

The researchers conclude that taking AYA produces “fast-acting anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in patients with a depressive disorder.” Again, keep in mind that there were only six subjects who received the Amazon mix once.

Another open trial on depression was also conducted by researchers. This time there were 17 psychiatric patients as subjects (still very young) and again they received a single dose of ayahuasca.

The trial results reveal that of the 17 subjects, six experienced “rapid-acting antidepressant effects” after the single dose.

So, about 35 percent of the patients showed improvement, while 47 percent of the patients vomited as a result of taking the benefits of ayahuasca.

2.- Benefits of ayahuasca for pain

research article analyzed the possible use of ayahuasca in grief therapy. The researchers compared 30 people who had taken ayahuasca with 30 people who had attended peer support groups. They then measured levels of pain and experiential avoidance.

The ayahuasca group had a lower level of distress and demonstrated some psychological and interpersonal benefits. Open responses from this group also included descriptions of emotional release.

As you can see, research and clinical findings remain very limited (in part due to the legal status of DMT) on the therapeutic uses of this substance to treat depression or manage grief.

Side effects of ayahuasca

According to some specialists, the benefits of Ayahuasca are not for anyone who thinks that Ayahuasca is a ‘magic pill’ or a ‘magic bullet’ that you just have to take, and your life will be repaired.

The so-called “neutral effects” of ayahuasca can include:

• Sedation

• Nonsense visual “noise”

• Strong visions; some typical reports include snakes, big cats, insectoid aliens, and goddesses

• Auditory hallucinations and/or sound distortions

• Alteration of the sense of space and time

• Greater likelihood of embracing magical thinking, paranormal ideation

Negative effects, also known as “bad trips” are known to include:

• Nausea

• Diarrhea

• Throwing up

• Body pain

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• Imbalance, difficulty walking

• Sweating and chills (alternate)

• Other symptoms similar to those of flu or food poisoning

• Afraid

• Paranoia

• Feeling like you’re losing your mind

• Feeling like one is dying

It is not clear exactly all the medications that can interact with ayahuasca, but mixing antidepressants with ayahuasca can be a deadly combination.

The greatest risk of taking ayahuasca is serotonin syndrome, a heart condition of increased heart rate and blood pressure, usually instigated by a high-dose mix of ayahuasca with other medications, particularly antidepressants such as SSRIs or  St. John’s wort.

People who take such medications should not drink ayahuasca, it is also suggested that those with “strong paranoid tendencies” or “extreme anxiety” avoid ayahuasca because it alters perceptions of reality.

There is also the danger of getting hurt while in ayahuasca or not knowing exactly what is in the version of the tea they give you. Both are some very serious risks.

How to use Ayahuasca

There are several Peruvian ayahuasca retreats. However, it is recommended that anyone interested in taking ayahuasca do their homework beforehand, even talking to people who have already had the tea.

They also advise only taking ayahuasca in the presence of an “experienced ayahuasca drinker who is also experienced with the guide.”

Experts advise not to buy ayahuasca online and never take it alone. According to the Ayahuasca Healings, this nature-based drug should only be taken with the guidance of an experienced and reputable shaman.

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca, also called “hoasca”, “yagé” or “mother ayahuasca”, is a mixture of two different plants: a perennial shrub called chacruna (Psychotria Viridis ) and the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi ).

Both plants can be found in the Amazon rainforest. Chacruna contains a substance called dimethyltryptamine or DMT.

To create Ayahuasca tea, the two plants are combined and boiled during a fire for many hours.

The DMT in the chacruna creates the experience or “trip” while the ingredients in the vine allow the body to metabolize it.

What is DMT?

It is a powerful and natural hallucinogenic compound that is structurally related to a drug you may have heard of before: LSD. Do you want to know another strange and interesting fact about DMT?

Naturally formed DMT has been found in the body fluids of people diagnosed with schizophrenia, a serious mental disorder in which patients interpret reality abnormally.

Like LSD, DMT is also considered a Schedule I drug under the United States Controlled Substances Act.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, “Schedule I drugs, substances or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and with a high potential for abuse.”

What are the general claims about this Amazonian drink containing DMT?

Supposedly, «The Ayahuasca ceremony is used to heal on all levels: physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual.

It is known to provide profound insights into the nature of reality, who we are, and our place in the Universe. ”

The tea is intended to be consumed with the guidance of a shaman who specializes in the ayahuasca experience.

The immediate effects of this “shamanic medicine” are said to be felt within 20 to 60 minutes of drinking the tea.

However, the poisoning can last up to eight hours. Effects are known to vary greatly from person to person and from experience to experience.

• Ayahuasca is an amazing tea made from a plant and a vine.

• It contains DMT, a Schedule I drug, which includes other illegal drugs like LSD and heroin.

• The possible side effects of ayahuasca are very concerning (even deadly!) And do not justify the risk.

• More studies are needed to determine whether ayahuasca might have benefits for certain health conditions, such as depression.

• The positive effects that some people seek from ayahuasca can be achieved more safely and healthily without the use of drugs, by spending time in prayer and meditation and developing a personal relationship with God.

If you are struggling with depression and pain, you may also want to explore  spiritual or therapeutic counseling

Health

Managing Chronic Pain: Integrative Techniques for Wellness

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Chronic Pain clinic near me

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding chronic pain and its various treatment options is essential for effective management.
  • Lifestyle factors, including diet, exercise, and sleep, can significantly influence chronic pain.
  • Integrative techniques, including medical treatments and complementary therapies, are vital in tackling pain holistically.

Understanding Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a persistent type of pain that can last for months or years and may be caused by various factors. In contrast to acute pain, it can continue even after the original injury has healed. Healthcare professionals evaluate a patient’s self-reported pain level and the impact it has on their daily activities to address the complexity of chronic pain. When the underlying cause is unknown, multidisciplinary approaches are necessary to relieve pain.

The Role of Lifestyle in Chronic Pain Management

In the quest for relief, many find solace in discovering a reputable pain clinic near me that employs a range of treatment options. Diet and chronic pain have a significant, if not entirely understood, relationship. Pro-inflammatory foods, excessive caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugars tend to exacerbate inflammation, potentially intensifying pain. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, greens, nuts, and seeds may help reduce inflammation and, as a result, pain. Consistent hydration and balanced meals can support the body’s natural coping mechanisms. Creating a personalized diet plan with a nutritionist or dietician can be a proactive step in managing chronic pain through lifestyle. Being physically active is critical to managing chronic pain.

Medical Treatments for Chronic Pain Relief

Medications often serve as the first line of defense in chronic pain management. NSAIDs, for example, are commonly used to alleviate inflammation and pain. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants can also be prescribed for their pain-relieving properties. Caution must be taken, especially with more robust, potentially habit-forming medications such as opioids; these should only be used when necessary and with a strict plan for monitoring and tapering. Furthermore, patients are encouraged to ask their healthcare providers about potential side effects and interactions with other medications.

Beyond pharmacological measures, interventional treatments like nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and radiofrequency ablation offer non-surgical pain relief for various conditions. In some cases, these targeted procedures may provide lengthy periods of relief and help patients engage in physical therapy and rehabilitation more effectively.

With chronic pain being such a dynamic and individualized issue, research into new therapeutic methods is ongoing. Treatments such as platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) and stem cell injections are emerging as potential alternatives. They focus on repairing damaged tissues and reducing pain naturally. However, consulting with experienced pain management specialists before considering these advanced options is essential.

Psychological Approaches to Pain Management

Chronic pain has deep psychological and emotional roots in addition to physical causes. Therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) address the thought patterns that can worsen pain perception and decrease the quality of life. Patients can learn to change these thoughts, engage in positive behaviors, and develop strategies to manage setbacks in their pain journey. Biofeedback is a technique that measures and provides real-time data on bodily functions, such as heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature. It helps patients gain voluntary control over these functions, and mastering such autonomic processes can improve pain management and give a greater sense of personal power.

Emotional well-being is integral to pain management, as negative emotions can intensify pain perception. Healthcare providers may recommend therapy sessions to address the psychological impacts of chronic pain, helping individuals cope with associated feelings of frustration, depression, or isolation. These therapeutic approaches highlight the importance of treating chronic pain as a comprehensive, biopsychosocial condition.

Navigating the Healthcare System

The complexity of healthcare systems can add a layer of stress for those managing chronic pain. Advocacy is critical. Patients must feel empowered to ask questions and make informed decisions regarding their care. Understanding how health insurance works, what treatments are covered, and how to access necessary medications is imperative. Healthcare professionals can also be invaluable allies in helping patients navigate these systems and ensure that they receive appropriate and timely care.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Pain Management

As we learn more about pain, there is hope for better pain management through new treatments and technologies. For example, virtual reality therapies can help distract patients from pain and reduce its intensity by immersing them in relaxing environments. Scientists are also exploring innovations in pharmaceuticals, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy apps to treat chronic pain more effectively. Additionally, personalized medicine, which considers an individual’s genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environmental factors, is set to revolutionize pain management.

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