Psychoactive Substances and Healing

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For thousands of years, cultures all over the world have valued the use of plants that can alter our state of consciousness and connect us to the world of spirit, the world of the soul. Of course, in the West, this sounds like a pile of nonsense to most people, and the idea of healing in this manner, whether physical or mental, does not seem credible. But, as someone who has gone such a route to deepen my spiritual connection, heal emotional trauma and just try to become a happier person, I have to say I disagree. But, like any method for healing inner wounds and facing fears, it does not come without its challenges, and it may not be for everyone. Based on my own experience, I would like to share some important things to consider when you are thinking about experimenting with psychoactive substances.

It Can Be Scary

When you consume plants that have the ability to alter your current state of consciousness, it can be scary. You may experience intense feelings that are new to you, that overwhelm you. You may experience a loss of control that is uncomfortable. Because time can seem distorted in this altered state, five minutes can seem like an eternity, especially when you are feeling badly. But, with most substances, there is still an awareness of where you are and what you are doing—it is unlikely you will forget that you consumed something and that youwill feel lost in some eternal hell. Just try to remember that what you are experiencing is temporary, that it will pass.

Be Ready to Face What You Have Suppressed

One of the reasons that using psychoactive substances, whether it be something super-intense like ayahuasca, or something more gentle, like blue lotus tea, is so helpful for healing is because in this state of mind, you are no longer able to suppress all the junk that is weighing you down—the deep-seated fears, the painful memories, the guilt and all that good stuff will rise to the surface. It can be extremely unpleasant to deal with, which is why we were suppressing it in the first place. But, in all this discomfort, you are presented with a tremendous opportunity to reflect and ultimately release all this toxic matter. When I drank ayahuasca in Peru, there was one night where all the emotion I had been suppressing about the death of my father just came to the surface, and I cried more intensely about his passing than I had ever in the five years since he had died. While it maybe only lasted 15 minutes or less, it was like a permanent purge of grief. While I of course still feel sadness about his death, something changed that night permanently.

Uncomfortable Physical Effects

Depending on the substance you opt for, you may have to deal with unpleasant physical symptoms. Ayahuasca, for example, has a purging effect, and I threw up more in two weeks than I probably had in years. I also experienced crippling nausea and a sense of intoxication in every inch of my body that felt like being drunk times 100. There were times I would just lie there and cry because of how sick I felt—a degree of sickness that I cannot put into words. But, as unpleasant as that experience was, it changed me forever and I would do it again. But, if you have a serious aversion to vomiting or some other type of physical discomfort, you should opt for a different substance that may be gentler on the body.

About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing her own experiences with natural methods of healing; for a quality selection of healing plants, she recommends visiting www.ArenaEthnoBotanicals.com.

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