3 Pros And 3 Cons Of Ayahuasca Retreats

3 Pros And 3 Cons Of Ayahuasca Retreats

Ayahuasca retreats are on the rise. If you know someone who’s dabbled with psychedelics, there’s an increasing chance that they’ve attended one. So when it comes to ayahuasca retreats, should you take the plunge or stay on shore?

Ayahuasca is an ancient Amazonian psychedelic. It has been a part of shamanic rituals for thousands of years. Spiritually and physically, ayahuasca helps the body get rid of toxins and bad spirits. Seen as a spiritual compass, ayahuasca has historically been used to help sufferers get on the right path.

Today, these rituals have been translated into modern practices at ayahuasca retreats. These retreats can lead to meaningful and transformative changes in the participant’s life. Ayahuasca is used as a vessel for meaningful personal transformation.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of ayahuasca retreats — as well as how to prepare for ayahuasca.

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Ayahuasca Retreats: The Pros

They Can Helps With Depression, Addiction, and PTSD

Ayahuasca has shown rapid and significant antidepressant effects. This is especially noticeable in those suffering with treatment resistant depression. Ayahuasca offers hope for many who don’t react to classic interventions. These include SSRI medication (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or some form of traditional talking therapy.

Another important area where ayahuasca shows great results is overcoming drug addiction. Significant drops in drug abuse have been reported by many ayahuasca therapy patients. Ayahuasca-assisted therapy helps recognize negative patterns in one’s life. Researchers believe this is the key to reducing or stopping substance use and cravings.

PTSD is another mental health issue where ayahuasca has shown some great potential. Ayahuasca can help patients deal with life traumas. Researchers agree that:

from a psychotherapeutic standpoint, ayahuasca is similar to exposure therapy. Intention-setting is a common ritual in many ayahuasca practices. Users with traumatic histories have the opportunity to set their intentions to their traumas.

At an Ayahuasca Retreat, You Are Not Alone

Attending an ayahuasca retreat forges together a community of people with similar struggles.  People attend because they’re looking for guidance, surely. But, they also attend to be a guide for others and help the process through these sacred ceremonies. Ayahuasca retreats are a wonderful way to experience the power of psychedelics.

Also Read: Are all ayahuasca retreats the same? The answer may surprise you

You’re not alone in this endeavor. There are many people looking for guidance in the same way you may be. Coming to an ayahuasca retreat and hearing other experiences is an important part of healing. It may help you see your own struggles through different eyes and perspectives. With an ayahuasca ceremony you can gain so much more than you might first think.

They Can Help You Get In Touch With Yourself

Life is busy. We rarely have time to stop and spend time with ourselves and our own thoughts and emotions. And even when we do (or think we do), we don’t go nearly as deep as we should.

Attending an ayahuasca retreat gives you the opportunity to spend time with yourself. This can include a mix of emotions, thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears, and all other characteristics. An ayahuasca experience can help you see yourself from the outside. This can subsequently help you get to the root cause of your mental health issues. In addition, many people report that after having attended an ayahuasca retreat, they gain a new appreciation for life.

READ NEXT: How Treatment Centers and Retreats Set the Setting

Ayahuasca Retreats: The Cons

It Requires Deep Cleansing and Purging

Ayahuasca can have some uncomfortable side effects. Cleansing the body and soul in this way can cause nausea and vomiting, digestive distress, and anxiety. It can also lead to increased blood pressure, heart rate,  and body temperature. You may also experience an overwhelming sense of euphoria and too many powerful emotions at the same time.

All of this can cause fear, panic, and negative feelings towards ayahuasca-assisted therapy. This of course may prevent you from trying it again. Some people report no major side effects, but others almost get the whole list. It’s almost impossible to predict how an individual will react.

This is not to deter you from trying it, however. Rather, this info can inform you of the possible consequences. In the end, whether or not you choose to attend an ayahuasca retreat is up to you.

Choosing The Wrong Retreat Can Be Detrimental

Many ayahuasca retreats have been vetted and thoroughly explored. However, there are still many shamans who claim to be experts but lack skills and scruples. Shamans are supposed to be extremely powerful, spiritual guides. They should connect with you on a deep, energetic level, and help you heal from the inside out.

Unfortunately, a lack of regulations means that this could be far from the reality. You may find yourself on a retreat where the shaman is not as skilled as he/she claims to be. This could lead to a bad trip with the wrong person to guide you. This can create a negative experience, completely missing the point of an ayahuasca retreat.

Always do your research before deciding where you want to go. Choose a well-known retreat. Look for real testimonials and vetted, experienced shamans who lead the way.

Many Ayahuasca Retreats Are Isolated

Ayahuasca retreats are often set in an isolated, distant locations. This serves an important purpose. They are meant to remove you from the outside world so you can focus on your inner self. Unfortunately, that also means you’re far from hospitals and other important institutions.

So, you need to take things like medication into account before your journey. It’s good to prepare yourself to be off the grid for some time. Or, talk to the managers of the retreat and see if any accommodations can be made. If not, try looking for a retreat that can help you out. There’s no point in putting yourself through unnecessary stress. Unnecessary stress, of course, beats the whole purpose.

Just like everything else, attending an ayahuasca retreat has its pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide which weighs more.

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Karla Tafra

View all posts by Karla Tafra

Karla is a freelance writer, yoga teacher and nutritionist who's been writing about nutrition, fitness, yoga, mindfulness, and overall health and wellness topics for over seven years. She's written for numerous publications such as Healthline, Livesavvy, Psychology.com, Well + Good, and many others, sharing her love of storytelling and educating. She loves talking about superfoods and another amazing plant powers that people can benefit from if they learn how to use it properly. Her passion lies in helping others not only eat healthier meals but implement good eating habits, find a great relationship with food & achieve a balanced lifestyle. She believes that the only diet and lifestyle that's worth creating is the one you can stick to, so she aims to find what that means for each and every individual. Teaching WHY we eat, and not only WHAT we eat, is the premise of her approach.

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