Psychedelic Therapy: 5 Steps To Prepare Your Body & Mind
Deciding to try psychedelic therapy exposes the self to intriguing, potentially healing, substances. They can help with stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. Moreover, these issues can affect both body and mind. Therefore, it’s important to properly prepare yourself before starting your first session. Here are 5 steps you should take.
Step 1: Before Psychedelic Therapy, Do Your Research
As with anything, make sure you do your research before your psychedelic therapy begins. Check out existing studies, for example. Get educated on the available treatments. Stay updated with the current legal situation.
Depending on where you live, there might be different psychedelic treatments available. And, before you choose, reading reviews and testimonials, and checking references, is key. Psychedelic therapy isn’t regulated. As such, it’s up to you to do your homework to choose the clinic that will best suit your needs.
This is the first step to prepare your body and mind for psychedelic therapy. Having confidence in your choice will lower stress and anxiety which might occur beforehand. You might need more time with it than you think, so give yourself space. Go through every detail and ask as many questions as you need until you feel safe and confident in your decision.
Step 2: Talk To Someone You Trust
Before psychedelic therapy, talking to a close friend or family member can be invaluable. Or, try talking to a professional about why and how you plan to execute your therapy. This is a very important step in your preparation journey.
These conversations provide important information and perspective for your journey. They can also provide emotional support, or simply words of encouragement.
Another important conversation you need to have is the one you have with yourself. After you’ve done your research, it’s important to know the “Why” behind your decision. This will help you prepare yourself mentally with the process. It will also help you acknowledge that you might experience it differently than other people. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to react.
Step 3: Create Your Perfect Psychedelic Environment
It’s important to feel safe for your entire psychedelic journey. A psilocybin experience usually takes place in the comfort of your own home. An ayahuasca ceremony takes place on a special retreat. Ketamine treatment, moreover, takes place in a ketamine clinic.
Creating a perfect setting for your treatment, whichever you go for, is crucial. Calming music will help guide you through the experience. An eye mask reduces the interference of visual input and therefore distractions. Comfortable bedding, cushions, or any other comforts will help you relax.
Whatever you choose, the goal is to make your experience easier and more relaxed. So tap into your self-care resources and arm yourself with whichever tools you need.
Step 4: Eat Healthy Foods and Hydrate
Clean up your diet and stay hydrated before your psychedelic therapy session. Most notably, lowering your inflammation will keep your stress hormones in check.
Fill your plates with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Add a notable portion of healthy fats to every meal. And, try to meet your optimal protein requirements for the day. Meals full of nutritious ingredients will help feed your microbiome. But more than this, they will make your body better prepared for new substances.
Adversely, avoid processed foods and sugary drinks, alcohol, nicotine, and even caffeine. These foods contribute to increased stomach acidity. This in turn causes stress, an overstimulated nervous system, and overall inflammation. Moreover, make sure you stay properly hydrated before psychedelic therapy. Water will flush out toxins, reduce water retention, and speed up nutrient absorption. Remember the “8 glasses of water a day” rule!
Step 5: Prioritize Sleep Before Your Treatment… And After!
Making sleep a priority and improving your sleep quality is an important step before and after psychedelic therapy. Psychedelic therapy aside, sleep is a crucial component to overall health.
Psychedelic therapy affects everyone differently. For some people, it may be tiring, draining, overstimulating, and exhausting both physically and mentally. Getting enough sleep will help you prepare and internalize your experience. It will also help you recover faster and more efficiently than when you’re running on fumes. There are many small changes you can make to improve your sleep:
- Create a healthy sleep routine by going to bed at a decent time every night.
- Limit the exposure to blue light-emitting gadgets such as TVs, phones and laptops. Do this at least an hour before bedtime to fully relax.
- Find tools like calming essential oils, a relaxing bath, or meditation apps to help lull you to sleep.
- Make sure you’re sleeping in darkness and waking up to natural light, helping your body find its circadian rhythm.
All these steps are important before starting psychedelic therapy. Taking steps like these can prevent your stress hormones from causing an adverse reaction to your treatment. These are all things that are under your control, so use them to your advantage.