The Psilocybin Experience – Coping with Cancer

The Psilocybin Experience - Coping with Cancer

In the May 2021 issue of the Journal of Biological Psychiatry, a study revealed that a single dose of magic mushrooms has rapid and persistent anti-suicidal properties in patients with cancer.

What is it about magic mushrooms and its mystical experience that gives people with cancer hope and peace of mind and decreases the dread they feel?

How is it that after only a single dose, such profound effects can be observed?

Dr. Lauren McDonald, the co-founder of Essence Medicine, wrote about her experience of transcendence with hallucinogenic magic mushrooms:

“…I lose track of time. And then, there is nothing. Or something? No patterns. No physical body. No ‘me.’ Instead, there is only energy. People from my past are present but not in human form; instead, they exist as beautiful colored swirling energies. Somehow, they share the insight that dying is not final, simply the end of our physical form. I am finally at peace, surrounded by love. In the distance, I hear the quiet sound of mournful crying. I sense a presence by my side – a facilitator has come to comfort me – and I realize that I am crying. I am supported and safe as my tears start to flow. Years of pain released at last.

Diagnosis – The Word You Never Want to Hear

You see, Dr. McDonald was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer in February 2014. She was feeling without hope, ever-searching for answers or a new type of intervention or clinical trial that might bring hope and healing. Though Dr. McDonald never considered using psychotherapy compounds or psychedelics such as LSD, ketamine, or ayahuasca, her trauma left her feeling alone and overwhelmed. As a doctor of psychiatry, she understood the role of medicine on the receptors within the brain, their effects on serotonin levels, and other areas of neuroscience. But all of her studies did not prepare her for the “overwhelming hopelessness and dissociation that could accompany a life-threatening illness.”

Inspired by the studies, and a must-watch TED talk by Professor Roland Griffiths (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), in October 2019 she traveled to a retreat in The Netherlands in the hopes that a psilocybin experience might help her process the trauma of both her stage IV cancer and the harrowing car accident she had been involved in.

healing and hopeHealing and Hope

Because of the hope she found during her psilocybin experience; she is now an advocate for the therapeutic use of psychedelics. “Both my perception of psilocybin and my life as a whole has been forever changed by my experience at the retreat in The Netherlands.”

She continues: “Reflecting on my own psychedelic journey, I am aware how much I wish that every terminally ill patient could be offered a similar experience. I often think about my uncle who died from motor neurone disease and of how this medicine could potentially have alleviated some of his distress in his final months. I also think about the suffering of other cancer patients; those I’ve known, those who have died, and those that are still in my life.”

With her courage and intention to share this medicine, she did an excellent service to all cancer patients and dying people worldwide. In her powerful autobiographical article, she also emphasized the effectiveness of magic mushrooms:

“…Most psychologists believe that our mind creates barriers to prevent access to memories of traumatizing events and experiences in an effort to protect us from the pain. Yet these barriers can prevent us from processing our past traumas, leaving us with unexplainable and often untreatable depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Moreover, it can take years of talk therapy or advanced meditation to access and address these memories, a feat that psychedelics can often achieve in a matter of hours.”

These enlightening properties and the effects of psilocybin are the focal points of the Evolution Retreats program. We recognize the tremendous value of the psychedelic experience; hence we have constructed an ultimate care package around it, which is especially useful for people struggling with depression, anxiety, and other psychological, physical, and mental health ailments.

Growing Support for Therapeutic Psilocybin

We admire and respect the experience of Dr. McDonald and the validity of the work to which she has dedicated her life. Her effort of sharing and endorsing these life-altering experiences is not unique: a sizeable non-profit organization – EndWell – is dedicated to the belief that all people should experience the end of life in a way that matches their values and goals.

Unfortunately, although there is growing support for psilocybin as a therapeutic aid, many suffering from cancer and other ailments cannot access its benefits. In fact, Canadian citizens with cancer sued their government in a landmark case to get access to psilocybin administration. Regrettably, terminal patients in places like the UK are still unable to legally receive this treatment either, despite initial evidence strongly supporting the use of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for treating end-of-life anxiety and depression. We are, thankfully, witnessing the beginnings of a change in this mindset on a global scale.

However, the amount of effort required from an individual to get a legal psilocybin session is still overwhelming. Those in need of healing the most often can’t even bring themselves to jump through the numerous legal hoops to have a single dose of psilocybin, let alone a psychedelic session.

Evolution Retreats – A New Way towards Therapeutic Hope

With Evolution Retreats, it’s different. We are situated in the beautiful setting of Tensing Pen Resort in Negril, Jamaica. Here we have the perfect climate AS WELL AS benevolent legislation. Our expert team, including experienced medical and therapeutic professionals, combines with the natural beauty of Jamaica. This allows us to help a wide range of people – from youths on their search to finding themselves to people at the end of their life journey looking for the true meaning of life through the mystery of death.

If you are committed to improving yourself and your well-being, why not go all-in? Discover the wonder of psilocybin mushrooms, and your hidden self, all within the nurturing natural embrace of Jamaica – supported by Evolution Retreats.

If you would like more information on a psilocybin retreat experience, please contact us here to have a conversation.

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