Psychedelics & Owning Your Body

Psychedelics & Owning Your Body

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders estimates that 9% of the world’s population has an eating disorder.

Women increasingly share how psychedelics have helped them break free of a cycle of dissatisfaction, body dysmorphia, anxiety, despair, and tension. They describe how psychedelics helped them heal from eating disorders and increase their self-esteem.

Despite the lack of large-scale investigations, anecdotal evidence of these developments is strong.

A hero’s dose of magic mushrooms taught me I could let go of my eating problem once and for all, says Francesca Rose, an eating disorder recovery advocate. “It hit me: my eating disorder was not me. Not even mine. Everything clicked. My eating disorder was gone. Food or body control no longer made me feel safe or worthy.” This psychedelic-assisted transformation is part of what led her to add her current work; aiding other women with eating disorders on their healing journeys.

Many women still consider talking about insecurities taboo, weak, or shameful. Embedded experiences, including psychedelic ones, can help one heal. Rose also teaches yoga and conscious dance. Destroying stigmas through empowering women to speak up and reconnect with their bodies.

Women can reconnect with their bodies and create a softer relationship with themselves by intentionally using psychedelics. “An eating disorder is used unknowingly to feel protected in the world and give a feeling of meaning and identity,” Rose explains. The eating disorder is a strategy to mend the internal world, even if it is unsustainable. Psychedelic traveling and post-journey integration can help people reduce their reliance on eating disorders because they feel more at ease in the world and more internally whole. We can reconnect with our intrinsic values, belonging, dignity, and divinity. Psychedelics can help us feel proud and accepted, and we can experience love and connect to it.”

Understanding Obesity

To comprehend these conditions, we must first understand body image. Most women don’t just like or dislike their bodies. Body image is a complicated mix of thoughts, ideas, and perceptions of how our bodies appear to us and others, what they can do, and their estimated size.

Body image concerns can develop at age 5. Puberty-induced physical changes might exacerbate discontent. Culture also shapes our self-perception. Gender, complexion and hair color, and many other factors might influence how people perceive their physical appearance.

This psychiatric illness causes people to overvalue minor flaws or even imagine flaws in their bodies. Difficulty accepting your own body image. It can cause eating disorders and social, professional, and personal concerns. Body dysmorphia and eating disorders affect both men and women. However, women are three times more likely to be affected.

Around 30 million Americans have an eating disorder, and 70 percent of these 30 million people are unaided. As a result, anorexia nervosa has one of the highest death rates among mental health illnesses at 5.9%.

Psychedelics and Positive Body Image

Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to cure. Traditional treatments like CBT have a remission rate of around 45 percent, a return rate of about 30 percent within a year, and are difficult to track. Now, some professionals and researchers are looking at the benefits of psychedelic therapy as an alternative.

“Eating disorders generally develop as maladaptive coping techniques when internal resourcing is overwhelmed by life events,” explains Lauren Taus, a therapist in California who uses ketamine. According to Taus and other therapists interviewed for this piece, psychedelic treatment can relieve symptoms of certain disorders, such as sadness and anxiety, in ways that standard therapy cannot. It can reduce symptoms related to serotonergic signaling and cognitive inflexibility and induce beneficial brain states that may speed up therapeutic processes, according to Dr. Adele Lafrance in this EdCatalogue article.

“My encounter with empathogens has invited me to understand how much conflict was waging inside me,” Taus said. I observed my personal suffering and the pain of my family system. These psychedelics essentially invited me to process what was beneath the surface. I felt immense anguish, fury, and fear while also feeling deep love and compassion for myself and others. I could forgive my parents because I understood their decisions. Also, I found the will and strength to fight for myself and my life.”

So, what is it about psychedelics that allows for great epiphanies like Taus’? They can help the Default Mode Network (DMN), which conducts inter-brain communication. This area appears to be hyperactive in depression, anxiety, and OCD. Also, poor cognitive flexibility in anorexia nervosa patients may be linked to an overactive DMN. Studies such as “Rethinking Therapeutic Strategies for Anorexia Nervosa: Insights From Psychedelic Medicine and Animal Models” indicate that psychedelics lower the activity in this area and, by doing so, allow us to create new thought patterns, giving us a fresh perspective on life, the world, and ourselves.

Psychedelic psychotherapy can also assist a person in identifying the true basis of their frustration. According to a 2013 study, a patient’s resistance derives from the disorder’s “ego-syntonic” nature. Many of the disorder’s behaviors, feelings, and ideals are ego-syntonic. Psychedelic chemicals can enable a brief dissolution of the ego, providing the possibility of transformation, healing, and reform of specific habits, thought patterns, or addictions.

Taus explains that “traditional psychotherapy frequently stays in the sphere of cognition and intellect.” In treatment, a person may learn about their patterns but struggle to change them.” For example, a woman may realize that purging is unhealthy and causes humiliation. She may know precisely why and when it started, but she can’t stop. Psychoactive drugs can induce internalized and sustained behavioral change. The therapist’s role is to provide a safe space for exploration and a supportive relationship for people to make sense of their experiences and find meaning in them.

Psychedelics are not a cure-all and must be used in conjunction with psychotherapy and/or other therapeutic methods such as journaling and yoga. Women with eating problems and body dysmorphia benefit most from a holistic approach.

So far, research

Most recent research on psychedelics for treating eating disorders has focused on ketamine, Ayahuasca, MDMA, and psilocybin. Let’s see how they can help with eating disorders:


Ketamine is a non-classical psychedelic that can temporarily alter consciousness. Severe depression, PTSD, and OCD have all been treated with this synthetic chemical.

Ketamine can be injected, given orally, or insufflated (blown into a body cavity, such as the nasal passages). Assume that everyone metabolizes drugs differently. Ketamine is recognized for its dissociative effects, such as slowing down time or separating you from reality, as observed in this study.

“The dissociative sensation of ketamine can translate into higher joy in embodied experience. Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) helps eating disorders lose their grip on their belief systems. From a scientific standpoint, psychedelics break the default mode network, which affects self-image, memories, beliefs, and patterns.” says Taus. “The medicine allows the brain to be reorganized to promote healthy living. Ketamine also increases neuroplasticity, allowing for strong therapy treatment with clients 24–48 hours after a KAP encounter.


Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), one of the most influential psychedelic substances, is found in Ayahuasca, a fermented herbal drink. The brew has been a sacred ceremony by numerous South American Indigenous cultures for at least 1000 years. It causes mystical and profound visions that lead to self-discovery.

The first-ever study of Ayahuasca’s ability to help patients recuperate from eating disorders was released in 2017, co-led by Dr. Adele Lafrance and Dr. Kenneth Tupper. The majority of the patients in the study claimed that Ayahuasca helped minimize their eating disorder symptoms and showed them the fundamental cause of the disorder. Participants could distinguish between an eating problem purge and an ayahuasca purge for the brew’s purging effects.

The ayahuasca experience has the power to favorably impact behavior, stimulating self-reflection and heightened awareness. Studies suggest that drinking can benefit the treatment of anxiety, addictions, and depression, as well as eating disorders, by also changing body views.


MDMA, a synthetic molecule, affects people’s behavior by increasing receptivity. MDMA raises serotonin levels while also raising oxytocin, dopamine, and other chemical mediators, resulting in feelings of empathy, trust, and compassion. It also has a long-lasting effect on how people process trauma and emotions.

In clinical settings, MDMA is administered orally in capsules. The patient starts with a full dose (75-125 mg) and can add a second dose 2 hours later. An MDMA session usually lasts 6-8 hours.

MDMA induces an increase in prefrontal cortex activity, which is necessary for information processing, and a slowdown in the amygdala, the area of the brain that is key in processing memories and emotions related to fear. The primary therapeutic effect of MDMA is its potential to excite the brain, allowing it to develop and store new memories. PATIENTS BECOME MORE EMOTIONALLY FLEXIBLE AND CAPABLE OF EXPLORING DIFFICULT MEMORY


Psilocybin is a compound found in over 100 mushroom species worldwide. Psilocybin has the best safety profile of any psychedelic. The fungi may help treat eating disorders by addressing the brain’s serotonin imbalance and moving away from symptom-focused treatment. This may affect self-esteem and self-compassion.

Another benefit of psilocybin therapy is that it can effectively treat OCD, a typical symptom of eating disorders.

Psychedelics and Body Reclaim

Psychedelics can help women recognize their eating disorders as a coping technique. Once they understand this, they can gradually replace negative habits with good, healthier, and kinder ones. They can change their inner story of lies and body-shaming beliefs.

In addition to other therapeutic methods and modalities, integration, connections, and a holistic approach must be emphasized. Change takes time, effort, and persistence, especially when deconditioning long-standing habits.

“Eating disorders and addiction are transformational experiences that carry enriching value,” Rose says when asked how long it takes for those changes to ultimately occur. Transform means to change or convert. Recovery is about allowing the behavior to alter and transform, taking us along for the ride so that our beliefs, feelings, thoughts, behavior, and action take on a new form. Ground-up, long-term reform takes time.”

“Recovery for me is about everyday, incremental personal and spiritual improvement. Eating disorders and addiction have taught me valuable lessons and made me more of who I am: alive, free, appreciative, and connected.

The positive outcomes we’re witnessing suggest that this is a worthy goal to pursue. Rose and Taus’ stories are only two of many other women who have had life-altering experiences from these substances.

“I no longer evaluate my body or try to master her,” says Taus. “My experiences with plant remedies have helped me see my body as a perfect part of nature, and I accept – even appreciate – the aspects of me I’ve historically struggled with.”

“Psychedelic-assisted therapy’s power is experiential,” she explains. We can reshape our lives and ourselves when knowledge meets with feeling and understanding.

Psilocybin & Its Effects on Cognition or Emotional Function

Psilocybin & Its Effects on Cognition or Emotional Function

A recent study sheds some light on the safety profile of psilocybin, the key element in “magic mushrooms.”

The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, investigates the effects of psilocybin on healthy subjects’ cognitive and affective functioning. While psilocybin is well-known for its potential to alleviate depression over time, its impact on cognitive performance has received much less attention.

COMP360, a trademarked form of psilocybin created by Compass Pathways, was used in the study. The business recently completed the biggest phase 2 psilocybin experiment to date with very encouraging findings. It is now moving on to phase 3.

The study, performed at King’s College London in 2019, found that psilocybin had no negative impacts on cognitive functioning or emotional processing in the short or long term.

The Particulars

The researchers compared the effects of two doses of COMP360 psilocybin to a placebo in 89 healthy male and female adult participants. Respondents were given either a 10mg, a 25mg, or a placebo dose.

The medication was given to up to six volunteers simultaneously. They were also given one-on-one psychological assistance from experienced therapists throughout the six-hour session. A 12-week follow-up period was also included in the study.

The Final Outcome

There were no significant adverse reactions, and COMP360 psilocybin was well without any clinically substantial adverse effects on cognitive performance.

“This rigorous study is an important first demonstration that the simultaneous administration of psilocybin is worth exploring further,” stated the study’s principal author, Dr. James Rucker. “If we think about how psilocybin therapy (if approved) may be delivered in the future, it’s important to demonstrate the feasibility and the safety of giving it to more than one person simultaneously, so we can think about how we scale the treatment up.”

Psilocybin Antidepressant Effects A Year Later

Psilocybin Antidepressant Effects A Year Later

Experts continue to discover even more astounding results demonstrating the efficacy of two doses.

Although numerous studies have shown that psilocybin-assisted therapy effectively relieves depression, it is still a big question about how long the relief lasts.

In 2020, Johns Hopkins University released a study focusing on 24 people with depression who were given 2 sessions of psilocybin-assisted therapy. After 4 weeks, 71% of their patients saw their depression symptoms improve by 50 percent. To add to that, 54 percent were considered in remission.

This meant that their symptoms were not severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.

Everyone was highly ecstatic because this proved to be up to 4 times more effective than current anti-depression treatments. However, for psilocybin therapy to be considered a viable treatment option, the effects must hold effective for an extended period. After all, expecting someone to undergo two psilocybin treatments per month would be unreasonable, not to mention impractically expensive.

Continuing the previous study, Johns Hopkins has published the results of a one-year follow-up, and the results are pretty promising. The population of individuals who benefited from the experience increased a full year after receiving the two doses of psilocybin!

An astonishing 78% of participants saw a 50% or more significant reduction in depressive symptoms, while 58% were in remission.

As per Rolland Griffiths, the study’s lead investigator, “Compared to standard antidepressants, which must be taken for long periods, psilocybin has the potential to enduringly relieve the symptoms of depression with one or two treatments.”

The question now is whether the benefit is limited to a single year. Could they possibly last for a more extended period of time? Perhaps even a lifetime?

We are excited to see many more studies done specifically on this topic!

Can Magic Mushrooms Unlock Depression?

Can Magic Mushrooms Unlock Depression?

The sciences are slowly beginning to back the idea that magic mushrooms can help people heal their minds and unwind the damaging effects of depression. It’s not a cure-all, but it does enable the person to feel empowered and capable of taking the proactive steps required to change their circumstances.

This TED Talk from 2017 is from a clinical psychologist from Imperial College describes how Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin), when used in a therapeutic setting, have been found to be a very effective treatment for depression. In this talk, she draws on her experiences working as a therapist on the groundbreaking Psilocybin for Depression study and introduces us to some of the patients and their stories of transformation.

Dr. Rosalind Watts completed her clinical psychology training at University College London. After six years of practicing psychotherapy in the NHS, she joined a clinical trial at Imperial College, investigating psilocybin (magic mushrooms) as a treatment for depression. Her research explores patients’ positive views of this intriguing therapy.

Can Psychedelics Heal PTSD/Trauma?

Can Psychedelics Heal PTSD/Trauma?

Every member of the Mushroom Doctor team is a Veteran whose mission it is to see those who suffer from PTSD find healing and freedom from the the debilitating affects. But we also know that PTSD is not reserved for Veterans alone. In fact, nearly everyone suffers from some form of trauma or another.

If you’ve ever read the book, “The Body Keeps The Score”, you would discover that the author’s assertions from years of study is that trauma is saved like a record in the unconscious mind that we refer to as the body. Trauma can be absorbed at the molecular level and healing can not be found from Talk Therapy alone.

Statistics reveal to us that an average of 22 Veterans commit suicide each day due to PTSD, and many of those were prescribed psychotropic medication with little to no affect. In recent years, many Veterans who suffer from the deteriorating affects of PTSD are finding healing in the arms of Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.

Studies are revealing a rapid decline in PTSD in subjects that work with psychedelic plant medicine on occasional macro-dose or daily micro-dose levels. The exciting news is that they are finding this modality is not only saving lives, but has zero side effects that one might find in prescribed medication.

You don’t have to be a veteran to understand the debilitating nature of PTSD, and you don’t have to continue living with the mental or emotional affliction it brings to your relationships, work, or overall well-being. There is a solution and it’s found in nature. 

“Let Nature Be Your Doctor”

What Microdosing Psychedelics Does to Your Brain

What Microdosing Psychedelics Does to Your Brain

First, what IS micro-dosing as it relates to psychedelics? Well, to put it simply – it’s taking a small dose on a regular basis to aid in mental and emotional relief without feeling high. The purpose of micro-dosing is not necessarily to “feel” anything, but instead, to encourage the growth of new neurons in the brain so we can feel better, perceive the world with less negativity, and make better decisions that will benefit our relationships, work, and life.

What does that look like?

Well, by micro-dosing a very small amount of psychedelic substances such as Psilocybin Mushrooms, the blood flow to our Default Mode Network – the function of the brain that we make decisions or react from when we encounter a stress or stimuli (or yucky emotion) – slows and the ability to make different or “better” decisions is exercised.

A whole new world opens up for us! Instead of making the same old negative choices, or reacting poorly when life throws us a curve ball, we get to make more positive and beneficial choices. The more we do this, new neural pathways are created in the brain and our ability to be more productive, happy, and successful in each day will increase.

“What fires together, wires together”, so the more we re-wire our brain and develop alternative and healthy responses to the stressors life throws our way, the more we will live happier and healthier lives. This will overflow into our relationships, our businesses, our life purpose, and all we desire to see come to fruition in our world.