Psilocybin is making a big comeback after the war on drugs in the ’60s. It’s becoming popular in the mainstream as more is becoming known about the many benefits of this natural hallucinogenic. It’s been used by artists for years to enhance creativity and expand the mind but recently has made its way into medicine and wellness. In response, psychedelic retreats have been popping up all over the world with experts that lead you through the experience. For new users who are wary of trying this drug alone, it could open up doors they never imagined possible.
What Is Psilocybin?
Psilocybin is the hallucinogen in “magic mushrooms.” It’s naturally occurring in over a hundred known types of mushrooms globally. When ingested it interacts with serotonin levels in the body and offers a huge range of benefits. In large doses, it can cause hallucinations and unusual perceptions. It takes about 20-40 minutes to feel the effects and they can last up to 6 hours.
What Is A Psychedelic Retreat?
A psilocybin retreat is similar to any other wellness retreat- except for the hallucinations. These psychedelic getaways are usually much more luxurious than the average ayahuasca trip in remote communities. These retreats can last anywhere from 3-7 days and include preparation and integration before and after the ceremony. Integration is vitally important and can really help you process the experience. This is the main draw to these experiences as anyone can take “magic mushrooms” alone but having someone work through and decode your experience with you is something incredible. During your inner journey, expert guides will be there to offer space or reassurance when needed.
Besides the actual experience of psilocybin, these retreats will include grounding activities like nature walks, yoga, meditation, and music. It’s a way to immerse yourself in a stress-free, natural environment where you can get to know yourself.
“Career, status, professional success, and financial wealth don’t cut it anymore. People are looking for a deeper meaning in their lives. Increasingly, [they] are looking to indigenous traditions… many of which actively use ceremonies involving some sort of mind alteration, be they induced by psychedelics or otherwise.”
Stefana Bosse, director of experience at The Psychedelic Society
Psilocybin has a variety of benefits no matter where it’s taken. It helps people cope with anxiety, depression, PTSD, cigarette addiction, and enhances creativity. At a retreat, the guides will support you through the whole experience. This is especially beneficial for beginners as it maximizes the therapeutic potential while minimizing any negative effects and trips. It offers the chance to reach a new level of personal insight never before experienced. This can help people let go of what holds them back in life and lead to personal growth. Most people will say a retreat is the most spiritually significant event of their lives.
The other popular option is taking synthetic psilocybin in a clinical study. While this is beneficial to science it may not be as beneficial for you. Being in a more natural, therapeutic setting lowers the risk of anxiety and paranoia leading to a more significant experience.
Is It Safe?
Magic mushrooms are the safest and least toxic of psychedelic drugs. A study done by an international panel of researchers asked 123,841 people about their experiences with psilocybin. Only 0.04% of people had needed medical treatment.
James, a 29-year-old from London took a trip to a resort in Denmark to experience a spiritual awakening. He took part in an integration workshop when he landed. They were encouraged to journal, practice mindfulness, and immerse themselves in nature. He states that it was the best thing he had ever done. Before this experience, he hadn’t cried in 7 years and afterward noticed a positive difference in how he processes emotions. It’s significantly helped with his relationship. Even after the retreat was over psychologists call to check-in and see how things are going.
Rebbeca Coxon, a guest writer for the Huffington Post shares her first experience with psilocybin at a retreat. On the first day she meets the other people participating in the study and speak openly about their intentions for the trip. They had great meals, workshops and on the second day tried out these magic truffles. As she begins to feel emotional, facilitators keep her calm and joyful and she continues on her journey. Music plays in the background as she goes through different lines of deep thought and she begins to be engulfed by the universe. As she has visions and loses track of time she also bonds deeply with the other participants.
“These isolated visions will not change your life; action is required for change. But they might ignite something within you, and for people with a mental illness that could be a lifeline. For people like my brother, who has suffered from severe OCD and
depression for the best part of a decade, it could be an exciting alternative treatment option.”
There are so many resorts to choose from if you decide to try this life-changing experience. Make sure to do your research and make sure that it’s the right one for you. There are also many illegal pop-ups so beware and read lots of reviews.