An Ayahuasca retreat is a program where techniques from ancestral Amazonian medicine and techniques from psychedelic medicine and transpersonal psychotherapy are combined. In an Ayahuasca retreat the main objective is a healing experience through the exploration of expanded states of consciousness. In a retreat you will participate in ayahuasca ceremonies that will help you cleanse yourself physically, energetically and spiritually, through a powerful process of catharsis, purgation and purification, and you will be supported in the use of shamanic techniques, and a transpersonal psychotherapist will help you. You interpret and make sense of your experiences of expanded states of consciousness so that you can assimilate and integrate your experience into your daily life.
Ayahuasca retreat is an ancient medicinal drink with origins in the Amazon, specifically in Peru. The thick brown tea is made with Caapi, a vine that only grows in the rainforest, and plant leaves that contain hallucinogenic properties. Although some claim that it can benefit brain health and well-being, it is also associated with several potential risks. However, scientists have discovered several long-term health benefits of taking Ayahuasca.
In traditional Peruvian Ayahuasca ceremonies, the Shamans usually accompany with the typical Icarus songs, traditional sacred songs of the Amazonian tribes, which play a central role in the ceremony. The retreats can also be combined with complementary practices such as yoga, meditation, breathing, or other personal growth practices to help guide the experience. The effects of Ayahuasca can increase the feeling of connection to the heart and the earth, so combining these experiences can create a more expansive healing journey by helping to integrate introspection with outward activity.
During the retreat you will receive constant transpersonal psychological counseling. You will have the opportunity to live a transformative and healing experience. Experience with medicine will help you connect with your Higher Self or travel through the spiritual world. You will have the opportunity to heal childhood wounds or traumas, reconnect with your inner child and integrate the dark aspects of your personality. Ayahuasca is a powerful tool for self-knowledge. Every Ayahuasca retreat is different and each person walks their own path on their ayahuasca journey.
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive drink of plant origin that has powerful hallucinogenic or visionary properties. Ayahuasca is a Quechua word that has several interpretations for its meaning, among the most common are: “noose of the soul” “noose of the dead” “noose of the hanged man” “vine of the soul.” The concoction is prepared using the Banisteriopsis caapi liana and other plants, mainly the leaves of the Psichotria viridis, Diplopterys cabrerana and Mimosa hostilis shrubs. although many other plants are added to the preparation of the drink depending on the ethnicity and the use given to it. The use of Ayahuasca is deeply related to the worldview of the native peoples of the Amazon and is an essential part of traditional medicine throughout the Amazon jungle, in addition to being the main element in different initiation rituals. However, its medicinal or initiatory use takes on various forms according to the diverse traditions of the Amazonian ethnic groups.
Botanically, Ayahuasca refers to one of the more than one hundred species of lianas in the Malpighiaceae family, native to the Amazon rainforest and known by the scientific name Banisteriopsis caapi. It is a giant liana with small pink flowers. About 72 indigenous groups, belonging to different linguistic groups, ingest preparations from these lianas for different purposes. The native peoples who have used this plant have named it according to their own languages; That is why we find it with various native names: caapi, dápa, mihi, kahi, natema, pindé, yajé, among others. The drink used in prophecy, divination, witchcraft and medicine is so deeply rooted in native philosophy and mythology that there is no doubt of its great antiquity as a part of Aboriginal life.
The ayahuasca drink contains N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) from the ingredients added to the ayahuasca vine, such as chacruna leaves, and monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) alkaloids, beta-carbolines, which come from the ayahuasca vine. Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme that is found naturally in the body and its function is to inactivate certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. The beta-carbolines (harmine and harmaline and tetrahydroharmine) in the concoction block the action of monoamine oxidase, allowing DMT to access the nervous system. The psychoactive effects of the concoction are considered to be mainly due to DMT.
We only use the Ayahuasca vine and chacruna leaves. No other additives are used. Our Ayahuasquero teacher goes into the Amazon jungle, where a group of mystics and wise men from the Matsiguenkas and Shipibos communities harvest the sacred plants, which are then prepared with prayers and ceremonies. Most forms of Ayahuasca are still a mixture of chacruna leaves, or psychotria viridis, and the Ayahuasca vine, or banisteriopsis caapi, but the method of preparing it can have a significant impact on the experience of it. At the most basic level, the combination of the two produces dimethyltryptamine or DMT, a highly psychedelic substance. Some traditional Ayahuasca recipes keep the medicine simple, but others include additional medicinal plants in the drink to support the experience.
The use of sacred Mapacho tobacco is typically used in the form of smoke or snuff (snuff) before and/or during the ceremony, to increase the hallucinogenic effect of the medicine by opening the intuitive center of the third eye and increasing blood flow. It is also used to calm the nerves of participants before the ceremony. Mapacho has a significantly higher nicotine content than regular tobacco and contains the same alkaloids as ayahuasca, which increases the potency of the vine. During the ceremony, the shaman usually blows Mapacho smoke over the participants to heal them.
The medication works differently for each person depending on a variety of factors. For example, sometimes body weight will have little to do with the number of doses. We begin the ceremony with a standard dose to measure your sensitivity to the medication. A second dose is offered an hour and a half later if they are still not feeling the medication. Depending on how strong of an experience they have the first night, the dosage for the next night will be based on the sensitivity to the first night’s intake. We always evaluate each person’s experience during the ceremony and our goal is to provide the best possible dose for the next ceremony so that, hopefully, they do not need to take a second dose. However, if they need a second or third dose, that is not restricted. Our goal is to support the most beneficial experience for each guest.
There are many types of experiences that you can possibly have by participating in an ayahuasca session. Experiences are completely personal phenomena, and there may not be one experience that is the same as the other. It is not possible to predict what an ayahuasca experience will be like, as each experience is unique. However, it is possible to mention different characteristics of the non-ordinary state of consciousness that is accessed through the ingestion of ayahuasca, including visions, purging, emotional catharsis and certain sensations and perceptions typical of this state of consciousness. The type of catharsis that usually occurs when drinking ayahuasca is an emotional release, a process of purification and cleansing that occurs physically, mentally and spiritually. Furthermore, the states experienced in ayahuasca ceremonies sometimes facilitate the resolution of existential conflicts or provide solutions to various types of psychological traumas and emotional problems.
As you begin to slip into an altered state of consciousness, you may find that the mind is drifting, wandering. A feeling of laziness may arise, as if you can sleep easily. The colors and patterns can be seen in your mind. There may be an increase in energy flowing through the body. The transition to a different state of consciousness can be accompanied by some very unusual sensations. This may include feeling agitated, some nausea, and feeling unwell. The discomfort often disappears as we move deeper into a trance state, but may continue to increase until the purge comes. Whatever the experience, know that all is well and allow the medicine to work.
The peak of the experience usually begins about an hour after drinking. For some it may come sooner, and for others it may take up to two hours before the full effect of ayahuasca takes place. For most people, the maximum ayahuasca experience will last approximately 2 to 3 hours. Some are very sensitive to ayahuasca and may have full visionary experiences lasting 6-7 hours. The experience may include visions of bright colors and it is also common for people to have no visionary visual experience at all. Sounds, smells, and tactile sensations can be felt in the body.
Encountering otherworldly beings: Many people report meeting spiritual entities, including “Mother Ayahuasca” herself and the spirits of deceased ancestors. These subjective spiritual experiences are characterized by a loss of ego, feelings of oneness with the universe, and connection to a higher or divine source. Physical side effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting. Diarrhea, tremors and a feeling of great heaviness may also occur.
Generally, the effects of ayahuasca last between four and eight hours and can take between 30 and 90 minutes to appear, depending on the medication. However, the way you experience time will be different than usual. The passage of time may seem slower or faster than normal. In some cases, participants may also feel that time does not exist.
In Peru, where ayahuasca is legal for medicinal use, there are a large number of centers and people offering medicine, and new centers appear seemingly every day. The popularity of ayahuasca has skyrocketed in recent years. Along with this rise in popularity, unfortunately comes a dilution in the quality and intent behind those offering this medication. Many participate in this for the potential for material gain. Others serve ayahuasca out of a true desire to help others in their healing, but with an unfortunate lack of understanding of the healing process and sometimes a delusional belief that they can perform a ceremony properly and safely without proper training. an established lineage and a right intention.
Our home for 1-day retreats is located in the sacred valley of the Incas, in the town of Pisac, where we have been creating a legitimate and safe space for ayahuasca healing since 2012. We also have facilities within the Amazon jungle in the Manu National Park. Our ceremonies are carried out exclusively by true and proven Ayahuasquero masters who carry with them years of their own experience, backed by countless generations of indigenous wisdom. Our facilitation and teaching team is made up of women and men who have done and continue to do their own “work” in healing and evolution. They all have extensive experience with ayahuasca and other plants, and are passionate about witnessing and supporting others on their healing journey.
The focus is deep healing on all levels: emotional, mental and spiritual. There will be better results when the ceremony is organized in small groups, to ensure that each person receives considerable personalized attention during their stay. If you are going to take Ayahuasca as an alternative medicine, it is recommended that you follow the processes, for example, the first intake is to determine your acceptance of this new therapy as a possible treatment for your fears and vices, in the following months. You can choose to make new retreats, but if the results achieved with one session are very positive, you should not continue with more doses of the sacred medicine. The process is profound and you must be committed to making lasting change in your life. The workshops are, in effect, a healing course that also begins a long-term healing journey with medicinal plants.
The highest priority is to first identify and diagnose energetic imbalances, where negative energies have taken over the patients, and then, for the duration of the workshop, work closely with each guest to cleanse them of these dense energies that they retain in their path or life. Working with the plants takes time and it is crucial that each person who comes to the Temple receives a certain level of healing. In addition to cleansing and purifying the guests’ bodies of immediate heavy energies (inner demons, etc.), the Ikaros (sacred chants) given to the guests are, in effect, “seeds of change” that are planted in your system and then grow over time. offering guidance and support on the healing journey that unfolds. Healing during a workshop is actually the beginning of a much longer process that is affected in “plant time,” not human time.
A workshop at the Temple is an intense experience where guests face their shadows and are helped to identify where the root of the negative energy they carry comes from. It works to deeply cleanse traumas, repressed emotional problems, negative behavioral patterns and mental programs that do not lead to a peaceful, joyful and connected existence. Helping people get rid of a lifetime of energetic problems to connect with their true nature, build right relationships with the people around them and, fundamentally, establish more respect and compassion for the world around them.
In general, we recommend eating clean, whole foods before the retreat. The medicine may be more effective and penetrate deeper the cleaner your body is. This can decrease the amount of physical purging, allowing ayahuasca to more effectively reach the root of illnesses, imbalances, and energetic suffering. Having a clean body also helps connect with the more cosmic and mystical aspects of medicine. Dietary requirements include foods that should be avoided and for how long, as well as behavioral restrictions that adhere to traditional wisdom, safety considerations, and best practices. Complying with these requirements is important not only for your safety, since ayahuasca can be contraindicated with certain foods and medications, but also for its effectiveness.
While some ayahuasca traditions recommend fasting, others do not. In vegetarian and Shipibo traditions, it is suggested to wait at least four hours after the last meal before drinking. Sessions can be long and fasting can cause fatigue. Differences of opinion on the matter make a general recommendation impossible.
2 WEEKS PRIOR TO YOUR RETREAT
Tyramine is an amino acid present in many foods such as aged cheese, yogurt, fermented foods, yeast, some legumes, as well as ripe fruits and vegetables. Excessive consumption of these foods at the time of an ayahuasca experience could cause medical complications such as hypertensive crises or blood pressure so high that there is a risk of adverse events such as a stroke. From a medical perspective, avoiding tyramine-rich foods for a day before and after is enough to avoid risks.
Sexual and sensual activity with self and/or others
Limiting highly processed foods
Limiting salt and foods high in salt
Limiting foods high in sugar & processed sugar
Limiting foods high in oils and animal fats
Peanuts, soy, and fava beans
Avoid drinking alcohol
Avoid taking ANY recreational drugs (some are required for 30 days; please make sure to read through the Preparation Guide for more details)
Avoid ALL other plant medicines including cannabis, psychedelics
1 WEEK PRIOR TO YOUR RETREAT, LIMIT THE FOLLOWING:
Avoid all types of pork and pork products
Overly processed foods
Foods high in salt
Foods high in processed sugar (fruit is okay)
Overly ripe or fermented foods
Overly spicy foods (moderate spice is okay)
Pickled, fermented, and smoked foods
Overly ripe foods
Ice and Ice-cold drinks (cool drinks are okay)
A note on caffeine consumption:
If you regularly consume caffeine it is recommended that you wean yourself down to a moderate level before arriving. While we have some caffeinated beverages available for those who will NOT be doing the plant diet, ayahuasca can make you more sensitive to caffeine. Plan to consume less than what you normally would, before and during the retreat.
3 DAYS PRIOR TO YOUR RETREAT
Refrain from sexual activity of any kind, including masturbation
We maintain a “no medications” policy while consuming ayahuasca. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and supplements. Certain medications and health supplements, particularly SSRIs or anything that affects the serotonergic system, can be dangerous and potentially fatal when consumed with ayahuasca, which has an MAO inhibitor as one of its main ingredients.
It is very important to follow the guidelines marked in the Preparation Guide to be able to work with the medication safely, as well as consult with your doctor if you are taking prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceutical products so that you can be adequately informed on how to best proceed. It is equally important that you accurately disclose all medical information when completing the Pre-Retirement Health Form so that we can work together in a safe and informed manner.
Here is a list that covers most of the medications and substances to avoid. This is not an exhaustive list. Our Preparation Guide expands on this in more detail, so be sure to read it carefully. You can also find this information on our medical guidelines page. In all cases, consult your doctor’s advice when making any decision.
Amphetamines and derivatives
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
Serotonin 2A receptor blockers
Blood pressure medication
Appetite suppressants, diet pills.
Cough suppressants, cold and flu medicines
The key to making the most of your time with ayahuasca is to trust it and surrender to the experience. Know that everything you are going through is simply the medicine that heals you and prepares you for a healthier, richer, more authentic life. Have faith and a positive expectation. Commit to your growth and healing. This is a useful attitude and perhaps the best one when working with ayahuasca. When used responsibly and under proper guidance, ayahuasca is a very safe medicinal plant. It has been consumed by Amazonian peoples for potentially thousands of years, and foreigners have been drinking ayahuasca in the Amazon and abroad for at least a couple hundred years. The immediate health effects of use, such as vomiting and hallucinations, may be temporary, but can be very unpleasant and disturbing. That said, there are important health and safety considerations. The most important elements of safety have to do with proper dietary and medical protocols. Because one of the main ingredients in ayahuasca is an MAO inhibitor, certain foods, medications, supplements, and other substances can react adversely with ayahuasca and cause potentially harmful results.
Lastly, drinking ayahuasca with untrained ceremony leaders, in an environment that is not safe or properly managed, or with people who do not represent one’s best intentions, can be risky at best, and possibly have negative and long-lasting repercussions on health and well-being. welfare. We always recommend working with ayahuasca responsibly, in a professional environment and with Teachers and facilitators who have significant experience and a track record of integrity.
Many people who have taken Ayahuasca claim that the experience produced positive, long-term, life-altering changes. This may be due to the effects of Ayahuasca on the neurological system. Recent research has shown that Ayahuasca can benefit health, particularly brain health, in several ways. In some studies, the main active ingredients of Ayahuasca (DMT and β-carbolines) have been shown to exhibit neuroprotective and neurorestorative qualities. DMT activates the sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R), a protein that blocks neurodegeneration and regulates the production of antioxidant compounds that help protect brain cells.
One study indicated that DMT protected human brain cells from damage caused by lack of oxygen and increased cell survival. Harimine, the main β-carboline in ayahuasca, has been found to have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and memory-stimulating effects in animal studies. It has also been found to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that plays an important role in the growth of nerve cells and promotes the survival of nerve cells. There is evidence that ayahuasca may have therapeutic potential to treat different types of disorders including depression and substance abuse, among other psychological disorders. However, experimental studies whose objective has been to demonstrate this potential therapeutic effect are very few.
Spiritual Healing: Many people who attend these retreats seek spiritual and intellectual knowledge or new understandings. These are said to be dramatic, sometimes even “life-changing” experiences.
Mindfulness: Many who have used this substance report improved mindfulness, or awareness of themselves and the present moment. Some research has found that even someone who uses ayahuasca for the first time in a controlled environment can experience increased mindfulness and other mental health benefits.
Affective disorders: It is true that, recently, some preclinical trials and studies carried out with humans have presented some evidence about ayahuasca or some of its alkaloids being responsible for the anxiolytic and antidepressant effects observed. Among the existing serotonergics, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) has been considered in recent years as a possible antidepressant. Some hypotheses suggest that, at reduced doses, the mechanism associated with DMT would be mediated by an aminergic receptor, which could be one of the sites of action of endogenous DMT.
Likewise, anxiolytic and antidepressant effects are also associated with β-carbolines. After preclinical studies with rodents, the results pointed to a reduction in the symptoms associated with depression (anhedonia), and regulation of hippocampal ACTH and BDNF levels. Other data could also support the use of ayahuasca as an antidepressant. Recent studies have indicated that regular use of ayahuasca is involved in long-term modulation or modification of the serotonergic system in the central nervous system, specifically serotonin transporter (SERT) levels.
This modulation can increase the function of the serotonergic system, which could be considered one of the mechanisms promoting its possible positive effect in depressed patients. There is also evidence of the potential antidepressant effect of ayahuasca through studies carried out with fMRI. From previous studies, it was observed that people suffering from depressive-type disorders had difficulties regulating or modulating regions of the default neural network, also known as the default mode network (DMN). The administration of ayahuasca to healthy participants showed a significant reduction in signal by fMRI of central structures of the DMN: the anterior cingulate cortex, the medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulate cortex, the precuneus and the inferior parietal lobe.
Changes were also observed in the connectivity patterns of said network. However, there is evidence that points in the opposite direction, that is, to a modulation with a tendency to increase activity and functional connectivity in this network by depressed patients. Despite these data, it is obvious that the ingestion of this substance involves changes in both connectivity and neuronal activity and that the results of studies carried out to date point towards an antidepressant effect, both subjective and objective, on the part of the participants.
Ayahuasca opens the subconscious: One of the benefits of working with ayahuasca is its ability to unblock the subconscious mind. Memories from early childhood may return, of things we haven’t thought about for 15 years or more. We may clearly see beliefs and thought patterns that have been shaping our perception of life without us realizing it. Repressed memories and emotions may arise, and we may feel like we are reliving traumatic events from the past. These can be powerful and frightening, and it is best if we surrender to the experience and trust the medicine to do its job. Part of healing is feeling, especially the one we would often prefer to avoid.
Drug dependence and alcoholism: In the case of substance abuse or alcoholism, there are preclinical results that suggest that harmine, the main alkaloid in ayahuasca, could have an important therapeutic effect. It is true that treatment in the field of drug addiction and alcohol abuse through the use of other substances with dubious addictive potential is subject to reluctance and objections. However, some current drug addiction treatments already involve maintenance through controlled substance pharmacotherapy.
According to the evidence available in relation to the biochemistry of addictions, an ideal treatment would involve the following: a global increase in serotonergic levels, as well as the stabilization of dopamine in the mesolimbic pathway. As previously explained, ayahuasca affects serotonin in various ways. Firstly, the β-carbolines that make up ayahuasca would increase these global serotonergic levels through the inhibition of the MAO enzyme. Second, as a result of its structural similarity to serotonin, DMT binds or has affinity for most, if not all, serotonin receptors. But, in addition to serotonin, ayahuasca also influences dopamine levels. An ideal treatment of addictive behavior would return dopamine levels in the mesolimbic pathways to optimal levels between the two extremes of withdrawal and reinforcement.
That is, the treatment would consist of stabilizing dopamine levels, promoting levels high enough to attenuate the symptoms or effects of abstinence from a substance of abuse, but low enough to avoid further reinforcement of the addiction. Taking these aspects into account, ayahuasca has been proposed as a potential substance that can realize this complex biochemical balance through multiple opposing mechanisms. The effects of ayahuasca on dopamine can be separated into two categories: those mechanisms that raise dopamine levels and those that decrease it in the mesolimbic pathways.
On the one hand, the β-carbolines in ayahausca block the metabolism of catecholamines, which leads to an overall increase in dopamine levels. Furthermore, it has been shown that harmine releases dopamine, relatively independently, in the nucleus accumbens and blocks the reuptake of dopamine into the synaptic membrane through blockade of the dopamine transporter (DAT).
Meanwhile, on the other hand, ayahuasca also has mechanisms that decrease dopamine levels in the mesolimbic pathway. The affinity of DMT for serotonin receptors leads to triggering these mechanisms. Its agonist action at 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors inhibits the release of dopamine. Thus, through the push and pull of multiple biochemical mechanisms, ayahuasca guarantees the balance of dopamine in the mesolimbic pathway.
Long-Term Adverse Effects and Reactions
Taking into account that personality and neuropsychological function are largely regulated by the prefrontal cortex, the study of personality, psychopathological status and neuropsychological functions in habitual users and over long periods of time is essential to ensure whether regular use of ayahuasca has some type of impact on the health, at all levels, of the consumer. In the scientific literature you can find some reviews on the possible long-term adverse effects that the consumption of ayahuasca in its rituals may have on a physiological, psychological, psychiatric and neuropsychological level. These reviews have suggested that there is no evidence of physiological toxicity or psychological consequences in those habitual users of this substance, whose consumption has been characterized continuously for years and even decades in some cases.
Regarding the cardiovascular effects produced by ayahuasca, moderate increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate have been observed, from which the researchers concluded that this substance only has a moderate risk from a cardiovascular point of view when it is administered to healthy population. However, although these increases were moderate, caution should be taken in cases of people who suffer from previous pathologies such as hypertension or other cardiovascular problems. These effects are even more important if we take into consideration some of the evidence published in the media about some unexplained deaths of people who participated in ayahuasca rituals.
Nausea and vomiting are the most frequently reported adverse effects in clinical trials carried out on the administration of ayahuasca. The fact that a reduction in the appearance of vomiting is observed in studies carried out in controlled conditions, such as laboratories, may be due to the encapsulation process carried out after lyophilization, which avoids the well-known organoleptic properties so unpleasant characteristics of ayahuasca. Furthermore, the MAOI action of tea and its serotonergic effect probably also causes vomiting since it increases vagal stimulation, while the increase in serotonin at the peripheral level seems to promote intestinal motility and, therefore, produce diarrhea, the latter being another of the typical adverse reactions of ayahuasca. However, varying degrees of nausea, vomiting, and occasionally simultaneously also diarrhea, are common in ayahuasca rituals. In general, these purgative effects are considered positive by the participants of this type of ceremony. Vomiting and diarrhea are interpreted as a “cleansing” ritual, and even one of the names of Colombian origin that ayahuasca receives is “the purge.”
Some researchers also refer to a series of adverse effects that have been observed in alterations that mainly affect body sensations, subjective changes in body temperature, paresthesias, as well as certain stomach discomforts, among others. However, these types of somatic side effects induced by ayahuasca are generally transitory and do not usually cause excessive discomfort, and are even classified by some individuals as pleasant.
In the studies carried out by Callaway, increases were observed with respect to the basal blood levels of prolactin, cortisol and growth hormone (GH), collected at 60, 90 and 120 minutes after the administration of ayahuasca.
However, both substances, ayahuasca and d-amphetamine, managed to significantly increase cortisol levels in a comparable way. When the study was carried out contrasting the effects of repeated doses, they showed an impact on the levels not only of cortisol and prolactin, but also of growth hormone, an effect that had not been detected in previous studies carried out by these same authors. However, unlike the levels of cortisol and prolactin recorded after the second dose of ayahuasca, growth hormone levels suffered a decrease when compared to the first administration. This phenomenon, according to the authors themselves, could be explained by the tolerance effect of this hormone after repeated administration of this substance.
Ayahuasca induces modifications at the level of lymphocyte subpopulations. Specifically, it has been detected that the percentages of CD4 and CD3 cells are decreased, while the percentage of Natural Killers (NK) increases. These changes, as evidenced in studies, reach their maximum around two hours after ingesting ayahuasca and return to basal levels 24 hours later. Thus, the authors of these studies explain these immunological modifications as a probable consequence of the increases in cortisol levels. This effect is common when other substances such as cocaine, cannabis, alcohol, nicotine, opiates and amphetamines have been administered. Furthermore, when the tolerance of these immunological variables was subsequently studied from the administration of repeated doses of ayahuasca, the results indicated the non-existence of said phenomenon for these Variables. To date, no study has demonstrated or ensured the possible impact that these acute physiological changes may have on the health of those ayahuasca users who have consumed it for long periods of time.
On the one hand, these studies recorded that the psychological effects produced by ayahuasca begin to be observed 45-60 minutes after ingesting the substance. The peak of these effects is recorded between 90 and 120 minutes, with remission occurring approximately 4 hours from the time of administration. The subjective effects experienced included significant modifications at the perceptual, cognitive and affective levels. Specifically, these acute subjective effects of ayahuasca are characterized by changes in the state of consciousness, including perceptual modifications in the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Visions while keeping the eyes closed are frequently accompanied by intense emotions and an increase in the speed of thinking.
The results obtained from the studies also showed that ayahuasca induces changes at the level of brain electrical activity. These changes, significant and dependent on the administered dose, were studied by quantitative pharmacoelectroencephalography (q-EEG). This psychophysiological technique is known to provide an objective measure of the effects of drugs on the central nervous system (CNS). When the highest doses were administered, the absolute amplitude decreased in all frequency bands, although this reduction was most prominent in the theta rhythm.
Decreases in the relative amplitudes of the delta and theta rhythms, as well as an increase in the beta brain rhythm, were also recorded. These effects reached their maximum degree between one and a half and two hours after the administration of ayahuasca. Once that time had passed, these psychophysiological effects were progressively reduced, following a course similar to that of the subjective effects. Furthermore, when successive doses of ayahuasca were administered in one study, the effect on the spontaneous activity recorded by the EEG was greater after the second administration than after the first. In another study of a comparative nature between the administration of ayahuasca and d-amphetamine, carried out by dos Santos et al. (2011), the increase in the absolute power of the beta rhythm was confirmed only after the consumption of ayahuasca and not d-amphetamine, which showed that the effect found in this frequency band seems to be specific to hallucinogens.
A psychophysiological study, in which P50 evoked potential suppression techniques were used in addition to the inhibition of the startle reflex by a pre-stimulus, a technique also known as “prepulse inhibition” (PPI). From the results it was found that ayahuasca produced significant (dose-dependent) reductions in P50 suppression. These reductions indicated a decreasing effect on sensory suppression of irrelevant information. That is, the administration of ayahuasca managed to temporarily alter the inhibitory mechanisms of filtering sensory information. However, the same administration did not entail significant effects regarding the habituation rate of the startle reflex, nor were any effects found on the PPI at any of the prepulse-pulse intervals studied. A final result could be indicating that ayahuasca does not produce effects at the level of sensorimotor suppression, that is, it would produce decreases in terms of sensory filtering measured by the P50 wave, but not in sensorimotor filtering measured by the PPI.
The effects of ayahuasca administration on a measure of interhemispheric integrity were also studied. The results showed a reduction in the rates of rivalry disturbance in a binocular rivalry test. According to the researchers, ayahuasca involved greater interhemispheric fusion, such that they could maintain horizontal or vertical dominance for longer compared to basal conditions, despite the fact that in the ayahuasca condition the alternation rates were up to two orders of magnitude faster than in the ayahuasca condition. its endogenous rivalry rate.
Effects on sleep quality
Contrary to the results obtained in research in which d-amphetamine was administered, daily administrations of ayahuasca did not induce any subjectively perceived deterioration in terms of sleep quality or disruptions with respect to the initiation or maintenance of sleep evaluated through polysomnographic recordings. However, these analyzes also showed that, similar to d-amphetamine, ayahuasca inhibited REM sleep, reducing its duration. Finally, unlike what occurred when d-amphetamine was administered, an increase in the intensity of slow wave sleep was recorded after consumption of ayahuasca.
Taking into account the profound impact that psychedelic substances have on thought processes, their recently discovered ability to stimulate intrinsic activity in the prefrontal cortex and the similarities between the subjective effects they induce and endogenous psychosis, these substances are being proposed as tools to investigate what role 5-HT2A receptors have in executive functions. The majority of glutamatergic neurons in layers II-V of the prefrontal cortex express 5-HT2A receptors (86-100%), with a maximum (almost 100%) in layers III and V. Serotonergic modulation of neural activity in the The prefrontal cortex is involved in working memory, response execution, and executive function, suggesting a potential role for 5-HT2A receptors in these processes.
In a recent study, neuropsychological performance was evaluated in a large sample of chronic ayahuasca users. The results found by these authors showed diverse effects after the acute administration of ayahuasca on the participants’ performance in neuropsychological tests.
When you book an Ayahuasca retreat in Cusco, you normally leave at 4:00 pm, and you must go to the town of Pisac located in the sacred valley, at night it is cold in this part of the Andes, so you should to wear warm clothing. On the other hand, programs of 3 days or more are usually carried out in the Amazon jungle of Manu. This site has a tropical climate that is quite hot during the day, so you should wear light clothing. Please note that all bungalows have mosquito nets over the beds, however, outside you may encounter mosquitoes, so be prepared and bring a good natural repellent.
1 pair of long pants
2 pairs of shorts
2 long sleeve t-shirts
Various short sleeve t-shirts
Flashlight with spare batteries
Jacket for occasional cold nights
Poncho or rain jacket
Sunscreen and after sun lotion
White clothes for ayahuasca ceremonies
Personal grooming equipment
1 roll of toilet paper
30 liter backpack
The strongest effects of drinking Ayahuasca, including the ultra-visionary and purgative effects, occur during the 12-hour ceremony. Some people may feel nauseous in the following days, although most people feel lighter and more clear-headed. The active ingredient of the plant remains in the body for about 40 days, during which you will continue to feel, understand and learn from the plant and the ceremony, often through dreams.
The life principles you gain during the ceremony will last a lifetime. That is, ultimately, the effect of drinking Ayahuasca. In fact, there are visions or feelings you may experience during a ceremony that will resurface years later and that you will only begin to finally understand over time. This is very common among those who choose this medication.
The retreat places with which we work in Cusco are located in the sacred valley of the Incas, this site is very special for its climate and energy centers that have been visited since ancient times. You will have the opportunity to visit the archaeological centers of Moray, Ollantaytambo, Pisac. The Andean landscape is very beautiful, as it is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and corn fields. The other retreat center for ayahuasca is located in the community of Patria in the Manu National Park, whose scenic beauty is unique, due to the large number of bird species, medicinal plants and Amazon forests. You can also bathe in the rivers with crystal clear waters that come down from the Andes mountains. If you are determined to participate in any of the Ayahuasca programs, you must fly to Peru, and from Lima a domestic flight to Cusco. There are currently many flight schedules. If you have already been on the diet, it is recommended that you arrive at least one day before starting your ritual in the legendary lands of the Incas.
People who are affected by or have family histories of psychotic or bipolar illnesses should generally avoid use of psychedelics. Many facilitators and retreat centers advise that ayahuasca is contraindicated with borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. One case study advised caution around ayahuasca use for individuals with generalized anxiety disorder.
Some therapists and medical professionals advise that a person with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should proceed carefully with ayahuasca and other psychedelics, as the experience could be re-traumatizing. However, many people with PTSD have reported profound changes in their life which they attribute to ayahuasca healing. Taking proper precautions, spending time to prepare, working with a skilled and experienced facilitator and integrating the experience afterward can reduce the risk of adverse experiences.
Ayahuasca may not be safe for people with heart or liver problems, kidney disorders, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Someone with a serious cardiovascular disorder may be harmed by the increase in blood pressure that ayahuasca can cause.
In order to participate in any of the Ayahuasca retreats, preparation prior to the process is very important, the so-called preparation diet, which consists of a series of recommendations or suggestions that aim to help participants connect more easily with the power. healing of ayahuasca medicine. The diet also prevents certain complications during the Ayahuasca experience, helps prepare the body to receive the ayahuasca medicine and facilitates its assimilation. The ayahuasca diet is not always the same in all places, therefore, we have designed a diet that adapts to the therapeutic objectives of the Ayahuasca Retreats that we organize.
Anyone who feels really motivated to live this kind of experience, and also who is physically and psychologically prepared to be part of this process, is able to participate in a retreat. For this reason, the evaluation prior to the retreat is very important, since this way, we will know if there are risks for the health. Not all people is able to participate in an ayahuasca retreat. Cannot participate someone under 18 years old, pregnant women, people with some conditions such as a history of heart attack, stroke and some other diseases. Cannot participate in these retreats people suffering certain psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder in the manic phase or people with problems of dissociation of personality.
There are people known as “SHAMANES” (imposter shamans) who are not well trained to lead ayahuasca ceremonies and/or do it for money. There have also been reports of sexual abuse by people serving ayahuasca. That’s why it’s important to be selective when looking for a retirement.
A first indicator that you should take into account is the place where the ceremony will take place, since if they are offering you very cheap services, keep in mind that their spaces do not have the minimum standards to practice Ayahuasca medicine. Likewise, on the day of your orientation, make sure that your ceremony coordinator is a highly trusted and reputable person. It is also recommended, if you are a woman, to choose a priestess to guide you in this therapy work, this will convey great security when taking the ayahuasca drink. Another recommendation that is made is not to carry valuable items such as jewelry, phones, money; Bring only the most necessary items, since part of the logistics is already included in your travel package.
Make sure that with you will be your travel agent, who normally does not participate in the ritual, he will act as a translator and assistant to the priest, whether Andean or from the Amazon jungle. And a no less important detail is to find out if the company with which you are going to make the withdrawal has good comments from its previous clients. If you feel unsafe, you should definitely avoid participating in this ceremony, because it could cause some kind of health risks or issues related to theft and even violence.
Drinking a cup of Ayahuasca is an act of faith. You are inviting an omnipotent living spirit into your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Instead of there being the plant and you, or there being a plant and a human being consuming that plant, it is helpful to think of this relationship as an interweaving or combination of energy fields that recognize each other and know how to interact. You are a living organism and so is he. Perhaps the first piece of advice I would give you would be to start a conversation with the plant once it is inside you. Talking to the plant and inviting it to work with you throughout the night is a good start, and if you can identify with the idea of channeling energy into the plant’s movements as it explores your body, you will find that channeling is towards the plant’s pleasure.
Paying attention to your movements and voice is a sign of respect and humility, and humility is a key component in the study of sacred medicines. Humility activates the voice of the plant. The plant is smarter than you. He is more intuitively intelligent than you. Even at your first ceremony, he knows you better than you know yourself. It will surprise you with that knowledge if you allow it. You are the student in this situation and you have voluntarily entered into a guru-seeker relationship that is based on respect and reverence.
Voluntarily surrendering to the plant is not easy. When, in your daily life, do you ever invite another living spirit into your body and give it control? Probably never. Your desire to guide and control the plant and your relationship with it will be the number one barrier to having a shocking or enlightening experience. Expectations cause stagnation in the relationship with the plant. To assist in this process of willing submission, bring an intention to the ceremony. Why are you subjecting yourself to the nausea and discomfort that is to come? What issues or challenges motivated you to attend the ceremony? Set that intention as deeply as you can; deeper than a thought on the surface of your mind. Feel the tensions, the holes, the confusions, the sadness and illnesses and maybe, if you’re lucky, the blessings that have brought you to medicine and let those feelings motivate and humble you.
The personality of the plant on any given night is unpredictable, and it is this capacity to surprise that inspires individuals to delve deeper into the path of self-study that is the path of sacred medicines. Like all energy in the universe, your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual state is constantly changing, and the plant is another wave of energy that mixes with yours to create a unique experience in each moment of the ceremony. When the plant shows you something you didn’t expect to see, you have to strike a balance; You must observe and analyze without getting attached. The plant wants to show you how much you contain and ultimately help you love the parts of yourself that have been hidden because they create pain or suffering in your ego structure.
The imminent collapse of the ego structure when faced with the supreme wisdom and power of a medicinal plant is one of the greatest benefits of submitting to the plant. You are not your name. You are not your professional title. You are not your family relatives. It is not possible to label, categorize or box who you are. The plant will show you by integrating you back into nature. You will become one with nature and once again be a breathing, humming, vibrating field of energy on Planet Earth. When this ego collapse occurs, healing occurs. We free ourselves from the weight of identifications that limit us, create fear, lead us to unnecessary suffering, stifle our creativity, and make it more difficult to love ourselves and others. When you simply are, you are unlimited.
You contain the universe; light and darkness, celebration and trauma, beauty and vice. We discover that after going through the discomfort, pain, sadness and beauty of the night, the sun rises again. That is when the work of courageously living the truths we have discovered begins.
Some of the questions that often come to mind after an Ayahuasca retreat are: What now?, and: How do I get back to everyday life? There is no generic answer to these questions as the experience is different for each individual – we are all unique and each of us goes through a very personal journey during a retreat. However, the following tips can help you more easily process the experience you have had and better integrate the energies you have received.
First of all, keep in mind that you must continue to work consistently in different areas of your life, such as diet, exercise, meditation, etc. Harmony and balance are achieved when all aspects of your being are oriented in the same direction. During the retreat, many of these facets are relegated to the center (which cares for you like a true clinic), to the shaman (our doctor) and to Medicine. Now it’s your turn to take responsibility for taking care of yourself. As you return to your daily routine, the integration process will continue and it is after the retreat that the real work begins.
During this process, you will be able to see yourself from a different perspective, as a transformed being with new knowledge and new tools for life, with renewed physical and emotional energy and with a lot of inner space. Choose carefully what you will put in this new space. The process of growth and transformation is never easy. Although the most painful part is behind you, after the retreat you must decide how you want to live your life, from love or from fear. Life will present you with new challenges again and again, constantly testing your newly acquired strengths and the decisions you have committed to. Be aware and watch what happens. During the retreat, many deep layers have been stirred up and removed and a transformation process has begun that may take months or even years to integrate. Always remember that the spirit of Medicine flows throughout your body, and will guide and accompany you throughout this process.
SPOIL YOURSELF AND LOVE YOURSELF
Now you know that a traditional Ayahuasca healing process can also include intense and challenging moments. The energy was set in motion before you even came to the retreat and will continue to work for a while after you return home. Be proud of yourself and appreciate the courage you had to take this important step in your life, feel like the warrior who returns home victorious, but also feel the responsibility that this implies.
Observe where you are in your life today. Don’t judge yourself or feel guilty if you haven’t taken care of yourself in the past, it’s all part of your experience – there were no good or bad decisions, just experiences that have made you who you are today. Now you can begin a new chapter in your life and you can do it with love and understanding. It is recommended to continue with the same diet for another week after the retreat, since your body is still in the purification process. Remember: no red meat, no pork, no alcohol, no spicy foods or sugar, and salt in moderation. Drink plenty of water, a minimum of two liters a day; Water is absolutely essential for the body’s purification process.
Starting next week, take the time to determine the healthy diet that is best for you and make it a habit. Maybe you need more time, listen to your body and follow your own pace. Incorporate other healthy habits into your life: spend more time in nature, exercise, meditate, have moments of leisure and dedicate special time to your loved ones. Whatever you do, try to do it with all your heart. Love and take care of yourself first, only then can you expand your light and love to the other beings around you. Remember to feel gratitude every day, for being alive, for your home, for the food you eat, and for all the people in your life who help you learn and grow along this journey.
ALLOW YOUR EMOTIONS TO FLOW FREELY
Emotions are energetic movements that pass through us. When we do not express them, they remain trapped in different parts of our body – our organs, muscles, etc. – generating pain and even illness over time. When we work with medicinal plants from the Amazon, the energy channels in our body are cleansed and renewed energy begins to flow through our spiritual body. After an Ayahuasca retreat, you may feel very sensitive, your energy vortices will be very receptive, and you will be able to experience certain emotions in your environment with as much intensity as if they were your own. Do not judge them or try to find an explanation for them, simply observe them and feel them, allowing those emotions to complete their process and dissolve. That energy will return to the source and will not only do good to you but to all of humanity.
It is also possible that you spontaneously begin to discover layers of your being that have not been explored during the retreat, those are very deep layers and Ayahuasca needs time to reach them. In this case, you may experience deep-rooted memories and emotions. Again, don’t identify with them, just feel them and let them manifest. They may have their origin in your childhood, perhaps even at the time of pregnancy, or come from a past life, or from your ancestors. Part of the work with Ayahuasca was to remove the armor that you have created, consciously or unconsciously, to protect yourself from traumatic situations that you have experienced in life. These armors already fulfilled their function, but they remained in their place, hidden and forgotten, still blocking different aspects of your life, such as love, abundance, etc. Allow yourself to gradually experience vulnerability by opening up and letting your true self emerge. Remember that every emotion dissolved and wound that heals is for your well-being and the good of the entire planet.
You don’t have to share your experience with everyone, do it only with those you really trust. You may receive criticism and all kinds of judgments from certain people, but do not try to defend or justify yourself, understand that many of these negative reactions are just manifestations of your own fears. In fact, you may want to seek out new environments and people with whom you feel comfortable opening your heart like never before.
One of the main lessons that the spirit of Ayahuasca can teach us is that we are part of a whole. That whole, which was identified as different gods by many cultures, is life. By becoming aware of this, we realize that there is nothing to look for outside of ourselves to achieve happiness. Life is within us and that life is us. Important changes are likely to happen in your life when you return home, welcome them with love and gratitude. After an Ayahuasca retreat, many people feel a deeper connection with what they have come to bring into this life, with their true mission and purpose. There is an awakening of creativity and a strong desire to offer all that to the world and be of service to life. It is a true dissolution of the ego, moving from the desire to achieve something for oneself to the desire to achieve everything for all of humanity. We walk together, we support each other, we care for each other and we heal together. We are all one.
The Icaro is a shamanic magical song but not just any one, it is a sacred and mysterious song of ancestral shamanic power; It is also called the weapon or healing tool, it serves for protection, it is also a wisdom or personal energy. The song is used ancestrally by Shamans and healers during spiritual healing work, the word Icaro has no translation in any language. The objective is to cleanse, protect, heal the body, mind and soul, or damage caused by influencing your will. This is achieved with the intention of the Ayahuasquero Shaman singing the Icarus directly over the person or substance to be transmitted. Ayahuasca medicine is served to the patient whose substance will be ingested (liquids or blown tobacco smoke); The Icarus is a basic and fundamental part of healing in the Amazon.
How icaros learn from shamans
The summarized knowledge of the Ayahuasca Shaman constitutes his heritage or healing force, his experience is his weapon or work tool and his inheritance will be left to the apprentice, the efficiency of the apprentice will determine his ability, it will depend on the dedication and preparation of the Master healer through diets , ingestion of purges, lifestyle and integration into ancestral wisdom. The Shaman master is the owner of his icaros as he is the owner of his experience and wisdom, the Shamans do not teach their techniques to the apprentice nor do they provide formal instruction, the student accompanies, learns with the energy by seeing all the work of his Master Guide so that he captures the predestined knowledge. Part of the teaching is that the Shaman gradually gives up his icaros, they learn it in dreams, visions or have been given by the plants themselves in an altered state of consciousness in Ayahuasca shots and master plants. The Shaman captures the melody, the process is involuntary, it is not governed by reason, it is felt to be imposed by itself. The melody makes the shaman healer feel and share his spirit.
Our 3-day Ayahuasca program in the Peruvian Amazon jungle is perfect for those who do not have much time available; but who seek to have a genuine and intense experience with their inner being and the energy that surrounds us. Make your Ayahuasca retreat; in a magical, immersive, safe, authentic and unforgettable place.
The ayahuasca ceremony is one of the most sacred, in the ethnic and cultural world of the tribes of the Amazon. In Peru we have good indigenous priests who will care for and treat your bodily and psychological ills with this sacred plant.
Visit the two jewels of Inca architecture, the sacred sanctuary of Choquequirao is built on a mountain above the great canyon of the Apurimac River, then you will visit the modern wonder of Machu Picchu together with our guides who are passionate about the history and culture of Peru.
The Ausangate Trek is renowned for its otherworldly natural scenery. It’s considered by many to be one of the world’s best high-altitude treks, the trek takes hikers over several high passes, into low alpine valleys, and through traditional Peruvian villages.
Explore the Manu Amazon Rainforest & Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu, you will enjoy the best adventures in Peru, exploring amazing inca trail routes and the best amazon wildlife with our local tour guides, in small groups.
The classic Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is one of the world's greatest hikes. Along the 45 km you will explore unique andean valleys, lush mountain forest.An exquisite architecture of the Inca sanctuaries, which will dazzle you for its fineness and location within the Andes.