As we see the amount of information and technology we have access to growing, we also gain a stronger view of universal human tendencies that are overarching in time and culture.
One of those that is particularly fascinating is our desire to change consciousness, to alter our brain and our mood, whether it’s with drugs, food, or even activities like meditation and breathwork.
That’s one of the many reasons the emerging research on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is so interesting, especially considering it was completely written-off for decades after getting a bad rap in the 60s, despite having shown therapeutic promise in the 50s.
Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m joined by world-renowned author Michael Pollan to talk about the exciting reemergence of psychedelic therapy and the possibilities it holds for the future of healthcare.
Michael Pollan is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, and his latest book How to Change Your Mind, which is all about the new science of psychedelics. A longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, he also teaches writing at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley where he is the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Science Journalism. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
Michael’s research has led him to feel that psychedelics, when used clinically in combination with psychotherapy, are a major tool for reintegrating the brain and mind. This isn’t just by simply administering them as a drug, but by utilizing them with therapy to create a life-changing experience that has benefits months and even years after it’s been taken (a claim you’ve never heard from any pharmaceutical).
Here are more details from this week’s episode:
- What inspired Michael to write about psychedelics (1:45)
- How psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy research will lead to a reintegration of body and brain (9:29)
- How meditation and psilocybin or LSD similarly affect the brain (11:06)
- Mental illness and using psychedelics to help people break out of destructive thought patterns (14:37)
- Using psychedelics to kickstart a meditation practice (21:08)
- Michael’s personal experiences taking psychedelics and why he was initially reluctant (24:03)
- The potential of using psychedelics in addiction treatment, including eating disorders, cigarette smoking, cocaine addiction, alcoholism and more (34:59)
- The lack of federal research money for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy research (41:45)
- MDMA and trauma treatment (45:00)
- How to best approach psychedelic use and who should not take them (58:55)
You don’t want to miss this intriguing conversation with the one and only Michael Pollan. Tune in and listen today, you may be surprised at the powerful benefits psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has to offer.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD