2020 isn’t even over yet but already it’s proving to be an annus horribillus we’re looking forward to leaving behind. In addition to the fires, floods, and locust plagues, we’ve also had the small issue of a global pandemic to deal with. No wonder so many of us are struggling with mental health issues. Here we share how the development of plant-based medicine might be one of the good things to emerge in the new post-pandemic world.
Before COVID-19 struck, over 1-billion people globally were suffering from mental health challenges. Fast forward to now and many of us have likely found ourselves in need of additional support thanks to a lack of human interaction, economic uncertainty, and being in lockdown for the best part of the last six months. Gaining access to effective treatment and support has never been more important.
Aside from adopting a healthy lifestyle and habits, getting access to professional help is sometimes necessary. But in Asia, that can prove challenging; there are just 2.6 psychiatrists per 100,000 persons. As COVID-19 continues to exacerbate the mental health crisis what other options are there to explore?
An alternative approach
Increased funding and scientific research have propelled plant medicine into the mainstream. And the evidence for the safety and benefits of this new type of therapy is compelling. In recent years, leading scientists at prestigious academic research centres have dedicated resources to exploring plant medicine to promote long-lasting psychological growth. In particular, the John Hopkins School of Medicine has completed a significant amount of research on psilocybin, with overwhelmingly positive results.
So how does it work?
Amazingly, under the right therapeutic conditions research has shown that plant medicine can be a highly effective treatment for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a range of addictions. How? Because plant medicine promotes neurogenesis (which basically means it helps new neurons form, creating new neural connections). It can actually positively create new connections between parts of the brain which do not normally exchange information and therefore facilitate neurological healing. It’s mind-blowing stuff.
Wait, is this legal?
Plant medicine is now at a point where it is entering the mainstream and is medically recognised thanks to authentic scientific research, funding, successful legalisation and decriminalisation campaigns in Europe and North America. Let’s be clear, plant medicine is not for recreational use. It should be administered under supervision in a supported environment at a location where it is legal to do so.
I want to know more
Before you embark on a plant medicine journey do your research to decide whether it’s the right path for you. Be aware that it’s not something that should be approached lightly. If you haven’t seen it, we recommend watching the Goop Lab psychedelics episode on Netflix. And if you’re still intrigued, say hello to Behold Retreats: an organisation enabling individuals to reach peak performance and wellbeing through plant medicine therapy. Its personalised retreats in locations such as Costa Rica, the Netherlands, and Peru (basically stunning locations where plant medicine is legal) provide a safe environment to explore this treatment.
During an experience with Behold Retreats, you can expect to be guided through a holistic programme by a plant medicine facilitator. With full support throughout (including therapy sessions before and after the retreat), you’ll gain access to unparalleled access to your subconscious mind and receive memorable insights that will help you heal and move forward.
Jonathan de Potter, founder of Behold Retreats, says: “We encourage people to do their own research on plant medicine, to ask themselves whether they may benefit, and to look within and be guided by professionals to make their own educated decision. For those who are ready to open the door to this inner exploration, Behold Retreats are here to start the conversation”.
It’s certainly not for everyone, but this burgeoning industry is worth exploring for those seeking alternative psychiatric treatments, greater levels of consciousness, and enhanced wellbeing.