While mushrooms rose to fame in 2018 after being named one of the eight wellness trends of the year from the Global Wellness Summit, it is not nearly done making an impact on the wellness world. Mushroom magic is taking on a whole new meaning with the rise of psychedelic retreats in wellness tourism, which combine deep healing experiences with mind altering substances.
The Psychedelic Science
These retreats center around a concept of microdosing, which in reference to mushrooms measures out to 0.1 to 0.3 grams of the substance. In a pre-registered scientific study from Newsweek, there was evidence to show how microdosers scored higher on mental health tests like measures of wisdom, open mindedness and creativity when compared to people who didn't microdose. There was also evidence to show that microdosers had a lower measure of negative emotions.
While there has not been any published science on whether microdosing works, there has still been evidence in the media of the positive impacts microdosing has had on authors and the media. The field of microdosing benefits still has plenty of room to be explored in the world of science.
Who's Doing It
This trend already has wellness retreats partaking in its beneficial activities, officially giving a whole new meaning to wellness trip. These psychedelic, or mushroom, retreats can be found in all different destinations around the world from the Netherlands to Mexico, Jamaica and Peru.
“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," explains Stefana Bosse, director of experience at The Psychedelic Society, in an interview with Well+Good.
Prominent investors are said to believe that the eventual legalization of psychedelics could create the next big boom for the mental health industry, much like the legalization of marijuana did, reports Forbes.
Healing the Mind
These retreats are not designed for "party-goers" or anyone who is looking to abuse these substances. Rather, these retreats are designed to create a safe and legal environment to help heal the mind. In fact, many of these retreats don't veer too far off of an average wellness retreat, just with some hallucinations involved.
MycoMeditations is an organization that provides psilocybin-assisted retreats, and they specifically promote how these retreats are designed to help people suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD and OCD. Specifically their retreats combine meditation, breath work, bodywork and time in nature with the magic mushroom sessions. After each session, the group will also come back together to discuss their experiences.