Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

topic posted Tue, December 5, 2006 - 12:40 PM by  Josh
Does anyone know if Ayahuasca has been used in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder? And if so, with what kind of outcomes?

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  • Re: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Tue, December 5, 2006 - 2:38 PM
    Do you mean in formal studies or in general use?
    • Re: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

      Tue, December 5, 2006 - 3:18 PM
      Hi Richard,

      More in terms of general use but if there were formal studies I would be very interested in those as well.

      • Re: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

        Tue, December 5, 2006 - 3:39 PM
        I don't know of any formal studies on that. I do know that there are formal studies now on MDMA and PTSD. But from what I've seen, a whole lot more people have PTSD than is recognized. Probably there needs to be another name for it. Minor PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome or something like that. I mean, who hasn't been traumatized at some point? And that stuff sticks around forever if it gets repressed and unless it gets healed. But I'd also imagine that a whole lot of the work that goes on in shamanic work deals with PTSD or PTSS (my own coinage) than with anything else. If you bring in the idea of past lives or even collective memory, and whew, a world of trauma there to deal with.
        • Re: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

          Tue, December 5, 2006 - 10:25 PM
          I believe that it would be incredibly difficult to get approval to do research on ayahuasca in the US. The problem is that the plant ingredients have a large number of active compounds, and you would have to show for each and every one that they are non-harmful. Even research on a single plant species is quite difficult. Research is nearly always conducted on synthetic active ingredients in the US. So you could get a DMT study approved, but ayahuasca would be nearly impossible.

          The research I've seen on ayahuasca is all field studies in places where it's part of the native culture.
  • Re: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Wed, December 6, 2006 - 2:43 AM
    josh, there is a man called john heuser, who studies pts & healing thru aya. he spoke @ last years aya conference in peru.

    here is a letter he wrote me;

    "Hi Kiara,
    Thank you for your interest.
    Even though it was years ago, I am so saddened to hear about the loss of your father, and am very empathetic as well, since I lost my own father who was a veteran of WW2, to suicide, in 1961, when I was 10 years old.

    Trauma is known among psychologists to have consequences that reach across generations, creating dissonant themes and family scripts that can last for many decades.

    From the perspective of the Ayahuasca trance world, I believe that traumas are events that send out very disturbing and very loud waves into the creational energy field. According to my visions, these waves are transmitted as cries of pain and pleas for help into a domain of some kind of transpersonal, astral field during the moment of death. They generate emotional energies that vibrate, exactly like sound or radio waves. Their frequencies resonate with our DNA, so that as individuals, our own bodies and psyches can vibrate with them so that we act like recieving stations. This way, the tragedies and traumas experienced generations ago echo within our soul. These emotional themes that last generations and recurr throughout a person's life may be likened to Stanislav Grof's COEX system(system of condensed experience).

    I was astounded to see this within myself, as played out in the matriarchal lineage of my own family. During a session with Norma in Iquitos last year, I saw how the beheading of an ancestor in the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1893 resonated with various problems of my female ancestors and family members who had "lost their heads" in the figurative sense through a tendency toward psychotic breaks, alcoholism, and bipolar disorder in all of my female relatives.

    In any event, because of a preponderance of anecdotal and case experiences, I believe the use of Ayahuasca in dealing with trauma may be extremely effective. This is because in this highly energized state, somehow we are able to contemplate events in a posture of more complete acceptance, whereas in ordinary daily consciousness, we habitually avoid traumatic themes because they are too painful. The ego can normally handle so much tragedy and loss before it defends itself from fragmentation. In the Ayahuasca state, it is possible to maintain a sort of "witness" point of view, or sense of self even when things seem to be disintegrating.

    Trauma can be healed whenever the traumatic material can be recalled, and the experience of such recall is seen by the ego not to result in insanity or death. For whatever reason, it appears that Ayahuasca has the ability to process enormous amounts of traumatic material without consequent harm, and with much possible benefit.

    In any case, by way of disclaimer, if you or anyone you know approaches Ayahuasca with the intention of healing trauma, I suggest that it be attepted not in solitude but in the presence of experienced practioners. This is not to say that you need a guru or anything like that, but the reassuring presence of someone who has been there so to speak would probably add safety and help stick to the purpose of the intention.

    Thanks again for your interest in the dissertation."

    apparently, he has been working with vietnam vets, bringing them into a safe zone to explore the healing that ayahuasca offers.
    • Re: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

      Sat, December 9, 2006 - 5:21 AM
      Just to clarify, Heuser does not use Ayahuasca to treat others--but bases his speculations upon his own experiences of healing, and on observations of others who have reported their apparently healing experiences with Ayahuasca. These experiences have always been in the presence of experienced guides. He has applied his Ayahuasca-inspired insights in his work with veterans, but has never administered Ayahuasca to any patient.
      • Re: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

        Wed, December 20, 2006 - 12:04 AM
        I've just gotten back from Brazil where I met a number of people involved with the UDV. I met one man in particular who works as a therapist specializing in trauma therapy. He doesn't use ayahuasca in his day job, but he told me that he's convinced that "vegetal" can help people deal with and overcome past traumas.

        A bit off topic of this tribe but interesting, the clergy of the Peyote Way Church of God in Willcox, AZ say that their sacramental use of peyote is also helpful for people who suffer from traumas.

        As far as official medical studies with aya, I can't think of any, but look at Claudio Naranjo's work with harmine (or was it harmaline?).

  • Re: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Tue, December 19, 2006 - 6:47 AM
    My experience with Ayahuasca is that I can remember old painful memories in a mind-state, and with a benevolent Spirit that allows me to see, feel, understand, forgive, and let go of them.