Preparation is an important aspect of any ayahuasca retreat. Ayahuasca ceremonies can be difficult both physically and mentally so we need to prepare the body and get into the right frame of mind to give us the highest chances of success for a therapeutic experience.
Physical preparation includes following the diet for about a week prior to attending a retreat, being aware of and cultivating a connection with the body. Physical preparation also includes fasting the day of ceremony. We provide a light lunch but the stomach should be empty going into ceremony to allow the medicine to be fully absorbed quickly.
Mental preparation can look a little different for everyone. For many it can include anything from meditation, getting into nature, taking walks, doing yoga, praying, abstinence from electronic device, etc. Any activity that provides you with some peace and allows you to focus on your intention for ceremony are great ways to prepare mentally.
Integration is highly talked about topic in the psychedelic therapy community. It continues to grow in importance and we often get questions about what kind of integration we offer. As apart of our retreat program we do not offer any official kind of scheduled integration, but we do offer integration resources as well as social follow up support via a private group on Facebook for past participants.
After each ceremony, in the morning we have a casual discussion around the breakfast table as each guest can share as much or as little about their experience as they choose. This is part of the reason we don't have a scheduled sharing session in the retreat. We understand that ayahuasca ceremonies are a deeply personal experience, and we want everyone to feel completely comfortable without any pressure. Matthew and Jeanae are always available to speak one on one as well.
If you would like to take a more structured approach to preparation or integration, we recommend the services of Brian Murphy, M.Ed, LCSW. Brian is a therapist based in New York with a specialty working with people post-psychedelic experience since 2003. He offer phone sessions prior or post retreat.
You can find out more about Brian on his website afterthemedicine.com