How Psilocybin Microdosing can Reset our Nervous System with Aya Allison (Episode 188)

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How Psilocybin Microdosing can Reset our Nervous System with Aya Allison (Episode 188)

Microdosing psilocybin has been shown to help with nervous system regulation. Psychedelic expert Aya Allison joins Dr. Doni to talk about the benefits of microdosing "magic mushrooms" and offers some guidance for those considering it as an option.
Small doses of psilocybin have been shown to help with nervous system regulation. Expert Aya Allison joins Dr. Doni to talk about the benefits of microdosing and guidance for those considering it as an option.

Aya Allison specializes in psilocybin microdosing. In today’s episode, we talk in depth about microdosing – what it is, the science behind it, the latest research in this emerging area of psychedelic medicines, and practical guidance for those considering exploring it as an option.

I’m so excited to be digging into this conversation with Aya, who is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in guiding clients through psilocybin protocols safely and effectively. As a mindset coach and microdosing specialist, she is perfectly positioned to provide the public with much-needed education and support around integrating plant medicines into mental healthcare regimens.

Given the overwhelming crisis of anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric conditions we currently face – not to mention a general disconnection from our true selves and nature at large—I believe we need every tool at our disposal. Psilocybin and other entheogens clearly have tremendous potential for healing individuals and our society as a whole if used consciously. I’m thrilled we get to have this discussion today.

The Growing Interest in Psilocybin Microdosing

First I ask Aya to explain more about the growing interest and use of microdosing she’s seen lately. She traces when folks started asking her about tiny doses of mushrooms back around 2014-2015, as underground chatter increased among plant medicine circles.

Lately more and more people struggling with mood problems have been learning about microdosing magic mushrooms to find relief because meds and therapy haven’t helped them. 

Instead of just getting diagnosed and taking meds with bad side effects, they want to try a natural route of using tiny doses of mushrooms to transform their inner world for the better. Many come to Aya first to learn about this approach and see if it’s a fit before moving forward. They have worries about safety, laws, amount to take, and what results could realistically be.

Most of all, Aya stresses the importance of fighting ignorance by equipping these psychologically vulnerable yet curious folks with the best knowledge available, empathic support, and community belonging. Random experimenting without proper plans or watching could risk bad outcomes and waste this healing opportunity.

The Mental Health Emergency

Looking more at why people are considering this, we talk about the total failure of Big Pharma medicine to fix the worsening mental health epidemic with mood disorders, suicide risk, disability, and general disconnect from one’s self. This is a crisis everywhere. In America alone, 1 in 5 adults now live with a diagnosable condition; youth depression/anxiety has climbed over 50% since 2020, signaling an alarming future trend if we don’t respond effectively.

Yet standard treatments fail most people. Psych meds temporarily reduce symptoms at best before 80% relapse within a year, finding their illness even harder to treat after stopping/re-starting them multiple times. Talk therapy changes thinking patterns but doesn’t fundamentally transform someone’s core being.

Clearly a giant gap exists between where we stand today and people living fully whole, happy, peaceful lives no longer dependent on substances or counseling to feel sane, self-love, meaning, and fulfillment. 

This is exactly the promise of plant medicine like magic mushrooms used wisely under care – to reconnect us with our natural power to heal and feel alive inside. Aya says it helps dissolve the make-believe walls that make us feel separate and sick – so we can remember we are naturally well and whole already.

Aya’s Personal Journey with Psychedelic Medicine

When asked what called her to explore this view 7 years ago, she shares bravely about her past battles with heavy depression – planted by childhood trauma and running in her family – which regular medicine failed to fix.

Feeling skeptical yet desperate, as a last hope she courageously turned to Ayahuasca, a plant medicine from South America. She describes the shocking rebirth process it caused, making her confront and integrate decades of stored pain and false identities to uncover an indestructible inner light within all people. In an instant, her years-long darkness ended; she felt restored to hope, purpose, freedom and unconditional self-love she’d never known before.

She emphasizes preparation was key – had she not focused seriously on self-care, mindfulness, and processing her emotions enough ahead of time, the journey could’ve overwhelmed rather than freed her. With proper readiness, miraculous healing happens quite naturally. She testifies these plant medicines hold power if someone is called to them. But wise guidance remains crucial for safety.

Her quest for truth and multifaceted healing then expanded more formally into shamanism, nature-based spirituality. As she coaches others through change with plant substances now, she increasingly sees intricate links between mental illness, immunity, digestion, nerves, sustainability, psychology and spiritual awakening.

Micro vs. Macro Doses of Psilocybin

To explain key words she mentioned about dosage levels and experiences, I distinguish between micro and macro doses of mushroom containing psilocybin; share that ceremonial use often means higher, consciousness-altering macro doses while microdosing means taking sub-perceptual amounts for more subtle mental/emotional benefits over time. She agrees a microdose doesn’t cause a psychedelic effect.

Aya clarifies an actual psychedelic experience kicks in around 2-3 grams of psilocybin. Microdosing is in the range of 50 mg of psilocybin and still results in significant healing of the nervous system. 

Everyone’s sensitivity varies widely though based on brain chemistry, setting, mushroom strength, etc, so effects stay quite individualized and deeply personal. One might not notice changes occurring within initially. But the huge combined feedback on how microdosing psilocybin mushrooms improves thinking, emotional regulation, social skills, creativity and brain communication confirms something special happens for most at proper amounts.

It basically fine tunes pathways instead of hijacking them like prescription antidepressants; gently strengthens connections over weeks like bodybuilding rather than suddenly overloading capacity. 

Just as higher mushroom doses cause temporary altered states of consciousness by impacting brain chemicals, tiny doses still positively influence critical networks, literally rewiring thought patterns, emotional triggers and habitual behaviors slowly over time for the better. And unlike pharmaceuticals, mushroom ingredients develop no physiological addiction or withdrawal.

Legality Remains Complex for Psilocybin and Other Psychedelics

We discuss current policies and regulations concerning growing, accessing and responsible usage of psychedelic containing plants like mushrooms which remain federally prohibited, similarly to how cannabis once was.

It is important to understand one’s regional legal landscape and penalties. But encouragingly, certain locations decriminalized or introduced bills permitting medical access and research. 

Overall authorities make psychedelic related cases lowest enforcement priority compared to drugs causing harm. Still banned in the U.S. however, transporting mushrooms across state lines or dosing in public remainscompletely illegal until policy changes as science compellingly proves therapeutic efficacy.

Which means underground access may quietly thrive in some areas as symbolized by native use rituals for communing sacramentally with nature since ancient times. But political winds now shift as pioneering cities pass laws stopping unjust jailing for personal growing/use. Oregon legalized therapy centers; other states put medical access on legislative agendas. We stand at the genesis of a historic paradigm shift around psychedelic therapies.

Standard Microdosing Protocols

When asked about dosing strategies, Aya shares sage advice she gives people for getting the most from microdosing – like journaling, intention setting, community support or coaching check-ins. Protocol details get debated though across practitioners. James Fadiman, who did original microdosing research, suggests taking .1g mushroom powder every 3rd day for a month before some days completely off. Compare to Dr. Stametes who likes “stacking” microdoses with bonus lion’s mane mushroom chunks for enhanced benefits.

Aya personally recommends starting with half doses every other day – or full days off if very sensitive – while journaling changes in bodily sensations, moods, thinking, behaviors or dreams. Continue minimum 10-12 weeks before reevaluating extending the cycle. Natural symptoms may signal slightly higher doses needed. 

Customizing one’s frequency and amount means attentively noticing subtle feedback in concert with professional consultation. Each person sensitively self-calibrates unique embodiment needs meaningfully this way once properly informed.

Are Psychedelic Changes Sustainable Long Term?

We also discuss doubts whether microdosing induced insights, newfound neural links or behavior shifts last once stopping or dependency develops needing continual mushroom activation. Valid worry; especially when medications often accompany withdrawal symptoms after temporarily subduing symptoms without resolving root causes.

But unlike addictive, toxic medications, Aya assures zero evidence suggests any dependency tendency from mushroom-based psilocybin. In fact the opposite – they powerfully curb addictive patterns! The mushrooms basically reset the nervous system, enabling lasting positive changes, not unlike installing new software. 

The authentic self realized or old traumas released remain available within afterwards too, just maybe needing occasional “tune-ups”.

Ultimately they strengthen personal freedom, not replace it. First microdosing trains the brain’s pathways until we pedal freely ourselves feeling more able to navigate life and it’s challenges. 

Training Practitioners in Psychedelic Medicine

When asking about her educational initiative for healthcare professionals, Aya describes founding Heroic Wellness exactly for this purpose: to develop legal training systems delivering mushroom assisted psychotherapy properly once policy allows clinical practice. 

This work gets desperately needed today; underground options fail ethics standards as demand balloons for healing support with plant journeys. Without proper set, setting and integration care afterwards however, bad outcomes manifest for the emotionally and energetically sensitive. 

The outdated disease label and medication fix model totally misses the multidimensional nature of consciousness. More holistic approaches using plant medicine have the potential to help more people. 

Healing unfolds through RELATIONSHIP nurtured by skillfully attuning to complexity of inner landscapes opened during entheogenic experience. Thus proper presence, gentle guidance and compassion creates optimal conditions for awakening – as the best doctors understand too. 

Entheogens: A Better Term for Psychedelic?

After introducing “entheogen,” an unfamiliar word, I ask Aya to define its meaning and why it fits better than “psychedelic” or “hallucinogen” for plant medicines like magic mushrooms or Ayahuasca. She says it comes from “generating the divine within” – implying substances eliciting short yet deeply mystical states of oneness, euphoria, infinity, clarity into Truth behind normal senses. Whereas “psychedelic” suggests escapism without personal integration.

Ancient wisdom cultures prized plant entheogens as sacred portal opening mediums for ritual, divination, adolescent rites of passage, and healing. Careful protocols and reverence prevailed universally, which Aya advocates restoring today. 

Hence “entheogen” differentiates compounds occasioning awakening and embodiment rather than just distractive trips as “psychedelic” misleadingly implies for some. It resumes honoring time-tested shamanic respect she argues legalization absolutely necessitates incorporating rather than dismissing.

Mixing Psilocybin Microdosing with Other Medications

Lastly I ask about potential complications or interference augmenting microdoses with existing pharmaceutical prescriptions, over the counter supplements or common health conditions in case safety concerns arise for those interested but using other things concurrently. 

Aya reassures hardly any recorded interactions manifest since dosing stays so sub-perceptual, unlike recreational ranges. It won’t impair bodily/metabolic functioning noticeably at tiny amounts either. And given the brain chemical specific effects, psilocybin seem unlikely to worsen side effects, diminish intended benefits of treated symptoms or cause dangerous synergistic reactions with medications.

In fact integration may benefit tapering off unneeded medications under medical guidance. They awaken our inner doctor healing capacities restoring natural balance rather than overriding them as dependencies can. Of course conservative dosing and transparency with one’s doctors stays vital. 

Closing Thoughts

In closing, I sincerely thank Aya for openly illuminating the immense potential of mushroom family plant medicines like psilocybin to catalyze radical healing transformations – of both individuals and society collectively. When supported conscientiously by professionals, they provide unprecedented opportunities for healing, connection and meaning for all. 

If you would like to learn more about Aya and how she can help you, you can visit her website here. You can also check out Aya’s app here or connect with her on social media at @aya.allison (Instagram). You can schedule an appointment with her here.

If you want to learn more about Dr. Doni’s Stress Recovery Protocol® which involves optimizing cortisol and adrenaline levels using nutrients, herbs and C.A.R.E.™, my proprietary program to support clean eating, adequate sleep, stress recovery and exercise, you can read all about it in my book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health.

For the most comprehensive support, even with the most difficult health issues (physical or mental), it is best to meet with me one-on-one, which is available to you no matter where you are in the world (via phone or zoom). You can set up a one-on-one appointment here.

We’re here to help you! 

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