The material below is not intended to provide medical advice and we don’t encourage the illegal use of any substances. Ayahuasca is a potentially illegal substance, and we do not encourage the use of this substance where it is against the law. Due to the high demand for the subject, we created this article for educational purposes. The intent of the content is to help you start learning about the subject
Ayahuasca can shake up our world in a big way. But when the medicine wears off it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do next. Visions, insights and new life directions are inspiring. Other times we confront difficult realities in our lives. Whether you discovered your life’s purpose or uncomfortable truths, next steps can often seem overwhelming.
The trick to getting the most out of your psychedelic experiences is integration – making insights real and meaningful for your life. In this article, we explore how to do just that. Read on to find tips for taking care of yourself after ayahuasca along with activities and practices to help you get the most out of your ayahuasca experience.
What Does Ayahuasca Teach You?
When we become interested in ayahuasca and learning about ourselves we are often looking for something. We may be seeking answers to life’s questions, healing an illness, or changes in our lives. There is no standard set of teachings. Research has confirmed that factors like expectations along with set and setting will influence how each of us reacts to ayahuasca.
While many respect ayahuasca as a teacher, what each of us learns is individual. There are common themes like spiritual understanding, connection to nature or humanity and of course healing. It’s also possible to learn hard truths about ourselves, have challenging experiences, and it can be hard work to turn these lessons into real growth. When integrating a psychedelic experience, it’s best to drop expectations of what we want the truth to be and be honest with the lessons received.
What to Do After An Ayahuasca Ceremony
Perhaps the best activity post-ayahuasca is rest. Clear the calendar and turn off your phone. Having no pressing appointments or obligations after ayahuasca makes space for integration to happen. Sometimes certain conversations or tasks cannot wait, but as a rule, many integration professionals encourage waiting two weeks before making major life changes.
Taking time to rest and digest the ayahuasca experience helps us explore insights while putting them in the context of our life. Sometimes new life paths or inspirations we see on the medicine take careful planning to execute. If we jump back into a busy life too quickly, it’s also possible to simply forget about aspects of our experience. Ayahuasca’s teachings are valuable and should be treated with great respect and nurtured with care.
Post-Ayahuasca Integration Diet
Taking care of our body and recharging after ayahuasca ensures that we can return to our daily lives feeling strong and inspired. Many ayahuasca retreats and facilitators recommend continuing the ayahuasca diet for days or weeks after working with plant medicine.
Typically, the recommendations for pre-ayahuasca diet are the same as afterwards. Avoid sexual activity, media and screens, salt, sugar, drugs, alcohol, spicy and fermented foods. Taking a break from our Western diets can be beneficial on its own. The discipline keeps us connected to the ayahuasca experience and our mindset focused on integration.
It may be tempting to make a cup of coffee and get back to work. However, restrictive ayahuasca diets are said to heighten our sensitivity to plants and their teachings. Sex and media can be powerful distractions that are assumed to have energetic influences in ayahuasca traditions. Spending more time in an open, clear state is thought to help the medicine keep working after the ceremony.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From Ayahuasca?
It is difficult to say exactly how long recovery takes as everyone’s experience will be very individual. The best practice is to leave yourself for at least a few days afterwards to relax and reflect. Jumping too quickly back into life without paying attention to insights the medicine gives you can mean missing out on valuable teachings.
Some studies show ayahuasca’s positive outcomes persist for weeks, however, after this time a reduction in symptoms like depression can fade. For long-term changes in our lives, we have to help ourselves. The integration process doesn’t end, and achieving some goals we set afterwards can take weeks to months. Perhaps years.
Taking ayahuasca means expending a lot of energy. It can mean travel, investment of time, and money along with mental and emotional effort. Simply put, ayahuasca is a big commitment and to honour that, it’s best to make space in your life for any changes. Filling this time with activities of reflection, exploration of new or confusing information, or supporting new endeavours can help solidify your personal ayahuasca teachings
How To Integrate an Ayahuasca Experience – Seven Options
After we recover from ayahuasca we can begin to channel new energy and insights into different practices and skills. We can find or create support systems for changes we wish to make. There is no standard model for integration, although interest in this area is growing. Current ideas are that changes brought on by psychedelic experiences are supported by therapeutic relationships. While therapy can help, there are many other activities and processes that support us after ayahuasca.
Deciding what to do after an ayahuasca ceremony is an individual process. Some people prefer time spent alone in nature, while others might want to join a community integration circle. The important thing to remember is these are not simply activities to fill your time, but a way for ayahuasca’s lessons to enter your life. Here are some popular choices:
- Therapeutic Support – Many therapists, and counsellors now specialize in psychedelic integration. Having someone to help organize and unpack the experience while offering their own reflections and insights, particularly if traumatic material has emerged, might be necessary for some people.
- Integration Coaching – After ayahuasca, many feel inspired to make big life changes. Nobody said you have to go through these changes alone. Coaches can assist in setting clear goals, accountabilty, and developing insights for creating the life you want.
- Integration Circles – Many community integration circles are hosted by integration professionals. These are safe spaces where you can share your story with others who are open and experienced with psychedelics. The power of sharing in a group and finding others on the journey likely helps with positive outcomes.
- Alone Time – From intentional meditation to long car rides it’s important to spend time with yourself. Integration is smoother without distractions and our busy lives may demand we schedule an intentional time to be alone and process our experience.
- Journaling – Writing about a psychedelic experience is a great way to reflect and organize thoughts. There are often many different insights during a psychedelic journey. Getting them all down in one place allows you to make sense of large amounts of information and are helpful to read later.
- Time in Nature – Working with ayahuasca commonly brings people closer to nature. This is an effect of other psychedelics too, and spending time immersed in nature has many calming effects on our physical and mental health.
- Be Creative – Sometimes new insights can be gained from expressing ourselves after ayahuasca. Drawing, painting, creative writing, music, dance, or whatever you like can offer new perspectives.
FAQ – Ayahausca Integration Tips
Where to Find Ayahuasca Integration Support
There are an increasing number of resources to find psychedelic integration therapists or coaches. Many websites are appearing listing psychedelic professionals. Here are several established and trusted projects providing support:
- Fireside – A free peer support line is helpful for immediate support.
- ICEERS – Free support from therapists for people dealing with challenging experiences.
- MAPS -Listing of licensed therapists specializing in psychedelics.
Will Ayahuasca Change My Life?
Many people have changed their lives after ayahuasca. However, many people have stayed the same. We don’t have a good understanding of how ayahuasca works yet, but what is clear is that we cannot expect anyone or anything to change our lives for us. Ayahuasca might help, but at the end of the day change is our personal responsibility.
Can You Drink Alcohol After Ayahuasca?
Most retreat centers and facilitators will recommend against drinking alcohol after ayahuasca. Keeping the mind clear and being gentle with our bodies supports integrating ayahuasca. Alcohol can distract from ayahuasca’s lessons or numb challenging feelings that need to be looked at. While it isn’t necessarily dangerous it’s best to wait for some time before having a drink.