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Psychedelics: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Healing

Podcast episode - Psychedelics: Ancient Wisdon, Modern Healing cover with mushrooms

Season 2 of the Science of Self-Healing Podcast has a NEW host! Please welcome Dr. James Odell, the Medical and Executive Director for BRMI, as well as a practicing naturopathic doctor for over 35 years.

Dr. James Odell explores the captivating realm of psychedelic plants and fungi that have been utilized for spiritual ceremonies and medicinally by indigenous peoples across millennia on nearly every continent. These natural, non-addictive, low-medical-risk psychedelic plants possess therapeutic potential for addressing addiction, depression, and anxiety, while also facilitating self-reflection, spiritual growth, and the development of healthier behavioral patterns. Join Dr. Odell and his special guest, Dr. Shuni Giron, for this intriguing discussion!


[00:05] Dr. James Odell: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Science of Self-Healing podcast. For health and wellness knowledge from a different perspective. Produced by the Bioregulatory Medicine Institute, also known as BRMI. We are your source for unparalleled information about how you can naturally support your body's ability to regulate, adapt, regenerate, and self-heal. I'm your host, Dr. James Odell, the medical and executive director for BRMI, as well as a practicing naturopathic doctor for over 35 years. And remember, this podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for the direct care of a qualified health professional who oversees and provides unique and individual care. The information here is to broaden our different perspectives and should not be construed as medical advice or treatment. Let's get started.

[01:01] Dr. James Odell: In this podcast, I will venture into the fascinating world of psychedelic plants and fungi that have been used for spiritual ceremonies and medicinally by indigenous peoples for millennia. Modern psychedelic research began when Albert Hoffmann - remember him - first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD 25 in 1938. Hoffmann was unaware of the significance of his actions at the time and the effects that would set in motion. After an expansive period of scientific and cultural exploration in 1950's, and the 60's, psychedelic research was slowed to a near halt. Throughout the 70's until the present time, government interventions have severely hampered global psychedelic research, despite evidence of the limited medical risk and the therapeutic potential of psychedelic plants. After decades of persistent education and advocacy, rigorous research employing psychedelics as tools of discovery and healing is abundant today. Studies are taking place in research institutions and in private practice sites supported by nonprofit and for profit organizations, as well as individual investigators. This research includes clinical trials with MDMA, assisted therapy for the treatment of PTSD, alcoholism, and social anxiety. As well as psilocybin clinical studies for depression and addiction. As well as the ability of psychedelics to catalyze spiritual and mystical experiences and inspire creativity and into the neuroscientific understanding of the effects of psychedelic substances on your nervous system. Psychedelic plants, like psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, San Pedro, Ayahuasca and such, are not addictive -like opiates in many pharmaceuticals that are addictive. This is because they do not activate the reward pathway in the brain involving dopamine. Instead, psychedelic plants mimic the neurotransmitter serotonin and tolerance builds up quickly at these receptor sites. Even those plants don't build tolerance, still eliminate themselves quickly, and leave behind virtually no toxicity. In fact, much research is being done that shows that certain psychedelic plants, particularly psilocybin mushrooms, can treat addiction and depression. So many people are doing what's called micro-dosing psilocybin mushrooms for their depression and anxiety. There are also many benefits coming to light from these substances. The evidence is clear that they are not addictive and that they have a remarkable medicinal and therapeutic value. So the question remains why are highly addictive substances and toxic substances legal as Schedule Two substances with widespread medical use, while these age old plants and fungi - with a safe and ceremonial history - going back thousands of years with no evidence to prove physiological harm, are still schedule One lockdown. Is it a war on drugs, or is it a war on the mind? Psychedelic plants and fungi such as the psilocybin species of mushrooms have been used for millennia, ceremonial, by indigenous peoples on nearly every continent, particularly in Central and North America. We see a long history of mushroom imagery in many ancient artifacts such as the mushroom stones found in the highlands of Guatemala. The Mayan Olmec Toltec and Aztec imagery shows that America once had a rich history of mushroom appreciation before the European settlers and missionaries forbade their use. The shamanistic cultures viewed psychedelic plants as instruments that open the mind and heart, imparting spiritual insight, as well as clairvoyance and precognition. Perceptions that occur under psychedelics attune the mind to a different channel of information integrating material that's not normally accessible to consciousness. These ancient tribes understood the many healing properties of these plants. The most profound effect seems to be the self-reflection people go through under the influence, and the ability of these plants to confront and help resolve fears, regrets and worries. Psychedelics help deconstruct old behavior patterns and bring newer and healthier ones as seen from the creation of new neural pathways. Very often what the psychedelic experience will show are the mistakes and misperceptions made in life and help resolve those conflicts that developed. Psychedelics can help reveal insights in how to be a better person and evolve mentally and spiritually. I now want to introduce a very special guest, Dr. Shuni Giron, who is a Guatemalan naturopathic doctor and shamanistic guide. Shuni performs traditional Mayan psychedelic ceremonies all over the world and just happens to be here in Louisville and has agreed to share her perceptions and experiences of this important spiritual practice. I'm going to let her introduce herself and tell you a little bit about what she does because she's one of the most fascinating people that I have met in a really long time.

[06:47] Dr. Shuni Giron: Hello everyone. My name is Nan Shuni Giron. I am a Mayan Ajq’iij, which is equivalent to a shaman in the Mayan lands. I carry the traditions of the Mayan calendars. I am doctor in naturopathic medicine and iridology, and I teach conscious psychedelics and I had the honor of sharing with MAPS and sharing with Paul Stamets and sharing with Terence McKenna, The Wisdom of Plant Medicine, and Vancouver and World Psychedelics Day. And I'm amazed really by the magic of the plants. And carrying the tradition is super special because it's a combination of the ancient with the new, but the ancient with the ancient because it's ancient.

[07:38]Dr. James Odell: Yes.

[07:40] Dr. Shuni Giron: And so we find civilizations all over the world really thriving with these plant medicines, especially what we speak about psilocybin mushrooms. The Mayans were one of the cultures that truly embraced psilocybin mushrooms -Salia divinoro, peyote in mesoamerica. And so it's been a fascinating journey of mine, sharing psychedelics around the world and sharing conscious psychedelics and conscious living. When I teach, I not just teach subconscious, but conscious life, going back to the sacred and the honorable. And how can we take these substances with a little bit of seriousness?

[08:21] Dr. James Odell: This is ceremonial.

[08:22] Dr. Shuni Giron: It is ceremonial. Life is a ceremony. Yes, and I'm not saying that having fun is not part of the ceremony. I think if we could understand to live a little bit more honorable, if we could take these substances with a little bit more intelligence, we wouldn't have no prohibition, we wouldn't have people going to jail for carrying cannabis, people going to jail for natural substances that are really God's given. It's our humans right as human beings, even my own people, my whole civilization has thrived to the use of antigens. So learning to take these substances in a way that it is more honorable shapes your medicine. Our mind is the shaper of our medicine. We take the medicine and obviously if we're going to enter the medicine with fear, this is what you get. If we're looking for psychedelia, this is what you get. If we have prejudgment because of Christianity or Catholicism, then you go into this intent with this mind. So it is truly important to come with certainty, into ceremony, with direction, which is important because that allows us to get to the point A, to point B, because we have a direction and not just lost in the forest trying to figure it out. Sometimes we can be lost in the forest to encounter what needs to be. But if we need to heal, well, let's use it for healing, let's use it to heal our hearts. If it's a spiritual broken, let's use to heal our bodies. If it's a physical hurt, I mean, the mind is so powerful. And when we are in higher states of consciousness, these realities in the world of possibilities opens up for all of us to heal, to understand what we are. A lot of people are afraid of taking psychedelics because they're afraid of seeing who they truly are. They're so clinging into the character and they don't want to let that go. And maybe it passed a lifetime and that you don't even know who you are and what really is the things that make you shine within. What is the mighty star? And that is what psychedelics gives us and also gives us that unity with nature, that communion, that understand of organic states of being that are priceless. We are one with a planet, we are one with the species. And this is a wonderful thing. The psychedelics can open up the doors to that realm. I think that when they put us in a box in a house, we stop seeing the stars, we stop connecting with nature and we stop understanding and looking at the ants and looking at how the species are just so evolved. And so we think we are the mighty human being. And we don't realize that all these plants, animals have an intelligence that is really inspiring for us to open up our realms. They have instinct. Whatever happened to our instinct? So it's time to take it a little bit more serious, a little bit more loving, a little bit more certain, and a little bit more with the intention of truly understanding what is the marvel of being a human being. This body, it's our vehicle. But we're not human beings living a spiritual experience. We're spiritual beings living a human experience. And so how do we come one to one with plants? It's a spirit of a plant, has a spirited you have a spirit. And when we come together, we make a third spirit. So this combination is a combination that is unique. It's unique to everybody. It's unique to me and the medicine and the encounter that we have.

[12:20]Dr. James Odell: Yes.

[12:21] Dr. Shuni Giron: And the consciousness that we shape in that moment and that consciousness is created already. It's unfolded in the mind. It doesn't go back. So anything that we download, anything that we align with, we begin to manifest it through our lives as we begin to confront it and see it. So I think that we're all getting smarter, we're all getting more intentional, we're more sacred. Part of my work, doing Mayan fire ceremonies around the world, carrying the no time calendar, the Mayan calendars, living out of the matrix and the Gregorian calendar has truly allowed me to live an experience that is magical. It's synchronical. Things happen in synchronicity. Plants take you to the next level of understanding and obviously one on one with the communion with nature. So I would like everyone to invite all of them to, not to psychedelics, but to search within yourself in there's thousands of practices that we can do. Obviously, like I say, for living a lifetime and not trying substances that really are enhancing us. If there would not be that provision back in the day from Nixon's, we will have I mean, we lost 50 years, almost 60 years of research, of crucial research. These substances that we take is for civilizations all over the world. We have the Kykeon in Greece. We talk about different brews, the soma and so. There's many things that we have to be conscious about, I think baby steps, honoring each plant, having experience of that plant, having somebody to create a container from you, somebody that knows using the knowledge of your weight and your experience. Set and setting is important, obviously, and also the integration process that is crucial because the work begins after you taking the medicine. What you want to do with your wall that you did, are you just going to leave it in the mind? Are you really just going to take it little by little? There's different ways of approaching psychedelics from ludic form that when you first get introduced by your friends you don't know and you know, you just trust your friends so much that you take it and it's an incredible experience, frightful even a little bit. Second way of taking psychedelics is a psychonaut, which is one that I will always be, which is really discovering. Now I want to investigate because I took it, it did something that I could never believe that my heart, my mind would feel. And so you want to investigate it and that's the psychonaut. Then you're taking it for a little bit, you understand the power of the substance and then you understand that there is a higher level therapeutically where you understand that substances can help you heal physically, spiritually, emotionally and you embrace it for healing. Then the fourth way of taking it is transcendental when you take a high dose and then you leave your body and then you connect with the outside. And there's a fifth way that that's when you feel like you're dead, you have passed on to the other side, but not really. I have not embraced that last one. I think I've gone to the fourth one. I'm really taking off my body. But I think even with respect, for me, I really love to investigate the plants. I have a special relationship with them and when I start studying one I study it for a long time. Such as Salvinorin A being such an interesting plant, a different hallucinogen of its kind. And so I think this is the future. When we talk about the mycelium we're talking about something greater than we know. Not just the psychedelics, just great mycelium, the lions mane, the reishi mushroom. I mean we're talking about the future and I think that the future holds us more advanced, more developed, and I think these substances are keys to take a lot of the pharmaceutical, these addictive components that are really taking us down. I think [Johns] Hopkins University has been doing a great job. MAPS, I mean, multidisciplinary association for psychedelics that truly is working on therapies know legalizing. Now we know Canada is legalizing cannabis. So everything with intent, everything with love and intent, everything gentle, life is gentle. The problem is we want to eat the whole world in one moment. And I think that the substance are having the intelligence that these plants are the intelligence of our planet. Our planet is effortless. And when we begin to understand how nature, the law of nature works, how the natural law works, we begin to see that there's intelligence. I mean when we talk about the Bufo Alvarius, which is the 5-MeO-DMT, the frog lives under the ground. Under the ground six months. So what kind of intelligence it's absorbing through these plants? Yes, this is substances that really are powerful. So we have to learn to breathe. The most important aspect of psychedelic is breathing. Every plant will give you a different meaning. Every breath there's a different consciousness. So going through the world of psychedelics is really aligning up. Because I am a ceremonious. Listen, I use it in a shamanic way, not in a clinical way. I use a collective way with people. I've walked the tradition for 20 years. Then with no medicine, I know the value of fire, I know the value of water. I know the value of the earth. So I really take my time to have these conversations with it, to set the container for it, to make sure that the wind works with me. The fire transmits the energy. So it's a little different. It's a little different. But it is priceless because I have an advantage over it, because I know how to manipulate this field and how to align it with especially because I work, like I say, with energy for such a long time when there's all these people having all this energy together, and we are healing together. There's empathy, there is humanness, there is love, there's compassion. There's all these feelings.

[19:08]Dr. James Odell: It's much more powerful.

[19:10] Dr. Shuni Giron: That we have all these feelings. We can help each other. This is what humans are about. We're here not to compete, but to help each other. And so it brings us back to holy. It brings us back to humanness. It brings us back to the natural law of being humans, helping each other, helping the planet, and really having these experiences that are heart opening, mind opening - experiences that they will live with also till they're living that consciousness that doesn't die. The consciousness doesn't die. And so it thrives in into the field of collective where the planet thrives. So when I started my people, when they started seeing the Mayans, the Omegax used to worship the ancestors, but it's not until the Maya that they started worshipping deities. Where did the deities comes from? From the intake of psilocybin mushrooms. And the majority of cultures in the past, we look at them and their policies, embracing all these gods, but embracing all these sacredness. Now we went to monotheism, not that it's bad, but we have shrink this pantion of sacredness to one, when maybe we worship the god of the flowers, maybe we worship the god of thunder. There was a relationship of a more sacred living. Yes, I think not just through the Maya, but also through the Egyptians, through the Sumerians, through the Greeks. There are polytheist cultures. So it's a very interesting and powerful thing. And I want to invite everyone just to remember that we are sacred. To take your medicine, put it in your heart, make it sacred. I'm not saying you have to go to all these people. I say if you're going to do it, just do it sacred, do it honorable, feel good about it, take your little water with you and don't forget to breathe. Breathe consciously. Maltia well, thank you so much for.

[21:09] Dr. James Odell: Sharing all this wonderful, wonderful information. We so appreciate this. Wow. That was fascinating, Dr. Shuni. Giron's contact information will be in our show notes as the renaissance of psychedelic exploration and research gains public awareness and traction, its potential for therapeutic application continues to deepen. More research that is conducted and the closer we get to integrating psychedelics into modern medicine and culture will revolutionize mental health care. I hope you benefit from this information and invite you to tune in again in two weeks for another BRMI podcast episode. Until then, be well.

[21:51] Dr. James Odell: Thank you for your time today, and remember that this podcast is made possible by the Bioregulatory Medicine Institute, also known as BRMI, a nonprofit, global, non political, non commercial institute to promote the science and art of bioregulatory medicine. We extend our gratitude to each and every one of you for listening today, and if you haven't already, make sure to visit us at A treasure trove of invaluable information awaits you there. Connect with us across various social media platforms as well. Come and become a member of our thriving tribe. If you've enjoyed today's episode, we invite you to show your support by rating us, leaving us a review, or sharing the podcast within your circle. Our podcast and mission flourish through sharing, and your participation means the world to us. Our organization is sustained by donations, each of which is tax deductible and fuels projects like this. Visit our website, to contribute or simply to explore the wealth of uncensored and impartial information we offer. No contribution is too small. In just two weeks, we'll be back delving into another captivating topic. Until then, we thank you once again for listening. May wellness and wisdom be your path. Be well.

Contact Information for Shuni Giron:

Shumantla Fenix (Shuni Giron)

Dr. Naturopathic Medicine and Iridologist

Holistic Health Teacher & Practioner

1(847)573-0368 USA

011 (502) 55-25-00-61 Guatomaya

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