The 5-MeO-DMT experience is so particular and unique that words can’t begin to describe it. And the revelations afterward? They can be challenging to grapple with too.
5-MeO-DMT Integration is what allows you to fulfill the growth that this medicine promises. Anybody who makes a fixed commitment to the integration process will likely come out with stronger mental health and feel more spiritually complete.
At Tandava, we host 5-MeO-DMT experiences at our Mexican retreat center. Integration is one of the most vital processes that we engage in for the benefit of our guests. Keep reading to learn the different approaches you can take towards 5-MeO-DMT integration, no matter if you work with it at a retreat or elsewhere.
5-MeO-DMT is a psychedelic medicine sought after for its potential to bring about mystical experiences in those who work with it. The feeling itself is nearly indescribable. You might say that the experience feels like ego death or a merging with the universe, as others have. After speaking with numerous people who have worked with it, we’ve noted that the medicine often makes you feel like you live in a world bigger than yourself, and experience a greater degree of connection, both with your true self and with others.
Unlike psilocybin and other psychedelics, 5-MeO-DMT has a short duration, typically lasting around half an hour, rather than several. Despite this, you will probably lose any sense of time during your 5-MeO-DMT trip just as you would with any other psychedelic. The compact nature of the experience makes it much easier for the trip to be completed with a psychedelic facilitator one-on-one, which is good because the experience can be rather personal and intimate.
Oftentimes, we notice that 5-MeO-DMT tends to show people precisely what they need to see at that particular moment. That means that all your fears, values, and hopes, which are all circulating in your unconscious, can surface during your trip. You might gain a new perspective on what you want out of life, and amend your course entirely.
5-MeO-DMT has already been employed for thousands of years in spiritual settings. Indigenous shamans in South America have spent centuries experimenting with the medicine in various healing contexts.
Of course, you are hardly obligated to take the same approach to the medicine. Your spirituality can shape your experience. If you work with good facilitators, they will create the right container through which to interpret your trip.
Many who have experience with 5-MeO-DMT state that the medicine helped them feel more connected. In part, you might attribute this to the scientific evidence that 5-MeO-DMT increases neuroplasticity in the brain. Certainly, the evidence is reflected in the fact that after 5-MeO-DMT experiences, many individuals report feeling more capable of adopting alternative perspectives and hearing out people on matters they might disagree with.
Simply put, almost nobody will benefit from a 5-MeO-DMT trip without some degree of integration, whether they know it consciously or not. Integration can be as simple as having a conversation about the lessons you drew from your experience or even writing it in a journal. After more intense experiences, it could be a lot more complex, including multiple forms of communication, yoga, and exercise.
For each of our guests at Tandava, we offer 4 integration sessions following the retreat. These take place in the form of Zoom calls, with a psychedelic guide who you will already have become familiar with ahead of time. You will be free to share all your observations post-retreat, as we will hold space for you during these sessions and help you work through any challenges you have.
From a scientific perspective, a limited amount of research has been done on 5-MeO-DMT integration and its subjective effects and impacts. However, we will note that there was one study, conducted by Amada and Shane in 2022, that observed the success of integration practices following a 5-MeO-DMT trip. In anecdotal reports, they found that the more participants integrated their experience, the more they felt developed as a person and the more they felt they had objectives in life, among other things. Suffice to say, integration is key.
There are potential beneficial effects of nature contact for 5-MeO-DMT integration
In the context of 5-MeO-DMT integration, “grounding” is the process of stabilizing oneself and reorienting back to everyday reality after a profound psychedelic experience.
Since these experiences often involve an intense journey of consciousness that can make one feel detached from their normal sense of self and the physical world. grounding helps anchor you back into the physical body and mundane reality. As such, you’ll reestablish the balance between your internal experience and the external world.
Grounding practices can encompass various activities that promote physical awareness and engagement, and they are essential in integrating insights and transformations gleaned from the psychedelic journey into one’s daily life. Such practices could include mindful eating, physical exercises like yoga or dancing, deep breathing, spending time in nature, bodywork like massages or acupuncture, and even being in the comforting presence of a trusted friend or loved one. We’ll go over these later.
Moreover, it’s important to note that grounding practices are unique to each individual, meaning what helps one person feel connected and present may differ from what works for another. So, it’s about finding the right practices that support your own integration process.
We always assist our clients with integration. However, we realize that much of your path is simply up to you. We do our best to assist you following the retreat, but you must still determine what types of integration work best for you. Here are your options.
At Tandava, we tend to begin every morning at our retreat centers with some Yoga, meditation, and light breath work. To us, there is no better way to focus your mind both before and after a 5-MeO-DMT experience.
Utilizing the physical disciplines of Hatha yoga, along with specific targeted Pranayama or mindful breathing techniques, can be immensely beneficial for grounding oneself and peacefully surrendering to the energetic ebb and flow of the expansive Samadhi experience.
To perform this type of breathwork, it’s crucial to maintain a slow, deep breathing rhythm. Diaphragmatic breathing serves as an excellent approach for this. Position yourself on your back and lay your hands on your belly. Draw breath in a way that allows your diaphragm to swell, gently raising and lowering your hands. This might require some rehearsal. After you’ve become proficient at directing your breath into your abdomen, try to inhale deeply, counting to 10, then pause briefly, followed by a slow exhale to the count of 20. Avoid any strain or rush. Start with a lesser count if necessary, and gradually increase it over time.
A variety of intense physical activities can play a crucial role in embedding your experience into your physical form. Activities like jogging, running, cycling, swimming, lifting weights, engaging in sports, and even lovemaking can all act as efficient tools for grounding. We’ve particularly noticed that certain forms of ecstatic dance (such as 5 Rhythms, Contact Improv, and others) provide an excellent platform to let the energy ripple through you, while also allowing you to express and integrate the experience within your very essence.
In general, our experience indicates that even a single acupuncture session with a competent, proficient practitioner can be incredibly effective for achieving a sense of grounding.
If you’re at ease with them, consider sharing your 5-MeO-DMT experience during or before the session. Alternatively, you could mention that you’ve undergone a “Kundalini Awakening” and are channeling a substantial amount of energy (Chi and/or Shen), possibly requiring aid to distribute this energy throughout your body. This is particularly crucial if you are encountering sleep difficulties. Make it explicit to your acupuncturist that you want to receive support for improving your sleep quality.
The 5-MeO-DMT experience is very physical, among other things. Several types of profound yet tender bodywork and massage therapies can help facilitate the ongoing movement and discharge of any residual stagnant energy that might require liberation following the preliminary session.
At our retreats, we offer our guests access to a sauna, hot tub, and pool. These can be extremely effective means of integration. After the retreat, should you have the opportunity to visit natural hot springs, or use a hot tub, cold plunge pool, sauna, or steam room, alternating between hot and cold baths can serve as a highly successful technique for grounding. Even taking a steaming bath followed by a brisk shower can contribute to this effect. Integrating mineral salts into these practices can additionally enhance the grounding process.
Before your retreat, we often recommend a certain set of foods to you to ensure that you maintain a healthy diet and can take in 5-MeO-DMT properly. Post-retreat, we’ve also discovered that certain foods can significantly aid individuals in regaining their grounding.
Nutritious whole grains like wheat, rice and others, corn, salt, root vegetables including potatoes, carrots, beets, and such, bread and pasta, red meat from grass-fed animals, cheese, and other dairy products have shown to be particularly conducive to grounding after such an experience. You might find it surprising, but a well-made cheeseburger with fresh grass-fed beef and high-quality cheese can be an excellent grounding food. As a rule of thumb, the more organic, natural, and fresh the food is, the better it serves its purpose.
An undeniable truth that has emerged throughout this process is that most of us, as part of our societal construct, are severely lacking in the amount of affectionate and nurturing physical contact we receive. Many of us don’t receive the touch we long for.
There’s a powerful yearning to experience warm, loving touch and embrace that can’t be overstated, especially when it comes to grounding this universal energy within us. If you have a partner and are undergoing activation, particularly during your sleep, ask to be cradled in a spooning position, with one hand resting on your heart center and the other on your belly. The act of respectfully seeking out and receiving a tender, supportive touch, or simply being held by a friend, a guide, or a loved one can offer the exact kind of comforting support and nurturing you need to effectively incorporate the energy of the experience into your physical self.
Sometimes, the mere presence of a friend or a loved one who offers a listening ear can be incredibly beneficial for integration. Allowing emotions to surface and flow freely, without the listener feeling compelled to provide a solution, give advice, or offer feedback, can greatly assist the process. A simple reassurance that the neophyte is still processing subconscious materials from their profound psyche, and giving these elements space to surface in the company of another, can be incredibly therapeutic and advantageous. It’s crucial to select this person judiciously and ask them to simply lend their ears and hold space. Some might find this challenging, especially if they don’t fully grasp your recent experience or struggle with accommodating intense emotional outbursts. Often, the best person for this is the one who encouraged your participation. They would likely be the first person you turn to in this process, given the shared experience and an established relationship with you.
Sleep is a time of natural healing and processing, and quality rest is pivotal for the mind and body to assimilate and interpret the profound insights and emotions stirred up by the psychedelic journey. Herbal sleep remedies can prove beneficial in numerous ways, including reducing anxiety.
Glycine and other natural sleep remedies can be extremely effective for this purpose. We suggest you take Glycine in doses ranging from 3000-4000mg about half an hour before you plan to sleep, and it can be used safely over extended periods.
Getting out into fresh air, in a natural setting like a forest for as little as a few hours can be excellent for renewing your integration and settling into your new state of being. Getting into the wild for a few days is even better. Being alone with nature like this gives you time and space to reflect.
At times, a novice might bring to light psychic content or matters that demand further probing, scrutiny, and personal growth work. In such cases, they may need the support of a seasoned coach, counsellor, or mentor to gain a deeper comprehension and clarity in their lives. Guidance from a professional who is well-versed in our specific process can prove immensely beneficial in the novice’s individual integration journey. Such professional support can play a pivotal role in steering the novice on their unique path.
Psychedelic therapy is an emergent field with admittedly, little associated research, given that 5-MeO-DMT is a controlled substance. That said, as psychedelics begin to be seen in a more neutral light, professionals in the field of psychology will be able to analyze the therapeutic outcomes of 5-MeO-DMT in clinical use as well as in a naturalistic setting.
Even with all the healing power of 5-MeO-DMT, sometimes, the experience may dredge up deeply buried or suppressed traumas from a person’s history that require a more thorough expression and resolution within a professional therapeutic context. In such scenarios, it might be prudent for you to seek professional psychological therapy to assist in the successful processing of this material.
In exceptionally uncommon circumstances, more potent medication might be recommended to soothe the stimulated psyche. However, the decision to use such medication should always be guided by your doctor or a professional psychiatric practitioner. Occasionally, these may involve the benzodiazepine category of anti-anxiety drugs (like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, etc.) or stronger sleep aids such as Lunesta, Sonata, or Ambien. If any of these are under consideration, they should be treated with appropriate caution. A recently introduced anti-anxiety medication that we have been informed about is Buspirone (brand name Buspar), which is non-habit forming and highly effective for its tranquillizing effects and aiding sleep.
Once again, careful consideration should be given to any of these medications, and any potential use should be discussed with your healthcare provider beforehand. They know clinical pharmacology much better than you and can recommend the best course of action.
On the other hand, there are a few things that could potentially ruin your integration experience. Avoid the following if you want to ground yourself appropriately.
Any form of stimulants, including caffeine and nicotine, have the potential to agitate an initiate’s psyche, leading to possible further reactivation. Generally, it’s advisable to refrain from consuming excessive amounts of coffee and to abstain from nicotine use while you’re in the process of grounding and integrating your experience.
Some people who have worked with 5-MeO-DMT have reported that even months after their initiation, they experienced reactivation upon consumption of caffeine or nicotine. We suggest that you scale back your usual intake of these stimulants (probably by half) until you become accustomed to the frequency of this new state of existence. If you find yourself experiencing reactivation due to these substances, our advice is to stay calm, let go, and remember to breathe until the experience subsides.
Generally speaking, we recommend that you avoid marijuana along with psychedelic tryptamines and other medicines for a good while before and after your 5-MeO-DMT trip. Heck, even a large amount of chocolate can make a difference.
We know it’s tempting for some people to be astonished at the revelations impressed on them by 5-MeO-DMT. Consequently, they become curious about what other hidden information could be available to them. Your curiosity is natural, but you should take time to integrate your initial 5-MeO-DMT experience first before moving on to other psychedelics. Space your trips out by a few weeks at least.
There’s a common inclination, when one’s reactivation continues following their initial encounter, to obsess over the notion that this reactivation process might not end or that something is somehow “amiss.” In rare cases, this can result in panic attacks or overwhelming fear, particularly about falling asleep. Generally, when reactivation persists, it’s because the initiate’s psyche contains elements that need to be processed and purged. The optimal way to facilitate this is by simply unwinding and surrendering to the reactivation experience, permitting it to evolve without hindrance while maintaining deep, slow, and rhythmic breaths in the understanding that the reactivation will indeed pass and will eventually settle and cease, usually within a few minutes. Be open to staying with the process.
Although continuous reactivation is not necessarily a “normal” state of the psyche, perceiving it as a problem or pathologizing the process tends to worsen the situation. Acknowledge that this is a potent transformative process that may require some time to effectively resolve and fully integrate.
If you want to know more about what integration might look like in your specific case, then it will depend a lot on creating a plan and starting your experience on the right foot.
Tandava Retreats are professionally guided wellness retreats focusing on the powerful psychedelic molecule known as 5-MeO-DMT, we can help guide you through the process from beginning to end. If you’re just looking to learn more about what it looks like right now, you can contact us without any obligations. We’re happy to educate you some more about 5-MeO-DMT.