Jose Muñoz Aycart, Co-founder of Wondermed, joins Paul F. Austin to discuss revolutionizing mental health through at-home ketamine treatments.
As Co-founder at Wonder Sciences, Wondermed’s parent company, Jose Muñoz Aycart combines his experience in international economics and astrophysics to build the Wondermed ecosystem, empowering people’s inner healer by providing affordable, personalized, evidence-based resources.
Having previously built self-sustained desalination plants in underdeveloped countries, Jose has shifted his focus to healing mental-health disorders with the power of psychedelic medicine, helping raise the $5.6M seed round that made Wonder Sciences possible.
His goal is to continue pushing the boundaries of our imagination through innovation.
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0:00:01.5 Jose Muñoz Aycart: And so for us in Wondermed, one of the main differentiators from other providers is the theory of change ultimately how we see psychedelic medicine. We believe that ketamine is not the solution, ketamine is not the substance that heals. It is up to the individual, up to empowering through educational resources, people to believe that they can actually have a change. And so what the Wondermed platform as a whole is gonna start striving into is providing the best curated tools for people to build their own experience, it's a matter of providing guidance, providing educational resources but ultimately allowing the individual to craft that journey.
0:00:42.0 Paul Austin: Welcome to the Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, audio mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance and collective transformation.
0:01:17.9 PA: Hey folks, this week, Jose Muñoz Aycart, co-founder of Wondermed is at the show we're talking about telemedicine, ketamine, Wondermed's approach to telemedicine ketamine, we get into some metaphysical speculation on our health of conversation. I met Jose at an event in July, at the Petit Ermitage for our... It was the launch of our non-profit, the Microdosing Collective, Jose showed up. They've joined as founding organization at the Microdosing Collective. By the way, any of you wanna become founding members, reach out to me, shoot me a note on Instagram. If you wanna be part of this, you wanna be actively involved in ensuring that Microdosing gets legalized, join us, we're building an incredible group of people there as well, really connected. And so I'm like, "come on the podcast," we did an event together in Miami during the Wonderland conference, and it was pretty dope. It is a pleasure to do this, and I think you'll really enjoy this episode.
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0:05:48.4 PA: Hey listeners, welcome back to The Psychedelic podcast. Today we have Jose Aycart from Wonder Sciences, who was joining us for the podcast, Jose is the co-founder and managing director, and they're really doing some phenomenal work when it comes to at this point in time, ketamine and Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and research around ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. And Jose's approach, with a background in Astrophysics is quite unique compared to a lot of these sort of over-medicalized approach when it comes to ketamine. So Jose is gonna go deep into that relationship, we'll talk a little bit about mathematics as it relates even to ketamine, which would be an interesting, I think topic or concept. Jose, welcome to the podcast. It's good to have you.
0:06:38.3 JA: Thank you, Paul. Thank you. Yeah, that's a good way of putting it. I don't think anybody has ever introduced me that way, so that's an exciting way to put the level of the conversation.
0:06:47.4 PA: Well, mathematics, it's like, it brings us down to first principles, it brings us down to the building blocks, even though they are relatively abstract, and I think something that ketamine does is when we work with ketamine, especially in a very deep experience. We get back to the roots and the foundations of who we really are, and so there's probably some interesting sort of parallels and overlap between those two.
0:07:10.0 JA: Yeah, absolutely. Not to get into it right now, but the truth about mathematics is that in my opinion, they are limited in their explanation of reality, they're to some extent mistaken. They fall prey of their own fundamentals, which is to explain nature in a very fixated manner, and that's the same relationship that we have with psychedelics and the understanding of reality or their own perception of mental health of individuals, there's not a one solution fits all, and so in the same way that I love to study the limitations of mathematical models in cosmological events or quantum physical movements, I am incredibly passionate to keep working with patients in understanding how their mental health state, their mental health as a whole is not something that fits everybody, it's quite unique and personalized, and that's kind of the work that us at Wondermed are trying to do to empower people.
0:08:00.3 PA: And I wanna spend definitely some significant time talking about Wonder Sciences and Wondermed, we've had a few other podcasts that we've done with some of the other telemedicine ketamine companies in the space, so I definitely wanna to dial in the differentiation and really what's the unique proposition of Wonder Sciences and Wondermed. But before we dive into that, it's always helpful just to have a little bit of context around you. How did you come into this space? Why did you study astrophysics? Why did you move to Venice Beach when you're from Europe and Southern Spain? Just tell us a little bit about your origins and up until the point that you chose to enter and commit to the psychedelic space, like you are.
0:08:43.0 JA: Absolutely. Well, let's start it from the origin, like you say, I'm originally from a Spain, was born in Madrid, the capital but lived most of my life in the South in Sevilla. I'm always being fascinated, since I remember being a young age questioning questions of our own religion. I was raised Catholic, and for me, just the structural definitions of what reality is, I've always have a hard time conceptualizing them as they are in terms of trying to find a specific meaning instead of a holistic one. And I think that for me, that was the pavement of my own education on academic career, I was very fascinated by economics, I think that there were a form of mathematics that try to explain the way in which society behave with one another. I personally see, for example, aspects such as money as tools for society to behave within one another to try to measure the step of behavior, and so for me, my background has always been in international business and try to quantify ways in which we can evaluate the added value that people plus people have, that usually it's not value within society, so that aspect for me started to take in shape when I was in New York, I was studying international economics and astrophysics, and I got to realize of the abundance of people.
0:10:00.5 JA: I think that for a lot of times, somebody being from Sevilla, travel the world, but really lived in New York and try to observe the masses of people doing very similar things. Very similar movements, very similar decisions, and all of them just added one on top of each other, and I try to really captivate what is that we could do at large with society with technology to try to elevate the positive impact that we have for itself, for humans in a way that hasn't been done before. And so for that for me, started to take a shape with cryptocurrencies, I believe this was 2015-16, and I started developing socioeconomic models around cryptocurrency systems that would crumble the fundamentals of economics that we understand them today, such as reserve ratios in banks or the ordinance of political regulation that comes from the federal government into the economy itself, and that for me, again, took shape our own positive impact. The idea was, how could we generate more positive impact? And at first that came in the form of desalination plants. So I'm developing a project in Kenya that those desalination plant transform the water from the ocean into bottleable water, and the notion is to bring value from society itself in business models we already see today and try to divert it into technology.
0:11:19.2 JA: And as I was doing that work, that's when I got connected to the other cofounder of Wonder Sciences, Ryan Magnussen, and he told me of this idea that he had to try to elevate the consciousness of the planet, try to basically generate these massive positive impact on a generational capacity. And that he wanted to do that through the power of psychedelics. And so myself, after having just finished my astrophysics thesis, just put together one plus one, and it really equated three, for me. It was the notion of innovation, technology, it being a focus around understanding reality or the science behind mental health and psychedelics, and at the same time having the unique purpose of making positive impact at large. As we all know, for those that are familiar with the psychedelic space right now, it's an incredibly gray area, very complicated from a compliance and regulatory standpoint. And so, it also embedded the ability of us to create an infrastructure system in the back end of a company that could truly allow for accessibility, for affordability, and at the same time it being compliant. And that's kind of how we've been putting the pieces together to build Wondermed.
0:12:23.5 PA: So, you moved to New York. You study International Economics and Astrophysics, you then find yourself in the cryptocurrency kind of world. Tie together for me, this relationship between cryptocurrency and the desalination project you were working on in Kenya. Did one lead to the other? Was there an attempt to bring sort of decentralized currency into that desalination project, or is that just more sort of a point or an example around projects for good that led you into Wondermed?
0:12:57.9 JA: Kind of neither, in the sense that one didn't lead to the other and vice versa, and they both came together to the notion of accumulating economic value from society, things that were happening today, try to decentralize that value and cryptocurrencies provided the tool from a theoretical and practical level, or trying to divert those economic values to people. The aspect of the desalination plant just came from the notion of, let's look for massive disruptive technologies that could truly be scalable in the solution of very large problems, and the desalination plant was the first technology that I got to familiarize with out of a company in Europe and then those two, I just put them together at once, and kinda now with the aspect of psychedelic medicine, it felt very similar, it was putting together resources and an economic model that could fit a financially sustainable company like Wondermed to truly be able to heal the masses and at the same time, focusing in the large innovation that people were not even aware of, and they still are to some extent, not aware of the psychedelic medicine is, so that's kind of how they both melded together into one.
0:14:01.6 PA: So let's get into Wonder Sciences, and talk a little bit about Wonder Sciences and Wondermed. My understanding of it, and correct me if I'm wrong, is Wonder Sciences is more of an umbrella, and Wondermed is particular to ketamine assisted psychotherapy. So just talk us... Bring us a little bit deeper into the sort of vision behind Wonder Sciences and how Wondermed as sort of an applicability of ketamine psychotherapy fits within this larger vision that you have.
0:14:31.1 JA: Great, that's a fantastic question, 'cause I feel a lot of people have the same question. I've seen both on the Wonder Sciences and Wondermed. Wonder Sciences is like you mentioned, is the powering company. It's basically the umbrella of this ecosystem that we have built to truly elevate the value of psychedelics in society. Wondermed, and I feel that for the purposes of the conversation, it would be good to keep the conversation around Wondermed moving forward for the listeners to kinda comprehend where all these value is gonna come in. Wondermed is the brand, is the technology, is the platform that actually provides the impact of psychedelic medicine for the purposes of healing mental health. In other words, Wonder Sciences has the vision of elevating the consciousness of the planet, and Wondermed comes in truly by enacting the mission, which is to revolutionize the mental health industry by being able to provide accessible through affordable treatments, provide reliable through evidence-based forms of treatments, and most importantly, bring customization to the healthcare and treatment sphere. And that only comes through personalization of their own experiences, and so in a nutshell, Wondermed basically has the mission to empower the inner healer. It is a conglomeration of affordable tools that people can access for them to be able to receive in this instance, like you were saying, assisted ketamine therapy.
0:15:52.3 PA: And accessibility is key. I think it's a central point to a lot of the healing conversations that are happening, and of course, one of the biggest upsides of ketamine is it's generic. And so the medicine itself, the substance itself is actually, quite inexpensive. It's not gonna be like insulin medication or a lot of these other medications that are covered by health insurance, but if you don't have health insurance, it might cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. So I'd love to hear you talk a little bit more about what does accessibility look like within the Wondermed model, and why do you think it's so important that accessibility is present and available for those who need to heal?
0:16:40.2 JA: Great... A loaded question. Let's see, let's start with the last one, which is accessibility itself, I think accessibility is the basis of impact, if there is no access, does not matter how well the technology is built, doesn't matter how good the innovation is, is not gonna touch anybody. So the form of accessibility in its prime essence where there is large accessibility aspects or a small ones, is to touch people. So I think everybody will understand the importance of accessibility at large. In the spectrum of accessibility, for us Wondermed that means that we wanna elevate the consciousness of the planet, we need to try to heal as many people as possible. As good as possible. And that's where the aspect of affordability comes into play, we're the first ones in understanding that mental health is a holistic form of healing. You won't be able to treat your mental health just with a psychedelic substance because in essence psychedelics do not heal mental health. It is the perception or perspective change that you go, that you get through a psychedelic experience that then you apply through integration resources to actually make behavioral changes.
0:17:42.8 JA: In the day-to-day life of individuals, that behavioral change comes at a cost, it comes at the opportunity of you being able to maybe start exercise more or to travel or to learn a new language, or maybe to apply a change in careers. So ultimately, in the society that we live in, everything related to behavioral changes in a larger scale, always have to be correlated with the opportunity of somebody being able to make that change, and for us, the aspect of taking away purchasing power from patients that might not be equated to the value that somebody in the mental health space can provide is the basis of our company. And so we really focus on affordability to be the basis of outside of insurance coverage to also allow the masses to be able to afford it. And that's kind of the fight that it's by no means conquered, and then we will continue to strive to make treatments even more accessible moving forward.
0:18:34.0 PA: So let's talk a little bit more about those details, so if someone who's listening to this podcast, they maybe they've heard of a few different companies in this space that are doing telemedicine, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, I won't name them all on this podcast, but there are several now that are doing this, what is it that sets Wondermed apart or differentiates Wondermed from some of the other people who are offering... How... What's the approach? What's the perspective? What's the technology? I'd love for you to just talk a little bit about that, that lens.
0:19:10.6 JA: Absolutely. This is a great conversation, and you know Paul better than anybody, that this is something that we don't just speak to the public, it's a conversation that we always try to solve even within the industry itself, in the aspect of providers or doctors, it is the notion that there is not one answer. I have spoken with some of the smartest people that I've ever met in my life in the last couple of years, we're talking about neuroscientists, we're talking about psychiatrists, and the most common answer is we don't know. And as long as we start from the point of view that it doesn't matter that we don't know, and we actually agree upon the idea that we're still in this exploratory phase of wanting to understand how to best improve, how to best treat people, I think that we will have the most efficient form of healing treatments.
0:19:56.0 JA: And so for us in Wondermed, one of the main differentiators from other providers is the theory of change, ultimately how we see psychedelic medicine. We believe that ketamine is not the solution, ketamine is not the substance that heals, it is up to the individual, up to empowering through educational resources, people to believe that they can actually have a change. If we achieve somebody's belief that they truly can have a transformative experience and change, psychedelics, and in this case ketamine, brings the perfect opportunity for that perspective to actually be changed as a catalyst, but ultimately there needs to be a realm of resources that Wondermed believes to provide through technology for people to be able to create the right intention setting, the right setting around the experience itself, and ultimately the tools that would allow them to start engraving some of those insights that they might gather from these psychedelic experiences in their day-to-day life, whether that's journaling or breathwork, whether that's meditation. And so what the Wondermed platform as a whole is gonna start striving into, is providing the best curated tools for people to build their own experience, it's a matter of providing guidance, providing educational resources, but ultimately allowing the individual to craft that journey.
0:21:13.4 PA: And is that with the support of let's say... Kinda talk a little bit about the role of a coach, a guide, a therapist. There are some programs out there where you get paired with a clinical therapist or even a psychiatrist, right. There are other programs where it might just be a coach who has some years of experience and knows the ins and outs of the psychedelic landscape, and still there are other programs where there's a coach there if you need it, but it's not necessarily mandatory. So I'd love just to hear what are these different options within the Wondermed approach, if someone who wants to come in, they may need support of some sort, or if someone comes in, they're like, "Hey, I really... The technology available is perfect, I just really wanna work with the medicine itself," just talk a little bit about that matrix of options as it relates to Wondermed.
0:22:13.8 JA: Great, well, to start off, let's say that the matrix of options in our opinion is never gonna be finished, it is the idea that we want to continue expanding that and curating it even further, and so when somebody says, "Hey, this is perfect," which thankfully for us, the statistics that we have upon customers providing feedback, it's I think it was 97% of them, suggest that they've had a massively positive impact effect within their life with the current resources that we provide, yet it being 97% doesn't mean that we're gonna stop providing more. And so to explain a little bit where we are today and also where we're planning on going, when a patient comes to Wondermed, they have the opportunity to speak to a support team. That support team is gonna be available for them either through a phone call or through text or email at any given point. It is the ability for them, if you have any questions around the program itself, to be able to seek help. You mentioned something really important, which is, "Hey, I need something else, I feel that I need more," and that's where our team basically provides the ability of refer to other forms of resources.
0:23:12.2 JA: We have our own in-network therapy that basically we refer patients to therapists that we believe are trained enough within the aspect of, for example, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for them to be able to select which therapist do they believe that works best for them. Ultimately, that's just the aspect of therapy, in the aspect of breathwork for example, we have provided a multitude of protocols including the breathwork app, which right now is the number one app as of the last rating that had for personal growth aspects in the Android store. And we provide it completely for free for a premium subscription. It is the model that we again, in the aspect of socio-economic value distribution, we believe that people can have access to these things at a much more affordable cost than if they were to go to the solutions on their own, and that's what we want our patients to feel, that they have this cohort of resources. We provide protocols around Music Journeys, but also provide a list of different Music Journeys that can be accessible through Spotify or Apple Music for their own experiences. And so ultimately for us, right now it deals with you meeting with a clinician where you can actually get the diagnosis, being able to understand really what medicine they're gonna be receiving, in this case, ketamine, understanding the potential risks, understanding the potential benefits, and most importantly, how to treat the medicine.
0:24:34.0 JA: The biggest change that we see in mental health, and this is... And the overarching umbrella of psychedelics is that we've been seeing mental health as a chemical imbalance in the brain, therefore you need to be dependent upon something else to start regulating yourself. In that sense, you have SSRIs or benzodiazepines coming in as chemical intrusions, I would call it, that creates a form of effect in your brain, but ultimately derive a dependency. In the aspect of how we see psychedelics coming into the mental health space and why Wondermed creates this storyline that is unique to our patients, is that psychedelics are exploratory tool. They basically base their efficacy on the neuro-plasticity theory, the notion that us as humans have the ability through our brain to create a meaning in life, to create emotion and feelings, and it is upon ourselves to have the same ability to change, to adapt, to morph. I think everybody listening would understand that when you're a little kid, you know nothing, you don't even know a language, and yet you start observing and learning and building this meaning of reality for which right now we collaborate as humans.
0:25:39.9 JA: I push the notion that Steve Jobs pushed, that Albert Einstein pushed, which is that we can continuously push the boundaries of our imagination, that the boundaries from which we see reality to be now, doesn't have to be the boundaries from which we actually live in, and so the notion of psychedelics bring in just this perspective to people of huh, I haven't thought of it this way, or I haven't think of this problem that generates anxiety in my life from this angle is the perfect illusion. A perfect example that I saw from a comedian, Paul was, if you have ever travelled to a different country and you've been yourself in a situation where somebody is trying to insult you and they go in a completely different language and they just start shouting at you. But you have no sense of what they actually mean, you see this person just shouting their voices out to the individual, you are not hurt at all, your feelings are practically intact, yet you're receiving the level of aggression, you're receiving the voices, you're receiving the ideas, but you don't comprehend them.
0:26:39.1 JA: And that goes to speak about the aspect of meaning, if you actually receive somebody or an idea or a thought that you understand, aka in your language, you still have the ability to take the meaning and modify it, to take the meaning and adapt to it, and sometimes it's hard for us to do it, and it's by no means easy, but that's what psychedelic medicine provides, is the catalyst for you to be able to adapt in this metaphysical side.
0:27:08.0 PA: And the metaphysical perspective is important, 'cause one element that you're talking about with the biological approach to mental health is there's sort of an assumption inherent in that model that we are machines, and so if then... And this comes from the industrial revolution, and we could even track it back to Descartes potentially of a metaphysical approach of physicalism or reductionism or materialism, and what people often learn through having the psychedelic experiences is this sense that there's way more beyond... There's way more to reality than what we can see, and that physical reality is actually not always what it seems, and that the truest reality is actually in the mind, so this is when we get into pan-psychism or idealism. In that capacity, then to see how malleable reality is, allows for a new story to enter our consciousness, which is, Oh, if reality is this malleable that I'm not stuck in the way that I am, but actually there is an incredible capacity to shift and to change, and so one question that I wanna route in this for is I'm curious how your own psychedelic work or your own psychedelic experiences have changed you, how have they been impactful? What happened as a before and after, I'm kind of curious of that one for you?
0:28:36.0 JA: For me, it was a confirmation. For a lot of people it's a realization. And for me, thankfully, it was a confirmation. In the sense that from a young age, and this is thanks to my mother, I've been able to think of life in a very beautiful way. I like to call it, which is trying to understand the real power that we have to truly be what we want, and that doesn't come in terms of achievement, comes in terms of feelings, and that the happiness comes from within. And so for me to dive into that question that you answered, when I was studying astrophysics, before I had ever done any form of psychedelic experience, I had psychedelic experiences that I can now identify as such by me just studying the lunar eclipse or looking at the moon for two hours and trying to understand mathematical models and how the moon actually moves itself around the earth, through gravitational forces. For me, it was a way of understanding that there's so much more... There's so much more that we can answer, there's so many questions that we can truly not grasp and feeling comfortable within that, driving that thought, and starting to develop theories, I start to understand theories, that's why for me, I see a little bit of...
0:29:50.2 JA: A lot of correlation between physics and psychedelics, because when we think of reality as the objective reality, I think of Newton, it's everything that we see today, the fact that things drop in front of you, but when you get into very larger scales and you look at, say, galaxies colliding with one another, our mathematical observation doesn't match the actual data that comes back to us, and so when we see these differences as us humans, what do we do? It's not a mistake on our part, there is something else, and that's actually where the term dark matter was coined, it was the lack of being able to mathematically predict the visual observation of galaxies colliding with one another, and so for us or for myself included, when I had my first psychedelic experience and then I started doing my work in understanding how you mentioned my life could be malleable, how I could actually be comfortable within my mind and adapt these concepts and ideas on a day to day basis. It felt like a confirmation, it felt like what I have been experiencing through my studies is actually real, and why is it real? Because I was able to experiment with it, I was able to observe it.
0:30:57.1 JA: And so, we both know this, a lot of people have this misconception that you take psychedelic medicine and now out of the blue, your whole life or reality is melted, you have changed everything. Now you don't know who you are, or if you say are a father of four, now you don't want to be a parent anymore, or now you have these very drastic potential changes in your life, and it is truly not that. I think that psychedelics within their experiences, although they may be intense, I see them as very subtle signals.
0:31:24.9 JA: A very great example for this is to point or to look at somewhere far out of you say an object, I have in front of mine... In front of me here, a library, and if I put a finger between myself and the library, for me the library becomes the objective reality becomes what is... It remains still for everybody, and the finger becomes all the problems, all the ideas, all the thoughts, all the emotions that I have, if I'm able to close the left eye and leave the... Or close the left eye, and leave the right one open and then change it, I get to realize that the objective reality, the bookshelf, doesn't move, yet my finger, which is my thoughts, emotions in my life, my problems, my anxiety, my depression doesn't move either, but I was able to have an observable reality of that objective object, very different with just a slight change, it was almost like I just gained a whole angle of perspective, and that's what psychedelic medicine for me has being been on my personal work and how I really take this integration resources not for granted, they're standard... They're incredibly important to then take this angle and then act upon it.
0:32:39.1 PA: This is great because what I'm tracking here as well is like Newtonian physics. Isaac Newton and the many theoretical perspectives he provided really informed the industrial revolution, it informed growth and progress and informed a lot of the world that we live in today. And it was... What it was, 350-400 years ago that this happened. And it was only in the last, let's say, 100 years that Einstein came up with his theory of relativity, and what I'm tracking with precisely what you're saying is, it feels as if society still hasn't adapted to the truth of Einstein's breakthrough, in other words, we still seem to live in a Newtonian culture, a perspective, physicalist, materialist, reductionist, and maybe the opportunity that psychedelics offer when used with intention and responsibility is a deeper understanding of really what Einstein was talking about, because when we have psychedelic experiences, time itself becomes very subjective, right? Time itself can sometimes warp or expand, and so that felt subjective experience of how time is changing, maybe will allow for those who have these experiences with psychedelics to see that oh, reality is much more malleable than we previously thought, and because it's more malleable, all of these crises that we're facing, whether it's the mental health crisis, the climate crisis, the financial crisis, the whatever, oh, we actually have the tools and the capacity to adapt and grow and change.
0:34:27.7 PA: In other words, we don't need to be scared or intimidated, but we simply need to just go, we can address this, we can handle this, it's no problem.
0:34:38.8 JA: Feel empowered, absolutely.
0:34:38.8 PA: We can feel empowered, right, we feel like we're agents of change in a way.
0:34:42.4 JA: Yes, exactly. And I would say, let's take it a step further.
0:34:47.8 PA: Please, please take it a step further.
0:34:48.1 JA: Beyond Einstein himself. I think that these theories as well are still from what I called basing upon the course of the observer. Us as an individual observing reality, therefore explaining, we're very limited as a species and it's really our only method, whether it's through observation or auditory, or even touch and feel, but the reality is that, like you mentioned, that time itself is something that you can truly feel morphing. When you think of this type of topics, I say, okay, if everything that we need to explain, has to come from an observational truth. Let's look at the limitations of the human. Were you aware that of the spectrum of light, humans can only observe 0.0005% of the whole spectrum, it's such a small amount that everything that we see or believe to be true is very limited, there is so much out there. Practically everything out there, if you compare it to what we can actually observe that we are not taking into account, and so when we as humans try to understand or a patient tries to understand why is it that I'm feeling this way, how is it that I can change? What is the true power that I have, it stems from the notion of the limiting perspective of the observer, if you take that patient and provide them with the resources of education and the experience of a psychedelic journey, or in this case, low-dose Ketamine.
0:36:17.3 JA: Even from the comfort of their home, you're providing them the opportunity to realize that there is more, and that more becomes just empowerment, becomes the notion that although I see that it's raining, I don't need to feel bad about it. I can actually look at the bright side. A lot of times we hear just think positively, but what does think positively mean, once you actually understand that your brain is malleable and that having positive thoughts enact positive actions, and positive actions enact positive beliefs, you're ultimately generating a new methodology of behaving that you didn't have before, it's not being fake, it's just being a new you, it's a constant evolvement of your capacity to live, and that's where I think that we need to take a step further than this mathematical understanding and even look at quantum physics and think, look, we can't observe it, but we know it's there. There's a beautiful...
0:37:13.6 PA: String theory.
0:37:14.6 JA: A string theory, for example, or even perspective theory, if you think of... I love to do this exercise on my mind, it's a form of meditation where I become a blood clot or a blood cell within my blood system, my circulatory system, and I'm flowing from my heart through my arteries and flowing all the way through my body and going back and forth, I know exactly where I need to go.
0:37:35.0 JA: I'm able to understand when something in my body gets hit, how to send signals, how to maybe accumulate around a certain area. There is an inherent intellectual relationship between your body and your mind. Yet, I as a blood cell have no absolute clue who Jose is. No absolute clue what's out there, the reality of the other words understanding that I as Jose understands to be. Including my blood cell. And so when we think of that, and then you think of the planet Earth and you think of the solar system, and you think of the Milky Way, and you think of outer bodies that we're able to observe, but we don't really understand, what is stopping us from being part of something greater, what's stopping us from being part of something smaller?
0:38:17.8 JA: And so these form of ethereal thinking, which a lot of the times people think that it means nothing matters, and it's quite the opposite, everything that you see, everything that you feel matters, but that you have the power to create that meaning, you have that ability. And that's the ultimate message that we here at Wondermed push to our patients and provide in these experiences.
0:38:42.3 PA: It's quite the metaphysical message, Jose. The thing that's coming up for me is Aldous Huxley who I'm sure you know of and many of our listeners have heard me talk about before. He had a metaphor where he talked about how consciousness has a reducing valve. So in other words, in order to navigate our everyday reality, to pay our bills, to take care of our home, to wash the dishes, to do various mundane tasks, we naturally block out a lot of what we actually could perceive, what you would call maybe the 10% rule and that when we take a psychedelic and Huxley, when Huxley was a thing, ketamine wasn't really around, but he's talking about LSD and mescaline in particular, and when we take a psychedelic, all of a sudden, that valve opens up significantly, and so these normal things that we shut out, we all of a sudden have the opportunity to really take in and go, oh, this is also part of our reality, and I think to your point, and the important part here then is discernment, because not everything... Everything matters, but not everything is necessarily helpful for the path that someone is on.
0:39:57.9 PA: And so when that consciousness is expanded, then it's really up to the individual, and if they're working with a coach, a guide, a therapist, someone who has sort of navigated this landscape before, what sort of messages or what intel that is coming through is relevant and helpful for the intention that someone is coming into the experience with, and I think that's where intention for whether it's ketamine or any psychedelic is helpful to navigate a lot of that new information or new stuff that's coming through, because if all of a sudden, like you said, we can see 0.0005% or whatever of light, most people would say we live in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional reality, and there's actually 11 dimensions. All of a sudden if we start to open up to these other aspects of existence in reality, it can often be disorienting, it can often be confusing, it can often be like, oh my gosh, what do I do with all this information? So that intention then allows us to stay centered and say, oh okay, this is the through line, pick this out, pick that out, and that way when we come back into conscious reality, the way that we approach things is with more nuance.
0:41:13.2 PA: The way that we approach things is with more understanding, the way that we approach things is maybe with more compassion both for ourselves and for things outside of us, and I love how all of this can be rooted in mathematics and astrophysics. So thank you for bringing this perspective 'cause it's a very unique one.
0:41:31.9 JA: Absolutely, and I think our patients need to keep that in mind, everybody when they're in this journey of their own, it's the aspect of intention, it's almost like a flag that you... You put out there for you to always know why is it that you're looking into this, why is it that I'm discovering this new form of thinking, because it actually allowed me to really value the little things, to really value doing the laundry, to really value doing the dishes, kind of focusing on that 10%, again, it's the ability that there is a different angle of love, and love is usually the most common denominator amongst everybody in doing these type of experiences.
0:42:11.1 JA: We know it well, and we always talk about it how a lot of the time, cities rooted in understanding that we're all one, that it's much more important to focus in telling I love you to the people that you love, than say, I hate you to the people that you hate, that it is the aspect that you start just feeling certain things that you actually like, that you actually feel passionate about, and to your point before of intention, it's a matter of writing them down. It's a matter of understanding how is it that I can now take actionable steps towards making these change that I personally feel I need.
0:42:40.6 JA: And this personally is why personalization of treatments is so important. Anxiety and depression are incredibly abstract concepts. It is different for everybody. Nobody has the same type of anxiety, nobody has the same anxiety produced to themselves and yet us say, the caregivers, we need to try to accumulate and conglomerate certain buckets to try to perfectionate how we can heal, but ultimately, it's upon the individual to truly personalize how they take these insights, to truly personalize how to take action in their life, and that comes just from understanding that they again, have the power to do so.
0:43:17.1 JA: And something I would like to say, 'cause I feel that we can take this into the astrophysical realm, mathematical, metaphysical, and it can get very abstract. Ultimately, a lot of people, especially people that are religious or people that have been raised upon a religion, when you think of the term God or what God is, it, to some extent answers most of the topics that we're talking about right now, and yet people don't feel completely overwhelmed of the notion of God. They get to understand it. They get to believe in it, and they get to get to their conscious reality and live their life.
0:43:51.9 JA: This is very similar. It is the notion that you can have the perception of it, you can have the understanding of these concepts that we're talking about, but ultimately root yourself into who you are and act upon the life that you have, because it truly is the only one that we have, at least in my point of view. I think that we live once as I am as Jose, and so I need to try to make this journey of my own as special as possible and to in my own purpose, make people feel as good as possible when I can. So yeah.
0:44:24.7 PA: One thing I wanna talk about is Ketatations. I think something that Wondermed has done a few times now is my sense is hosted these group Ketatations. I think you did one at Summit Series. There may be a couple of others as well that you have done, and I'd love just to hear you talk a little bit about those, why host Ketatations? What's the intention of doing that? With example, Summit Series. Why do you think it's critical that this is not only done, 'cause a lot of the telemedicine ketamine groups... I've done this myself, you can have ketamine sent your home, you do it at home, you maybe have a trip-sitter there, you're by yourself. It's certainly healing from a personal perspective, but it also feels limited, especially I've done ayahuasca in ceremony, I've done psilocybin in ceremony. So I'd love for you to just talk a little bit about the role of Ketatations in groups and why you think that's important as part of sort of contextualizing and normalizing ketamine use.
0:45:25.6 JA: Well, I think it's a statement, it's a statement of people with one another. I personally, I am a firm believer in the use of ketamine at home for the angles of affordability, accessibility, and ultimately upon hyper-efficacy in some instances, when we compare the data results that we receive from, say, our patients at home compared to traditional forms of medication, right now, we're working with the University of UCLA to publish our data.
0:45:54.2 JA: You will be able to get to see that. Wow, there's really more here to say that what we currently perceive, truly people can actually heal. I can have as an individual the opportunity to maybe try this new alternative form of medicine adapt it to my own space and my own self and have an impactful transformation. And the same way that a paper from UCLA provides this value, the notion of Ketatations provides that in individual experiences to people to feel that I am not alone, that there are others that actually are taking this heroic movement of feeling that they have the power to make a change and enacting it. Everybody that has a ketamine experience, in my opinion has to see a clinician, has to get prescribed, in my opinion, you have to look for the actual knowledge from experts that can guide you into the proper utilization of it so that you don't fall prey of potential side effects of addiction or that you don't mis-spread or a misuse the actual medicine.
0:46:54.6 JA: And so in bringing this experience to the public from time to time, we allow our patients to have the opportunity to have an experience with others. It ultimately is a different sensation, but similarly how music changes, for example, a lot of our patients who like to change the music journeys in their experiences, so if I go through an experience that has a specific type of music and then I go into a second one that has a very different type of experience, even the visual effect that I might have or the interpretation of experience upon my intention is very different, and it kind of allows people to understand that there is more than what meets the eye. And this aspect of the Ketatations is just merely another example of that experiential form of experience, that also takes a lot of the times the fear away from people. There has been a very largest skepticism built upon society that psychedelics as a whole are deteriorating for humanity, that they're deteriorating for people, and ultimately with everything else that I say is, apply your research, look into the data, understand what's really out there coming from the experts that you truly believe in or that you truly trust, and there is no better trustee than your own self.
0:48:10.0 JA: And so this experience for a lot of people is a matter of, okay, let me see if I can actually do this within the notion of having others around me, and that has actually been a wonderful experience for a lot of people.
0:48:21.5 PA: Well, and the beautiful part about Ketatations, I've done a few myself with smaller groups, maybe four, five, six, seven, eight people overall is... It's shorter in length, right, so it's just 90 minutes, maybe two hours at the longest, it allows... It allows for a really deep experience, you can weave in music, you can weave in breath, and then it's simply... What we usually did after the Ketatations is we'd have a little bit of a sharing circle, we would share some food, maybe some tea, and it doesn't energetically take as much as like a six-hour psilocybin ceremony or a six-hour Ayahuasca ceremony. So I think there's also an upside, and it's great because obviously Ketamine is legal. Ketamine can be prescribed, and it's... Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand, you don't necessarily need a clinical indication to be prescribed Ketamine. In other words, you don't need to be clinically depressed by a psychiatrist to be prescribed ketamine, you have to have symptoms of anxiety or symptoms of depression. Tell us a little... Actually, tell us a little bit about that 'cause you probably know more about that than I do. How is that navigated?
0:49:38.9 JA: I can speak from the angle of Wondermed itself, from what we do as a company, everybody that comes to the company and tries to obtain or tries to see whether or not Ketamine therapy or treatment is something beneficial for them, ultimately has to get it prescribed for a diagnosis. It is true that right now, the landscape upon this gray area of Ketamine being an off-label use drug allows for doctors or physicians to prescribe Ketamine for multiple diagnosis practically for anything if they would like to. Ultimately for us, we feel that we have the outer most responsibility to make sure that in these early stages of an industry and the risk they were taking by facilitating these forms of new alternative medicines to people that we only treat individuals that can actually get diagnosed for a mental health disorder, reason being, most of the data, most of the past literature supporting the use of an off-label medication like Ketamine is supportive of certain diagnoses. And so for us, our primary focus is anxiety and depression, ultimately as a company, we actually disqualify 25% of patients that come through the platform to try to receive treatment, and 25 is quite a large number. It's one in every four patients.
0:50:53.8 JA: Reason is because, again, we're not here to make money, we're here to create a financially sustainable platform that can truly heal more people, and at the same time, we feel that in the method of your at-home journey, there are certain risk profiles that you would have to get provided with different forms of treatments, whether it's an in-person clinic, whether it's with the support of another physician that we don't feel we have enough resources for them right now, and that's why we feel very sure of the patients that we actually let go into the experiences with Wondermed, that this is indeed a potential right fit for them, and something that I would say around the aspect of the at-home and going back as to what I say that a patient could receive with Wondermed as a resource package is the opportunity of how you mentioned of your own experiences, which is being able to do a breathwork exercise, being able to set that setting in, that mindset, do a small meditation exercise, get into the experience of the actual Ketamine treatment, which will last around one hour to one hour and a half.
0:52:00.0 JA: That ultimately provides you this perspective and then post experience, be able to start working again upon a certain breath work exercise that might allow you to come back to what you would consider your conscious reality or for example, journaling and these be able to be done in a very easy setting, and I think that the compilation to what you said before of having an intention, therefore experiencing and therefore acting up on it is really the basis of what an at-home treatment can provide to people that maybe an in-person clinic has a harder time to do.
0:52:31.6 JA: Main reason, because it is your setting, I can adapt to what I need to prepare myself into. I myself consider myself a very busy person, and I'm sure there's a lot of people that would look at my life and say, you have nothing on my life, I have two jobs, or I have kids, and I'm trying to cope into focusing time for myself on my mental health, the at-home component really allows people to personalize that experience for them and be able to say, I'm gonna craft this time that I know I have, I'm gonna really focus into my mental health experience and then have something that truly has a large impact in my life that doesn't require me to go to an in-person facility or to have to go to a location that then I can come back driving on my own, given that after Ketamine, we suggest people do not take or work with any heavy machinery.
0:53:21.3 PA: Operate heavy machinery or drive cars.
0:53:22.4 JA: That's the technical word. That's right. Yeah.
0:53:25.6 PA: Yeah, last question, before we wrap up and have a call to action. MDMA is going to be approved relatively soon for PTSD, psilocybin is gonna be approved relatively soon for major depressive disorder and treatment resistant depression, assuming all goes well. Does Wondermed have an intention of sort of expanding into those medicines and those molecules or are you really intending to stay focused on Ketamine for the foreseeable future?
0:53:52.2 JA: No, that's a great question. We actually intend to be a support for the psychedelic community at large, something that everybody, whether you're a provider, a clinician, a researcher, or an actual patient, I hope that you feel that Wondermed is not here to try to elevate Wondermed, but actually try to elevate the consciousness of society, and that comes in the hand of supporting the research community, supporting, like you mentioned, the future forms of substances that are gonna be able to heal people. That's gonna come in different shapes and forms. One of it is gonna be our technological platform in the support of these experiences in an in-clinic setting, and patients being able to utilize Wondermed as their trustee or the trusted source of protocols. It ultimately, for us, Ketamine is just the beginning. I think the psychedelic industry is in a beautiful path right now, a lot of effort, a lot of great minds, more than I've ever met before, working truly, try to move this angle. I think it's a fight that a lot of people are getting together to do, and in the aspect of multiple psychedelics, Wondermed is just gonna be another pivotal factor that either supports clinicians in the prescription of this medicines, or it provides support for therapists and patients that are working after these experiences. We're gonna be an ally, we pretend to be an ally as long as we can, and so yes, we definitely will be touching the world on realm of other psychedelics.
0:55:11.7 PA: Beautiful. Jose Aycart, the astrophysicist master, it was fun to just jam on those connections today. We never really had an opportunity to ping those parallels, and of course, to hear about Wondermed, to hear about what you're bringing to the world, your intention behind it, the efficacy of Ketamine, the at-home approach, the Ketatations, this has been a really beautiful, beautiful conversation today. If folks who are listening, they're interested, they're curious, they wanna learn more about Wondermed, they wanna learn more about either how they can get involved as a clinician to support Wondermed or maybe even to get involved as a client or a patient, to go through the treatment, next steps, what are some good places to check out?
0:56:00.4 JA: Well, I think it would be great for people that are interested in going through a potential Ketamine treatment that they feel would be optimal for them or for somebody they know to go and check out Wondermed.com. So again, it would be Wondermed.com, and for them to be able to go through the process of eligibility, understanding whether or not they're eligible for this treatment. We believe to be the most comprehensive package for people to access affordable treatments. And so for $3.99, they will be able to have a whole treatment that lasts up around a month for most people, and they will be able to customize it in talking to the clinician about their needs in understanding how is it that Ketamine could help them. And so I really suggest people to just go to Wondermed and learn more, understand that. For example, we have a full refund policy upon meeting with a clinician. So if they're just interested in learning more and seeing whether truly or not this is something that could be beneficial for them, I highly suggest them going to Wondermed and now utilizing the opportunity of having this transformative experience for them.
0:57:02.9 PA: So Wondermed.com. We'll also include a link in the show notes if people are driving and listening to this or just can't pull it up, and I believe, I'm on the website now, 20% off for the first month, which is phenomenal. As an initial discount. So Jose, we've known each other now for what... Going on maybe four, five, six months. We threw a great event together in Miami, which I don't know about you, but that was hell of fun.
0:57:30.3 JA: That was good.
0:57:32.6 PA: It was a good event. It was a good party, and it's so great what you're doing with Wondermed, what you and Ryan have built, the entire team behind it. It's really needed and necessary, the focus on accessibility, the focus on at-home Ketamine treatment, the focus on empowering the inner healer to really come forward through this medicine, so I just appreciate all your work and I appreciate you joining us on the psychedelic podcast today.
0:57:55.6 JA: Absolutely. Thank you so much for inviting me. I have a feeling that our relationship has taken a step forward, which is always good in this type of conversations, and yeah, just if I could send another message to people, if you can and believe, you will. So get to it.
0:58:15.6 PA: Belief is everything. Thank you, Jose.
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