Wellness

Why You Shouldn’t Microdose Without Addressing Your Health

Matt Cooper · January 22nd, 2023

Disclaimer: Psilocybin is a largely illegal substance, and we do not encourage or condone its use where it is against the law. However, we accept that illicit drug use occurs and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this document is designed to enhance the safety of those who decide to use these substances. You can learn more about the legality of Psilocybin cubensis mushrooms here.

Something as seemingly essential as health and physical fitness are perhaps the most undefined and underappreciated pillars of personal transformation.

Everyone’s familiar with the term “putting the cart before the horse,” and unfortunately, the psychedelic space is not immune to this problem. People often turn to psychedelics to assist with personal transformation without complementary practices like mindfulness, therapy, or introspection.

While James Fadiman-style microdosing of psychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, and other substances can have a profound impact on mental health by themselves, this protocol is much more effective combined with integrated wellness modalities.

This is why we at Third Wave strive to create psychedelic coaching programs that holistically incubate this process rather than just handing over the keys to the psychedelic car and saying, “step on the gas.”

Also:  Gasoline may get all the attention as to what fuels the car, but drivers also need steering fluid, engine coolant, and oil to move forward.

Similarly, humans need more than psychedelics to create profound shifts. They need a myriad of supportive practices to drive their progress toward lasting change.

It’s important to realize that biology impacts mood, motivation, personal experience, and how you show up in life. For most,  attempting to change without addressing health and biology is a lost cause.


How Does Our Biology Influence Our Reality?

Our reality depends on what our biology is up to. — David Eagleman.

The simplest way to put it is this: your body is the vessel through which you experience life.  This physical container’s health status is the single biggest influence on how you feel, think, and take in the world.

Proper balances of hormones, neurotransmitters, and nutrients ensure you have the energy to direct your life pursuits.

On the flip side, a brain-chemical imbalance can radically diminish mood and motivation.

On some level, you probably know this to be true, and yet this area remains underappreciated in the personal transformation space. Some vague lip-service recommendations–“be sure to eat well,” dieta, or the Stamets Stack–are generally the only health and wellness recommendations that routinely circulate.

But that’s the thing—everything we’re trying to do is an attempt to alter our physiology for the better, even seemingly unrelated habits. Meditation, gratitude, and psychedelics all act as “epigenetic inputs,” altering gene expression to boost stress resistance, resilience, and even lifespan.

Similarly, in the Third Wave webinar, “How to Optimize Your Microdosing Experience,” Paul F. Austin discusses how neuroscience has revealed that meditation alters brain infrastructure and chemistry for the better. He also discusses how breathwork can influence the autonomic (fight-or-flight) nervous system, fostering greater balance.

So keep in mind that everything you’re already doing is also an attempt at altering your physiology.  Knowingly or not, you’re technically already trying to optimize your biology to optimize your state.

If emotions and physiology form a feedback loop, why not tailor your nutrition for your betterment?

For most, this is a more helpful foundation to address before looking at low or high doses of psychedelics.


Adapt and Evolve by Improving Your Physical State

Improving physical health for mental state

Again, creating change at the biological level via your health regimen is likely the best place to start to induce positive effects before any exploratory work with psychedelic compounds. While it can take years to adequately unpack life traumas, you can always meet your body at the easiest entry point to create immediate change.

By improving your physical state prior to a psychedelic experience, a curious shift happens.

Your mental state also improves. And you can start asking yourself compelling questions. You gradually bring yourself into a more biologically neutral state from which you can evaluate your life.

Do I really need a career change, or is subclinical hypothyroidism just robbing me of my zest for life?

Is making that big life change as insurmountable as it seems, or do I just have less biological energy at the cellular level, rendering my physiology less adaptive to change?

You get the idea. Studies have found that animals with a depressed metabolism shut down in the face of new stimuli (change) in the environment. Sound familiar?

We all have been or know people whose days get ruined by small changes in schedule, getting cut off in traffic, or who marinate on making needed life changes for years—even lifetimes.

We hope that future research focuses more on not only on the effects of low doses and high doses of psychedelic substances alone on mood, but also on how psychopharmacology and nutrition interact.

How does our physiology affect our mood? How can psychedelic research, including clinical trials, begin to include how large and small doses of psychedelic drugs complement the benefits of microdosing psychedelics? Maybe we should be looking at nutritional supplements for their therapeutic potential as opposed to just being general health aids.

While it’s worth educating yourself on whether substances like ayahuasca, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), DMT, ketamine, and others may be solid fits, perhaps we should first look at things like vitamin D, minerals, magnesium, and the like.

Although we absolutely encourage other physiology-altering habits like meditation as entry-level pillars, we’re going to focus on some health and physical fitness modalities you can implement.


Simple Things You Can Do To Get Started

complimentary microdosing practices blog

“In the lowest animals any change, the appearance of any new stimulus, causes a negative reaction of avoidance… In the higher mammals we can observe… a drive to seek the unknown, to explore the new, and to seek excitement.” Ernest Schachtel (1959)

Even if you don’t understand all the inner workings and biological mechanisms at play, changing your biology doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be a lot simpler than you think.

Here are a few simple things to get started with to improve your energetic state, and by extension your life. The following list is not meant to be prescriptive or a substitute for medical advice. It is intended purely for educational purposes.

Light:

You should spend as much time outdoors as possible under the sun. Take in morning and evening light when possible to set up natural circadian rhythms.

Sleep:

Speaking of circadian rhythms, addressing sleep is one of the best ways to immediately improve your state.

Start by getting to bed with eight and a half hours on the clock before the alarm rings, so by the time you fall asleep, you’re still averaging the better part of eight hours of sleep most nights. You can kick this up a notch at home by using amber bulbs for ambient lighting and using blue light settings and glasses when looking at screens.

Lastly, try to power down your wifi at night and avoid mentally engaging pursuits in the half hour before bed, which can rev up the brain.

Exercise:

Engage in some type of strength training, including bodyweight-based strength training, two to four times per week, depending on energy levels and stress.

You should seek to get cardiovascular exercise through simple daily activities which have myriad health and well-being benefits without giving your body yet another stressful session it then has to adapt to.

Diet (Avoid):

The main things to avoid are PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) that stress out your physiology, rob you of your energy production, and can even cause stress.

These are prevalent in industrial seed oils like canola, soy, grapeseed, and vegetable oil. Avoid American wheat and gluten-containing products, as well as most grains.  This is because American wheat products contain far more processing ingredients, pesticides, and gluten concentrations than they used to after the influence of Monsanto & Bill Gates.

This is why there seems to be a larger amount of “gluten-intolerant” today than there used to be—these products aren’t the same as they were decades prior.  At the same time, it’s also why some do alright on the same products when consumed in other countries.

Artificial sweeteners and dyes should be minimized, as well. Legumes and lentils should be minimized and long-soaked if consumed on occasion. Filler ingredients like thickeners such as carrageenan in plant-based milk should be avoided.

Avoid fake meats at all costs. Foods with huge ingredient lists and questionable sourcing are also generally worth avoiding. All of these things either directly steal energy or induce stress that can negatively affect your headspace.

Diet (Include):

Eat foods that have a favorable ratio of energy supplied to energy taken to digest

Take beans or peas, for example. Everyone knows they have a lot of nutrients, right? Turns out appearances can be deceiving. Beans and peas are inflammatory, difficult to digest, and do not offer bioavailable nutrients for the body to absorb.

On the other hand, vegetables like raw carrots, white button mushrooms, and bamboo shoots are essential everyday foods.

Include just about any fruit you like with some extra love for orange juice. Daily raw honey is money. Quality milk and dairy are good, too. Some sweet potato, potato, and white rice here and there are generally okay.

Quality corn, oat bran, squash, and other easily-digestible carbs are worth experimenting with, but not everyone can digest them easily.

Fats should be mostly saturated. High-quality meat, eggs, dairy coconut oil, butter, and ghee are well tolerated by most. Olive oil is also generally healthy and not in the same category as the aforementioned veggie oils.

Protein should come primarily from quality eggs, ruminant (red) meat, and shellfish. Poultry, game meat, and seafood fall in the second tier of quality protein.

Supplement With:

As an extension of our push towards delivering holistic, biopsychosocial transformational approaches, we created the Third Wave Wellness supplement dispensary complete with a full complement of functional, medicine-grade supplements.

This targeted nutritional therapy helps baseline your physiology, supporting your personal transformation so you can start feeling good.

These supplements consist of vitamins A, E, D & K, magnesium glycinate, minerals, and a foundational B-complex.

These nutritional therapeutics jumpstart energy restoration and make up our Third Wave Foundations Kit. They are the perfect adjunct to your transformational microdosing journey and can be taken long-term for optimal health and performance.

All supplements support healthy brain function and act as natural nootropics (brain enhancers). Self-reports have shown them to support the alleviation of symptoms of depression in ways similar to psilocybin microdosing.

In observational studies and in the trenches, these nutritional supplements have been shown to link clearly to well-being. According to scientific reports, like psilocybin, some supplements act as natural antidepressants by supporting the physiology that underpins our moods.


To access Third Wave’s Foundations Kit from our Nutritional Therapeutics Supplement Dispensary, please follow the instructions below:

Third Wave Foundations Kit with Practitioner Grade Supplements

  1. Click here to visit Third Wave’s Supplement Dispensary sign-up portal
  2. Enter your name and email address and click “Create my account” to register
  3. Sign in with your login credentials
  4. Click “Add all to cart” to purchase the complete Foundations Kit or choose individual supplements

Disclosure: This article contains offers and affiliate links. Third Wave receives a small percentage of the product price if you purchase through affiliate links. Read our ethics and affiliates policy here.

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