ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, PART 1.

Welcome to the first of our regular blog series exploring the intriguing and often unexplored world of alternative therapies for mental health




Firstly I’d like to start by declaring We are Hummingbird don’t promote or endorse any of these therapies, everything is based on personal lived experience. We don’t wish to encourage conflict from a point of legality or efficacy. But let me say this, I have lived with OCD from the age of 12 and was sectioned last year under the mental health act due to suicidal crisis and psychosis so I do have a journey to share.


After a life of all the well known therapies, medications and medical support where there is no ‘one size fits all’ to recovery, I'm open to trying new and innovative ideas. With some states in America approving psychedelics for medical purposes I’m on board, and what I’ve discovered has been quite surprising.


I’m not undervaluing the place medical science has had on restricting the strangle hold my cruel illness can hold over my life either, shit if it wasn’t for a mental health Crisis Nurse, Sertraline and Quetiapine I would not be here to tell the tale.


Recovery from a mental illness is a journey not a destination, it’s a battle of the mind, you against you. Being willing to build my arsenal of tools to use as and when my OCD takes a nasty turn led me to look outside of that considered convention.

Over the coming months i’ll be delving deeper into the world of Ayahuasca, DMT and Psilocybin (Mushroom Therapy) but this catalogue of tribal ceremonial medicine will have to wait. I’m told by my trusted Clinician that taking psychoactive substances (which these all are) and anti-psychoactive meds (which Quetiapine is) would probably be like driving your car at 100MPH and then forcing it into reverse – mental internal combustion or something to that effect.


I’ve been sectioned, the food was shit, all the board games had pieces missing and I had to have someone escort me outside when I had a cigarette. I don’t have any intention for going back and respect that I need to tread carefully.


What I did find were non-psychoactive alternate therapies called Hape, Sananga eye drops and Kambo and tried all 3 as part of a traditional ceremony that’s been practised by Natives of the Amazon for 100’s of years.


The first, Hape (pronounced Ha – Pay) is a mixture of powdered medicinal herbs. This sacred snuff is used in prayers to connect the user to the spirits of the forest. Spending time in nature is proven medically to be good for your mental health so maybe there’s more to it, could I go deeper?


I start by setting my intentions as I want to keep the process as close to source as possible, I respect that this medicine has a purpose so I mediate on the what’s and whys. For me this is not about getting high or sedated, my own brain wants me dead so If I can find a place of serenity, peacefulness and conscious awareness then I’m down for that and set that intention.


My catastrophising mind has caused me more pain with fictional thoughts than reality ever could. I welcome anything that will assist me in living a life free of the emotional pain driven by my overactive Amygdala. And Hape is absolutely something I value and now do on a regular basis.



I load the snuff which looks like fine, brown powder into the self serving Pipe (see photo) placing the longer end into my nose and the other into my mouth. Taking a deep breath I blow hard into the Pipe shooting the snuff up into my brain. This is not a pleasant experience, it has a hell of a kick and takes my breath away. As you have to do both nostrils I rev myself up for round 2. As a 41 year old addict in recovery and been Pro MMA, I’d say I was a veteran from both angles at taking a blast to the nose but this stuff is potent.





Then I sit and I be. I just am. I’m not waiting or wanting, I’m not expecting. The noisy internal dialogue in my head is hardly noticeable. If a thought (usually intrusively, given the nature of my illness) gate crashes my psyche it’s like a cloud passing peacefully in the sky rather than the unwelcome fan fair I’m used to living with. This lasts about 20 minutes before I feel ready to go about my day.


It’s a really hard experience to describe, I don’t want to get too spiritual (yet) but I do believe that is a part of it. Connecting to and appreciating the present. What is, rather than what was or could be.


My catastrophising mind has caused me more pain with fictional thoughts than reality ever could. I welcome anything that will assist me in living a life free of the emotional pain driven by my overactive Amygdala. And Hape is absolutely something I value and now do on a regular basis.


 

In Part 2 we will cover Kambo. The Frog secretion that enters your bodies Lymphatic system through burns on the skin that’s antibiotic, anti inflammatory, anti microbial, anti fungal, anti viral - oh yeah, and once you have it your violently sick into a bucket!