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Overcoming Trauma: The Western Medical Model Falls
The Western medical model falls short in helping people overcome trauma. All of us have some level of trauma in our lives, and the traditional model of therapy can be time-consuming and costly. Although therapy is beneficial, especially for stabilizing emotions, it may not be sufficient for people dealing with severe traumatic events, such as veterans. Quick and efficient help is essential, and plant medicine, particularly Ayahuasca, is one of the quickest and most effective healing modalities.
For example, in my previous practice in Los Angeles, I had a patient I worked with for five years, focusing on identifying the root of her issues. However, it took her five years to trust me enough to start working on her trauma. This is why plant medicine has been a game-changer for veterans and people with trauma. It provides quick and practical help that traditional therapy may not always be able to provide.
Accessing proper care for post-traumatic stress and anxiety can be a challenge for veterans because Western medical protocols are often ill-equipped to handle the magnitude of emotional stress that comes with trauma. This is reflected in the alarming statistic of 22 suicides a day from the veteran population, which is unacceptable. The VA (Veteran Affairs) struggles to cope with the sheer volume of veterans and the lack of effective protocols. Factors such as red tape, substance abuse, and a lack of follow-through with treatment make it difficult to provide adequate care to vets and others with trauma.
Traditional therapies that involve talking things out may require patients to come to a therapist's office for an hour each week for up to ten years, and this approach is not always feasible due to various factors and patients not following through with treatment. Additionally, medication can lead to substance abuse. These obstacles add complexity to an already challenging situation for vets and anyone dealing with trauma.
Alternative Plant Medicine Program for Trauma Survivors
Rythmia offers a program that is highly effective in helping people with trauma, particularly veterans, through plant medicine sessions. Trauma survivors need to learn how to cope and survive traumatic experiences, whether related to war, abuse, or other frightening events. Rythmia offers an alternative, more effective approach than traditional therapies by providing an immersive experience that includes plant medicine, counseling, and other modalities.
Soldiers in war face the daunting challenge of fighting and combat while experiencing various emotions, such as fear, confusion, anger, and empathy for their opponents. These emotions can be overwhelming during life-or-death situations, often leading to freezing or running away. The human body has a natural fight or flight mode that kicks in during such situations. In the fight, it is essential to push aside your emotions as they can hinder your ability to fight or flee effectively.
Storing Emotions of Trauma or War for Later Processing is Expected
During moments of trauma or war, it is expected to repress emotions. As a result, these emotions are often pushed into the amygdala, a part of the brain where traumatic emotional memories are stored. These emotions are locked up to be processed later after the trauma. After a traumatic experience, when you're no longer in danger, repressed emotions can resurface from the amygdala. You're meant to process these emotions, which may lead to crying, anger, and other intense feelings, but most people don’t have the tools to help process and cope healthily.
For a soldier who's constantly going to war, the repressed emotions build up. Then, the veteran is discharged from the military. Suddenly, they don't know what to do because of a lack of emotional connection to anything or because they've gotten used to pushing their emotions away. They can also be flooded with so much feeling that they become overwhelmed, and that's where suicidal thoughts or substance abuse kicks in. What they end up doing is going through life numb or with substance abuse issues, or they start to have depression, or they begin to get anxious. They go and see a therapist, and they get put on medications that numb them more, and then they try to talk about it, and they don't want to talk about it because it brings up emotions that they're not equipped to handle.
Ayahuasca, the Brain, and Releasing Stress, Trauma, Fear and Anxiety
Ayahuasca is a medicinal remedy from a shamanic region of Latin America. When you drink, it absorbs into your bloodstream, allowing access to the amygdala and enabling the emotions you've stored and blocked to come forward into a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is your logical, rational, cognitive self. You can recognize fears and uncover deep trauma from memories that you’ve repressed. Synaptic plasticity allows us to block fear to survive, but ayahuasca helps us release the fear and process it during a plant medicine session. There is no reason to carry around historical traumatic emotions that are blocking your life. The plant medicine session offered at Rythmia opens Pandora's box to process them in a safe and supportive environment. The plant medicine sessions offer a powerful tool to remedy post-traumatic stress, trauma, fear, and anxiety.
Rythmia for Veterans
At Rythmia, veterans can process their trauma in just one week by taking plant medicine instead of undergoing traditional therapy sessions that can last for over a decade. The reason behind this is that Ayahuasca, the plant medicine used, accesses the amygdala and tackles the neurochemical side of the emotional process. So far, 15,000 people have come through the doors of Rythmia, and we've seen veterans and trauma victims overcome their emotional trauma and leave with a renewed sense of wellbeing. The protocols used at Rythmia are the best options available to help veterans overcome their crippling emotional blocks and move on with their lives.
Watch the full video with Dr. Jeff!
Dr. Jeff McNairy
Dr. Jeff McNairy, Chief Medical Officer at Rythmia, is passionate about the transformative potential of Ayahuasca when combined with medical expertise and modern therapies. He holds a Psy.D., M.P.H., and has been working in the healthcare field for 25 years. He has worked in a variety of medical environments and has seen the struggle individuals have when actually trying to heal. The current Western system of healthcare is deficient in healing the population. It is more concerned with managing symptoms and using external sources for “change.” Through Dr. McNairy’s intense experience with the most vulnerable patient populations (addiction, acute mental health, and trauma), he has seen that real healing can only come from within.
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