Psychedelics and PSYCH-K® - same destination without the trip?
I just watched a fascinating interview, featuring Michael Pollan, on the research that is currently being done using psychedelics as a treatment for mental illness, delivering promising results for cancer-related anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder and more. With 1 in 5 Australians experiencing a mental illness in any year, I'm excited to see what's to come in this space!
Michael Pollan and Dr. Mark Hyman discuss the possible mechanisms for how psychedelics work within the brain and they talk about something called the Default Mode Network (DMN). This is the area in the brain that distinguishes between self and other, and remembers the past and thinks about the future; it's basically where the ego lives.
In addition to being the address of the ego, the DMN is also an important communication hub within the brain. The research shows that psychedelics take the DMN offline, temporarily re-wiring the brain and creating new pathways. You can then have new thoughts, think about things differently, gain new perspective and break out of destructive patterns.
This, to me, sounds very similar to how I understand PSYCH-K® to work. The premise of PSYCH-K® is based on Brain Dominance Theory, with the two sides of the brain being more involved in different functions and processing information differently. For example, the left side is said to be more logical, ordered and analytical while the right side is more emotional, spontaneous and holistic.
It is thought that certain experiences, especially emotionally-charged or traumatic experiences, result in an over-identification of one side of the brain and reduced activity of and communication with the other side.
PSYCH-K® Balances result in a Whole Brain State, which means that brain activity is more coherent, that both sides are equally active and communicating with each other. So compared to before the Balance, new pathways are being used in the brain, and as when the DMN is taken offline, you gain that new perspective, think differently and change your experience. Same same but different?
If you find all of this as interesting as I do, have a watch of the interview, below, or listen to the podcast. Enjoy!