Frequently Asked Questions

What is a "psilo retreat"?

“Psilo” is short for “psilocybin” the ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, commonly known as magic mushrooms which cause psychedelic effects. At a psilocybin or “psilo” retreat, guests consume psilocybin containing mushrooms as part of the retreat activities.

Eleusinia Retreat in particular is an all inclusive, guide supported, wellness retreat dedicated to providing individuals a safe and supportive environment to experience, learn and understand the impacts and possible benefits and limitations of using psilocybin.

How is Eleusinia different from other psilocybin retreats?

To understand how Eleusinia is different, it important to first read our founder’s article on what she found lacking with other retreats and how she ventured to design a program that is different. As our website states, our mission is your long term success and to provide you with the confidence, independence and tools you need to be able to independently manage your condition should you choose to do so, notwithstanding continued support from your doctors and family back home.

Unlike other retreats which focus on the potential spiritual and religious enlightenment some claim to experience because of the use of psilocybin; our focus tends to be on pain management and neuroplasticity. This is not to say that one does not feel like they have had a spiritual awakening, journey, revival or even enlightenment; which is always encouraged and many of our guests come for spiritual and general well being purposes. However, because of the need for continued use of psilocybin in the management of pain conditions, our efforts and group discussions tend to focus on teaching you the techniques and approaches in the management of the psychedelic trip itself. More importantly, we want you to know that there is a community out here of those with similar interests and experiences. We want to provide an avenue where such individuals can congregate, speak, learn and grow together. This is also true for those who come for pure spiritual or mental reset and enjoyment purposes. They too benefit from the community atmosphere and shared discussion and reflection space.

Unlike other retreats, your journey with us does not stop when you go home. We routinely update our articles, provide links to research, including offering our guests and the public at large cultivation course videos, guidance and encouragement. We want you to be independent and self sufficient. This does not mean we want you to be or feel like you are alone.

Do I have to have a medical condition to come to Eleusinia Retreat?

Everyone is welcome at Eleusinia Retreat.  You don’t have to have a medical condition.

Eleusinia Retreat was designed to cater to individuals with chronic pain conditions, but we think that this just adds extra benefits for everyone. Psilocybin is a powerful tool for wellness, both for curative and enhancement purposes.

At Eleusinia, we know the science behind the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of psilocybin and can coach our visitors on how to leverage them for better health as part of a long term plan.

The fact that we cater specifically to individuals with medical conditions just means that the retreat is clean, comfortable, accessible, and science based. Medical science and safety will always take priority at our retreat.

What are the benefits of visiting Eleusinia as opposed to just taking psilocybin alone?

Our main objective is to provide you with a comfortable experience. Many individuals take psilocybin alone and have a perfectly smooth time of it. The conditions that drive individuals to seek a psilocybin experience are often isolating, and family members might not understand the choice. Those family and friends who do understand and support their loved one’s decision may not be equipped with the experience to help. In most cases, these conditions also require ongoing support. Having a positive first experience can set the tone for future experiences alone.

How is Eleusinia similar to other retreats?

This is an all inclusive wellness retreat. The comfort of our guests is important. Meals, transportation to and from the airport, coordination of any excursions (time permitting) for guests, US expectations of amenities, cleanliness are all met. We are mindful that for many this retreat is also intended to be a vacation and we strive to provide the comforts commonly expected by our guests. Nevertheless, because are often in remote areas, certain expectations should be adjusted. Cell phone and wifi access at times can be spotty, but we try to make sure that access is available  Food selection may be limited by the season and location, but we are mindful that you might have dietary needs which need to be addressed. Even though flights are not included in the cost, once you decide to come to our retreat, we can assist in the coordination of flights and schedules. We want you to feel like you are on vacation.

Is there an itinerary?

You can see the daily schedule here.

What airport do I fly in to?

The program director will assist you in arranging flights for each individual retreat. The most common airports we use are Toluca, Mexico City, or Puerto Vallarta, but be sure to double check the location of the retreat you plan to attend. Sign up for our mailing list to be notified when we find good deals on flights.

Is airport pick up available?

Yes, we will pick you up and drop you off directly at the airport.

Is ayahuasca available?

No, due to safety concerns, we do not offer access to ayahuasca ceremonies. You can read more about this here.

What are the O2 and energy drinks for?

Some of our guests suffer from an intense type of headache that is relieved by oxygen therapy and energy drinks. We make these items available for their comfort. If this doesn’t apply to you, please disregard.

What happens if I have a “bad trip”?

Psychedelic substances are often taken under less than ideal circumstances. Parties, music festivals, etc. This results in an abundant circulation of “scary” stories about bad trips. With Eleusinia, you will be in a tranquil, beautiful environment and in the company of experienced, caring individuals. We will monitor you closely and provide guidance and support if you experience any discomfort. We use VR with meditation apps if an individual needs help redirecting their experience into a more comfortable direction.

Will I experience nausea?

It is possible that ingesting psilocybin may cause some nausea in certain sensitive individuals. This is because the nausea response is also controlled by serotonin, and psilocybin also works on serotonin receptors. The effect can be mitigated with anti-nausea medication.

What medications can conflict with psilocybin?

We categorize medication conflicts based on two criteria:

#1: Does this medication interaction present a safety concern?

#2: Does this medication interaction affect the quality of the psychedelic experience?

This list is by no means complete and is intended to be used as a quick reference. You should definitely go over your list of medications with your physician to rule out potential interactions. We are happy to point out specific interactions we are familiar with, but your healthcare provider should be the ultimate authority and source on these matters.

Psilocybin is generally known as an extremely safe substance. It is less toxic than alcohol by several orders of magnitude, though it does have rather dramatic effects on perception and consciousness.

Mixing psilocybin with some medications can create a dangerous combination. Lithium is the single most notable medication that should not be mixed with psilocybin. If used in conjunction with lithium, psilocybin could cause serious complications such as seizures or even heart failure.

Another possible complication you may have heard about is a condition called serotonin syndrome. Psilocybin alone or even in conjunction with most antidepressants has next to a zero chance of causing serotonin syndrome.

However, when taken in combination with an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), a class of medication often used as an antidepressant, that risk is slightly elevated. We do not believe in taking even these slight risks and therefore request our guests to avoid any MAOIs. In fact, you might have read in one of our other articles that this retreat does not promote the use of ayahuasca, despite its common use in other retreats, because all ayahuasca brews contain a natural MAOI.

With respect to item # 2 above, the medications that could affect the quality of a psychedelic experience are a much larger category. SSRIs and SNRIs are all classes of medications that work on serotonin receptors. They are often prescribed as antidepressants or nerve pain medication. Many people report a muted psychedelic experience if they take psilocybin while taking these medications or within a short period of having tapered off of them. This muted/dulling effect is especially pronounced if they have taken SSRIs and/or SNRIs for an extended period of time.

Eleusinia Retreat is a retreat designed to teach visitors how to incorporate psilocybin into a long term wellness plan. We don’t advocate for placing too much pressure on yourself for a singular psilocybin experience. This is a process, and the goal of the retreat is to learn to use these tools in an effective manner. For some it can take up to two months for your response to psilocybin to mimic the general population after completely transitioning off these medications. As a result, it is important to adjust expectations and not dwell on what you believe the experience should be like or is like for others.

Part of your intake process will be discussing your current medication list with us. Use of any medication that works on the serotonin system during the retreat is discouraged, since it could potentially contribute to uncomfortable symptoms or affect the quality of the psychedelic experience (ie. dulling effect). Many sleep aids, nerve pain medications, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants work on the serotonin system, so be sure to be thorough when the subject comes up for discussion.

What if I am taking a nerve pain medication or antidepressant like a SSRI or SNRI?

Mixing medications in these classes with psilocybin is not recommended, not necessarily because there is any danger, but because it can effect the quality of your experience. SSRIs and SNRIs can significantly mute a psychedelic experience for many people, even for a few weeks after you have tapered off of them. This effect is not true for everyone, some people have reported having intense psychedelic experiences while taking these medications or shortly after stopping them. Your personal experience may be difficult to predict.

Tapering off of these medications can be difficult, and should be done under the supervision of a medical professional if that is your goal. Our retreat format is designed to educate guests on the effects of psilocybin, coach them through their first psilocybin experience, and provide mushroom cultivation skills. With this in mind, putting too much pressure on yourself to quickly taper off medication to have an experience of a specific intensity while at the retreat is not necessary and may be counter productive. We encourage you to be kind to yourself, take things at your own pace, and to seek a therapist that is supportive of psychedelic therapy upon return home.

What do I learn in the mushroom cultivation class?

This class covers everything the hobbyist would need to know to produce a variety of medicinal or gourmet mushrooms. Using a simple, mess free technique, we give you the skills you would need to efficiently cultivate mushrooms.

Does Eleusinia cater ONLY to individuals managing pain conditions?

While many guests are managing painful neurological conditions, and our retreat is designed to meet their needs, it is still a relaxing retreat in some of the most beautiful parts of the world.

The benefits of psilocybin are not limited solely to pain relief. Those needing a reset or seeking a psychedelic experience for aspects of a wellness retreat are also encouraged to attend.

What if my companion does not want to participate in the ceremony? Or what if I decide at the last minute not to participate?

That is perfectly fine. We just ask that nonparticipants stick to a different area in the facility to avoid interaction with participants while in that delicate state.

Will visiting Eleusinia cure me of my pain condition?

It is highly unlikely that one single experience with psilocybin will have a significant, long lasting effect on a chronic pain condition. While it is possible one visit may have a significant impact on certain headache conditions, most people require a regular practice of dosing, physical therapy, counseling, and meditation to achieve optimal results, especially for chronic pain conditions. Very few experts exist on this subject due to the lack of research, but we think that the most productive approach is to consider the psychedelic experience to be like a “cheat method” for intense meditating. With the exception of certain types of headaches, psychedelics appear to work on pain management through the same mechanisms that master meditators use to control their pain experience.

Why learn to manage the psychedelic experience when psilocybin is still illegal in many places?

Psilocybin is being decriminalized and outright legalized in many areas throughout the US, so change is in the air. The spores for these mushrooms are legal to buy and sell in most states. Each individual will have to weigh the pros and cons for their specific situation and make a decision that is best for them.

Is the cultivation class a waste of time and effort if I live in a city or state where cultivating psilocybin containing mushrooms is still illegal?

The fundamental principles and techniques taught in this course apply to the cultivation of various gourmet mushrooms, with slight variations with regards to species. Though not necessarily a common hobby, cultivating gourmet mushrooms is a perfectly legal and rewarding hobby and can make you the star of the local farmer’s market. Cultivating psilocybin containing mushrooms is also not legal in Mexico, so any mushroom material used in the demonstration is actually Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms).

This retreat seems to be very science based. Why the shaman reference?

Mushroom consumption is tolerated in the areas where we hold the retreats strictly in a religious ceremony context.

What kind of food is served at the retreat?

At Eleusinia retreat we have crafted a vegetarian menu with authentic flavors of Mexico. You can read more about our menu here.

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