Tinnitus is a symptom that can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions. Psilocybin has the potential to address tinnitus that is related to inflammation or hearing loss. However, anyone considering psychedelics for addressing tinnitus should fully explore all possible underlying conditions before choosing this route. Especially in the case of pusatile tinnitus, it may mean that a more serious condition is present.
What We Do At The Retreat
Our goal at Eleusinia Retreat is to coach individuals to have a safe and pleasant psychedelic experience. Furthermore, we teach them the skills to incorporate psychedelic therapy into their routine at home. We give you the tools and the knowledge for you to feel safe and confident with psilocybin use. We can tell you what has worked for us or for visitors in the past, but overall, you are in the driver’s seat. We don’t force or require a certain type of therapy.
At the group meetings at the retreat, we focus mainly on covering the cues and techniques for managing the trip. We walk you through some “rescue” techniques on what to do if you become uncomfortable. In addition, we also cover some techniques for enhancing the more pleasant, meditative parts of tripping. On the morning of the dosing day, everyone reclines in the common area and eats the mushrooms.
The guides are there throughout the process to remind you of the “rescue techniques”. We try not to interrupt too much if you are having a good time. However, we do not want you going home without having the experience of redirecting yourself. With the use of VR headsets as one of the redirecting tools, the experience is quite pleasant for most. I highly recommend that visitors get a headset for home. It is a great option to have.
The Mechanisms In Play: Reduce Inflammation, Enhance Plasticity
It is important that everyone with tinnitus planning to use psilocybin understand that this is not a medication with the single mechanistic factor of “turning off” tinnitus. There are two mechanisms in play, each of which could potentially resolve the issue alone if given time and repetition. Psilocybin has some powerful anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to last at least a week after administration in animal studies. The mind-bending effects of a trip stimulate neuroplastic change, which may accelerate habituation.
Neuroinflammation is thought to play a big part in tinnitus. Whether it is caused by external factors like trauma or internal factors like autoimmune, addressing the inflammation could play a big role in recovery. Psilocybin and other psychedelics can reduce neuroinflammation by suppressing TNFa production. They have a big advantage over other TNF blockers because they can work across the blood brain barrier. Some researchers are even convinced that psychedelics are the future of preventing Alzheimer’s and other inflammation related dementias.
Neuroplasticity And Habituation
A psychedelic experience is quite chaotic and destabilizing. While this chaos can make the experience challenging to manage, it is also what can make it so effective. During the experience and in the aftermath, your brain becomes more flexible and capable of change. Neuroplasticity plays a big part in the habituation process and using psychedelics could be compared to using PEDs to speed up this process.
Psilocybin Often Causes Auditory Hallucinations
The effects of a psychedelic trip are a bit unpredictable. Sometimes, the effects are almost all visual while other times the experience is very emotional with physical sensations. Sometimes it includes auditory hallucinations like tinnitus, even for people that usually don’t have it. There could be ringing, thumping, chiming, beeps, or even sounds that I lack the words to describe. It does not depend on the type of mushroom; it just depends on what kind of weird and strange connections your brain will come up with at any given time. I have had vastly different experiences on the same dose and mushroom type, even from the same batch.
The auditory hallucinations can be distressing for someone with tinnitus because this is what they are trying to silence, not enhance. On the other hand, sometimes the trip is completely silent for them.
Anyone taking psilocybin while struggling with tinnitus should be prepared for this. You should also know that in the week following a strong psychedelic experience, the effects have not completely faded. Though you may not feel like you are under the influence, it is easier to slip into a meditative trance during this time. If you close your eyes and do some rhythmic breathing, you can often even summon a light show to your field of vision. This effect could include changed or heightened tinnitus and it is important to not get anxious about it. It does fade away.
Our Technique: Control The Tone
We recommend that you focus on the sound of auditory hallucinations during the trip and let it become your meditation cue. Try to use it like many meditators use Tibetan singing bowls to aid in their meditation. Let it resonate and concentrate your attention on it. You may find that it will change in tone and texture, and that you can alter its nature with just the power of your attention. In my case, after kneading the sound repeatedly like putty by focusing my attention, it eventually faded away at any point my attention wavered. You can read more about my experience here.
What If The Trip Is Silent?
It happens. We cannot control the nature of each trip. Unfortunately, if the trip is silent, there is nothing available to work on directly. You will still benefit from the experience, but not as much as if you had the opportunity to take an active role in the process. There is something empowering about taking your agency back and seizing control of something that has caused you so much difficulty. Some trips will be silent, some will be visual, some will have bodily sensations, and some will be more emotional. If your tinnitus did not show up to be massaged into oblivion this time, then just try again. This is exactly what we prepare you for at the retreat.
We encourage you to take advantage of the “afterglow” period after the session to engage in whatever therapy you find most beneficial. Tuning forks, white noise, etc. Any of these therapies may work better for you while you are in this flexible mental state.