Arthritis has several causes, ranging from from age and overuse to inflammation from several autoimmune conditions. Incorporating psilocybin for arthritis into your management plan can be a powerful tool to manage pain and inflammation.
Doctors treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and colitis with medications that block the production of the proteins that signal the inflammatory response. These proteins, called cytokines, are the reason we have symptoms like swelling or redness in damaged tissue or in response to an infection. There are many types of cytokines, but the main one many autoimmune treatments focus on is called TNF.
A plethora of TNF blockers exist on the market in a class of medications called “biologics”. Psilocybin is a powerful modulator of TNF. It can control the production of these cytokines without having a negative impact on your ability to fight infection. Many of the commercially available autoimmune treatments block TNF to the point that it has a negative effect on your immune system. They are a sledgehammer, while using psychedelics like psilocybin is more like using a scalpel.
There have been case reports, like this one, of individuals with RA having their symptoms completely resolved with psilocybin.
In the case of osteoarthritis, the pain and swelling are caused by mechanical factors when the flexible tissue at the end of bones wears down. There is inflammation, which may be helped by the anti-inflammatory properties of psilocybin. The pain-relieving effects of psilocybin can assist more.
Psilocybin also has a “reset” effect on your brain. It can help the system become less sensitized to pain. The approach is very similar to the approach used by ketamine infusion clinics for chronic pain but requires a specific dosing protocol very different from microdosing and recreational use.
Ketamine infusions can be a viable option for someone looking to take advantage of the anti-inflammatory effects and pain relieving effects of psychedelics. It does not have the same mechanism as psilocybin, but it is also capable of lowering TNF. In fact, since it has been used in a clinical setting for this exact purpose, it may be a good idea to model the approach to psilocybin from the practices that are most effective with ketamine.
Ketamine infusions are expensive. Sometimes the significant pain relief only lasts a week or so after the infusion. Sometimes it lasts several months. Psilocybin is a much safer and cheaper option that can be self-administered in the comfort of your home.
Microdosing for Arthritis
Microdosing has its positive and negative points for anyone dealing with chronic pain. In the long run, microdosing may make an impact on inflammation if the dose is high enough. But in the short run, it can be quite uncomfortable for many people. Most psychedelics have a mild stimulating effect when microdosed. It can be unpleasant for someone dealing with chronic pain. Microdosing just does not have enough of an impact for success with the “reset” function of psilocybin.
Without getting too technical, microdosing might just “mix things up” enough to make you uncomfortable. But it isn’t enough to get your psyche flexible enough to achieve real improvements. For some people, the mood enhancement that often comes with microdosing can be enough to improve their pain. For others, the constant mild stimulant effect can just exacerbate pain and anxiety.
We can take a cue from the medical community that has the most experience with psychedelics use for chronic pain management: ketamine clinics. It is common knowledge that exacerbated pain after an infusion usually means that the dose was not high enough. It also takes several infusions in short succession to achieve optimum pain relief. With this in mind, it is not reasonable to assume that microdosing psilocybin would have a significant impact on chronic pain.
Microdosing does have an appropriate place, though. After pain relief is achieved, it could be part of a good maintenance plan.
Psilocybin In Practice
Using psilocybin for arthritis is an incredibly convenient option when compared to ketamine infusions. It is pretty much free if you cultivate it yourself, while ketamine infusions are several hundred dollars for each session. Considering that the pain relief in chronic pain situations does not necessarily last for a significant time for many people. They are looking at future with multiple visits and extensive costs per year just to stay pain free.
Psilocybin is administered orally, and it has an extremely low risk of toxicity.
The Downside of Psychedelics
The psychedelic experience is a wild ride, and it is easier for some than others. Some people don’t tolerate the psychedelic effects very well, while others are perfectly comfortable. In a clinical setting, some facilities do a better job than others by offering a quiet, dimly lit room. At home, it may be tough to find an experienced sitter.
The psychedelic community is difficult to navigate for a pain patient. Many people use these substances for spiritual or recreational purposes and are not familiar with the specific mechanisms related to pain management. It can be confusing.
The main focus for someone looking to take advantage of ketamine infusions or psilocybin should be to train yourself to manage the experience. Focus on staying calm and relaxed during the psychedelic experience. Taking a meditative approach is the best way to handle it. Your ability to tolerate these sessions has a big impact on your ability to benefit from them, both in the case of ketamine and psilocybin. This becomes even more important with psilocybin. With different meditation techniques and redirection cues, you can be surer that each session will be pleasant and manageable. Recreational and spiritual users don’t necessarily focus on this, even if they are aware of the possibility of directing their trip.
The common wisdom in the psychedelic community is that you should not control a trip at all. Assumptions like this can be damaging to a chronic pain patient, since learning to manage the experience is especially important to them.
Teaching management techniques, cues and approach is a large part of what Eleusinia offers our clients in a structured and safe setting. The fear of the unknown is preventing many from finding pain relief, and we do our absolute best to make it a comfortable experience.