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Physical Integration: 6 Ways to Focus on Your Body Post-Session

There are many reasons why the physical dimension of life becomes a focus during your integration period. It could be a feeling of tension and resolution, an insight pushing you to do something more physical, or just a focus on taking deeper care of your body. 

Over and above anything else: honor the insights and experiences you have. If you receive a clear message or intuition, follow it.

Below are some common categories and options for physical integration.

1. Movement practices

Extended movement practice is healthy and helpful in your healing journey. Demonstrating to yourself that you are capable of strength, flexibility, and mobility creates a living metaphor that can help you move past long-standing obstacles in your life.

Examples of movement practices for physical integration can include:

  • 30 minutes of Yoga
  • Taking more frequent, longer walks outside
  • Taking a dance class, e.g. ecstatic dance or salsa dancing
  • Starting a running routine
  • Taking up Tai Chi / Chi Gong
  • Beginning a martial arts practice
  • Developing your exercise routine
  • Join group/individual recreational sports leagues

2. Stillness practices

Science is catching on to the powerful benefit of non-sleep deep rest (NSDR). The mind and body need times of stillness to function optimally. Developing a stillness practice in your life helps you to integrate periods of gratitude, rest, recovery, and being present.

Examples of stillness practices may include: 

  • Dialing in your seated meditation
  • EFT tapping 
  • Participating in or listening to sound journeys
  • Sitting and relaxing quietly, e.g. reading a book
  • Taking in the view of a beautiful landscape

3. Rest and recovery tools

Beyond a dedicated stillness practice, the mind/body complex needs time for true rest and recovery. 

Deep parasympathetic states allow your body to switch into the rest, digest, recover, and healing states. Living in fast-paced, high-stress environments often prevents us from making enough time for adequate rest and recovery.

Examples of some rest/recovery practices include:

  • Booking a full-body massage, perhaps monthly
  • Breathwork sessions
  • Prioritizing sleep and getting more sleep, ideally 7-8 hours
  • Taking an Epsom salt bath
  • Foam rolling or myofascial release
  • Booking a vacation, extended time off of work or commitments
  • Weekend getaways without your cell phone or work

4. Developing consistency

The body is a creature of habit. It thrives off of consistency and repeated action. As part of integration, developing consistency in routines and structure is a gift to your body.

Some of the areas to develop consistency in can be:

  • Sleep and wake times
  • Morning and evening routines
  • Daily movement or stillness practice
  • Consistent eating patterns
  • Psychedelic session experiences, and associated integration time
  • Serious conversations

5. Immersion in nature

The human body needs to spend time in nature. Rooted down into real ground, able to see far distances out into the ocean, forest, or landscape. Fresh air, sunlight on the skin, and the ability to freely move around are essential for healthy physical function. There are often times where physical integration of a psychedelic medicine experience can involve a desire (and hopefully action!) to spend more time immersed in nature.

Examples of how to immerse yourself in nature more include:

  • Gardening
  • Hiking or kayaking
  • Walks in the forest
  • Strolling through the park
  • Going on a scenic vacation
  • Swimming in a lake or river

6. Session-specific insights

Honoring and acting on the specific messages or insights that arise in your sessions should be your focus during your integration period. 

If you have a specific experience or insight that relates to a physical action or environment, consider it a part of physical integration and do your best to honor it.

These are highly specific, but some examples or session-specific insights may include:

  • Taking up the martial arts classes you’ve been putting off to feel your own strength and power
  • Remembering how much you enjoy walks in the park and scheduling these on your calendar
  • Joining a local recreational soccer league to invite more play into your life
  • Starting or participating in a morning running club with your friends for more active, social hangouts
  • Practicing evening breathwork to wind down and disconnect from working constantly

Takeaways

Integration is the process of becoming whole by acting on the insights from your psychedelic medicine sessions.

Physical integration is the process of integrating your lessons through the body, not just the mind. Examples of physical integration can include movement and stillness practices, intentional rest/recovery, time in nature, or specific actions based on your sessions.

Sometimes it’s easy and appropriate to make integration a mental activity. Other times you just need to get into your body and move, rest, or play. 

These practices will help you do exactly that. Enjoy!

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Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at +1 (800) 273-8255, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Important FDA Safety Information

Ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Learn more about off-label uses here.

Side effects of ketamine treatment may include: altered sense of time, anxiety, blurred vision, diminished ability to see/hear/feel, dry mouth, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure, excitability, loss of appetite, mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), restlessness, slurred speech, synesthesia (a mingling of the senses).

Do not proceed with ketamine treatment if any of the following apply to you:

  • Allergic to ketamine
  • Symptoms of psychosis or mania
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • CHF or other serious heart problem
  • Severe breathing problem
  • History of elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure
  • History of hyperthyroidism
  • Other serious medical illness
  • Pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant

Ketamine has been reported to produce issues including, but not limited to, those listed below. However, lasting adverse side-effects are rare when medical protocols are carefully followed.

While ketamine has not been shown to be physically addictive, it has been shown to cause moderate psychological dependency in some recreational users.

  • In rare cases, frequent, heavy users have reported increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size
  • Ketamine may worsen problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders.
  • Users with a personal or family history of psychosis should be cautious using any psychoactive substance, including ketamine, and discuss potential risks with your MindBloom® clinician before proceeding with treatment.
  • The dissociative effects of ketamine may increase patient vulnerability and the risk of accidents.

To promote positive outcomes and ensure safety, follow these ketamine treatment guidelines:

  • Do not operate a vehicle (e.g., car, motorcycle, bicycle) or heavy machinery following treatment until you’ve had a full night of sleep
  • Refrain from taking benzodiazepines or stimulants for 24 hours prior to treatment
  • Continue to take antihypertensive medication as prescribed
  • Avoid hangovers or alcohol intake
  • Refrain from consuming solid foods within 3 hours prior to treatment and liquids within 1 hour prior to treatment
  • Ketamine treatment should never be conducted without a monitor present to ensure your safety

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Physical Integration: 6 Ways to Focus on Your Body Post-Session