Tools to Change Our State: Microdosing and Breathwork
Tools to Change Our State: Microdosing and Breathwork
What do microdosing mushrooms and breathwork have in common?
Both are tools to help us self-regulate as we learn, grow, and heal.
Before we dive in, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, ‘microdosing’ can be broken down into these three core components:
- A low, sub-hallucinogenic dose of a psychedelic (dose)
- A schedule of multiple dosing sessions (protocol)
- The intention to improve well-being and enhance cognitive and/or emotional processes through specific goals (intention)
In this post, we’re going to discuss how you can tap into a magic mushroom microdosing protocol to complement your breathwork practices. And vice versa.
For us, these practices are less about removing stressors from our lives or trying to avoid getting sick – stress, sickness, and discomfort are inevitable – but rather, they’re about learning how to recover quickly and bounce back by regulating our nervous systems.
You’re likely familiar with the nervous system and its two components that, ideally, work in harmony to keep us safe: the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest). Both play an integral role in our day to day lives, and the goal is to learn how to shift swiftly from one to the other, also known as the art of self-regulation.
Just like breathwork, some psychedelics have been found to play a key role in supporting individuals learning to manage anxiety and depression, in addition to increasing energy, creativity, focus, and an uplifted mood.
One way psilocybin (the active compound found in magic mushrooms) has been shown to do this, is through its ability to quiet the Default Mode Network (DMN). The DMN is the area of the brain that takes over our thoughts when we’re mindlessly moving through an activity. It has been found to be particularly overactive in certain mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive disorders. This can be harmful because, for those with these mood conditions, the automatic thought patterns occurring can be distressing (eg. “I’m a failure.”, “I’m an embarrassment.”, “They don’t like me.” etc.).
Research has found when you take magic mushrooms, activity within the DMN is significantly decreased while connectivity in the rest of the brain increases. This shift has particularly strong therapeutic potential as it allows users the space to change these negative thought patterns that put us in a sympathetic state. The individual is able to slow down, observe, and work through what they’re feeling, shifting into a parasympathetic state. This ability to pause can make all the difference when it comes to integrating mindfulness practices and regulating one’s nervous system response.
Breathwork, similarly to mushrooms, changes our physiology and chemistry by improving heart rate variability (HRV) which is an indicator of our ability to shift between sympathetic and parasympathetic states. By consciously putting ourselves in a sympathetic state through invigorating breath patterns we increase our resilience to stress, and in the same breath (pun intended), practicing parasympathetic breath patterns enables us to take control of our nervous system and induce a state of calm.
Both microdosing psilocybin and practicing breathwork over time helps build resilience to stress and discomfort by increasing our capacity to recover when adversity (inevitably) strikes. Both are beautiful experiences on their own, and when done in tandem, can feel nothing short of magical. Let’s look at two examples of how these rituals can be paired to elevate one’s state and work synergistically to alchemize the body:
Sero’s Lite Brite formula blends calming CBD and passionflower with psilocybin to help reduce anxiety. You could pair Lite Brite with a grounding breathwork session like alternate nostril breathing, box breathing, buteyko breathing. You can experience these styles guided on the Othership App.
Our favourites? Grounding Vessel, Slo-Mo Breath, and Nitric Oxide Breath.
Sero’s Boomerang blend promotes energy and stamina thanks to panax ginseng and rhodiola, which work synergistically with psilocybin to elevate a movement practice and induce vigor and endurance. This could be a great formula to pair with a stimulating breathwork session, like Wim Hof breathing, Breath of Fire, and Upregulated breathing.
Our recommendations? Inner Strength, Feel Fantastic Now, and Wim Hof Breath.
You can also incorporate breathwork as part of your microdosing intention setting practice. Before entering into a microdosing protocol, it’s important you have a clear understanding of why you are doing it in the first place – Is it to be more present? Improve your mood or memory? Feel happier? Have better focus? The reasons behind your “why” will be deeply personal to your individual experience. Practicing breathwork before you take your dose can shift you into a state of reflection to hone in on your intention for the day.
Breathwork can also be beneficial for integration. Exploring breathwork within your microdosing window (typically 6 hours) can be a revealing and supportive experience for many. This could look like tuning in to a guided session on the Othership app, or microdosing before your visit to the Othership space for breathwork paired with hot/cold therapy. Depending on the practice, it can lead to a “blast off” in your energy and vibration, or take you to a very calm, introspective place. Journaling can be a helpful tool to pair with your breathwork practice to take inventory of how you feel (this includes dose days and non-dose days).
Begin your microdosing and breathwork journey:
- Enjoy a complimentary month of the Othership app subscription. E-mail [email protected] with subject line “Sero and Breathwork” to redeem
- Take 10% off your Sero order with the code “serolovesothership“