"It’s a rare clinical trial that includes music by Ravi Shankar, but sonic accompaniment is a specific part of the psilocybin therapy protocols at New York University, UCLA and Johns Hopkins. As participants receive a dose of the drug and lie on a couch, they are invited to don eyeshades and noise-canceling headphones. The intent is twofold: Music helps patients focus attention inward rather than on the two therapists who remain nearby throughout the day, and it facilitates the mystical experience. “The music helps deepen it,” says Stephen Ross, the study’s lead investigator at NYU. “It provides a matrix in which the experience can be embedded.”"
More from MassGeneral - Hallucinogens: A Trip to Therapy
Check out the classical music used in Johns Hopkins psilocybin-psychotherapy and read excerpts from Sacred Knowledge, a book written by Hopkins psychologist William Richards - Hopkins Playlist for Psilocybin Studies: A Little More Classical
Ravi Shankar & Philip Glass - Offering From Wiki, "After a slow introduction saxophone plays the Shankar raga melody, subsequently enriched by the two other saxes. A long middle section in quicker tempo treats the material more freely in several parts, concluded with a shorter recapitulation of the opening theme."
William Orbit - Adagio For Strings
Arvo Pärt - Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
Yo-Yo Ma & Edgar Meyer - Duet for Cello and Bass
Yo-Yo Ma - Gabriel’s Oboe
Brian Eno - Weightless
Brian Eno - A Clearing
Bill Evans - Peace Piece
Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté - Mamadon Boutique
Lama Gyurme - Hope for Enlightenment
William A. Richards - Last Man Standing
Richards says in Sacred Knowledge: "It may be noted that, as consciousness is returning to ordinary awareness after intense experiences of a mystical, visionary, or psychodynamic nature, most any style of music can be explored with delight. At this time, one’s personal favorite selections may be enjoyed with fresh appreciation."
The work Tim is hoping to fund "will determine the efficacy of psilocybin in treatment-resistant depression, and will also use cutting-edge brain imaging to clarify the mechanism of action of psilocybin's antidepressant effects. In the world of science, it is a rare opportunity to be able to conduct such potentially groundbreaking work for a mere $80,000. It’s almost unheard of. Psilocybin has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of major depression that cannot be properly addressed with current treatments. This also applies to end-of-life care for terminally-ill cancer patients." (Follow Psilocybin and Cancer Research on Facebook).
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Psilocybin in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance
Plant Medicines Looking to Improve American Mental Health
From Michael Pollan's The Trip Treatment in The New Yorker:
According to Johns Hopkins Magazine, psilocybin researcher Roland Griffiths "would like to add more to his roster of ongoing studies, but he and other researchers are hamstrung by a lack of funding. Despite the much-lauded findings on psilocybin, getting government approval for studies is still difficult.
Griffiths argues that there is too much value in those studies for governments and, possibly, drug manufacturers to ignore. “Scientifically, there’s a lot to get at. We’ve known that primary mystical experiences from hallucinogenic substances have been around for thousands of years. But it’s never really been studied. Now, we can unpack those experiences using functional magnetic resonance imaging and genetics to see how some people are predisposed to such experiences and what that may mean for developing new treatments.” What’s more, people who suffer from mental illnesses and others that affect the nervous system shouldn’t have to wait longer than they have to for answers, which may come from investigations of substances that have been pariahs for decades, he believes: “It’s far too important not to do this.”"
Due to the high cost and low availability of mental health professionals, primary care physicians provide the bulk of mental health care in the form of writing prescriptions.
Treatment for depression and anxiety are limited to a narrow set of drug options with unpredictable efficacy; antidepressants have a 40% success rate and may take 3-8 weeks to take effect.
Primary care physicians: "...limited access to psychotherapy leaves frustrated doctors with little choice but to prescribe medication, or provide brief sessions of therapy themselves despite receiving little training in the area."
Why psychiatrists don't take insurance
Study: Half of Psychiatrists Don't Accept Health Insurance
"We think it looks like we're tapping into the basic biology of the human condition in which these salient experiences of interconnectedness emerge. And if you really sit back and reflect on it in the history of humankind, those are the kinds of experiences that really form the bedrock foundation of most of the world's religions and the world's ethical and moral traditions." –Roland Griffiths, Psychopharmacologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recipient of the 2015 Nathan B. Eddy Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Speaker at TedMed2015: Breaking Through
Science & Sacraments is a documentary made for the Purdue University Pyschoactive Substances Research Collection.