Updated: Jan 9
Microdosing psychedelics is quickly becoming an accepted and common practice. As microdosers continue to consistently report positive benefits, more individuals are drawn to the practice in hopes of improving mood, creativity, cognitive performance, and well-being. Many newcomers wonder how to get started, where to find psychedelic mushrooms, and what dosage, protocol, and stack to choose.
One of the most common mistakes new microdosers make is dosing every day without a break or dosing for many months with only a couple of days of breaks in between dosing days. In fact, taking days, weeks, and months off of microdosing is an important component of high-efficacy and mindful microdosing. Here we cover why you should observe breaks in between dosing periods.
Seasoned psychonauts know that, unlike most substances, the human brain develops a very rapid and strong tolerance to most psychedelics. With a couple of exceptions, individuals ingesting a psychedelic substance for multiple days in a row will experience increasingly more subtle and eventually no effect at all. This is why psychedelics are considered low abuse potential substances.
Although a true microdose produces a mild altering effect at most, it is highly likely that with regular consumption, the potency of the benefits will be impacted and reduced due to the high tolerance-building quality of the substance.
Observing non-dosing days during a dosing cycle, as well as non-dosing weeks in between active dosing periods is therefore critical for the long-term efficacy of microdosing practice. In my practice, I counsel my clients to take not only off days and off weeks, but also multiple off months in between active dosing cycles. Depending on the goals and needs of each individual, personalized protocols are crafted to optimize outcomes and retain lasting benefits.
Microdosing psychedelics isn't a replacement for pharmaceuticals or other substances. Unfortunately, our Western medical systems are structured in a way that the individual has a sense of disconnect from participation in their own health and well-being. Very often, when individuals first discover microdosing, they bring that same sense of detached responsibility and "magic pill" mindset to the practice of microdosing.
Microdosing, while highly effective for many individuals struggling with mood and cognitive disorders, is most effective when approached as "training wheels" that in combination with active intervention measures assist the individual to shift thought and emotional patterns.
The off-dosing periods offer practitioners the opportunity to remain active contributors to their outcomes by taking charge of maintaining the awareness, mindfulness, and momentum attained during dosing periods. Through subtle daily practices, individuals are empowered to become active participants in their journey of healing, transformation, and growth.
The true medicine and transformative power of psychedelics are not in the psychedelic experience itself but in the integration of the insights that emerge during and after the journey. In fact, as many maestros and maestras of psychedelic traditions suggest, the real journey begins after the psychedelic experience.
Our ability to experience profound transformation following a psychedelic experience is directly correlated with how much time and space we dedicate to introspection, insights gathering, and active integration of changes into our day-to-day lives.
Regardless of whether we are working with macro or micro doses of psychedelics, we are coming into awareness, noticing patterns, and receiving guidance that must be studied, implemented, and practiced to deliver lasting positive outcomes. In fact, days off from dosing are not days off from practice! In many ways, days off dosing or Integration Days are stronger practice days where we have the opportunity to observe and integrate what surfaced during dosing days.
As one dosing period comes to an end and we begin to observe integration weeks, our practice deepens even more as we begin to observe where we retain the gifts of our practice and how quickly we return to our old patterns in other cases. This is where the true practice unfolds: learning to maintain our balance and commitment without the support of the substance.
Following a complete cycle of microdosing (often 4 months or so in my practice), we then observe integration months where many of us inevitably fail our ideals and goals. It is in these moments of being confronted with our patterns, thoughts, and emotions that we gain a deeper perspective of where we've grown and where we're still growing.
As I have often stated in my writings, I see microdosing as an invitation, not a destination, not something to try, not a magic pill, but a subtle yet profoundly potent journey inviting us to witness ourselves and to show up for our own growth and transformation with intention, gentleness, mindfulness, patience, and grace. And it is in the days, weeks, and months of integration that we begin to witness the gifts of our practice and our path forward revealed.
New to microdosing or looking to optimize your practice? Book a free consultation with me to explore mindful microdosing support and personalized protocols.