PP 668: Cleaning, Healing, Releasing and Learning with Ayahuasca and Zach Poitr
“Ayahuasca is well known for it’s visionary properties and bright colors and light shows and that sort of thing. It’s also well known for cleaning – that is energetic, physical, emotional and spiritual cleaning or purification.” – Zach Poitr
In 2009, while suffering from anxiety, depression and general discontent for his life, Zach Poitr was introduced to Ayahuasca and took a journey to Peru. His life was changed forever.
In this conversation, Zach expands Kim’s knowledge about herbal medicine. They talk about the visionary experiences associated with Ayahuasca, as well as discuss how a retreat works, what attendees can expect and more. In addition, Zach and Kim discuss common medical treatments, the state of legalizing controlled substances for medical reasons, and more!
02:03 What is Ayahuasca?
04:51 Ayahuasca’s healing reputation
07:18 Is Ayahuasca legal in the United States?
11:11 Ayahuasca (tea)
15:03 Healing with Ayahuasca
16:47 The visionary experiences
30:37 PTSD and Ayahuasca
38:15 Ayahuasca vs. antidepressants and opioids
39:42 Kim’s thoughts on the FDA
44:54 Prepping clients for Ayahuasca retreats
48:13 Kim committed to mental hospital
50:15 Zach’s Ayahuasca journey
55:13 Go through a season
56:42 Human design
1:00:36 Considerations before a retreat
“We hold on to much of our trauma – whether it be intense trauma or just trauma from being a human being living in this society – in our bodies. That’s one of the best things that Ayahuasca offers is this level of sematic healing and cleaning that other medicines don’t necessarily have.” – Zach Poitr
“There’s a lot of attention placed on the visionary aspect of Ayahuasca, however we don’t feel that that’s the point. The point is to clean, heal and release these things we were holding on to, and then learn.” – Zach Poitr
“We are, as humans, constantly, constantly, trying to control our environment and our experiences in spite of all the evidence that we have no control.” – Zach Poitr
“Here in the States, if we could just get our diet under control then so many of the health issues would be removed.” – Kim Sutton
“You do the best for your clients when you work with the best clients for you.” – Kim Sutton
About Zach Poitr:
La Familia Ayahuasca has its roots in Amazonian Mestizo Shamanism. Initially, with the intention of doing deep personal work for an extended period of time, Zach moved to Genaro Herrera, Peru in 2010. As a natural evolution of this personal work, Zach began studying the medicine with the Galindo family.
Based on a dream his teacher had and visions Zach himself had during ceremony, Zach co-founded the La Familia Medicina retreat center with the Galindo family in 2011. La Familia Medicina was in operation from 2011- mid 2014.
Together with his wife, Jess, Zach founded La Familia Ayahuasca, which they continue to run today.
- Website: https://www.ayahuascafamily.com/
EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION: ZACH POITR
Transcript not yet cleaned up, but thanks for checking it out!
Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity. This is your host Kim Sutton and I’m so happy to have you here today and I am thrilled to introduce you to our guest today. Zach Poitr. Zach is the co founder along with his wife just of white. I think I messed that up to wife, Jess. listeners, we were just talking about Episode 666, which I’m turning into the blooper episode. So I think I’m going to be doing everything in my power to fill the episode out of this episode. That’s a joke, but it might not be. But Zach and Jess are the co founders of Ayahuasca… Let me try that again. Ayahuasca family. And I am I’ve never really been familiar out though. The word Ayahuasca has been coming up all over for me lately. And literally, Zach. The week that I started really seeing it is when I got introduced to you and I was like, Okay, this has got to work. I do believe in science, but I was like, This is crazy.
Zach Poitr: Awesome.
So thank you for being here. And for those who aren’t familiar like I want to Of course, introduce yourself better. But could you explain what Ayahuasca?
Zach Poitr: Sure, sure. Yeah. So again, my name is Zach Poitr from Ayahuasca Family and actually our URL is AyahuascaFamily.com. The name…. I just was making it easy on Kim and did want to give her more material or for her 666 episode. The name is la familia Ayahuasca, which is Ayahuasca family in Spanish.
And, yeah, I will ask, actually, I think you may be surprised at how many people in your audience have discovered or know about Ayahuasca is a plant medicine from the Amazon Basin, that is Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, and parts of Bolivia, although not as pervasive there, and when we say plant medicine, that is, you know, the are lots of plant medicines but oftentimes that vernacular is used for plant medicines that are visionary or when might say psychedelic, and Ayahuasca, in particular, we want to emphasize the medicinal benefits.
Zach Poitr: It has some really powerful healing benefits from a psychological standpoint, which is part of the reason I found it back in 2009 and went down to Peru. I was suffering from depression and anxiety, and it absolutely changed my life. So it’s it’s known for helping with anxiety, depression, grieving. It’s also for people who have kind of feel like something is off. They may not be fully feeling depressed or anxious, but they’re just like, hey, something’s missing here. And That’s that’s almost almost like they’re they’re missing something on a spiritual level and Ayahuasca can also be used
Zach Poitr: And it is used in Brazilian some Brazilian Catholic churches as a sacrament that is a way to connect with the divine or God and have a direct relationship with that, whatever that being whatever name you want to call it. And so it can be helpful in healing some, some physical issues, particularly if they’re tightly connected with emotional issues. That said, I would say that other medicinal plants that can be found in the Amazon can be helpful with other physical issues. And that’s a very large conversation.
And I think that Ayahuasca may have or has gotten a bit of a reputation for its healing powers, and it’s may not be appropriate that reputation as some people might view it as a magic bullet I get I get emails on a fairly regular basis, whether or not I was getting cure cancer. And, you know, while it’s possible that a healing around cancer can happen during an Ayahuasca retreat. We don’t have enough statistical relevance or enough studies that would prove that and so,
Zach Poitr: I’m really hesitant to point to Ayahuasca in terms of healing, physical issues, although I’ve definitely been present when things have become healed. Again, I think that’s because of the psychological or emotional connections that are often associated with various ailments. Things like lower back issues and that sort of thing. But it’s not consistent usage by wasco for those things. So kind of one The fondo tangent there but Ayahuasca is well known for its visionary properties and bright colors and light shows and that sort of thing. It’s also well known for cleaning that is energetic, physical, emotional and spiritual cleaning or purification. And that’s often manifests in things like throwing up and going to the bathroom, a lot, sweating and crying and various forms of purging, which is not uncommon in the plant medicine world. You see this in things like pod ceremonies with the Native American church. Some people who may have taken silicides ben will note that sometimes you throw up on that, but not nearly as much as Iosco. So I don’t know if that was a very crisp and clean description and maybe you can
Kim Sutton: I’m very, I’m very fascinated because well on various aspects because number one in one of your videos, I was watching you were talking about drinking Ayahuasca. So I’m very curious about like, what are you actually drinking?
But then on the flip side, I live in Ohio.
Zach Poitr: Sure.
Kim Sutton: We’re just… In the last year, medicinal marijuana became legal.
Zach Poitr: Uh huh.
Kim Sutton: The question I have is, is I have Ayahuasca legal in the States, or do you have to travel if you want to enjoy the benefits? And is that even the way that you would put it enjoy the benefits? Because that sounds like it’s really like making it sound more recreational, which I certainly don’t want to do.
Zach Poitr: Oh, no, no, I didn’t take that in that manner. Because there are great benefits to Ayahuasca, although we do refer to going through treat as work. Because work is worth it. It’s very challenging. Particularly if one is working with traumas and so forth, as those are gonna come with To surface and be released as part of the iOS QA process. Back to your question. Their United States has a unique situation around iOS, QA and other plant medicines in the sense that we have the first amendment that freedom of religion and that has created some precedent, first with the Native American church, wherein they got the they received the right to serve pod and their parody ceremonies under that freedom of religion. You know, it’s not amendment, it’s it’s part of the Constitution. And subsequently, that was precedent that allowed to Brazilian Catholic churches who use io oska as a sacrament, the center damy and the name of a thought to completely legally serve I Alaska in their ceremonies now, that leads us to, you know, some underground activity with Ayahuasca in the United States were in there, people are serving them in a shramana context. And it’s a big question as to what will happen when the first one of those people gets caught or and taken to trial. There’s a lot of speculation that given the previous precedent that, you know, the US government does not want to lose again. Because that would just create more precedent for future cases. And so the sense is that they’re not doing much in terms of enforcing in addition to the First Amendment or the first
sorry, the Is it the first amendment? That
let’s just say it is because I’m not knowledgeable either? Okay. No.
Don’t judge us for our knowledge.
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. On the Constitution.
Anyway, so they
there’s this idea that that it is somewhat protected. However, there may be people who say don’t have a lineage or training and so forth, who would be persecuted as is technically a schedule one substance. However, the US government may not want to go after him given the precedent.
It is the first amendment.
Yes, first of all, Yeah, perfect. Thank you. And see, that’s the legal situation in the United States here in Guatemala. It’s not a scheduled substance. So it’s part of the reason my family and I are down here as close to United States. It’s beautiful, wonderful weather and We can operate in the open.
He also asked what is I asked What are you
yet so it’s a tea made of the Iosco vine which
is a vine that grows pretty much anywhere in tropical environment. It’s getting spread around the world it grows in very it originated in in the Amazon basin However, it’s been planted around the world in various locations and so you know, a tropical environment is needed and it will grow. It’s quite Hardy and so forth. So it’s mixed with some sort of plant or leaf generally or the the most widespread recipe is adding in a plant called shukr una and there are some other plants, one VSA being another one. These plants have DMT in them and what the iOS oska has an Ma Li in it, which allows the DMT to be absorbed through the digestive system. And if it weren’t for the Ma Li that the IO oska provides, the DMT would not do anything, it would just be absorbed by the system without any visionary effects at all. So it’s the combination of the iOS and the steam, whichever DMT plants the recipe has in it that creates a visionary experience. Now there can be there have been some traditions that just use the Iosco bind without the visionary leaf or plant added and you can get some sort of effect because of because of the high levels of Ma Li in the IO oska. And there’s some other tryptamines in the iOS code that can bring in a slight visual or psychedelic experience, but not very strong. When you add in the DMT component, which is the leaf, it will create very strong visions for a very long period of time. Whereas if you’re taking DMT without an Ma Li You have to smoke it, or you have to do an intravenous application of it, which is there’s a book DMT the spirit molecule about the studies around DMT. And then 90s, I think, and they were using intravenous delivery system for that. So it also by the by ingesting the DMT with Ma Li through the digestive system, it extends the experience of the DMT to eight, eight hours, eight to 12 hours versus if you just smoked DMT it would last five to 10 minutes be very, very intense.
You’re having wait so you’re saying that with the MA ally and the DMT combined This is a
multiple hour experience.
Oh, yeah, yeah, with one of the peak of it being maybe an hour to two hours
of really the peak intensity that that is and then you kind of feel it comes in waves, but you’ll, it’ll mellow out over that period of time. So it is it is ceremonies with us lasts anywhere from five to seven hours, depending how large the group is. And then after ceremony, people are often still, you know, still slightly in it, not necessarily having full on visionary experiences, but still feeling it, so to speak, because it’s a very semantic very physical experience. Whereas a something like LSD is much more in the head and mental Iosco is really so And that’s part of the benefit is that we hold on to much of our trauma, whether it be intense trauma or just trauma from being a human being living in the society. We hold on to that in our bodies. And so that’s one of the best things that I ask offers is this level of somatic healing and cleaning that other medicines don’t necessarily have that is releasing of these emotions or traumas that that we’re pushing to the side and trying to ignore but they’re coming out in our lives and holding us back. And so what I asked does oftentimes is goes through and releases that stuff somatically and also cleans it such that we have more openness and we are able to break patterns that were holding us back prior to working with iOS.
Thank you for bringing up LSC because I’ve never Taking it. Um, but
I do not smoke pot, period.
T sh T. th. th Thank you. See, I, I just know I have a really bad reaction to it.
And I have to say and I apologies sorry but not sorry that I’m talking about pot when you’re talking about something so beautiful. But I don’t I’ve gotten jealous to be honest of stoners that you see in movies who gets so mellow when they’re smoking when I get the complete opposite, right? I mean I get I see everything in slow motion. It it really freaks me out. Yeah, so I would love to hear more about these visionary experiences because it to me and knowing what what experiences I had the the last few times that I smoked in and spend years listeners I just Wanna make that clear? But I also got really sick every time I smoked. Mm hmm. So, to me it, I’m just putting it out there. It doesn’t sound pleasurable, but maybe it’s because I’m attaching it to something else that really wasn’t pleasurable to me. You know?
Yeah. And I’m by no means a proponent of marijuana at all, for the record. In fact, I think that it’s even with its medicinal label as of late, I think it’s being used as a crutch and kind of band aid to get through some things. But that’s, you know, that’s just personal. And so anyway, yeah. But in terms of yet in terms of, so are you asking the association with the negative, what recording, quote,
I’m really enjoying the visionary. I’m really intrigued by the visionary experience. Like what we’ve we’ve seen things like I don’t know why this is coming to mind but like Alice in Wonderland, you know, in that’s what I’ve always pictured or some type of 70s 60s and 70s like rave movie where they show you all these flashing colors and stuff, but because I’ve never experienced any type of I hate using this word again but trip, you know, I don’t know what this is like, Can you explain to our our listeners how this is not scary or is it scary for some people who go through it
can be quite scary. And that’s why it’s important to work with someone who is a trained facilitator who knows how the medicine works and who can actually energetically work with the medicine to help one through those challenging and scary times. For before I get in into the talking about divisions, I you know, I asked has gotten famous for its visions. And we tend to say, hey look, the visions are secondary to what we’re trying to do with io oska. With Iosco refer to as a her because she, we experience her as a feminine energy or entity. And this is quite consistent throughout many indigenous tribes who you who work with her. Anyway, so she, she has a list of priorities in our, from our direct experience and that is clean, heal and teach. And so the teaching oftentimes comes through those visionary experiences to help recontextualize sometimes recontextualize traumas sometimes just to give us a broader teaching of how beautiful everything is. Sometimes those visions can be Be quite scary. And that’s oftentimes her working on the subconscious again, those traumas and emotions that we’re not fully experiences experiencing and therefore not expressing and therefore, they kick up and go sideways on us, if we don’t deal with them, and they can even cause physical illness. If we don’t deal with those traumas and emotions and so forth, we’re constantly shoving them down. So, yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of attention placed on the visionary aspect of Iosco. However, again, we don’t feel that this that’s the point. The point is to clean heal and release these things that we were holding on to and then learn and have sometimes there’s some direct experiences that with with a sense, things like Ascended Masters, I’ve definitely had experiences directly with in Iosco with Jesus Christ. With Shiva, with Ganesh with Krishna with Buddha, and so that’s where the the visionary experiences turned into a teaching situation. And sometimes again nonsensical and that’s, that’s there like, all these patterns and I don’t know what they mean and, and my, our view and experience is that that’s when she’s working on the subconscious and it’s important to point out that if we look at our conscious consciousness as a whole, we’re working with three two if we’re lucky 5% of our consciousness being conscious consciousness and then 95 to 97% being subconscious. So when we get to work on that subconscious or one might even call it shadow stuff that’s highly valuable and rare to effectively do that, and so when we have these these visions again that are we like to call them
Tibetan circus porn
because it’s like, what I’m seeing all these crazy Tibetan images, and there might be sexual images in there and so forth. It’s like, I don’t understand what this is all about. That’s we’re working on the subconscious.
Makes me wonder what my Tibetan circus point would look like.
Yeah. Yeah. Like never know until you. Yeah, yeah. And it’s in it, you talk about you said, it can be scary. And that that’s part of what she teaches to on a larger scale, is that we are as humans constantly constantly trying to control our environment and our experience, in spite of all the evidence that we have no control. And so working with Iosco, she’s a great teacher on releasing the desire for control and actually surrendering to the experience that is life and whether it be in the Iosco ceremony. You’re out life. And that’s a huge, huge lesson and benefit to take away from my Alaska.
I have to say that’s part of what I really appreciated in your information she to come on to the podcast listeners for every single guest who comes on I have a cheat sheet that I refer to, to prepare and it just makes everything so easy or a lot easier for me because I really don’t believe that any part of my podcasts any part of my business should be difficult. And when it is difficult, I’m not saying that achieving my next goal is not going to be difficult because you have to put in the work right? But when I constantly feel like I’m working against the grain I have to step back and think is this really what I’m supposed to be doing?
Again, reaching that next milestone in my business is like a climb up the mountain and it’s going to be Challenging at some at some points, but it there’s a whole nother level of difficulty there that is separate from when I’m just working with the wrong people doing the wrong work. That just that feels completely different. So I’m so fascinated here. Oh, that’s you brought that up though. That’s the point I was trying to make. Because I asked about positive productivity. And I just really appreciated your standpoint because it’s a different thought about productivity and what it means.
Right, and do you want to do a read it? Yeah, I remember vaguely what it was like I was like, I don’t really think about it. Yeah.
So my question in the form was, what is positive productivity mean to you? And I actually back it up by saying this is not a trick Because I realized that positive productivity to so many different people means entirely different things. And even for me since I started the podcast, positive productivity has taken on a whole new meaning. But your answer was in all transparency, I can only take the term literally, which is essentially how to explain on your website that has productivity systems that allow one to move through one’s life work with minimal stress, such as can be excited about the work at hand. Well, this is an odd question in regards to our work. That is because we are extremely careful about I don’t know how to say this word proselytizing, thank you. I have Iowa aska other plant medicines or spiritual paths therefore to have a message that we want to spread goes against our ethos. And, and I just really, it got me thinking and I know some people who are listening might be I don’t see how you connect it. I connected I but it I feel very incompetent with what I’m trying to say. But I just really appreciated your answer.
Sure. Well in and I think it was, if I were selling in a business selling something more material, I would have a more mainstream answer for you. But we it’s like I said, we got to be really careful not to, you know, I asked another plant medicines are not for everyone. One from a, there’s some definite physical contraindication medical medication contraindications that are dangerous, and then also, some people just aren’t ready for. And so, you know, we need to be careful about that.
So can I just thank you for acknowledging that, because there are so many people out there, and I’m going to look at the nutrition space right now who like to push and actually I just recorded another podcast this morning with us. With a functional medicine doctor who, who is a little turned off by people in the nutrition space who believe that whatever diet they are on right now is for everybody. So keto is for everyone. Sure, whole, whatever 360 or whatever it is. I’ve never done it is for everybody. Atkins is for everybody. But it’s not for everybody. Because we don’t know the genetic makeup. We don’t know the struggles that have been in the past. We don’t know what their challenges would be. And like you just said, we don’t know if they’re ready. I mean, I wasn’t ready for keto. The first time I tried. Yeah, I’m not ready for keto. Now, I just realized that’s not where I’m going. And the same thing with iOS guy, like, I don’t know that I would be ready.
Yeah, and and it’s funny. You had mentioned at the beginning of the podcast that you just started hearing about io oska. And then we popped up as a podcast possibility. And that’s what happens with people who Come on retreat with us. We hear all the time. It’s like yeah, I’ve heard of I Alaska maybe five years ago, and then suddenly in the last two months, it just started popping up everywhere. And then your website or your we got a referral from someone who worked with Iosco family before. And it’s just like, all of a sudden it’s in my face and I can’t ignore it anymore. And yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s kind of a really good indication to if one is starting to hear about I asked him it’s popping up in your face a bunch. that’s a that’s a sign, as you said earlier, and it’s we hear that story consistently. So that’s, that’s, that’s a sign to begin with. And then then of course, check in see see how you’re feeling because it’s, it’s it’s not always easy. The iOS it can be it can be beautiful challenge lunging and scary, all in the same time.
Sounds like childbirth. Yeah,
actually my wife when she had she had her son Bodie. She
had a psychedelic experience as he was, as he was coming out.
And she was like, yeah, this is very much. Not so much I wasco. But she definitely had a visionary experience associated with her with her childhood. Mm hmm. So I can’t speak to that, obviously.
Yeah, no, I’m just actually thinking, I just had a few nuts and nice words from my ob team. Oh, I would have rather the psychedelic experience. Now he fell asleep in the doctor’s waiting room while we’re waiting for him. So I just want to make it clear. I am not an angry person. But when you keep a pregnant woman who’s on the delivery table waiting because you are falling asleep
in the background, yeah, don’t do that.
Kim Sutton: So you went you were in finance. You saw a report from National Geographic and that’s
Zach Poitr: Yes.
Kim Sutton: And the the reporter had been suffering from PTSD from what I recall. Yeah. Um, and depression and depression and that’s just I’m married to an Air Force veteran who has PTSD from both military and from childhood, in the possibilities here just sounds so amazing to be able to clear what has potentially been holding you back or not potentially, I know that a lot of the stuff that he goes through holds him back. And I can’t say, either way about PTSD for me, because I’ve never thought about it, to be totally honest. Like, I’ve never put PTSD together. So, but being able to let go of the limiting beliefs that have held me back would be absolutely amazing. But I’d never thought about the fact or the consideration of how much of the conscious brain we are using versus not being able to really tap into the subconscious.
Yeah. And it’s, this is a broader as relates to PTSD. I would I’ll ask a I’ve worked with, or we’ve worked with people with PTSD. And and that said, now that there’s been a resurgence in psychedelic therapy, I think there may be particularly with MDMA, that might be a better way to start with PTSD. It’s a softer experience.
you know, we’re in the, the MDMA therapy that’s going on. I think it’s, it’s in its last stages of approval, and it may be a much easier to get into get the kind of therapy now than, say, even a year ago. I don’t follow it that closely. But in those contexts, it’s you administered with a psychotherapist as part of the process. And that’s something that we don’t do. You know, Ayahuasca ceremony. There’s no talking, which, which is really helpful in one sense in the sense that we want to get people out of their thinking minds and more in the, the experiential, what’s going on in the body and that sort of thing. And we do always do a post ceremony, integration, sharing circle, that sort of thing. And we also refer people recommend we work with a therapist, who is able to help people with preparation and integration as well around the retreat experience. And going back to MDMA and PTSD. This is I think, once it becomes pervasive, and people come to me and say, Hey, I’m working with PTSD, Hey, why don’t you Why don’t you go work with MDMA first,
your insurance might cover it.
And then the same thing goes for Or addictions I asked it can be very helpful with with addictions, but it takes a long time. That is, there are programs that are, you know, six months in duration and they’re very successful. However, there’s this other thing called the Boga or Ibogaine, which is a one shot deal takes a couple of days. And it has like an 80% success rate. So it’s really kind of cool. There’s a resurgence in these psychedelic treatments for these various ailments and emotional and psychological ailments. And we’re really careful on you know, suggesting the appropriate medicine for the appropriate situation, or am.
I admittedly just had to Google MDMA.
Oh, yeah. It used to be ecstasy. Was it Yeah. Yeah. I believe name by the way. What was that? aptly named by the way, ecstasy.
So, okay, I have never admitted This on the podcast but in, you know a lot of kids go to college thinking that they’re going to break out and go do like the fun track and you know, try everything that they didn’t do at home, at least the kids that I grew up with. Well, I went to school in downtown Chicago, and the dorms would not let us back into the rooms at night if they had any reason to believe that we were under the influence. Oh, so I was very safe.
Yes and No, because kids who went out and got drunk or or took drugs, I went to art school. Okay, so there was a lot of experimenting. Sure, they would just stay wherever they were partying. But I was the layman who didn’t go at all. I will I don’t want to say lame. I was very focused on my schoolwork and didn’t go out. So I
I’m intrigued, but I’m not about to start.
But that doesn’t mean like I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t try at all. It’s just, I feel sort of silly for not knowing what it stood for, or what associated with and I didn’t know that they were considering.
Yeah, well, I wouldn’t say legalize. Okay, they their use they’re very far down the FDA approval process in terms of clinical use for specifically for PTSD because it has been shown to be exceptionally successful and effective for PTSD and then similar seibon the mushrooms are also very far along in treating depression. So yeah, we’re in kind of a renaissance or resurgence of clinical studies and trials around psychedelics as healing modality. In fact, back in LSD, It’ll take a while for that to come back into particular the United States, come back into the research arena. But that’s what it was being used for. Back in the 50s. And 60s was they were seeing Amazing, amazing results through the use of LSD in a therapeutic and clinical situation. And it was psychedelics got a really bad name because of Nixon and his war on drugs and it was a bunch of propaganda. It the psychedelics are amazing for so many emotional issues. And it’s just, you know, propaganda that has taken things you know, and demonized them. These these substances and and that’s not to say, I mean, what’s interesting is that there are people who will have psychotic brakes and so forth from psychedelics. And that’s why you have to be careful with the vetting and the the making sure there’s a history of that in the family and that sort of thing. And it’ll still happen, right? Things will still happen. However, if you look at the record of say casca, and other psychedelics
compared to say the suicide rates associated with antidepressants, it’s it’s a no
brainer, no brainer for saying that. The same even even for Vets coming back, you know, with disabilities. And, and I know I’m walking a line here, and I’m going to follow it up with something else that could get me into even bigger trouble. But you know, the, the frequency of the VA prescribing Oxycontin, rather than other alternative forms of treatment is just deplorable. I mean, my house was just was prescribed oxycontin. And until just last year, it was still an open prescription that he just wouldn’t touch. He actually told them take it off. Take it off my, you know that I can get it. Um, we joked and this is not a funny joke, please know that. But we had a lot of really tough financial times and we joked Well, there’s always an open prescription of oxy cotton. Please know that we never did it like, but it’s just so sad that it’s out there and the suicide rate on that is just ridiculous. My husband and I have talked numerous times though about and I know you’re not a fan of marijuana necessarily, but we look at the FDA, and it’s the Food and Drug Administration. We feel like they are doing more to limit the potentially helpful, natural drugs but are allowing the more dangerous ones to go through whereas You know, a lot of the more dangerous drugs are being used to treat illnesses caused by all the unhealthy foods that are out there. You know, McDonald’s on every corner, Burger King right next to it. But it’s the Food and Drug Administration. And there’s just so much that could be done across the board to help us create a Healthier America. And I know that the list, we we have over 100 countries listening and but here in the States, if we could just get our diet under control, then so many of the health issues would be removed.
Sure, sure, including some of the psychological factors used around depression. So those because the gut biome being so connected with your emotional state. Yeah, and I mean, it’s, at the same time, we want to give them credit where credit’s due around as it relates to their opening up around psychedelics, the data around psychedelic Like some marijuana, as much as they want to resist, it’s gotten to the point where they can’t ignore it and they’re, they’re, they’re opening things up, right? I mean, they have allowed. It’s been a long haul with MDMA in particular, where they’re, I think, the guy who’s kind of spearheading it is the, who’s the head of maps, his name’s escaping maps being the I don’t want to call it trade group, a research research group that is has been pushing for MDMA use in therapeutics setting for I want to say 20 years or something like that. And it’s just
his there’s a book that he wrote, now again, I’m forgetting his name, but
where and he’s like, Look, the FDA, they’re not necessarily bad people. It’s just that they’ve been subject to the propaganda on the quote unquote, war on drugs for as long as everyone else and if you don’t have a lot of direct experience, there’s going to be some sort of prejudice against opening up to the idea that psychedelics can actually help helpful and that is happening again, we’ve got MDMA, the very near the end of their clinical trials and should be there, they’re saying, probably next year, it’s going to be open for therapists to use it. And then psilocybin is also moving pretty quickly there too. And we’ve already seen, you know, on a state level, some of the states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana and psychedelics in general we have what we have den see. Denver’s decriminalized psilocybin. Oakland has decriminalized all the plant place. Excuse me plant based psychedelics. So we’re seeing movement. It’s just it’s a big ship to move. And of course, then you get the the funding or the the Big Pharma money. They don’t want any of this to happen because they make so much money off of, of antidepressants and anti anxiety and anxiety medications and all that sort of thing.
So Colorado is pumping so much money back into the economy, because they’ve opened up the cannabis industry. I think it could easily be replaced. And part of me, especially with the ages that my kids are, you know, the oldest ones are 14 and 17. Now and then my husband has a one that will be 21. And you know, when we’re kids, and we’re told you can’t touch this, it makes us want to touch it more. Yeah. So part of me wonders if it had not been criminalized with the temptation had been have been there as much, you know. Yeah, I mean, for kids to get
when they’re when it’s criminalized, it’s easier for kids to get it then when it’s regulated,
but would they have been as tempted to if they were told you can’t have it? Maybe I was just a rebellious kid. But I specifically remember my mother telling me one don’t touch this pan. Yeah. Well, hot. Yeah. You know, so what did I do? I turned around and I touched the pan.
Right? Well, and so there’s that aspect which true kids are rebellious. And at the same time, when kids are rebellious, and they touch the hot pan, and it’s not hot, because they’ve been lied to. They’re gonna go further and try to try the try the heroin. They’re like, they’d lied to me about this marijuana thing. You know, I know that nothing went wrong when I smoke marijuana. Now I’m gonna try all this other stuff that may not be as as meth or what have you. Yeah, I agree. I agree. And I think
that’s a really valid point, though. And I hadn’t considered that in I mean, I have a friend whose son died due to a heroin overdose. And then, you know, that’s the last thing that we ever want to experience is, yeah. is losing a child to an overdose. Can we go back to you though?
I love how you said that you, you have.
I forgot the word that you used, but trainers or therapists who work with your clients who come in to prep them for what they’re going to experience. Can you talk more on that?
Sure. When it’s not part of our retreats, per se, it’s an option that we highly recommend. We work with
dr. john Seely PhD
out of Eastern Kentucky and so
he’s able to under the coach label, be able to do zoom calls, and help people prepare and more often integrate Post psychedelic experiences in general. And then we work closely with him because he is he works with both myself and my wife on a personal level, and he is and it’s the way we found for a long time I had like, Oh, I’m taking I was good and I’m on the spiritual path and I don’t have to worry about any sorts of coaching or counseling. I get it all you know, this will take care of it. And that’s just not true. There are still blind spots in spite of all the personal work I’ve done through plant medicines, meditation and spiritual work. And once I started working with dr. john I was like wow, this is this is like personal growth and spiritual growth on steroids. When we have someone on the outside kind of pointing to like, Hey, what about this, your, you know, did you know talking about my childhood thinking I had a very normal non traumatic childhood and I think This then talking to him and him going well, this piece here that’s might be causing some problem and then I’ll be like, Oh, that’s connected to this behavior in life and hope man. So it’s it’s been hugely helpful in our personal lives and as our relationship develops developer between my wife and myself and again, all combined with Iosco work. And so coming out of that, it’s just like direct experience has shown that putting that type of coaching counseling together with medicine work is just amazing. And so we started referring people to him and getting feedback. There’s like, yeah, this is this is a slam dunk. So it’s optional, because not everyone wants to go through that kind of talk, talk, counseling work, but we highly recommend it and yeah, particularly for you know, all this stuff adds up in terms of costs.
So if one can afford it, we highly recommend it if they…
Kim Sutton: I just want to thank you for even having that resource available for people who do want it, because, um, if this is your first time listening to the podcast, I was actually committed to the mental hospital in 2008 for being suicidal, and it was a result of not taking care of my I’ve had hypoactive thyroidism since birth. And I hadn’t been taking my medications for like months. I didn’t realize the repercussions. It was just something I had been taking for 30 years, admittedly, and I had never asked why. What happens if I don’t, I mean, that was dug him, you know, you should have looked into it. But also I was majorly sleep deprived.
So you know, I, at that point, I really could have used somebody on the outside who wasn’t connected. To the drug facilitation, I’m just saying this as an example, who would have looked and said, well, Kim, you are working 22 hours a day. Sleep deprivation has major side effects. We should work on that. Yeah. Because then I, I fell into the trap again in 2016. You know, and thankfully, I stumbled upon some awesome online mentors, who, who talked about the effects of sleep deprivation. But oftentimes, I mean, when we’re investing until in ourselves, and how people are investing in themselves when they go to your retreats, I mean, you want to make sure that you’re doing what you can, but I am not at all, you know, promoting, go bankrupt, to spend every last penny No, because that’s just gonna cause additional stress. And…
Zach Poitr: You know, if I had my druthers, I’m a huge believer. If I had my druthers, everyone would have Coach for therapists to help them through. It’s, it has a stigma and I’m hoping that stigma goes away and yeah, it’s it’s been amazing for myself and my wife.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely. So you went down there? What three times are twice and then quit your job? and Finance?
Zach Poitr: Yeah down to Peru in Peru?
Kim Sutton: Yeah,
Zach Poitr: yeah. Went down for two retreats in Peru in the jungles of Peru and then after that second one I was like, Okay, this is this is it I I was exceptionally dissatisfied with life and depressed and all that sort of thing and the trips down to Peru or life changing and helped me see how, yeah, well, I can after going through a loss guy, I kind of was able to deal with the environment. I was in an institutional dockworker, I could deal with it better. And I wasn’t maximizing my happiness by being in that environment. That’s not to say that everyone who does I lost was going to quit their job after two retreats. That’s very, very much not the case. But yeah, I ended up moving down to Peru and then living in the small village out in the jungle, about four and a half hours south of Akiko switches, the large jungle city, this tiny village and just all that there was to do there was drink Ayahuasca do what’s called a monic D at the end if one was interested in going out and deep into the jungle exploring the jungle, that was an option too, but that wasn’t my my bag at the time. So that’s what I did and that’s where I met my my teacher and had no plans on becoming an iOS coach. Speak but you know, life and I lost different ideas and I teamed up with him and ended up building a camp, my first retreat center down there called La Familia, Mehta, Siena. And that was an operation for about three and a half years. I was down there for about four and a half years studying intensely.
Wow, what did your family and friends say when you made the shift? Ah
Alanna, I had a lot of support from my friends.
my close friends and in finance and
Yeah, I definitely got some, you know, you’re being weird. That’s crazy.
From the more conservative members of my group of friends or what have you, but surprisingly, I mean, not a huge, huge amount of that. And then my family there used to me going off and doing crazy things or what’s perceived as crazy things And yeah, because I had so much freedom growing up and my mom’s kind of an ex hippie, so always had a lot of freedom growing up. Maybe God had some misunderstanding about what I was doing at first, but then they saw the results and they were psyched. And in fact, my, my mother has drunk Iosco with us.
At least six times.
Wow, I was gonna ask,
yeah, and then my, my father, my biological father, he’s born again, Christian and all that sort of thing. And we don’t know each other. We’ve gotten to know each other a lot better and
he can’t because he has heart issues. But he seems relatively cool about it.
Zach Poitr: My there’s another father figure who I grew up with. His name is Doug and he actually came down to Guatemala in the last few months and did a series of five ceremonies. And then he’s coming back in March. He’s all about it.
Kim Sutton: Wow.
Zach Poitr: Yeah. Wow. So and then just as parents, both of them have drank with us several times, they’re they’re very much supportive.
Kim Sutton: What would you say to anybody who has had an experience like yours, although not necessarily the same thing, and wants to make a shift?
Zach Poitr: You mean, like in your life, or just shift in general?
Kim Sutton: Yeah.
Zach Poitr: Oh, okay. Well, first of all, we always tell people when you’re making big decisions around an Ayahuasca code retreat, take at least two weeks before you quit a job, form a relationship or quit your relationship for that and that sort of thing to make sure that one is skillful, will make sure that it makes sense to make that big shift. into how to go about it skillfully. such that, you know, we don’t burn bridges hurt feelings unnecessarily.
So, is that what you’re asking? Are you asking?
Kim Sutton: Yeah, and I really appreciate that and what I what I always heard was go through a season. experience this season and make sure that that’s still what you want and that it wasn’t a, you know, a passing thought. Sure. So I love that. Yeah. And yeah, it does. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with io oska. But how long did you give thought to leaving your job before you did and I know yours was directly but somewhat indirectly because you didn’t know that you’re going to wind up here. But how long did you give that thought before you did decide to quit? I think
it was a season. I think I made it through this the spring. Yeah.
I forget what year 2009 or 2010. And I just like you know, and and as it turns out, I think couple of big deals came through. And so sitting on a chunk of cash, and I was like, whoa, wait a second. I can I don’t
need this. You can actually do it.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And
yeah, yeah. So I definitely didn’t make that move quickly. But once I did make the decision, and things move quickly.
Yeah. And I have to say that in my life, like when I’ve let it sit for a season and really made sure that it’s what I wanted to do, it was usually the right decision. Anything that I’ve acted on
faster than that. Yeah.
A lot of those I’ve kicked myself for after but they’re all learning experiences. And that’s where a lot of content for the podcast comes out. Yeah,
yeah. Have you on that point? Have you ever heard of decision making Have you ever heard of Human Design?
I have, but I don’t really. I’ve had my chart created on several occasions, but I never know how to read it. And I am in. As I said, I’m in Ohio. I’m also from the northeast, I’m from New York. Sure. And there’s just not a lot of people that I’m around who can walk through my chart with me.
Oh, I could refer you to this guy, john Cole out in Austin.
Zach Poitr: Do you know what you are?
No, I don’t remember.
Zach Poitr: Okay. So there’s there’s two main parts to a Human Design reading and when is your when is your authority, which is your decision making process and the whole point of Human Design is to recognize that we’re all very different energetic vehicles cruisin around and society tries to make it’s just like you’re talking about yet with diet. Everyone, they want to homogenize us and everyone go make it happen. Everyone, work your asses. But some energetic vehicles aren’t made for that and and we all have our own decision making processes that are appropriate for us.
So like my wife She has a what’s called a girl thority where she is opposed to make decisions in the moment quick, like, that’s her best decision making process. Whereas I need to go through a full emotional cycle. That is, if I’m happy and someone pitches an idea to me, particularly salespeople, I’ll buy it. If I’m sad, I might miss an opportunity. So I’ve got to wait, the longer I wait on my decisions, the better the deal I’ll get. And then there’s other ones where you’re supposed to wait 30 days and so forth. So yeah, it’s interesting that that you, you may be either someone who needs to go through an emotional cycle, or you might be one of those rare unicorns who has to wait like 30 days.
I’m wondering if I could, if there’s any possibility I could be some mix of both. Now that you’re talking I mean, the big major life changing decisions.
I don’t know. But now in that system and that system, they’d probably not Yeah, in that sense, but in life, it might be different. But I found, we found that human designs very, very accurate.
Yeah, um, can I just ask you one last question about that. And I know this is not your field, but how if your listeners if you’re not familiar with human design, you generally provide your city of birth and your birth date along with the time that you were born. Now, I’ve asked my mother, if she remembers what time I was born, and she says, seven o’clock. And I’ve asked her, like, for the minutes, she doesn’t know, I full disclosure. I don’t remember the minutes that my kids were born, I’m sure it’s on their birth, their birth, whatever, somewhere. Is that important? Like the exact minute? Um, I think, you know,
I think I think that if you’re within an hour or two, you’re okay. And the way to look at it is like, just change the time a couple of times and see if the chart changes.
Kim Sutton: Absolutely. Thank you.
Zach Poitr: That’s the way to go about that. But JOHN, john Cole is the guy who I’d refer you to and he would be able to answer that much better than I emulous. Maybe I can get him on for a future episode to talk all about that, but I’m sure he would be psyched to do that. We’ve done some podcast together and because we have our own podcast, too, Ayahuasca Family podcast.
Kim Sutton: Okay, I’m gonna have to go listen.
Zach Poitr: Awesome.
Kim Sutton: There will be a link in the show notes by the way, listeners, which you can find at thekimsutton.com/pp668. So thekimsutton.com/pp668.
Zach, for anybody who is intrigued and wants to know if Ayahuasca retreat with you would be the appropriate would be appropriate for them, what are some of the first considerations that that they should consider? And then what would be the next steps that you would recommend?
Zach Poitr: Yeah, so first thing is safety. Do you have heart issues? Do you have epilepsy? Do you have… There’s quite a few medical conditions that we need to be careful with high blood pressure being one of them, heart issues being the most prevalent. So that’s the first consideration is medical conditions.
And then medications would be… particularly SSRIs and MOIs, those are antidepressants, any anti psychotic medications, medication just in general, we need to be careful about with mixing with Ayahuasca. In fact we, we ask people as much as possible, with a few exceptions to stop any medications and supplements for the retreat. So, we won’t be safe from that standpoint.
Zach Poitr: We also want to be safe around mental health issues. If you you or your family has any issues around psychosis, or psychotic breaks, that’s not a good idea, a suicidal ideation not a good idea. You know, to assert there is a point in which deep, deep deep depression may not be a good idea, and that’s a case by case basis. And so we need to watch out for the safety issues, both physical, emotional and mental health issues.
If you are a healthy human being, I asked it is generally safe. In fact, there’s been a long term like 15 year study out of Spain where the guys who’s the people have been studying or like, yeah, I asked is good for you. And so if you’re held healthy and then and considering it, then it’s time to start trying to figure out what kind of contexts you’d like to experience Ayahuasca. Because there are so many different lineages and so many different styles ranging from the indigenous, you know, Amazonian jungle style to Brazilian Catholic Church style, which is very much like going to church and start doing the research around that and then checking in with your gut as to who do I like and who is appealing just on a on a based on the content and so forth and that they’re providing through their website or program what have you.
Zach Poitr: And a good retreat center will have a vetting process. So for example, we have an application wherein people are asked, Well, what medications are you taking? Or have you been taking? Do you have any current medical issues? And why are you doing this so that there can be a sincere conversation later after the application a live conversation We have zoom calls where where we get to see each other face to face and get to know each other. And make sure that we both want to work or can can want to and work together effectively because this is serious stuff when you work with I do an Ayahuasca retreat. And I would avoid going for just one ceremony.
Zach Poitr: We strongly believe based on experience that you know, three ceremonies minimum four is what we offer, because it is such a process and we actually frown on the idea that a one and done ceremony is appropriate. And that would be the first things to look at looking to start doing some research like we have a bunch of podcasts on SoundCloud, iTunes and Stitcher under Iosco family and that’s a good place and you have other places podcasts out there that talk about Joe Rogan’s been one I think tangentially speaking with Dr. Ryan, there’s another one. But there’s definitely a fair amount of research out there that are and and resources that you can do resource research on.
Kim Sutton: Can I just say thank you for vetting your… What you call them? Clients? So thank you for vetting because I’ve, I work specifically with business and life coaches and I, I’ve really had to hone down who I work with, or narrowly work with because there’s a lot who will work with anybody, even if it’s not in the clients best interest.
Zach Poitr: Right.
Kim Sutton: So thank you, because you can you do the best for your clients when you work with the best clients for you.
Zach Poitr: Yeah, yeah. We often will refer people to other Iosco practitioners or other practitioners when appropriately Particularly when they’re dealing with some physical issues, we’ll send them down to a place down in Peru.
Kim Sutton: Amazing.
So where can listeners who want to know more about you? And I know you said that your podcast is on Soundcloud and an apple podcasts there will be a link in the show notes listeners. But where can they go to learn more about you and Jess and and what you do specifically?
Zach Poitr: Sure. Well, our website is Ayahuascafamily.com and to spell that is A- Y-A-H-U-A-S-C-A Family.com.
Kim Sutton: I was so happy that I looked up and I went and watched some of your videos before we hopped on just so I would have an idea of how to pronounce them rewinding because I would totally have not gotten it right.
Zach Poitr: Yeah, it’s very common. My grandmother to this day has not said I asked her correctly ever.
Kim Sutton: So yeah, yeah. can only imagine, well, do you have a parting piece of advice? I just want to thank you again, if you have a parting piece of advice for our listeners,
Zach Poitr: In general? Or as it relates…
Kim Sutton: well, I’m going to ask you to make the decision, whatever your… Whatever the universe or whoever you look to is telling you to say today, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Zach Poitr: This is a general advice. And this is something that I said at a wedding of a good good friends, is that essentially, always, always, always, open your heart.