Microdosing and Movement
Microdosing and Movement
- Here is a look at my experiment with psilocybin as a training supplement of the past 3 years.
- I'm attempting to describe this as objective as possible.
- This article is based on my personal experience, the reports of other athletes, as well as a test group we tracked over the course of a few months.
- Here we go...
- Dosage: .15-.25g dose depending on the potency of the particular batch. The psilocybin is ground so the active component is spread as evenly as possible (I do not recommend taking whole pieces of the fruit body)
- Frequency: Every 3rd day
- Cycle: 6-8 weeks on / 1-3 months off
- The aim is to dose a sub-perceptual amount but there will be some physiological effects. At this level, it should not be much more observably psychoactive than a cup of coffee.
- One of the first changes I notice is an expansion of the breath and opening of the diaphragm.
- Facial muscles will begin to relax.
- There is an increase of alertness and presence.
- Interestingly, this substance has the opposite effect of most others- instead of building tolerance, many will build more sensitivity. One response is a heightened awareness and an awareness of the increase in awareness. For this reason, one may actually decrease the dosage over time while still reaping the benefits.
- Also, unlike many other substances, users may intuitively cycle off. In our test group, everyone stopped the protocol around the same time (~6 weeks), without instruction. This reinforces the studies that show psychedelics as a non-addictive.
- While productivity and energetic capacity increase, it is different than a stimulant such as caffeine, which can tend to be more "jittery".
- It can be compared closer to excitement than nerves. Coffee seems suitable for mechanical, "adult energy", but I would describe psilocybin as "kid energy", which is conducive to more play. I sometimes wonder if this is a source of energy we have lost or maybe conserve as we age, becoming more efficient with the resource of wonder.
- At this dose, there is no crash. The energy lasts well into six hours.
- There is a significant increase in NEAT throughout the day comprised of more play, exploration, and productivity. It can be the spark that initiates that passion project or cleaning out of your closet that you've been putting off.
- We have seen an increase in range of motion.
- Unlike cannabis which promotes more flexibility and allows relaxation deeper into a stretch, psilocybin contributes to a more active contraction at limits of range.
- For example, during a forward fold, instead of feeling a stretch in the back as you "elongate", I actually felt an intense compression that pulled me further down to the point of cramping in my abdominals. I was even sore in my abs the next day.
- This leads me to believe it may be a valuable tool in aiding progressive end-range strength-training as a means to increase mobility.
- One reason we are able to produce more force in these lengthened positions is that psilocybin has been shown to diminish the fear response, and from the nervous system's perspective, the stretch-position is guarded as one of the most vulnerable.
- My friend Tom Mountjoy has even speculated that psilocybin somehow causes a bypass of the body's stretch-reflex response. I hope studies will look further into this.
- Allows for more options, exploration, and creativity during movement practice.
- The experience of moving in the body can be smoother and more integrated.
- I think one of the biggest reasons for the possibilities that open up is the diminishment of set patterns. Once the depatterning occurs, you are more free to explore other options.
- We have seen PRs in these microdosing sessions but I don't believe it's from an increased power output or work capacity, per se, but by the opportunity to figure out a more efficient way of shifting tensions to accomplish the task at hand.
- I've made lasting gains from just one session, just one set, simply by finding a better movement solution and downloading this experience (not the technical instruction but the feeling). While the fresh pair of eyes you receive is temporary, what is seen remains.
- Skill acquisition is accelerated, especially with activities done in complex environments.
- One benefit seen with microdosing is the openness to attempt skills you may have been too self-conscious to try otherwise. This goes back to the reduction of the fear response, which is useful to combat the fear of failure associated with learning novel skills.
- With the Default Mode Network diminished, we are able to tap into flow states much easier and combat the analytical mind during physical tasks. "Leave you Ego at the Door" you will read before entering many high-level training facilities.
- Personally, I seemed to have leveled up in my indoor bouldering practice from some key microdose sessions, after being seemingly stuck for almost a year.
- Many skills bound by hand-eye coordination or reactivity have been unlocked from this shift in mind-state.
- I've spoken to professional MMA fighters who swear by microdosing as a performance enhancer, especially in sparring. They are able to see combinations and openings available to them and also get a better read on the opponent. I've heard similar stories from jiu jitsu athletes and trail runners.
Body Composition / Nutrition
- It can support habit change through enhanced mindfulness, especially when eating.
- There is a suppression of appetite on the microdose days along with a significant increase in NEAT throughout the day.
- Psilocybin may be a beneficial tool in implementing a new habit such as a nutrition plan.
- While I don't recommend using working doses (<1g) without proper guidance, a safe environment, and preparation, there are some interesting effects on movement.
- Vision improvements in both distance and clarity.
- Significant improvement in respiration, deep breathing.
- Endurance greatly increased.
- It also seems to increase pain tolerance and decrease physical fatigue.
- Certain tensions throughout the body, especially around the face, will completely melt.
- There is a heightened sensitivity when interacting with the environment/others, which can become overwhelming to the point of decreased performance in terms of a goal-oriented task.
- The most notable feature in regards to movement for me, is a figure-8 like motion that begins to arise in the lower torso region. This spiraling energy will undulate the body in waves or circles.
- There is a synesthesia of sorts between the energy of movement and thought. I believe movement can be used as a tool to navigate the landscape of the psychedelic journey, psyche and emotion.
- For a more explorative, introspective movement session, larger doses have some benefit but for athletic performance in sport or a training routine, I do not see it as being functional .
Potential Negative Effects
- If trying to bulk with a calorie surplus the appetite suppression may hinder progress, especially near the top end of a microdose when the desire to eat is considerably diminished.
- If on a strict time-schedule, low-dose psilocybin may cause you to be more easily distracted or get lost in certain activities.
- Some people may experience stomach or digestive issues but at low doses this usually isn't an issues.
- Legality: Decriminalization is quickly spreading but consumption is still prohibited in most areas.
- Many people have had success microdosing with LSD but I advice against this for novice psychedelic users, mainly because it's much harder to get an accurate measure for a proper dose, especially if cutting up blotter tabs.
- A Use for Evil: While microdosing can help with emotional regulation, increased empathy, better connection and communication, it will not make you a more "woke" person. At this dose, it won't necessarily make you a better human. If you are an asshole, it may just make you a more productive and creative asshole.
- Dependency: While this food is non-addictive, there is potential for abuse. You do not want to fall into the trap of believing that you can't access growth without it. It won't do the work for you and much of the benefit can come from the periods spent off-cycle. As Dr. James Fadiman says, "Psychedelics take your life experience and compost it, so that something new can grow. If you don't have much to compost, you may not get much out of it".
- Remember, this chemical is just a tool, while less processed than coffee, and at the proper doses, less stimulating, especially compared to many unregulated workout supplements on the market, which, unlike psilocybin, are without a doubt addictive.
- It may be one of the first performance enhancers in human history.
- While I hate the label of "Superfood", I have to file psilocybin under that category.
- The reports listed above are mostly anecdotal and more research is needed to explore the potential benefits of psilocybin on physical practice.
- As always, be skeptical and be responsible.
Thanks for reading!