Why go on a psychedelic retreat in Amsterdam?

2 May 2024 | Reading Time: 9 mins

Magic mushrooms are always a stimulating topic of discussion, whether you are for or against them, curious, or an expert. In talking with some of your acquaintances, you may have already made a surprising discovery: it’s a less taboo subject than it seems. And some people you wouldn’t suspect might have already tried psychedelic mushrooms. Not at a psychedelic retreat in the Netherlands, but more often, they have done so under the shadow of the law.

What’s even more interesting is understanding why these individuals turn to psychedelics. It varies greatly and is very personal. Each person tries it for their own specific reasons. Sometimes for recreation, sometimes for transformation, or even for therapeutic purposes. Indeed, there are many different reasons to consume psilocybin.

This article specifically explores the particular reasons that lead people to apply for a psychedelic retreat in Amsterdam. The benefits of a magic truffle retreat are numerous and remain the same, regardless of the initial reasons of the traveler.

Reasons for Participation

At Tangerine Psychedelic Retreats, we welcome very different profiles who share a common desire for a powerful and impactful experience to discover a part of themselves. In practical terms, the goals that fuel the desire for psychedelic experimentation are very diverse.

This chart summarizes the initial intentions, the proportion of participants who came to address each issue, and the satisfaction reported one week after the stay:

Why participate in a retreat?

Participation in a psychedelic retreat can be beneficial for various aspects of mental and physical health, spiritual growth, and cognitive improvement. Research shows that psilocybin could be involved in treating or supporting several modern issues.

The initial goal of a retreat center is not therapeutic. However, in the absence of responsiveness from medical institutions, undergoing a psychedelic retreat in Amsterdam often remains the only legal and safe way to explore the promises of psychoactive molecules.

Depression

Retraite and depression

It’s the most well-known fact: psilocybin may work on depression as well as antidepressants do, possibly even better since it does not require long treatments. According to recent studies, psilocybin could significantly reduce depression symptoms in 70% of participants. It has been observed that magic truffles produce significant effects after just one dose. The risk of relapse also appears to be lower than that known with antidepressants, particularly for severe depressive disorder.

Research conducted by reputable universities has shown how psilocybin functions in the central nervous system. It targets serotonin receptors and helps to reset certain areas of the brain involved in mood. These effects have led to the emergence of psilocybin-assisted therapies. They are the driving force for many people who go on psychedelic retreats hoping to give a new lease on life to their everyday existence.

Read a research report on depression.

Anxiety

For several years, CBD has become established as an alternative to anxiolytics for combating anxiety. This is also true for several dietary supplements such as Ashwagandha or Roman Chamomile. Psilocybin is another avenue being explored, both in microdosing and in traditional dosages. Researchers still need to delve deeper into these hypotheses.

Yet, studies have already indicated that magic truffles might have a positive effect on death-related anxiety in terminally ill cancer patients. One trial revealed that 80% of patients experienced a significant reduction in anxiety. This benefit persisted several months after the treatment.

OCD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is one of the major topics upcoming in research on psychoactive substances. Currently, little is known. A few preliminary studies have shown promising hypotheses to help those suffering from OCD.

One of them reports a significant dissipation of compulsions, rituals, and obsessive thoughts after the administration of treatment. Some participants mentioned a better understanding and acceptance of their OCD. Overall, 30% of the participants reported positive effects lasting more than 3 months after consuming psychedelics.

Read an article about this study on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Une chercheuse de laboratoire s'intéresse aux propriétés médicales d'une plante

PTSD

Psychedelics such as LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin are capable of reducing the activity of the amygdala. This brain region is involved in the management of memory, emotions, and fear. It is precisely an overactivity of this area that complicates the treatment of traumatic memories for individuals suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Better Understanding Trauma

Some research suggests that the consumption of psilocybin could be the first step towards a lifesaving therapy. By mitigating the traumatic response and the blockages it causes, affected patients could make rapid advances in psychotherapy over a period of 2 to 6 months. There is even talk of the possibility of working on forgotten traumas and their somatic consequences.

Unlike Australia, Dutch law does not permit psilocybin-assisted therapy.

Nevertheless, it is possible to undergo the psychedelic journey legally during a retreat and then return home for therapy. Ideally, the therapist should be informed of the approach.

Watch a documentary on YouTube.

ADHD

A study explored the effects of microdosing hallucinogenic mushrooms on ADHD. Over 4 weeks, the protocol showed a general improvement in mindfulness among individuals suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity. Their abilities to concentrate, observe, and describe increased, while their impulsivity decreased. At the end of the 4 weeks, mindfulness levels appeared similar to those of the general population.

It can be imagined that in the future, other studies might focus on the use of high doses of psilocybin in relation to ADHD. For now, this remains a grey area where it is difficult to assert anything definitively. This is especially important as ADHD is believed to affect 3.5% of the adult population.

Learn more with the details of the study.

Burn-out

As with Post-Traumatic Stress, several participants of psychedelic retreats in the Netherlands seek to alleviate their daily stress. The mechanics of burn-out, or syndrome of professional and personal exhaustion, are quite similar to those of depression.

The result of a sensory and emotional journey is therefore similar. According to testimonials, emotional resetting offers better resistance to stress, reduces feelings of helplessness, and allows introspection on the reasons for exhaustion. Thus, taking magic truffles could help recover more quickly from burn-out and make decisions, but does not eliminate the need for necessary rest.

Addiction and Alcoholism

Tobacco and alcohol are the two leading causes of preventable death. However, treatments have so far not performed miracles. This is especially true for alcohol addiction. Alcoholism has severe repercussions on health, family life, and professional life.

Research has shown that two doses of psilocybin can help reduce alcohol dependency. A well-known study published in 2022 and followed for 9 months shows the following results:

Before the studyPsilocybin Group Placebo Group
Days of drinking74%30%41%
Days of heavy drinking52%10%21%
Average daily drinks712,2

A Hope for Easing Withdrawal

But for now, no country in Europe offers this type of treatment for alcoholism. That’s why psychedelic retreats in the Netherlands are favored by those wishing to wean off an alcohol addiction. While not suggesting that alcohol withdrawal is easy, this complex process appears more attainable under the effect of psilocybin.

It is also known that the best long-term effects occur with repeated integration sessions and traditional therapy (psychotherapy, hypnosis, EMDR).

Psilocybin truffles in a bowl

Enjoy a legal & intense experience in the Netherlands

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Anorexia

Anorexia is one of the new subjects of investigation for researchers in psychedelics. Anorexia involves an active struggle against food intake and hunger, which can lead to severe deficiencies and cardiovascular diseases. It is often associated with guilt and self-deprecation.

In 2023, the journal Nature published the conclusions of a California study on this eating disorder.

Researchers conducted psilocybin-assisted therapy with very encouraging results. After follow-up, 9 out of 10 patients reported feeling better about their eating and their weight. Ninety days later, four of them were in remission.

Again, therapeutic psilocybin for anorexia does not exist outside of clinical trials. Retreats or private psychedelic sessions in Amsterdam remain, unfortunately, the only safe and legal option for this audience. Moreover, individuals with anorexia can be vulnerable due to their health condition. They must be evaluated and supervised to ensure they are not endangered in such an intense experience.

Diabetes

Worldwide, 783 million people could be affected by diabetes by 2045. Science is constantly making new advancements, such as the discovery of PATAS, which improves glucose metabolism in adipose tissue.

More surprisingly, a group of researchers has just discovered that hallucinogenic mushrooms might also play a role in preventing this disease. This study showed that in rats, psilocybin helped β-cells in the pancreas maintain their insulin production.

The hypothesis is that the ingestion of psilocybin could, in the long term, help combat pre-diabetes or diabetes. Given the health and commercial stakes, it is certain that medicine will continue to explore this question in the coming years.

Chronic Pain

Other researchers have studied how psilocybin can affect chronic pain in rats, specifically focusing on mechanical hyperalgesia, which causes painful hypersensitivity to touch.

Regardless of the dose of psilocybin, whether low or high, it significantly reduced hypersensitivity to touch. The effect of this single dose lasted at least 28 days. The results appear to be more moderate concerning thermal hyperalgesia.

Migraines and Headaches

Every day, 1,232,400,000 people suffer from headaches worldwide. For 3% of the population, this condition is chronic, encompassing migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and many others. It has long been supposed that psilocybin could alleviate these pains.

Particularly for a type of severe migraine: cluster headaches. These are characterized by intense, unilateral pain near the temple and the eye. Recently, the findings of a small research protocol have provided a preliminary answer. Psilocybin could reduce the frequency of these migraines by 50%, starting from the first dose.

Sexuality

Contrary to popular belief, engaging in sexual activity under the influence of psychedelics is not necessarily recommended. Depending on the dose, it can have negative consequences: paranoia, anxiety, tactile hypersensitivity, difficulty in assessing a partner’s consent. However, this does not mean that psychotropics are useless for treating libido issues. They should simply be taken outside of intimate moments.

In fact, a psilocybin ceremony has notable effects on the mind. Mood, self-perception, empathy, and emotions undergo a lasting chemical boost. Affectively, this can enhance emotional connectivity, reduce stress, and lower inhibitions. These factors are precisely those that disturb sexuality and prevent an easy path to pleasure.

The advantage of psychedelic exploration also comes from the fact that one is not obligated to explain what one is seeking. Therefore, the quest for a more fulfilling sexuality can remain private without having to discuss it with a whole group.

Nature discusses it here

A psychedelic retreat in Van Gogh's style

Creativity

GPT
Creativity

If you ever watch Alice in Wonderland now that you’re an adult, you might find yourself wondering: what were they on at Disney? Indeed, many artists have always used drugs to stimulate their creativity: from Charles Baudelaire to Miles Davis, Antonin Artaud, or Jimi Hendrix, many have tried to push the limits of their minds… even at the risk of burning out. More recently, Steve Jobs spoke of his use of LSD as fuel for his innovations.

It’s true, psychedelics abolish the boundaries of reality, produce images that break with the real, and allow for the unexpected association of concepts. Today, this creative doping is sought after in the professional world, for example, in Silicon Valley.

With psychoactive mushrooms, there’s little risk of ending up like Vincent Van Gogh. However, rather than taking risks alone, supervision in a legal environment always seems preferable. Create, yes, but create responsibly!

A little trip to Wonderland?

Mood, Procrastination, and Motivation

While there’s much talk about medical applications, personal development should not be overlooked. One can experience mood disorders and phases of melancholy without being clinically depressed. In these situations, participating in a psychedelic retreat in Amsterdam can produce a lasting sense of well-being. Indeed, thanks to their action on neurochemistry, magic truffles allow one to approach daily worries with more distance.

The benefits of a psilocybin ceremony on motivation or mood last between 4 to 24 weeks. This period allows for starting new things and establishing new routines. Integration sessions are used to anchor these new behaviors and to eliminate bad habits like procrastination.

Spiritual connection

Merging with the living, becoming one with nature, seeing higher forces… These are also promises of some experiences induced by hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Indeed, the entire ceremonial aspect of psychedelic rituals is designed to maintain a mystical, solemn, and spiritual aura. Filled with intoxicating scents and inspiring music, the ceremonial room is conducive to epiphanies and revelations. Those who are receptive to the energies of the universe thus find transcendental answers during a profound and overwhelming exploration.

Personal challenge

It’s hard to say whether the desire to test oneself or take on a new challenge falls into the recreational or transformative category. Nevertheless, in a psychedelic retreat group, there is often someone who wants to push their own limits. And the service offered truly matches this type of original project!

The trip involves traversing emotions, confronting questions, and discovering answers. And if challenge enthusiasts push their introspection too far, facilitators are there to gently bring them back to reality.

The Boom of Psychedelic Retreats in the Netherlands

A Conducive Environment

If legal retreats are growing, it’s because they offer several advantages. The foremost is the opportunity to consume psychedelics in a legal, regulated, and secure environment. And this is important. Indeed, the more reassuring the environment, the better the preparation, the lower the risk of a bad trip with mushrooms. Retreats make venturing into the unknown easier, reducing stress about the ceremony, organizing fewer parameters, and lessening the anxiety associated with illegality.

Fresh Market Products

Furthermore, a magic mushroom retreat provides control over the quality of the products. Often organic, they allow for precise dosing. Their freshness also guarantees against the risks of poisoning. Overall, it’s always necessary to consider the supply, which is not easy in a Smartshop or on the internet.

A True Selection

Furthermore, the presence of a qualified team ensures that participants do not have any medical contraindications. This experience is not recommended for individuals with schizophrenia, untreated high blood pressure, or certain other conditions. Professionals perform evaluations to identify risks and adjust the experience. This selection allows candidates to surrender more easily because they know they are not at risk.

A Real Retreat Setting

Finally, these establishments allow participants to completely disconnect from daily life. They are designed for this purpose, and the entire program is aimed at achieving this goal. What better destination to withdraw than the natural settings of the Dutch countryside, conducive to reflection and relaxation?

The transformative journey is already an adventure in itself. The psychedelic stay is, in fact, a structure to enjoy it more simply and more effectively. For those who choose wisdom and expertise, this can be a reassuring option. It allows opening up to a new experience in good conditions of relaxation and follow-up. The organization thus emphasizes careful preparation, attentive supervision, and enhanced integration.

How to Choose a Retreat?

If you decide to embark on this journey, you need to choose a retreat organization. Start by contacting the team and assessing the feel. Communication should be straightforward and unambiguous. Next, be sure to discuss your issues. The company should offer a screening test to ensure that you are not at risk.

This type of project is judged on the professionalism, accessibility, friendliness, and transparency of the organization. At least, that is what we strive to convey.

By Tangerine Retreat's Team.