The Takiwasi way of treating addiction – Dr. Jacques Mabit – MappingMedicine#14

My name is Jacques Mabit, I am French and have been living in Peru for 36 years I am the founder of a center called Takiwasi

The center’s main aim is to treat patients with drug addiction problems Cocaine, cocaine paste, heroin, tobacco, alcool, etc We developed an approach that integrates the knowledge of the traditional amazonian medicinal plants with contemporary psychology or psychotherapy For the treatment of addiction and in general of problems concerning mental health we need an approach that considers the patients history not only his personal biography but also his transgenerational inheritance that which he inherited from his ancestors The plants stimulate the entering into an profound introspection where we can access content, that lies deep within the unconscious mind

It resembles a bit the dream state but while being conscious, you are not sleeping So you are actually playing an active part The person is able to navigate his relationship with his unconscious We have a whole protocol for this process First we check if the person can endure it since these treatments are strong and very intense

We need to evaluate, and as with every medicine, the contraindications as well as indications So we do a classical medical check-up, as well as a psychological one After the exam there are three distinct parts of the treatment, to sum it up for you One is the cleansing with the purgative plants that induce vomiting, diarrhea or sweating, This is a way of removing the toxins of the drugs, the medications or of the contamination These processes are always ritualized

What does that mean? Ritual is a technology that brings the energetic body on board It assures that the plants will not only treat the physical level but also the psychological and spiritual levels I mean, for example, a person who is vomiting, is vomiting out the drug but at the same time he will vomit his rage, his anger, his pride, his sadness And the same is true for the spiritual level Everything connected to the purpose of life, the existential dimension of life

And it will make you re-consider the existence of that which is completely absent in the western world which is the invisible or the spiritual world Not only the personal or collective unconscious but also the exterior world of what is called spirits or entities They are known to exists in all the traditions including the Western world before rationalism Consider the existence of angels and demons This language may appear totally obsolete to a western mind but it is a clinical question, it can be observed, identified, diagnostisized, prognostizied and acted upon

Bringing this knowledge on board is the new input to Western medicine because it is a dimension that they are not considering especially in the area of mental health Many mental health problems can not simply be explained in psychological, relational or trauma terms There is another dimension involved This can be addressed with traditional medicine

That’s why it needs to be ritualized in order to reach these different levels Plants that induce purging, cleansing and preparation Then we will use psychoactive plants like ayahuasca and the juice of tobacco as well as other plants that will allow this introspection A visualization of the interior world, in an almost dreamlike way, but being awake This allows to go into spaces that are very difficult to access without the help of the plants As is the case with conventional psychotherapy

Because these dimensions are written into the somatic memory of the body And then we will use another kind of plants that the shamans and healers call 'master plants', Plants that teach These plants are to be taken in certain conditions of isolation they come with certain dietary and sexual restrictions, a whole set of rules In these conditions the plants will induce structural transformations in the consciousness of the person For example: if the predominant feeling in a person is fear and he doesn’t have courage There is a plant that helps to reduce the fear

If a person is very aerial, etheric, who has a lot of difficulties to put his feet down on the ground there is a plant for this case If a person has a lot of difficulties to make decisions in life who doesn’t know what to choose, who doesn’t know his options, who is struggling to get things done there is a plant that helps to enter the portal of taking decisions There are plants that have specific psychic functions It's like having a pool of expert psychologists in various areas So we apply those plants that help the patient to work on his specific problems

It’s a process that takes 9 months, in on-site residence Because the use of the plants goes hand in hand with very strict rules If the rules are respected everything goes well If the rules aren’t respected it's dangerous because these medicines are very potent Powerful in healing if you are doing a good work and powerful in causing damage if you don't respect them

The novelty of our work is the use of plants which will make the unconscious emerge, emotions, revelations, dreams and so on All of this will be worked on in a secondary space that is the psychotherapeutic attendance We have a team of psychologists that will work with different formats and techniques such as personal or collective interviews, utilize masks, storytelling, art, holotropic breathwork a whole toolkit for integration Because we westerners have, for the most part, lost the notion of what is symbolism We forgot how to interpret dreams for example, and how to make sense of the symbols that we encounter

So it is necessary for us to relearn this language When we, for example, determine that one patient’s main problem lies in the communication with others Let's say he doesn’t know how to express himself After we defined this problem in the integration phase it will immediately be applied to the third space which is community The patients live in community and are going to apply directly what they have learned

This, in turn, will generate problems, incidents or achievements And when problems and blockages come up we return to work on them with plants, what gives new information for the psychotherapy So these are the three spaces: Plants, psychotherapy and living in community This is our therapeutic tripod where we have a constant feedback This approach provides us with powerful and quick results Well, the conventional medicine for addicts is one of the worst and most dreadful

They often don’t even want to publish the results Because addiction is a kind of possession, let’s put it that way The person wants to stop using in the moment but can’t There is something dominating and subjugating him what makes him return to the substance, knowing it is bad, but he can’t resist What's this force dominating the consciousness, urging the person to do things he doesn’t want to? There is a spiritual dimension to it, therefore it is not a psychological problem

Of course you need to look at the psychological part and reconstruct the personal history but also the history his ancestors and what he did in his life Because many people practice, for example, magic, satanism, rituals a heap of things without knowing what they're doing Spiritism is very much in fashion So in these moments they can be contaminated they opened their doors to spiritual entities that can mess with them All of the modern drugs – cocaine, tobacco, heroin – are all derived from sacred medicinal plants that the indigenous peoples have been using for centuries and millenia without having these problems

The problem is not the substance, it is the way in which it is used If the plant is desacralized you arrive at addiction So it is a desacralization, a misuse Tobacco is the main plant in the Amazon, but it is not smoked It is taken in liquid form, in extracts, accompanied by ritual, there is a specific preparation process

It’s a very complex and sophisticated medicine The problem of addiction is clearly a western phenomenon, it's a problem of western society You don’t find addiction in traditional societies It's unknown to them The alcoholism that exists with the Aboriginals of Australia or the Native Americans in Canada, etc stems from the contact with the Western society, before it didn’t exist

The people would use substances to alter consciousness, even regularly, and without generating any kind of addiction This tells us that the principal problem with addiction is a problem of desacralization of Western society Of rationalism and positivism Of the complete absence of the spiritual dimension As long as we don’t reclaim the dimension of initiation into life, of that which gives sense we won’t be able to heal addictions

It is not purely a physical problem Detoxfication is easy, but afterwards the problems that caused the addiction are still there and will return Working on the psychological level can be done, it is more complex – but it is not enough You need to reach the energetic or spiritual dimension, then yes, there can be healing on a large scale

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