This observational study (n=200) investigated the well-being of individuals staying in a center completing an indigenous Shipibo healing program (which consists of a series of ayahuasca sessions) over the course of one year. The authors found that the healing program significantly improved the psychological well-being of individuals, and that decentering may have been a mediating factor in this effect.
“Promoting well-being is one of the main goals to improve health in the world. We examined the well-being and quality of life over the course of one year in a sample that participated in an Indigenous Shipibo healing program where traditional healers work in a series of ayahuasca ceremonies. We also explored the role of decentering as a mediator of psychological well-being. Participants who attended the program responded to an online survey that included a Psychological Well-Being Scale; Oxford Happiness Questionnaire; The World Health Organization Quality of Life Spirituality, Religiousness, and Personal Beliefs scale; the WHO Quality of Life-BREF scale; and Decentering scale. Baseline (T0) and postassessment (T1) were completed by 200 individuals. Of these, 101 completed the follow-up assessment at three months (T2), 91 at 6 months (T3), and 94 at 12 months follow-up (T4) after leaving the center. ANOVA test was performed in a representative subsample to control the passing of time two months before attending the program (T-1). Pearson’s test was performed to examine the relationship between psychological well-being and decentering during the period of T0 and T1. A significant increase was observed in all the scales at all time points (p ≤ 0.01). The subgroup analysis performed in a representative subsample allowed us to infer that the significant differences in outcomes are due to the effect of their stay at the center and not the passing of time. We found a relationship between decentering and the improvement of psychological well-being (r = 0.57; p < 0.01). Our results suggest that the Indigenous Shipibo healing work with ayahuasca has value to improve long-term well-being and quality of life for Westerners.“
Authors: Debora Gonzalez, Jordi Cantillo, Irene Perez, Maria Carvalho, Adam Aronovich, Magi Farre, Amanda Feilding, Jordi E. Obiols & José Carlos Bouso
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The Shipibo Ceremonial Use of Ayahuasca to Promote Well-Being: An Observational Study
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Authors associated with this publication with profiles on BlossomJosé Carlos Bouso
José Carlos Bouso is a Clinical Psychologist with a PhD in Pharmacology and is the current Scientific Director at ICEERS.