Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scientists Who Research Psychedelic Medicine

Some of you may wonder why I am regularly interviewing scientists who research psychedelic medicine.

The primary reason for the frequency of these specific programs is that our elected  government, the United  States government, has legally prohibited research of psychedelic medicine for over 50 consecutive years.  Only recently has our government allowed an extremely small amount of such scientific research to take place and the scientists who enter into this arena jeopardize their careers.

On Mind Body Health & Politics, I have interviewed most of our country's leading scientists in the area of psychedelic medicine.

As some of you may recall we have talked with Dr. Dave Nichols of Indiana University, on LSD, Dr. Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University on Psilocybin, Drs. Dennis McKenna and Steven Beyer on Ayuahuasca, and  Dr. Michael Mithofer on MDMA, to name several.

If  you  missed these live interviews, go to our MindBodyHealthPolitics.org and listen to the archives.

The United States government's 50 plus year prohibition against scientific research on psychedelic medicine is reason enough for me to shed light on this topic.  There is another, equally important reason for why I conduct these interviews.

The American pharmaceutical industry's production of psychoactive medicines aimed at treating emotional disturbance, is a huge financial  success while at the same time, with certain exceptions, a  treatment failure.  Big pharm succeeded and we the people have suffered mightily.  Some brave souls, such as Robert Whitaker, through  his  book, Anatomy of an Epidemic, have had the courage to bring us evidence that a certain class of psychoactive medicines, the selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors, aka SSRIs, actually cause mental disturbances instead of reducing or healing them. My interview with Robert Whitaker, is also on our web site.

On the other hand, there is evidence expressed by scientists  interviewed on this program, that certain psychedelic medicines are powerful  psychotherapeutic tools and others may serve to cure physical illness and disease. It is imperative that we give the scientists a voice.

We owe it to ourselves:
to speak the unspeakable, let no topic be taboo,
to  learn the unknowable, let us learn as much as we are able,
to see the invisible for who is to say what can and cannot be seen.
Within clear parameters of doing no harm, it benefits all citizens to  allow the study and investigation of every single topic our avalanche of curiosity brings us to.
Let us leave, to the history books, all our prohibitions against scientific inquiry, be it for investigating:
the world as round not flat,
the earth as  revolving around the sun and not vice versa.

It has been said that the greatest revolution a person can participate in is the change of one's own consciousness.  But how does one engage in such a revolution?  How do the poor survive? How do the obese learn to self regulate? How do the tight loosen up? How do the rigid become flexible? How do the haters become lovers. How do the alienated become connected?

I reference my recent interview with Father Sean O'Loaire during which he said that the ultimate solution for mankind must go beyond symptoms to a real change in human consciousness.

Given the dramatic enhancement of perspective that psychedelic medicines offer, they may be one of the best hopes mankind has for learning how to live in love and harmony instead of the present system of aggression and domination.

If we are to survive, clearly it is love, not  fear which must prevail.  Surely we all agree that if nothing else love is more fun then fear.

And so, dear friends and neighbors, we frequently shed light on the topic of psychedelic medicine, both because it has been censored and prohibited and because it offers hope.

Our most recent guest,  Dr Martin Ball, has spent his entire adult lifetime, researching psychedelic medicine for the purposes of discovering new paradigms on the nature of consciousness and ultimately The Self. The podcast of this interview will be posted soon on MindBodyHealthPolitics.org.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dr. Miller Interviews Dr. Dennis McKenna

Dr. Miller Interviews Guest: Dr. Dennis McKenna, world renowned ethnobotanist and neuroscientist, on his most recent book The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss.

Dr. Dennis McKenna is an ethnopharmacologist who has studied plant hallucinogens for over forty years. Outside of scientific circles he is best known as the brother of Terence McKenna, a cultural icon in the psychedelic community. Together they are co-authors of The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching and Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide: A Handbook for Psilocybin Enthusiasts

Their unanticipated encounters with alien mysteries while searching for exotic hallucinogens deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest had a profound impact on their lives, and on late twentieth century culture. In Brotherhood of The Screaming Abyss, Dennis further explores the complexity of ideas that the two brothers shared, and the peculiar obsessions that led them into some of the strangest uncharted territory ever plumbed by two questing minds. This book is Dennis’ personal story of their intertwined lives.

Dennis McKenna’s professional and personal interests are focused on the interdisciplinary study of ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He received his doctorate in 1984 from the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral research focused on ethnopharmacological investigations of the botany, chemistry, and pharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two orally-active tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon.

He received post-doctoral research fellowships in the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health, and in the Department of Neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine. In 1990 he joined Shaman Pharmaceuticals as Director of Ethnopharmacology, and relocated to Minnesota in 1993 to join the Aveda Corporation as Senior Research Pharmacognosist. He has been an adjunct Assistant Professor at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota since 2001, where he teaches courses in ethnopharmacology and botanical medicine. He has taught summer field courses in Peru and Ecuador, and has conducted ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit scientific and educational organization focused on the investigation of the potential therapeutic applications of psychedelic medicines.

The Welcome: A Healing Journey for War Veterans and Their Families

Dr. Miller Interviews Bill McMillan, M.F.T, Michael J. Maxwell, MS, and Bob Eaton

Bill McMillan, M.F.T., co-produced The Welcome with his spouse, award-winning documentary filmmaker Kim Shelton. Bill is co-director of the Welcome Home Project, a program that helps local communities actively participate in the return of their soldiers. His current practice focuses on veterans’ reintegration into civilian life.

Michael J. Maxwell, MS has spent the last thirty years working with combat veterans. In the late 70's he helped develop and implement the first Vet Center in Oregon. He worked at the Portland Vet Center for eight years as a therapist and then as the Team Leader.

In 1987 he left the Vet Center to join the Portland VA Medical Center staff to help develop PTSD programs for combat veterans. Mr. Maxwell retired from full time employment with the VA in 2006 and is currently involved in training, consultation and program development. He is a Vietnam era vet having served in the Army from 1971 to 1973.

Bob Eaton is a Vietnam vet who appeared in the film. He now mentors vets and their families. Bob continues to write songs and now records and performs them around Southern Oregon.

The Welcome offers a fiercely intimate view of life after war: the fear, anger and isolation of post-traumatic stress that affects vets and family members alike. As we join these vets in a small room for an unusual five day healing retreat, we witness how the ruins of war can be transformed into the beauty of poetry. Here our perceptions are changed, our psyches strained and our hearts broken. And at the end, when this poetry is shared with a large civilian audience, we begin to understand that all of us are a vital piece of the Welcome as Veterans try to find the way back home. Their examples of unflinching honesty, courage and love lift us up, inspiring all of us once again to feel our common humanity, always the first casualty of war.

The Mission of the Welcome Home Project is to bridge the historic gap between veterans (including their families) and the civilian communities in which they live. We use the film The Welcome in local communities around the country to catalyze dialogue, to raise awareness and to spur direct involvement by civilians.

Visit: www.thewelcomehomeproject.org and www.thewelcomethemovie.com

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dr. Miller Interviews Dr. Jay Cohen

Dr. Jay Cohen is a nationally esteemed medical practitioner and researcher, a university professor, author of eight health books and more than a hundred medical articles, and an expert on medication safety and nutrition.

His newest book, Prostate Cancer Breakthroughs: New Tests, New Treatments, Better Options -- A Step-by-Step Guide to Cutting Edge Diagnostic Tests and 8 Medically-Proven Treatmentsdr jay cohen (2013), is the only book that takes readers step-by-step through the evaluation process, informing men how to obtain and use the new tests and treatment options that can help tens of thousands of men avoid unneeded surgery or radiation.

Prostate Cancer Breakthroughs

Prostate cancer care is today undergoing a quiet revolution with new tests and treatments, yet doctors continue to steer most men with prostate cancer to radical surgery or radiation with their damaging adverse effects, treatments that most men with prostate cancer do not need. In the past and for the most part still today, men with an elevated PSA test and a biopsy positive for cancer are referred directly for surgery or radiation. It is now known that this approach is often excessive, unnecessary, and can cause severe, life-long side effects in the majority of men who only need careful surveillance or focal therapy. Today, it is known that only about 15% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have aggressive, life-threatening disease, yet as many as 85% of them are referred for radical treatment.

Dr. Cohen says there are revolutionary new tests and treatments that patients don't know about. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and directed toward surgery or radiation, but after learning about the leading-edge tests and conducting dozens of interviews with top doctors, he avoided invasive treatment and his prostate cancer remains under excellent control without drugs.

Dr. Miller Interviews Dr. Marc Lesser

Dr. Marc Lesser 
is the former director of Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center and currently teaches and lectures at the San Francisco Zen Center and throughout the U.S.

Dr. Lesser is the founder and former CEO of Brush Dance, a publisher of greeting cards, calendars and gift items, with spiritual themes and artwork. He spent 15 years taking Brush Dance from an idea in his garage to a multimillion dollar publishing company, with distribution throughout the U.S. and the world. 

In his new book, Know Yourself, Forget Yourself: Five Truths to Transform Your Work, Relationships, and Everyday Lifeknow yourself, forget yourself by marc lesser, executive coach and mindfulness teacher Marc Lesser shows that understanding and embracing the points where life feels most confusing, most contradictory can lead us to more satisfaction and joy.

Dr. Miller Interviews Dr. Rick Doblin - Part 2

Dr. Rick Doblin is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master's thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients.

His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner.

His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and three children.

Dr. Miller Interviews Dr. Jed Diamond

This week host Dr. Richard Miller will interview Jed Diamond, PhD, LCSW, Founder and Director of the MenAlive, a health program that helps men, and the women who love them, to live well throughout their lives. Since its inception in 1992, Jed has been on the Board of Advisors of the Men’s Health Network.

He is also a member of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP), the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male and serves as a member of the International Scientific Board of the World Congress on Gender and Men’s Health.

He is the only male columnist writing for the National Association of Baby Boomer Women. He also blogs for the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Scribd, Menstuff, ThirdAge, and other venues.

His work has been featured in major newspapers and has been featured on more than 1,000 radio and TV programs including The View with Barbara Walters, Good Morning America, and Today Show. He also did a nationally televised special on Male Menopause for PBS.
Diamond has been a licensed psychotherapist for over 40 years and is the author of ten books including the international best-selling Male Menopause that has thus far been translated into 17 foreign languages.

Diamond has taught classes at U.C. Berkeley, U.C.L.A., J.F.K. University, Esalen Institute, The Omega Institute, and other centers of education throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

His PhD dissertation, Gender and Depression, broke new ground in creating a better evaluation system for diagnosing and treating depression in men and women.

He lives with his wife, Carlin, on Shimmins Ridge, above Bloody Run Creek, in Northern California. They are proud parents of five grown children and thirteen grandchildren.

Click to listen to Dr. Miller's interview with Dr. Jed Diamond broadcast March 19, 2013