TREND: Mushrooms Emerge from Underground

A New Kind of Wellness “Trip”

All-inclusive magic mushroom retreats—where the “trip” gets combined with increasingly luxe wellness experiences—are on the march in countries where psilocybin is legal (such as Jamaica, Costa Rica and Holland).

It’s striking that, when a psychiatrist, such as Julie Holland, imagines the future of psychedelic experiences, she envisions a place that’s “a cross between a spa/retreat and a gym…where they can be experienced in a safe, supportive environment.” And it’s a fitting model: an expert-led, sensory-focused retreat where a psychedelic “trip” happens within a wellness trip (as psilocybin, unlike cannabis, is hardly an everyday drug).

MycoMeditations is a pioneer with weeklong retreats on a private Jamaican bay, with airport pickup, lovely food, guided hikes and massages, and evening by-the-fire-and-ocean group mushroom sessions.

The exclusive Alquimia Centre of Healing Arts in the Colombian jungle (that accepts guests who receive one of their much-sought internships) serves up serious education on Amazonian medicine and enlightenment through expert-led natural psychedelic experiences, such as magic mushrooms.

Paul Austin’s The Third Wave has begun full-blown magic mushroom retreats in Costa Rica, the British Virgin Islands, Jamaica and the Netherlands. Sites, such as OpenMindTrips.com, aggregate psychedelic and mushroom retreats worldwide, and, while there are far more heavier-dose ayahuasca retreats now, mushroom retreats are popping up everywhere from Ibiza to Bali.

While a very different psychoactive experience and smaller potential market, the magic mushroom trend now bears some resemblance to the early days of the now-raging cannabis-as-wellness trend. Who would have thunk even three years ago that there would now be glossy magazines devoted to the luxury “cannabis lifestyle” or that a fancy hotel, such as The Standard Hollywood, would be putting a high-end cannabis boutique smack dab in the lobby?

It’s not “high” on every traveler’s bucket list, but in an age where “the trippier the better” rules in wellness travel (we seek everything from shamans to crystal healing), mushroom retreat offerings will only evolve and expand.

Forecasting The Future

  • US states to follow decriminalization of cannabis with the legalization of magic mushrooms, as research continues to show that microdosing psilocybin can treat depression and anxiety, relieve symptoms of cluster headaches, and even treat addiction.
  • Ramp up in investor interest in magic mushrooms: The antidepression medication market is expected to grow to $16.9 billion worldwide in 2020.
  • As wellness retreats offering ayahuasca and magic mushrooms become more commonplace, other, lesser-known, natural psychedelics are emerging. One example is “iboga” from the small African country of Gabo; the plant is central to the Bwiti religion, which combines the worship of the forest with Christianity.

 
 
This is an excerpt from the TRENDIUM, a bi-weekly communication exploring the wellness trends identified in the 2018 Global Wellness Trends Report.
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