Welcome to your go-to source for all things wellness-related. In this newsletter, we explore the fascinating world of wellness with a special focus on psychedelics, CBD, nootropics, and functional mushrooms.
Whether you're a curious newcomer or a seasoned veteran, you'll find something of interest in each issue of the Amsterdam Wellness Insider. So sit back, relax, and join us on this exciting journey into the cutting-edge world of wellness.
The When Nature Calls Team
The workplace shroom-boom
Shall we get your office on shrooms?
In the fast-paced world of work, where we dedicate a substantial portion of our lives, the search for tools and techniques to boost productivity, enhance focus, and reduce stress is a perpetual quest. This year, a new buzzword is taking the workplace wellness scene by storm – the Shroom Boom. As society undergoes a transformative shift toward long-term wellness, mushrooms (functional and psychedelic) are emerging as a go-to choice for those striving to improve their well-being while excelling in their professional lives, in Europe alone the medicinal mushroom industry is expected to surpass 20 billion euros in the next 2 years. Let’s explore what shrooms are booming and what this may mean for your job.
What shrooms are booming?
Functional mushrooms have gained a remarkable following in the quest to optimize workplace performance. They come with a diverse set of potential benefits that cater to different aspects of professional life. Here are a few key players in the functional mushroom game:
Lion's Mane for Focus and Cognitive Clarity
Lion's Mane is often hailed as the "smart mushroom." Its potential to enhance cognitive functions like memory, focus, and problem-solving skills has made it a prized addition to the daily routines of knowledge workers. Whether added to your morning coffee, incorporated into a smoothie, or taken as a dietary supplement, Lion's Mane is thought to provide the mental clarity necessary for tackling complex tasks in the workplace.
Cordyceps for Sustainable Energy
In a world where the demands of a busy workday can drain one's energy, Cordyceps has become a go-to choice for those seeking a natural energy boost. Unlike the jitters often associated with caffeine, Cordyceps is believed to provide sustained energy, making it ideal for powering through long meetings, deadlines, or demanding projects. People are finding innovative ways to incorporate Cordyceps into their diets, from energy-boosting snacks to morning shakes.
Reishi for Stress Reduction and Well-Being
In a high-pressure work environment, stress can take a toll on physical and mental health. Reishi, known for its calming properties, is being incorporated into wellness routines to alleviate stress and promote emotional well-being. A cup of Reishi-infused tea or a Reishi supplement can provide a tranquil oasis in the midst of a hectic workday.
Microdosing: A Subtle Boost for Productivity
The concept of microdosing is gaining attention as a way to enhance focus, creativity, and overall well-being. Microdosing involves taking a sub-perceptual dose of a psychedelic substance, in our case; truffles. While microdoses are not intended to induce a psychedelic experience, they may offer several benefits for workplace performance:
Improved Focus: Microdosing psilocybin may improve concentration and attention, enabling employees to stay on task and be more productive.
Stress Reduction: Microdosing has shown promise in reducing stress and anxiety, helping individuals maintain a calm and composed demeanor at work.
Enhanced Creativity: Some microdosers report increased creativity, problem-solving abilities, and out-of-the-box thinking, which can be valuable in creative or innovative roles.
Full Doses: Exploring Psychedelic Experiences
Full doses of psychedelic substances, such as psilocybin, are an entirely different realm. While microdosing aims for subtle effects, full doses can lead to profound psychedelic experiences. While taking a full dose of magic mushrooms may not be something your average boss would consider, there is a growing interest in its potential benefits, even in the workplace:
Creativity and Innovation: A full psychedelic experience can open the doors of perception, leading to enhanced creativity and innovation. Some believe that under the influence of psychedelics, they can see problems and solutions from entirely new angles.
Personal Growth: Psychedelics may offer individuals a greater sense of purpose and connection, not only in their personal lives but also in their professional pursuits. Insights gained during a psychedelic experience can lead to transformative personal growth, which may positively impact one's career.
A final word
In a world where the demands of work can sometimes feel relentless, the Workplace Shroom Boom offers an intriguing array of possibilities. Functional mushrooms like Lion's Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi are stepping into the limelight, promoting cognitive clarity, sustainable energy, and stress reduction. They're becoming an integral part of the daily rituals of professionals striving to excel in their careers while safeguarding their well-being.
Microdosing, with its potential to subtly enhance focus, reduce stress, and spark creativity, provides an alternative avenue for those who wish to optimize their workplace performance. Yet, it comes with a set of complexities that require careful consideration and responsible use.
For those seeking profound personal growth, full doses of psychedelic substances, like psilocybin, have the potential to open new doors of perception, fuel creativity and innovation, and foster a deeper sense of purpose in both personal and professional lives.
As the Shroom Boom unfolds in the workplace, it's crucial to strike a balance between exploring these possibilities and respecting the boundaries of legality and ethics. The journey into the world of workplace mushrooms is a personal one, and should always be approached with informed decisions, and a commitment to safety and responsible use. Whether you're sipping a Lion's Mane coffee, considering microdosing for enhanced productivity, or exploring the realm of full doses, the Workplace Shroom Boom is a phenomenon to watch, adapt, and explore on your own terms. Your journey begins here, in the ever-evolving landscape of work and well-being.
Red light therapy- the next wellness scam?
Have you bought a red light face mask yet?
In the ever-evolving world of wellness trends, it can be challenging to separate the genuinely beneficial from the overhyped fads. One such trend that's gained attention in recent years is red light therapy. But is it the real deal, or just another wellness scam? In this article, we'll delve into the world of red light therapy and answer the most frequently asked questions.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation or low-level laser therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-level red and near-infrared light to stimulate the body's natural healing processes. The treatment involves exposing the skin and body to these specific wavelengths of light, which are believed to penetrate the skin and have a range of potential benefits.
How does red light therapy work?
Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation or low-level laser therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light to stimulate the body's natural healing processes. These wavelengths typically range from about 630 to 850 nanometers. This therapeutic light penetrates the skin's surface and is absorbed by the cells in the body.
At the cellular level, the energy from red and near-infrared light interacts with mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. This interaction is believed to enhance the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule responsible for storing and transferring energy within cells. As a result, the cells become more efficient and productive, promoting various therapeutic effects.
Do Red Light Therapy Masks Actually Work?
The effectiveness of red light therapy depends on various factors, including the quality of the device and how consistently it's used. Studies suggest that red light therapy may have potential benefits, but results can vary among individuals. Always look for brands that are transparent and offer certifications.
What Does Red Light Therapy Do for Your Face?
Red light therapy for the face is believed to stimulate collagen production, reduce wrinkles, and improve skin texture. Many users report smoother and more youthful-looking skin with regular use.
What Are the Disadvantages of LED Face Masks?
Possible disadvantages of LED face masks include potential side effects like skin irritation or discomfort. It's essential to follow manufacturer instructions and consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns.
Can I Use a Red Light Mask Every Day?
The frequency of red light therapy use depends on the device and the individual's goals. Some people use it daily, while others opt for a few times a week. It's crucial to follow the recommended guidelines for your specific device.
How Long Does It Take to See Results from a Red Light Therapy?
Results can vary, but some users report seeing improvements in their skin within a few weeks of regular use. Patience is key, as it may take time to notice significant changes.
Who Should Not Use Red Light Therapy?
While red light therapy is generally considered safe, certain medical conditions and medications may be contraindications. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns.
What Not to Do After Red Light Therapy?
After a red light therapy session, it's advisable to avoid excessive sun exposure and to follow any post-treatment care instructions provided by the device's manufacturer.
Does Red Light Make You Sleepy?
Red light therapy is not known to induce sleepiness; in fact, some users report increased alertness and energy after sessions.
While red light therapy shows promise in various wellness areas, it's essential to approach it with realistic expectations and consider consulting with professionals when in doubt. As with any wellness trend, results can vary among individuals, so what works for one person may not work the same way for another. The key is to make informed choices and prioritize your health and well-being.
The Ivy League Turns to Psychedelics (for the Second Time)
This month Harvard received a 16 million USD donation to start a psychedelic course.
“This is a visionary gift, in that it is the first to take the so-called psychedelic renaissance beyond medicine, by recognizing the importance of the humanities in exploring the impact and potential of these remarkable substances” commented Michael Pollan, critically acclaimed author of ‘This is your mind on plants’.
In a resurgence that feels both like a revival and a reckoning, the Ivy League institutions are stepping into the realm of psychedelics research and education once again.
It all started with Johns Hopkins University, a pioneer in the field of psychedelic research, whose groundbreaking work laid the foundation for what is now commonly referred to as the "psychedelic renaissance." Their research demonstrated the potential therapeutic benefits of substances like psilocybin, offering hope for conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
However, as the psychedelic era of the 1960s and 70s taught us, there were missteps, cultural appropriation, and societal tensions. The legacy of the counterculture movement left an indelible mark on the way we perceive psychedelics.
Now, Harvard University is making waves in the academic world by investing a staggering $16 million in the creation of a new course focused on psychedelics in society and culture. This substantial financial commitment is a testament to the growing interest in the field and the recognition that past mistakes must be learned from. The move to study psychedelics in their broader sociocultural context could also be seen as an attempt to avoid cultural appropriation and handle the topic with the sensitivity and depth it deserves.
These initiatives by prestigious institutions like Harvard are further bolstering the current psychedelic renaissance. They not only signify the acceptance of psychedelics as a legitimate field of study but also a collective effort to ensure that history does not repeat itself. The lessons from the past remind us of the importance of responsible research, cultural awareness, and ethical treatment of these substances.
To add to this, recent findings show that a growing number of psychiatrists and researchers view psychedelics, particularly psilocybin, as a promising avenue for mental health treatment. The evidence from clinical trials is compelling, and many in the medical field now advocate for the responsible and regulated use of these substances
As we navigate this renaissance of psychedelics, we find ourselves at a critical juncture. Are we witnessing the last psychedelic renaissance, marked by scientific rigor, cultural sensitivity, and a commitment to learning from the past? Only time will tell. In the meantime, Ivy League schools are taking a leading role in shaping this evolving narrative.
4 times mycelium has been used for bizarre reasons
Take a glance down at your feet. Can you imagine the world's largest living organism is under them? (or under your couch).
Mycelium- the root system of fungi is often overlooked but it is a remarkably versatile organism. While looking after our mushie friends is its main task, its resilient and truly unique properties has put it in the center of solutions to some human and environmental dilemmas. From cleaning up environmental disasters to planning subway routes, mycelium has emerged as a natural hero. Let's take a look at 5 of these hero moments;
Environment cleaning (bioremediation to be precise)
As Merlin Sheldrake described in his New York Times best selling novel; fungi and their mycellium can be trained to eat cigarette butts, used diapers, oil spills and shockingly even radiation itself. For example, mycelium has been deployed to help clean up oil spills because it has a natural ability to break down hydrocarbons which allows it to absorb and digest pollutants- turning oil-soaked soil into fertile ground once again.
Mycelium Maps the Subway: In a world first in urban planning, a group of innovative researchers made an experiment that sought to harness the intelligence of mycelium to improve the efficiency of Tokyo's subway system.
The idea was as unorthodox as it was brilliant: Researchers constructed a scaled-down model of Tokyo's subway system. Within this miniature metropolis, they introduced a living network of fungal mycelium. The mycelium, with its inherent ability to explore, adapt, and evolve, was allowed to expand within the confines of this synthetic urban landscape.
As the mycelium grew, a peculiar phenomenon unfolded. Its branching patterns, guided solely by the principles of resource optimization and efficiency, began to mimic the layout of an ideal subway system. The network's growth showed remarkable similarities to Tokyo's actual subway routes, highlighting efficient connections, well-placed hubs, and the optimization of passenger flow.
This unconventional approach challenges the traditional paradigms of city planning. The research team's bold experiment underscores the adaptability and problem-solving prowess of mycelium, raising intriguing questions about the potential for integrating nature's wisdom into our urban landscapes. Could mycelium, with its ability to navigate complex, dynamic systems, provide novel insights for designing more efficient, eco-friendly, and sustainable cities?
Fungal Fashion: Mycelium is being utilized in the world of fashion as a sustainable alternative to leather and synthetic materials. Mycelium-based "mushroom leather" can be grown into various shapes, making it a versatile material for creating clothing, accessories, and even footwear. This innovative use of mycelium promotes eco-friendly and cruelty-free fashion.
Mycelium bricks have become a unique building material, offering an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional construction materials. These bioengineered bricks are lightweight, sturdy, and biodegradable. They can be used for creating structures ranging from artistic installations to sustainable housing.
For example, a building called “Hy-Fi” (right) was constructed with 10,000 mycelium bricks, this impressive structure towers 12m tall.
For some more explanation check out this interview with a leading research team on mycelium growing form MIT.
Wellness figures to watch
This month we went to the Biohacker Summit in Amsterdam. It was two days full of inspiring speakers and the latest wellness innovations. Below you'll find the innovators and disruptors we are keeping our eyes on!
Brand Spotlight: Mantle
In the ever-evolving world of skincare, innovation and quality often set the true luminaries apart. Mantle, a dynamic and award-winning brand based in Sweden, is gaining well-deserved recognition for its groundbreaking approach to skincare. As part of our "Brand Spotlight" series, let's explore the journey of Mantle and how they're transforming skincare
A Visionary Journey Begins
Mantle, was born from a visionary collaboration between Josefin, a tech trailblazer with a knack for innovation, and Stina, an expert in branding. Their paths converged when both shared a common desire – to revolutionize skincare without judgments and ageism. This shared vision led to the creation of Mantle, a brand that redefines the beauty landscape.
In an industry often preoccupied with imperfections and rejuvenation, Mantle takes a different path. They've built a brand that believes in elevating your skin, encouraging self-expression, and respecting your right to age gracefully.
The Power of Innovation
What sets Mantle apart is its relentless pursuit of innovation. They've rapidly achieved gold standard status among skincare enthusiasts, thanks to their award-winning formulas developed in their own Swedish laboratory. These formulas incorporate a wide range of innovative, biomimetic ingredients, effectively transforming skin on a cellular level.
The approach isn't just about superficial results – it's about strengthening the skin barrier and delivering maximal results with minimal irritation. Their versatile, multi-functional formulas make it easy to find a routine that truly elevates your skin, allowing you to mix, match, and adapt according to your unique needs.
Elevated by Cannabis
At the heart of Mantle's transformative skincare is the remarkable cannabis extract, CBD. They use only the finest organic, broad-spectrum CBD. Cultivated on a small-scale Swiss farm, the cannabis leaves are sun-grown and hand-picked during a precise annual three-day window when the CBD reaches its peak potential. This raw CBD elixir is extracted using state-of-the-art CO2 techniques, preserving all the valuable nutrients.
Discover the Mantle experience and see the transformative power of their products for yourself. Your skin will thank you.