So after months of researching this bizarre ritual, you have finally decided to take the leap and sign up for your first kambo session. You have read about the good, the bad and the ugly. You’ve watched videos on youtube, and it still didn’t scare you off. You’re committed to your path of growth, healing and expansion. Why else would anyone subject themselves to the nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that kambo induces?
While kambo in itself is a powerful substance, most of the transformation happens because the individual has worked hard and created intentions around their healing process. You are much more likely to get beneficial results if you actively participate in your kambo experience and do the work that is required for personal growth to occur. Kambo is often an uncomfortable experience. Going through such an intense process is only worth it if you get something positive out of the experience. Here are some crucial tips to help you get the most benefit out of your kambo sessions
- 1 Preparation
- 2 Kambo Integration: How to get lasting changes out of your kambo ceremony
- 3 Creating your own success
- 4 About the Author
Preparation is important for a couple of reasons. One, it helps make sure you are physically prepared and able to participate in a kambo ceremony safely. Two, coming into a kambo experience with clear intentions can allow you to be more engaged during the experience and be more productive in achieving your goal.
Select a practitioner
Choosing the right practitioner for you is the first and most important step of moving forward with your kambo ceremony. There are many different styles of ceremonies and practitioners experience. Having a practitioner who’s style is the right fit for you could make or break the experience for you. Make sure you your practitioner is qualified to serve and can create a safe experience for you.
Set an intention
Setting an intention is fundamental to structuring your relationship to your kambo experience. If you are not sure why you want to do kambo, you might want to re-evaluate if it’s worth putting yourself through such a difficult process. Reasons such as curiosity, or exploration are completely acceptable to have as intentions. Just make sure that you are clear on why you want to do kambo, even if it is non-specific and broad. This will help your experience feel more meaningful and will guide you directly to whatever answers you are seeking.
It is important to be fasted for at least 8 hours before your kambo session. This means no food, medications or supplements. Only water is permitted, preferably with electrolytes. If fasting is difficult for the individual because of blood sugar reasons, they can drink some coconut water or herbal tea with honey in it. People with unstable blood sugar should consider doing their kambo session first thing in the morning to make it easier. After the session is over, you can eat food as usual.
If you are on an extended fast that is more than 20 hours, it is advised not to do kambo. Fasting for long periods can result in electrolyte imbalances which can increase the risk of hyponatremia from water consumption. Hyponatremia is a potentially fatal condition in which electrolyte imbalances caused by excessive water intake causes cells to swell with water. You should be sure to have normal eating for 3 days leading up to your kambo experience. Kambo requires strength and resources to push through, and it is not a good idea to do when in a depleted or weak state.
Medications and supplements
Usually your practitioner will ask you to abstain from medications and supplements for at least 8 hours prior to your session, so that they are not vomited out during your ceremony. Be sure to discuss your medications and supplements with your practitioner. Depending on the medication, your practitioner may advise you to continue your medication or stop for multiple days before the session.
While there is no traditional diet or “dieta’ like one would typically practice before an ayahuasca ceremony, it is still a good idea to eat clean leading up to your session. Eating lots of whole foods like organic vegetables and fruit is good to make sure you are properly nourished for the experience. It is important NOT to avoid salt before your kambo session. Let yourself indulge in mineral-rich sea salt to make sure you have the proper electrolytes. Avoid saunas or sweat lodges for 2 days before your session to make sure you do not have electrolyte deficiency.
Similar to the importance of eating clean before your session, having a nourishing and healthy diet after your experience can really support your mind and body. After kambo, most people have some sort of detox process where they may feel sluggish and emotionally prickly. Eating healthy whole foods supports your body’s detoxification and reduces any additional toxic burden. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, dairy, sugar, and processed foods allows your body to re-establish a new, healthier baseline. Post-kambo is also a great time to implement new eating habits and letting go of foods or vices that aren’t serving your highest good.
Kambo Integration: How to get lasting changes out of your kambo ceremony
Integration is the most important part of the kambo experience. Without incorporating the lessons and insights you gain from Kambo, the experience is useless. Kambo is a fascinating experience because the downloads, insights and shifts tend to come in the days and weeks after the actual ordeal. It’s very much like a lotus flower, slowly unfolding and revealing more and more gifts over time. While some people might get immediate insight during their experience, most of the clarity comes in the weeks following.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be an effective way to process whatever the kambo has brought up for you. Journaling is a great tool for self-reflection and to allow a stream of consciousness to be witnessed on paper and expressed. It can also be helpful to go back and read your journal entries later down the road to be reminded of what you gained from the experience.
It’s important to have social support and access to trusted friends that you can share your experience with, in case difficult emotions or thoughts come up. Having a loved one who can listen and provide feedback may help you process the experience and extract more benefit from it. If you are dealing with trauma or psychological distress, it may be wise to have a kambo-friendly therapist to work with, or perhaps a life coach that can guide you through integrating your kambo session.
Being honest with ourselves
Sometimes kambo can show us the cold, hard truth that we may have been hiding from ourselves. It can bring up old emotions that we have been trying to protect ourselves from. It may bring clarity to situations, jobs, or relationships that we have been in denial of. It is important that if you are going to take kambo that you are prepared to be brutally honest with yourself. This means taking responsibility for how we feel and the consequences of accepting the truth. It is quite common for people to make radical life changes such as leaving their relationships, quitting their jobs, or even moving after a kambo experience.
Kambo can be quite disruptive and disorienting. It’s a bit like shaking a snowglobe and getting all of the snow “unstuck”. But while you’re waiting for the dust to settle again, you may feel a bit like a balloon floating through life. Grounding activities are very useful for providing you with an anchor when post-kambo days leave you feeling confused and chaotic. Putting your bare feet on the earth or in the ocean is a nice way to reconnect to the earth. Meditation, yoga, playing music, creating art, going on a walk are all great ways to help ground and secure yourself while the new you is being assembled.
Implementing changes in behavior after your kambo session is important for solidifying your intention. The days after kambo are the best time to create new habits and disrupt old ones. There is this plastic period following ambo where old patterning has been disrupted and you have a clean slate to change behavior. Initiate new habits immediately after your sessions, and be sure to continue to follow through with your commitment to new behaviors. Hold yourself accountable. Invite others to hold you accountable too. This is the best way to obtain lasting changes from your session.
Creating your own success
At the end of the day, the only person who can guarantee that you derive value out of the experience, is you. Being proactive in preparation and integration is your responsibility. The power of your intention and desire to change is what drives transformation. Kambo is not a cure-all, but a teacher. It helps you see where you are stuck, self sabotaging, or acting our old patterns that are no longer serving you. It helps you gain clarity on what is important and what no longer resonates with you. With this clarity, it is your choice in how you change your behavior and lifestyle. By applying your intention to prepare and integrate the kambo experience, you will receive many beautiful gifts long after your session has ended.
About the Author
Founder of Medicine Frog Kambo
Caitlin Thompson is an IAKP certified Kambo practitioner. She is the founder of Medicine Frog Kambo and works as an independent scientist researching Kambo and psychedelics compounds. Caitlin specializes in working with people with autoimmune conditions, lyme disease and other chronic illnesses. She is currently the principle investigator of several on-going independent Kambo studies through Western University. To learn more about Caitlin and her work, click here.