One common question that i get is: “Why do people vomit when they drink Ayahuasca?“
Let’s start with something that most people get wrong, and it’s that they think that trauma is a mental thing.
Most people dont know that trauma is first a physiological happening before it becomes a psychological one, a lot of people think: “Oh, i reacted that way because my dad hit me when i was a child/This remind me of my ex-girlfriend/husband.“
There’s different things that we all suffer from, when we find ourselves in environments, places, situations or with emotions that feel very familiar to that we tend to lose all consciousness and activate our fight/flight response.
We react, we close down, and it has many negative impacts in our life, if you want to love and you’re projecting your last partner into your new one then that’s all that you’re gonna see.
If somebody said “No.” when you were a child and you had a hard time about it then maybe receiving a no from someone or expressing no to somebody is going to a difficult scenario.
The essential thing here to realize is that when something happens, our reaction is instinctual, compulsive, when i meet a woman and she tells me something that reminds of a bad experience in the past…
I don’t just sit there and listen to what she’s saying, thinking “Oh, this reminds me of that woman, okay, now i’m upset.” Theres no thought process.
It’s something that happens by impulse, compulsion, we act and react, afterwards maybe we feel a little bit of shame or guilt, we realize that we’re doing the same thing, getting angry, explosive.
I’m not stating my boundaries, or maybe i’m stating them by closing off completely.
Trauma is physiological because this is a reaction from the body, in those moments, your body is trying to keep you safe, so it just pulls you away or tries to take you and your attention away from that situation and from that moment it’s physiological.
Because, and this is overly simplified – but for the sake of brevity.
When we’re children, we’re going into our fight/flight response when something happens.
The issue here is that in nature, anytime that an animal is threatened, any time that an animal faces a predator, they go into the same fight/flight response.
But in nature the animal either fight/flights, when you’re going to a feeling of shock that is your body and your adrenal response producing a lot of hormones and substances inside your body.
A lot of chemistry that will have you run faster than you would fight, have more stamina, like being in steroids for a few minutes, you have excess resources in your system to fighr or run away.
When you’re a child you can’t fight your parents/uncle, so, what are you gonna do? grab a doll and just live by yourself when you’re six years old? no, we’re faced with a dilemma.
I can’t fight and i can’t flight, so we freeze, the issue here is that as we freeze those excess resources that were meant for us to fight/flight don’t get used and these are very toxic for the body, so they get stored.
Maybe you wanted to yell back, suddenly it gets stored in your throat, maybe your power was taken away and then stored in your stomach, your anger was dismissed, maybe you went to give love or you wanted to receive love in that moment but the whole thing got messed up, then your heart closed off.
Trauma is a physiological thing that is happening, it is literally like excess, toxic chemistry that was never released from your system.
This is why you can think as positively as much as you want, but there are some areas in your life where you’ll breathe and do yoga, think positively, then a situation comes and you’ll fall all the same.
Fall for the same kind of people, get drawn to the same kind of toxicity, you ask yourself “Why? If i’m doing all of this then why am i having struggles in love, why is my health like this? Why can’t i draw a boundary? Why do i have blockages around money?“
Because it’s physiological, you’re trying to work at it from your mind, you’re trying to put out fire with fire, in a sense.
Ayahuasca goes to the root of it, first, phyisiologically, there are things that get very tense when you face trauma, difficult situations, patterns like these that bring closure into your body, to your energy, your heart, into your life in general.
So, people vomit because, those who have done Ayahuasca understand this, the plant starts showing you first, the feeling, the emotion.
Where is it? Near your throat, near your heart, it’s in your stomach – you start having a vision of this sometimes black gooey ball of energy/stuff, it literally asks you if you’re paying enough attention.
Are you ready to let this go? It never forces you, it’s very delicate in that way, but it’s with you, if you accept the call, you start feeling literally how parts of your body and muscles start compressing.
You’re helping that process and you can see how this fluid that is on your vision starts moving upwards, and upwards, usually, when it’s at the space of the throat about to come out, you have a vision.
In this vision you see where it came from, you realize what it is that you’re about to let go of, if you so choose. Suddenly, you start reliving the situation that caused the trauma but from a third point of view.
You can see yourself, you can see the person that abused you, that hurt you with compassion, with equanimity and with wisdom.
You’re not re-traumatizing yourself, but you’re now understanding in a deeper way what happened (with consciousness) in that space, you have a chance to forgive that person, to forgive yourself, if you choose to do so.
And you can choose not to, but if you choose not to you will start feeling more and more sick and sicker, you literally realize you’ll be conscious of what that is that you’re doing to your body by not letting go.
But if you decide to let go because you truly forgive them from your heart/forgive yourself, then you start vomiting.
For some people the vision happens in the bucket as they grab it, you’re vomiting, suddenly the liquid starts taking shapes, your imagination in your vision, you start seeing like a movie playing there.
As you’re vomiting you see what your parents did to you, what your previous partner did, so the vomiting is a cleansing, it’s a release because once it’s our of our body…
Then the compulsion, the reaction and all the ways that we have built in our life to try to avoid feeling are gone.
People who have addictions whether that’s money, drugs, sex, video games…
They’re running away from a sense of uneasiness within themselves, within their own bodies, and it’s because their body is just like a dirty house.
There’s stuff that needs to be cleaned up – of course nobody wants to come home to a dirty house, if they come then they’d just want to lock the door and drink to forget, watch movies, be entertained in social media.
The idea here is that we get to take a glimpse of that and release it, clean it.
Because once we clean it, then our home feels very welcoming, suddenly i don’t feel so drawn to eating/drinking all day long, maybe doing things for money that i normally would.
Sacrificing what’s important for me just for approval, resources, comfort.
Those are things are not ever solved by forcing yourself out of them, but by understanding what it is within you that caused them, that’s usually at the essence, a physiological thing that got stuck in your body that Ayahuasca helps you release.
You vomit it out mentally, you understand and emotionally you feel the closure, you feel the love, the forgiveness, this is the beauty of this kind of healing, this is also why sometimes you will fast for a long time.
Your stomach is empty, you’re hungry, you drink Ayahuasca and that day you vomit half a bucket of really weird stuff, you wonder: “Where did it come from? I didn’t drink that much medicine/water…“
Well, there’s stuff that has been stagnant in your system, this is why vomiting is a part of ceremony, purging, releasing.
Now, there’s a distinction to be made: Vomiting sometimes happens because Ayahuasca was NOT cooked properly, some Shamans (some good, some bad) are a little bit lazy, they’re also human, like us.
They don’t peel the vine, they don’t remove the outer layer that trees have before they cook it, they just smash it and throw it all into the pot with the water and leaf.
The issue is that this layer has a lot of dirt, fungi, bacteria that goes into the medicine, this will make you feel sick and will make you feel like vomiting.
But it’s more of a vomit out of poisoning than out of purging, some Shamans will tell you it was all purging, when you just felt pretty sick all night long.
It’s usually because they cut corners and they didn’t cook the medicine in the cleanast way.
One is a medicine that has been cooked in a very, very clean way, the purging is maybe 2-3 times, sometimes not even once per night, but every time that you vomit it is very clear what it is that you’re releasing.
It is not by accident, it is not random, it is not because you’re sick, there’s a clear intention and direction of it.
If you feel the calling to sit with Ayahuasca, in a container held by Colombian shamans at a sacred temple in the middle of the mountain forests please go to: https://ayahuascacolombia.com/retreats