Hope for Dystonia
BEFRIEND YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
My career requires me to run, jump and be physically active. When my dystonia symptoms got bad I thought I'd have to give it all up and no amount of PT was resolving it. Thanks to Federico I understood that it's all about the mind and how it uses the body. Now I have powerful tools to keep getting better and live my life.
Drew C., Anaheim, CA, USA
"I came to Federico quite by chance through a friend who knew my stories and told me about the vast knowledge that Federico had accumulated over the years trying to find a solution to the neurological problem he was suffering from and then helping others. I found him to be a person who knows exactly and understands your suffering, not one who looks and analyzes everything from the side. He's been through it and he gets it. Right away, he gave me the feeling that he is someone I can trust even though all the meetings are conducted remotely.
I started suffering from a severe problem about two years ago after a traumatic childbirth. A few months after the birth I started suffer from chronic constipation and pudendal neuralgia, and I could not control many of the muscles in my pelvic floor, and particularly the left side of the sphincter. Going to the bathroom was a nightmare.
I was going from doctor to doctor but could not get the right diagnosis or a solution to my problem. One of the neurologists I saw told me that my "left pudendal nerve is dead!". I was desperate and constantly crying, until I began working with Federico. So the first thing we did which really calmed me down to calm down, was to test the left pudendal nerve with vibration, and we found out that the nerve is not dead, but just "asleep"... sounds strange I know, but it meant there was hope!
From session to session we saw that this imbalance had spread to other parts of the body, like the left cheek that tended to be numb, the left leg and many other areas on the left side of the body; we also realized that there is also an imbalance between the front and back. Some muscles are completely hypotonic (they're "neurologically weak") and others are hypertonic (they spasm constantly). Also, my sympathetic nervous system contracts the muscles my body a lot because of stress and anxiety, and my parasympathetic system can't digest properly.
So... Federico guides me and gives me pelvic balance exercises and explains to me various techniques to balance out left and right, back and front. I should say, the process of awakening "dormant" nerves isn't always pleasant, but it works. He also teaches me how to balance my sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic nervous system so that I can digest better and have fewer spasms.
Results so far: I can now go to the bathroom every day, I can control the left side of the sphincter (although it still needs help to be "awakened" sometimes). I still have work to do but I finally feel like I understand my body more and I have a method to make things better!
I find myself eagerly awaiting the meetings with Federico and know that without him, I would be in a very, very bad place in life."
Galit S., Israel
"I have neck dystonia and dysphonia. With the method Federico taught me, the dysphonia improved significantly. I am also seeing improvements in my spasmodic torticollis - more stability and less shaking. I really like Federico's approach and value his patience. I always ask him a lot of questions and he always answers me and makes sure I understand our work together so I can be in charge, as he says. Federico uses a lot of small items to help with the healing, and I was very inspired by the many techniques he uses to balance the nervous system."
Ran W., China
"At Federico's core are empathy, compassion, and intelligence, which make people feel at ease around him and trusting of what he says. He has a sense of presence that has a gravity unto itself: I feel – and I know others do as well – inspired to follow his lead and be more present in the moment, whether in conversation with him or in a yoga or meditation session he’s leading."
Jeffrey C., United States
"A year ago, a dentist filed down the teeth on the left side of my mouth, which totally destabilized my bite. Beyond the consequences on TMJs, this caused a set of chain reactions, including a multitude of physical and neurological symptoms (dystonia among others), painful for the most part debilitating for some, affecting my motor skills and my nervous system as a whole... It was as if my brain was no longer able to make my body function properly, on all levels. The multiple attempts at rebalancing (wedges, gutters, orthotic) have at best failed, at worst further complicated the problem and generated other symptoms. I have consulted a large number of practitioners (dentists, orthodontist, maxillofacial surgeon, posturologists, rheumatologist, neurologist, podiatrist, osteopaths, physiotherapists, psychiatrist specializing in hypnosis, etc.). Although some have helped me, few have really listened, almost all have observed the problem through the prism of their only knowledge / area of expertise, none have experienced such trauma that is the total loss of occlusion for the brainstem.
In this context, I had the chance to meet Federico Petrelli a few months ago. I think he is one of the few people who can claim a deep understanding of the subject as a whole. Perhaps it is the fact that he himself suffered from these disorders for several years, in any case I noticed during our working sessions that his input is very relevant on all the points that we discuss.
While addressing the biomechanical aspects of my disorders, we work on neuroplasticity, in particular through the awakening of the cranial nerves, with the aim of creating new functioning patterns. This comprehensive re-education of the body, or rather of the way our brain communicates with our body, by reappropriating proprioception and balancing the nervous system is the method that gives me the most results, and therefore hope in the face of this ordeal. The psychological and energetic aspect also seems to me to play an important part in the healing process, as the trauma I suffered was so violent. Federico’s contribution on this aspect, via guided meditations involving different techniques, is extremely beneficial and effective, and seems essential to me."
François M., France
"Like Federico, I suffer from a disorder of the nervous system called dystonia, a serious health
problem that affects all aspects of my life (personal, professional, social ...) and of my person (physically and mentally). I started meditating when this disorder first appeared: several friends who meditate introduced me to some practices from both the Vipassana and Zen traditions. Until recently, I could see a psychological benefit after my meditation sessions, but that was dependent on the "quality" of my meditation, because often I could not really "fully" enter my meditation. I would say that in these regular situations I only came to a superficial meditative state. However, I had never participated in guided meditation sessions.
For several weeks, Federico has been guiding me in meditations that help me become more
aware of my nervous system, as well as the links between my emotions and the nervous
system’s health. Through instructions inspired by the traditions of Vipassana and Metta, Federico helps me to produce positive, visible and surprising changes in the functioning of my nervous system.
First of all, being guided by Federico's voice makes it much easier for me to enter a “deep”
meditative state (as opposed to the superficial meditative state), and, for the first time since I
began to practice meditation, I observed very clear physical changes, providing a feeling of
awakening on one side of my body, changing for the better the equilibrium in my body. I knew
that meditation could have very beneficial physiological effects, and I also knew that it was not necessary to practice meditation for a primary bodily purpose.
Be that as it may, I see that guided meditation in the work that we do with Federico allows me to explore a whole other aspect of meditation, a much deeper one, which has benefits on all levels. Even the hypnosis sessions that I practice regularly have not allowed me to achieve these effects.
Based on my work with Federico, I fully recommend it without hesitation."
Antoine L., France
Psilocybin for dystonia case report excerpts
I am a 34 year old man. I do not have a formal dystonia diagnosis. I never sought one out because it’s a useless pursuit, as I’m not interested in the available therapies that don’t address the root cause of the problem. I do, however, suffer from spasms in many different parts of my body. They are particularly strong in my head and neck, around my lower spine, pelvic area and inner legs. They are painful, and cause a myriad of other symptoms, including hyperacusis and strong intestinal dysmotility: I have a hard time having normal bowel movements because everything is so strongly contracted in my belly area. My symptoms are very debilitating. They prevent me from living a normal life, and have forced me to leave my career in music.
It all was unleashed in 2019 when a dentist shaved down (shortened) my teeth in order to, supposedly, help with the cervical pain I was suffering from at the time. A series of neuromuscular compensations started immediately thereafter, and I have tried to find my way back ever since.
I began microdosing while carefully working to balance my cranial nerves under the guidance of my health coach who, himself, made incredible progress with these techniques. I immediately noticed that I was much better able to feel the patterns of how my brain was inhabiting my body and how my occlusion was impacting the spasms. In other words, my interoception was immediately potentiated. I was also better able to feel what I could do to have access to the spasms and release them: change my occlusal balance with appliances and other tools, place my tongue differently, breathe differently, speak differently etc. I was thrilled!
I later safely and carefully explored somewhat higher doses, always with lots of preparation, integration and support. These experiences gave me access to my body in ways that just wouldn’t have been possible without the mushrooms. I could release spasms, awaken hypotonic pathways, and create new, more functional patterns in the body. All of this would be unthinkable with the existing tools of Western medicine. And I know what I am talking about as I have been around the block!
Another front on which the mushrooms greatly helped is the psychological one, and especially its somatic manifestations. When my life was suddenly upended by that dental intervention four years ago, I was confronted with lots of depression, anxiety and plain old grief. Much of this showed up as more tension in the body, lots of resistance, and catastrophic thinking. I wanted to resolve everything immediately, and whenever I was unable to do so, I would feel like a failure and become even more depressed.
During the mushroom trips I was able to realize that much of that thinking was, as my coach says, ‘real but not true’. I was able to soften more and more around these thoughts and avoid creating more tension for myself. I could, instead, welcome the pain and hold it compassionately. I was less afraid of the unknown, and I could accept the journey of healing in front of me. I could surrender more, all the while working hard on my recovery.
I was also able to reach the ‘blockages’ in the neuromuscular system where old trauma was stored, and I increasingly learned to release it. This embodied, psycho-emotional aspect of my healing continues to be of fundamental importance. I am now much more aware and lucid around the whole recovery project, and much less caught up in catastrophizing thought patterns. Here too, the guidance I received was precious.
It is important for me to emphasize that these experiences were always had with lots of support from my coach in terms of preparation and integration. None of this would have happened in this way without this support. Mushrooms simply cannot be taken casually and expect these results; what's more, one risks being retraumatized.
In conclusion, psilocybin mushrooms have been a fantastic tool of nervous system exploration for me, and have allowed me to reach states of neuromuscular homeostasis that would have otherwise been impossible. They have also helped me embark on an invaluable journey of psycho-emotional healing. The next steps for me now are to work on stabilizing the neuro-muscular progress I can accomplish with the mushrooms by further correcting my occlusion and cranial strains.