HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR A MINI RETREAT / SOUND BATH?
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE EVENT?
- Wear layers and make sure you’re in comfy clothes
- A Yoga Mat to lay on which is worth ‘topping’ with a sleeping bag or blanket to make it extra thick
- Plenty of bolsters or cushions – your event is mainly laying down
- A blanket to go over you.
- A favourite Journal book and pen
(We will always have spare pens and paper if you need, but it is nicer to have your own journal).
- Reading glasses if you need them.
- Water bottle (there is tap water at the hall so we can refill for you as needed)
- For extra comfort you could bring a hot water bottle in winter months, or a wrapped ice-block in summer months
ARE THERE ANY CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR A SOUNDBATH OR CEREMONIAL CACAO?
SOUNDBATH CONTRADICTION INFORMATION:
CEREMONIAL CACAO CONTRADICTION INFORMATION:
Unless otherwise stated, our mini retreats include a ‘Cacao Blessing’, which offer a ‘high meditation’ dose of ceremonial grade cacao. This tends to be suitable for most participants (25-30g) – powerful enough to feel the bliss, yet should be gentle enough for most people to take without issues.
‘Cacao Ceremony’s’ can go up as high as 54g, and that level would be dangerous for you if on SSRI anti depressants due to the Tryptophan contained in the Cacao. Anyone already taking these should already be well informed of the dietary restrictions, though please do your own research or speak to a Doctor if you are concerned. ‘If’ we are offering a full Cacao Ceremony with your event, you MUST make us aware so we can prepare you a lower dose.
We have never had any issues with people on SSRI’s having a Cacao ‘Blessing’ (25g) with us, but are very happy to provide you either with an even lower dose, or to offer you Blue Lotus Tea instead. Blue Lotus is one of the highest vibrating plants on the planet; the tea is very palatable with the potential to help activate your 3rd eye Chakra, but will still give you the feeling of a sacred blessing ceremony
When attending a ‘full’ Cacao Ceremony (at 40g +), it is good practice to eat only a light meal and not for 2-3 hours before ceremony so that you can be best prepared for the Cacao to do its healing work. Wear lots of layers so that you can adapt to any temperature changes that may arise in you as you move, or lay down and the body adjusts to the Cacao.
We consider Cacao to be a powerful medicinal plant, and as such it is important to be mindful about how you use it in general (you may purchase pouches to take home from the event). If you have any current health concerns or are taking medications it is important to check that a ceremonial dose is not going to cause discomfort. Taking a ‘meditation’ or even ‘homeopathic’ dose still give you a wonderful feeling of bliss and has huge health benefits.
Anti-depressants: There has been some concern with larger doses of cacao and SSRI type anti-depressants due to the MAOI’s in cacao. Specifically, the tryptophan, a type of MAOI, which is a pre-cursor to serotonin has been cited by some as a ‘possible’ contraindication. The research about this interaction is minimal, but studies on both the amounts of tryptophan in chocolate and how that might cause ‘serotonin syndrome’ don’t indicate any problems
Serious heart conditions: Theobromine in cacao increases heart rate significantly and is a vasodilator, lowering blood pressure. If you have such a condition please inform us so we can give you a lower dose. Recent studies have shown Cacao to be ‘low’ in Tyramine, which is an amino acid that regulates blood pressure, so this is no longer thought to be a concern.
Pregnancy: Theobromine is a stimulant – it increases heart rate & lowers blood pressure. Some people advise avoiding it completely during pregnancy; others suggest a smaller dose. Cacao contains a tenth of the caffeine found in coffee so depending on your stance on coffee during pregnancy you may be ok with the smaller dose of cacao. Similarly, some people prefer to avoid all sources of theobromine & caffeine while they are breastfeeding. (In traditional Mayan communities, cacao is actually often given to mothers as a health tonic as it is so full of nutrients
We are happy to take into account any of these concerns and give you a lower dose – please do let us know in advance of a Cacao ceremony (cacao blessings already serve a medium dose which may already be fine for you, though please do your own research). We measure the cacao carefully and so will need to know in advance of a full ceremony so to keep your measurements in integrity