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The Truth About Psychedelics and Mental Health with Dr. Pablo Rodriguez

Today I have a jam-packed episode of the Harmony with Food Radio show for you! First, I talked about constipation and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, then I interviewed Dr. Pablo Rodriguez about preventative physical therapy and his experience with psychedelic therapy.

SIBO & Constipation

The definition of constipation is going 72 hours without having a bowel movement. Constipation can cause so many more problems than you probably realize. It can affect your social life and your work life.

When you are making certain food choices and not getting the right nutrients you need, food starts literally piling up in your small intestine, and you may see that your weight is going up too.

When this happens, you wind up with something called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). This is when bacteria that produce either hydrogen or methane gases (or both) that are normally present in the large intestine become present in the small intestine.

When these bacteria become overgrown in the small intestine, they can cause all sorts of problems that can lead to constipation, including:

  • Poor Hydrochloric Acid Production - when you don't have enough stomach acid, you can't properly break down and digest your food.

  • Reduced Pancreatic Enzyme Production

  • Sluggish GI Tract (AKA peristalsis)

  • Intestinal neuropathy

  • Diverticulitis

  • Failure of the sphincter and bowel function

Finding the Root Cause of Constipation

There are a number of potential causes of constipation, including:

  • Intolerances to certain foods such as gluten or food additives

  • Fat malabsorption

  • Lack of digestive enzymes

  • Low hydrochloric or bile acid production

Gut Testing

The testing I offer in the Bio Unique Boutique, especially the Gut Zoomer and Food Intolerance tests, can help us get to the bottom of what is causing your constipation.

Interview with Pablo Rodriguez, DPT

Dr. Pablo Rodriguez works at Bay State Physical Therapy and earned his bachelor's in rehab science and doctor of physical therapy from Northeastern University in 2014. He currently works as a physical therapy provider in Providence, has been practicing for over 8 years, and specializes in "mystery" cases.

Physical Therapy Referrals

The first thing I wanted to talk to Dr. Rodriguez about was getting a referral to physical therapy because I feel like many people don't realize that if you have a PPO, you don't need a referral to see a physical therapist or a registered dietician. Dr. Rodriguez did say that if you have an HMO plan you'll need a referral, and a lot of times you'll need insurance approval for treatment, but that's something they can handle on the backend with your doctor.

Physical Therapy for Headaches and Migraines

Did you know physical therapy can help with migraines and headaches? A lot of times, these stem from actual neck problems. Dr. Rodriguez uses various subjective reporting combined with manual palpation and questioning to find out the exact cause of headaches.

Headaches can come from a lot of different areas and can be anything from dehydration and sinus pressure to they were in a car accident a few years ago and their neck pain was never resolved.

Psychedelic Therapy

Pablo's Experience

When he was going through a major depressive episode a few years back, Dr. Rodriguez got interested in psychedelic therapy and booked an ayahuasca retreat. He said it was a three-day retreat where they did three different ayahuasca ceremonies. Through different visions, he was able to realize what was causing his depression at the time and then address it.

The Use of Psychedelic Therapy

Right now, there's been a lot of research into psychedelics for treating depression and addiction. Psilocybin, aka "magic mushrooms," have been shown to treat addiction, anxiety, and depression. The thought behind it is that psychedelics allow you to eliminate your ego. So, you no longer have a voice in your head saying, "oh, I'm not the one that's going to get sick. I'm not the one that's going to get cancer from smoking cigarettes." It makes you see all the things you've been doing and seeing and experiencing.

Are psychedelics addictive?

Psychedelics aren't chemically addictive in the way that alcohol or nicotine is, but people can get addicted to the experience. There's especially a risk in people who are using them when they are already suffering.

Because of this, one big thing the community talks about is set and setting. You want to make sure that if you're going through one of these experiences you're in a retreat center or something similar, so it is more of a healing experience than a recreational experience.

Considerations Before Trying Psychedelics

If you aren't doing psychedelics in a safe setting, you can run into issues of having a bad trip, which can be upsetting because you are panicking the whole time and experiencing bad things. You need to have a good mindset and be ready for the experience, and preferably have a professional decide if this is right for you.

Also, most psychedelics are illegal in the US right now, though some states have decriminalized psilocybin. So, make sure you are using it with some kind of professional, and if you're doing a retreat, make sure you are using a reputable group.

Since psychedelics are becoming more popular, a lot of people have been creating less controlled groups where they have people use these drugs without taking the appropriate precautions beforehand.

Contact Dr. Pablo Rodriguez

If you're interested in working with Dr. Rodriguez, you can reach him at or call him at his office number - (401) 490-9780.

He works for Bay State Physical Therapy in Providence, RI located at the Jewish Community center.

Radio Show Transcript

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