AMERICAN CENTER FOR THE INTEGRATION OF SPIRITUALLY TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCES

Breakout Session: Cynthia Husted, PhD

The Biopsychology of Spiritual Emergence

Abstract

My personal journey of transformation began with a black widow spider bite and the resulting near-death experience from a rare response to its venom. Instead of Western medicine, I turned to Tibetan Medicine and a combination of prayer, focused intention and meditation. The dream world opened with lucid dreaming, and the death world opened with visions of others passing. Dreams, meditation and hypnotherapy brought visions of my microscopic body and imbalances that were later confirmed with functional labs and helped save my life. My dreams presaged events in my life and brought spiritual teachings and my primary focus since has been spiritual. I also became board certified in Functional Medicine to assist my physical self, and it helped with the integration of my emotional and spiritual wellbeing. A spiritually transformative experience is defined as a transcendent experience inexplicable by materialist science, that is associated with characteristic changes in knowledge, behavior and personality. From the perspective of Functional Medicine, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing are at the center of a matrix of seven interacting physiological systems, and one cannot separate the material world or physical being from one’s emotions and spiritual self. It is the same for Tibetan Medicine; the whole of biopsychology must be addressed. This presentation shares how addressing the physical body when managing a spiritually transformative experience is key to healing, and often a good first step so that the nervous system can better integrate the experience. Personalized approaches in Functional Tibetan Medicine will be discussed with a focus on the roles of epigenetics and the microbiome on neurotransmitters and hormones as they relate to spiritually transformative experiences.

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