Do entheogen-induced mystical experiences boost the immune system? Psychedelics, peak experiences, and wellness

Adv Mind Body Med. Spring 1999;15(2):139-47. doi: 10.1054/ambm.1999.0069.

Abstract

Daily events that boost the immune system (as indicated by levels of salivary immunoglobulin A), some instances of spontaneous remission, and mystical experiences seem to share a similar cluster of thoughts, feelings, moods, perceptions, and behaviors. Entheogens--psychedelic drugs used in a religious context--can also produce mystical experiences (peak experiences, states of unitive consciousness, intense primary religious experiences) with the same cluster of effects. When this happens, is it also possible that such entheogen-induced mystical experiences strengthen the immune system? Might spontaneous remissions occur more frequently under such conditions? This article advances the so called "Emxis hypothesis"--that entheogen-induced mystical experiences influence the immune system.

MeSH terms

  • Ego
  • Hallucinogens*
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Mysticism
  • Neuroimmunomodulation
  • Psychoneuroimmunology*
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Saliva / immunology

Substances

  • Hallucinogens
  • Immunoglobulin G