9:30am - 10:00pm
Track 3: Albrecht-Kossel Lecture room (Charité)
Can Psychedelics Improve Diet, Exercise, Meditation, and Weight Control?
Healthful behaviors such as maintaining a balanced diet, being physically active, and refraining from smoking have major impacts on the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other serious conditions. The burden of the so‐called “lifestyle diseases” ‐ in personal suffering, premature mortality, and public health costs ‐ is considerable. Consequently, interventions designed to promote healthy behaviors are increasingly being studied, e.g. using psychobiological models of behavioral regulation and change. In this talk, I will explore the notion that psychedelic substances could be used to assist in promoting positive lifestyle change conducive to good overall health. I will describe psychedelics’ proposed mechanisms of action and research findings pertinent to health behavior change science, hoping to generate discussion and new research hypotheses linking the two areas. Therapeutic models including psychedelic experiences and common behavior change methods ﴾e.g., CBT,Motivational Interviewing﴿ are already being tested for addiction and eating disorders. This research may soon be extended to help promote improved diet, exercise, nature exposure, and mindfulness / meditation practices, all of which can contribute to physical and psychological health and wellbeing.