Kerry Rhodes joins a growing list of athletes looking to psychedelic substances for healing brain trauma.
Actor and former New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes speaks with talk show host Tamron Hall today about his experience with ayahuasca and how the psychedelic brew helped heal him from brain trauma suffered from years of playing football.
Two producer friends convinced Rhodes to try ayahuasca. He says he was skeptical at first to travel to the Amazon and participate in an ayahuasca ceremony. But during his research on the psychedelic, he discovered that ayahuasca could have healing effects on the brain as well.
Rhodes, like many former professional football players, was worried about chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head that affects many athletes in contact sports. CTE is usually diagnosed posthumously during an autopsy. But the condition runs a course similar to dementia with symptoms including memory loss, mood swings, depression, and suicidality. Rhodes wasn’t experiencing any symptoms, but he lived in fear he could develop the disease.
But it wasn’t football or concussions that resonated with him during his first two ayahuasca ceremonies. The medicine brought him back to when he was a baby, crying out but no one coming to console him. The experience taught him that he could comfort himself and love himself.
This isn’t the first time that Rhodes has spoken publicly about his experience with ayahuasca. He also shared his story in The Medicine, a documentary about Amazonian shamanism and ayahuasca ceremony.
Ayahuasca is a brew made from the leaves of two shrubs indigenous to South America. It contains the active ingredients DMT (dimethyltryptamine) and MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor). When combined and consumed, these two ingredients create an altered state of awareness that can include hallucinations and a sense of euphoria during which many people experience emotional healing.
Rhodes joins a growing list of athletes who've turned to psychedelics in order to help treat their brain injuries and related issues.