This morning, I had a horrible nightmare which generated a bit of empathy for a few memorable patients who decided to stop TA-65 or RECHARGE after a few nights. This blog will discuss the nature of dreams while taking adaptogens and how to use them to your advantage.
I was doing a routing cesarean section and had just delivered the newborn. I suctioned the mouth with the soft green bulb and got back blood. When I suctioned that out, more bleeding. When I reached in, half the tongue fell off and the bleeding became more profuse. In the next 10 seconds of dream time, this is what I experienced: I called for a stat page of the neonatologist and pediatric surgeon. I put pressure on the tongue and took the tongue fragment and called for something to soak/preserve it in. I wondered if it would sound weird to have someone Google “tongue reattachment success in newborn”. And I worried about how to explain what was going on to the parents who were overhearing what was happening.
When I abruptly awoke, I was so engaged emotionally that I briefly considered reentering the dream to help the baby. Then I realized that was crazy and I should just be grateful that it was ‘only a dream.’
How do we use this dreaming heuristic to our benefit? When we take adaptogens like RECHARGE or TA-65, there is a real-time augmentation of the ‘realness’ of the dream qualia (or subjective states of consciousness). This vivid dreaming is the most reliable objective, yet subjective sign of absorption and efficacy and it occurs in about 90% of people taking an adequate dose. Watch this podcast to understand more:
I regret that those stressed-out folks didn’t continue a little longer because in my experience the nightmares created by pent-up anxiety subsides as the flow of the shadow self and subconscious fears improves. After two weeks of waking up emotionally-tired but physically-rested, patients often report a shift from horror (a genre where the protagonist is the monster) to psychological thriller (where the dreamer becomes the protagonist and problem-solver ).
The nightmares we experience are the incarnation of ‘monsters from the Id’, as the movie “Forbidden Planet” showed us. You may know the plot was based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In this case, Dr. Morbius (or Prospero) should have realized it was natural for Altaira (or Miranda) to be attracted to the new space men.
MIRANDA: O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!
[subconscious subtext: oh la la! These guys are dreamy]
PROSPERO: ‘Tis new to thee.
[subsconscious subtext: they only want one thing and I’ll not allow it]
“stay away from my little girl!”
This adaptogenically-enhanced “Lokahi”, or balancing flow of repressed neurosis, will eventually reset the mind/spirit/body to a better state but like a fever, it takes time to break. Bad feelings, anxieties, nightmares – they all serve a purpose. To minimize the frequency and severity of these catharses, focus on happy, abundant, and grateful thoughts before sleep. And it wouldn’t hurt to kiss the person next to you and tell them you love them.
The good news is that people who are already happy, joyful, and living fully often report wonderful dreams and that are so immersive that it is “like you’re in it”.
Whether or not you are having turbo-charged dreams or not, remember, thoughts are things and the last thought you have before sleep is like choosing which theater in the multiplex you are going to enter. So choose wisely because you really do incubate those dreams, which then hatch into new beliefs flying in the aviary of your psyche.