My name is Hidde. “In October 2018 I had a severe accident and broke the bottom vertebrae of my neck. The doctors at the hospital said if it was less than an inch closer to my spine I would probably be paralyzed, the chances of a full recovery would be very slim.
The following months of recovery I was advised to rest for at least 20 hours a day and had to wear a brace around my neck 24/7. After a month of Netflix and bombarding myself with mostly pessimistic thoughts, I started to lose all hope and became somewhat desperate: “Will the rest of my life looks like this..? Will I ever be able to go skiing or play sports again!? Will I still be able to have sex..?!!” Etcetera.
With no positive outlook on the future and not being able to work (as a massage therapist among several other jobs and projects), I was on my way slipping into what felt like a real depression.
Changing my perspective with Microdosing
Until the point where I remembered the story of one of my favourite inspirational lecturers and authors: Dr Joe Dispenza – who had successfully healed his own body after completely fracturing his spinal cord during a bicycle accident. By practising how to steer his mind, and in this way being able to positively influence his physiology and speeding up the healing process.
Re-reading his books and doing the meditations gave me some new hope and gradually made me feel less ‘down’, although it wasn’t until I started experimenting with “microdosing” i.e. taking very small amounts of psychedelics, that really boosted this process of changing my perspective and mood for the better.
In the next month, following a strict protocol of taking a microdose every three days, combined with meditation and journaling, I noticed great improvements, both mentally and physically. Instead of thinking and feeling like a victim, I felt more optimistic and was focussed on the possibilities in the future and my neck started feeling better and better as well.
I can still remember the look on the face of the doctor after the second check-up scan at the hospital two months after the diagnosis. He was clearly amazed by my healing process and told me my neck fracture improved considerably! Eventually, I still had to wear the brace for another month, but I was convinced my newfound ‘tools’ were contributing enormously.
Starting a Microdosing Research Platform
When the renowned journalist and author Michael Pollan came to visit Amsterdam in December 2018 to promote his new book: How to Change Your Mind, where he describes the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics it seemed to be a meaningful coincidence.
Inspired by his words but mostly by my own experiences, it felt like a calling to share these potential therapeutic benefits with others.
After the book presentation, my business partner and I decided to team up and create a personal development program in combination with microdosing, and to offer this to friends and acquaintances who were also interested. The positive effects and enthusiastic responses were overwhelming. Even better than we expected ourselves!
This is where the idea of setting up an official research platform was born.
In the meantime, I took part in the ‘Psychedelic Integration course, developed by the MIND European Foundation for Psychedelic Science from Berlin. In addition, we have extensively studied existing (ongoing) studies on microdosing and -methods to deepen our knowledge.
As a result Research Foundation Vista-plus.org was established in June 2019.
“Vista” was the name printed on the brace I had worn for over 10 weeks, and means as much as ‘view’ or ‘perspective’. The ‘plus+’ stands for the expansion of this perspective. The event of breaking my neck and recovery had surely helped to shift my view and perspectives on life for the better.. So this name felt quite appropriate.
In the past year, we have documented experiences of more than 150 unique users, and with the help of these ‘pioneers’ we gained a better view of how to facilitate personal growth and, with time, potentially also tackle some major social issues.
A microdose can serve as a useful tool (like meditation, breathwork or other forms of therapy) to facilitate physical-, mental- and emotional growth (think of achieving personal goals such as smoking or drinking less, more focus and clarity, more solidarity with yourself or a partner, getting in touch with your inner compass or simply a more positive outlook on life).
Our goal is to examine if issues such as depression and addiction can be remedied with the act of microdosing psychedelic plant medicines. We do this by documenting anecdotal research and the experiences of our participants, and to see which personal growth is possible with the right preparation, guidance and, most importantly, integration.
Vista+ currently mainly collects user experiences for renowned research institutes. We recently started collaborating with Imperial College London and The Beckley Foundation by guiding test subjects in microdosing with psychedelics. We are extremely proud to be able to contribute to this pioneering research.
Collaboration with Microdosing.nl and Microdose.nl
We have also partnered up with the first webshop specialized in Microdosing products, Microdose.nl and Hein and Jakobien of Microdosing.nl. For this last platform, I, Hidde share my experience in personal development processes in combination with microdosing coaching sessions and one-on-one support and guidance with an emphasis on integration (changing unconscious behaviour into conscious behaviour).
Interested to join the Vista+ program? There are still some spots available for the next course starting Saturday the 10th of May.
Apply here: vista-plus.org/contact/
Every second Saturday of the month a new microdosing course starts.