Psychedelic Medicine


What are Psychosomatodelics? with Ben Malcolm, PharmD, MPH


In this episode of the Psychedelic Medicine Podcast, Ben Malcolm, PharmD, MPH joins to discuss why he prefers the term “psychosomatodelics” for psychedelics. Dr. Malcolm is a psychopharmacology consultant, psychedelic educator, founder of Spirit Pharmacist, LLC and a board member of the Psychedelic Medicine Association.

In this conversation, Dr. Malcolm shares the meaning of the term psychosomatodelic as well as the history of the different terms used to refer to psychedelics. He emphasizes the ways that these substances manifest mind and body together, rather than only focusing on the mind-altering aspects of the experience. He also suggests that the line between side effects and therapeutic opportunities is blurry in psychedelic therapy, discussing the ways in which nausea and purging in the context of ayahuasca ceremonies can contribute to the sense of healing and psychosomatic catharsis. In closing, Dr. Malcolm suggests some directions for future research regarding serotonergic psychedelics’ interaction with the gut-brain axis and the autonomic nervous system.

In This Episode

• The meanings of more newer, more specified terminology such as psychoplastogen, entactogen, and more
• Trauma-resolving aspects of psychedelic experiences
• How psychedelics impact transmodal cortices of the brain
• The somatic side effects of psychedelics


“The psychedelic experience is inherently larger than either brain or mind, and it’s more of a mind-body kind of experience. And it would be worth recognizing the mind-body contribution that is happening as far as the types of experiences persons are having, and maybe even the ways that psychedelics are working to provide a true, felt sense of relief for persons.” [3:51]

“Why do we wear a blindfold for psychedelic therapy? Well, you’re actually trying to limit the sensory input from certain unimodal sensory cortices like vision and you’re trying to amplify sensory content—maybe from the body, maybe from the viscera, maybe from inside. It’s to heighten the internal landscape. That’s why you’re actually shutting out these kinds of external sensory inputs.” [17:19]

“Particularly if you’re approaching psychedelics for healing of trauma, then thinking of them as energetic purgatives that have a psychosomatodelic, or full mind-body manifesting type of experience, might allow you to wrap your head around the psychedelic experience or what its doing a little bit easier.” [31:53]


* The Psychedelic Medicine Podcast has allowed the Psychedelic Medicine Association to post episodes as an educational resource, and in return the PMA is hosting the podcast show notes.