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FOT #20 - Harnessing Cannabis for Healing and How Psychedelics Can Help

Flight of Thoughts

Release Date: 09/11/2019

FOT #30 - Being trauma-informed, identifying prejudice, and our mental health continuum show art FOT #30 - Being trauma-informed, identifying prejudice, and our mental health continuum

Flight of Thoughts

Here comes another solo flight of thought I was having about how we can be better human beings by being "trauma-informed".  This leads into how to identify prejudice in ourselves and how it is programmed into us.   A major point focuses on the "mental health continuum" model that many first responders and healthcare workers have been introduced to.  Being aware of your mental health continuum and the signs that you are struggling can help you avoid falling into crisis, as well as empower you to maintain your most optimal functioning. * This pandemic and the civil rights...

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FOT #29 - Overcoming Psychological Dysfunction, Appreciating Death & Suffering, Mindfulness of Bio-feedback Loops show art FOT #29 - Overcoming Psychological Dysfunction, Appreciating Death & Suffering, Mindfulness of Bio-feedback Loops

Flight of Thoughts

Kai Carlsen has clinical experience as a Paramedic, Flight Respiratory Therapist, as well as building experience in clinical development and education.  He has worked in various settings from controlled hospital environments to the chaos of ambulance and aircraft response.  Kai has been growing through a journey of mindfulness, self-awareness, and peer support that allows him to remain optimal through his career.  We worked together early in my career and I always felt he had the perfect energy and intellect for emergency medicine.  On this episode we go deeper into some...

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FOT #28 - Identifying Stress Responses, Pandemic Mental Health, and Cannabis Enhancing Emotional Resiliency show art FOT #28 - Identifying Stress Responses, Pandemic Mental Health, and Cannabis Enhancing Emotional Resiliency

Flight of Thoughts

After an intense month with a car accident and a stressful work injury, I update everyone on how I have been coping with these and the growing pressure on the front lines of the pandemic.  Learning to identify your responses to stress can be an effective tool for overcoming challenging times.  How does stress activate certain thought patterns you have?  How does stress store as tension or discomfort in your body?  Learning your symptoms and how to work through them can push your from distress to optimal function  in your window of tolerance.  I also talk about...

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FOT #27 - Being mindful of your mental health during the pandemic, the various responses to traumatic stress, and the effectiveness of peer support show art FOT #27 - Being mindful of your mental health during the pandemic, the various responses to traumatic stress, and the effectiveness of peer support

Flight of Thoughts

I'm joined by my friend, Kai Carlsen, a former paramedic with experience on the ambulance, in a correctional facility, doing hospital triage, and as a medical communication officer.  He is currently certified as a respiratory therapist and worked in a large teaching facility, mostly in intensive care and transitioned to critical care flight respiratory in the arctic.  We talked about staying sane during pandemic isolation, various ways of coping with mental health struggles, and managing your own internal crisis as a healthcare worker.   We also discussed his experiences in...

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FOT #26 - Effects of Covid-19 on the opioid crisis, and managing self care as a first responder or frontline worker show art FOT #26 - Effects of Covid-19 on the opioid crisis, and managing self care as a first responder or frontline worker

Flight of Thoughts

In this episode I talk about how first responders and safe injection sites are continuing to battle the opioid crisis through this coronavirus outbreak in Toronto, Canada.  I also discuss self-care and how to avoid burnout while working on the frontlines.  The growing Covid-19 pandemic has started to put massive strain on healthcare systems and public health initiatives.  First responders and healthcare staff put themselves at risk to keep life-saving services running strong, despite how personal protective equipment supplies are running low and the stress of catching the...

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FOT #25 - Pete Tripp discussing how first responders cope with PTSD and what mental health initiatives can increase resiliancy in emergency services show art FOT #25 - Pete Tripp discussing how first responders cope with PTSD and what mental health initiatives can increase resiliancy in emergency services

Flight of Thoughts

Pete Tripp is an Advanced Care Paramedic with experience in many fields of paramedicine including as a flight medic.  Pete's journey is a powerful story from his start as a Janitor at his local emergency hospital to his spectrum of expereince he built as a paramedic.  He is open about his struggles with childhood trauma and finding his way as a troubled youth.  Through building up personal resiliency and never giving up, Pete was able to become an excellent paramedic and carry on through an incredible career.  He uses what he has learned over these years of experience to...

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FOT #24 - The cognitive importance of dark imagery, altered states of conciousness, and routes to enlightenment show art FOT #24 - The cognitive importance of dark imagery, altered states of conciousness, and routes to enlightenment

Flight of Thoughts

For this episode Daniel Greig joins me to explore themes surrounding trauma, darkness, and the complexity of the human experience.  He teaches me how dark imagery fits in to human cognition and how altered states relate to healing.  Daniel discusses how he is writing a book with Dr. John Vervaeke about the journeys we take through our lives on gaining insight, remaining grounded, and the various pathways to enlightenment!  The book is called "The Cognitive Continuum: From Insight to Enlightenment". Daniel is an educator, organizer and artist living in Toronto. He studied...

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FOT #23 - First Responders on the frontlines of the opioid crisis, integrating post-traumatic growth, and recognizing compassion fatigue show art FOT #23 - First Responders on the frontlines of the opioid crisis, integrating post-traumatic growth, and recognizing compassion fatigue

Flight of Thoughts

After experiencing some burnout and my first needle-stick injury, I am back on track and ready to share what I have learned.  Harm Reduction and other frontline workers of the opioid crisis are a section of first responders that are often forgotten about.  Harm Reduction Workers, Overdose Response Workers, and Community Mental Health Workers are underpaid and overworked because there is a lack of support and funding that other essential services are otherwise afforded.   Just how paramedics used to be misfit first responders, cast aside as mere "ambulance drivers",...

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FOT #22 - Shifting perspectives on death, exploring societal structures and the crisis of meaning show art FOT #22 - Shifting perspectives on death, exploring societal structures and the crisis of meaning

Flight of Thoughts

Before embarking on an adventure to India to explore and film, Sébastien Clérmont joins me in a coffee shop to discuss the various ways that our society copes with death and dying.  We talk about how other cultures view death and how we may shift ours to a healthier and more effective way to cope.  Society has structures embedded within that harm effective addiction and mental health care which can be overcome when exposed by artists and filmmakers.  We talk about these structures and stigmas that we must overcome to effectively address addiction and mental health issues, and...

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FOT #21 - Supervised Consumption Sites, avoiding burnout, and addressing stigma in neurodiversity show art FOT #21 - Supervised Consumption Sites, avoiding burnout, and addressing stigma in neurodiversity

Flight of Thoughts

There will be more episodes on drugs, substance-use, and supervised consumption sites in the near future, but this one introduces the topic since I started working at one.  This episode summarizes some of what I've noticed in my first run of shifts doing harm reduction and overdose response.  I also talk about stigma in cannabis users and other populations of drug-users.  Many first responders (and most other Canadians) are afraid to come forward about how cannabis is helping them because they fear discrimination from their workplace.  This episode introduces this topic...

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More Episodes

Flight Of Thoughts #20 goes into how you can learn to harness cannabis for healing.  Each person has different cannabinoid combinations that they may respond best to, so its important to take your time to find the ones that work for you.  What strain do you feel increases your cognitive functioning? First Responders and Healthcare workers often ask how they can use cannabis for their symptoms whole avoiding impairment that can affect functioning. While spending time with family or doing activities that require cognitive efficiency, avoid higher levels of THC and lean towards strains that favour CBD (unless THC works better for you).
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Many paramedics that I’ve worked with tell me that strains high in terpenes like pinene and limonene to compliment the CBD can enhance cognitive efficiency even more. I personally recommend avoiding THC while on duty, and finding a strain that is 5-10% CBD (no more than 5% THC); that has a terpene blend that works for your body. Harnessing the various vaporizer temperature settings is another way to limit THC intake when needed!
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Each person responds differently to cannabis based on their specific endocannabinoid set-up. This is why it is best to find a cannabis specialist who can guide you through finding the best balance of THC, CBD, and of the hundreds of terpenes that work best for your target effects.
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Watch the groundbreaking documentary, “From Shock To Awe”; following the newest treatments that are resolving PTSD, addiction, and depression in 80% of patients (including first responders and veterans)! 

This podcast is uncensored and covers many topics considered “taboo” or difficult for some individuals. We do not condone any illegal activities, as this is a platform for harm reduction and open-dialogue.  Although the ideas are mostly evidence-based and honest, the lines of reality and comedy may be blurred at times...this is your trigger warning!