Levi Parker: Bwiti Iboga Provider
Levi Parker is a Bwiti trained shamanic iboga provider. Originally from the technology field working on projects such as Ecommerce marketing and cryptocurrency. Levi had an awakening in 2011 with iboga and shares all the gifts that the medicine has given him. Levi has experience in treating people with iboga with a wide variety of problems such as; addictions, depression, anxiety, PTSD and childhood traumas. Please see http://iboga.io for more information.
What is iboga treatment for addiction?
Iboga treatment is using the plant tabernanthe iboga or it’s alkaloid ibogaine to treat people suffering from addictions. Although iboga can be used for detoxing from all street drugs it is most well known for stopping opiate withdrawal symptoms.
We are in the middle of an opioid epidemic in the USA and having a tool available like ibogaine would have a real impact on opioid users lives. Although iboga and ibogaine are on the schedule 1 list Vermont is currently considering a bill that would allow a pilot program of ibogaine addiction interruption.
Iboga is not only for opioid users though, we have people that would be considered successful in life and come in with no major issues. They want to live their best life and be the best versions of themselves as possible. Others may be dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD or other “mental block” from past abuse from others, or to themselves. Then we have some people come to detox from other drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, Prozac or other depression medications. The only drug that iboga seems to not work on is benzodiazepines.
What is it like to be an 'Iboga Provider'?
Being an iboga provider is the most humbling and I am honored to be a part of someone's healing. I come from a traditional path rather than a scientific path so my training involved many years before I was blessed by my teacher to now serving the medicine for others.
Being an iboga provider is a lot of work. I was trained to work in the medicine in a traditional shamanic way that is easily accessible to westerners. We start the ceremony sitting around a fire and talk about the Bwiti tradition. The “Bwiti” are people that use iboga to study life itself. The Bwiti in West Central Africa countries such as Gabon, Cameroon, and the Congo have been using iboga for thousands of years.
We then take the medicine after speaking about the client's intentions and what they want to get out of this experience. Once people start feeling the medicine we have mattresses laid out for them to go and relax a listen to Bwiti much on the mattress during the night.
The clients are then taken on a guided spiritual journey that connects them to their soul. They actually have a conversation with their soul and can ask any questions they want about their life and get truthful valuable answers back that will help them moving forward in life. It is a very powerful exercise.
The clients will stay outside on the mattresses until sunrise. We then offer for clients to go to their room for some introspection on their experience. Many times the following day is when things start becoming clearer and positive changes start happening. Some people won’t sleep until the following night and others may sleep for a few hours during the day. Once everyone gets’s some sleep the following night people wake up feeling refreshed and very clear.
The changes will continue for a minimum of a few weeks to many times months. I don’t think there is anything that stays in your body as long as iboga. During this time people will feel very level headed and clear about the direction they want to go in the life and the iboga will be with them for some time to help guide them on their path. It is a really amazing transformation process unlike anything else.
How safe is the treatment from an ibogaine center?
Generally, ibogaine treatment is considered safe by those that actually have been involved with the treatment of others. The ibogaine clinics are typically run by doctors and many have never even had the medicine. Clients will be in a clinical setting and hooked up to a heart rate monitor and an IV during their experience. The ibogaine clinics also dose by body weight. They have a set system of so many milligrams per kilogram of body weight. From first-hand experience, I do not agree with that way of dosing people. Some people are much more sensitive to the medicine than others and have nothing to do with body size. We see very small people that need a lot of medicine and we see some huge people that need very little. I understand the doctors need some sort of system in order to dose people. This is a situation where the traditional knowledge trumps the scientific information.
Still, if clients get an EKG, liver panel and fill out the proper medical questionnaire that percentage of dangerous complications are very low. What is dangerous is when opiate users try and use during or shortly after their treatment. Their tolerance has been lowered and by using they risk overdosing. That is what typically happens when people die from “ibogaine.” they really aren’t dying from ibogaine but the opiates they decided to take.
What are the key differences in the techniques used by an Iboga Provider than those at an Ibogaine center?
I come from a spiritual background rather than a clinical background. My program revolves around the traditional way of working with the medicine. It includes a lot of counseling from the Bwiti tradition and how to live life. It is a very intimate way of working with the clients. Also, we work with iboga root bark and the total alkaloid extract rather than ibogaine. We want to have the spirit of the plant present and when you take out just one alkaloid of the plant ibogaine and use that, you are missing the spirit of the plant.
Which problems or diseases can iboga help with?
Here is a list of different diseases or problems iboga can help with.
Addictions of all form; drugs or alcohol, sex, gambling, and eating disorders
Depression and anxiety, trauma and PTSD
Removing heavy metal toxins and restoring the body’s PH balance to its ideal state
What are the myths about Iboga as a form of treatment? How do you think these myths and misconception can be dispelled?
I think the biggest myths are that iboga and ibogaine are toxic, they are not. Also many think that iboga is a magic cure for addiction. The user still has to put in the work once they take the ibogaine. Ibogaine is not going to make their decisions for them.
The myths will be dispelled with time as more countries such as Brazil and New Zealand do unbiased studies while actively working with medicine. Iboga and ibogaine have a bright future moving forward.