By Paul Casey

Growing up we often take pride in sports injuries. A broken bone here, a minor concussion there. I know for that for me, I was so proud of a back injury I earned on the football field I was almost sorry it healed so quickly. Little did I know that as I grew older, some of those hits I took on the field didn’t heal completely after all.

I’ve tried everything from surgery, medication, pain management techniques to physical therapy and meditation. I even tried the ancient spiritual healing treatment of Reiki. Most of it helped but I haven’t been pain-free in years. If I had to pick the one thing that was the least helpful I would have to say opioids. They worked so well in the beginning I knew that if I didn’t give them up early I’d become seriously addicted. In this case I was afraid the cure might be worse than the pain.

With the growing popularity of medical, and now in some states recreational marijuana, I finally found some relief. Physically I felt better and mentally I felt better. I even felt comfortable with the thought that I may have to continue on medical marijuana for life. It is all natural and many of my friends and teammates already take it—whether through smoking, an edible or in other forms. The two benefit I have yet to find using medical marijuana is I find marijuana to help with the pain but not the root cause of the problem and the that the experience is less spiritual.

That when I started to do some research. To my surprise, there are options outside of marijuana I didn’t even know existed and they are becoming more and more mainstream. I am talking about psychedelics such as Ayahuasca and Psilocybin. While I already knew that former Speaker of the House John Boehner was invested in the marijuana industry, I was surprised that well known investors such as Peter Thiel and Tim Ferris are investors and advocates for the plant-based medicine industry. Even Apple’s Steve Jobs openly discussed the relief he received from psychedelics.

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently designated work done in plant based medicine as “breakthrough therapy.” That’s a big step forward. And while I can’t predict the future I wouldn’t be surprised if the incoming Biden administration looked more favorably on the benefits of plant-based medicines and took steps toward broader legalization of marijuana and perhaps other herbal medicines.

So with the stigma of marijuana quickly evaporating and seeing the possible widening of legalization of plant-based medicine, I continued my research.  I guess another appealing thing about plant-based medicine, for me at least are the spiritual benefits. Like I said earlier, I don’t notice a spiritual awakening when I am smoking marijuana.

Many advocates claim that the spiritual journey one takes when using plant-based medicine is as important as the physical journey. And that is really what I am looking for. I want to heal, grow and elevate myself to peak performance and well-being.

I have to admit I am a little excited, a little nervous and very curious as what to expect from plant-based therapy. For one, the ideal of traveling outside of the United States makes me a bit nervous. I would never attempt plant-based therapy (other than marijuana) here because for now, it is still illegal. But there are many places in the world that allow people in pain to seek relief with plant-based therapy.

The next step in my journey is to research places outside the United States to seek treatment that offers physical, mental and spiritual relief. For that part of my journey I am turning to Behold Retreats’ plant-based medicine program. I discovered Behold Retreats after a coworker recommended their program. Behold Retreats facilitates the journey to accelerate healing, personal and spiritual growth.

Their program is a s six step process makes the goal of embarking on a plant-based medicine journey less confusing and more obtainable. Their programs are guided and offer safety, expertise and curation with life private and group retreats in idyllic locations. As part of related research at Johns Hopkins University, at 50% of participants rated their journey as “the single most personally and spiritually significant experience of their lives.” You can find a detailed explanation of how their program works at

In the next few weeks I will be interviewing Jonathan De Potter, Behold Retreats’ founder, to learn more about what someone might except when starting the six-step process toward plant-based medicine treatment.

Next year I will be talking to a Behold Retreats’ participant about their experience—I am really excited about that because I love first-hand testimonials. I will be posting those follow-up stories with you in the coming months.

For now, I am excited at the possibility of living a pain free and spiritually enlightened life.