In an effort to bridge the world of academic medicine with traditional healing knowledge, Dr. Tafur will review his experience treating individuals at the traditional Amazonian healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual in Iquitos, Peru. Successful treatment of several western diagnoses will be reviewed, including treatment of psychological illness (PTSD, depression), psychosomatic illness, and autoimmune disease (multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis). Traditional treatment techniques will be reviewed with a central focus on treatment through ayahuasca ceremony and traditional Shipibo shamanism. We will review traditional Shipibo shamanism and explore the relationship between this work and exciting and relevant topics in modern medicine, including: integrative psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, functional medicine, epigenetics, and the use of psychedelic medicine in modern psychiatry.
Dr. Joe Tafur, MD, is a Colombian-American integrative family physician that has been involved in traditional Amazonian plant medicine since 2007. In addition to his involvement in South America, he has published several scientific papers and has worked on academic projects with the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, and the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine. From 2007-2009, Dr. Tafur also worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry, investigating low-intensity light therapy and psychoneuroimmunology. He now spends over half of the year working at the traditional Amazonian healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual, along with his partners, Master Shipibo Healer Ricardo Amaringo and Cvita Mamic.