Dr. Joe Tafur: Ayahuasca, Shamanism, & Epigenetics

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Episode Summary

Before I started this podcast, I was brainstorming about people who would be good guests for the show I envisioned. Dr. Joe Tafur was on this initial list, along with plenty of other people who may be classified more as "celebrities" in the health and wellness space.

Fast forward close to 2 years and I finally felt ready to dive into this conversation with Joe (and we finally time to actually connect for it!).

My personal connection with Ayahuasca starting back in 2012 led me learn about the work of Joe Tafur, a doctor/shaman who has vast experience with indigenous plant medicine and grounding in conventional, "western medicine.

In this conversation we get to know Joe and the work he has been doing in his personal and professional life with plant medicine. We learn about the physical science and the spiritual science of plant medicine in this fantastic conversation.

Some highlights include... 

  • Dr. Joe's backstory and how he got immersed in indigenous medicine while in medical school
  • His "fellowship of the river" and how the transformed his life and medical practice
  • What is shamanism
  • The holistic approach of indigenous medicine, beyond the ayahuasca/hallucinogenic plant medicine
  • The science of intergenerational trauma
  • How plant medicine impact our experience of life on an epigenetic level

Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to leave a comment, rating, or review on whatever platform you choose to tune in on!

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About Dr. Joe

Dr. Tafur has been an Integrative Medicine activist throughout his medical career, while in medical school at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, and during his Family Medicine Residency at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has collaborated on research projects with the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine and the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.  After residency, Dr. Tafur subsequently completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry under psychoneuroimmunology expert Dr. Paul Mills. While in San Diego, he also served on the board for the Alternative Healing Network and on the Steering Committee for the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Tafur is also dedicated to education. At Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual, Dr. Tafur supervised traditional education for allopathic medical students and for medical student groups from the Southwestern College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has also worked as a professor for the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine’s online doctoral program. He is now developing new educational programs for Modern Spirit.

Dr. Tafur currently works part-time as a family physician in the United States and continues as a medical consultant to Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual.

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