With the growing popularity of Kambo there are now many Kambo Providers available to you. Each Kambo Provider will offer a unique experience based on many factors, some of which are their knowledge of Kambo, their life experience and their ability to hold space for you. Simply put, not all providers of Kambo are created equal and it is important that you do your research before choosing who to work with.
To help you make this choice I am offering some guidelines to consider before deciding.
• Is the prospective Kambo Provider well trained? Providers in the Amazon are often trained from an early age and have a deep respect for Kambo, if you have access to such a person, you’ll be in good hands. Elsewhere many of us don’t have the luxury of travelling to South America and so its best to look for a Provider who has received good training. Two such training organizations are the KCP (Kambo Cleanse Providers) and the IAKP (International Association of Kambo Providers). Both organizations are dedicated to the safety and ethics of giving Kambo. You may also find some very good self-trained Kambo Providers, people that have been working with Kambo from a time before training organizations were created. In short look for experience and solid training when searching for a Kambo Provider.
• Ask around, what were other peoples experiences? Once you have narrowed your search to a couple of Kambo Providers I suggest you read their websites carefully and look especially at their testimonials. Calling them and connecting with them is a good idea, ask them how they work and why they have chosen to work that way, find a good fit for your needs. The person you will be working with is important, not so much for what they will do, but more importantly for what they won’t do. Humility is important here, as Kambo is the medicine and you are the healer, you are self-healing with Kambo. The provider is there to keep you safe and look after your needs, that’s it. If the provider wishes to ‘heal you’, then you may want to look elsewhere.
• Ask them to share their story and why they have chosen to work with Kambo. Listen carefully to their story, are they working from a place of sincerity? Are they in alignment with your own values? What is it in their story that sparks something good in you? Are you connecting with them, a stronger connection with you and the Provider will help you to relax and trust the process.
• Do they require water/manioc drink prior to Kambo? Some Providers are offering Kambo without the requirement of first drinking 1-1.5 litres of water. This is sometimes referred to as a Sapo ceremony and is a teaching from the Matses tribe. Although the tribes sometimes work without water or manioc drink prior to Kambo, I do not suggest you do. As Westerners, unfamiliar with Kambo and usually more toxic than a native person, it is important to consume the water for various reasons. Firstly liquids act as a counterbalance to the fire energy of the Kambo medicine, it gives the stomach something to push against (think less discomfort) and allows for the rapid transportation of toxins out of the body. Bypassing the liquids before Kambo is taking an unnecessary risk.
• Do they use the traditional application method of superficial burns? Some Providers have been injecting Kambo under the skin in an attempt to avoid scarring. This is dangerous and non-traditional and should under no circumstances be tried; once Kambo is injected it cannot be removed, with the surface application the Kambo can be wiped off, the area washed and the effects will wind down soon after. If you at all concerned about scarring please consider applying Aloe Vera or Calendula creme which will quickly minimize any scarring.
• How sensitive are you to Kambo? Always insist on a single test point of Kambo, then wait for 10 minutes and see how your reaction is to the Kambo medicine. You are different each day, the Kambo medicine can be of different strengths, the stars are aligned differently, basically, there are many unknowns, so be sensible when approaching Kambo. Start small and work up if necessary. Those who are experienced with the medicine will tell you that you can achieve a lot with a little. Kambo is not a numbers game, rather it is about the quality of your connection to the medicine. This will determine how much work you can do together. Establishing the correct amount of Kambo for you is one of the most important aspects of the Providers role.
• There are many ways to work with Kambo! There is no right to wrong way to work with Kambo and each Provider will have their own relationship with it. Knowing beforehand what to expect can help you to relax and go deeper with the medicine. For example, I like to leave the Kambo on 20 minutes but used to remove it after the first purge. The Providers role is one that changes based on knowledge and experience. Ask your provider how they like to work and get clear about that so you can relax in he ceremony.
• Talk about the purge. It is important to recognize that purging can look many ways. You may vomit, use the bathroom, shake, sweat, emote, dream, there are so many ways. Make sure that your Provider does not have a fixed idea about purging. If their objective is to simply make you vomit, then consider working with another person. Chasing a purge by vomiting can be dangerous if it is not coming naturally. The best way to work with Kambo is acceptance and flow, not chasing or forcing an outcome.
• Is the location conducive to Kambo? When you are considering where to work, please think about the noise levels of the surrounding city, cars, sirens, leaf-blowers etc… While working with Kambo you may become overly sensitive to noises. The best environments are natural, else at least be surrounded by plants. A quiet place is beneficial because it’s best to rest afterward and recover. There are great insights to be had after Kambo and its nice to be in a supportive place where you can rest, receive and reflect.
I hope you have a safe, effective and beautiful experience with Kambo.