08 April 2019

Mumbo Kambo

Mumbo jumbo (eye of newt, toe of bat, a grimoire or two and a cat named Pyewackett) is so so yesterday!

The Guardian reports that Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner Karen Cusack has imposed a temporary ban on South Australia-based Carlie J Angel and Brad T Williams (trading as Two Wolves–One Body) from advertising, offering or providing any general health service in Victoria related to Kambo. Alas, and disquietingly, there haven't been similar bans - and no signs of investigation - by other health and consumer protection agencies across Australia.

Kambo is a new-age practice involving the topical application of a stressed Amazonian frog’s waxy secretions, typically after a Kambo practitioner engages in minor burning of the consumer's skin. The treatment can cause pain, dizziness, shaking, swelling, fainting and severe vomiting.

Cusack commented
In some cases, there is even a risk of dangerous side effects including seizures and death, especially if the kambo enters the bloodstream. 
It’s a breach of the code for a general health service provider to treat clients in a way that is unsafe or unethical. 
Victorians should be aware of the code and know exactly what they have a right to expect from their health service provider. 
The Two Wolves–One Body website  states that Angel and Williams are “certified advanced kambo practitioners” ("our central practice is working with Kambo".

It is unclear who/what provided the certification. Some Kambo practitions are certified by the International Academy of Kambo Practitioners (IAKP), an entity that is unrecognised by TEQSA or by the various Australian medical colleges and AHPRA. Certification does not appear to involve the delivery of content or its assessment by people with medical qualifications.

The IAKP site in explaining 'Why It Is Important To Go To A Trained Kambo Practitioner' comments
During the Kambo treatment there is a transfer of energy from the practitioner to you. The trained practitioner will understand how this process works and how to ensure that only clean and positive energy is passed on to you. 
Presumably you so don't want dirty negative energy (whatever that is) and have run out of alfoil beanies, magic crystals, the blood of a black cockerel or other paraphernalia. IAKP advises
Always check out your practitioners’ credentials and if you’re not 100% happy with both then think twice before allowing them to give you Kambo. Another important consideration is aesthetics. Trained practitioners will have learnt techniques to enable them to make the access points on the skin, known as gates, with the minimum of pain and scarring. 
They will also understand the different types of points that are suitable for different parts of the body. Finally, with a wealth of knowledge and experience that is acquired during and after their training, a properly trained practitioner will enable you to make the most of Kambo medicine on a physical, spiritual, emotional and energetic level. 
Environment, ability to hold sacred space and hold boundaries, energy transfer, knowledge of anatomy, meridians, chakras, acupressure points, treatments protocols and a deep connection to the spirit of the medicine born of self-practice will all inform, and elevate your Kambo experience.
The Two Wolves–One Bodysite states
Carlie also offers Divine Source Enhancement Healings, and Intuitive Integration Coaching. 
Alongside these practices we offer information on utilising one of natures many gifts - therapeutic grade essential oils - for wellness, supporting your Kambo experience and for anyone wanting to live in a clean chemical free home.
It is unclear what is a "therapeutic grade" oil, "essential" or otherwise.

Reference to 'healing', 'medicine' and  'therapy'should attract attention by regulators if harmful substances are being deployed by people who lack medical training.

A more expansive Australian competitor states
Kambo is a traditional indigenous medicine from the Amazon. Traditionally used as hunting magic and a medicine that lifted panama ( dark energy or back luck), this Giant Green Monkey Frog, who lives in the trees, is said to come to the call of the indigenous people to offer its medicine/secretions. These secretions contain bio-active peptides that are also found in our cells, there is a synchronicity and this process has been found to reduce symptoms of many diseases and ailments that we as human carry. 
This alternative therapy has a cleansing effect, not only on our bodies but on our minds and people who have used Kambo have seen a great change in their lives, attitudes and health. People have reported having more stamina, increase perception, physical strength and a better capacity to manage stress and pain in their lives. But this is only the beginning. Kambo has been tried and tested on many diseases as Kambo is one of the strongest natural antibiotics and anesthetics found in nature. There is research currently being undertaken as to its effectiveness on ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; depression; anxiety; deep emotional issues; migraines; blood circulation issues, Cancer; Genital Herpes; Ross River Fever; Lyme Disease; Rheumatoid arthritis; MS; Aids; Hepatitis and much much more.
A 2017 US ABC item on ythe 'supercleanse' phenomenon reported
Deep in the Peruvian Amazon lives a giant tree frog that is in high demand for its natural toxins, which people are using to poison themselves in a ceremony that has become the latest supercleanse trend. 
For hundreds of years, these frogs have been used by Amazonian tribes for their supposedly powerful healing properties. The person first burns a small area of skin and then applies the frog toxins, called kambo or sapo, to the burned spot so they’re quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. 
At first, the person feels a few moments of serenity, but within seconds, that feeling turns to suffering and can force the person to vomit. The effect shortly fades away, and practitioners say it’s worth it, claiming the process can cure depression, drug dependency, heart problems, high blood pressure and gastrointestinal issues.
Another Australian Kambo provider offering "Kambo Medicine Sessions" states
What you might experience working with Kambo:
  • Let go of emotional blocks 
  • Clear out physcial toxins 
  • Gain more stamina and strength 
  • Boost your immunity 
  • Feel whole again 
  • Let go of the past / toxic relationships 
  • Alleviate stress 
  • Strengthen your chakras 
  • Boost your self esteem 
  • Detox Open your heart and connect to spirit (3rd eye activation) 
  • Release ‘Panema’ (bad energy) 
  • Gain a deeper connection with your True Self, Spirit and your Purpose 
  • Resolve trauma and blocked emotions 
  • Remove obstacles to reaching your life purpose 
  • Increase physical well-being and healing 
  • Gain relief from pain, suffering and stuck energy 
  • Gain grounding … and more
The Victorian Commissioner's media release is pointed, expressly referring to poison.
Health Complaints Commissioner Issues Warning To Victorians Against South American Poison, Kambo 
... Ms Cusack said the interim orders would remain in place while the HCC conducted an own-motion investigation. She issued a warning to all Victorians, urging the public to contact the HCC if they had a complaint or a concern about a kambo provider. 
“I’m incredibly concerned about any services that are claiming to provide health benefits by using the South American poison, kambo,” she said. 
“Kambo is often applied into open wounds created specifically for that purpose. 
“It’s not been registered for therapeutic use in Australia and can cause immediate side effects in some people, including severe vomiting, dizziness, fainting and swelling of the lips and face. In some cases, there is even a risk of dangerous side effects, including seizures and death, especially if the kambo enters the bloodstream.” 
Ms Cusack encouraged Victorians to consult a healthcare professional before considering the use of any alternative therapies. 
She said it was important that members of the public were aware of the code of conduct that all general health services, including healers, must adhere to. “The code is in place to protect consumers,” Ms Cusack said. 
“It’s a breach of the code for a general health service provider to treat clients in a way that is unsafe or unethical, and to dissuade someone from seeking or continuing medical treatment. 
“Victorians should be aware of the code and know exactly what they have a right to expect from their health service provider.”
It is clear from the IAKP directory and from other sites that numerous new-age entrepreneurs are peddling frog toxin and other nostrums in jurisdictions across Australia, on a group or individual basis.

One 'Kambo Medicine and More Healing Session' in Queensland was recently advertised thus
Kambo is a Frog secretion from the Amazon that may help you to:
  • Let go of emotional blocks 
  •  Clear out physical toxins 
  •  Gain more stamina and strength 
  •  Boost your immunity 
  •  Let go of the past / toxic relationships 
  •  Strengthen your chakras 
  •  Boost your self esteem 
  •  Detox 
  •  Open your heart and connect to spirit (3rd eye activation)
  •  Release ‘Panema’ (bad energy)
  •  Gain a deeper connection with your True Self, Spirit and your Purpose
  •  Resolve trauma and blocked emotions 
  • Remove obstacles to reaching your life purpose Increase physical well-being and healing 
  •  Gain relief from pain and suffering 
  •  Increase your Awareness 
  •  Gain grounding … and more
Fact-based concerns about Kambo - for regulators and consumers who are sceptical about the '3rd eye', chakra or Ipanema) - are evident in peer-reviewed studies such as
'The biological effects of kambo: is there a relationship between its administration and sudden death?' by Isabella Aquila, Santo Gratteri, Matteo A. Sacco, Vittorio Fineschi, Simona Magi, Pasqualina Castaldo, Graziella Viscomi, Salvatore Amoroso, and Pietrantonio Ricci in (2018) 63(3) Journal of Forensic Sciences 965-968; 
'Ayahuasca and Kambo intoxication after alternative natural therapy for depression, confirmed by mass spectrometry' by Damila Rodriguesde Morais, Rafael Lanaro, Ingrid Lopes Barbosa, Jandyson Machado Santos, Kelly Francisco Cunha, Vinicius Veri Hernandes, Elias Paulo Tessaro, Cezar Silvino Gomes, Marcos Nogueira Eberlin and Jose Luiz Costa in (2018) 36(1) Forensic Toxicology 212-221; 
'Prolonged toxicity from Kambo cleansing ritual' by Kai Li, Howard Horng, Kara Lynch, and Craig G. Smollin in (2018) 56(11) Clinical Toxicology 1165-1166; 
'Pharmacological studies of ‘sapo’ from the frog Phyllomedusa bicolor skin: A drug used by the Peruvian Matses Indians in shamanic hunting practices' by Vittorio Erspamer, Giuliana Falconieri Erspamer, Cinzia Severini, Rosa Luisa Potenza, Donatella Barra, Giuseppina Mignogna and Antonio Bianchi in (1993) 31(9) Toxicon 1099-1111; 
'Toxic hepatitis caused by the excretions of the Phyllomedusa bicolor frog – a case report' by Joanna Pogorzelska and Tadeusz W. Łapiński in (2017) 3(1) Clinical and Experimental Hepatology 33–34; 
'Phyllomedusa bicolor skin secretion and the Kambô ritual' by Paul S den Brave, Eugéne Bruins and Maarten W G A Bronkhorst in (2014) Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 20-40; 
'Transformation and Migration of Healing Rituals from Indigenous Cultures to the West: Amphibian Secretions, the ‘Frog Medicine and Toad Medicine' by Jan M Keppel Hesselink in (2019) 4(1) SM Journal of Psychiatry and Mental Health 1014.