An hour after administration the person will express a desire to lay down and get comfortable. A quiet, darkened room, especially prepared in a personalized, though non-distracting, manner is made available for this purpose. The room is darkened because light bothers most people on Iboga. The room is quiet because sound is usually experienced in an amplified and oscillating way. The subject generally experiences ataxia during movement, which is loss of muscular coordination similar to drunkenness. Since the ataxia is sometimes accompanied by vomiting, he or she is asked to lay still with the least amount of motion as possible.
When closing the eyes, approximately 75% of people experience dream-like visions. However, when the person opens his/her eyes and are talked to, there seem to be no real visual or auditory distortions and some level of communication is possible but usually not preferred by the person. People describe the visionary and auditory elements of the Iboga experience as a state of “dreaming wide awake.” Visions can occur in a repetitive mode. They often report visualizing a rapid run-through of their lives and/or the lives of family members, even of those who have already past away. They have noted the ability of going both backward and forward in time and being able to come to an understanding of their spiritual roots. The visions may appear to be actual memories running, rather as though a film of one’s life was being shown inside the head, or may take the form of characters acting out roles, rather as though a play was taking place inside the head. The person ingesting the iboga may seem to journey backward in time and to re-experience significant life events. He or she is sometimes brought to the place where the core issue that helped facilitate the addiction took began. The emotional content of that experience is relived, along with the visual, pictorial gestalt of the experience itself. In most cases, the experience is complete with 3-D effects and the sensation of actually “being there.” Yet, there is also the presence of the witnessing self, who watches and finds understanding. It is this understanding that seems to allow the former addict to begin again, making new, healthy choices.
Many people perspire heavily and are advised to wear comfortable shirts/pants that can be easily replaced. The first stage takes place for about four to eight hours.
In the second stage, that can last approximately 30 to 40 hours, several things can happen. Some people still experience a dream-like period, although it is supposedly less intense. There is time to evaluate the visionary experiences, which can bring about profound insight into life and death and the reasons behind addictive behavior. Some people request something to drink and/or very light food like fruit. The person usually stays awake most of the time.
During the third stage most people fall asleep for a couple of hours, after which they generally awake feeling rested, very hungry and in need to wash up. In the course of this day most people are able to resume normal activities. People usually stay free of cravings for several months
The possible amount and intensity of released material can be so overwhelming, that people have said that they simply could not remember everything they had seen, or that it took months to remember certain visions. Therefore, the processing of released material and the ability to verbalize these matters and learn to interpret their often symbolic content can take extended amounts of time and continue over years. Subjects have reported experiencing a mental or spiritual transformation due to the Iboga which they compare to ten years of therapy in 2 days, or taking a “truth-serum.” Whatever people report on their experiences, they have been observed returning from their Iboga experiences with a greater understanding of previously made choices