Maria Florencia Bollini of NANA, also known simply as Flor, was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated from the University of Palermo in Buenos Aires with a degree in strategic communications, going on to become a successful political strategist. She ended up working with the Argentine Parliament to develop her country’s first online political campaign.
In her mid 20s, everything changed, with a spiritual awakening that led her to leave her career and travel the world to explore her spirituality. In this context, she tried ayahuasca for the first time, altering the the course of her life again. Fast forward 15 years, and Flor could still be considered a strategist, albeit a spiritual one.
“Do You Want To Be a Rockstar?”
Taking ayahuasca changed Flor’s life forever, she tells Truffle Report. .
“I started asking the ayahuasca what I was supposed to do with my life and the ayahuasca began to show me. Psychoactive plants speak to you. They give you very clear insights. She said ‘Do you want to be a rockstar? This is what a rockstar looks like. You know the truth of these substances, take them to the forefront of humanity and dedicate your life to this.’ This was 15 years ago and I didn’t believe it. I didn’t really think that this would be my contribution to the world and I procrastinated as much as I could. I pretended to not understand the message well.”
“Eventually, when an Argentine politician with a background in chemistry and from the same political party that I used to work for became the Pope, the ayahuasca asked me ‘Now what excuse do you have for not doing your job?’ So in 2013 I opened my private practice serving the most powerful psychoactive [substance] in the world, called the molecule of God, 5-MeO-DMT. I introduced what is called the progressive dose, which is a small dose to introduce the molecule and based on that initial dose you double it for the second dose and repeat the same process on the third dose. You ease yourself into it rather than being punched in the face with a hero dose, which is a bit more of the masculine approach and not the way that women serve naturally.”
In 2019, Flor founded NANA Heals, a transformative medicine platform headquartered in California. Their emphasis is on supportive healing through personal empowerment, lifestyle, and progressive dosing of legal psychoactive medicines.
“NANA is an online platform that standardizes the level of care around psychedelics to make these substances effective. It looks to integrate everything that I learned while working underground and through my training and make it accessible. It has a double interface: for professionals and for individuals that are at home dealing with their mental health. The goal is to empower them, to provide them with tools, guidance, and support to transform their lives at the lowest possible price.”
“In essence NANA is a combination of lifestyle medicine such as nutrition, sexuality, counseling, and personalized or tailored medicine supplementation. It also includes a progressive dosage of legal psychedelic medicine. The psychoactive substance is just the cherry on top of the cake. It gives you that first dissociative experience that makes you realize you are not your mind. It gives you that strength and courage that you need to change your life, which takes hard work. The platform makes an assessment based on how the individual is in their life as of right now. A mind, body, and soul assessment. After that, the platform generates a personalized road map according to what the person needs.”
NANA owes its name to ancient traditions and powerful women. To Flor, feminine energy has the power to transform it all. It’s also an homage to her training.
“Nana, in one hand, is the greatest form of initiation as a priestess in the path of Africanism in which I trained to be able to give sacred medicine. It represents a deity that is known as the nurturer and the wise healer. It is divine feminine energy that comes down to earth and that every woman carries within herself intuitively. On the other hand, Nana also represents grandmothers and a lineage of feminine wisdom. At NANA we want to bring back female power to healing because we heal through love and celebration. Western medicine is very masculine, it doesn’t connect with the heart.”
“At NANA all healers are female and they’re known as Nanas. Working with women healers has a lot of benefits. For example, women don’t usually put their sexuality out of place, which is very common in shamanism, unfortunately. Women also don’t tend to give traumatic dosages to patients but rather progressive ones that allow individuals to ease into the substances. Women are also more in tune with their emotions and know how to handle fear. All of this is very important when it comes to supporting someone under the effects of psychedelics. It is also important when you own a company and are responsible for the people that work for you. That’s why only women are Nanas at NANA. Men are part of our team but in other roles.”
In Western medicine, emotion and body are often disconnected. Transformative medicine looks to reconnect the two concepts.
“Many doctors do not understand aspects of the mind. Nor do many psychologists understand that nutrition, sexuality, movement, and life practices influence mental health. This disconnect that exists in this compartmentalization of Western medicine for the treatment of psychoactive drugs is very rudimentary.”
“What we are doing as a tool or as a contribution to the industry is to unify these different parts in a single protocol that we standardize online for anyone, whether they are medical professionals, biotech companies, clinics, individuals or patients. Because you have to differentiate that not everyone is a patient; there are also individuals who do not have a condition and can use this same solution to become better people, to live better lives, to feel better, to reach their goals, etc. That’s why we call it transformative medicine.”
NANA’s psychedelic telemedicine service is still in its beta stages. In beta and at launch, the telemedicine program will only be available in the U.S., but the content, resources, and website will be available worldwide.
“NANA is in a telemedicine format. We’re looking to standardize online content as much as we can because psychedelic therapy can be very expensive. There are not a lot of trained professionals in this area yet and going to see a doctor will always be much more expensive than accessing standardized content online. There’s also less risk this way. What we are doing as solutions is creating interfaces as if they were online courses where even medical professionals receive step by step assistance. This kind of therapy requires a lot of preparation, integration, and containment. The level of care that these medicines require is a hundred times stronger than western medicine. That is what we’re trying to standardize.”
“We work with substances that are legal wherever you are. In the United States that means ketamine, THC, and CBD which we integrate as a supplement. After that, we’ll keep expanding to other substances as they become legal. The substances are prescribed and then the compound pharmacy delivers it to people’s homes. The Nanas provide remote assistance. In cases that require it, psychedelic tourism can be an option. For example, traveling to Mexico to have access to other substances, like 5-MeO-DMT or ibogaine, that are more effective with conditions like addiction. So, people can travel and we prepare them and integrate them as part of the process.”
Psychedelics Are A Tool, Not A Magical Solution
Flor feels that is extremely important to clarify that as wonderful as they can be, psychoactive substances are not magical solutions, and that change must come from within.
“Magic pills don’t exist. You need to put in the work. Psychedelics can be boosters that give you courage to keep changing your life, but ultimately it’s on you. They need to be used and introduced as that extra something that gives you the strength to take a leap, but not as a quick fix. They can become addictive and if we’re not careful, we might see an epidemic of ketamine addiction soon. If they only give you a drug that makes you feel better without doing the work to feel better for yourself, you’re going to want it all the time. Drugs without work are addictive. That’s why the dosage is so important.”
“Ketamine is very effective in helping people gain insights on how to work to better their lives, but that alone won’t generate change. That’s why psychedelic therapy is now often combined with psychotherapy, but talking doesn’t heal everything. You need to introduce life practices as well and have technology support you at home. That’s why with NANA we look into how to support people in their homes with all the content and information they need to learn and simplify the complexity of living awake and transforming their lives.”
Nana’s Mission: Empowering Women Through Healing
While NANA helps men and women transform their lives, Flor believes that empowering women is pivotal in the male dominated healing industry. Women not only make amazing healers, but offer a different, more nurturing approach.
“Any woman can learn the same things that I’ve learned. That is the basis of NANA’s hypothesis. I watched it throughout my entire career, empowering women and seeing that naturally and intuitively we all knew what to do. It is the most natural thing in the world. From that place, NANA’s mission is to empower women to take this power that was taken from us. That means not just healing and containment with plant medicine but also sexuality. Sexuality is and has been an ancient way of healing. The most powerful energy in the universe is sexual energy. It is a creative, life-giving energy. That’s where we come from! There is no energy more powerful than sexual energy.”
“In recent years we have increased the number of medicine women, but we had to do it alone, just taking the power without asking for permission. Women are more than capable of being incredible healers but we’re still too wary. It’s up to us to start believing that we can do it and empower ourselves and each other. We also must set the bar high and not allow people to profit with psychoactive drugs, making them inaccessible for most. There’s a certain moral capacity that women naturally have that works well for this. It is a maternal instinct and other biological aspects that are extremely necessary in this industry to be able to administer these drugs. When someone is under the influence of a psychedelic they’re super vulnerable and that can be very scary. The last thing you want is to be with someone who is disconnected with their emotions.”