Ketamine therapy is an effective treatment for conditions such as major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder, and PTSD. It is well known that good preparation is a key to successful treatment. Always ask for the dos and don'ts before going for the sessions. Here are 9 things you can do to maximize the impact of this treatment.
Various medicines interfere with ketamine's performance in the brain, reducing its efficiency in improving depressive symptoms. Talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication. List down all the drugs you are taking before stating the treatment. Your doctor needs to know any medicine you are taking to inform them how to schedule treatments. Therefore, be honest about your medical history.
Plan your day of dosing in advance and plan nothing after your dosing session. When you have something scheduled after a dosing session, your mind consciously and unconsciously focuses on the planned events. Plan to do nothing after your dosing session.
One of the common side effects of ketamine treatment is nausea and, rarely, vomiting. Avoid eating at least four hours into your treatment to reduce the chances of nausea. People also tend to feel less effects of medicine when you have something in your stomach. If your doctor prescribed an antinausea medication, please make sure to take it as instructed.
Physical sensations of uncomfortable clothes can impact your experience. Make sure to wear non-restrictive, soft, and comfortable clothes.
Music can take you to a deep introspection during the session. Pick a music list that feels right to you on the day of the session. If music doesn’t feel right during the session, you can always simply skip it. It may take some time to find music playlists that feel right for you.
If you are undergoing a ketamine session, it is generally recommended to turn off your smartphone notifications in order to minimize external distractions and allow yourself to fully focus on the experience. Ketamine can induce intense changes in perception and consciousness, and it is often used for therapeutic purposes to help people process difficult emotions, experiences, and memories.
During a ketamine session, it is important to create a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment that allows you to fully engage with the experience. This means minimizing external stimuli that could distract or interrupt your process, including notifications from your smartphone.
Additionally, receiving notifications during a ketamine session can be jarring and disrupt the flow of your experience, potentially leading to anxiety or discomfort. By turning off your notifications and disconnecting from your phone, you can create a more immersive and focused experience that can help you gain deeper insights and healing benefits from your ketamine therapy.
You will enter a different mind state from usual during the ketamine dosing sessions. You will be able to access different emotions and memories with the help of the medication. Having a clear intention as you go into the sessions tends to make it easier for the material directly or indirectly related to the intention to surface. If not sure, ask your provider how to set your intentions before you start a session.
Dimming the light is known to calm down your nervous system. Please also make sure that your room is quiet. Turn off all the notifications of your smartphone and laptop so that you don’t get triggered by those obnoxious noises during the session.
Make sure you are relaxed, calm, and well-rested before your ketamine sessions. Even with all the preparation, you may find yourself having a full head of thoughts as you arrive at the dosing session. Take a few minutes to meditate or do a breathwork to center your mind and calm your nervous system. If you are new to meditation or breathwork, you may want to check out an app such as Insight Timer. Alternatively, you can do a quick breath work as follows. You start by by exhaling to a count of four, holding your lungs empty for a four-count, inhaling at the same pace, and holding air in your lungs for a count of four before exhaling and beginning the pattern anew.
The focus here is to create an internal and external state that makes it easier for you to be able to focus on your internal world during the session. Sometimes life makes it hard to be fully prepared but following the 8 steps above will be helpful to maximize the treatment effect.