Intravenous Ketamine Therapy: How to Prepare and What to Expect

Aug 30, 2022 | Education

The cell damage caused by stress and anxiety can increase the risk of major health problems such as dementia, heart problems, gut problems, and cancer. However, many adverse effects of stress and inflammation are able to be reversed with a new groundbreaking treatment – Intravenous Ketamine Therapy.

Since the 1960s, Ketamine has been used as a surgical anesthetic for its ability to sedate a patient without affecting the cardiovascular or respiratory system. Today, Ketamine is being used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, substance and alcohol addiction, and stress. Ketamine increases neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change), neurogenesis (the brain forming new neurons), and detoxes the brain.

Intravenous Ketamine Therapy is a safe and easy procedure, but you may have some questions before you go in for your first treatment. This guide is here to outline what you can expect before, during, and after each Intravenous Ketamine Therapy session at OWM Integrative Wellness.

Before your session 

Pre-Treatment Examination

Successful treatment requires preparing both physically and mentally for Intravenous Ketamine Therapy. The first step of this process is a comprehensive medical exam and a blood work panel with Dr. Leonard Kaplan. This examination is then followed by a meeting with one of our psychotherapists who work closely with Dr. Kaplan. The purpose of psychotherapy sessions is to understand feelings and behaviors that may be contributing to your current mental state. This step is called Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. Preparing you in this way for the Intravenous Ketamine Therapy experience increases the likelihood of treatment success.

Fasting Prior to Treatment

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of psychedelic therapies such as Ketamine. Fasting for a minimum of 3 hours prior to treatment is vital to avoid possible complications during the treatment.

In addition to fasting, it’s extremely important to avoid caffeine and alcohol at least a day prior to the treatment. This is because both substances are dangerous contraindications to Intravenous Ketamine Therapy and may cause serious side effects when taken together.

Practice Mindfulness and Set Your Intentions

Ketamine can have some psychedelic side effects, so it’s extremely important that you are well-rested and calm prior to the treatment. Setting an intention and practicing mindfulness will help keep you calm and prepare your mind for the Ketamine experience.

The Experience

At OWM Integrative Wellness, Intravenous Ketamine Therapy is administered in a spa-like setting with warm blankets and soothing music. Brain SPA treatment, which includes Virtual Reality Goggles and calming IV Therapy are administered prior to treatment to increase brain responsiveness and gently lead the patient into Intravenous Ketamine Therapy.

During Your Session 

The ketamine experience will be different from one person to the next, but some of the most commonly reported feelings and sensations are:

  • Euphoria
  • Heightened senses
  • Deep relaxation and trance-like state
  • Tingling
  • Pain relief
  • Dissociation
  • Safe processing of memories and past trauma

At OWM Integrative Wellness, Ketamine sessions are enhanced with music therapy using Wavepaths, a synthesizing software for a more personalized music experience that aids in emotional connection and release. The dosing of Ketamine and the music you hear are based on your individual assessment.

After Your Session 

After your Ketamine session, you might feel “tipsy” or sleepy for a few hours. For this reason, you will need to avoid driving and have a friend or family member available to pick you up after each treatment. Also, it’s advised to avoid any activities that would require you to be fully alert for the remainder of the day.

In the days after your treatment, you may start to feel “lighter”, more comfortable, enthusiastic, and/or more motivated. Another psychotherapy session will take place two days after the treatment to gain more from the insights experienced during the session. A series of 6-8 Ketamine sessions are recommended to stimulate brain neurogenesis and improve symptoms.

Ketamine Therapy at OWM

Ketamine has the potential for long-term, positive changes in the treatment of mental health and brain disease. You can learn more about the neurological benefits of Ketamine Therapy here and here. Contact us today to begin your journey into mental, physical, and emotional healing and wellness.

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