In the treatment of mood disorders and chronic pain, low-dose ketamine infusions induce short-term psychogenic and dissociative side effects that can be predictive of an effective and sustained relief outcome.1 With that knowledge, we emphasize the importance of one’s mindset and physical environment, known as “set and setting”. Based on patient feedback and our clinical experience, here are some considerations to optimize your ketamine experience. Keep in mind that each individual and infusion session are unique.
Wear non-restrictive, non-abrasive clothing that maintains your ideal external body temperature. Do you get cold easily? Consider layering or bringing a blanket. Conversely, wear short sleeved shirts and/or shorts, if you tend to get hot or sweaty indoors. Blankets, heaters, and fans are available at Alchemy Wellness.
The right sound
Auditory processing at the right resonance can enhance the ketamine experience by unraveling the mind’s deep layers of consciousness. We highly encourage the use of music or therapeutic sounds through a portable audio device with headphones. While our patients have indicated a preference for noise canceling headphones, there has been no distinction between the use of earbuds vs over-the-ear headphones. White noise machines and guest WIFI are available in the clinic.
Music selection tips
- Listen to instrumental playlists, such as ambient electronic or synthesized sounds that are rhythmic, droning, and devoid of lyrics.
- Immerse yourself in sounds that evoke a positive, open and welcoming experience. Avoid anything that provokes negative emotions and thoughts.
- Craft a playlist for the entire treatment duration.
- Trial Spotify and check out ketamine playlists. Suggested playlists included:3 Eric Sienknecht – A Ketamine Playlist, Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, Ketamine Saved Me, and Reiki Healing Music.
Eye masks (optional)
While some individuals prefer an open eye experience in a dark room with soft illumination, others find eye covering more immersive during their ketamine experience. We suggest loose fitting masks that cup over the eyes. Clean eye masks are available in the clinic. Each infusion room is equipped with remote-controlled ambient floor lighting and a Himalyian salt lamp.
Take advantage of the post-infusion decompression to be reflective and introspective on your experience. It does not have to be perfect, just write down what comes to mind.
Ketamine assisted psychotherapist (KAP)
In December 2020, we began adding psychotherapy during some treatments with Paul Brasler, MA, LCSW on a first-come, first serve basis. We do have an open-door policy if you prefer to have your personal therapist accompany you during treatment. We have had patients’ therapists video-conference, telephone, or sit in the room.
A ride home
Even though you are pretty much back to normal after the recovery period, ketamine still has some residual effects on balance, cognition, and reflexes. Motor vehicle operation is restricted for the remainder of the day.
Above all, bring an open mind willing to integrate the ketamine experience into something transformative. Things to keep in mind prior to infusion.
Things to keep in mind
- Disconnect from social media and news 24 hours prior to your infusion.
- Give yourself some time devoid of distractions and interruptions.
- Reflect with gratitude on the positive elements of your life.
- Set an intention prior to infusion. Whether broad or specific, focus what you would like to experience or resolve as a work in progress.
Have more questions about ketamine? Schedule a consultation and subscribe to our newsletter to review notices about future ketamine information sessions.
- Disner, S.G., Beevers, C.G., Haigh, E.A & Beck, A.T. Neural mechanisms of the cognitive model of depression. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 12, 467-477 (2011).