In recent years, Ketamine therapy has become increasingly popular as a method for treating mental health disorders such as anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. According to a ketamine therapy article in the New Yorker, the concept of ketamine therapy actually dates back to the ‘60s and ‘70s. But it was only in the late 2010s that this type of intervention and others like it “went mainstream,” in part due to the publication of a book called “How To Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan. This book helped to inspire more research based interventions with psychedelic treatments by major medical companies, leading to a growing intervention termed as “Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)” –– which might have sounded unusual just a few years ago –– is becoming commonplace.
But what really is ketamine assisted psychotherapy? How can you maximize its effects?
The general concept on ketamine therapy is something that has been covered at Los Angele's holistic group practice, Shakti Therapy & Healing Services, and is an intervention that is being used to help people heal from the trauma struggles that impact the mind. In the article titled “Ketamine Assisted Therapy; A Unique Approach to Mental Health” by psychotherapist and group practice Founder Ektha Aggarwal, it was explained that the KAP method involves the controlled administration of Ketamine by a medical doctor and guided holistic therapy by a licensed psychotherapist. This clinical team will conduct integration work that helps to accelerate the growth of neuroplasticity, ultimately resulting in the management of debilitating or medication resistant mental health symptoms. It’s something that’s been shown to be highly effective and transformative, however, should only be attempted with proper professional clinical guidance.
While you may be a good fit for Ketamine therapy and are trying to get ready for this transformation, there are there are some things you can do on your own to maximize the effectiveness of KAP.
Recognize the Process
The most important thing you can do to maximize the effects of your psychedelic treatments with ketamine, is to recognize that you have autonomy and agency to begin the healing process right now through these simple tips. Ketamine assisted psychotherapy helps you shift your mindset toward a more effective and supportive place that is aligned with your values, goals, and vision for a fulfilling life. The medicine, the clinical care team, and the interventions are half of the treatment, and the half of this healing modality is up to you and your choice to implement the learnings from the medicine journey into your life to anchor in a healthier mindset. Once you recognize this, you can tailor your other pre or post-therapy efforts toward maintaining mindfulness, positivity, and a healthy wellbeing .
Improve Your Sleep Routine
One of the best ways to keep your mind in a healthy and receptive space is to ensure that you are getting proper rest. Research and data from Sleep Medicine Reviews concluded that improved sleep habits led to a “significant medium-sized effect” on composite mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and rumination. Given that the primary goal of traditional ketamine therapy is to address the management of depression and anxiety, these findings make it clear that improving your sleep routine is a logical and productive way to maximize the therapy’s effects.
Though sleep is integral part of the healing process, sleep and rest are not the same thing. It is easy to confuse the two. There are different types of rest we need to feel whole & complete again. The culture that we are in - this high achieving, high producing & chronically tired society, doesn't understand the true power of rest. You can learn more about the equal parts of rest here.
It is easy to forget that what you consume has an impact on how you feel. It is not uncommon for those who regularly feel anxious or depressed to seek out unhealthy foods as a source of comfort and as a coping mechanism. Due to these factors, it is a good idea to include a plan to eat well as part of your effort to maximize therapy’s effectiveness. Healthy meal planning is different for each person and body type. There is no one right method to eat well. Something to keep in mind is this does not mean you have to seek out only “healthy” foods, or meals that don’t excite you; balance is an important step towards improvement and change. You have autonomy to make healthier choices –– such as infusing more nutritious options and controlling portion sizes –– without significant sacrifices. Ultimately though, ensuring that you’re getting proper nutrition and avoiding overeating will have a profound effect on your wellbeing, and will likely improve the effectiveness of your Ketamine therapy.
*Be sure to consult with your care team on nutrition recommendations for pre-ketamine therapy preparation.
Similar to adequate sleep and proper nutrition, regular exercise can have a healthy effect on your mental state. Exercise with a regular ritual and routine will give you a sense of accomplishment and boost self-confidence. Rituals around exercise can help you not only have a consistent practice that is dedicated to you, but have other mental health benefits that impact your mindset. It is also true that the direct physiological benefits of exercise –– such as lowered blood pressure and the release of endorphins –– have shown to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Thus, establishing a regular exercise routine in the aftermath of ketamine assisted psychotherapy can help you to maintain what the therapy will have accomplished.
According to Shakti Therapy & Healing Services, a holistic group practice in Los Angeles, CA, weather it is ketamine therapy or implementing healthy self care efforts to enhance your ketamine experience, applying any of these efforts consistently may begin the healing journey and shift your struggles into identifying areas of strengths. These strengths become the pillars that anchor in your insights from ketamine assisted psychotherapy. Remember, above all, therapy itself is not a an end-all cure; it is a part of your healing journey and a process that you can maintain in order to manage and get ahead of your depression and anxiety.
Healing is always a choice - a choice you make everyday that says, "I am greater than this thought. I am not defined by this moment. I am a human having a spiritual experience."
Ektha Aggarwal is a licensed Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapist (KAP) and CEO of Shakti Therapy and Healing Services in Los Angeles, CA. Ektha specializes in psychedelic therapy to decolonize the stigma around mental health and instill the concept of deep fulfillment. To learn more about Shakti Therapy and Healing services, please visit www.shaktitherapyhealing.com or email Ektha at email@example.com.