Man at the top of a mountain peak, representing the journey of overcoming a mental health disorder with ketamine therapy

Preparing for Your Ketamine Therapy Journey: Tips and Advice

In this article, we offer our tips and advice for an optimal ketamine therapy experience. Ketamine therapy represents a modern iteration of psychedelic therapy within the long history of medicine, offering a unique solution for individuals with mental health conditions such as treatment-resistant depression. Research from the NIH indicates that ketamine therapy can lead to significant improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms within the first hour of the initial dose.

Additionally, the NIMH reports that 71% of participants receiving intravenous ketamine therapy experienced a noticeable improvement. However, it’s important to note that side effects can occur if proper preparation and precautions are not taken. So, what steps can you take to ensure a successful treatment?

Steps to Take for a Successful Ketamine Therapy Journey

1. Physical Preparation

To ensure a smooth ketamine infusion procedure, proper physical preparation is essential. Begin by fasting for 4 to 6 hours before your infusion. This precaution is necessary because the treatment may cause nausea or vomiting. According to Restorative Health, approximately 15% of patients experience nausea during ketamine therapy. It’s crucial to avoid alcohol and illicit drugs before treatment, as they can be dangerous in combination with ketamine.

In an effort to avoid the two most common side effects of ketamine treatments, nausea and dizziness, we frequently prescribe a scopolamine patch to be worn during treatment. The patches are most commonly used to prevent seasickness on cruises.

Ensure you get a good night’s sleep, dress comfortably, and try to relax before your appointment. Since you’ll be seated or reclining during the infusion, wearing comfortable clothing and being well-rested will help you stay relaxed. Additionally, some people may feel cold during the treatment, so bringing a small blanket can be helpful.

2. Mental Preparation

Mental preparation is equally, if not more, important than physical preparation for ketamine therapy. The infusion can be intense and overwhelming, causing feelings of anxiety or fear. Maintaining a positive mindset during the session is crucial for achieving the best possible outcome.

Several methods can help you prepare mentally for a ketamine infusion. Setting positive intentions before the session can make a significant difference. These intentions can be as simple as wanting to relax and not stress. Listening to calming and uplifting music and meditating can also prepare your mind for the experience. Avoid any music or activities that might evoke negative emotions. We strongly encourage you to prepare with your talk therapist.

Ensuring a Positive Experience

Ketamine therapy offers substantial benefits for mental health, particularly for individuals with treatment-resistant conditions. However, proper preparation is key to minimizing unwanted side effects and maximizing the treatment’s effectiveness. By preparing both physically and mentally, such as wearing comfortable clothing and engaging in calming activities, you can enhance your overall experience.

If you’re interested in exploring the potential benefits of ketamine therapy, contact Mindstream Medicine in Philadelphia, PA today.