Ketamine Therapy is helping millions of people suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain disorders, and more. The biochemical and physiological changes that occur in our brain after Ketamine Therapy are one of the reasons that it’s helping people, but it’s not the only one. The psychedelic experiential effect we get from Ketamine Therapy also has a hand in helping us heal. In this article, we aim to explain how you can get the most out of your Ketamine Treatment by properly preparing for and integrating the experience into your life.
Prior to your Ketamine Therapy session, it is critical to prepare both your mind and body by detoxing from things such as cannabis, alcohol, and even violence on TV, music, and movies. The insights you will gain during your session are more likely to be retained and integrated into your everyday life if you have set an intention for your session, and have plans to implement a daily personal practice such as journaling or meditation.
The experience you have during your Ketamine Treatment can potentially change the perception you have of yourself and of the world around you. It may expose some deep truths or buried traumas that have long been hidden in your unconscious mind, and can help give you the tools you need to release these traumas and let them go. This can be an overwhelming experience, which is why it’s so important to prepare for your ketamine therapy prior to your sessions. So how can you best prepare for and respond to your experience following your session so that you can take positive, actionable steps to heal?
How To Prepare For Your Ketamine Treatment
Ketamine Therapy can induce an out-of-the-ordinary state of consciousness. The kind of experiences induced by Ketamine Therapy are often called “psychedelic”. During your experience, you may see, hear, and feel things similar to hallucinations, but those things are actually the experience that you are having within yourself, with Ketamine acting as the mediator to allow those experiences to happen. Preparing both your mind and body for the session is essential in order to have a positive experience during your Ketamine Therapy session. It will also help with remembering the experience and integrating what you learned during your session with your everyday life.
Follow these steps to help prepare you for your first session prior to going into it.
Prepare Yourself With a Detox and Fast
If possible, you should attend your sessions as “clean” as you can. Ketamine affects your mind and mood, so outside stimuli can affect how you perceive your experience, as well as the experience as a whole. As a result, it can be good practice to detox from any activities, items, or substances that can have an impact on both prior to attending your first session. Stimulants, anti-depressants, and benzodiazepines can potentially interfere with your ketamine experience, so it’s a good idea to avoid this where possible. Of course, if you’re using these medications already, it’s important to never change your medication routine without first consulting your doctor. Even TV shows and movies that contain a lot of violence can alter your experience, so you should avoid them as well. Be mindful of what you eat, drink, read, and watch, as all of these things can have an impact on your body and mind. MY Self Wellness suggests that you fast completely for four hours prior to your treatment, so be sure to hydrate a lot in the two days leading up to your session.
Meditation can enable you to calm your mind and open up to the things you will experience throughout your Ketamine Therapy session. The control we learn through meditation, such as grounding ourselves, and the ability to remain calm when our thoughts are racing, will sometimes come in handy during a Ketamine Therapy session. Having the ability to center yourself and focus on your breathing will allow you to be open to feelings, emotions, insights, and sensations that you might have been unprepared to accept or otherwise may have missed during your session. At MY Self Wellness, we will teach you proper detox techniques, as well as meditation, and tips for living a healthy lifestyle.
Journaling and Self-Reflection
Prior to your first Ketamine Therapy session, it can be good practice to journal about the things that you hope to experience, resolve, and learn during the session. What are your goals for your session? Write them out. Maybe you’re searching for a way to let go of your anxiety or depression, or you want your pain levels to decrease. Write them down. The earlier you begin journaling, the better. Ultimately, you should strive to start as far out from your session as possible, but try to start it at least the day before, and no later than a few hours before.
The reason we try to get you to start your journaling process as early as possible is that it’s incredibly important that you do so in an unhurried, calm disposition. Keeping your stress levels low is imperative to a good session (and it’s also good journaling practice). Where possible, we like to recommend that you spend as much time in nature prior to your session as you can.
Set Your Intention For your Experience
Once you’ve done your journaling and self-reflection, you’ll be able to set your intention for your Ketamine experience. Intentions can differ from one individual to the next. For some, their intentions are synonymous with the outcomes or goals that they want to achieve from the session. While for others, they can be a way of life. They can even be a simple sentence or two. Some examples include:
“Be at peace.”
“Be kinder to myself.”
“Get freedom from pain.”
“Surrender to the experience.”
Whatever happens during your session, you should have a precise intention that can help to anchor you when you’re feeling challenged. If you are experiencing anything difficult or even terrifying during your session, you’ll be able to take a deep breath, recenter yourself, and reconnect with your set intention to help keep you calm. Your intention will also give you context in which to deconstruct what you heard, felt, and saw during your Ketamine Therapy session.
Before your session, prepare as much as possible, but here’s the most important thing to remember: just let go during your session. Now that you’ve prepped and planned, it’s time to let go and be one with your experience. Be open to whatever it is that comes to light.