Launching the Ketamine Program at Blum Center for Health with Dr. Danielle Greenman has been one of the most profound and exciting moments in my career as a Nurse Practitioner. When Dr. Greenman brought up the idea of bringing ketamine to Blum Center, I instantly became excited because I knew how life-changing ketamine can be.
We have seen some incredible results in our patients and overwhelmingly people have had a positive or productive experience. Ketamine is a wonderful option for so many reasons:
- Rapid Onset of Action: Ketamine is known for its rapid onset of action, often providing relief from symptoms such as anxiety, depression, rumination, low self-esteem etc. within hours or days, as opposed to weeks or months it can take for traditional antidepressants to become effective.
- Different mechanism of action: Ketamine acts on the glutamate system in the brain, which is different from the mechanisms of action of most other antidepressants (which primarily affect serotonin and norepinephrine). This unique action makes ketamine a great alternative or add-on for those who do not feel optimized on their current treatment.
- Neuroplasticity: Ketamine enhances neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt and reorganize itself. This can help people form new, more adaptive neural pathways and thought patterns.
- Greater mind body connection: The altered state of consciousness during the infusion leads to a heightened sense of introspection and self-awareness. This leads to a deeper connection to thoughts and emotions. Ketamine opens the door to the unconscious mind and allows people to explore what is lying beneath the surface. Emotions, thoughts, or memories that are difficult to reach in everyday life or an ordinary state we often don’t connect to are easier to grasp and process during a ketamine infusion. This can facilitate a deeper understanding of your emotional or past experiences and promote a more profound connection between your emotional and physical states. Ketamine can create a deeper self-awareness of thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations that contributes to a stronger mind-body connection and a deeper sense of self.
- Reduction of suicidal thoughts: Ketamine has demonstrated the ability to rapidly reduce suicidal ideation. This could potentially be life-saving for those at high risk of self-harm or suicide.
It truly has been an honor to administer the ketamine infusions and walk alongside people on their journeys–a task that I do not take lightly. It is my mission to create as comfortable of an environment as possible to give people the safety they need to feel vulnerable and open to embrace anything that comes up in a non-ordinary state of consciousness similar to that of a deep meditation or hypnosis.
Before each infusion, I take a moment to set the intention of the experience with gentle reminders to start the journey off in a good headspace, where you are anchored to your body and have guidance for navigating the experience. Everyone is different and has different needs during the infusion and I honor whatever those needs may be. I take the time before someone starts their ketamine journey to make sure I understand how to best support them.
There are things you can do to prepare to have the best experience during a ketamine infusion.
How to prepare for a Ketamine Infusion at Blum Center for Health:
- Use the bathroom before you start the infusion
- Wear comfortable clothes
- Eat a light meal before
- Bring an eye mask and blanket
- Curate a playlist (we have a playlist for you if you need)
- Communicate all needs
Many people fear a “bad trip”. Dr. Greenman would say there is no such thing as a bad trip but rather our experience is shining a light on an area of the psyche that needs attention. What feels scary or dark to one may be exciting for another. That being said, when uncomfortable experiences present during a session either Dr. Greenman or myself will support you and help you find safety. Oftentimes what may have felt scary at first becomes enlightening. That being said, most people have joyous and happy experiences and do not experience anything uncomfortable at all. I am always amazed by the profound insights that people share at the end of the infusion and notice positive shifts in energy from when they first came in.
Every single person has dealt with something challenging in their lives and those are things we usually carry with us, whether we realize it or not. Ketamine leads to a greater understanding and connection to ourselves. We all have an organic inner healing intelligence and throughout the process, ketamine can help create a deeper sense of connection and understanding of this part of ourselves.
Learn more about Ketamine Therapy and our offerings at Blum Center for Health. If you’re curious about Ketamine Assisted Therapy and if it ‘s right for you, set up a consultation call with Michelle Levins, NP: call or text 914.652.7800.