Our expert team creates tailored therapy plans that combine intra-muscular ketamine therapy with psychotherapy and other medical treatments to help you rediscover the full life you may have thought forever lost.
There is clearly a biochemical component to how ketamine treats depression. The exact mechanism (as with many treatments for mental health) is not totally understood. One of the leading theories is that ketamine blocks the NMDA receptor which causes an increase in a chemical called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This increase in BDNF causes new synapses (connections) to be created in the brain which in turn improves one’s mood. While this is certainly important, we believe that this is only one part of how ketamine treats depression.
The Transformational Experience
The central theme of NuMed’s treatment strategy is that the experiential (or psychedelic) effect of ketamine is not a side effect to be eliminated, but rather a foundational component of how it treats depression. Our doses are much higher than the traditional “NIH protocol” and we seek to create an intense transpersonal and transformational experience. This cannot be achieved with a low-dose nasal spray like Spravata (Esketamine) and it cannot be achieved when clinicians administer concurrent doses of benzodiazepines such as Valium.
The Psychotropic Therapeutic Response
At NuMed, we believe that ketamine can take the mind to a place where the lies of the ego are destroyed, where the echoes of one’s past are silenced, and where the paradigm of how a person views themself is fundamentally deconstructed. The point where a person crosses into this space is what we call the Psychotropic Therapeutic Response. To guide patients into this space, we progressively increase the dose of ketamine throughout the six sessions of the Induction Series to the point where the ego gets fully dissolved and one’s true self gets uncovered.
Learn more about Ketamine for Severe Depression today!
Ketamine Changes The Channel
One way to conceptualize post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is that it is like being forced to listen to a radio station you hate. The same content gets broadcasted over and over and over. Traditional treatments like Zoloft, Seroquel, and Xanax only serve to “turn down the volume”…but the station remains the same. Ketamine breaks this paradigm because it has the potential to “change the channel.”
Klarisana, a NuMed partner recently completed an Institutional Review Board-approved study where we administered PTSD and depression screening tests to thirty combat veterans before and after a ketamine therapy Induction Series. They received the PTSD Checklist (PCL-5) which is an 80-point score of PTSD symptoms. They also received the Periodic Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) which is a 27-point scoring tool that assesses symptoms of depression. The veterans had a 45% decrease in their average PCL-5 score (56.2 to 31.3) and a 50% decrease in their PHQ-9 score (18.9 down to 9.5). Our manuscript has been submitted and will hopefully be accepted for publication soon.
Ketamine Is A Disruptive Treatment For PTSD
At NuMed, we recommend an initial series of six intramuscular ketamine sessions spaced out over two to four weeks to treat mental health conditions. Each intramuscular session is about one hour long. Patients are treated in a private room and are monitored by a NuMed staff member throughout the entire experience. We progressively increase the dose of ketamine over the course of the Induction Series sessions to help the patient enter a powerful transpersonal and mystical space known as the Psychotropic Therapeutic Response. The Induction Series is a very dynamic process because who you are in terms of how you see yourself and your relationship to the world changes between each session. This is a very disruptive concept in western medicine because the space in which we are operating synthesizes evidence-based pharmacologic treatment with a shamanistic element of guiding our patients through a profound mystical experience. We increase our doses safely but aggressively to maximize this experience. Unlike some of our competitors, we try to avoid using any benzodiazepines (Valium etc.) that would cause our patients to not remember this transformative experience.
Anxiety just doesn’t make sense. As many who suffer from it would agree, from a purely logical standpoint it is quite irrational. Most of the ”threats” in one’s life really don’t justify the response that patients with severe anxiety experience. Getting rid of that destructive cycle of anxiety, however, is easier said than done. As with PTSD, we feel that if you have severe anxiety, you are locked into a cycle where it is like being forced to listen to a radio station that you hate. Medications such as Xanax and Seroquel can “turn down the volume” by sedating you but you are still ”tuned into the wrong channel.” The experiential and transformative experience of ketamine doesn’t just turn down the volume…it “changes the channel.”
Will Ketamine Make Me Anxious?
Most likely not. The set and the setting for receiving ketamine therapy for anxiety is vitally important. A part of this is making sure that you understand our philosophy of treatment and why we do what we do. We leverage the “psychedelic” aspect of ketamine in a safe and controlled way. The vast majority of our patients with severe anxiety report that ketamine washes away their anxiety. We feel that this is related to the concept of ego disillusion. Your ego is a liar that creates a false narrative. It is what fills you with limiting beliefs and forces you to worry about things are really not worth worrying about. Many of our patients report that they can disconnect from themselves and many reports having a sense of being able to see themselves from the perspective of an outside observer. One of our patients said it very well when he reported,” you know I just can’t remember what I was anxious about.”
A Safer Alternative To Opioids
One of the most interesting things about ketamine therapy is that it is not only effective for the treatment of depression and other mental health conditions, but it is very effective at breaking the cycle of many forms of chronic pain. It does each of these through different mechanisms, but the net result is a very impressive synergy because, for most patients who endure chronic pain, there is frequently coexistent depression and/or PTSD. Since its inception in 2015, NuMed has been one of the most progressive centers in the US at using ketamine to derail chronic pain and help patients decrease or eliminate the use of dangerous opioid pain medications.
Which Pain Conditions Can Ketamine Treat?
- Cancer pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Intractable back pain
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Chronic Lyme disease
- Cyclic vomiting
- Phantom limb pain
- Chronic pancreatitis
Targeted Receptor Therapy
At NuMed we use ketamine to target several different pain receptors at the same time and achieve a synergistic effect to derail chronic pain. At the heart of many forms of chronic pain is the destructive feedback loop of Central Sensitization. This feedback loop however is mediated by the NMDA receptor which is what ketamine blocks. Given that chronic pain is very heterogeneous it can be challenging to predict exactly who will respond but published reports and our own clinical experience shows that over 70% of patients have meaningful relief and can significantly decrease their use of opioid medications.