A Patients Guide To Healing With Ketamine Therapy

FAQs About Ketamine

How Does Ketamine Work?

Research shows that ketamine stimulates the growth and regrowth of neurons and connections in the brain. It is believed that ketamine affects glutamate, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in neuronal activation in the brain.

Is Ketamine Safe?

Ketamine was first introduced to the medical field in 1964 as an anesthetic. It quickly became a common go-to for doctors since it proved safe to use on children, animals, and the elderly.  Research into its therapeutic and mind-altering effects began soon after, in the 1970s. In the 1990s and 2000s, research emerged on its effectiveness in treating eating disorders, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, and suicidality.  

 As anesthesiologists, we have safely administered ketamine as an anesthetic to thousands of patients. However, in our ketamine clinic, we are administering ketamine at subanesthetic doses, making it even safer.  Additionally, our physician anesthesiologists directly administer the medication themselves. You could not be in a safer and more comfortable environment to receive ketamine infusions than you would be at Advanced Wellness and Pain.

The major risk factors we screen for are uncontrolled hypertension, unstable heart disease, uncontrolled thyroid disease, history of epilepsy, schizophrenia, mania, or psychosis. Typical side effects that can occur include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and fatigue.

What Is The Success Rate For Ketamine Treatment?

The national success rate of relief from symptoms after undergoing a series of ketamine infusions is reported to be up to 70%.  However, our unique process, the Integrative Ketamine Wellness Program, has a success rate of over 90% because we provide the extra resources and support that most other places don’t. In contrast, traditional antidepressants, such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin, have much lower success rates (some studies showing less than a 50% success rate).

What Should You Look For In A Ketamine Clinic?

  1. A physician on the premises should be participating in your care as opposed to “medically directing” the location from afar.
  2. The provider should be able to adjust the dose during infusions so that you receive the optimal dose in every session, rather than following a cookie-cutter recipe or protocol. The provider should also be comfortable discussing your dosage with you.
  3. You should have adequate preparation before your first infusion so that you’re in the proper mindset to receive care.
  4. The setting should be optimized (private room, music, lighting, etc.) so that you feel safe and comfortable. It should not feel anxiety-provoking like a typical hospital environment.
  5. You should have adequate integration of your infusion experiences. Integration is the process of unpacking and analyzing your infusion experiences, and incorporating these insights into your life. Without proper integration, you risk missing out on 95% of the benefit of your experience.
  6. Your progress should be tracked and objective quantitative feedback given to you as you complete the treatment process.
  7. There should be no external distractions, such as televisions in the room, regardless of the content. The purpose of this treatment is to facilitate you looking within your mind and finding a resolution to your state of suffering. To find your inner peace.
  8. You shouldn’t feel rushed out the door immediately after your infusion is complete. You should be given time to decompress and do integration work before you leave.

Is Ketamine Treatment Covered By Insurance?

At this time, most major insurance companies do not cover ketamine infusion therapy.  Advanced Wellness and Pain is not contracted with any health insurance companies. However, there are some insurance companies that will allow us to bill them.  At your request, we will run an insurance verification to find out if your policy will cover our services.  

What Is Involved In A Ketamine Infusion?

At our clinic, you will be continuously monitored for the entire duration of your infusions. Each patient gets a private room so you can feel safe during your 60 minute (or longer) sessions. Heart rate, oxygen saturation percentages, and blood pressure will be watched closely by our physicians. You will be monitored via live camera at all times for your safety. Additionally, during your infusion, you will have a call button with you so that if you ever need assistance we are just a push of a button away. Periodically, we will enter the room to monitor the level of effect and adjust your specific dosing. 

Patients can expect some temporary changes in vision and the ability to focus on people or objects. Speech can potentially be slurred, slowed, and it isn’t uncommon to feel a floating sensation. After your infusion is complete, you will be monitored for approximately 20-30 minutes during your recovery period. You will then be discharged from the clinic after your faculties return to a safe level. Because you can not drive home after an infusion, you will be discharged to a responsible driver. 

What Is The Process For Ketamine Treatment?

After consultation by one of our physicians,  we will prepare an individualized treatment plan for your particular diagnosis. The induction or stabilization phase usually consists of  3 hours of psychedelic integration coaching and 6 one-hour ketamine infusion sessions. Prior to starting your infusion treatment, you will spend 1 hour with our specialized ketamine integration coaches to prepare you for your first infusion.  During this hour, you will set goals, intentions, and learn what to expect during the ketamine treatment process. Our clinic uses ketamine as a catalyst for change. We will teach you a series of life skills necessary to assist you in healing from your past traumas. We’re aiming to fix the root causes of depression, anxiety, PTSD, or substance abuse.  Your ketamine sessions will open up your subconscious to allow you to address and move on from these past issues.  Our coaches will assist you in unpacking and resolving all of this. We believe that the pathway to achieving long-term success and inner peace is to heal from within. Every single aspect of our process is designed to inspire your inner healing journey. Most of our patients report feeling significant improvement of their symptoms by the third infusion, and more than 70% by the fourth. There are even some patients who report feeling relief after only one infusion. Regardless of the timeline, our patients that complete the full program report life-changing and often life-saving results.

Once patients complete their initial stabilization infusions, they will begin a maintenance phase. Maintenance varies from patient to patient.  Some patients require more frequent infusions than others. It is important to remember that our patients will work closely with our doctors to ensure their infusion path is right for them every step of the way.

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