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Ketamine therapy for mood disorders in Arizona

Ketamine + Neurofeedback

Combining Ketamine Treatment and Neurofeedback Therapy for Improved Mental Health

Ketamine and neurofeedback can be an effective combined treatment for conditions like treatment-resistant depression and trauma. Ketamine induces a theta brain state that allows the processing of repressed memories, while neurofeedback helps patients gain control over their physiology and neurology.
Neurofeedback therapy in scottsdale, az, at advanced wellness and pain located at 5111 n scottsdale rd #105, scottsdale, az 85250.

Experts recommend starting with ketamine 2-3 times weekly for a month to “pick up the big pieces,” then adding neurofeedback 2-3 times weekly to “pick up the little pieces” and reinforce gains. The ketamine infusion frequency is gradually reduced as neurofeedback continues.

This combined approach is more effective than either therapy alone, especially for severe trauma or depression. Ketamine provides rapid antidepressant effects, while neurofeedback helps solidify and extend those benefits.

Patients report ketamine “pushes forward” into the theta state, while neurofeedback allows more control and memory processing without excessive prefrontal activity. Neurofeedback also teaches physiological self-regulation, which is helpful for conditions like anxiety.

Close medical supervision is crucial when combining these powerful therapies, as the effects require careful monitoring and adjustment.

Ketamine Treatment

  • Patients typically receive ketamine infusions 2-3 times per week for the first month.
  • The ketamine helps induce a theta brain wave state that allows for the processing of repressed memories and trauma.
  • The ketamine provides a rapid antidepressant effect and “picks up the big pieces” of the patient’s issues.

Neurofeedback Training

  • After the initial ketamine treatment, neurofeedback training is added two times per week.
  • The neurofeedback helps the patient gain more control over their physiological and neurological responses.
  • It “picks up the little pieces” and reinforces the gains made with the ketamine treatment.
  • The neurofeedback training teaches patients to control their brain activity and manage conditions like anxiety and depression.

Combining the Therapies

  • Experts recommend using ketamine first to provide the rapid initial benefits, then adding neurofeedback to solidify and extend those effects over time.
  • The ketamine dosage is gradually reduced as the neurofeedback training continues.
  • This combined approach has been shown to be more effective than either therapy alone for certain patients, particularly those with severe trauma or depression.
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What will a session look like?

A typical session begins with the placement of sensors on the head and neck to measure the electrical activity in the brain using an electroencephalograph (EEG) unit. The EEG unit transmits signals to the computer, which responds by sending low-intensity pulses back through the EEG unit to the brain, interrupting irregular patterns, and stimulating new healthy ones – the result is the minimization of unhealthy brain waves and the symptoms associated with them. While improved brain wave patterns can be tracked and documented via EEG, the operation of the system is not dependent upon EEG mapping of any kind.

How many sessions will I need? The number of sessions will vary from person to person. While it may take only a few sessions to recognize any benefits, it will typically take multiple sessions for the effects to establish longevity. A typical series is 10-20 sessions for adults, while youth usually require less. Initial improvements are often temporary, but due to the cumulative nature of the sessions, the improvements last longer with each session. Results typically endure and improve over time.

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James T. Leathem, DO

Dr. James Leathem is a board-certified anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He was born and raised in Connecticut and graduated from Florida Southern College with a bachelor of science in marketing management with minors in sociology and communications. He obtained his medical degree from Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in anesthesiology at Michigan State University and its affiliated McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital.

In 2015, after residency, Dr. Leathem returned to Arizona to practice anesthesiology. He joined Red Mountain Anesthesiologists and worked primarily at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, performing 100% of his own cases. He was made partner in the group after demonstrating 3 years of anesthesia excellence and administering over 4,000 anesthetics. In 2019, a corporate change occurred and an opportunity presented itself in which he was able to transition out of the hospital to surgery center and clinic-based anesthesia.

Dr. Leathem realizes that the only constant in life is change. In 2020, amidst the global pandemic, his career took a different direction. This change led him to collaborate with Dr. Wong and Dr. Sharma and they founded Advanced Wellness and Pain (AWAP). Their mission is to provide a variety of state-of-the-art procedural services that improve patients’ quality of life and overall physical and mental well-being.

Dr. Leathem believes that we are all a work in progress and that each day, one should strive to make positive changes in their life. He is here to help empower each patient on their journey to be their best self and live their best life. When you are being cared for by Dr. Leathem, you can be assured that he will give you his undivided attention and time.

Gregory Wong, MD

Dr. Wong is a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of both the American Society of Anesthesiology and the Arizona Society of Anesthesiology. He did his undergraduate training at the University of California at Davis, Davis, California; doctorate training at The University of Health Sciences of the Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL; and his post-doctoral training at the Integrated Program at the University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ. He has spent his whole 24-year career practicing in Arizona.

Dr. Wong grew up in the Bay Area of California. He is married and is raising three daughters. At the early age of 12 years old, he knew he wanted to become a physician. His love of the human spirit, intrigue of human physiology, and compassion for human suffering led him to the path of anesthesiology and pain medicine.

Today, Dr. Wong realizes patients need a holistic biophysical-mental-spiritual care. This philosophy has brought him to the studies of regenerative medicine and infusion therapies. He has firsthandily witnessed the overwhelming success of these therapies for treating chronic pain and depression and the return of patients of “life-functionality.”

“There has never been a time more important than now to advocate for our patients in these difficult times. We owe it to our patients to offer these state-of-the-art treatment modalities that weren’t available before.”

Deepak Sharma, MD, MBA

Dr. Sharma is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He completed three degrees at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA: a Bachelor in Finance, a Master in Business Administration, and a Doctor of Medicine. He went on to complete residency at the Mount Sinai Morningside-West Hospital System in New York, NY and post-graduate fellowship at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA.

Dr. Sharma is committed to treating his patients as a whole with a comprehensive biophysical-mental-spiritual approach. He is a lifelong learner and is constantly researching cutting-edge therapies backed by scientific studies. He has taken a particular interest in regenerative and infusion therapies after witnessing firsthand their significant benefits on those suffering from chronic pain and depression. In his free time, Dr. Sharma enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, traveling, reading, and meditation.