If you’ve been researching treatments for mental health issues, you may have heard about ketamine therapy. Psychedelic therapy has recently gained traction as an alternative method that aims to help combat mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

Eric Miller, MD, wrote regarding this shift, “With the growth of this system has also come the diminishing of both the art of healing, as well as the disempowerment of the key component and true primary healer; the patient. The traditional medical model places emphasis on external factors, healthcare practitioners and medications; factors outside of the patient, to bring about change. Sadly, traditional medicine’s attempts at evolving, in this professional’s opinion, has resulted in a distancing of one’s self from one’s health.”

So what exactly is it and how does it work? Let’s dive in and take a look.

What is Ketamine Therapy? 

Ketamine therapy typically involves a single dose of the drug ketamine that is administered by a medical professional. The effects of the drug can last up to several hours. During this time, the client will experience dissociative-like effects.

This experience is typically very new to clients and can come with a great deal of insights and relief. However, the patient may experience mild side effects such as dizziness or nausea. It’s important to note that these side effects are rare and temporary and should not last longer than an hour or two on average.

How Does It Work? 

Ketamine works by interacting with receptors in the brain that are responsible for regulating mood and emotions. When these receptors are stimulated, it can lead to changes in thinking patterns, behavior, and emotional regulation.

Harvard Health Publishing wrote, “One likely target for ketamine is NMDA receptors in the brain. By binding to these receptors, ketamine appears to increase the amount of a neurotransmitter called glutamate in the spaces between neurons. Glutamate then activates connections in another receptor, called the AMPA receptor. Together, the initial blockade of NMDA receptors and activation of AMPA receptors lead to the release of other molecules that help neurons communicate with each other along new pathways. Known as synaptogenesis, this process likely affects mood, thought patterns, and cognition.”

Studies have found that ketamine can help with depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation, addiction, and even chronic pain.

Ketamine Therapy at Within Center in Austin, TX

This form of therapy has become increasingly popular over the past few years as an alternative route for combatting various mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder and more. While there is still much to learn about how exactly this type of therapy works to produce its therapeutic effects on the brain and body, research has shown promising results for those who have used it to manage their mental health issues.

If you’re looking for additional help with your mental health condition(s), consider speaking with our clinical staff today. Within Center acts as both a retreat center and an outpatient care facility. We’re here to help to take the journey within and to position you to be your very own healer.