Not long ago, anyone who wanted to receive ketamine treatments for PTSD, anxiety or another mental health issue had to go into a clinic and get hooked up to an IV. It was far from convenient and confidential. It also severely limited who was able to receive ketamine therapy.
In recent years ketamine therapy options have expanded as more research shows that under supervision ketamine is safe to use outside of a clinical setting. Some studies have even found that a clinical setting may not be the best environment for ketamine therapy. As a result of that research, it’s now possible to receive at-home ketamine treatments. The process is completely safe, and patients often feel much more comfortable in their own homes, which can be very beneficial for the outcome.
Even though you probably already feel comfortable in your home, there are ways you can improve the environment so that it’s more conducive for a ketamine therapy experience.
Why Environment is So Important During Ketamine Treatments
Because ketamine creates a sensory experience, what’s around you during the treatment can have a huge effect on how you feel. This includes the physical things around you and the general atmosphere of the setting. It’s so impactful, that studies have found the physical and social environments affect ketamine psychostimulant sensitization.
The better the environment is for the ketamine treatment, the more productive the session will be. With that in mind, setting up the environment should be a top priority prior to undergoing ketamine treatments.
How to Set Your Environment Up for the Best At-Home Ketamine Experience
Now that you understand the importance of the environment, you can begin setting up your living space so that it's a productive place for ketamine therapy. Generally speaking, the environment or setting should be tranquil and calm. Here are a few things you can do to create a calmer space before your ketamine therapy session.
Choose a Clean and Decluttered Space That’s Free of Distraction
The ideal space for a ketamine treatment is one that is clean, decluttered and free of distractions. This includes loud noises that could disrupt the session. This may mean scheduling your treatment for a time when others aren’t at home or when outside distractions are less likely.
Put Your Devices and a Notepad in Easy Reach
During an at-home ketamine treatment, you will need to have a computer set up to video conference with the guide. You’ll also need a device for playing music. You or your peer in the home will need to have a phone on hand as well.
All of these devices should be set up in advance so that they are in easy reach. The device that’s being used for the video conference should be close enough with the volume turned up so that you can easily interact with the guide and ask questions if needed.
You’ll also need a notepad at the beginning and end of the treatment session. In the beginning, the notepad can be used to write down your intentions for the session. Once the session is complete, it’s a good idea to write down notes about your experience. This is also a great time to reflect back on the intentions that were noted before the session began.
Put Smartphones in Do Not Disturb Mode
There should be no distractions or unexpected calls during the treatment session. Smartphones should be put into Do Not Disturb mode and all other devices should be silenced.
Adjust the Lighting
Light has a huge impact on our brain function. Bright light and fluorescent lights can be jarring. Most patients find that dimming the lights or using ambient light creates a more relaxing environment during ketamine treatments. At Choose Ketamine we provide patients with an eye mask that we recommend wearing to block out light.
Put on Soothing Background Music
Some people find that soothing music aids the experience. Anything that is relaxing and helps with meditation is a good option. We provide patients with QR code to a playlist for the treatment session. It can be played over a laptop, tablet, phone or Bluetooth-connected device, such as a speaker. Some patients find that using headphones is beneficial in helping them relax during treatment.
Create a Comfortable Seating Area
Between the preparation, actual treatment and review period, a ketamine therapy session will be approximately two hours long. While taking oral ketamine you’ll need to be in an upright position. However, once the solution is spit out, you should recline back. The seating area needs to be somewhere the patient can go from sitting to lying down or reclining back into a more horizontal position. A bed, couch or recliner works well. Use pillows and blankets as needed to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Also, have a cup or trash bin near the seating area that you can spit the solution into after it has dissolved in the mouth. Since there is a slight risk of nausea, it may be best to use a trash can.
Have Someone Else Present
Choose Ketamine guides will be on hand virtually the entire time, but we require that a peer be in the home with you. It’s a precaution that actually helps patients relax and feel more secure.
With each ketamine treatment, you’ll have a better understanding of what setting works best for you. It may even be a good idea to make notes after the session in regards to what environmental factors improved or impeded the experience.
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