The Relationship Between Ketamine and Meditation

The Relationship Between Ketamine and Meditation

By KCLA | February 11th, 2022 |

Ketamine infusion therapy is quickly gaining traction as a legitimate treatment for certain mental health conditions. Not only are ketamine treatments for depression, anxiety, and PTSD safe and reliable, but they can offer long-term relief very rapidly in as little as one to two infusions.

Still, while the role of psychedelics in medicine is showing promising growth, patients looking to receive these treatments should always know exactly what to expect, and be ready when the time comes. The answer to this, for many, is meditation, an age-old practice that helps calm the mind. So, what is the link between ketamine and meditation, and can the two be used together to structure a proper set and setting before receiving ketamine infusion therapy?

Set and Setting

A crucial factor to be aware of before receiving any sort of psychedelic treatment is the establishment of a proper set and setting. First introduced in the 1964 guidebook, The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, set and setting refer to the internal and external factors that influence any psychedelic experience. 

“Set” is used to discern an individual’s mindset or inner climate, such as their mood, personality, beliefs, or perceptions. “Setting” then refers to all of the external factors, such as those around the individual and their behaviors, the environment and weather, and even cultural forces that aren’t always visible. While this is a simplified definition, the use of set and setting on a clinical level, particularly before and during ketamine infusion therapy, is a huge topic for discussion.

Anxiety in therapy sessions is extremely common, especially when psychedelics are involved. Individuals may be unsure what to expect, how it will go, if there will be any negative effects, and so on. It’s important for a first-time patient to be relaxed with as positive and calm a mindset as possible before a session starts, but this is often difficult. To properly prepare and establish a healthy “set,” many have chosen meditation as a means to achieve this relaxation.

Proper Meditation For Ketamine Treatments

Nearly any individual is capable of learning a variety of techniques for productive meditation, and the practice is absolutely proven to calm and relax a person’s mind. For those awaiting ketamine for anxiety or depression, developing skills in a meditation practice can help calm racing thoughts or worries, and make the experience much more significant and effective. 

Mindfulness meditation is one of the more popular practices for individuals to do on their own, or in classes. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on breathing, and bringing the mind's attention to the present moment without drifting into concerns about the past or the future. Other popular techniques include breath focus, yoga and qi gong, or guided imagery. Whatever the chosen method is, meditation is a reliable way to set a proper intention before receiving treatments such as ketamine infusion therapy, and is advised to consider beforehand.

The Ketamine Infusion Therapy Process

Meditation is a valuable tool that may help prepare patients for the dissociative state induced by ketamine infusion therapy. The ability to relax the mind in a meditative state can make the ketamine therapy experience more tolerable, even enjoyable, which in turn helps patients interpret and process what comes to their forefront during an infusion. Comfortably surrendering to the dissociative state in a safe, clinical setting can aid the antidepressant properties of ketamine take full effect and influence further healing in aftercare and follow up therapies. 

Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles has been providing patients with the opportunity to receive ketamine infusion therapy in a safe and comforting environment since 2014. Dr. Steven L. Mandel is an internationally recognized expert and pioneer in the use of ketamine infusion therapy to treat mental health conditions.

Cofounder and COO Sam Mandel says, “Set and setting are key to producing a valuable, effective experience, and KCLA is dedicated to ensuring that all patients receive treatments in a comfortable, safe environment.” Contact Ketamine Clinics LA today for any questions or comments, or for other important tips on depression and mental health.