Last Wednesday, I visited the Ketamine lounge in Miami Beach to undergo my first ketamine treatment. I did not know exactly what to expect but I was excited because I had heard many positive things about what ketamine can do in terms of health and performance. I am always looking for new ways to grow and improve and this visit to the lounge seemed a great opportunity to try something new. Because remember! We don’t want to go through life, we want to grow through life. I am Excited to share with you my Ketamine experience. Let’s get it!
WHAT IS KETAMINE?
First discovered in 1956 and used as an anesthetic for animals, ketamine was cleared by the FDA in the 1970s as a human anesthetic. Since then, it's been used extensively to sedate patients for surgery, including soldiers injured in the line of duty during the Vietnam War.
In addition to sedation, the trance-like state ketamine produces comprises pain relief; amnesia; and a sense of dissociation, like you're outside of your body. Taking a high dose of ketamine may lead to a psychedelic experience known as a k-hole, involving severe dissociation, intense visual hallucinations, and feelings of unreality.
HOW KETAMINE IMPACTS THE BRAIN?
Ketamine has been shown to primarily affect two important neurotransmitters called glutamate and GABA. According to the Brain & Behavior Research Institute, these two chemical messengers have seemingly opposite effects: "glutamate is the most common of the brain’s ‘excitatory’ neurotransmitters, while GABA has an opposite, inhibitory, role." This combination has been shown to lead to the rapid decrease of suicidality and improvement of mood.
GABA and glutamate also play important parts in reducing the distressing effects of other mental illnesses. For example, ketamine’s effect on GABA shows promise in relieving the difficult to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Ketamine has also been shown to increase Neuroplasticity in the brain. This is particularly powerful for individuals experiencing treatment-resistant depression (TRD) as one hypothesized underlying cause of TRD is decreased plasticity in the brain. An article by researchers at the University of British Columbia states, “Effects may 'reset the system' by counteracting synaptic deficits, neuronal atrophy, and loss of connectivity in depression.” Ketamine seems to improve the brain’s ability to heal itself by allowing new neural pathways to develop.
Ketamine disrupts something called the default mode network (DMN). Coined by neurologist Marcus E. Raichle in 2001, the DMN describes the neurobiological “ruts” we get ourselves into, our most common ways of thinking and behaving. To understand this concept better, imagine you’ve found yourself stuck in a corn maze. You’ve tried several times but just can’t seem to find your way to where you want to go.
Ketamine temporarily lowers the walls of this maze so that the person getting the treatment can look around and get a different perspective on other paths and possibilities. This is a Powerful tool to install new habits in your life.
The catch, of course, is that it is then up to the person getting the Ketamine treatment to make change and take action on that new path.
This is it can be really beneficial to take Ketamine in a professional setting like the Ketamine lounge. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) encourages people to take advantage of this opportune time for developing new habits by exploring an individual’s values and long-term goals. I love look for new ways to accelerate and optimize habit change and I love this idea that ketamine can be a gateway in helping us get out of ruts and experience new paths, opportunities and help unlock an entire new level of health and performance.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS KETAMINE?
Ketamine has proven to be one of the most versatile and effective drugs over the past few decades. Multiple studies at prominent universities and research centers show Ketamine being about 74% effective with improving mood disorders. Ketamine has also been proven to reduce anxiety. Anxiety of course can play a major factor in determining your success when performing.
DEALING WITH PERFORMANCE ANXIETY
Performance anxiety is a fear that develops from the illusion of failing. It is a fear of not being able to perform, a fear of losing, or a fear of embarrassing yourself, your family, and/or your teammates. Performance anxieties come from deeply rooted fears of disapproval, rejection, and abandonment and are rarely fully known to the person who is experiencing the anxiety. Performance anxiety manifests in multiple self-defeating behaviors, such as inadequate or excessive warm-ups, poor pacing during the performance, and distractibility during your day to day and during the performance itself. Performance anxiety is often rooted in a person’s core belief system, and the fear is oftentimes not readily available to the conscious mind. Ketamine therapy has the potential to interrupt that core belief system to help you reduce anxiety and reach higher levels of performance.
TRAUMA FUELS ELITE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
When looking at many of the best athletes throughout history trauma has played a major factor in their drive to success. While this trauma and baggage can create positive attributes like persistence, and drive there can also be many consequences to this trauma and at some point the trauma needs to be dealt with so an athlete can really maximize his/her potential. Ketamine therapy has the potential to help you sort through this trauma and emotional baggage.
HOW WAS MY FIRST KETAMINE INFUSION
I really enjoyed my Ketamine infusion from start to finish. The Ketamine lounge did a fantastic job of answering questions and they also provided a great environmental set up. After meeting with a doctor I sat down in a reclining chair and Ketamine lounge team members proceeded to put headphones in my ears, a facemask over my eyes and the Ketamine IV into my arm. From what I was told the music in the headphones can play a major role in the experience.
My experience felt like I was in a hallucinogenic, dream like state. I saw some great visuals and I also felt in control of my experience the entire time. The music was great, the treatment felt relaxing on my brain and I felt really good leaving the facility. From start to finish the treatment itself lasted between 45 to 60 minutes.
WOULD I TRY KETAMINE AGAIN
Hell yeah I would do another Ketamine IV therapy. Many professional Ketamine treatment centers recommend patients do 4 to 6 ketamine treatments to achieve optimal results. I am a big believer in any tool or treatment that can help me get better, feel better and learn more about myself. I thought that the Ketamine lounge in Miami Beach did a fantastic job in creating a sanctuary for me to be able to accomplish those things.
SHOULD YOU TRY KETAMINE?Most people have too many options, and they rarely choose the tougher one. Do you want to work out for ninety minutes or do you want to work out for twenty minutes. Most people take the twenty minutes. Do you want to attack your emotional baggage, or do you want to ignore it. Here, try this, but if it’s too hard we can make it easier…
So this is my challenge to you:
DO. THE. WORK.Sort through your baggage, dig deep, and come out with a new level of self awareness that you can apply to SuperCharge your energy, productivity, health and performance. Ketamine is a proven tool to help you do this, but you don’t have to use ketamine there are other tools you can use. The most important thing is that you are doing the work!
Every day, you have to do something you don’t want to do. Every day. Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable, push past the apathy and laziness and fear. Otherwise, the next day that trauma and baggage is still going to be there and every day you are going to have to deal with these own mental and emotional barriers along with whatever else life is throwing at you.
Let’s get Better Today,
Chase “SuperAthleteCEO” Jackson