Ketamine is a powerful drug capable of profoundly affecting your mind and body. It has different effects at different doses.
How Does Ketamine Affect the Body?
The effects of ketamine are felt quickly, within a few minutes, and are relatively short-lasting. It gradually wears off over the course of twenty minutes following infusion.
Physically, a person may experience an elevated heart rate, muscular discoordination, nausea and difficulty trying to talk.
Neurochemically, ketamine causes changes in visual and auditory perception. It may also produce deficits in attention, memory and decision-making.
How Does Ketamine Affect the Mind?
Psychologically, the user may feel relaxed, euphoric, or dissociated from reality (which can be scary for some, so being prepared for this possibility is important). They could possibly experience intense hallucinations. It is these altered states of consciousness—ketamine’s psychedelic effects—that make it such a useful drug for therapy.
Ketamine infusion is a mystical experience. In addition to seeing vivid colors and patterns, patients may undergo ego dissolution or even have a near-death experience. Profound effects like these work by disrupting your usual habits of thought, which is the first step to healing.
Mind and Body Connected
Ketamine’s effects on the mind cannot be so easily separated from its effects on the body since the two are quite interdependent. Sometimes the effects of trauma, or many other forms of mental distress, can be felt within the body. So ketamine’s physically sedating properties may also provide psychological relaxation.
Psychedelic therapy is less a process of learning something new about ourselves than one of remembering what we’ve always known.
Humans have a yearning to feel safe, and when we feel unsafe in our bodies, we escape to our minds. There, we comfort ourselves with stories about who we are and why we do things.
By bypassing the unhelpful narratives standing between our bodies and our unconscious minds, psychedelic therapy gives us access to something special. Our inner healing intelligence – “the knowledge and power within oneself to move towards wholeness and wellbeing.”