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What is Ketamine and what does it do?

February 10, 20232 min read

Ketamine has been around since 1956 and has been used in a variety of settings in healthcare. The medication has been used as an anesthetic, pain reliever, and has even been used in veterinary offices for these purposes in animals.  Ketamine has been used on the battlefield and its mental health effects were noticed during the Korean war when soldiers who had undergone small procedures with ketamine had less PTSD, depression, and anxiety.   The medicine has been researched and studied and results indicate ketamine has many different components and mechanisms of action inside the brain. These broad modalities enable this drug to be used in many areas of mental health, and are potentiated when therapy can be combined. Some of ketamine's mechanisms work on the following brain structures:

Ketamine is known as a NMDA receptor antagonist. When blocking the NMDA receptors, the brain makes more of the excitatory neurotransmitter called glutamate. Many recent studies have verified, not only do low serotonin levels play a vital role in depression, but also glutamate. The quick increase of glutamate can boost a patient's moods quickly and motivates dormant neurons to re-open to begin working again.

Ketamine turns off a specialized part of the brain called the lateral habenula, which is also called the anti-reward center. This is why it can be beneficial using ketamine with therapy, as this mechanism allows easier processing in therapy and gives permission for the patient to talk about difficult emotions too scary to bring up in previous sessions. It reduces the amount of reactivity in the brain for difficult emotions and allows patients to get further in their healing journey.

Ketamine puts a blockade between the brain structures of the limbic system and cerebral cortex, causing a temporary break in automatic thinking patterns. Initiating the break in negative cyclical thoughts can help reboot or reset the brain and can move patients away from negative thinking patterns towards neutral or more positive thoughts.

Ketamine works on BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which initiates the growth of new neurons and connections between neurons. Patient's will begin making new pathways in their brain and will restore the ones that have been damaged due to years of depression and anxiety.

Ketamine allows the patient to see their life from a different perspective. Seeing from a new view can help patient's see where they might be stuck and can reveal how they can heal. Ketamine can create and enable self-revelation on modalities to move towards acceptance or help patients understand how they can move forward and remove barriers.

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Hannah Banks

Hannah has years of experience administering ketamine in a variety of settings, and feels ketamine combined with therapy yields the best results and aids individuals to make lasting changes. Hannah's goal is to provide a haven for her patients to feel safe for who they are, while making space for who they will become as they move towards their belief system and values. Hannah shares the desire to incorporate the patient as a whole and understands each individual requires a unique treatment plan specifically tailored to the patient. Hannah has enjoyed using ketamine as an effective modality to augment and accelerate the healing journey of her patients.

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  • Medication management intake (For those who want medication management included): $250 (60 minute appointment).

  • Follow-up appointments for ketamine and medication management: $150 ( Up to 30 minutes.)

  • Medical Cannabis Evaluation. $100

  • Ketamine only IM injection: $250. ($200 for 1st responders). Includes intake appointment.

  • Ketamine only IV infusion: $299. ($250 for 1st responders). Includes intake appointment.

  • Ketamine assisted Psychotherapy: $350 (90 minutes), if more time is needed $60 per 30 minutes of additional time, intake appointment included.

  • Ketamine for travel (Inpatient facilities, and at home ketamine visits, includes ketamine assisted psychotherapy): $450 (IM injections), $515 (IV infusions) Intake appointment included.

  • Oral Ketamine: $300 per evaluation(1st month) Includes 2 classes per month, (required). Monthly follow-ups $175, includes 2 classes per month, (required).

  • Vitamin IV Consult: $30, does not include labs.

  • Vitamin IV $100, $75 if done after ketamine.

  • Package deals when 6 session are booked IM injection: 1st responders: $1000, non first responders: $1300, Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy: $1900, includes workbook. IV infusion: 1st responders $1300, non first responders $1600, Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy $1900, includes workbook.

  • Weekly classes: $25

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