IV Ketamine Treatments
Integrating guided ketamine treatments into your care plan to ease the symptoms of your chronic conditions.
Our CORE TREATMENT PROGRAM & TIMELINE
Many patients see reductions in depression and anxiety symptoms immediately after their initial 3 ketamine treatments delivered over the course of 2 weeks. Patients may choose to receive follow-up sessions at a decreasing frequency while their symptoms recede.
A licensed therapist and experienced psychedelic therapy guide will be available to all patients in our ketamine program for preparation, integration, and to sit in on ketamine infusions.
All patients in our IV ketamine programs will receive constant care and personal interaction with our highly experienced and specialized nurse during their infusions. Some people may choose to have our licensed therapist and psychedelic therapy guide present during the ketamine infusions as well. See below for more about our integrative Core Treatment Program for chronic conditions.
core treatment program
PRE-TREATMENT ASSESSMENT and PRESCRIBING CONSULTATION
Ketamine treatment at our office may be a good option as part of your holistic treatment. Based on your personal health profile and other steps you are taking towards recovery, Dr. Grieder, Dr. Toohey, Dr. Armstrong, and our team can help you decide whether ketamine is a good treatment option for you.
core treatment program
PREPARING FOR YOUR TREATMENT: PREPARATION and INTENTION-SETTING SESSION
Your guide, a licensed therapist, will work with you to set goals for your treatment, help you understand what to expect, answer any questions, and serve as another ally in your healing journey. We also discuss intentions that you have for your infusions. Usually this session occurs within one week prior to first ketamine session.
core treatment program
On the day of your treatment, our highly experienced ketamine infusion nurse and your guide will introduce you to the space, answer your questions, and help you feel comfortable. Your nurse will administer the ketamine, and your nurse and your guide will sit with you as you enter an altered mental state which many experience as an unusual but generally pleasant, emotionally open state. Your nurse and your guide will closely follow your response during your journey and attend to you as needed. Once the effects of the medication wear off, your nurse and your guide will stay with you as you begin reflecting on your experience.
It is important to arrange for a ride from these infusions as it will not be safe to drive for several hours after your ketamine infusion.
Our typical program includes three ketamine treatment sessions within a 2-week period.
core treatment program
REFLECTION and INTEGRATION SESSION
A few days after your treatment, you will meet with your guide to reflect on and integrate the experiences and insights from your ketamine session. You will be offered integration sessions following each ketamine session. Integration sessions with your guide are usually scheduled within 1-7 days following each ketamine session.
Each patient’s experience of ketamine is unique and frequently includes new thought patterns and emotions. Sometimes old thought patterns and emotions resurface which allows for an opportunity to understand them better and work with them more effectively. These new patterns, perspectives, insights, and increased neural plasticity will feed back into your healing journey and ongoing collaboration with Dr. Grieder, Dr. Armstrong, and other care providers you may have.
The NEUROSCIENCE of KETAMINE
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections. Encouraging neuroplasticity is especially important in response to injury or illness.
Ketamine is a prescription medication that has been safely used as an anesthetic since 1970. A growing body of research supports off-label use of clinically administered ketamine to relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. When ketamine works for patients, they often experience relief from symptoms immediately after 1 to 3 treatments which can be sustained with periodic treatments and without the need for daily medications.
While the exact mechanisms of ketamine’s efficacy are still being researched, we understand that it stimulates the brain’s neuroplasticity, helping the lost neural connections regenerate.
By restoring healthy brain function, ketamine treatment supports the body’s immune system in recovering from the underlying medical condition.
Further, while feelings and beliefs you have around your chronic conditions are not its cause, they do play an important role in navigating your healing process. The new neural patterns created by ketamine may help you gain new perspectives on the relationship with your body, break through emotional barriers, and establish healthier thinking patterns and healthier action patterns.
HELPING YOUR BRAIN form NEW CONNECTIONS
Exposure to intense stress — such as dealing with a chronic medical condition — causes alteration of connections between neurons in our brain.
These synaptic connections are crucial to the brain’s regulation of physical processes and mental, emotional, and behavioral states. This deterioration can be one of the contributors to symptoms such as brain fog, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and stress response activation. Such dysfunctions have been hypothesized as negatively affecting other body systems such as the immune system.
DR. GRIEDER and DR. ARMSTRONG on KETAMINE for CHRONIC CARE
Over the last several decades, scientific research has illuminated the intrinsic connections between the mind and the body.
We now know that processes that take place in the immune system and the gut have a powerful effect on the neurophysiology of the brain. At the same time, mental health symptoms like stress, anxiety, and depression can weaken our immune system.
This means that the emotional toll of stress, anxiety and depression does not just impact mental well-being — it also physically impacts the body’s ability to respond to other medical conditions.
Dr. Grieder’s and Dr. Armstrong’s collaborative, holistic approach to chronic care recognizes the importance of addressing the feedback cycle between physical and mental distress. They have found that the use of ketamine — a safe medication used off-label to treat various mental health disorders — helps the brain recover from the physical and psychological impact of stress, anxiety, and depression that often accompany chronic medical conditions.
Integrating ketamine treatments into your holistic care program can makes your brain a powerful ally in combating your physical ailments, and gives you the mental space and clarity to better navigate your path to recovery.
We recently underwent a research program internal to San Francisco Preventative Medicine, where we interviewed patients with chronic conditions. We asked about their history and experiences, the impact on their relationships, and the varying treatment plans they’ve tried, including experiences with alternative therapies.
One patient had dealt with years of severe depression as a result of her chronic Lyme disease. When asked about her in-clinic treatment with ketamine, she said:
“It was like waking up from the depression. I could breathe again. The suicidal thoughts went away and it was like I was not carrying a weight anymore.”
We can’t guarantee everyone’s results will be this profound, but in our clinic, we have seen some life changing results from ketamine treatments.
To learn more, please schedule consultation. We’ll schedule some time to determine, together, if ketamine treatment is a good treatment option for you.
Dr. Grieder and Dr. Armstrong have found that ketamine often helps their patients who are struggling with the following conditions:
- Lyme Disease & Other Chronic Infections
- Mold/ Biotoxin Illness
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS)
- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
- Mast Cell Disorders (MCD)/ Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other Trauma-Related Conditions
- Depressive Disorders (MDD, PDD, SAD)
- Anxiety Disorders (GAD, OCD)
Ketamine increases neural connectivity and neuroplasticity by affecting multiple receptors and pathways in the brain and body. One of the key pathways it affects is the amino acid, glutamate, pathway. Glutamate plays a central role in both the normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system, and a growing body of evidence points to the role of glutamate in mediating the brain’s response to stress and the formation of traumatic memories. Ketamine is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, so it binds to the NMDA receptor protein and blocks glutamate from attaching to cell membranes.
An increasing level of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor hypofunction within the brain is associated with memory and learning impairments, with psychosis, and with excitotoxic brain injury. Ketamine blocks at the NmethylDaspartate (NMDA) site and has rapid action in controlling symptoms of depression. Ketamine also acts on the mTOR pathway (a central regulator of metabolism and physiology), the AMPA receptor (which mediates fast synaptic transmission in the central nervous system) and the brain’s opioid receptors (which control pain, reward and addictive behavior).
Research has shown that, unlike antidepressant medications which typically require several weeks to take effect, ketamine can be rapidly effective, in a few days or even hours. Ketamine can have long lasting effects. Most people require multiple treatments.