Ketamine. It is an anesthetic with minor hallucinogenic effects; approved by the FDA in 1970, and now one of the most commonly used medicines worldwide.
When it is administered by a doctor – and when its recipient also receives therapy – ketamine can elicit numerous mental health benefits. It might already have become mainstream psychiatric medicine if not for the war on drugs, which President Nixon declared the year following ketamine’s official approval.
The Institute for Integrative Therapies (IIT) is making up for lost time. As the first psychedelic healing center in Minnesota, IIT is poised to advance the world’s understanding of ketamine by leaps and bounds – as well as turn Eden Prairie into the Midwest's center of excellence for psychedelic medicine.
“Ketamine wasn’t used to treat depression, anxiety and other mood disorders until the late ‘90s,” said Dr. Manoj Doss, founder and CEO of IIT. “As more and more research was published, it became increasingly evident that ketamine’s therapeutic effects aren’t limited to the brief psychedelic experience it induces. Ketamine also stimulates the body’s natural production of glutamate: a neurotransmitter that is pivotal to memory, cognition and mood regulation, and which also fosters neural connections within the prefrontal and cerebral cortices. These parts of the brain do not use serotonin, which is why ketamine-assisted therapy can yield results that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, cannot.
“In simpler terms, ketamine promotes neuroplasticity: the brain’s innate ability to develop new pathways. Our psychedelic-informed therapists, who include myself and IIT’s chief medical officer Dr. Ranji Varghese, help to ensure that our patients specifically develop positive, proadaptive pathways. By providing wellness services and other forms of psychiatric care, we give our patients precisely what they need in order to gain the greatest possible benefits from one-time or recurring ketamine-assisted therapy.
“We call our model of care the bio-psycho-spiritual approach. Ketamine and its constructive effects on the brain are biological. Therapist-integrated coaching and support constitute the psychological element. The consciousness-expanding transpersonal journey undertaken by the patient represents the spiritual component – their opportunity to perceive reality and their place within it in an altogether new light.
“Ketamine is an ineffable experience. I have yet to treat a patient who is satisfied with their ability to describe it. As a dissociative, ketamine temporarily severs the connection between the mind and body. Once freed from their corporeal trappings, one feels as though they’re quite literally soaring through the cosmos. Ego dissolution. The sense of self, suspended.
“Naturally, you would want to experience such a sensation in a comfortable setting. Our facility’s atmosphere isn’t remotely clinical. Our treatment rooms have a mid-century modern aesthetic with natural woods and fibers, as well as trees and plants that further soften the ambiance. Each room’s stereo system plays a specially curated soundtrack which elicits healing emotions and feelings. And of course, no patient embarks on their journey without their therapist and myself or Dr. Varghese present.
“People have used psychedelics to transform their minds for thousands of years. Even the Rigveda, a sacred Hindu hymnal preserved by my own ancestral culture since 1500 BC, details the ritualistic consumption of psychedelics. I am proud to continue that tradition, and look forward to future opportunities where IIT can do even more to advance the study and practice of psychedelic healing.”
IIT offers ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, ketamine infusions, integrative medicine, wellness coaching, and NAD/vitamin infusions to treat a wide range of mental and physical health conditions. But IIT doesn’t exclusively treat mental illness. If you feel stuck in your daily routine – or seek newfound gratitude for all the good in your life – then you are welcome to learn how psychedelic medicine can help at iit-mn.com.
Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Treats
• Existential fear