Psychedelic Medicine Resources & FAQs
The Science Of Psychedelics
Current scientific and research based have demonstrated how psychedelic medicine has the restorative and curative effects on awakening, healing, and expanding the mind and consciousness. Psychedelic medicines, like Psilocybin and MDMA, are now in Phase 3 trials for treatment of depression in Cancer Patients, PTSD in Veterans, Treatment resistant depression, and many more ongoing studies at John Hopkins, Univ. California San Francisco, New York University, and most Importantly at MAPS(Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Assisted Therapies) -international and national sites.
Plant medicines and soon to be approved medicines, Psilocybin and MDMA have been and are being used in all parts of the world and cultures for centuries in healing and transcendental practices.
Jason Silva and His Perspective on How Psychedelics Will Alter Mental Health Are
He is an Emmy-nominated and world renown TV personality, storyteller, filmmaker, and sought-after keynote speaker and futurist. He is also known for hosting 5 seasons of the Emmy-nominated, global hit TV series Brain Games, on the National Geographic Channel, broadcasted in over 171 countries.
The Science of Ketamine
Ketamine is a breakthrough medicine of the mind. It can rapidly—often very quickly—lift the symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and other conditions. For most people, the action of a single small dose of ketamine lasts for a week and possibly longer. With a science-backed regimen of repeated and scheduled doses, the effects of improving mood, depression, anxiety, and inner knowing can extend for weeks to months. In addition, the subjective effects on consciousness and the psyche often lead to profound emotional and psychological insights.
Ketamine, a Schedule III medication used in assisted psychotherapy, is an off-label treatment for various chronic treatment-resistant mental health conditions. Medical professionals have used this medication as an analgesic and anesthetic agent since the 1970’s. Today, it helps treat alcohol addiction, depression, PTSD, substance dependencies, and other psychiatric diagnoses.
Psychedelics Medicine - The Science in the News
Revealing the Mind: The Promise of Psychedelics
Dr Gabor Mate, MD: Discover your True Self
Michael Pollan: Psychedelics and How to Change Your Mind
Michael Pollan, Speaks at Bioneers. He is an award winning and best-Selling on “How To Change Your Mind” surveys the highly controversial terrain of the renaissance of both the science and popular usage of psychedelic substances.
Rick Doblin: Transformational Psychedelics
"I feel like death doesn't frighten me." Psychedelics help a cancer patient overcome anxiety
Podcasts and Webinars
Can KETAMINE Therapy REPROGRAM your mind? w/ Dr. Dave Rabin | AMP Podcast
UCSF (University of California San Francisco) Research Webinar
The Joe Rogan Experience: #1661 - Rick Doblin, Ph.D.
New Yorker magazine article about study
What is EMDR?
Ancient Greek healing temples
Is psilocybin addictive?
Best Selling Books on Psychedelic Medicine
THE PSYCHEDELIC EXPERIENCE A manual based on THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner & Richard Alpert
Beyond the Narrow Life: A Guide for Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration
Beyond the Narrow Life: A Guide to Psychedelic Integration and Existential Exploration presents a framework for understanding and experiencing psychedelic-assisted therapy including foundational therapeutic approaches, the psychospiritual aspects of the psychedelic journey, and integration of the insights gained.
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
The Immortality Key by Brian C. Muraresku
A groundbreaking dive into the role psychedelics have played in the origins of Western civilization, and the real-life quest for the Holy Grail that could shake the Church to its foundations.
Sacred Knowledge by William A. Richards
Sacred Knowledge is the first well-documented, sophisticated account of the effect of psychedelics on biological processes, human consciousness, and revelatory religious experiences. Based on nearly three decades of legal research with volunteers, William A. Richards argues that, if used responsibly and legally, psychedelics have the potential to assuage suffering and constructively affect the quality of human life.
Erowid Resources - Bookstore
Landmark Clinical Studies
The Trip Treatment
Psilocybin and brain connections
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of anxiety and other psychological distress related to life-threatening illnesses: a randomized pilot study
MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study
Long-term follow-up outcomes of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD: a longitudinal pooled analysis of six phase 2 trials
Breakthrough for Trauma Treatment: Safety and Efficacy of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Compared to Paroxetine and Sertraline
ABC News: Researchers Consider the Potentially Groundbreaking Medical Benefits of MDMA
Summary: “We found a statistically very persuasive difference between MDMA and placebo,” explains Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., of MAPS and MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) on ABC News Live.
Watch Maggie Rulli of ABC News dive into the results of MAPS’ first Phase 3 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, examine the personal experience of a study participant in the UK, and illustrate the “potentially groundbreaking medical benefits of MDMA” when combined with therapy.
Legal Rulings of Psychedelics
Current California legislation to decriminalize psychedelics
Current status of California legislation
Multidisplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies
Psychedelics and Integration
Lead Organization in Psychedelic Therapy-is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that
develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.
Reasearch Studies and Presentations
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)
Patient Demographics, Clinical Data and Outcomes in Three Large Practices Administering Ketamine with Psychotherapy
Could psychedelic drugs treat PTSD and depression?
Ketamine Stirs Up Hope—and Controversy—as a Depression Drug
The next big depression treatment might be ketamine, but how best to use it remains unknown.
Ketamine for major depression: New tool, new questions
Our Reading List
Safe and Sound Protocol - Dr. Stephen Porges
The Journal of Psychedelic Psychiatry
On Having No Head by Douglas Edison Harding
LSD Psychotherapy Stan Grof
Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide James Fadiman
Wolfson and Hartelius Resmaa Menakem-My Grandmother’s Hands
Pat Ogden: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment
Dick Shwartz: Internal Family Systems Therapy
William Richards-Psychedelics and Religious Experiences
Francoise Bourzat-Consciousness Medicine
Charles S. Grob & Jim Grigsby- Handbook of Medical Hallucinogens
Claudio Naranjo: The Healing Journey
Kylea Taylor-The Ethics of Caring
Albert Hoffman-LSD My Problem Child
Julie Holland: Ecstasy: The Complete Guide
Van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score
Gabor Mate: In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts
Dr. Richard Louis Miller: Psychedelic Medicine: The Healing Powers of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, and Ayahuas
The Role Neuron Circuitry of the Brain
Extending off the cell body of the neuron are axons. The axons are long extensions of the cell body that at it’s end junction communicate to other dendrites, extensions of other neurons, The communications is maintained by nerve electrical signals and neurotransmitters that transmit messages from one neuron to another. Dendrites also branch off at the other end of the neuron and form clusters of nerve fibers that send and recieve messages from other cell bodies.
In the most developed part of the human brain, the cerebral cortex there are an estimated 14-16 neurons,making connections, firing signals, and forming pathways that are required in executive functioning, learning, memory, speech, and emotions etc.
What is the role of Neurotransmitter in the Brain?
Neurotransmitters are made in the neurons and stored in tiny sacs, vesicles, at the ends of axons. The cell membrane or outer covering of the neurons are covered with receptors, which channel the neurotransmitters through to the next neuron. There receptors are specific for each type of neurotransmitter. The neurotransmitter fit like a key on the receptor which then opens the channel into the cell.
The nerve impulse at the end of the tip, also affect the opening of Calcium channels. Thes Calcium-charged elements then cause the vesicles to attach to the neuron cell membrane, which then allows for the pouring of Neurotransmitters to be secreted into the synapse. Neurotransmitters diffuse across the synapse gap and bind to their matching and specific receptors in the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron (the target neuron). The binding opens the channels leading into the cell interior and calcium, sodium, magnesium, and other ions flow in.
The flow of incoming ions such as calcium and sodium depolarizes( or changes the charge) the cell membrane, which gives the inside of the cell to be more negatively charges. When the depolarization threshold is reached the neuron fires an electrical signal. This impulse is then transmitted through the cell, down its axon, and on to the next neuron in the chain.
After the neurotransmitter has done its jobs in the synapse, it is taken back up or (reuptake) into the pre-synaptic cell membrane. From there the neurotransmitter is taken back into the cell and stored once again in the tiny sacs, vesicles. Neurotransmitters now repackaged await the signal of another cycle of impulses to repeat the actions as the messenger between neurons once again.
When the neurotransmitters are re-absorbed, the synapse turns off. The entire process of impulse and neurotransmitter communication back to reuptake into the cell occurs in milliseconds and happens billions of time a day, 24 hours a day!
Types of Neurotransmitters
In the brain, the neurotransmitters glutamate and dopamine are excitatory. The inhibitory neurotransmitters are GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), serotonin, and dopamine.
The release, removal, and reuptake of neurotransmitters is tightly regulated. If there is an effect on the reuptake of neurotransmitters, the concentration neurotransmitter or the sensitivity of neuron’s impulse, there can be a disruption in the brain’s communication, connectivity, and balance. This can lead to a dysregulated state of either too much excitation or inhibition in specific parts of the brain.
Glutamate is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. It plays a particularly important role in neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to form new synapses and neural connections over a lifetime), learning, and forming memories. When there’s too much glutamate in the brain, the postsynaptic neurons can become hyperexcited; when there’s way too much glutamate in the brain, it can damage neurons or even cause neuron death.
What is the Effect of Stress on the Brain, Neuronal Glutamate Circuits, and Damaged Neurons?
Toxic level and persistent stress affects the neurons of the cortex. Toxic stress puts the brain in an inflammatory and increases cortisol concentrations in the brain. Cortisol can cause neurons atrophy or early death and shrinkage of neurons. Dendrites also decrease in their ability to branch and spread, which leads to fewer connections between neurons. The axons are thinner and smaller. Glutamate signaling is also less effective and responsive.
It has been shown that in chronically depressed people, the size of the prefrontal cortex is smaller and connections to other key components of the brain, are restricted and become dysfunctional in the emotional (limbic) and memory centers (hippocampus) of the brain.
The toxic and inflammatory state of the brain, in trauma, depression, anxiety limits effectiveness of the glutamate neuronal pathways.
What is the Role of Ketamine on the Glutamate processes in depression, anxiety, trauma and stress?
Ketamine, which is an anesthetic works by activating glutamate release into the synapse. Researchers studying depression discovered that glutamate receptors can be “dysfunctional” in people with depression. -this is focus of ketamines effect on the glutamate system in treating depression.
Ketamine when used as an anesthetic, was also found to lift symptoms of depression. Since the 1990’s more research has shown that small doses of ketamine when given to severely depressed patients, who did not respond to standard antidepressants like SSRI’s had remarkable results.
How does Ketamine activates Glutamate receptors selectively?
We know that ketamine does affect other receptors but it most important receptor it activates are glutamate receptors.
Neurons have many binding sites for glutamate, but when it comes to ketamine, two are of particular interest: the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor and the AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) receptor.
Glutamate activates the ion channels in both NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) and AMPA α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) receptors.
At the very low dose, Ketamine increases release of glutamate from presynaptic cleft into the synapse, which has an antidepressant effect. However, Ketamine then preferentially blocks glutamate at the NMDA receptors of the postsynaptic cell but not at the adjacent AMPA receptors. This causes a net effect to increase AMPA activation. In addition, Ketamine triggers the neuron to make more AMPA receptors, moving them into the membrane of the synapse area.
How does Ketamine improves Neuroplasticity in Brain?
In addition, Ketamine works on another important pathway called mTOR(mammalian target of rapamycin) which is involved in regulation of cell growth and synthesis of proteins necessary for long-term memory. The combination of mTOR and BDNF also improve connectivity in the synpses of the prefrontal cortex and hippocapmus- areas involved in processing emotional regulation, memory. Research has shown that within a hours of treatment doses of Ketamine, there is repair, regrowth, and enhanced connectivity in areas of the brain, PFC and hippocampus, damaged by toxic and or persistent stress. When this type of neuroplasticity occurs, symptoms of trauma, anxiety, and depression are diminished.
It is also, important to realize that at higher doses(Anesthetic level doses) of Ketamine, neuroplasticity and increase in BDNF does not occur.
Ketamine improves other mechanisms in the neural processes as well?
Further research has uncovered the effect of Ketamine on other receptors, NMDA and parvalumin interneurons. Ketamine blocks one part of the NMDA receptors, and in these parvalbumin interneurons, the effect is and increase activity of brain circuitry which awakens the brain. Ketamine can trigger increased release of the neuromodulators dopamine and noradrenaline; it also binds weakly to nicotinic and opioid receptors. More actions of Ketamine are also known to effect on organelles (structures) in the neuron that are involved in signaling, protein and lipid synthesis, and transport proteins.
Ketamine and Enhances Connectivity
Toxic level stress impacts the brain at both micro -cellular and macro structural level on the brain. Chronic depression, anxiety, and PTSD leads to decreased size, response, and connectivity in the key parts of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is where a significant portion of executive functioning ocurs, planning, organizing, self regulation, problem solving. Ketamine enhances global connectivity within the prefrontal cortex and the pathways in other sub-regions of the brain.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy FAQs
Am I Eligibile for Ketamine Therapy?
Before you undergo Ketamine therapy we first interview you carefully to find out if you’re eligible to receive this medication.
- Assessment of Your Medical and Psychiatric History
- Review of Your Psychiatric and Medical Records
- Physical Examination
- Short Psychological Screens
- Laboratory Screening (specific to the client)
You may not undergo the treatment if you belong in one (or more) of these categories:
(There are specific criteria that would make you ineligible for Ketamine depression therapy.)
Nursing Mothers and Pregnant Women – Ketamine may have potentially unwanted effects on the nursing child or the fetus. Data from the study published in Nature suggests that prenatal exposure to Ketamine impairs the neuronal development of the prefrontal cortex.
Untreated Cardiovascular Problem–Hypertension, especially if it’s untreated, is a contraindication to the use of Ketamine. The drug causes a rise in blood pressure. Individuals with a history of heart problem, therefore, may not be eligible to take this treatment.
Untreated Hyperthyroidism – People with this condition should not take Ketamine. The drug increases the risk of tachycardia and hypertension.
Conditions that are Excluded in Ketamine therapy
Absolute Exclusions to KAP
- Allergy to Ketamine
- Active Substance Abuse
- Recent Traumatic Brain Injury
- History of Psychosis
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Uncontrolled Hypertension or Cardiac disease
- Respiratory Issues
- Personality Disorders
- Very Acutely Suicidal Ideation
How is Ketamine administered?
People undergoing ketamine therapy can take the drug in various ways. Ketamine can be administered by medical professionals:
- Oral (Lozenges) which dissolve in mouth
- Into muscle (IM)
- Intravenously (IV)
Is Ketamine Safe?
When used in a supervised setting at appropriate dosing, Ketamine therapy is quite safe. You will have fully trained health professionals at your side throughout your treatment journey. As with any treatment, there are potential risks and side effects. Before beginning your treatment with us, you will meet with our medical team to ensure it’s a good fit for you.
Ketamine is listed as a schedule III drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA. It can only be administered by licensed providers who are trained and have experience with its responsible use. In this setting, Ketamine is safe and well tolerated therapy and benefits many people. The use outside of a clinically prescribed setting is considered illegal. When used or abused in this manner, people have experienced extreme effects that include not only extremely distressing disassociation but also, uncontrolled blood pressure, dizziness and fast heart rates. Any side effects or dosage adjustments that can occur, will be monitored by licensed medical doctors and professionals.
How is Ketamine with Psychotherapy (KAP) more effective and long-lasting?
The largest study ever done on depression called NIMH(National Institute of Mental Health) STAR*D Medical Trial in 2006, Rush et al. Read more
This study was unique because it measured outcomes of depression treatment in real people in real medical practices.
They were looking to see if antidepressants could result in remission of depression, not just suppression of symptoms. What they found was that most people did not significantly improve or achieve remission on conventional medication. Furthermore, the more sequential antidepressants prescribed to achieve symptom improvement or remission the even more lower likelihood of improvement. In the meanwhile, studies were emerging that ketamine had greater and more immediate effects in depression remission.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy or KAP is considered to be a game changer. Data has shown that KAP can alter the course of depression in about 70% of people.
People stay better longer and can actually experience complete resolution of their symptoms. For many of us in medicine, we have not seen this kind of response ever.
Unlike antidepressants, that “suppress” symptoms, KAP experiences tend to be “evocative”- activating your own ability and inner healing to take place with the support of the medicine and our treatment team.
How does Ketamine make you feel?
Each person’s response can vary by dose and depth of the ketamine’s effect. The experience has been described as “euphoric,” “calming,” and “mystical. You may experience a sense of disassociation—that you are observing your mind and body from outside rather than within.
The experience can also feel “empathogenic”- where one’s typical defense mind mechanisms are relaxed.
Higher doses of ketamine can provide a profoundly transcendental experience- that can result in amenable ways to self exploration and deeper therapeutic insights.
The effects of improving mood, depression, anxiety, and inner knowing can extend for weeks to months.
How does Ketamine work in the body?
Ketamine interacts with some of your brain’s neurotransmitters. Its effects can include relieving anxiety and pain relief, and acting as an antidepressant.
Under medical supervision, lower doses of Ketamine can relax your mind and allow you to temporarily disengage from your routine thought patterns.
Ketamine can raise blood pressure temporarily. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing are also monitored to ensure your safety.
If any effects of Ketamine effect you during the session, such as nausea, this is monitored and treated.
What does Ketamine work in the brain?
The antidepressant effects of ketamine were first described over two decades ago. Many prominent researchers and institutes have studied the neuroscience of ketamine and the neural basis of stress-related and trauma in many psychiatric conditions. There is a the physical effect of persistent toxic stress leads to neuronal changes, reduced synaptic connectivity between neurons and communication. This is especially prominent in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus of the brain.
In depression and other psychiatric disorders resulting from toxic stress, a reduction in prefrontal and hippocampal connectivity has been observed in functional MRI imaging studies. Other chronic stress mental states (e.g., PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD) have similar patterns of decreased connectivity and maladaptive effect brain architecture.
Ketamine and soon to be approved other psychedelics has demonstrated:
- Normalization in the connectivity pattern,
- Expansion and of new pathways
- Increased plasticity of former restrictive brain patterns.
- The degree of connectivity is also proportional to the clinical response to the treatment.
Intravenous Nutraceutical FAQ
What is Intravenous Nutritional Therapy and What is Used For?
As part of the approach to holism and wellness, ShaMynds offers another source to improve your physical and mental health. This includes intravenous therapies for a wide variety of conditions.
CONDITIONS FOR INTRAVENOUS NUTRITION
- Chronic Pain
- Digestive Disorders – Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease, or any type of condition where absorption is impaired.
- Acute or chronic asthma
- Chronic Infection
- Wellness conditions for preventive or treatment purposes- vitality, longevity, viral recovery, jet lag, competitive physical or mental peak.including prevention of colds and flu during flu season.
- Depression, mood swings, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder
- Before or after treatments with the wide range of psychedelic sessions including Ketamine
- Withdrawal – from legal and illicit substances, or from psychiatric medications
What You Need to Know Prior to Getting Intravenous Nutrition?
Prior to receiving any of these therapies, a physical history will need to be completed to determine if intravenous vitamin/nutrient replenishment is safe for you.
This history will include a risk assessment, medications you are currently taking, and certain disease states that would need consideration prior to infusion therapy.
Safety is of utmost importance always. We take your vitals before and after the infusion, use only staff trained in intravenous infusions and monitor you during your session. Sometimes, we may make a recommendation for blood work or other testing prior to an infusion.
What Should I Do After the Session?
After an IV therapy, it is usually a good idea to:
- Avoid alcohol for a while to allow your liver to recover from the toxin load from your cells.
- Drinks lots of water to flush things out.
- If you have diarrhea like symptoms, do not take anti-diarrheal but let the body dispose of as much stool as it needs to.
- If you have constipation type symptoms, take high dose oral vitamin C and magnesium which can cause loose motion.
- Take a magnesium salt bath. The magnesium can help draw out more toxins from your skin, speeding up the process of toxin extraction.
If you are familiar with intermittent fasting, it’s a good thing to try to let your digestive system take a break and do the fast. Alternatively, consider going on a bone broth day. The fat and protein in the broth should keep you satiated. If you would like to do a juice fast instead, do include lots of vegetables in it as a fruit only juice can make you feel worse (due to its effect on insulin). Add some organic coconut oil to it to slow down absorption of glucose.
You can continue with the various cocktails and make sure that you inform the center if you experience side effects, if any.
How do I pay for Ketamine Therapy?
Ketamine therapy may cost more than traditional treatments due to a lack of insurance coverage. We’ll walk you through the steps to figure out how to pay for alternative depression treatments so you can get the help you need.
However, you could actually save money in long run, as ketamine treatment is given in 3 month course and short courses have been shown to be effective, in comparison to chronic use of other antidepressants and the costs associated with this model of care.
Do you offer financial support?
We also work with you and your financial concerns to:
- Understand your insurance coverage
- Compare costs of treatment providers
- Seek financing options
- Complete a cost-benefit analysis
- We are also working on having grant and community support to make ketamine KAP affordable to all
Insurance Coverage Available?
Possibly. Currently, some insurances are starting to provide some coverage for parts of the visit, including the medication itself, while others do not.
Cost of treatment will also vary depending on the type of ketamine treatment provided. We will provide you with documentation that you can submit to your health plan for reimbursement.
Privacy & Disclaimer
We Value Your Privacy
If you are eligible and will be undergoing our Ketamine therapy, you can be at ease knowing that we’ll keep your records confidential. Our records are secure and stored and protected as per HIPPA Compliant requirements. A signed release form is required if you want to allow others, such as medical professionals, to access your files.
Disclaimer on Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy
We want to remind you that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t established the use of Ketamine as “off-label” and has not certified the appropriateness of the Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. Your awareness of this information is vital to understanding any liability related to your use of the medication. Your signed, informed consent signifies your knowledge of this situation.
Your decision to go through Ketamine therapy, therefore, is 100 percent voluntary. We encourage you to ask us questions before saying yes to the treatment.
Ketamine & IV Therapy Articles
Find out more about ketamine assisted therapy and IV nutrition therapy in our blog.
Have a Patient Who Could Benefit?
If you are a doctor or therapist with a patient you think could benefit from our personalized treatment plans to help people overcome depression, anxiety, PTSD and more, please complete and submit our referral form.