How Does Ketamine Therapy Fit Into a Program of Whole Mind-Body Wellness?

Addiction Recovery Publishing Addiction Recovery December 25, 2023

How Does Ketamine Therapy Fit Into a Program of Whole Mind-Body Wellness?

In recovery, as in life, we must remember that our mind and body exist in a symbiotic relationship. One will always affect the other and vice versa. The Buddha said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our minds strong and clear.” This is what whole mind-body wellness is all about, and ketamine therapy can be an integral part of making that happen.

What Does Whole Mind-Body Wellness Look Like?

Ultimately, whole mind-body wellness looks like healing on a cellular level, and that looks like expansive recovery that utilizes multiple treatment modalities. Mind-body wellness is also going to look “traditional,” experiential, and holistic. 

Whole mind-body wellness should also look introspective, external, fearless, and malleable. It should focus on underlying issues, the physical body, trying new and exciting types of therapies and treatments, and a willingness to abandon things that don’t work and try something new.

Mind-body wellness is also going to look different for each individual. This is why this type of recovery approach should always be individualized and comprehensive based on their needs.

Mind-Body Wellness: The Importance of Comprehensive and Individualized Mental Health and Addiction Care

Yes, mind-body wellness is about optimal healing, but it is also about overcoming the odds and avoiding a relapse in the future. Now, many people don’t realize how common relapses currently are in the U.S.

According to the peer-reviewed write-up, Addiction Relapse Prevention, “One primary concern in addiction treatment is the high rate of relapses within a short period after even the most intensive treatment. Many studies have shown relapse rates of approximately 50% within the first 12 weeks after completion of intensive inpatient programs that often last 4 to 12 weeks or more and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Despite a wide range of services available, there have been no standard relapse prevention programs established.” Now, while there may be no “standard” relapse prevention programs, there are recovery plans that can go a long way to avoid relapse.

These recovery plans must be comprehensive and individualized if they are going to set in place a plan that specifically works for that person to achieve long-term sobriety and recovery. Part of the comprehensive nature of these recovery plans may include some type of psychedelic therapy. This is because, while still being somewhat scrutinized in certain circles, psychedelic therapies have been shown in many studies to be highly effective in treating people with issues of addiction and/or mental illness.

What Exactly Is Psychedelic Therapy?

Psychedelic therapies are both straightforward and complex. What this means is that they use certain types of psychedelic substances to aid in therapeutic practices. However, they require therapists in specialized fields that are in high demand (this is also why it is such a boon to offer these types of therapies at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab).

According to the scientific studies article, Psychedelic Medicine: A Re-Emerging Therapeutic Paradigm, “In clinical research settings around the world, renewed investigations are taking place on the use of psychedelic substances for treating illnesses such as addiction, depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since the termination of a period of research from the 1950s to the early 1970s, most psychedelic substances have been classified as ‘drugs of abuse’ with no recognized medical value. However, controlled clinical studies have recently been conducted to assess the basic psychopharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy of these drugs as adjuncts to existing psychotherapeutic approaches.” Many of these studies have shown very promising results.

Some of the most promising have surrounded a psychedelic therapy known as ketamine therapy. It is now emerging as one of the most prevalent psychedelic therapies as well. 

What Exactly Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy is considered by many in the mental health and addiction field to be at the forefront of the psychedelic therapy movement. This is because studies continue to show that ketamine therapy is effective at treating multiple types of mental health and addiction issues.

According to the article, Efficacy of Ketamine Therapy in the Treatment of Depression, “There was a significant improvement in depression, anxiety, and the severity of illness after 2 weeks and 1 month of the last dose of ketamine. Significant improvement at 1st [hour] of the first dose was seen in depression and anxiety and not for illness severity. There were transient adverse effects observed in some patients which subsided within 1 [hour].” Also, “Ketamine has a robust and rapid effect on depression, which was seen immediately after the administration of ketamine and sustained at the end of 1 month.” These are types of results that continue to surface as more and more studies are being done.

Also, these are the types of results why ketamine therapy should be considered when creating a comprehensive recovery plan that focuses on whole mind-body wellness. However, it should only be considered once a foundation of more evidence-based modalities has been established. These include “traditional” mental health therapies.

Mind-Body Wellness: How Does Ketamine Therapy Fit In With Traditional Mental Health Treatments?

While ketamine therapy is exciting and promising, it should not be the only form of treatment one considers when recovering from issues of addiction and/or mental illness. This is especially true if they want to do so with whole mind-body wellness in mind.

In fact, ketamine therapy may be considered a “supplemental” therapy used in addiction to set evidence-based therapies. This is also what comprehensive therapy is all about. It is not bifurcated or separated; it is recovery that all works in tandem to garner the best results for the individuals and their loved ones. Two of these “traditional” modalities are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Understanding CBT and DBT

CBT and DBT are two of the most prominent psychotherapies currently being used today. The reason for this is that they have long been shown to be two of the most effective psychotherapies being used today.

CBT is the forerunner of many other psychotherapies (this includes DBT). It was created as a new way to treat depression. According to the peer-reviewed write-up, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, “The idea for developing this form of psychotherapy took root when Aaron Beck began to notice that his patients with depression often verbalized thoughts that were lacking in validity and noted characteristic ‘cognitive distortions’ in their thinking. His empirical observations led him to start viewing depression not so much as a mood disorder but as a cognitive disorder. Based on his clinical observations and empirical findings, Beck outlined a new cognitive theory of depression.”

The concept with CBT is that there are more underlying issues to the behaviors associated with mental illness and addiction. These underlying issues have to do with how people distortedly think about themselves, the world around them, and the way they are viewed. Now, DBT utilizes this concept and takes it in a slightly different direction.

According to the article, Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Current Indications and Unique Elements, “There have been promising findings for patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and substance use disorders (SUDs), persons who meet criteria for binge-eating disorder, and depressed elderly patients. Although DBT has many similarities with other cognitive-behavioral approaches, several critical and unique elements must be in place for the treatment to constitute DBT. Some of these elements include (a) serving the five functions of treatment, (b) the biosocial theory and focusing on emotions in treatment, (c) a consistent dialectical philosophy, and (d) mindfulness and acceptance-oriented interventions.” It is this mindfulness aspect of DBT that makes it work so well with other modalities, such as certain experiential therapies.

Mind-Body Wellness: How Does Ketamine Therapy Fit In With Experiential Therapies?

Experiential therapies may not be considered “evidence-based” by institutions such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but many of them have had multiple studies showing highly effective results. There are also many types of experiential therapies that are currently being used in the recovery realm. 

These are therapies such as art, drama, and even comedy therapy. They are therapies in which the individual uses creative experiences to address the underlying issues that are related to their struggles with mental illness and/or addiction. Ultimately, these therapies aim to be as effective as traditional modalities; they just use more “eccentric” methods. These methods are also greatly improved when the individual is engaged in psychedelic therapies such as ketamine therapy because ketamine therapy helps an individual overcome certain psychological “blocks” that can hold them back. Two specific experiential therapies that can be aided by ketamine therapy are surf therapy and nature immersion therapy.

Understanding Nature Immersion Therapy

Nature immersion therapy is highly effective at helping individuals connect to the internal root/core causes of their most problematic mental health issues. They can also help people toward whole mind-body wellness.

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Besides physical health improvements, nature exposure can bring about positive influence upon psychological constructs such as boredom, friendliness, well-being, and liveliness.” Also, “Exposure to natural environments has been shown to bring about positive impacts on cognitive functioning,” and “there is one important construct that is often overlooked in environmental psychology research studies—that is, the human-nature relationship; also known as connectedness to nature (CN).” Ketamine therapy can aid in this CN aspect.

This is because ketamine therapy can help individuals connect to their inner struggles and help them access certain issues and potential traumas that otherwise may be inaccessible. Ketamine therapy and nature immersion therapy can work cyclically. One must connect to themselves to better connect to the world around them, and connection to the world around them (nature) helps them connect better connect to themselves. This also works with the experiential modality known as surf therapy.

Understanding Surf Therapy

Surf therapy has been shown to be particularly effective at helping people manage issues of mental illness and addiction. Yet, some people remain skeptical. These are generally the same people who remain skeptical about psychedelic therapies, which may be both shortsighted and potentially missing effective recovery options for certain individuals.

Surf therapy is born out of the idea that mind-body wellness must not forget the “body” aspect. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Sport and exercise are known to be long-term beneficial to physical and mental health and the overall well-being of both individuals and society as a whole. During physical activity, hormones are released, and other physiological processes occur, leading to an overall improvement in mental health, and improving sleep quality. Regular physical activity in the natural environment can bring even greater benefits, such as reducing anger, depression, and stress, and contributing to well-being.” Now, while those are more general benefits of physical movement, surf therapy offers some unique benefits of its own.

According to the journal Frontiers in Psychology, “Surf therapy has also been found to be associated with significantly lower post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptoms (at both the conclusion of therapy and 30 day follow up), increases in positive affect, and decrease negative affect, anxiety, and depression. A review of the existing literature on surf therapy concluded that for youth in need of psychological support, outcomes following surf interventions included increases in self-concept, emotion regulation, social competencies, and social connections, as well as decreases in behavioral problems and depressive symptoms. These studies provide provisional support for the use of surf therapy as an effective intervention among adolescent populations to address concerns regarding mental health and well-being.”

Also, there is perhaps no better place to engage in surf therapy than on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. A mere 15-minute jaunt from our 30-acre luxury recovery center is a surf break known as Honoli’i. It offers some world-class regular surfing and boogie boarding. Not only will it help the body aspect of whole mind-body wellness, but it will also help the mind as meditation happens while waiting for the world-class waves it offers. Yoga offers some similarly effective benefits.

Mind-Body Wellness: How Does Ketamine Therapy Fit In With Holistic Practices Like Yoga?

Ketamine therapy can help one calm one’s mind and address one’s emotions. This is similar to the benefits that yoga has to offer. Yoga has been practiced for over 3,000 years. It originated as a religious practice but has since been found to be highly effective in the world of addiction and mental illness. 

According to the International Journal of Yoga (IJOY), “Therapeutic yoga is defined as the application of yoga postures and practice to the treatment of health conditions. Yoga therapy involves instruction in yogic practices and teachings to prevent reduce or alleviate structural, physiological, emotional, and spiritual pain, suffering, or limitations. Yogic practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.” All of these benefits can be crucial for healing at the cellular level.

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab: Offering Mind-Body Wellness and Healing at the Cellular Level

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we don’t believe in “one-size-fits-all,” “cookie cutter” types of treatment. We know that “broad” therapy that isn’t individualized rarely works.

The Buddha is also believed to have said, “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” This is the aim here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab: to heal the mind, body, and spirit of individuals who want to heal at the cellular level.

Treating clients both internally and externally, and psychologically, mentally, and spiritually is what we here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab are all about. For some of our clients, part of that treatment includes psychedelic therapies such as ketamine therapy. Ketamine therapy can help individuals heal at the cellular level by having positive effects on all of the aforementioned aspects of mind-body wellness. If you feel like you or someone you love is struggling with issues of addiction, mental health disorders, or comorbidities of both, we can help get you on the road to successful long-term recovery. For more information on the benefits of psychedelic therapies like psilocybin and ketamine therapy, please reach out to Exclusive Hawaii Rehab today at (808) 775-0200.