Vancouver clinic aims to treat depression with ketamine and meditation
Posted October 24, 2023 9:12 pm.
Combining the therapeutic effects of ketamine with meditation, a new program offered at a Vancouver health clinic aims to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Qi Integrated Health calls the program “Ketation,” a process that combines the therapeutic effects of ketamine with meditation.
Qi Integrated Health Psychadelic Supervisor Mark Haden is also a clinician, researcher, and UBC Adjunct Professor with 15 years in psychedelic research on his resume, and he says he’s not aware of anywhere else offering a service like Ketation.
The facility says this form of meditation is designed to help people achieve a deeper state of relaxation and self-awareness while also helping to reduce symptoms of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or chronic pain.
“It’s combining a very old, historical, beautiful practice of meditation that is still popular today and using it within the context of psychedelic work,” Haden explained.
“It’s quite fantastic. It’s a way of really helping people to expand their mental health and to really go deeper into their healing journey.”
Haden says the idea to combine ketamine with meditation came from his strong belief in meditation and seeing firsthand the benefits of psychedelics.
“People go through our programs, and the first word as they emerge from the experience is usually wow,” he said.
“It’s kind of like climbing a mountain. When you’re climbing a mountain and sitting at the peak, you can actually see a lot … people use that analogy to describe the ketamine experience, in fact, many psychedelics have that same experience — it’s the ability to suddenly see your life from a completely different perspective.”
Ketamine is legal for medical, scientific, and industrial uses according to Health Canada, which describes the substance as a dissociative drug — meaning separating mind from body — that also alters how you experience sight and sound.
While Qi Integrated Health currently only offers psychedelic treatments with Ketamine, Haden says he’s hoping that will change as more psychedelic-like substances are legalized for medical use in Canada.
“That’s our goal … to really be able to help everybody no matter what the problem is and how severe the problem is … we believe we will have a program for them.”
Haden says he believes psychedelic therapies are going to transform psychiatry, psychology, clinical social work, and clinical nursing as research on their effectiveness for mental health conditions is significantly different from current treatments.