In partnership with Nue Life.
Sonam Kline is a Nue Life Director who underwent the company’s 6 week ketamine therapy program during a particularly difficult period in her life. Her father had just survived a stroke, and she had experienced a second miscarriage after three years of infertility: “I didn’t want to take traditional antidepressants since they take 4-6 weeks to become effective, have a slew of negative side effects, and people get hooked on them long term. Ketamine compared to traditional antidepressants is effective within 24-48 hours, doesn’t have serious side effects, and is not something you feel you have to take for life.”
Nue Life’s cutting-edge ketamine therapy program offers at-home treatment that’s guided by doctors, coaches, and health professionals to help clients reach their mental wellness goals. Kline is one of over 4,000 clients who have taken part in Nue Life’s 35,000+ ketamine experiences. Below, she walks us through her journey.
Did you have any reservations about trying Nue Life’s ketamine therapy experience? What helped you ultimately decide to do it?
“I’ve had quite a bit of experience with psychedelic therapies in the past few years – specifically with psilocybin, MDMA, DMT, peyote and ayahuasca – so I was excited to experience the ketamine therapy program firsthand. I onboard many of our brand ambassadors into the program but wasn’t able to speak about it from a firsthand perspective until I tried it for myself.
Once my first treatment arrived, I definitely felt the nerves kick in. I didn’t know what to expect, and the idea of having the experience at home with just a sitter versus a facilitator was initially a little nerve-racking. But as soon as the medicine kicked in within 10 minutes of holding the lozenge under my tongue, all of the fear subsided and I entered into the most beautiful, peaceful and profound journey.”
Can you walk me through the logistics of a ketamine therapy experience from start until present?
“Nue Life oboards you to the program through a virtual meeting with a member from our medical team who assesses whether you’re a good fit. Nue Life then offers virtual preparation sessions so you can learn how to optimize your experience and ask any and all questions you may have.
Your first shipment includes an eye mask, a water bottle, a journal and pen, and your medication. You take an anti-nausea medicine 10 minutes before your session, then you lie down with a blanket and your eye mask and headphones and get comfy. From there, the Nue Life app is what really guides you through your journey. It has tailored playlists based on your intention (our musicologist is an expert at formulating these playlists so you’ll have the most deeply healing experience). There are also really cool features built into the app like being able to record voice notes that get transcribed into written notes in your journey.
After your experience is when the real work begins – integration is so important. It’s where you tie everything together and create meaning from your experience to drive lasting change. Journaling allows me to piece together everything that came up so I can understand what changes to make in my life to live in a more fulfilled and joyful way. My therapist is integral for me when it comes to implementing steps to change my negative thought patterns, set clear boundaries in my life, and learn to love myself deeply and fully.
Nue Life also offers integration sessions for all of our patients in addition to health coaching sessions. Our intensive Nue Care program is how we differentiate from competitors in the space. We like to treat our patients in ideally 6 sessions and allow them to live fulfilled lives without having to rely on any types of medications long-term, including ketamine.”
What feelings did you experience in your sessions? Does ketamine therapy provide a ‘high,’ or is this program offering something more subtle?
“In small doses, ketamine has mild psychedelic effects and is extremely calming to the body. You feel a lightness – almost as if your body is floating. You drift off into what I like to compare to a deep meditation. And then your journey begins. Compared to other psychedelic therapies, it’s so gentle. You ease right into the experience and the medicine doesn’t give you any side effects – it’s light and easy to experience. But the insights that come up are deeply profound.
Most people never experience what it’s like to be in such a deeply relaxed and fully present state. Ketamine slows everything down and allows you to dig deeply into your subconscious to see what’s really going on under the hood. It allows you to reprioritize and refocus, which is why it’s so effective for anyone struggling with depression or anxiety. It breaks you out of the mental rut you’ve been living in.”
If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear about the personal benefits and relief you’ve experienced.
“My first session was just a few months after my dad had a horrible skateboarding accident. In short, he was in the hospital for a month, followed by months in a rehab center, aphasia center, and intensive therapies. In my first ketamine session, I saw every memory I had with my dad from the time I was born until now – almost 30 years of memories. And each one was tied to an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love. I was reminded of how precious life is and how fragile it is and the importance of expressing how much we love our close ones. I called him immediately after that session in tears. It really changed our dynamic in the most special way.
In another session, my intention was to heal around a recent miscarriage. My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for three years, with two traumatic miscarriages in the process. After the first one, I was deeply depressed for months. Once I discovered Nue Life, I was excited about this opportunity to heal my trauma from my pregnancy losses at the root versus masking my symptoms with pharmaceutical medications. In my session, I was able to connect with the soul of my unborn child, who comforted me tremendously. This experience gave me this fearless faith that everything is going to work out – it’s just happening on a divine timeline, versus on my timeline."
Nue Life really emphasizes the ‘holistic’ component of its experience – how was your journey customized to you, and how supported did you feel as you underwent your program?
“The Nue Life team is absolutely incredible. I have never met a group of people who are so mission aligned, so empathetic, and who deeply care about their patients and the work we’re doing. This medicine has the ability to raise the consciousness of the planet and each person’s experience is customized so that they get the most out of the treatment.
I have had access to the Nue Life team to answer all of my questions. Someone is always available when things come up. The app is also absolutely amazing – it really becomes your digital companion throughout your experience. I wish there was an app for other types of psychedelic journeys because it’s such an incredible resource to have!”
What happens after you complete the program? Is there maintenance to prolonging the benefits you experience from ketamine, or do you feel fully ‘healed’?
“Healing is a work in progress and a lifelong journey, but ketamine therapy has definitely changed my perspective. After years of anxiety, I’ve been able to experience a calmness and centeredness that I’ve never had before. I have this fearless faith that everything works out the way it’s meant to and that we’re all connected and living this beautiful, messy, imperfect experience we call life. Ketamine has taught me how to navigate that suffering in a way that it doesn’t break me or push me into a state of ruminating. I’ve developed a sense of strength and resilience so that when I’m faced with adversity, I can effectively cope in ways that I never could before.”
Obviously there’s still a stigma around ketamine today. If you could dispel a myth around ketamine and ketamine therapy, what would that be?
“The k-hole! This is one of the most common questions I get asked when people are exploring ketamine therapy for the first time. A k-hole is when very high doses of ketamine lead to intense feelings of dissociation. This happens through excessive, illegal recreational use.
With our program, ketamine is prescribed by a medical professional and is dose-controlled. This means you receive your first shipment before receiving subsequent shipments (so you’re not getting all your medication at once) and you only receive the amount that is prescribed to you. You’re also required to have a sitter with you during your experience as a safety measure.”
What about the public perception of ketamine do you hope changes in the coming years?
“I hope that in the coming years people realize how powerful of a treatment ketamine therapy is. Even if you’re not in deep suffering, this medicine has the power to help you reframe your thoughts to see things more clearly and more positively. Sometimes, people just want a mental reset or to boost their creativity or become a better version of themselves. And ketamine therapy does just that - it allows you to become the best version of yourself.”