“Fresh powder” is a term I grew up hearing about, but never experienced. As a skier growing up in Connecticut, when you ski the Berkshires, you don’t get fresh powder too often. When I’d watch Warren Miller ski films and see skiers out west skiing fresh powder, it looked magical. There was this blank slate of a hill just waiting for that lucky skier, and they were free to move in whatever direction they chose down that mountain. All routes were possible.
“Fresh Powder” as Metaphor
Well, last week, I completed my first of six sessions of ketamine therapy to help treat depression. During my consultation, the nurse practitioner explained the neurological benefits of ketamine using the ‘fresh powder’ analogy. He said, imagine you have all these ski tracks in your brain. Those are ingrained patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior. Now imagine a fresh snowfall, and imagine that fresh powder temporarily filling in those tracks. In the 2-4 days following treatment, Ketamine triggers the release of chemicals in your brain that essentially do just that. This allows you to more easily carve new tracks in the snow… you know… CHANGE direction with less effort because you are not stuck in a rut – so to speak.
We know that the term neuroplasticity means that the brain can literally change shape over time, and ketamine creates a window of time where the brain is more malleable than normal, so new patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior can be established during that time. I’m extremely excited about this, because the treatment is once a week for 6 weeks, which essentially gives me a 6 week window where I can really create some serious, positive change in the way my brain works.
For those that don’t know my story, I received 18 documented concussions with 6 occurring between 2016 and 2018 alone. The docs diagnosed me with a mild traumatic brain injury which has exacerbated issues related to emotional regulation, memory, and focus. I am on a journey to continue to heal my brain with as many cutting edge therapies I can find, and during January’s summit I hosted, we had a ketamine therapy expert speak. He opened my eyes to some exciting and very promising research. I’m now looking to 2022 with so much hope. It’s like I’m standing at the top of a ski run, and there’s nothing but fresh powder in front of me.
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