The Role of Music in Ketamine Therapy

September 16, 2022

Nue Life

Nue Life

British DJ, musician, and producer Akira the Don

We all have at least one song or piece of music that is special to us. Whether it serves as a reminder of a meaningful time and place, or as an aid to relaxation or motivation, music is an art form that transcends geographical and linguistic boundaries.

Music is a vital tool for enhancing psychedelic therapy, helping to create an open mindset for what the medicine has to reveal.

We spoke with British DJ, musician, and producer Akira the Don to look at the transformational power of music from the artist’s point of view. With 80k YouTube subscribers, Akira’s music and unique production style explore and challenge the boundaries between pop, hip-hop, indie, and dance.

We also spoke with Kate Yeadaker, APRN, a long-time medical provider for Nue Life, about the role music plays in Nue Life’s ketamine therapy programs. Yeadaker has seen firsthand the healing impact that music can have on patients struggling with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

The Power of Music – Akira the Don

“Music is the most powerful delivery system I know of,” Akira says. “I believe it to be more powerful than drugs. The combination of words and music is beyond next-level power.”

Akira is the creator of Meaningwave which he describes as “an ongoing musical epic story and psychotechnology with the aim of helping listeners to achieve their potential in this lifetime.”

Meaningwave combines intentional electronic music compositions with words spoken by a variety of thought leaders from the past and present including Alan Watts, Fred Rogers, Anthony Bourdain, and many others. Listeners of Akira’s music are invited to ponder the big questions of philosophy and science while also grooving to the music.

“With Meaningwave, I’m combining ideas, instruction, wisdom, and words with music in such a fashion that you can imbue it, you can make it part of yourself, or you can have it within yourself when you are ready to understand it,” he explains. “I want to create work that is beautiful and useful across space and time.”

Music & Nue Life – Kate Yeadaker, ARNP

“One of my many passions in life is music,” Yeadaker says. “Music has provided the backdrop and framework for some of the most beautiful, powerful, monumental, and transformative experiences of my life.”

A 2018 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology showed that music used with psychedelic therapy “included the evocation of personally meaningful and therapeutically useful emotion and mental imagery, a sense of guidance, openness, and the promotion of calm and a sense of safety.”

Listening to music not only alters the activity of the autonomic nervous system (affecting heart rate, muscular tone, and respiration) but also elicits patterns of brain activity akin to those elicited by stimulant drug intake. Neuronal firing synchronizes with environmental rhythms, influencing brain waves and state of mind, according to research in the field of music cognition.

“Music can play a very powerful role during a psychedelic experience. It can serve as an anchor, to provide a sense of healing, relaxation, and comfort,” Yeadaker says. “It can also serve as a catalyst, to propel you down a certain path of exploration and curiosity. It can assist you in feeling more embodied, and allow you to tune in, and connect to your inner voice and wisdom.”

Psychedelics affect the brain’s processing of music through the serotonin system, which has significant consequences for the subjective experience of music, and hence its therapeutic potential. Serotonin, popularly known as the “feel-good chemical,” performs a variety of activities such as mood control, memory, sleep, sexual function, and digestion.

Nue Life ketamine therapy programs include musicologist-designed curated playlists specifically created to complement one’s intentions for the ketamine experience. They help you feel more embodied in the experience and allow you to tune in and connect to your inner voice and wisdom, helping you surrender to what the medicine has to reveal.

Shakespeare said, “If music be the food of love, play on.” If you’re looking to add to the playlist of your wellness journey, we invite you to put on your headphones, relax, and take the journey that only music can provide.

Yeadaker recommends this playlist from My Ketamine Home as a support for psychedelic therapy. And you can visit Akira the Don’s YouTube channel to catch his latest sonic journeys. Click below to hear Akira’s custom-designed playlist “Nue Life Vol. 1.”

Play on, friends.

Akira the Don – Nue Life Vol. 1


National Library of Medicine | The hidden therapist: evidence for a central role of music in psychedelic therapy


Treatment at Nue Life

Nue Life believes in holistic treatment, which means that what happens before and after your ketamine experience is equally as important as the experience itself. We want to ensure you have meaningful takeaways from your experiences and help you establish positive new neural pathways.

That’s why we provide one-on-one health coaching and integration group sessions with each of our programs. We’re here to help map out the mind and body connections in your brain and help you discover the insights that lead to true healing.

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