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A Ketamine Clinic Treads the Line Between Health Care and a ‘Spa Day for Your Brain’

0 2 years ago

The décor of the Nushama Psychedelic Wellness Clinic was designed to look like bliss. “It doesn’t feel like a hospital or a clinic, but more like a journey,” said Jay Godfrey, the former fashion designer who co-founded the space with Richard Meloff, a lawyer turned cannabis entrepreneur.

The “journey,” in this instance, is brought on by ketamine, administered intravenously, as a treatment for mental health disorders, albeit one that has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“I thought, what does bliss look like?” Mr. Godfrey said. At Nushama, which occupies the entire 21st floor of a building in midtown Manhattan, it looks like 3,000 silk pastel flowers hanging from the ceiling, and a flat screen TV in the waiting room playing a “landscape of wonder” N.F.T. featuring lily pads and garlands of leaves that are, upon closer inspection, tiny nymphs — with wallpaper to match.

Mr. Godfrey closed his fashion business and founded Nushama in 2020. He had become disenchanted with the fashion world, he said, and had been using psychedelics for his own mental health for many years after being inspired by Michael Pollan’s best-selling book “How to Change Your Mind.” The light-bulb moment — Mr. Godfrey called it “an openhearted experience” — came at the beginning of the pandemic when he realized, “I have the ability to bring these medicines to people.”


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