Kolton is a young and energetic achiever who has taken several notable adventures off the beaten path. After graduating from college, he thru-hiked the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, stretching from Georgia to Maine. He completed the hike in 100 days, averaging 22 miles a day. After a short period of working a 9-5 corporate job, Kolton decided to become a freelance videographer and website developer. He had personal goals to grow his business and take on leadership roles at his church, as well as fitness goals for ultra-marathon running and climbing Yosemite’s towering Dawn Wall.

But when Kolton’s health took a turn for the worse, he had to re-think his priorities.

“I was pushing my body and wasn’t involved in any restorative practice,” he reflects. “I probably had symptoms for a long time, but I didn’t pay attention to them.” Kolton started waking up with a stiff, sore neck. The pain gradually increased and started to cause headaches. Eventually, his shoulders and spine were also affected. He tried to manage the symptoms with over the counter medications and rest but soon started experiencing insomnia.

“By the time I saw a physical therapist I actually couldn’t even throw a football,” Kolton notes. “My shoulders were falling apart, and I was getting headaches every day. I finally thought ‘Wow, this is getting serious. I’m 25 and my body is trying to tell me something.’”

And with that, Kolton began his journey of healing.

While seeking help, Kolton was frustrated by the lack of answers. “I didn’t have enough time in an appointment with anyone to tell them I was having pain in more than one area. They had to hurry to see their next patient.” After seeing his primary care doctor, a physical therapist, and two chiropractors, Kolton started to see mild improvement. However, he was still was experiencing significant pain and insomnia.

As his health worsened, his emotional and mental battles became more intense.

“I was desperate. The problems were always at the forefront of my mind. Depression and anxiety made me feel like I couldn’t be a good friend or family member that I want to be.”

Kolton was looking for relief everywhere. He heard about Alleviant Health Centers through a friend and confesses, “I was skeptical at first. I used to think that people who are being treated for depression and anxiety are just weak and need to pick themselves up.” After consulting with family and the medical team at Alleviant, he felt confident to proceed with ketamine infusions.

Many patients report that infusions help them slow down, listen to their bodies, and clear their minds of cluttered, racing thoughts. Kolton agrees. “I was able to tune in to the thoughts that I was battling in my mind, and also to feel in my body where some of the most painful spots were.”

After his first of four infusions, Kolton enjoyed restful sleep for the first time in months. He felt significant, lasting release of certain painful spots in his neck. His headaches occur less often and are less severe. His emotional outlook toward the future is full of hope. “I still have progress to make,” he notes, acknowledging that his journey of healing isn’t over. “The ketamine infusions are a treatment that can help you move forward.”

For achievers like Kolton, it takes courage to press pause on your goals and focus on healing.

“I can identify with a fear of slowing down and addressing the pain,” he confesses. “But if you don’t listen, you’ll have to go on a much longer road to recovery. Going through chronic pain is an inward accomplishment. When you reach the end, other people might be happy for you, but you don’t get a trophy, you don’t advance in your career. You have to learn how to cherish and value the inward journey. You can become bitter or better in the midst of every suffering.”

We’re honored to be a part of Kolton’s story and we’re thankful that he’s choosing to get better, not bitter.

Also, we’ll be some of the first people to congratulate him on the day that he summits the Dawn Wall in Yosemite.