As an acupuncturist with a busy downtown Washington, DC practice, I tend to have a lot of stressed out, “Type A”, workaholic patients. I am forever encouraging them to slow down, learn how to breathe, and take time for self-care each day. Those who know me laugh and encourage me to “practice what I preach!”
I decided to come up with some creative ideas to share with my patients and I wanted to try them out FIRST before making recommendations. I saw an advertisement for one interesting idea, a float session. Although I did not really understand the difference between a “float” and a hot tub, I had heard about it from some of my professional athletes, and I thought, “Why not? “
My first visit to SOULEX was on my day off and I brought a friend with me for support (and lunch afterwards). When we first arrived, we were greeted by a very welcoming staff member who explained the entire process to us. We would each have our own private “pod” and she gave us helpful options that we could choose (neck pillows, music, soft lighting, etc.) to make our float more comfortable.
I was escorted to my float room and my first thought was, “Wow! This is a beautiful and serene room. Very spa like!” There was a very large egg shaped pod in the middle of the room, with a shower and dressing area off to the side. It was explained to me that the water in the pod was only a few inches deep (all that was needed to having me fully floating) and a specific water temperature for float perfection!
For my first float, I was a little nervous, so I decided to keep the music playing softly while I floated. I did opt to have all the lights out (although at any time I wanted lights, all I needed to do was crack open the pod with a push of my hand and the lights would come on). I got into the pod, closed the top and away I went. I am not going to lie. In the first 60 seconds, I became a little nervous, opened the pod and the lights came on softly. I felt better, closed the pod again and this time, I settled in. It was an incredible experience, full weightlessness, and I felt muscles pulsing all over. It wasn’t painful, just a new sensation. The muscle awareness made me realize how much tension we all hold in our bodies, even just to sit in a chair or at a computer. When we float, those muscles are no longer required to hold us up so they start to relax.
I cannot say that I fell asleep during my float, although I am not sure I didn’t. I definitely was in a state of deep relaxation and when the soothing bells went off to signal the end of my session, I really had no idea how long I had been floating- it could have been minutes or days….it was amazing!
My friend and I compared notes at lunch, we both really enjoyed our experience. So much so that I purchased a gift certificate for my husband to try- as a former NFL athlete, he had a lot of soreness and past injuries that would be helped by the float session. And, as an added bonus, I slept better that night than I had in years- thanks to the magnesium from the salts in the water.
About The Author:
Dr. Amy Lewis, D.Ac., Dipl. Ac. is a National Board Certified acupuncturist and the president of Whole Health Associates, LLC.
Dr. Amy brings over twenty years of experience in wellness and healthcare to her practice and works with patients from professional athletes to children, treating issues ranging from sports injuries to infertility, from migraines to cancer care. She has been featured on radio, TV and in newspapers, including USA Today. Dr. Amy also served as team acupuncturist for the Washington Redskins.
Dr. Amy holds a Doctorate in Acupuncture from Maryland University for Integrative Health. She has studied in China as well as the United States and holds a black belt in Kung Fu. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Amy is the Chief Executive Officer of GotProHealth, a member program for the NFL Players Association and the NBA Players Association. Dr. Amy is also the president of the Acupuncture Society of Washington, DC.