Relaxation, what does that mean to you? Often this word relates to sleeping and plenty of us can relate to sleeping difficulties from time to time or even insomnia. But what I realized this year, through my own stress and relaxation journey, is that the body can heal exponentially through relaxation. That came to me this year through weekly sensory deprivation visits, guided stretch therapy and IV therapy.
I’ve written about the importance of sensory deprivation before, but more in a scientific sense. Now, after committing to it, religiously, for 4 months, I have a different perspective. Last year when I found out my mom was dying of cancer, I started to grieve and change. I had to time to prepare myself for her passing but that process also helped me discover new parts of my self and my own self-care path.
During this stressful and emotionally taxing time, sensory deprivation at True Rest, Detroit became something that I at first viewed as minimal but now understand as maximum. This past year, I didn’t feel like working out, I had low energy and some days it was difficult for me to get out of bed. Going to the warm, float pods at True Rest was what I look forward to every week. It was something so easy and positive in my life and sometimes, that’s all I could do for that week for myself, is to “go float” in the 1,000 pounds of warm, water Epsom salt.
Jeff Krause owner of True Rest had this to say about the benefits, “Drs. Jay Shurley and John Lilly invented Float Therapy in the 1950’s while studying what would happen to the brain when you remove all external stimuli. Little did they know how connected we would be today and how we process so much more information than in that era. It is not only relaxing to let your mind rest for a change, but modern data show that we are healthier if we take time to experience silence.” So, how both easy and difficult is that to comprehend, there is health found in just silence.
The other self-care ritual I started was therapeutic stretch sessions. I have been an avid home yoga practitioner, but this year I became very unmotivated. I thought, this would be a great time to try out the new trend in guided stretching. I visited several different places Stretch Zone, Stretch Smart and Tri-Covery Massage and Flexibility. I enjoyed all the treatments, but I found the pre-stretch infra-red heat to be one of my favorite parts. Unlike hot yoga, your going through stages to relax without the pressure of being watched in yoga or performing difficult poses in the heat. With that said, some stretchologists, as they are called, were better than others.
Finally, I added IV therapy to my repertoire this year. Part of it was curiosity but another part was “stress laziness.” Going through so many emotional upheavals, left me less than willing to make my special herbal teas and immune enhancing protocols that I normally make for myself as a naturopath. I tried the IV Haus of Royal Oak and the Ozone Center of Michigan with Dr. Ahmad. Now that spring has sprung, I can say I have more energy than ever, I never got sick once this winter (even though the flu visited family members twice) and I am on a much higher and better place in my life psychologically.
I believe this is directly from honoring myself where I was at, allowing and nurturing the grieving process and finding time to relax, rather than do. These new self-care options are easy and powerful additions to our lives and we need to let go of our expectations that it must hurt to help, it doesn’t! Putting our bodies in a state where it can grow and heal itself- is sometimes all we need.