Mad Like Alyce

Floating for Pain Relief

Ever since I came across this article in Time Magazine called “Float Hopes,” I had made it a goal to try float therapy. It has reported benefits not only for relief of PTSD symptoms, but for pain relief as well. Dealing with a flare up of both my pain and PTSD symptoms, I decided that the time was perfect to give this a try.

What is Float Therapy?

First of all, you may be asking, “What exactly IS float therapy?” I was also a little confused. Essentially, it is a sensory deprivation pod that has about 12 inches of dense salt water that reduces the effects of gravity on your body by 80%. In one session, you float gently in the pod for 1 hour with the gently changing colored lights and meditation music. You can also turn off the music and lights for a complete sensory free experience.

My First Experience With Floating

I started off my experience trying to max out my relaxation, so I scheduled my float after a 1 hour massage, so I was already relaxed. The cost was more effective to sign up for a monthly membership, and with a two month minimum sign up, it was absolutely worth it. The benefit was that I was able to also do a 25 minute infrared sauna, which is included with the memberships.

sauna

Immediately, I loved the spa feeling. Lit with Himalayan salt lamps, the spa was clean and very comfortable. I cannot stand moist heat, so these dry heat saunas are perfect! There was even a crisp clean robe to wear, although I prefer to put on my own swimsuit. I also highly recommend using one of these awesome swimsuit bags! They are waterproof, and make it really easy to stash a damp swimsuit until you can hang it out to dry.

beach please

After my sauna, I was treated to the oxygen bar while I waited for the water in my suite to finish the sanitization process. It’s not something I would usually spring for, but it is included with the float. It was a lot of fun switching out the different scents!

float oxygen

Finally, it was off to the float suite. It is, in fact, a private suite. You can lock the door and control the lights, music, ect. right from inside the pod. There is even a shower right in the suite so you can wash off the salt immediately after. Initially, I was concerned about getting water in my ears or my face being submerged, both of which were immediately answered. They provide wax earplugs, and there is also a foam ring to place under your head and keep your head floating on top of the water, although you will find you start floating almost immediately.

float pod

Close the lid?

I was really freaked out by the idea of closing the lid on the pod, but as soon as I got into it I knew it was the best option, although I did leave the lights in the room on. The high domed lid was well above my reach and once it was closed I didn’t feel claustrophobic at all. Instead, it provides the wonderful sensation of being in an endless void with the gentle lights in the pod, and it is actually one of my favorite things now that I have done it a few times!

Nothing but your thoughts

I really thought I would get bored being in there for a whole hour with no distractions… and I was kind of right, but also really wrong. Without any way to really gauge time, I would say about at the 30 minute mark I started to get antsy, but not long after that I could say I went into a state. Just floating and feeling the water on my skin, my hair floating below me and tickling my back. Gently gliding from the front to the back, side to the side. Twisting and stretching, my lumbar spine actually popped! Next thing I knew, the float was over.

I went home, went to bed, and much to my surprise, I didn’t wake up that night. Not. Even. Once. For someone who wakes up from pain or nightmares at least 3 times each night, this was insane! I didn’t even stir until Damir came in at 1 p.m. in the afternoon to gently shake me and ask if I was ok. Yes. Yes I was indeed.

My Second Float

I wasn’t sure how much of the success of my first float was due to the combination of the massage, infrared sauna and a float, so I put off doing the second one for awhile until I was home on a Saturday with the start of a migraine forming. Making a snap decision, I booked a float and was there 30 minutes later. No massage, no sauna.

This time around, I got into the float so much faster, no boredom or antsyness at all. I don’t stay still, instead I bounce around most of the time since any movement, even every so slight, will send you drifting into an opposite wall, but I actually enjoy the gliding motion. Before I knew it, the float was over. I went home, went to bed, and although I did wake up to use the bathroom, I slept soundly and woke up without any migraine.

Recommendations & Considerations

  1. Don’t let the idea of being in there for a full hour throw you off. I think it was really beneficial to stick it out for the full hour the first time you try it, because subsequent soaks seem to go much more quickly.
  2. Keep in mind, it isn’t just the lack of gravity that helps with relaxation. They use epsom salt to increase the water density, and epsom salt has a ton of magnesium, a natural muscle relaxer. Some of this is absorbed into your body which is why even soaking in epsom salts in your bathtub can help with chronic pain.
  3. Try closing the lid, even if you are unsure. Know you can always sit up and raise it, or even get out, if you are uncomfortable.
  4. They have a spray bottle of distilled water in the pod, just in case you do manage to get the salt water in your eyes.
  5. You can even play your own music, or a gentle repeating mantra to aid your meditation goals. I haven’t done this, but it might not be a terrible idea.

Overall, I really enjoyed floating, and plan to continue my membership for much longer than those first two months. Have you tried floating? What are your thoughts?

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials

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  • Good things happen when you leave the apartment for the first time in a week! These must've gotten dropped off when I was taking a nap, I opened my front door to find this gorgeous Halloween bouquet on my doormat from @bkbecker! I just can't get over those adorable bats!!! #ihavethebestfriends #halloween
  • Rose Madder has an ethereal beauty and raw feminine power, however, something is off... something not quite human. The shadows under her skin would be perhaps leprosy, perhaps something worse, and her eyes are rabid with madness. “Don't look at her face! That is not for the likes of you.”
She was fascinated by the texture of the woman's back, her bare shoulder, and the lower part of her neck. The skin was finer than watered silk. But farther up on her neck... Rosie didn't know what those grey Shadows lurking just below her hairline could be, and didn't think she wanted to know. Bites were her first wild thought, but they weren't bites. Rosie knew bites. Was it leprosy? Something worse? Something contagious? 
Products used in this look are: 
Woochie cream makeup in Dead Guy Grey, @mehronmakeup aqua color in white and gray, Light green cream makeup from the zombie color set from Woochie, Eyeshadows from the @tartecosmetics artist palette.
Gold aqua color from the Mehron brilliant palette, @bennyemakeup bruise wheel.
Full tutorial on the blog!
  • One of the reasons I love Stephen King novels is because he illustrates just enough of the character for your imagination to kick in and fill in the horrifying details that make it real and terrifying for each individual. Because this has never before been made into a motion picture I was really excited to be able to make my own spin on how Rose Madder would appear for round 3 of the #StrykingFEAR contest. Check out the full tutorial, now up on the blog, link in bio!
  • Here is my entry for round 3 of the #StrykingFEAR contest. Inspired by the recent excitement around the movie IT, I wanted to create a character from another of my favorite Stephen King novels, Rose Madder. The book is set in the late 80s or early nineties but I would imagine that it would be produced in the style of many of his older movies from the 70s and 80s such as The Shining, Carrie, or Salem's Lot.
This novel is unique to me because it includes elements of Greek mythology which is a different angle for Stephen King, and also because it covers the topic of domestic abuse, and with October also being domestic abuse awareness month I felt that it was very timely. In the book, Rose Madder is an “almost goddess” that saves the main character, Rosie, by showing her how to empower herself and escape from her abusive husband. 
One of the reasons I love Stephen King novels is because he illustrates just enough of the character for your imagination to kick in and fill in the horrifying details that make it real and terrifying for each individual. Because this has never before been made into a motion picture I was really excited to be able to make my own spin on how Rose Madder would appear.
Rose Madder has an ethereal beauty and raw feminine power, however, something is off... something not quite human. The shadows under her skin would be perhaps leprosy, perhaps something worse, and her eyes are rabid with madness. “Don't look at her face! That is not for the likes of you.”
  • Super excited to be entering the #StrykingFEAR Contest! It all started when I came across the round one intro video from @miss_stryx back in August. Suddenly I had a deliciously horrifying idea that has led to an awesome collaboration with @jibclimmer and I was more excited about Halloween this year then I have been for any years prior. Thanks @miss_stryx for the inspiration! Since I had to rush everything because of my surgery last week, I'm still working on editing and will actually be posting the rounds in reverse order. Round three coming up soon!
  • It's showtime!!!! It's been an interesting last week recovering  from my recent shoulder surgery, but in between bouts of falling asleep randomly and mindlessly watching television, I've been able to work on some of the video to tutorials I shot prior to the surgery. These are gonna be coming at you here pretty soon! In the meantime, here is my Beetlejuice from last year which you can find a tutorial for on the blog, both make up and costume! Link in bio.
  • I didn't want to say anything, then... or even now. But what someone else decided to do became a part of who I am now. A part of the damage I will always carry. My voice may have been small while I put myself together. Until I learned that the part of me that I am proudest of, the strength in me to overcome, is something you will never take. #metoo
  • Should have known #fridaythe13th would be the PERFECT day to start shooting my next project. You guys... I can't even begin to say how excited I am to share it with you, but for now, a quick peek.
  • Even in death, #pumpkinspice is life! Zombie walks are popping up all around the country, and if you want to wear your costume early as a "zombie" but don't want to actually damage the costume, this basic zombie is perfect! Or for me, it's a casual October Saturday....

@madlikealyce

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