I was 18 years old in 1982, when I had my first float. The world of professional dance had chewed me up and spit me out and I had moved back home to regroup and try to figure out what to do with my life. Wandering on South Street with a friend, we came across a tank center and decided to try it.
In the tank, all the pain and confusion of the previous year swirled through my mind and swept away. Leaving me connected to my essential self - my creativity, my sense of being a healer, my desire and skill at connecting with people. I didn’t get a clear picture of what “career” that fit, but I reconnected in a deep way with my path and my self. Coming out the that first float I was changed. Something in me knew I was in the right place.
I got a job working at and managing the tank center. I floated many more times and enjoyed introducing people to floating. I read the research about the important benefits of floating and of relaxation on our overall life and health. I got introduced to massage therapy, meditation, Tai Chi, Acupuncture and many more mind and heart opening modalities. And in the tank I continued to discover myself, my intuition, my caring heart and curious mind.
I was learning a lot about alternative medicine and beginning to understand the importance of emotional balance in keeping ourselves healthy. People would come to float all the time and tell me of the physical symptoms that were bothering them. If they floated regularly and began to feel more relaxed in their lives, they often found that their symptoms receded naturally. It made sense to me since our emotions create the physiological state that we live in, which if stressed, can begin to cause all kinds of symptoms.
Around that time I had a friend who was really suffering from depression. She was so low. Someone had suggested that she try Five Element Acupuncture to help her balance her emotions. I took her to her first session and waited while she got her treatment. An hour later she came out and I saw light in her eyes again - she hadn’t had any spark in a while! And in that moment I knew I had found my calling. I wanted to learn how to practice a medicine that could bring about that kind of change.
I studied everything I could about Five Element Acupuncture, finding that it was a method that focused on healing emotional stress and returning the person to balance and calm. This was an ancient and reliable system of medicine that helped people who were suffering from all kinds of symptoms including emotional stress and low spirits. Time and again I saw in myself and others the kind of relief and recovery that this kind of treatment could bring. Eventually I went to a four-year program in Colorado to become a licensed Five Element Acupuncturist. I carried forward the vision I’d had in my first float and moved into being a healing practitioner in my own right.
I’ve been practicing acupuncture and bodywork for over 15 years now, and I still love seeing people heal as they recover from overwhelm and overwork and the effects they have on the body. I think floating and acupuncture are a great combination. Sometimes your energy feels blocked or fatigued and you need a little assistance to feel better and clear up symptoms that have been bothering you. When you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed and need to reconnect with yourself, acupuncture is great for that. Once your energy is flowing well, the insight and relaxation you find in floating can take you even further.
I’m grateful to Halcyon Floats for bringing floatation tanks back to Philly after all these years. It’s so great to have this resource and a beautiful place to introduce people to floating and all the benefits that come from relaxation, turning inwards and finding the emotional balance that feeds into health and wellness in all parts of our lives.
Doren Day, L. AC.