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Sometimes, sitting cross-legged on a pillow in your living room and taking a few deep breaths is enough to get you back to center. Other times, you need more. If you’re looking for deeper relaxation—or a more creative way to unwind—you might want to try experiential, mega calming techniques. From light and sound vibration therapy to a Himalayan salt room, take your practice to the next level at one of these Manhattan meditation and wellness studios.
Inscape’s Instagram-worthy immersive rooms, called the Dome and the Alcove, have lights that change colors during meditations. Whether you find your center sitting up or laying down, these hues produce an atmospheric and soothing oasis where you can reflect and relax. And to create consistency between their location and the Inscape app, in-studio sessions are guided by audio recordings with the goal that meditators can develop a regular habit whether or not they make it to a session in person. Inscape aims to “honor the traditions of meditation while infusing modern design and technology” into the experience.
Designed with the high energy of New York City in mind, the WOOM Center’s holistic approach is centered around the therapeutic properties of sound vibration. In addition to yoga classes and restorative myofascial release work, the WOOM Center’s acoustic offerings include “Sound Experience,” “Spatial Sound,” and “WOOM Gong”—sonic journeys that are designed to help quiet the mind, disconnect, and tap into a heightened state of awareness.
From Botox and CryoSlimming, to IV vitamin drips, acupuncture, Reiki, and hypnotherapy, Modrn Sanctuary offers a wide variety of health treatments and cosmetic beauty services. If meditation is more your thing, the Somadome is a private pod that combines light therapy and a 20-minute audio sequence, which aims to provoke the sensation of flying. Similarly, the Sensory 7 experience uses colored lights and sound to decrease pain, stress, and anxiety. Perhaps most popular is the Himalayan salt room, which Modrn says “reproduces the natural micro-climate of a salt cave by dispersing saline aerosol in a high concentration.” Salt therapy is said to enhance the immune system, decrease allergies, asthma, and skin conditions, and improve energy, focus, and alertness.
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years.
Why is this?
While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer.
So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:
“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.
More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time.
Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.
Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.
With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better.
“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest.
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all.
I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.
One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.
So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury.