Modern life can at times feel like juggling a chainsaw, cat, and a bowling ball- all on fire. Keeping up at your job, taking care of the kids, having a fulfilling relationship, keeping the household in working order, finding time for extended family and friends, trying to stay fit- sometimes it feels there’s barely enough time for sleep! So- what have you done for yourself lately? It used to be that to relax, one would just book a massage, unwind with TV, or read a book. Now there are many more options around relaxation- including those that promote healing at the same time. Below I offer a few alternative ways you can have some “me” time and, fingers-crossed, feel better in the process.
Modrn Sanctuary: Salt Room
Step into the salt room at Modrn Sanctuary and your shoulders immediately drop and your lungs open. It is an incredibly relaxing room with Moroccan lanterns hanging from the ceiling, which mimics a starry night. Sink into the Nest Chairs surrounded by soothing color therapy through red, white, blue and green LED lights that illuminate the walls into different hues. A Halo generator heats and grinds pharmaceutical grade salt into tiny particles which are dispensed into the air. The walls are decorated with rough and smooth salt bricks and covering the heated floors are thousands of tiny grains of salt sand. As you step on the salt, its as if you are walking on the beach- only better. Dry Salt therapy has become more popular lately, as the benefits- enhancing lung capacity, boosting immune system, reducing stress, and aiding sleep have been achieved by many. In addition, salt therapy helps address skin conditions and respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, and the common cold. The cost for a 45-minute session in the salt room is $55 and it is worth it. You can sit and listen to sound therapies on custom loaded iPads. Lay back and let your mind and body connect. It’s a real treat. You can also book other therapies in the salt room, like a session with my friend and owner of Modrn Sanctuary Alexandra Janelli. Read my interview with Alexandra here.
Modrn Sanctuary: Crystal Light Therapy
Crystal Light Therapy (also called Crystal Bath or Crystal Bed Therapy) promotes emotional, mental, physical & spiritual healing. It opens, balances and clears the Chakra system-one of your body’s primary energy systems. In addition to Chakra healing, this therapy also balances, smooths out and restores your body’s bio field (also referred to as your energy field or aura).
Crystal Bed Therapy uses extremely clear, highly polished precise Vogel quartz crystals, cut to a specific frequency. Colored lights matching the vibrational frequency of chakra colors radiate light and energy through the crystals to each respective chakra. They shine on/off in healing rhythms to cleanse, balance and align your energies.
The Crystal Bed is composed of seven systems of energy transmission: Light, Sound, Magnetic, Crystal, Orgone, Scalar wave, and adjustable frequency. Go to this link to learn more about the seven systems. New clients get a 15-20-minute information session before the beginning of the crystal session itself. Sessions are 25 minutes for $75 and 45 minutes for $120.
NY Magazine recently did an article on the Crystal Light Bed at Modrn Sanctuary which can be found here which details exactly what the experience is like. I haven’t tried it yet, but its on my list.
Infrared Saunas have been all the rage for a while now. From upper east side moms raving about how great their skin looks, to my trainer telling me it would banish bloat, it seemed the results of a 45-minute session were too good to be true. Infrared Saunas are known to detoxify, give you a workout, and rejuvenate you. According to the Higher Dose website, the 9 benefits are: detoxification of the body; burning calories; relieving aches and pains; reducing wrinkles as well as improving skin tone (yes please!); relaxing the body; improving cell health and circulation of the body; killing bacteria; healing wounds; and improving moods.
I went to Higher Dose down on the Bowery for my session. and although skeptical of sitting in a heated box, I went for it. DOSE stands for Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins. They claim to get you “beautiful and buzzed all at once”. The sauna is hot but it is not intolerable. You are in your own room and can go in and out of the actual sauna for water when needed. You can hook your phone up to a sound system while in there and completely zone out to your favorite tunes. Afterwards, although sweaty, I felt refreshed and the results seemed to last for days. A hint: They don’t have showers, so bring some loose sweats to switch into for the trip home.
Transcendental Meditation, or TM as its more widely known, is the most popular type of meditation in this country. Recommended by many celebrities and in hundreds of research studies, TM helps to create a deeper inner calm, clears the mind, improves heart health, helps with insomnia and depression as well as illnesses such as PTSD, ADHD and addiction. The goal is to achieve pure consciousness. Unlike other types of meditation, it doesn’t require concentration, controlling of the mind, contemplation, or monitoring of thoughts.
I decided to take the course at the TM center in midtown when I was between jobs five years ago at the urging of my husband. To say its been life changing is an understatement. Our society is filled with stressed people who barely take time for themselves- let alone spend twenty minutes in pure silence. With TM, you reach a level of calm that is so relaxing you almost feel like you are floating on a cloud.
The TM center makes it easy for you to learn the method. Offering mid-day and evening sessions, you go for about an hour for four days where you learn to meditate in a group. You are privately given a special mantra to repeat that is only for you to use. It is recommended that you meditate 20 minutes twice a day. If not at home, find a quiet place to do it during the day. Once you learn how to meditate, you have it for life. The TM center offers refresher sessions and retreats if you are so inclined. I went once and have not gone back, but I feel like what I learned for $1500 is a small price for the inner peace its given me in life.