I started my journey with an official diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) this past year. My frustration in trying to find a diagnosis was only matched by the frustration from the lack of research and treatments for CRPS.
In an effort to relieve some of my excruciating pain, I recently tried floatation therapy at Float Madison in downtown Madison, WI.
With my CRPS-pained body I eased myself into a pod filled with about 10 inches of warm water and 1,000 pounds of epsom salt. I’ve never been able to back float, causing me to plateau at the dolphin level of swim lessons. However, in the pod my buoyancy was increased allowing me to float effortlessly. My mind cycled. I went over my to-do list, wondered what my dog was doing, questioned if this would work, thought about work, got bored, got jumpy, and then I finally let go.
In the soft light and calming music, I found muscles relaxing that previously did not even know were tense. With my CRPS, touch (allydonia), is one of the main triggers for my pain. In the float pod I slowly stopped feeling my CRPS-affected areas. The dark, warm atmosphere of the pod eased and eventually stopped the pain I’ve been feeling for years. Eventually I could not even tell where my CRPS-affected arm was in space–I was that relaxed.
The weightless floating sensation, along with dim lights and the lack of sound, deprives your senses. The sensory deprivation that comes with flotation therapy helps to “reset,” of sorts, the body’s nervous system. As I left the float pod I was quite nervous my pain would return immediately. After my float I showered and enjoyed Float Madison’s relaxing atmosphere. I also had a chance to catch up with Greg, owner of Float Madison.
Greg found floatation therapy after a shift towards a more healthy lifestyle. During our talk I couldn’t help but notice his passion about floatation therapy and slowing down the crazy pace of life, even if only for a 60 minute float. Floatation therapy not only is beneficial to spoonies, like myself, it has also been shown to help with daily stresses, anxiety, and muscle tension.
My relaxing, pain-relieving experience really made me question why floatation therapy and other alternative therapies are rarely suggested. I’ve seen countless doctors averaging around one a week and have only been handed pills. Greg is trying his best to change this one float at a time. Plans are currently in the works to add additional flotation rooms and a sauna to the already relaxing atmosphere that is Float Madison.
If you are local, please check out Float Madison! If you are not, there are many float centers located around the country and globally.
*Thanks to Greg at Float Madison I had the opportunity to experience and review floatation therapy at no cost!