Thursday, July 25, 2013

Floating Away

I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone who knows much about me to hear that I've been a wee bit stressed lately. The holidays are always a rough time of the year for me, and this year was exceptionally difficult with several family illnesses and the like.

To add insult to injury however, I injury. A hilariously pathetic injury, to be sure, but there you have it.

You see, my entire life, I've had this really bad habit of sleeping on my stomach, with my arm stretched out above me and under my pillow, not to mention under my head. I can't tell you how many times I have awoken in the morning with pain in my shoulder because the weight of my head had kept my arm in a bad position for hours on end.

That happened a little over a month ago, only worse than normal. I figured I'd slept on it really poorly all night, and after a day or two the achy soreness would go away and I'd be back to normal.

I was wrong.

The pain didn't go away, and in fact it kept getting worse. On top of it all, even though my arm and shoulder hurt like the blazes, I couldn't prevent myself from sleeping in that really bad, not good position. I'd fall asleep one way, and wake up with that same, hurting arm stretched out beneath me, throbbing and screaming for relief.

Well, after a few weeks of this happening, I finally decided I'd better go to the doctor, because it didn't seem like I had just slept on it funny any more.

Guess what? I've torn my rotator cuff. From sleeping wrong. Seriously.

Like I said. Pathetic. Hilarious, perhaps, but pathetic nonetheless.

Anyway, to help rehabilitate the injury I've been getting regular massages since I discovered the problem. Yay for massage! They feel great. They're helping with the rest of the stress, too.

I've also bought some wedge-shaped pillows to put under my legs and my head, to keep me sleeping on my back at night so that I don't do more damage than I've already done. They're helping. It's all helping.

But there are still some days where I wake up and I'm in pain and I can't concentrate and oh my gravy it hurts, and there's no massage on the schedule. I had one of those days recently, and it happened on a day when I'd just recently seen someone tweet about a place in the area where they'd gone "floating."

Now, I'm as skeptical as they come, so I didn't know what this meant, but I did a little research. Because, owie of all owies, I hurt and I needed to do SOMETHING. Anything. I didn't care, I just wanted it to stop hurting.

After a little research, I decided to give this floating thing a try. I made an appointment and I went...and it was the best thing ever. Seriously.

They have these tanks filled with an epsom salt solution that is heated to the temperature of your skin. There's so much epsom salt in the water that it is impossible to keep your body from floating. Once you get in and put your legs out, you float. Period. Anyway, you go in and start floating, and within minutes you can't even feel where the water is touching your skin any more, and you relax and stop thinking...and it is the most peaceful thing I have ever experienced in my life.

I spent an hour in my floatation tank, and thought about nothing at all. No stress. No worries. No pain. The epsom salt soak helped to pull the soreness out of my shoulder and arm.

When I left, I still felt like I was floating for a few hours. But even better, my pain was diminished for several days...and I was able to start working again.

I can't say I've ever experienced anything like it before in my life--something so relaxing and refreshing and stress-free. I'm sure I'll be doing it again.

When you get stressed, what is your favorite way to unwind? How do you find a place where you can clear your mind?

**Originally published at Lady Scribes**

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