The summer before my freshman year of high school, I was the victim of a hit-and-run. I was walking home from a summer volleyball camp and was hit by a middle-aged woman with someone in her passenger seat. This single cataclysmic event led to visiting 15 separate specialists all over the state. Out of them, only two of the specialists were able to pinpoint my issue as I had very little swelling and little to no evidence of injury in my MRIs. I had three surgeries; one exploratory surgery, one ACL replacement, and a full-blown ligament and tendon fix-me-up over the course of two years. It took extensive imaging and a gait lab which entailed a specialized imaging system that analyzes the way the joints and ligaments move as you walk which as you can imagine, is a long and grueling process mentally and physically. I spent the majority of high school on crutches or in a wheelchair and most of the time- medicated. The injury and recovery became a lot more complicated as I tried to balance my life, the recovery process, and a less-than-healthy relationship; with my medication. I tried many things on the holistic side of health including acupuncture and massage which helped take the edge off but didn’t necessarily yield the benefits that I saw with floating. My parents introduced me to sensory deprivation therapy by sending me in to test the waters- I think partially for themselves! There was no way that they could possibly know how transformative it would be for me both mentally and physically.
I had zero expectations for this therapy to affect me the way it did. At first, I experienced the injury and the sickness and nausea more than I had ever before, and then it was gone. As I began to float more consistently (around twice a month) the fog just cleared, and I felt like myself again. The medication had made my brain “hazy” but this therapy was able to slice through it and clear my mind. I noticed significant differences in my soreness and aches and pain and my post-surgery swelling decreased more and more each time I visited. In addition, my numerous scars significantly faded in color. For me, sensory deprivation therapy was the biggest tool I could have stumbled upon post-surgery and in recovery. Epsom salt has a vast amount of healing qualities and the stillness and silence was relieving after being prodded, stretched, and pushed to my limits in a billion different ways. For people involved in accidents, sports injuries, or with existing disabilities, floating is a game changer that without a doubt boosts the body’s ability to restore and heal. Floating pushed me through the mental hurdles of my unhealthy relationship with pain medications and provided wellness and recovery instead of masking pain and unresolved issues with my injury. In all aspects, it has been a great experience that I still enjoy and utilize consistently even after recovering.