For anyone who has walked the frenetic streets of New York, “energy” is an inescapable experience. Usually, the city takes more than it gives and we’re always searching for ways in which we can restore it. As we explore the wider world of cures, we decided to venture off the beaten wellness path to look at some of the “weirder” wellness corners. Whether you’re a skeptic or just looking for new ways to get healthy in our side-effects-may-cause-anything world, these lesser-known koi ponds may help you in ways you never imagined.
1. Sensory Deprivation Pods
After showering, you enter the pod naked as you're welcomed by a kind, female robot’s voice. Submerged in water treated with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt and magnesium, the pod closes. Overhead, the lights go down. Then, you are left in utter darkness with your own thoughts. You will be unable to feel your extremities as you float between water and air, both perfectly calibrated to your body’s temperature. Many people report dream-like states, or sometimes, psychedelic visions. Ultimately, the aim is a meditative state to deprive your senses so that you can truly marinate in your own thoughts. It's as close to going back in the womb as you can get. Session: $99. Website.
2. Maha Rose Center for Healing
Maha Rose is truly an oasis of calm in the heart of Greenpoint. Think showered, chic ex-fashion hippies leading mind-bending courses from an Elle Décor-like space designed for ultimate Feng Shui. Basically, Heaven.
Here, you will find more staple menu items such as acupuncture and reiki, but their more adventurous alternative healings include hypnotherapy, past-life regression therapy, and personal readings by a modern medicine woman. You will also find some mystic practices such as tarot card and oracle readings. Don’t be spooked or judgy—powerful stuff happens here.
3. Aura Photography
Inside, the client has a special Polaroid taken that
picks up on electromagnetic fields represented by rings of color. The
photographer then analyzes what the colors mean and recommends certain stones
or crystals to help you resolve any issues. Go back for another photo to see if
the work you have done has altered your aura. Some create entire life albums of
their aura changes and treat development as markers of their mental and emotional
state at different times in their life. • Single Photo: $20
• Your Personal 2016 Astrological Chart by a Chinese Master (20 Min): $60 • Your Life Astrological Chart by a Chinese Master (60 Min): $120
238 Canal Street
Chinatown, New York
4. Crystal Reiki with Susan Chu
Practitioner Susan Chu left her career in finance to pursue crystal reiki. For those in the corporate world who remain at the threshold of experimenting with alternative healing, Susan has crossed over and may have the anecdote you need to bridge the gap.
Reiki is the practice of releasing blocked energies from the chakras, or the hubs of energy, in your body. Following a consultation of what emotional or physical pain you would like to address, the practitioner will lie you down on a massage table in a dimly lit room with soothing music and encourage you to enter a relaxed meditative or dream state. She then analyzes the energies in the body, focuses on certain points with her own energy, and pushes or removes blockages. She will then add crystals to the head, heart center, or feet to amplify her energy work. Why crystals? Crystals and stones are said to have their own unique healing and cleansing energies. They come from all over the world, but each one has their own healing properties. Website.
Rolfing is a catchy phrase for a practice so simple. Its origin is a German doctor named Ida Rolfe. The practice was born out of the '70s, amongst the era's other alternative healing modalities. It looks similar to massage, but practitioners emphatically stress it is nothing like it. After you try rolfing, you will emphatically stress the same.
When you arrive, you have a consultation about what pain is troubling you. Then, you strip down to your underwear and the practitioner “observes the body in gravity.” According to rolfing practitioners, not everyone “lives in their own body.” It is their job to reconnect your mind with your body. They do this by manipulating the myofascia—a big word for tissue fibers surrounding muscle and bone. “Does this improve sex?” we asked. The practitioner confirmed that it helps tremendously for those needing blood in their tissues and flexibility in the pelvis. You get the idea. Lovers thank him. A session costs $180.00. Recommended 3-10 Sessions to achieve full benefits. Website.
6. Orgasmic Meditation with One Taste
What is orgasmic meditation and why is it making you feel uncomfortable already? According to One Taste, it is a “technology” that creates a training ground for fostering the elements of empathy, connection, and attention. What is it really? A bunch of strangers in a room are paired up female to male, and the man is asked to touch the woman’s clitoris for 15 minutes, moan, and see what happens. Yes, not for the shy or the...private—or the non-voyeur. You may do this with a S.O. And if you are not sold, guess what? There is a video on the website, which will allow you to experience the awkwardness secondhand. Website.
7. Past Life Regression Therapy with Carolyn Goldfarb
Past Life Regression Therapists believe that we all live many lives and each one has a purpose. When we meet resistance in our current lives, it is because we are being forced to discover what our true purpose is. Through hypnosis, the therapist guides you back through previous lives to discover what you may be carrying over into this life and can even target pain, both physical and emotional, that you may be dealing with in your current life that has its roots in a previous life experience. This is an obvious leap of faith for anyone, but it is one of the healing modalities that aims to access the mystical world of the subconscious mind in order to heal and stimulate personal growth. Carolyn Goldfarb offers retreats, individual sessions, and programs that promote a spiritual lifestyle. One-Hour Session: $225 Website.
8. Sound Healing
As you lie on the floor in a dark room full of people gathered for a public “sound bath,” you may ask yourself: Why am I scowling at 20-something-year-old blond and dread-headed Brooklynites flouncing around in loose floor-length clothing unsuitable for any inclement New York weather? Why are they wearing clothes that hide their faint vegan bodies and can catch on one of their numerous sharply angled piercings/rings/pendants/bracelets? After spending two hours amongst 30 of these types, lulled to sleep (well, not sleep but wakeful rest) by the sounds of ancient Tibetan instruments, you'll think it was all certainly worth the experience.
The intent is to force a meditative state through soothing sounds. It is said that for most, you are able to enter theta brain waves, which dredge up the subconscious mind and allow thoughts and feelings to come to the surface. This can inspire creativity or allow you to address the things that you may otherwise be avoiding, thereby initiating a healing process. Love and its energy is powerful. If you surround yourself with it, something has to come of it, even it’s just the melting of your glassy sarcastic lens. Class $40.00. Website.