Let’s be honest—we could all use a little more relaxation in our lives, especially during this time of year. With midterms on the horizon and a seemingly never ending stack of work on your plate, it’s hard to catch a break. But have no fear, because we've got some places right here in Philly where you can take that mental vacation you’ve been craving. And as a bonus, you’ll get to try something new while doing it.

Photo courtesy of South Philadelphia Community Acupuncture

South Philadelphia Community Acupuncture

Needles and relaxation: two words that you don't often see together. At South Philadelphia Community Acupuncture, however, needles are the key to unwinding. Whether you’re struggling with pain management, digestive problems, mental or emotional well–being, gynecological health, or many other general wellness issues, scheduling a treatment with SPCA can help.

Treatments at SPCA are customized to you. Every appointment begins with a conversation with a member of the acupuncture staff about what you would like to get out of your session. As acupuncturist Dr. Susanna Satten notes, “That’s what’s so cool about acupuncture. It treats you as a human, not for one specific issue.” And for those of you wondering, the process is painless. “The number one thing that people are afraid of is that it’s going to hurt–but it doesn’t,” Dr. Satten says.

Once the needles are placed in your body, expect to feel the sensation of energy moving under your skin. By redirecting the body’s flow of energy and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, acupuncture revitalizes your body’s natural healing abilities.

Kick back while the needles work their magic and let a deep feeling of calm wash over you. “A lot of people fall asleep,” Dr. Satten says, adding that afterwards, “Most people will say that they had a great little ‘acu–nap’ or that they’re ‘acu–high’ or ‘acu–stoned’ or that they feel really relaxed.”

Even if needles aren’t your thing, SPCA offers a variety of other interesting treatments. A cupping or gua sha treatment is a great alternative for people dealing with muscular pain. And if you're looking for an energy and immune system boost? Try moxibustion.

East Passyunk | 1532 E. Passyunk Ave.

Washington Square | 519 S. 9th St.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Palmer

The Reiki School + Clinic

My visit to The Reiki School + Clinic was relaxing from start to finish. After getting the rundown on what I should expect from my session from Reiki Practitioner and School Director Stephanie Palmer, I entered a private treatment room. A sense of calm washed over me as I walked in—the ambient lighting and the peaceful background music made the space a total relaxation destination.

Using gentle touch, Reiki practitioners move energy in the body to facility balance and wellness. There were moments during my session where I could feel energy pulsating throughout my body. As a true testament to just how relaxing a Reiki session can be, Stephanie notes, “I would say that maybe half of the people that I treat fall asleep on the table.”

But Reiki’s benefits go beyond promoting relaxation and general well–being: Reiki is known to facilitate mental clarity, acting as a grounding force. As Stephanie says, “I think it just brings awareness to issues. You know, you have a Reiki session and maybe you start to notice that you’re really having bad heartburn all the time because you’re hyper focused and centered in yourself. We can literally ignore pain and ignore things that are happening in our bodies pretty easily. So I think it helps us be more aware.”  

What are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment at the Reiki School + Clinic and experience the magic for yourself.

Center City | 1500 Chestnut Street, The Ellington Building, Lower Level

Photo courtesy of Halcyon Floats

Halcyon Floats

In need of a place to escape, relax, and reset? Look no further than Halcyon Floats. Start off your appointment with a shower in one of their private float suites to wash off the outside world before heading to the float room. There you will be immersed in a warm Epsom salt solution that creates a zero–gravity effect, allowing you to float like a cork on its surface.

Once you’ve settled in, you can turn off the lights and music in your float room and begin the sensory deprivation aspect of the session. As you lounge completely undisturbed, your heart rate will slow and your blood pressure will decrease. The benefits of a session continue even after your 90–minute float. Float sessions are also thought to clarify your thinking and boost your creativity and problem solving abilities.

Take it from Halcyon Float’s owner and founder Keri McGinn, “Floating allows your mind to unplug, your body to heal, and gives way to finding inner balance. Everyone can benefit from giving their brain and body a rest from physical and mental stress.” Book your appointment now and float away from it all—you deserve it.

Northern Liberties | 209 West Girard Ave.

Roxborough | 6068 Ridge Ave.


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