Depending on what ails you—maybe it’s a hangover, maybe it’s chronic pain—sometimes a juice cleanse or regular old massage just isn’t enough. When you want to feel really, really good, it might be time to step into the world of alternative therapy. Consult with your physician beforehand, of course, but here’s where to go when you’re ready to let the healing begin.
CYL Sauna Studio
One of the most relaxing ways to detox is to sweat out the toxins that have accumulated in your body. At CYL Sauna Studio in Green Hills, you accomplish this by chilling in an infrared sauna pod rather than an enclosed room. (Your head sticks out of the pod, so you’re still breathing room-temperature air.) According to the owner, up to 30% of what you’ll sweat out here is those grungy toxins, compared to only about 3% with a traditional sauna; in the pod process, you can also experience weight loss, muscle repair and a boost to your complexion and immune system.
Float Nashville owner Amy Grimes—who’s been “floating” herself for over two decades—swears by float therapy for easing chronic pain, migraines, anxiety and depression. As the first float studio in the state, this Berry Hill oasis has been healing locals since 2013. Athletes, musicians and others needing stress relief regularly dip into Float Nashville’s three tanks, which include two traditional pods and an open float tank. Choose from a 90-minute session, three-packs and monthly or annual memberships.
SALT CAVE + REFLEXOLOGY
Salt and Soles
For a completely unique experience in Nashville, check out the Himalayan salt cave at Salt and Soles. The salt cave provides benefits to sleep, skin and breath. While you’re there, you can also enjoy a reflexology session, which involves applying pressure to reflex points on the feet. A popular combination at Salt and Soles is a 30- to 45-minute reflexology session followed by a 45-minute salt cave session. They also offer wellness events in the salt cave, such as yoga, crystal singing bowls, and reiki healing.
INFRARED SAUNA + FLOAT THERAPY
Pure Sweat + Float
As the only wellness destination in Nashville that offers both infrared saunas and float therapy, Pure Sweat + Float Studio is a full-service relaxation station. Its full-spectrum infrared sauna cabins deliver a trio of infrared wavelengths that can produce results from weight loss to pain relief to younger-looking skin. (The steamy 40-minute sessions will whiz by thanks to complimentary Netflix access and workout equipment.) Meanwhile, the float pods provide a glorious 40- or 60-minute escape from daily stressors—and gravity. Once immersed in the water (which contains about 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt), you can customize your sensory deprivation experience by adjusting the music, ambient lighting and position of the pod lid. If you’re looking just to sweat, Pure Sweat has a sauna studio located on 12 South.
Photo Credit: Pure Sweat + Float Studio
The Lotus Room
If you suffer from insomnia, anxiety or an out-of-whack nervous system, consider shirodhara. In this form of ayurvedic therapy, a steady stream of warm herbal oil is continuously poured over your forehead (which houses a high concentration of nerves). The soothing experience has been known to stimulate blood circulation and result in a bliss-like state. The Lotus Room owner Jenna Wolf also offers personalized ayurvedic lifestyle consultations to learn which holistic approaches are best for you.
Cupping is a form of alternative therapy that’s recently made headlines thanks to celebrity endorsements from Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Phelps, but it’s actually been around for about 3,000 years. Special cups are placed on the skin to create suction, which can ultimately ease pain, relax muscles—and leave in its wake large, red circular marks wherever they’re applied. Basic Kneads is one of only a handful of places in Nashville to offer this form of traditional Chinese medicine, in addition to deep tissue massage, myofascial release and other feel-really-good services.
Urban Oasis Day Spa
Urban Oasis lives up to its name by offering a wide range of ways to heal, including raindrop therapy and the Japanese stress-relief practice of reiki. It also specializes in massage cupping, often in combination with a lifting facial for head-to-toe rejuvenation. Cupping is also available as an add-on service to other body treatments, for a quick 15-minute hit of blood flow stimulation.
Nashville Center for Alternative Therapy
If you’re interested in acupuncture—the traditional Chinese medicine practice of inserting needles into the skin—a good place to start is the Nashville Center for Alternative Therapy. Cofounder Yvonne Constancio helps her clients recover from localized injuries and chronic pain (and even offers in-home sessions); she’s also trained in other healing services like reiki.
Know of other great detox and alternative therapy places? Let us know in the comments!