Raising the Bar on Wellness in St. Louis
BY DEBBY SIEGEL, MSA, RYT
PHOTOS BY SARAH BACHMANN
Confused by my text asking him to join me at the bar, my Team USA triathlete friend wrote back, “For alcohol?” “No, we’re going to drink air.” Michael obliged. So did Sarah. We all bellied up to the oxygen bar at Radiance Float + Wellness and discovered what people have been inhaling for health purposes since Cleopatra’s time. We inhaled aromatic botanical essences (essential oils) combined with some pure O2.
The theory of essential oil aromatherapy is based on the powerful influence of people’s sense of smell. For example, ever have someone walk by wearing an ex’s after-shave or perfume? And how does the aroma of freshly ground coffee affect you? Yep. See… scents can subtly alter our moods and emotions. Some even have a natural ability to cause us to relax and destress.
So I chose the Pumpkin Pie scent, of course, because I mean when in Rome in the fall… Michael strapped the plastic tubing over his ears and sent the little prong thingies into his nostrils and started with the lavender. The germaphobe in me was relieved to know we get to keep our tubing thingy, and then the somewhat maniacal tree hugger Debby felt the urge to reuse them. Kayla said I could, so phew… onto the next scent. There were six options including Eucalyptus, peppermint (loved it), and sandalwood. We all understood how slowing down long enough to inhale some soothing smells would benefit us. Sold. We’ll be back, and we’ll bring our nasal tubes with us.
Next on our healthy field trip, we checked out Radiance’s hydromassage chair. While one of us got blasted with jetted water through a lounge chair, the other two got to tour the place and see how this combination of all the natural health options in one central location is such a great thing for St. Louis. Our town is growing up. We have this true healthcare center now! The doctors who founded Radiance have been treating mental health disorders for years and see how it is truly possible to worry yourself sick (seriously, the Mayo Clinic said so) and how preventing illness makes more sense than masking ailments with drugs once diseases arrive.
Dr. V.J. Thomas and Dr. Zinia Thomas, the father-daughter duo who founded Radiance Float + Wellness in Brentwood, know that stress is the key indicator for health. They both hail from careers in psychiatry and know how medications have side effects, some very toxic. Dr. Zinia Thomas states, “Chronic use of drugs inhibits the production of many enzymes and affects normal metabolism and healthy function of physiological processes.” She made the transition from “sick care” to wellness care and it has given her a new perspective on healthcare and how health-conscious people value their health. This in turn inspired Dr. Thomas to find and further the therapies offered at Radiance Float + Wellness.
Well way to go with the hydromassage chair thing Dr. Z. This massage method was soooo relaxing. We all three were glad we chose to make our massage appointments for night time. The level of deep soothing after laying there having our full body massage with pressurized water through the chair was like a good night book. Lots of other reasons to like it too. It is time-saving, because you only need remove your shoes. There’s also no pressure in changing the pressure. You can adjust the massage pressure on the adjacent screen yourself. (No telling the therapist again that he/she could press harder!) You don’t even have to get undressed, which I thought could be a huge benefit for some people who may feel uncomfortable disrobing. I just laid there in the open design bed, fully clothed, and felt the immediate benefits of the traveling jet system delivering all the good feels to my sides and back body, including my neck and shoulders. It definitely makes sense if you have limited time and want the benefits of a regular massage, to look into a package of these. You can listen to music in their headphones, and I even watched a video of waves lapping onto a beach and pretended I was there.
This place is an oasis of preventative health care. There were so many wellness services at Radiance that we didn’t get a chance to try – cryotherapy, salt therapy, floating, an infrared sauna and IV vitamins are all there as well. So we’ll have to visit again and cover those for you soon. Everything is natural, so they’re safe for the majority of individuals. The doctors even offer physician-guided education and recommendations to help you find the best services suited to you. They offer specific protocols, for example, for depression, PTSD/anxiety, chronic pain and also for certain types of people (e.g., athletes who are looking for recovery, pregnant woman seeking physical relief and natural wellness methods that won’t disturb their growing babies, or even overworked employees looking to de-stress). Dr. Z said, “The more someone feels comfortable sharing with us, the more comprehensive of a plan we can design to suit his or her needs! And, we always mention that while great benefits can be achieved after one session of any treatment we offer, it’s with cumulative and repeated exposure that the greatest benefits can be seen.”
We got it. We’ll be back. Maybe you’ll have apple pie scent for us in November?
Radiance Float + Wellness is at 1760 S. Brentwood Boulevard, across from Whole Foods. Their phone number: 314-736-4736. And they’re open 7 days a week 9:00am – 9:00pm.
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