Linda Kim, L.Ac.

WS #6 – Opal Street Center Acupuncturists

We invited local Acupuncturists Linda Kim and Erin Wood from the Opal Street Center to participate in The Wellness Spotlight. Here’s what they have to say about their experiences…

 

LINDA KIM, L.Ac.


Tell Us About Yourself:

My name is Linda Kim and I am a Licensed Acupuncturist with a private practice in Oakland. I offer acupuncture, herbal medicine, qigong, and nutritional/lifestyle counseling to my patients in order to provide the best care for each individual. I feel honored and grateful for the opportunity to work with my patients to help them achieve their health goals.

Why Did You Decide To Try Floating?:

I have always been intrigued with the idea of sensory deprivation as a way of becoming your mind-spirit. I imagined that without sensory input, an opportunity to explore the depths of your psyche would naturally arise. When I became aware of floating as an accessible therapy, I was curious. So when Oakland Floats offered me an opportunity to experience three floats, I was happy to sign on. Thank you Oakland Floats!

Describe Your First Experience Floating:

Every part of my body felt perfectly supported, like I was resting on a surface precisely shaped to the contours of my body. I was instantly relaxed by the weightlessness, and soothed by the complete darkness. I could discern no difference whether my eyes were open or closed. I contemplated that, with the moon, stars, and electricity, we never really experience complete darkness. Pretty soon, I could no longer discern the distinction between the water and my skin, between the inside and the outside. I felt an intimate connection to my inner organs as the sound of my heartbeat and breath permeated my being. I felt like I was inside my body. I realized that I had effortlessly achieved a meditative state of absolute presence. This is quite a feat since I have always found still meditation to be difficult. I am better at moving meditation, and cherish my practice of QiGong, TaiChi, and Yoga. Yet here I was, very present without movement, and no monkey mind! Several times during the float, I had the sensation of waking even though I knew I had not fallen asleep. It was like drifting in a state between consciousness and unconsciousness. I came out extremely relaxed, and slept very deeply that night.

Has Your Float Experience Changed Since Your First Float?

Each of my three floats were very different. During the second float, my mind was very active. I thought about my patients, the ones I had seen that day. It seemed like my entire day played through in my mind in fast forward with commentary, like I was witnessing the processing of information that happens during sleep. I felt rather restless towards the end of the float, and came out feeling energized.

During the third float, I felt perfectly peaceful. I came out feeling wonderfully well-rested, refreshed, rejuvenated. I understood why three floats were recommended. In the third float, it seemed like an optimal balance was achieved, and I felt simultaneously relaxed and energized. I am looking forward to the fourth, fifth, etc!

Do You Feel Lasting Effects After Each Float?

A couple of months ago, I acknowledged that I’ve been deeply exhausted for about a year, feeling like I’m just barely keeping my head above water. After the first float, I felt very fatigued for a couple of days, like I was detoxing. Since the second float, I feel energized, like I am finally regaining my core energy that has been so depleted for so long. Since the third float, I feel calm, capable and motivated. I am grateful to have my energy back, to feel like myself again. I guess you could say that now, instead of just keeping my head above water, I am fully floating!

Do Float Sessions Impact Your Work, Habits or Hobbies?

I feel inspired! My mind feels clearer than it has in a long time. I am better able to make progress without getting overwhelmed by details. I feel more calm when confronted with potentially stressful situations or ideas. My creativity is flowing again. All of this means that I am better able to care for my patients, family, friends, and myself.

How Would You Explain the Experience to Someone Who Hasn’t?

It’s like years of meditative practice in an instant. It really feels like cheating!

Anything in particular about Oakland Floats that you like?

The staff is friendly, the space is beautiful, and the energy is calm. What more could you want? Answer: they also support the local community by offering monthly free health talks!

Linda Kim is a Licensed Acupuncturist at the Opal Street Center in Oakland, CA. Find out more on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/opalstreet.

 

 ERIN WOOD, L.Ac.

 

Erin Wood, L.Ac., M.S.

Erin Wood, L.Ac., M.S.

Tell Us About Yourself:

I am proud to be an Oakland native, living in North Oakland, only a few blocks away from where my great grandfather built a house in 1910. My family has always been in the helping professions, my grandfather was an Oakland firefighter, my mom is a paralegal, and both of my sisters work in the health field. I went to school in 2006 to become an acupuncturist and have been practicing Chinese Medicine since 2010. I use needles, herbs, moxibustion, cupping, trigger points, acupressure, and dietary therapy to help guide my patients into a more balanced state of health. I love Chinese Medicine because it is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

Why Did You Decide To Try Floating?:

I first tried floating out of curiosity. I am often looking for natural ways to get into that parasympathetic state of being and bring stress levels down, in the way that acupuncture does.

Describe Your First Experience Floating:

The first time, I felt like it was hard to relax my neck and let the salt water support me. I also felt a little claustrophobic and opened the door to get some fresh air, then I realized I could take deep breaths and move my body in the water to calm down. I found lacing my hands behind my neck and crossing my ankles to be the most comfortable position that first time, and although I didn’t fall asleep, I felt warm, cozy, and pretty out-of-it (in a good way) afterwards.

Has Your Float Experience Changed Since Your First Float?

Immensely!!! By the 3rd float, everything came together and I went into a deep relaxation right away, time flew and I went into la-la-land, waking myself occasionally when my arms twitched.. I finally figured out for me that I like the neck pillow, not around my neck, but sort of under my occiput with my long hair wrapped on the neck pillow to hold it in place. It may take a few floats to find what position is most comfy for you.

Do You Feel Lasting Effects After Each Float?

Yes, I feel more buffered from everyday stress and my muscles feel less sore.

Do Float Sessions Impact Your Work, Habits or Hobbies?

No, but I’d like to float more 🙂

How Would You Explain the Experience to Someone Who Hasn’t?

The water a little warmer than your skin and is filled with something like 800 lbs of epsom salts to relax the muscles and detoxify the body. Being in the tank is like being in a tropical womb, and you have total control of when or whether you close to door to the tank. With the door closed, I recommend closing your eyes and you could almost imagine being under a star-filled sky, it surprisingly feels more spacious than it is! I like floating with my arms up beside my ears. You basically float in the water and try to calm the mind and maybe nap. Even if you don’t fall asleep, you can stretch, rest, chill out, and you come out feeling incredible, kinda loopy and deeply relaxed. The more you float, the more comfy you can get.

Anything in particular about Oakland Floats that you like?

They have such a friendly and patient staff, the entire office is very cozy, clean, inviting, it sort of reminds me of being up in a floating treehouse. It’s an oasis.

Erin Wood is a Licensed Acupuncturist at the Opal Street Center in Oakland, CA. Her website is http://www.erinwoodacupuncture.com.