For the last five years, Antioch resident Bianca Ruehlig has suffered from a panic disorder, arthritis and depression.
After many failed attempts to cure the symptoms with prescription drugs, she was ready to seek alternative healing, but she didn’t know how.
“I did not know at the time that I would heal myself,” she said. “I started a meditation program I found online, and within weeks, the changes internally were beginning to manifest physically in my interactions, my environment and my opportunities. It was almost an overnight switch to a healthier lifestyle, both physically and emotionally. After I saw the effects it had on me – and I was a skeptic – I have been drawn to share it with everyone I can, in hopes that it would help them as well.”
To this end, Ruehlig is opening Crystal Bowl Float Spa and Holistic Therapy in Brentwood, on April 22. The float center and holistic and metaphysical store will include crystals, incense, candles, tarot and oracle decks, pendants, bath salts, meditation aids, spiritual decor, feng shui, essential oils, orgone (electromagnetic field blockers), organic natural products and the like. Services will include sensory deprivation (float) therapy, red-light therapy, ‘kitty kleanse’ (feminine steam), aroma and oxygen bar, reiki and pranic healing, readings, clearings, life coaching and workshops.
“We have a network of more than 25 local healers who will be supporting our wellness center,” said Ruehlig, 39. “We had our first of many free workshops recently, with more than 10 attendees for ‘Goal Setting and Sticking to It.’”
Float therapy is described as simple and profound; users simply take two showers and lay down in the float spa, an Epsom salt floatation tank, for as little as one hour. The method is reported to increase creativity and focus and improve mood. It is also used for anxiety reduction, post-traumatic stress disorder and healing traumatic brain injury.
“Basically, it is a total relaxation experience, in zero gravity with zero light and zero sound,” said Ruehlig. “In general, our products and services are for improving one’s mind, body and soul as one. When we heal ourselves from the inside, the outside heals itself as well. I no longer have a panic disorder, arthritis or carpal tunnel, and my mood has improved immensely. I am accepting of the challenges and grateful for my experiences. I am in great shape and feel as if time no longer ages me. My relationships are stronger and more meaningful, and I have learned to forgive everyone, especially myself.”
Currently, the closest place for flotation therapy is either Oakland or San Francisco. Ruehlig’s first float client was driving to San Francisco for her treatments, and the drive back through traffic was taking away from the therapy.
“Young adults, professionals, those who work out or train, seniors and anyone who deals with children of any age would benefit from sensory deprivation,” said Ruehlig. “It is certainly something I would recommend everyone to try at least once. We can minimize stress, and the benefits are similar to meditation, bringing about peace, tranquility and calm that lasts several days after the float.”
To encourage East County residents to give these alternative therapies a try, Ruehlig is offering specials in the days leading up to her business’ grand opening.
“We are currently running specials on Groupon for float therapy,” she said. “We will have introductory ‘spa-la-carte’ packages, with which people can try a little of everything, as well as many free classes to introduce essential oils, crystal healing, group meditations and drumming circles. I want to bring these healing modalities at an affordable rate, and our prices are already very competitive compared to others. One cannot place a value on inner peace.”
Ruehlig will celebrate the grand opening of Crystal Bowl Float Spa and Holistic