Pensacola Magazine

Eight Wellness Modalities for Better Health

Wellness modalities are therapeutic treatments used in holistic, integrative and even traditional medicine to treat a variety of physical and emotional mental health issues. While many are rooted in ancient wisdom and practices, some have sprung up in the modern era. Cryotherapy has been used for thousands of years in the form of ice therapy and while IV vitamin treatments are relatively new, the idea that vitamin deficiencies are at the root of many ailments is a long held belief. If you’re new to the world of wellness, we’ve rounded up a handful of popular therapies and techniques along with an explanation of the process, the benefits of each and a few local practitioners that offer the treatment. If you see something that sounds interesting, give it a try —you’re worth it!


“Banana bags” are in! Gone are the days when only hospital patients received IV drip therapy treatments as its benefits have reached the general population. IV drip therapy infuses needed nutrients directly into the bloodstream and bypasses the digestive system so your body can absorb as much as it needs before passing along the rest to the kidneys. A few of the benefits of IV drip therapy include promoting faster weight loss, curing hangover symptoms, treating nutrient deficiencies, cleansing the body of toxins, increasing energy levels, promoting better cardiovascular health, easing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Each drip therapy spa offers different assortments of nutrients for you to choose what would best accommodate your needs. The Drip Parlor located on 151 Main St has a variety of options. A few of the IV drips that are popular at the Drip Parlor are the Detox Drip which focuses on cleansing the liver of toxins, the AfterParty Drip which contains Zofran, calcium and fluids to help cure hangovers and the Beauty Drip, which contains vitamin C and B-Complex to help restore collagen levels and stimulate elastin.


Cryotherapy, which literally means “cold therapy,” is an innovative wellness technique that typically entails sitting in a cryotherapy booth that reaches sub-zero temperatures for 3 to 5 minutes. The practice is a non-medical treatment, although some doctors utilize cryotherapy or cryoablation as a method to freeze-off warts or skin tags. Cryotherapy reduces blood flow to certain areas of the body, which can help to significantly reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain around joints or tendons. It has been known to help athletes recover from soreness after intense workouts and can temporarily reduce nerve activity to help relieve pain. Some of the benefits of cryotherapy include reduced recovery time and muscle soreness, managing persistent pain and inflammation, relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety, an increase in metabolism and reduced signs of aging. Chill Cryotherapy, LLC is located in downtown Pensacola’s historic Seville Quarter and is highly recommended for beginners.


Love the benefits of a sauna but don’t love the intense heat that a sauna provides? An infrared sauna may be the perfect option for you. Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas do not heat the air within the space; instead, they use infrared lamps that emit electromagnetic radiation to warm the body directly. Although infrared saunas still operate at temperatures that can range between 120 F and 140 F, users often claim that the heat penetrates more deeply into the body creating a more intense sweat at a lower temperature than typical saunas. The medically supported benefits of infrared saunas are similar to those experienced with a traditional sauna: better sleep, relaxation, detoxification, weight loss, relief from sore muscles, relief from joint pain, clear and tighter skin and improved circulation. If you are thinking about giving infrared a try, Stay The Spa, located in downtown Pensacola, offers clients the use of their infrared sauna. They suggest planning a massage or facial before or after the heat therapy for complete relaxation.


Massage therapy is on the rise and is becoming widely accepted as a means to cope with both pain and stress. A massage therapist manipulates the soft tissue of the body (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin) using varying degrees of pressure in order to release knots and tension. A typical full body massage involves laying flat on a massage table or bed while the massage therapist begins at the head and scalp and works their way down the body from the neck and shoulders to the legs, feet and, eventually, back. Massages are often customizable and can be tailored to focus on certain areas of the body suffering from acute pain. A few of the major benefits of massage therapy include reduced stress and increased relaxation, reduced pain and muscle soreness, improved circulation, lowered heart rate and blood pressure and improved immune function. There are a multitude of different massage therapy clinics and spas in Pensacola. Five Points Massage offers authentic Asian massages including a Chinese full body massage, hot stone massage and reflexology foot massage.


First originating in China, acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the skin at strategic points on the body. Traditional Chinese medicine theorizes that acupuncture balances the flow of energy or life force by inserting needles into specific points along the meridian. However, many Western practitioners suggest that acupuncture stimulates the soft tissue in the body to boost the body’s natural painkillers. Acupuncture is shown to effectively help with nausea caused by chemotherapy, dental pain after surgery, addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain and much more. Five Points Acupuncture, Emerald Coast Acupuncture Clinic and Blue Meridian Acupuncture and Wellness are just a few of the many options located within the Pensacola area. Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing that involves light touches from a conduit through which a “universal energy” is transferred through the practitioner’s palms. Originating from Mikao Usui in the early 1900s, Reiki is now used all over the world to complement other forms of health treatments. It should be noted that Reiki should not be a substitute for the consultation of a physician or psychotherapist; however, the practice has been known to supplement healing for cancer, chronic pain, infertility, digestive problems, Parkinson’s disease, psychological distress (depression and anxiety) and stress-related illnesses. Exalted Grace Energy Medicine specializes in Reiki and warns that deep relaxation is a side effect of the treatment. If you’re looking for a holistic practice that aids in the healing of the mind, body and spirit, Reiki might be for you.


Developed in the 1960s, rolfing may be the answer to those that live with chronic pain and feel like they’ve exhausted all their options. Rolfing is a systematic and holistic method of manipulating the muscle and fascia to help the body return to its natural homeostasis. Different from a deep tissue massage, rolfing practitioners will stretch and manipulate the fascia all over the body. While rolfing appears to focus on only the physical aspect of wellness, many users have noted that it might uncover deeply held emotions. Within the rolfing system, one can expect the “Ten Series,” which is broken into three different steps: the “sleeve” session which is focused on loosening and rebalancing surface layers of connective tissue, the “core” session, which focused on the body from head down to the pelvis and the “integration” session, which is to achieve balance, movement and coordination within the entire network of the body. Some of the benefits of rolfing include conserving energy, improving and optimizing movement patterns, reducing inflammation and chronic stress, as well as increased athletic performance. Looking for rolfing in Pensacola? Sharalee Hoelscher, a certified Rolfer trained at the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute, is the person to see.


What do a football player and a ballet dancer have in common? They both significantly benefit from yoga, and so can you! Yoga is an exercise for the mind and body. It dates back to 2700 B.C. and its popularity has ebbed and flowed ever since. It began as a spiritual practice but has transitioned into a modality of wellness for all. On one end of the spectrum there is restorative yoga where a teacher leads participants through four or five poses to stretch and offer rest. On the other end there is hot yoga where the room is made to be between 92 and 105 F. Thishigh heat increases heart rate, boosts the cardiovascular system and helps burn calories. Yoga is for everyone because it can be easily modified to benefit each participant. Some major advantages of yoga include increased flexibility, core strength and reduced risk of injury. URU Yoga, Disko Lemonade Yoga, and Wild Lemon are popular yoga studios around Pensacola.