At first, the darkness was intimidating and the smell of ozone strong. My mind wouldn't slow down. Why, I kept asking myself, would a self-proclaimed ADD sufferer voluntarily submit to lying in a ten-inch-deep tank brimming with water and enough epsom salts to fill the Dead Sea? I was trapped for an hour of pure nothingness; I wasn't sure I would even last fifteen minutes.

But as I lay in the tank at A New Spirit Wellness Center & Spa, my body glided to the top, and my ADD, surprisingly, calmed. At first I felt like I was lying in Jell-O, but as I got used to the loss of gravity, my body seemed to detach from my brain. Before I knew it, my mind was blank, my spirit restored and my hour over.

"I was hooked on the idea of floating," says spa owner Andrea Hawkins-Leigh. "I jumped at the chance to bring the tank here. You can't hardly find them anymore. Just think about it: When you alleviate gravity, 22,000 pounds of pressure is relieved from the body. In a sense, it rids the body of the body, which leaves the brain to do other things."

A New Spirit Wellness Center & Spa, at 5020 West 29th Avenue, is offering this '70s throwback service (which back then was a throwback to the '50s and a government research project conducted by John Lilly) for $40 an hour or $175 for unlimited monthly floating. For more information, call 303-477-1652 or visit -- Jerri Theil

Full Support
MON, 1/31

A lingerie shop is the last place you'd expect a woman to visit after having a mastectomy, right? Wrong. Many breast cancer patients actually head straight for those racks of lacy undies after surgery. Slipping into something pretty just naturally makes a gal feel beautiful again, plus lingerie boutiques often specialize in post-mastectomy prostheses and products. With that in mind, Pampered Passions Fine Lingerie, 9615-D East County Line Road, Englewood, will host a Nurture the Female Spirit open house and forum tonight from 6 to 8 p.m., as well as ongoing support-group meetings for breast cancer survivors who are learning to cope with physical changes.

For details, call 303-346-8450 or visit -- Susan Froyd

Sound Waves
Music soothes the savage tsunami.
SAT, 1/29

This weekend, Denver will be flooded with good music for a good cause. Tonight an eclectic collection of seven performers -- playing everything from jazz to Celtic harp to Native American music -- will sound off at a benefit for tsunami victims, with all proceeds from the suggested $10-per-person donation going to the American Red Cross International Response Fund. "I'd made a contribution to Red Cross," explains organizer Patricia Friedson, "and thought I had to do something more." Since her husband is a musician, that "more" became this show. "We had more musicians volunteering to play than we could fit in," she notes.

The music starts at 7:30 p.m. at the First Divine Science Church, 1400 Williams Street; for information, call 720-214-0193.

Go right home after the show and get a good night's sleep, because for tomorrow, January 30, the Denver Musicians Association has assembled 27 bands and ensembles for an eight-hour entertainment extravaganza; this $10 admission goes directly to Red Cross relief efforts, too. The show starts at 2 p.m. and continues until 10 at the Ramada Continental, 2601 Zuni Street. For information, call 303-573-1717. -- Patricia Calhoun

Past Lives
Will the real native please stand up?
FRI, 1/28

The new show at the Colorado History Museum, Ancient Voices: Stories of Colorado's Distant Past, puts those with pretentious "native" bumperstickers to shame. Sure, you may want to declare your family's four whole generations of Colorado living, but that's nothing compared with the Native Americans who lived here more than 10,000 years ago.

"We wanted to create a time machine that visitors could use to travel to a place where everything they know in Colorado doesn't exist and get a glimpse of what life was like," says Carolyn McArthur, curator for Ancient Voices. "This is an inspiring exhibit that promotes and respects diversity here in Colorado."

Start with one of two high-definition films, then head over to the three-dimensional viewing stations. There are even a few hands-on activities for those who can't help but touch. Many of the artifacts will be on display for the first time, including sandals, pottery and tools from Mesa Verde.

The permanent exhibit opens today at 10 a.m. at the Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway. Admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and students, $3.50 for children under twelve. For more information, call 303-866-3682 or visit -- Richard Kellerhals

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun
Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd
Richard Kellerhals
Jerri Theil

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