Sensory deprivation… what a concept. Deprive yourself of light, sound, touch, taste, smell and see what happens; that’s the concept of floating or REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulus Therapy).
Pro/frequent floaters, and of course “the experts“, say floating has both physical AND mental benefits including stress relief, improved blood circulation, pain management, increased creativity, and even… feelings of euphoria? In-the-womb-like feelings?
This year, for Valentine’s Day, I decided the perfect date would be a 2-fer offer that I saw at “Float Factor” – a small business just steps away from my home that has these tanks. While my handsome man and I would be floating in separate rooms, I thought it would be awesome to experience it at the same time.
We booked the last 2 8:30pm “floats” to enjoy after a light dinner and told ourselves we’d make the best of the experience no matter how weird or different it may feel. We had 2 options for the floats – a Float Room (think of a tub, behind a wall, with a rectangular door on the wall to get in), and the traditional Float Pod (inside a small room). Both rooms are equipped with showers, shampoo/conditioner for after your float, new ear plugs (because you don’t want to get such highly concentrated salt water in your ears), and a clean cloth and fresh water spritz bottle inside the float pod/room (because it BURNS if you get even the slightest drop in your eyes).
I ended up with the Float Pod (not room – or float in the wall) and, while I encourage anyone to try any new experience at least once without too much bias, below are the top 6 things I thought throughout the experience – over and over again:
- Omg, I’m closing/I closed this door on myself. I am closing myself into a pod of water. Eerie.
- Holy crap! I’m really, truly completely floating. So much so that if I don’t put all my weight down on my hips when I sit up, I fall over.
- I’m ever-so-slowly moving… is that a wall/side of the pod? Push off lightly with a toe to try to center again.
- How much time is left? IDK how to meditate… I don’t think this was the right music choice… how much time is left? Was that a slight moment of complete body detachment? Maybe that’s what mediation is? How much time is left?
- WHAT IS THAT SLIGHT ITCH IN THE MIDDLE OF MY BACK? Oh, my hair. It too is slowly moving in the dense salt water and rubbing on my back. I should have put my hair in a bun. How much time is left?
- I want to feel my skin.. is it… slimy? Yes, it’s very slimy from all the salt. How much time is left?
Ok. Serious advice/notes:
- The room is warmmmm… because it and the float experience are meant to all feel the same temp as you…98.6 degrees. That said, if being in hot/warm spaces isn’t your jam, this may not be as easy to “ease” into. I wasn’t for me… I’m not a fan of warm spaces/places and if I’m in one – I was a cool down body of water near me at all times.
- Do put your hair in a bun or pony so it’s not fanned out floating above you.
- Don’t bring anything – you do go in naked/they provide everything you need – no bathing suit or towel needed.
- Don’t HAVE to be lights and sounds off the entire time but you do need to choose music ahead of the float if you want the option to have it on.
- In either a Room or Pod you can leave the door to the float open if you want. Lights in the room you’re in are motion sensors so they turn off after some minutes. If you choose to open your Pod or Room door (because you’re feeling clostrophobic, for example), the lights will turn on again but turn off after time has passed again.
- Do try this IF you go more than once and already (or you’re starting) to truly focus and learn how to mediate. I can see how this can truly be “healing” if you practice meditation.
- Skin-sliminess aside, the 1,000 lbs of salt did do something nice for my skin and hair.
With that, I’ll leave it to this awesome video all about Float Therapy so you can make your own mind about whether you’ll try it! Good luck if you do… I won’t, for now, because on an already tight budget (#debtfreejourney) I far rather spend my misc/flex budget on other things.