So if someone told you that you were going to be naked in a small pod filled with salt water for 90 minutes how nervous would you be? Very? Me too. But after researching "float therapy" and finding out that many people swear by this ancient practice, I agreed to it. Another reason was that it apparently brings one to a meditative state, which helps with stress and anxiety- two things I definitely needed some assistance with.
Of course, I was not going to do this alone, so I recruited my mom to come along with me. In the end, we both had completely different experiences so I thought it would be interesting to write about both.
Just a background on my mom and I which probably affected how our floating experiences went- my mom has more energy than any other person while I'm very calm by nature. My mom has a hard time sitting still, even when we are on vacation where she insists on doing every activity available, whereas I can relax on the beach for hours.
But, what is float therapy?
According the Float8 website, "You float in a big comfy Float Tank. The tanks are filled with 10 inches of water, and approximately 1,000 lbs of epsom salt. The water is maintained at 94.5 degrees which is considered skin-receptor neutral. This means you lose track of where your body ends and where the water begins." Also, it's been around since the 1950s, so this isn't a new thing.
When we first got to the float center, the owner showed us our individual rooms and the relaxation room where we were welcome to sit in after the session. We were informed that before entering our pods *naked* we had to shower in order to make sure we had no lotions or anything on our skin that would mess up the water. I actually didn't mind this as much as I thought I would since we had our own showers in the same room as the pods and they had all EOS lavender products.
So after anxiously saying bye to my mom for the hour, I started to prepare for my float. I showered off, turned off my phone, put in my ear plugs, and got into my pod. Normally people close the pod the entire way, leaving only an inch open, but I am too claustrophobic for that so I kept mine open about 1-2 feet. The first 15-20 minutes was just me attempting to adjust to sitting in a tub filled with salt water with nothing else to do. After getting used to everything I really started to try and relax in order to get the full experience. I closed my eyes and tried to stay as still as possible. After a couple of minutes I began to understand why this was called "floating".. it literally felt like I was laying in a cloud. I couldn't tell where my body was touching water.. a very crazy sensation. And then I actually doze off for about 30 minutes. The only reason I woke up was because my leg touched the side of the pod and I slightly freaked out because I forgot that I was naked in a small bathtub looking thing. I tried to go back into my meditative state but decided that I've done enough floating for the day. I showered off with the lavender products and zen-fully (is that a word?) drank tea in the relaxation room.
When my mom came out of her own room she told me she had a totally different experience. She was never comfortable enough to doze off and spent the 60-ish minutes getting in and out of the pod. Honestly, I was not surprised that this was her experience since she usually has a hard time sitting still. She said she at least had some time to think about her day?
Would I go back?
I actually would! I thought it was a very relaxing experience overall and definitely helped me manage my anxiety better. Next time I think I'll be able to get into the meditative state quicker and longer since I know what I'm getting into. My mom even agreed to try it again since she knew more about it.
Have you tried floating? Let me know in the comments xx.