Flotation Therapy: First Impressions

For Valentine’s Day, David & I gifted each other the same thing: a float chamber session at a new local spot. We’d both been interested for a while and were totally intrigued by the possible benefits. In a world of technology and constant stimulation, who wouldn’t want a a 90-minute break from it all?

Pre-Float

Upon arrival at our local spot, we checked in and listened to the “first-timer” instructions. A sign on the counter directed us to take off our shoes [and of course, I was wearing mismatched socks] and get comfy in the waiting area. As we sat awaiting our appointment time, we perused some coffee table readings.


When our room was ready, we were given additional instructions about how to work the tank and what to do before preparing to float. I’ll mention this: we booked a Deluxe Float for Two. I was a little skeptical about trying this together for the first time, but alas we were here. The room was actually pretty spacious and was equipped with a shower head and space to change. Pre-float, we were asked to rinse off in cool water and enter the floatation chamber. Inside the chamber were buttons to control the lighting and sound. At the reception desk we had chosen the “blue” light and “white noise” soundtrack. We were both actually curious to do this experience with no sound and no light, but decided to start with both features on.

Float

There are two chamber sizes: standard and deluxe. For two people, you have to use the deluxe chamber which is about 6’11” wide. My biggest apprehension about floating was: is the water going to be too cold?? I hate swimming in pools for that reason…if I’m cold, I’m immediately uncomfortable.

The first toe touch of water was actually really nice. As we allowed ourselves to lay back and float, I was happy to say that I wouldn’t be cold. The water is advertised to be about 93.5 degrees–which I guess is skin receptor neutral. With 1200+ pounds of Epson Salt, anyone can float: no matter your shape or size.

Two people could comfortably fit in the tank, but we did at times graze the other. My head immediately felt weird (as we were told it probably would). There was tension in my neck and I stupidly held it in for 20 minutes before asking David to grab me a floaty head support. It was immediate relief, and now I could begin total relaxation……

or not.

First off, 90 minutes to float is a long, long time. Let me give you some points of reference:

(1) A feature length comedy film is about 90 minutes long.

(2) teaching two middle school class periods takes 90 minutes of my day.

(3) the four episodes of Wrecked we watched last night took the same amount of time as this flotation experience.

Second, being in the tank with two people was just beyond awkward for me. In an instance of complete silence, I cannot help but start laughing. I’m glad we were both wearing earplugs because perhaps David didn’t have to listen to my muffled laughter on repeat. I literally kept telling myself to take this seriously, Danielle and frequent gentle reminders to breathe in, breathe out.

I would say that it took me a good 50-60 minutes to truly begin to relax. My mind was racing and although I wasn’t feeling claustrophobic, I still couldn’t settle myself. After about an hour in, I told David we could try the lights completely off (when he tried this earlier, I actually freaked out). It was super strange to be floating with open eyes in the pitch dark. I will say, at this point I started getting sleepy and would have loved to just have fallen asleep right then and there.

After the longest 90 minutes of my lifetime, a gentle feminine voice came over a loud speaker and announced that the float was over and to begin exiting the tank. The lights were slowly raised and I stepped out of the tank feeling a little bit lighter and really tired.

Post-Float

David’s first remark was, “that went by really fast.” To that, I gave a wide-eyed look and passively disagreed.

A quick rinse off is necessary after a salty float. They provide shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and bath towels. While it is a 90 minute float, you actually get the room for two hours to allow for pre/post activities.

We were the last appointment of the night and left after 10PM.

So, the question you [all] want the answer to: will I go back? The answer is YES, I will for sure be going back….by myself 🙂 I want to give sensory deprivation a chance [that sounds so bad] and feel like it is an experience best had with just you & your own thoughts. While it was fun to experience this together for the first time, I think both of us would agree that the next trip will be a solo one.

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