My First Time in a Float Pod
It looked like a small space—a white round float pod with different colored lights emanating from inside. Sized like your typical dipping pool, the still water inside appeared deep in the dim lighting. “This is the stealth float pod. Inside this sensorial deprivation, the pod is water filled with almost 1000 pounds of Epsom salt. Because of the high content of magnesium sulfate, the body, once inside the tank, will float, ” explained Grace Obana at Recovery Spa tucked on the top level of the Upper Deck Sports Center.
“Float?” asked curious eyes, eyebrows raised in confusion. It was a relatively new and almost strange concept from other treatments often on the menu of wellness centers. “Yes,” confirmed Grace. “The therapy lasts from 60 to 90 mins. You will go inside this sensorial deprivation chamber and you float.” It sounded like a fun idea. Images of astronauts training for space exploration come into mind. “Because the water is dense, you will feel as if you are in zero gravity.”
The idea behind float therapy is that that body is placed in a fully relaxed state, removed from external noises or distractions. The Sensorial Deprivation Chamber, also known as the Float Pod, shuts out all noises, lights and other factors that often keep us from fully tuning into your inner selves. High doses of Epsom salt dissolved in 180 gallons of water creates a controlled environment that allows the body to float without effort. Salt also contributes to healthier skin, hair, and nails. Because the body is floating, there is absolutely no pressure from our body, resulting in complete relief from pain. This elevated state also helps to improve posture, elongating the spine in the gentlest way possible.
Before you get into the Float Pod and emerge feeling brand new, it would help to know these things.
Wear Your Birthday Suit
While relaxing in the spa’s lounge, Grace gave a short brief on how to properly float. She explained that to fully enjoy the benefits of float therapy going in the nude was highly suggested. Body temperature of the water and the pod, create a sense of being inside a mother’s womb and so going in wearing nothing more than your birthday suit seemed the appropriate things. Taking a shower pre and post-float was also required to ensure that the pod is always sterile.
Learning To Let Go
This is something that not most first-time floaters are told but Grace, who offered to walk this writer through the entire experience, was generous in sharing her own float experience. She said, “For the first few minutes, you may experience some slight discomfort and tightening in areas of the body that need the most unknotting. Just let it ride out and let it go.” In the first five to 10 minutes, the upper back and neck tensed. It was an indication that these areas–often used to being in a tight state—were resisting the release. Panic might creep up, but Grace assured, “Just focus on your breathing. This is your body resisting but it will eventually learn to let go and relax.” It helps to go into a float experience with an open mind, ready to loosen the grip on the sense of control and expectation.
When you are enclosed in a Flotation Pod, you lose all sense of space and time. In fact, after a few minutes inside the pod, your body begins to feel at one with the water such that you don’t know where one begins and the other ends. The same goes for time. Because there are no external factors that anchor you into a particular state in time, the mind goes deep into a meditative or theta state. Some floaters do not even realize that they have entered this zone, only to be gently awakened into a fully restored sensation. “Sometimes, you are not even sure if you went to sleep or if you were meditating. The next thing you know, your 60 or 90 minutes is up.
The Best Nap Of Your Life
When you climb out of the pod, there is a feeling of being fully charged for a busy week ahead. Cortizon levels are significantly lowered so all feelings of stress, tension or anxiety are wiped out. Being in a theta state for prolonged periods of time is also known to heighten creativity. And because you emerge feeling refreshed, relived from pains and other discomforts and fully rested, you naturally step out in a euphoric mood. Grace adds, “The float experience becomes more enhanced each time you go. We encourage that you go once a week so that you can fully enjoy the benefits of float therapy.”
By: Bianca Salonga
Serenity Waters offers a wide variety of relaxation services. You can visit our spa at 208 S Holmen Dr Suite 103 Holmen, WI to learn more about our special offers and services.