As a former corporate career person with a joint MBA/Masters in Finance who has recently become a Healthy Lifestyle Designer and Corporate Biohacker for high achievers, I like to work hard and play hard.
My schedule, and therefore my stress levels, can be a bit out of control sometimes. Enter Float Therapy!
I invest in self-care and Float (or Sensory Deprivation) Therapy is my latest and greatest go-to method to relax. The basic concept here is to float in a pod, tank, or room that is designed for short-term sensory deprivation and reduction of external stimuli (no sight, sound, smell, or touch) as much as possible to help the body relax and achieve its natural balance and restorative state. It induces deep relaxation and quiets the “monkey mind.” It’s akin to meditation or yoga except you’re floating naked in about 10 inches of body temperature, magnesium-saturated water in a warm, completely private, dark space. I go to a spa in Boston that has a private bath or suite; many places offer you a pod (which I have not tried yet).
Once you get settled in the tub (or pod), you cannot even tell where your body ends and the water begins because it’s at body temperature.
It is a surreal feeling because you really do feel like you’re floating in space or what I imagine it must have felt like to be in the womb! You can float in silence or customize your float to your own relaxing music or even a guided meditation. The magnesium water is so saturated that you are completely buoyant; you cannot turn over (I tried) and accidentally drown (my initial fear). You get earplugs (salt water in the ears can be uncomfortable as the water dries and the salt is left behind) and an optional head and neck pillow to help keep your head elevated. You also get a spray bottle filled with fresh water and a washcloth within arm’s reach just in case the salt water gets in your eyes.
The main initial benefit of a float session is the magnesium you are soaking in.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for your nervous system and bone health. Most people are severely magnesium deficient and while you can take supplements, it is best absorbed through the skin. If you are magnesium deficient, be sure to clear that evening’s plans and get ready for an awesome night’s sleep. After my first float, I slept for a solid 15 hours straight, completely missing dinner! I also find the floats to be super effective for pain reduction. I have a super tight neck and shoulders and near-constant lower back tension and these floats are a stellar treatment for relieving both; even more than a deep tissue massage.
It makes sense since you have removed all pressure and sources of gravity and your body naturally starts to re-align and self-correct any poor posture habits you might have (like hunching over a laptop). Pregnant ladies would love this treatment because of the temporary relief of pressure from the baby (and it is safe for pregnant women in their second and third trimesters with medical clearance from their doctor).
Finally, my fondness for #allthingsclean is reassured by the fact that the typical 30-35% salt saturation of the water is actually antibacterial in nature. And, any float place worth its salt (sorry, couldn’t resist), will be very transparent in publishing and talking about how they keep the float tubs or pods sanitary and sterile between client floats.
It does take about three (3) floats to get the hang of it and truly relax; I just did my third one a couple of months ago and really did fall asleep for the second half of it.
It was heaven and I was sorry when my 60 minutes were up. Being an introvert living in a loud, busy city, I crave the quiet, dark space to allow my brain to quiet down and simply think. No noise, no cell phones, no texts, no one bothering me for a full hour. And in that space, I tend to get some really creative ideas for life and my business, which is a total bonus. Because the benefits seem to get better with each float, I now strategically schedule a float at least once per quarter (you can go as often as weekly).
So, my secret is out. I am now obsessed with Float Therapy.
Shh… don’t tell anyone.