Relaxing Retreat

Quite a while back, I had read an article online about these things called sensory deprivation tanks. Sounds kinda intimidating right? After some research, I found out that they are actually very good for you. A sensory deprivation tank, also known as a “float tank” or a “pod,” is a pod, for lack of a better word, that is filled with Epsom salt and ten inches of water. The salt to water ratio is so high that you will automatically float. It is like the dead sea in that way. The water is temperature controlled to maintain a regular human body temperature. There is also a hatch door that blocks out light, and the pods are sound proof. With all of these mechanisms combined, you are now deprived of your main senses. The temperature of the water is such that you feel neither hot nor cold. The sound and light proof pod removes stimulation from sound and sight. Floating suspended in the pod will take away stimulation of touch and direction. The pod doesn’t necessarily take away your senses, it just removes the stimulation so that your senses have nothing to interpret, thereby allowing your senses, and your brain, to completely relax.

I heard through the grape vine that a local had opened up a float spa near me so I had to try it. Javier got me a three float package for mothers day. It is pretty comparable to a massage price wise, and it feels like you have been at the spa all day. I went on Mother’s day for my first ever float, and let me say, it was pretty awesome. I didn’t go in with high expectations, thinking it would be a gimmick and I would not reap all of the benefits that they profess. At the very least, I thought it would be some nice time alone. You guys, it blew my mind. It was so peaceful and relaxing, I was conscious the whole time, but deeply relaxed. I got out feeling like I had slept all night.

I checked in at the desk and she gave me the lowdown on how the float session works. She took me back to the pass code locked “pod room” and gave me a quick tour (there’s not much in there, towels, shower, restroom and the pod). First you must shower before entering the pod to keep your oils and hair products from changing the balances of the water (the water has so much salt, that no bacteria can possibly grow, but you need to clean yourself from all of the products you use to keep the water at its optimal levels). This particular spa supplies everything that I need (towels, shampoo (which smells amazing) ear plugs etc) but I don’t know if all do. You can (and its recommended) to go nude. Think of it like a hot tub. After getting showered, I pressed the button on the wall to shut off the lights and start the timer. Then, I just got in the pod and floated. The pod has a light inside to help you see your way in once the lights are off in the room. Its a really strange sensation at first, not being able to sink. It took me the better part of the first half hour just trying to relax. I kept thinking that I was going to get a stiff neck because I couldn’t relax into the water. I kept trying to think of relaxing thoughts and I had a hard time shutting my mind off. At one point before I was fully relaxed, I thought that I had floated into a sideways position in the tank, so I turned on the internal light and realized that I was in the exact position that I started in. You really do lose all sense of direction in there. Eventually, I drifted off into this peacefulness. I was fully awake, and felt myself float into the edge of the tank a couple times. I had read in her pamphlet that when your body is entering this relaxation mode, your brain thinks that you are sleeping. To test that, your brain sends signals to your body to see if you will react to them, like an itch or a twitch like you do in your sleep. I had several of those. I itched the first time and then realized what was happening, so I ignored the stimulation until they stopped. I twitched a lot (like those dreams where you’re falling and jolt awake). I asked her about that afterwards and she said that it takes a few floats for your body to fully get used to the process of deep relaxation and that she herself sometimes has “twitchy floats” from time to time. Soon enough, the alarm on the pod started to sound and it was time to get out. The lights came on and I got out to shower. I felt like I needed to stretch and “wake up” like after sleeping in on a Saturday morning. After showering, I felt so rejuvenated. My skin was soft and I felt like I had the best nap of my life, even though I didn’t really sleep. I went into the “relaxation room” down the hall where she has a dimly lit room with teas and herbal drinks. It is a nice space where you can savor your relaxed state before getting back to the real world. I didn’t feel sleepy like I worried I would, I just felt super refreshed.

The lasting effects are great too; it isn’t all a rush right afterward. I slept better than I had in a long time that night, despite feeling like I had slept eight hours straight. I slept better for the most part of the next month. My hyperthyroid symptoms were much better, anxiety was better acne had cleared up and I didn’t have a single stiff neck night that whole month (I have a recurring problem with stiff necks in the am). This past week or so, I have noticed all of those things coming back, so I scheduled a float appointment for this Friday. I’m going to put it to the test and see if it works its charm again. I can’t wait to be free of these symptoms again!

Do some research and find out what its all about, read other people’s stories on what their experience was like. All in all, I would absolutely recommend trying it out!

3 thoughts on “Relaxing Retreat

    • It really is! I am not one who loves water to begin with so the floating thing made me a little nervous the first time as well. My second float was just as amazing. I even had my thyroid levels checked a week afterward and they are NORMAL! I have had hyperthyroid issues for quite some time.


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