I Tried Float Therapy— Here's My Experience
My Float Therapy experience was sponsored by Healing Waters Float Spa. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My wellness routine usually consists of weekly yoga and monthly massage therapy sessions. However, I enjoy switching up my routine with other treats such as facials or body brushing. Recently, I have been entertaining the idea of trying float therapy.
Float therapy is the practice of reducing external sensory input to the brain.
Reduced light (vision), reduced sound (hearing), reduced proprioception (touch/feeling), or how you feel your body in space. The practice is said to help relieve stress and reduce pain, as well as help to speed up muscle recovery. While floating, you are provided a great opportunity to meditate, reflect, or contemplate— because you are alone with just their breath, heartbeat, and thoughts as the only "inputs" in your existence.
With float therapy, I never had the question of “does it work?” Instead, I was more concerned about “would I like it?”
I tend to look at trendy wellness therapies and practices with skepticism—for example, jade facial rollers. However, I am familiar with the multitude of benefits of soaking in Epsom salt and of meditation. So, I figured I will give float therapy a try.
I first remember hearing of float therapy after learning that Steph Curry is an avid floater.
As I researched the benefits of float therapy, it totally made sense why athletes and celebrities are enjoying this wellness trend. Float therapy not only offers you a respite from the many directions we are pulled in our daily lives but also is shown to: improve insomnia and sleep quality; alleviate pain; contribute to beautiful, glowing skin; decreased anxiety and stress.
What interested me most about float therapy was the promise of stress relief more so than the promise of pain relief or muscle relaxation.
As a result of balancing my full-time healthcare project management career with the content creation and event curation needs of Freeing She, I constantly feel connected to my phone and computer. Being an introvert who is the face of a growing brand, I constantly feel connected to others.
My yoga and meditation sessions are amazing but are sometimes not enough to help me completely disconnect.
My current yoga instructor uses music to guide our flow— which I enjoy, but can sometimes find too stimulating. My meditations are accompanied by the ambient city noise, and sometimes my husband moving throughout our home or accidentally interrupting my sessions to talk. As a result, I have days where I feel totally frustrated with the constant stimulation in addition to my usual body aches and elevated stress.
I booked my first float therapy experience at Healing Waters Float Spa.
The studio was unassuming from the street, but upon entering I felt transported into a modern, zen studio. The owner explained to me some of his favorite details of the studio: purifying Himalayan salt panels on the wall, the intentional flow of energy from the welcoming lobby through the meditation lounge, and the meditative chimes and music gently dancing in the air. I could tell that the spa owner truly cares about his patron’s energy and relaxation. After explaining the process of preparing for my float session, entering and exiting my float pod, and what I can expect during my float, the owner left me alone in my private teak and stone room.
Preparing to Float, if You have Natural Hair
I rinsed off in the shower and drenched my curly hair in freshwater. Epsom salt is great for eliminating frizz and defining curls. However, its effects can also be drying. Therefore, I wanted to minimize any dryness by allowing my hair to drink up as much fresh water as possible. Doing this will prevent your hair from absorbing too much salt water— Hint: this also works for chlorinated water. Then, I chunky twist my hair to prevent tangles. You can wear a swim cap if you desire. However, I enjoy feeling water touch my scalp. After my pre-float rinse, I plugged my ear canals with silicone ear putty and opened the door to my float pod.
So, What Exactly was My Experience?
Immediately after opening the door, I felt the warmth of the water touch my face and I stepped into the water. The temperature of the water was comforting, at about 98 degrees Fahrenheit to mimic my body temperature. I sat down, pushing out my feet and felt the water gently lean my entire body backward.
I knew that I wanted to experience my first float in the darkness, but I was nervous about cutting off the meditation music.
I was also nervous that I would feel trapped. The thought of being surrounded but darkness and silence in a confined space really concerned me. However, the float pod was actually spacious. As I awkwardly tried to relax, I decided to cut off the music and practice the breathing and meditation exercises I learned from Headspace. As I continued awkwardly trying to relax, positioning myself into the perfect float, I felt as if I was floating on a wave and even bumped the basin’s wall a few times.
I spent a lot of my session trying to relax enough to relieve the pressure on my neck.
I’m blaming the pressure on my neck on the weight of my wet hair! After my float, I noticed that the room had a Floatease neck support float that I could have used. I will definitely use that next time. As I continued to float, I found my most relaxed position was with one hand on my stomach, one hand on my chest, and my legs slightly spread— which also relieved some of the tension on my neck too.
Eventually, I felt as if everything stopped moving and instead I was firmly cradled somewhere in the universe.
I could not decipher which areas of my body were in the water or exposed to air. Nothing “existed” but the rhythm of my breath, the pulse of my heartbeat. Listening to the strength of my heartbeat was surreal. Through my yoga and meditation practice, I thought I listened to my entire body. During my float session, I realized I rarely made moments to literally just listen to my heart. While floating, I also enjoyed listening to my uujayi breath— as my yoga instructor would call “my voice”. My experience culminated with me feeling deeply rooted in myself. I think float sessions may be a great place to make important heart decisions.
As I continued enjoying my newfound "groundness", my session ended too soon after.
After exiting my pod, I showered and rinsed my hair well. I left my private room and entered the meditation lounge to moisturize my face, apply my mascara, tie my head wrap, and enjoy a cup of tea.
While enjoying my tea, I reflected on my experience.
I’ve heard from others who indulge in float therapy that the therapy takes practice. I can see why! As a newbie, you have to learn to allow the process to unfold on its own. Just as in meditation, you cannot force it. Instead you must surrender, allowing your body to be and your thoughts to come and go. The energy in my body felt different from the energy I feel after a massage. After a massage, I feel intense physical relief. After my first float session, I felt mental relief.
Overall, I think the point of float therapy is to learn how to release control and to connect only with, you.
It was definitely a unique experience that I plan to try again. When I do, I will be sure to update you on my new experiences!
Since my float, I’ve had many women in my circles ask about my experience and express how they have been wanting to try it out too. So, I partnered with Healing Waters Float Spa to offer you a special introductory offer so that you can experience float therapy yourself.
You can book a 60-min float session for only $45 with special promo code "FREEFLOAT"
This offer is valid until June 30, 2018. If you decide to book a session, I do not receive any compensation from the company.