Clear your mind and find your zen by floating in a sensory deprivation tank.
September 7, 2018
Do you find it difficult to turn off your brain and relax, without your mind flooding with thousands of thoughts? Are you nodding your head? Me too, me too.
One day, out of desperation to mute my inner dialogue, I booked my first float appointment at 9:00 a.m. that morning. I’m not saying the next day because this was at 2:00 a.m. the same morning. Hey, I said I was desperate!
I went into my first float full on. I had never been in a sensory deprivation tank before, but I was desperate to hit the reset button on my thoughts, so I went for the full 90 minutes.
What happened? Well. Let me tell you:
My. Brain. Shut. Off.
Right off. To the point that I woke myself up from snoring, while floating in complete darkness, listening to Tibetan Singing Bowls vibrate through 1200 pounds of Epsom salt filled water.
Complete and utter relaxation achieved, finally! I came out of there like a refreshed human ready to take on the day.
Ready to give 60-90 minutes of your time to clear your mind and find your own zen?
Cost: Ranges from $45 – 69 for a 1 hour float. Discounts are usually available if you purchase a membership. Prices based on Calgary locations.
Where to float: If you’re local to Calgary, Alberta, my personal float location of choice is Float Life in Kensington, but some others are Soul Float, Clear Float Spa, and One Love Float. If you are not located in Calgary, the good news is that most major cities have float centres. To find them, search online for “Float Therapy” or “Floating” followed by the name of your city or town.
Prep: Don’t drink caffeine before your float, because that’s counterproductive, and don’t shave or wax the morning of. Any cuts or freshly shaven skin will not feel great in the salt, trust me. If you have a cut, use the provided petroleum jelly to seal the skin. Swimming earplugs are provided to prevent saltwater from entering your ears. Shower before entering the pod, just like you would at the pool.
What to wear: Nothing. No, really. Wearing a bathing suit can be uncomfortable, and since the experience is completely private there is nothing to worry about. So let go, and relax. In the nude.
How to float: The most comfortable float positions are with your palms up and arms slight bent overhead, or with your arms at your sides, and I’m going to assume you know to float on your back. To increase the comfort of your back and neck during the float, use the provided “halo” to rest your head on. You won’t feel a thing except blissful zen.
The room and pod: Your float pod will be in a soundproof private room, with a shower and showering supplies included. The rooms lock from the inside and you have full control over the lighting inside and outside of the pod, the music, and also the position of the lid.
Claustrophobic? See above. You have full control of the pod. Want it all the way open? Go for it. When fully open, you can stand up in the pod. When fully closed, I can’t touch the top with my arms fully outstretched. There’s loads of room!
When it’s over: You’ll know your time in the pod is complete when the music changes and the light inside the pod comes on. If you miss those cues, after a few minutes the filter comes on and you definitely can’t miss the noise and swirling water! Shower after the float – you have about 20 minutes until they need to prep for the next person – and then pour a cup of tea and relax until you’re ready to leave.
Float therapy, or “floating” as it is commonly referred to as, is a unique method of relaxation where you literally float in high-density salt water at the same temperature as your body. You can reach a meditative state quite easily during the experience and will feel leave feeling refreshed and renewed.
The most common type of floating is done in pods, though some providers have float rooms as well. Float pods are like your own private alien capsule, complete with magical glowing lights and serenity inducing music of your choice. Shut the lid and you’re ready to literally float off into a deep state of relaxation.
Sounds weird right? Well, it kind of is, but I swear it’s more of a “whoa” than an “oh no” type of experience.
Why should you climb inside an alien pod?
OK, I hear you. You want to know exactly what you’re going to get from floating that you can’t get from a bottle of wine, right?
Relaxation? Pretty obvious. It’s an hour to an hour and a half of time where you are completely disconnected, so that’s a given.
Meditation? Trust me on this one. The feeling of absolute weightlessness from the salt and the way your body melds with the temperature of the water, makes it near impossible not to reach this state, even if you’re like me and can’t meditate to save your life.
Re-centered spirit? Disconnecting from screens and dedicating time to yourself is like taking your spirit on a date. Care for it, treasure it, and it will emerge all shiny and new.
Magnesium absorption? Unexpected, right? I drink a cup of magnesium citrate in hot water most nights to ease my anxiety, and it sure works wonders. When you float, you are essentially soaking in a bunch of magnesium, which helps relax your muscles and your entire body, releasing anxiety and increasing muscle recovery in the process.
Main difference? After a float you are going to actually feel amazing inside and out, not just think you do, like with our fun friend Wine.
Is this an everyone thing, or only for stress cases?
Raise your hand if your brain ever goes into overdrive to the point that you want to curl up in a corner and wave a white flag in surrender! Did you raise your hand? I sure did.
We are living in fast times my friends, and we can all benefit from a little break in our days to hide from reality – even if it’s just for an hour.
The short answer is YES. This is an everyone thing.
Of course, if you have any health or medical conditions to be aware of, please connect with your healthcare professional before entering an alien, I mean float, pod.
If you are looking to bring more relaxation into your life, to find balance and increase that overall feeling of zen in your spirit, then yes, floating is for you.
Comment below to share your float experiences or your favourite way to relax!