@yogawithpaige recommended that I pay a visit to Floating KC for zero gravity flotation therapy. Float therapy or an isolation tank, is a lightless, soundproof tank filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. “Floaters” typically float inside the tank for an hour. Floating has actually been around for 60 years but has recently grown in popularity.
Float therapy is a great way to disconnect from our devices and soothe mind, body and spirit. Freed from all sensation of gravity, temperature, touch, sight and sound, you converse and redirect vast amounts of natural physical and mental energy. I like to think of it as unplugging and recharging.
I’ll list all the benefits of floating towards the end but first I want to share my experience, which I’m told is different from person to person. At Floating KC the adventure starts with a quick video that explains floating and all the benefits one can expect. After a quick locker room visit, you’re then led to a psychedelic room where you sit in these epic massage chairs for about 15 minutes while staring at galaxy lights. (Super mesmerizing stuff!)
After you’re good and relaxed, you’re taken to your float room. Each float room is equipped with a nice rain shower + organic spa products. The float rooms used at Floating KC are top of the line in the industry. You can stand up and fully stretch out in these large spacious rooms. They are about the size of a king bed and 7ft tall with about 11 inches of water inside. You can easily touch the bottom so knowing how to swim is not required!
After my pre-float briefing, I put in my earplugs, climbed in and shut the door. The lights dimmed and I was engulfed by total darkness. Almost immediately my perception was thrown off and I felt like my body was spinning (similar to getting the spins after a late night out!).
About the same time, I felt immense fear. I do not like the dark. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I was in a pitch dark environment. (I still sleep with a night light and I may or may not have slept on my parents floor for an entire month after watching The Ring in high school.) At that point, I had to focus and steer my thoughts in another direction.
I started off imagining that I was doodling mandalas, then I envisioned practicing on my yoga mat. Starting in child’s pose, focusing on my breath, clearing my mind of all the fear and before I knew it I was drifting in and out. I almost fell asleep a few times but a few muscle twitches kept me awake.
As my mind and body relaxed, I experienced a few periods of complete silence. My mind was completely shut off. At other times, I found myself subconsciously humming Take on Me by a-ha. If you’ve seen the music video, it is actually pretty perfect. My little float theme song.
When I did have thoughts, it was mostly creative, which a lot of people think that flotation facilitates the creative process. I was daydreaming or brainstorming about my blog. Before I knew it, the lights came back on and my float was over.
In summary, it was a totally new experience for me that I really enjoyed. I don’t often totally unplug and I think the process really benefited me. I feel lighter and less stressed. The Epsom salt also helped my tired muscles. I did hear that it takes a few floats to totally get acclimated so I’m interested to see how relaxed one can get after a few sessions. One 60 minute float session will run you about $75.
The Benefits of Floating:
- Promotes calm, peaceful relaxation, which can alleviate stress
- Can help eliminate fatigue and jet lag
- Improve sleep
- Creates mental clarity, alertness, increases creativity, problem solving, heightens visualization, deepens meditation, expands awareness, intensifies acuteness of all the senses, and accelerates learning
- increases motivation, diminishes depression, anxiety and fear; facilitates freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
- Improves athletic performance and helps prevent sports injuries and speeds the healing process by improving circulation
- Increases production of endorphins; quickens rehabilitation and recovery; relieves pain; arthritis and migraines
- Boosts your immune system
- Gives you the feeling of being refreshed and revitalized