This whole idea of no sound, no light, jump in vat of warm water and Epsom Salt nekkid has been on my list of things to try for a long time. Like most of you, I work way too many hours and spend so much time with my various electronics. My brain needs a break. (I have trigeminal neuralgia which is like a pinched nerve in my brain. Is that enough evidence I need some more quiet time in my life? yikes! )
I finally tried out Float Station nearby in Campbell. I needed to check out for an hour and do some mediations and creative visualizations. Or, if my brain allowed, to just turn it off and float my brain away into some kind of blissful nirvana. I grew up in Las Vegas which means we almost always had swimming pool growing up. Some of my best pool memories are floating in our pool with my ears underwater and just lazing round in the pool or Jacuzzi. But, you know, I was like 12 so I did not have big stressors in my life yet. And, I was (and still am) very buoyant. I could float for hours without much effort. I loved the heat on my skin while still in the cool water. I am a water baby. I have always loved the water and finds it is great at relieving stress for me.
So, that bring me to my experience. I did a lot of research because I am a person of size. I cannot just go somewhere without doing some research. I have a friend in the FLOAT SPA business and she was a great resource a few months back. I was worried would the spa hold me? Would the opening be large enough to get my size 28 butt/hips/tummy into the pod. She assured me that YES, I would fit. People of all sizes go. Of course, I had to make a call to Float a few months back to verify it. It is so horrible when you are excited about something and find out your body is not welcome there. (Like the booths in a restaurant, for example.)
The Float people told me that their pods were 8′ long by 6′ wide. There pods were filled with 10 inches of water so lots of space in the pod for water to be displaced. (I was worried my weight would make it possible spill out.) I wanted to be sure I could step in easily and step out easily. Nothing word than a case of BGD! (Big Girl Down) When I go down, I go down hard. I almost always POP right back up, but damn does that hurt!
I was also excited to learn about how private the rooms each are and that the pods each get a deep cleaning. These couple of sentences from the Float Station website is what sold me on the whole experience. There is no way I can give my brain 60 minute vacation unless I am certain that everything is very sanitary:
How clean is the water?
After each and every float, the entire water volume of each of our float pods is run more than 3 times through a multi-stage filtration process that includes mechanical, chemical (non-toxic), and electrical filtration methods. Float Station utilizes an advanced sterilization technique known as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Advanced Oxidative Process,Ã¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“A.O.P.Ã¢â‚¬Â which results in our water being continuously maintained at a standard of purity that far exceeds any municipal drinking water standard anywhere in the world. Need proof? Ã¢â‚¬â€We digitally display, in real time, the water parameters of each pod right outside the door.
And this got me way excited:
a 60-minute vacation for your senses, where no light can distract you, no sound can disrupt you, and no physical sensations can tether you. Float Station offers the deepest relaxation on Earth.
I had a nice warm room. Super private. My own shower with the pull down handle. They prefer you wash your hair, wash your body and get rid of all of your lotions, oils, soaps and grime before you get in the pod. The room had liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, ear plugs, q-tips, fresh towels, clean shower shoes, wash cloths. All of that kind of yummy spa stuff. You can wear a bathing suit, but I do not see why you would. The room is 100% private. Great lighting options, too. Everything that I needed was there and all of it worked for person my size. (I am 5’7″ tall, btw.)
The pods are filled with salt and magnesium. Sort of like Epsom Salts. Epsom Salt has been used for centuries. If you know me, you know I am not very woo. But, it is hard to argue something that has been used for hundreds of years. The spa and others claim that the stuff they use along with the water can have therapeutic benefits. Who knows. But, I certainly do not have any research to go one way or another for the health benefits. I was a little put off by the “weight loss” benefit Float has on their website. It talks about reducing cravings and cortisol. And their site goes on to say that “Floating interrupts the cycle of addiction by encouraging the body to release endorphins, the “happy chemicals” in your brain.” So, yah, sort of BLECK. And, if they were super savvy, they ight want to remove that portion because it could be interpreted as fat phobic. I took a chance anyway. I found their employees Hannah and Hannah (you read that correctly) to be very generous and helpful. I never once got the feeling the even considered my size until I brought it up. But, their owners or corporate might want to reconsider this as I also have never seen any data supporting this, but I could have some how missed this miracle weight loss cure. (Most of you know I have strong feelings about the wreckless DIET INDUSTRY and have renounced all diet culture bullshit.)
So, I stripped down. Took my shower with my earplugs in (suggested by Float) and then I carefully eased myself into the water. It is 94 degrees, so no hesitation about getting right in. I put a towel since my legs are short and I did not want to get my crotch on the edge of the pod to be polite to future floaters. I am sure the whole pod gets cleaned, but I still wanted to be polite.) Float also gave me a very thing floating head rest. The 10 inches of water in the pod also had somewhere between 900 and 1200 lbs of the salt / magnesium in the pod. So, it is HEAVY with salt. At first, I did struggle finding my center and difficulty getting my butt underneath me as I wanted to sit a few moments while I got my bearings.
I wish it had some handles. That is one thing that could have really improved my experience. I used the hydraulic arms to help me on occasion, but you really should not pull on those. I let the Float staff know that could improve my experience. (And, I did not like the little rocks / pebbles in the shower. I am tenderfooted and those little pebble really hurt me when I got out of the pod.)
Of course, it took me about 10 minutes to really get settled in. I tried closing the pod, but found it was so quiet in the spa, that I did not need to close it much. I preferred it opened. Maybe as I get better at it, I will appreciate the lid closed more. For now, I preferred it open. The room was really dark and everything had the sapphire blue light, so it was very zen.
I am pretty sure EVERY human would find that they are super buoyant in these tubs. I preferred floating on my back without the little neck/head support they gave me. I enjoyed my ears underwater an I enjoyed hearing my own breath relaxing and slowing down. I did not hear my heart beat as some people do. I will listen more closely next time. I liked my hands above my head, but that is typically how I sleep. It was nice when my arms were more like at my sides, but over my head felt very natural to me.
The parts of my body that would float above the water line (tummy, face, breasts) would end up with salt crystals all over. But, once you go back underwater, they all dissolved. I did roll over and lay face down a bit, too. But, I kept my face out of the water. (Salt in your eyes is never good. EVER.) I also sat and meditated as best as I could. I did some stretches. I loved the way my skin felt. So soft, silky and sort of slimey. Of course, all of that washed off with the shower later.
The pod is 8 feet long and 6 feed wide so I was able to spread out and my finger tips would touch the sides once in awhile. The opening is nice and big, so very easy and lots of space for me to get in and out. Your limbs do feel sort of heavy under the water, but once you life the out, they feel normal instantly.
I am going to go back a second time and try it again. I really enjoyed the peace and quiet. When your hour is almost up, some very spa like music comes on to give you a 10 minute warming. I guess some people fall asleep there. I think I am way too much of a control freak to fall asleep.
Have you tried it? Share here with your experience with the float spa. Thank you to Hannah and Hannah for the great experience.