On the weekend I had the opportunity to indulge in the craziest new experience. The fellas at The Float Shack, a new business to Red Deer, invited me to come check out their studio and enjoy a float in one of their sensory deprivation tanks. It was the best 90 minutes of doing nothing I’ve ever had.
So what exactly is floating? Well, you are in a tank filled with about a foot of water and 1000lbs of epsom salts, which is at a temperature of your skin. You’re in complete darkness, with no sound, floating atop the water using no muscle and no gravity, completely free of your senses, in total relaxation.
The studio itself was a tranquil space. They’ve set it up so you can sit and relax before or after your float, or just to come in to hangout, read, work, or enjoy a cup of tea. I could definitely see myself escaping there to get some work done one day.
As for the float itself, it was recommend that I don’t consume any caffeine for four hours prior to my float. Considering my float was at 11am and I woke up at 9, that meant no coffee for this mama. A scary thought. It was also recommended not to shave beforehand as the salt water could irritate freshly shaven skin. I arrived about 15 minutes before my float time to get the run down on how everything works.
Matt took me to the room to explain everything. I was to completely shower off using their soap and shampoo to remove any oils, lotions and makeup that could affect the water quality, pop in the special ear plugs provided and then into the tub for 90 minutes of nothingness. The tanks are completely sanitary and constantly tested so there’s no fear of any heebie jeebies in the tub. I was a little nervous about getting bored in there with my thoughts, but Matt suggested to do just focus on your breathing or do a body scan to check in with each part of your body, similar to yoga.
Once I got in the tank, I was a little nervous about getting bored with my thoughts in there for 90 minutes. The soft music that was playing in the room and in the tank had eventually faded to nothing and all I could hear was the sound of my own breath. As my thoughts slowed down, I eventually could hear my own heartbeat. Focusing on that sound led me into the strangest place. At first I thought it was sleep, but after a few days of thinking about my experience, I realize I wasn’t really sleeping. I fell into my subconsciousness, in-between sleep and awake. I can’t tell you the thoughts or dreams that occurred during that time, I can only tell you that what seemed like only a few minutes later I was awoken to find that my 90 minutes was almost up.
Normally, the music would slowly fade back into the tub to alert you that your float was over. However when I came back into awareness again, I must have forgot where I was and rubbed my face, resulting in salt water getting into my eye. I had to use the spray bottle provided in the tank for just that reason and hopped out of the tank to grab a towel. I realized that my float was minutes from being done, so I just hoped back in the shower to rinse off all the salt water and continue on with my day. My skin was incredibly soft, not pruney like you normally get sitting in water that long. My mind was clear, my constant tiredness was gone, and my mood was lifted. While I didn’t experience better sleep that night, like I was told I may, I realize that the first few days following my float were much different than my normal days. I was calmer than usual, especially when it came to Liam. My mind was clear and I was able to focus and get a lot of quality work done. I definitely felt like a much better version of myself (until the tiredness snuck back in again).
Looking back now, I realize what a surreal experience it is to fall into that in-between space. Being in the tank feels like almost an out of body experience, left with only your inner thoughts. I wish that I had known exactly what kind of zen experience I would have had so I didn’t head out the door back into real life running errands. I should have taken some more time to sit and relax and reflect on the experience. If you ever go for a float, I encourage you to do this! I highly enjoyed my experience and could definitely see myself trying this again.
Some of the benefits of floating include
– releases endorphins
– relaxed muscles and decreased pain
– improves sleep quality
– diminishes depression
– mental clarity
– detoxifies the body
– increased blood circulation
– reduces stress
– mental relaxation
– lowers blood pressure
– increases creativity
– clearer thought processing.
Whether you are an athlete looking to speed up recovery and heal sore muscles, an artist needing some help with creative thinking, someone suffering from chronic pain, or anyone who just wants to disconnect with the busy world we are living in, you need to try floating.
When was the last time you did nothing?
What is your favourite method of relaxation?
Thank you so much to Matt and Lance for having me into the studio and explaining everything about floating! They were also so kind to let me share a free float with one lucky reader! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Contest will close Sunday evening and winner will be announced on Monday, January 12. Please only enter if you live in the Red Deer area or are able to travel to Red Deer to visit the studio. Even if you don’t win, I highly encourage you head over to The Float Shack and check it out for yourself.