Would you or wouldn’t you? This is no truth or dare, but, at times, the health treatments we’re invited to try seem as though they could be. (Read our Would You, Wouldn’t You series through the years here!)
Sensory deprivation treatments are by no means new, but thanks to the new float tank centers popping up around town, the therapy is having a resurgence. We highly recommend trying Just Float at least once! We recently joined the adventurous Katie Horwitch of WANT for the anti-gravity, stress-melting session and we’re totally sold. Here’s what to expect…
So you drink your coffee with raw butter, wash your face with charcoal and put all kinds of crazy things into your smoothie. Maybe you’ve even tried shooting up your vitamins or massaging your way to a toned tummy. Even if you think you’ve tried every wellness hack under the sun, there’s a good chance you’ve never experienced anything quite like this: a salt bath on steroids.
If you’re an avid fitness fanatic, you probably already know that a few scoops of Epsom salt in your bath does a stressed-out body good. And if you’ve ever played in the ocean, you know that one of the most peaceful feelings in the world is when the water’s calm enough to kick back on top of the surf.
Float therapy, the wellness world’s newest trend, is just like that – times a thousand. Literally. At Just Float in Pasadena, California, float tanks are filled with 1,300 pounds of Epsom salt dissolved in 250 gallons of water.
Let’s set the scene, shall we: You walk into a private room and see a small door in the back corner. Open it up, and you’re met by a neon-blue chamber with what is essentially a gigantic bath tub filled with water. As you lower yourself onto your back and close the door, you realize there is no way you’re going to flip over, much less sink – with that much salt in the water. The lights start to dim, tranquil music starts to play, and as it fades out, all of the sudden you realize… you’re floating in complete silence and darkness.
Cue panic attack? Not even close.
Mentally, float therapy is pretty trippy. Free from gravity and external stimulation (the water is heated to the exact temperature of your skin for total sensory deprivation), floating can actually shift brain waves to a lower frequency “theta” state – the state of mind that’s typically only seen in seasoned meditators and which is associated with deep relaxation, visualization, and creativity. Sure, at first you wonder what you’re going to be doing for an hour just floating in your own mini ocean…but, surprisingly, that feeling fades away within the first few minutes. The results vary (when we went, one of us fell asleep and one of us came out of the room with 10 new business ideas), but the bottom line is the same: major stress relief and a sense of calm and clarity. If typical meditation isn’t your cup of tea, float therapy might just be your mindful match.
Physically, float therapy is like a yoga class without the mat (…or poses, or hardwood floor, or class…but hey, go with us on this one). Just like yoga, research has shown that float therapy can decrease blood pressure, lower cortisol levels, and lower your heart rate in the long run. Because of the sensory deprivation factor, it removes stress on muscles, bones and joints to literally give your entire body a break. And that super-high concentration of salty minerals? Say goodbye to inflammation and hello to detoxification. We’re not saying it should replace regular exercise or your daily lemon water, but with these kinds of major feel-good benefits, we think it’s definitely worth a try – if not a regular habit.
What do you think, readers? Leave the salt on the table, or try it in the tub? Would you or wouldn’t you try float therapy? Sound off in the comments below!
New floaters only: In the L.A. area? Just Float is offering half off your first float for a limited time. Click through here to make your reservation!